Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Exhibition

Tomorow is the pin up for the exhibition and even though I know I've done all the work and I'm happy with what I've achieved, I feel like there is something I'm forgetting! But theres always that feeling before a big assesment I think.

The last few weeks have been a mixture of stress, relief and nerves as the big day gets closer. Its been busy but I've got to admit that the build up to the final crit was worse because we only had two weeks then to get all the drawings done whereas for the exhibition we've had almost a month to prepare and I was on top of things anyway.

The construction drawings took up most of the time but its mainly the research that takes time and once I had the go ahead I smashed the drawings out in two days. Other than that there were a few additional sheets like a context board to do and another couple of models. I ended up completely re-drawing my sections and sequentials for the detail stage which seemed like a good idea at the time but when I was rendering up the 4th sequential I wanted to rip my hair out! A few computer crashes later and a fist through the dry wall, the drawings were finished and I'm glad I re-did them as they look much better.

I think the worst thing about the last few weeks has been the cost of printing and all the little bits that go towards the exhibition. Everything has printed well though so I guess it will be worth it in the long run and at least its one less stress handing over a usb then forgetting about it. One way or another by the end of next week it will all be over and I think everyone has earnt a drink!

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Final Crit 07/05/2013

Last monday was the day the last few weeks have been building up to, and seeing it all up on the wall I can't believe how much work I managed in churn out in that amount of time. Whats crazy is that I wasn't even behind but was still pulling 14 hour shifts most days to get all the work done!

The down side was that I ended up rushing my 1:50 sections and sequentials and, as I was expecting, everyone picked up on it. I have realised that I was getting carried away in photoshop and not playing to my strengths. Seeing some of the work that others were producing in photoshop I wanted to do the same but I dont have the technical skills (or time) to pull it off and actually my drawing is much stronger. So I've redrawn my sections and they look much better already!

Other than that the crit went really well. I was nervous about the presentation and being second up wasn't easy but what usually happens is when I get up the front the nerves go and I just get on with it and that was what happened tuesday. The general feedback was that my work needed to tie together better on the wall, which could be achieved by using the same colour range in each plan. Apart from the 1:50 sections and sketches there was nothing majorly wrong but a few drawings need some tweaking. I came out with a decent mark and although I'm near the next grade boundary I'm not going to work myself into the ground re-drawing and rendering because there are new drawings and models to focus on.

At least the majority of the work is done now, next on to construction drawings and the final exhibition!

1:200 MODEL

Friday, 3 May 2013

Personal Website

With advanced representation finished now, I can focus completely on getting all my drawings ready for the crit this monday. Even though the timing of the advanced rep lessons is terrible (being last thing on a monday evening) I have enjoyed the course and learnt lots of new skills.

After the business card/letter head submission we produced a CV that we would be able to use in future and it completely changed everything I thought I knew about writing a CV. For starters I had delete about half of what was written on my original one and add a lot of stuff I didnt realise was releveant.

The last and final project of the course was to create our own websites which I really enjoyed. Before I always assumed I would pay some computer geek to do it for me before realising that I had become one myself! Using a free website template from weebly I experiemnted with themes, fonts, colours etc before landing on a black and white contemporary theme. The next few days were spent writing profiles and uploading examples of my work and before long the deadline had come.

Feedback from the crit was mostly positive. The layout was strong and the images good. The best advice I was given was from a friend who said that although the website was good it wasnt very 'me' because it was dark, clean cut and minimalist and my style is more vibrant and sketchy. So I will take on this feedback and keep adding to the website, might even stretch to buying my own domain!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

So we've just had the final crit before the FINAL crit which is just over a week away. The last few days have been non-stop and I've got another week of the same ahead of me if I'm going to be ready!

Generally the feedback from monday for my 1:50 was positive, most of the suggestions were to do with rendering or annotation. There is one area that needed resolving which I have now changed BUT which meant every other drawing had to be changed to so that was fun. Still I think Im on top of things. The main thing I need to work on is to explain my concept so its really clear in every stage of design.

Jamie said my detailing of lamposts and handrails were too fussy and needed to be clean cut and simple. Julia said the rendering was too grey and the water needed some work. Other than that its just a case of bringing all the drawings up to a high level and making sure everythings there for the 7th. I'm hoping that the next lot of drawings I do are quicker as I've just spent two and a half days on my planting plan, but who needs sleep ey?!

1:50 Plan with one third rendered and annotated.

Saturday, 20 April 2013


First week back from Easter holidays and the workload has increased again! I knew going to Africa over the holidays would cut into the amount of time I had to get the work done but actually it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Workload for the summer was mainly the resolution of our 1:50 areas chosen by Jamie before we broke up. Only having 5 days to complete 3 weeks worth of work meant I focused only on the planting and hard materials of the detailed plan, but didn't have any time to finish my 1:200 work. It was definitely worth it though. 2 weeks away from home in the sun was exactly what I needed.

It wasn't a relaxing holiday in the end, more like an adventure, travelling all over the country and meeting lots of people. Some experience were fun like the safari and white water rafting (although my sister still isn't speaking to me after making us capsize!), while others were heart wrenching and shocking like going to the slums around Kampala. We met the mums who work in the market and saw where they were living, often with 3 or 4 children, which was unbelievable but on the other hand positive that the charity we work with was giving opportunity for these women. Visiting a nursery was another highlight for me, literally as soon as we walked in we were swamped by screaming children shouting 'Mzungu' and carried away by the crowd! However my best moment was on the last day of the trip, teaching a primary school in Gulu English Literature to a class of 75. Scary but amazing.

To make this post slightly relevant there was also lots of interesting plant life in Uganda, as due to the high fall of rain much of the landscape is covered in lush vegetation. Lots of banana trees and palms throughout the country provide opportunity for income as well as food for the family. Thanks to the climate many plants we have that only flower for a few weeks, flower all year in Uganda like the roses which were better than any Ive ever seen. I will definitely be going back before long!


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

This Is Me

For advanced representation we've had to make a web page about an object we like, design a buisness card and letter head that represents us and incorporate this them into a CV. We also have to make a website but I have no experience in this so I havnt started yet, but I want to have something that potential employees can look at  to see an example of my work.

My buisness card is a sketch I did of a landcsape, very minimal in colour just white and green and sophisticated font. I feel this summarises my style of sketching with bold colours and writing but also demonstrates my design capabilities.

Rendering Practise

Its been a while since my last post but I havnt had a chance to stop and breathe, let alone post on my blog but here is whats happened in between.

With the interim crit coming up I decided to start experimenting with some rendering techniques that I could appy to the plan, sections and sketches. My normal style is a combination of bucket filling and photo collaging on top of hand drawn work, but from previous crits I knew that the bucket filling was quite flat and the collaging needed to represent actual types of planting at this scale and not just look nice.

So the idea to give a better texture and depth to my rendering was to continue with a pale bucket fill and then use coloured pencil over the top to show shadow. Jamie said yesterday not to use drop shadows in photoshop as they make the file to big but ive found it a quick and effective way to shadow. I will probably use both methods in my final render.

I also decided to draw myself a set of trees from both plan and elevation that i could quickly load into every drawing for consistency.

Julia doesnt like my people i've made in photoshop but i think they are more effective and stand out in a section better. She suggested to try them in grey but you might lose them in the sketch then?

Interim Crit

Given how manic the last week has been the interim cit went really well, my actual design resoloution was good they said, most of the changes needed are minor like font size and annotation etc. The problem is im off to Uganda for 2 weeks at the end of March which leaves me a week to make all the changes, make a draft model and resolve my 1 to 50 area! Unlikely I think but we'll see how far I get.

Jamie was unconvinced by the circular gardens, I think it was the reason for the shapes that wasnt clear and he also said I needed to add 20% to those gardens which would help explain them more. Also the trees are to scattered so need to be denser, and the templates I drew are to generic and should represent individual trees. My planting is a bit unclear at the moment and its not my biggest strength but that needs resolving and I need to find a way to show my contempory hard landscaping in the drawings so that its clear my design is Contempory Gardenesque.