Dear BeLoose member,
It was a pleasure coming up with a conceptual design for a water feature in honor of philanthropist Walter Annenberg. A water feature and pond are set within the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA at the Annenberg Pavilion amidst the modernist architecture of Edward Durrell Stone.
The site plan started out as a hand drawn sketch, and was later drafted in cad and printed on 20# bond paper. Print with a very light half tone! I used lots of blender and that is the key, always! I start off with the markers. After the entire site plan is rendered in marker I outline trees, shrubs groundcover, hardscape, etc. with black pen. Then I add pencil for the finishing touches. Once pencil is added there is no going back to marker or else they will get clogged!
Focal point. Start rendering with the focal point in mind, then render out from there. It was important to emphasize the main design feature - the water. The retention pond is physically larger so this garnered more punch, and deeper color than the fountain. I always pull out markers I will use before starting because speed is the key or you’ll lose valuable blending time and end up with watermarking. Here are the essential marker colors: Blender, Pale Lime, Turquoise Green, Aqua, Blue Green. I also like adding a bit of Buff, Maize, Pale Indigo, and Willow Green because these basic colors are used throughout, and colors always borrow from other colors. Prisma pencils: Blue Marine, True Blue, and White. Paint pen: White.
Retention pond. Generously apply blender across entire pond, and work quickly. For me it is all about pushing pigment just like watercoloring. Starting with the lightest color first because you build up to dark. First is Pale lime, moving from left and fading to right. Use blender over Pale Lime, then quickly drop in the Turquoise Green, again from left and fading to right. I like it when my color bleeds into the next, just like watercolor, and this is how I know it is wet enough. Continue with Aqua, then with Blue Green. Careful with the Blue Green because it is very rich, but it does show off the depth! Last, I use Dutch BLue for shadowing at the edges. I can usually add some the accent colors at this point because my drawings are usual still fairly wet: Buff, Maize, Pale Indigo, and Willow Green. If the paper is not wet, then I simply just add dots of color instead of larger strokes.
Water feature. Again, since I know this is a main design feature, I work on this area next. Marker colors: Blender, Sapphire Blue, Blue Glow, Sky Blue, Electric Blue, and Dutch Blue. There are also drops of Buff, and Cadmium Orange. Yes, don’t be afraid to use the Dutch....just go sparingly. My technique is always the same, starting with blender. I start from WHERE I want to have color darkest. I NEVER start with dark, I build to dark. Pencil colors to be added later: Blue Marine, True Blue, and White. Paint pen: White.
Pavement. Essential marker colors: Blender, Cool Gray 1, and Buff. Accent colors: Sunset Pink, Maize, Sapphire Blue, and Pale Indigo. All these colors are light. I control depth of color by layering the same color over itself. My focal point begins adjacent to the water feature I have just colored. Paving can easily dominate this rendering and to do so would take away from the water. In this instance, keeping that white space is important, while keeping visual interest, and knowing that I will also have to fade from dark to light. I will rely on hue to help me out here - fading from Buff to Cool Gray 1, and adding subtle drops of the accent colors. I want to maintain white space so I will suggest color at the control joints. Again, starting with Blender, then Buff, then Blender again pushing the color out and to the right. I add accent colors at this time. As I move further out, I change to Cool Gray 1.
Landscape around pond. I start out with the trees and plan for white space underneath other plantings. Use the same technique as I have described above.
Trees. I work on the periphery of the tree limbs and want a more subtle color because the all the
groundcover, shrubs, and river rock will garner a lot more attention. Here is the order: Blender, Willow,
Maize, Sunset Pink, then Pale Indigo.
River rock/pebbles. Marker colors: Cool Gray 1, Cool Gray 2, Cool Gray 3, Buff, Pale Indigo, Sapphire
Blue, and Willow. I don’t use blender here because I want to get that textured separation of color for the river rock. I dot in the color and creep dots of color into the pond. Since the pond water is dark to begin with, I use Cool Gray 2 & 3 for the rock/pebbles.
Shrubs. Next, I worked on the shrubs in no particular order, and followed by groundcover. There is no particular order here, but I started with Sunset Pink for one type of shrub, and used Pale Indigo for another shrub type. I always start out at the periphery of any shrub or tree and then fade into the center. Accent colors added are Buff, Flesh, Pale Indigo, Violet Light, Sapphire Blue, and Willow.
Groundcover. Marker colors: Blender, Cream, Pale Olive, Olive, Willow Green, Sunset Pink. Again, I start from light to dark.
Shadows. Shadows give rendering depth. This I add last. Trees and shrubs get Cool Gray 3. If trees or shrubs are adjacent, then I gang the shadowing.
Grass. Marker colors: Blender, Willow, Grass Green, Nile Green, and Emerald Green. Accent colors: Sunset Pink, Maize, Pale Indigo, Sapphire Blue. Since I have already established my focal point with the other features about, I start along the edge of grass that touches the focal point. I rendering from right and fading out to left, and from top to bottom of drawing (i.e., further from me to closer to me). To get the grass texture, I use straight edge’s (yes, that is plural!) I have made from chipboard. The chipboard tends to get soaked so I change them out, but that’s me because I saturate my renderings! I use the straight edge as a guide to get the straight lines of grass. Alway start with the lightest color first and add that signature dot dot toward the end. I use a zigzag technique the grass as I put down each stroke. I am adding my accent colors as I drop down the Willow Green. This allows me to push the pigment: Sunset Pink, Maize, Pale Indigo, Sapphire Blue. I scatter these colors through the grass. * Basically, I have been dropping these accent colors throughout to tie the entire rendering together.
Remainder trees and shrubs. I continue rendering the rest using the same techniques blending, dropping, and pushing color.
Black pen. I use a fine point and a thicker point black pen, though mostly the fine point otherwise you’ll detract from all the work you have just done! Don’t kill your rendering! With all marker color done, I go back and delineate all the plants.
Color pencil. Then to add movement to the water, I add the pencil. I twist the pencil as I move it across the water to give it that squiggle and dynamic. Start from the focal point and then and fade out.
Paint pen. I used White to show water splashing. With the cap still on, make sure to shake the pen well, then remove cap. With fast, upright drops (90 degrees), I blot down the white -- again starting from a focal point because water splashes out. I also will add some texture to the grass with a few scattered white dots.
There you have it! Enjoy it. Romella Edgmon