David Watkins Brief
I have been a professional illustrator for 37 years. I graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1971 at the University of Texas-Arlington. The instructor who taught me is Richard Ferrier who is an excellent illustrator and my mentor. He is still on staff there and I highly recommend the school for its expertise and ability to impart knowledge in the area of architectural presentation.
After receiving my degree I was hired by Joe Tomlinson in 1972 at Concept Arts in Dallas where I continued learning for two years. It is here that I really began to understand the true nature of what is required of a top architectural delineator. Joe’s ability in the area of perspective drawing is unparalleled. From him I learned that a successful project always starts with a good perspective. No matter how good the style, color, scale, material interpretation, lighting or contrast are, if the perspective is bad or wrong then the rendering will fail to impart the correct information.
After two years at Concept Arts I relocated to Denver where I began working for myself as Watkins Associates. I have been doing this since then and through the years have continued to add to the company’s capabilities.
I also did a brief 6-year stint as an instructor in the College of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado. This was the impetus I needed to learn how to render in a loose conceptual style. I recommend finding styles that you like and following their lead for inspiration. Our curriculum at CU was based upon the text books of William Kirby Lockard who, like Joe Tomlinson, has a wonderful understanding of perspectives through a freehand style that makes use of a cubist, proportion-oriented method of drawing. The books are called ‘Design Drawing Experiences’ and ‘Design Drawing’.
During my tenure there I was honored to have such guest speakers in my classes such as Mr. Lockard, since passed on, Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, Betty Edwards, author of ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ and Barbara Froula, an amazing watercolor artist residing in Denver.
Good luck to all of you in your experiences, I hope they special to you as they have been for me. David Watkins.