Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture: Contemporary Techniques and Tools for Digital Representation in Site Design second edition – Bradley Cantrell and Wes Michaels, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Paperback, 317pgs. In today’s technological society computer programs and design seem to go hand in hand, but in a profession that once revered the art of hand drawing, or analog design, new technology can be hard to embrace, much less learn. Authors Bradley Cantrell and Wes Michaels, both working landscape architects, realize this and in Digital Drawing for Landscape Architects attempt to bring readers up to date with some of the latest and greatest computer-aided drafting software.
Digital Drawing for Landscape ArchitectureThe book relies on examples for each of the traditional design drawings – diagrams, plans, section/elevations, and perspectives – to familiarize readers with each representation technique, but don’t think this book is a user’s manual. The authors assume that readers already have a basic understanding of basic representation concepts and computing principles and simply attempt to bridge the gap between traditional analog style drafting and the new digital software. In the preface, the authors describe their work as, “a book about the moment, bridging analog and digital techniques. Digital landscape representation relies heavily on the past, and we attempt to tie past and present together.” Why Break Away from Hand Drawing? But why is there such a need to break away from the traditional form of hand rendering? The answer is easy, digital rendering is faster, more efficient, and more flexible than traditional rendering techniques, and in a world where time is of the utmost importance, digital rendering has become the new relevant method in most offices.
Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture Focus
There are five parts to the book and in part one, Concepts, chapter two sets up the premise of the book through an excellent comparison of analog and digital rendering. Chapter three goes on to give a basic overview of digital concepts, which might make it the most informative chapter in the book as it goes through and explains and defines the basic concepts that are associated with almost every digital program, which are helpful to even the most seasoned designer. After discussing workflows in part two, which includes base imagery and scaling in chapter six, the book moves into the more intricate, and sometimes, mundane details of a design, including managing large files and even printing issues.Part three moves on to discuss design diagrams, and focuses on the program Adobe Illustrator. Starting with how to set up an Illustrator drawing, the chapters progress to discuss linework, pattern brushes, blending tools, live paint and symbols, and even more complicated techniques like how to create one of those amazing exploded axonometric diagrams. The next program discussed in detail is Photoshop, and in part four, readers will learn how to create beautifully rendered plan and section drawings by using simple techniques like layers, and the paint bucket tool, and then moves on to more complicated techniques that include creating texture from an existing photo and making a seamless pattern by using the offset filter. Get your copy HERE! In the last section, part five, things start getting more involved and all of the programs are finally used in conjunction with each other. This is also when three-dimensional modeling software is introduced to aid in the creation of perspective drawings. The authors emphasize, “It is important to devote time to the composition of a perspective drawing. Many factors contribute to an interesting and meaningful perspective illustration, including composition and view location. When used properly, they are powerful tools to convey complex landscape images.” If you love this book, check out these other book reviews:
- Drawing for Landscape Architecture
- Detail in Contemporary Landscape Architecture
- Visual Communications For Landscape Architecture
At slightly over 300 pages, this is the second edition of this ASLA award-winning book and it includes over 50 new examples with updated graphics to highlight the newest applications. When it was first published in 2012, the book was awarded an ASLA Award of Excellence based on its ability to “provide context for how we use digital media as designers and landscape architects,” so check it out and start the process of becoming an expert in digital rendering.
Pick up your copy of Digital Drawing for Landscape Architecture
Review by Erin Tharp Return to HomepagePublished in