Large Residential Case-Study (4)

We move on through the front gate to get you to the walkway and seating area located by the front door. This small raised section for a small table was entirely my idea, and was not even hinted at by the homeowner.

entry rendering with front walk


[Pencil sketch of walk to front door.]

Technically* . . . I think it is a ‘crappy drawing’, but it does convey the feeling I am trying to get across; which is, what would a moving observer see if he stepped inside the gate and started for the front door?

  • Some sort of hard-surface walkway, in this case brick or brick pavers.
  • A small raised patio section, just big enough to hold a two-top table and maybe a pot or two.
  • Strong evergreen plantings by the steps.
  • Steps; deep, wide, slabs coming off the top patio. Steps need to keep up with the size of the columns flanking the front door.
  • Hint of planting in the distance-this is where the stream would start that follows it way around the side and back of house . . . ending up in the lake.
  • Lawn on both sides of walk and simple planting scheme for these non-gardeners.


*When I say technically I am referring to the curve in my walkway. From a perspective standpoint I don’t think the curve looks correct, especially the way the walk turns to the left(on the far side of small raised patio).

This had been my 6th or 7th rough sketch and I finally just said %$$@#, this angle will have to do. For me . . . drawing curves and arcs in a 2 point perspective drawing is real tough.

I do not use a graph or chart underneath these drawings, I just freehand the lines, and eyeball where the vanishing points are. I suppose if I were doing more formal presentation drawings, or some other “final” type of drawing I would make a better attempt.

. . . but . . . I use these conceptuals as a way to start a dialogue between me and the client. This is the most important thing-the open dialogue . . . finding a way to get to their dream. Dialogue is much more important than a technicality in the detail of the drawing/rendering,

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. Well, even if you are troubled by your drawing, I think it’s a nice sketch and does a great job of portraying both ideas and a certain feeling. Aside from the technicalities of the drawing itself…..
    I love the “use” of the front. Why not?
    Particularly when you can approach and muse about where that stream really does lead. I like the mystery.
    Actually, I’d like to be sitting right there at that table.


    That’s some nice work on your site-actually that’s some nice work you have designed and installed.

    I have always been hard on myself about these sort of things, I feel that if you are self-employed you have to be your own worst critic to improve yourself and your profession. The drive to get better, and improve is the drive to stay creative, fresh, and open. thanks for looking and commenting.

  2. That’s nice to hear from a professional such as yourself.

    Here and there I have done what I thought was a great design. And actually, it did turn out well. But there was that one little area….not quite right. No one else noticed it…but I did.

    The good that comes from something like that is that you do learn. It leads to new ideas as to how to treat a certain situation in the landscape. Or it might lead one to letting go completely of a supposedly tried and true technique and as you said, coming up with a completely fresh idea.

    Thank you for your compliments on my work.


    No problem Susan glad you are here.

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