I’ve Run Into a Brickwall (2)

A week ago I wrote about the rendering below and how I’d hoped it would lead to a solution. A solution for the South side of a large terrace/patio.

So let’s do a little review

landscape rendering Let’s start with a look at that rendering. This was the 4th or 5th drawing of what I was looking for along this edge of the patio. I needed the fountain centered on the wall and the ornamental wrought iron work flanking both sides. I was Positive about that.

How positive? The wall needs not only to screen the South side, block out the parking lot, and slow down the wind-it needs to add a sense of panache’, class, ornateness, timelessness, etc.

After discussing this rendering . . . with myself. I decided to move on and take it to the next level.

color renderingThis is the color rendering I decided to use for the presentation. It isn’t great, but it is good enough to use with a series of other drawings to tell the story of the patio.

Some quick foreground for a sense of scale, additional background to help frame the wall. For me the real key was to highlight the fountain/wrought iron areas. Emphasize the focal areas of the design.

The Reality of This:

Come up with a concept, believe in your concept(and design principles), draw this concept in loose conceptual form . . . and then sell your belief in the conceptual form . . . the concept for the site . . . not the drawing.

Sell the belief in the design and the concept-not the vehicle, i.e., a fancy drawing that sways the judgment of the client through their emotional response to the impact of the drawing.

Sell your skills, your use of solid design principles. Point out the relationship of your additions to the original site. Sell the solutions to the sites problems, or at very least the recognition of problems and possible solutions.

Through conceptual drawings and renderings this is possible, very possible.

Take a look at this drawing:

[ Telling a story about some space.]

When this is showed to a potential client I want them to be excited about the possibilities for their future. To realize that we can go beyond their initial thoughts, dreams, desires.

That I have looked at their entire landscape, all the area’s, and all those tough sites. Now is the time to get excited about the future.


This is a problem with guys using fancy CAD drawings/renderings.

They go right to the final solution/the final drawing. Usually there is no in-between, no concepts, no options. Just hard and fast lines.

They believe in the final CAD drawing and that visual impact of that type of rendering. They put learning that skill in front of learning what actual design principles are. That is the problem with designing with software, on a computer in the office.

More on this as time goes by.

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 comment

  1. the note at the end is very interesting and i have heard many times the argument against computer aided designing. i believe that sketching is based on personal preference.; some love to use pen, others pencil, some charcoal or conte crayon, the list goes on. i myself have learned to “sketch” in cad. i go through many different sketches quickly, side by side, and have the ability to cut pieces from one, and see how they look in the one next to it. it does have a feeling of permanence to people who like the “sketchy” look at presentation, so i run my drawings through a filter to make it look hand drawn. all this said, i do like to use pen to sketch entry features, walls, etc, but i find i can get a better handle on size and scale in the computer. k, hope ive made an argument as for why i like to use the computer to sketch, but dont stop doing yours your way, they look awesome – ;-9

    Thanks for the complement. I think each designer has to become comfortable with what works best for them. My big problem is some CAD designers put graphics ahead of actual good design principle.

    One thing . . . I’m sure hand vs. computer will get discussed again(and again) on this blog.

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