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Pen and Ink Sketches

In my work as an environmental graphic designer, we develop graphics for the built environment. We work with architects and developers for airports, rail systems, college campuses and health care projects. Part of my work involves preparing a theme sketch for the project design documentation package. These consist of a representative sketch of the project done freehand, using a rendering or photo of the project as reference. They are done on 11” x 17” color copier paper with a Sanford Uniball Micro pen, a Pentel Sign Pen, and both a fine and medium Sharpie. Any errant lines are corrected with Tombow Correction Tape.

I like sketching as a parallel discipline to painting. As in painting, composition and value are important, as is the use of negative space. I don’t have color to rely on, so everything has to be communicated with line and shading. I try to create drama and interest by the use of shadows on the building walls, and casting across the foreground, suggesting late afternoon. In this type of work, I find that looser is better, and any details are just scribbled suggestions.

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