The Drawing Board

I miss hand drawing.  If I didn’t feel like I had to keep up and work faster (and I’m pretty quick with a pencil), I would go back.  But that’s not the case for at least three months a year in the spring when I’m at my virtual ‘drawing board’ for many hours each day creating landscape design plans for clients.  During this time, time is truly money.  It’s when a large percentage of my projects are conceptualized, drawn and sent out into the world to become reality.  I know that many people, some of my designer friends among them, still prefer to ‘think’ with a pencil.  I do too, often sketching conceptual ideas for details and preliminary plan layouts on paper with a proper pencil,  but with computer drafting programs I can change my mind, import collaborator’s drawings and never have to redraw an entire section of  drawing over and over and over again.  If I need it–I just click and paste.  It is a time saver, but I still miss hand drawing.

If I didn’t have to collaborate and work with architects, engineers and interior designers, I would still be working by hand.  It bothers me somehow that something so tactile, rhythmic and intuitive as drawing has been flung aside in favor of yet a another thing I compute.  I miss hand drawing.

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About Susan aka Miss. R

Professional landscape designer, lover of the land and all things design.
LABELS: Creative Process, Garden Design, Landscape Design

4 Responses to The Drawing Board

  1. As someone who is just learning the ropes of landscape design and drafting, I can sympathize in a way that I couldn’t have six months ago. Hand drafting can be painstakingly time consuming. But I know that with something I do every day, writing, there’s often a time when I have to shun the keyboard and put a pencil or pen on paper. There’s something about that mind-body connection that frees up the log jam.

    I could never give up my pencil or sharpie! It’s just that the creation and preparation of landscape plans like most other things in this 21st century world have speeded up–and lost something in the process.

  2. Dave says:

    I love the hand-drawn part of the process. Even though everything ends up in CAD, I still start most jobs on trace at the board. Mostly, it’s because I get massive tunnel vision if I start in CAD, but there’s a ritual component for me too. Smooth out the trace, grab the blue lead and lay out by boundary lines, then start sketching… After a lousy day like yesterday, I need the mental cleansing that comes from the holy trinity of graphite, coffee, and Willie Nelson 🙂

    Love your blog, btw. How have I never been here before??

    Welcome Dave! I too, as you can probably tell love to draw. I often draw elevations on site to remind me of my thought process at the time – a photo doesn’t cut it. I understand completely about the tunnel vision….

  3. Alice Joyce says:

    What taste you have! Love the image you’ve chosen to illustrate this musing on drawing.
    You never let me down when I find time to stop by here;-)

    What comforting words, Alice. Thank you. Love kudos from a tastemaker like you! Wish you were here for Spring!

  4. I have never done anything but pencil drawing and can’t imagine using the computer for this kind of work. Love the napkin designing the best!

    If you approach a CAD program as if it’s a digital pencil it makes sense…it’s just so clicky though.

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