Randal did this white ink and pencil illustration of Chicago bridges at night for a project funded by the Open Lands nature conservancy project. The illustration was used in a report designed to highlight how the Chicago River could be developed and turned into an amenity for Chicago, rather than the eyesore that it was back the 1980′s.
Interestingly, The City of Chicago has since implemented many of the recommendations and ideas put forth in the Open Lands report.
Chicago Bridges at Night
This illustration and a number of others in this series were commissioned by and in collaboration with Jonathan Boyer, a Chicago area architect.
Randal did this commercial office building interior original illustration using color pencil on cold-press illustration board.
Interior Office Lobby Atrium
He then converted the illustration to a digital “watercolor” version using Adobe Photoshop filters.
Office Building Lobby
Along the same lines as the “How to Build a Better Sportshirt” illustration I did for Lands End, they also asked me to illustrate a woman’s body for a diagram on “How to Measure for a Swimsuit.”
How to Measure for a Swimsuit - Lands End Catalog
As a part of developing a technical illustration business in the 1980′s, Randal Birkey did many illustrations as “self-promotion.” These projects were designed to push skills and abilities further, and to show prospective customers what could be done.
This pen and ink line art illustration of a Renault Elf Formula One racing car was carefully constructed by the illustrator using a scale model as a reference. The right front and rear tires were shown transparently to reveal the brake systems. The top body panel was rendered transparent to reveal the driver cockpit area. The top rear body panels were also shown transparently to reveal engine intake and exhaust components.
Randal went on to finish this illustration in color and it was used on a number of his self-promotion ads during the 1980′s and early 1990′s.
Renault Elf Racing Car - line art
Renault Elf Racing Car - Color
This was my first 4 color business card, created back in the 1980′s, when I relocated by studio from my home in Oak Park, to a studio space in Chicago, on North Wells Street, just south of Chicago Avenue. This illustration was done on yellow tracing paper, using sepia ink in a Rapid-o-graph ink pen, then adding color using color pencils. The image is based upon a Frank Lloyd Wright house drawing, designed for Thomas P. Hardy in Racine, Wisconsin. For a business card, the line work needed to be greatly simplified.
I then selected a period style font and hand outlined the contact information for the card.
FYI, a Delineator is: one who draws or traces the outline of or sketches out in order to represent pictorially or to depict.
Randal Birkey Delineator - Business Card
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I love Greek food, culture, architecture and language! Why? Perhaps because I spent a summer there in 1980 doing a short-term mission project for Greater Europe Mission. I made some great friendships, some of which have lasted to this day. I’d love to go back for a visit with my wife someday!
During the 1980’s when I was doing a lot of freelance architectural rendering and illustration work, I was asked to do a rendering of a proposed redesign of an entire city block in the Greektown area of Chicago. Working from the architect’s sketches and ideas, I created this aerial perspective for presentation purposes.
The idea here was to recreate the “Greek village” aesthetic that one sees often when traveling in Greece. There are usually hillsides, mountains and/or beaches involved, with the village stepped up in layers behind. That was the idea behind this design. I think it worked pretty well, even though it was never built. The site is along the East side of Halsted Street, with the Kennedy Expressway behind it.
Greektown Aerial Perspective - Chicago
This illustration was done for Roula Architects, Chicago, Illinois.
Randal did his first map for Wheaton College through Rich Nickel Design in the early 1980′s. Also contributing to the project as a writer was Amy Wolgemuth. This original art was done by hand at 20 x 30 inches in size on hot press illustration board. The line art was done with very thin Rapidograph ink pens using sepia ink. The shading and toning was added with color pencil. The aerial perspective was then drum scanned and printed in 4 color offset process in an interior spread for the Wheaton College Viewbook.
Wheaton College Campus - Aerial Perspective View
For this familiar with the campus, on the middle left side is Edmund Chapel (with the steeple), and on the right foreground is the large Billy Graham Center. Notice the whimsical “Spirit of St. Louis” airplane in the upper foreground to give the view some sense of depth and perspective. This was a really fun project – and the viewbook won some design and writing awards!