Cushing Academy is a private coeducational secondary school founded in 1865, and located in Ashburnham, MA. They have partnered with a design firm called Corey, McPherson, Nash to redesign their viewbook. Through a web based search, CMN contacted Randal Birkey Illustration and contracted for a new Campus Map to be produced both for the school viewbook and their website.
Randal worked from maps, photos and other references provided by CMN and Cushing Academy. The first stage in the illustration process was to produce a line art “pencil” of the aerial perspective view that best displayed the campus. This line art was done in sepia tones using Corel Painter at a size of 6450 x 3750 pixels.
Cushing Campus Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Pencil
Once this “pencil” was reviewed and approved by the design firm and the client, Randal then added digital watercolor to a layer below the line art using Corel Painter. The final file was converted to Adobe Photoshop and delivered as a layered Photoshop file with line art on one layer, and color washes and texture on the background layer.
Cushing Academy Aerial Perspective Campus Map - Color
In this stylized version, the forested areas around the school campus were left white or blank in order to allow the buildings, streets and other fields to have visual prominence. The design firm will add all the labels and key to the site during the print production process.
The home of the world renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra is called Orchestra Hall, located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Randal Birkey was commissioned to produce a series of architectural illustrations of the Orchestra Hall renovation project called “Symphony Center,” a new combined complex housing the auditorium, practice rooms, backstage production and staging areas, and the headquarter offices for the CSO organization.
These illustrations were commissioned for use in a high-end printed piece that went to CSO fund-raising tool. Randal worked from the architectural blueprints, in a Mac-based drawing and painting program called Fractal Painter. A Wacom tablet was required for the kind of control needed for the digital “brushes.”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall Lobby
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall Rotunda Cutaway
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall – Concert Hall Interior
Randal Birkey created this watercolor illustration of a Chicago industrial style warehouse building being converted to residential lofts by a Chicago area real estate developer back in the 1980′s. Randal created the 20″ x 30″ ink line and watercolor art for the building and project architects, CAPA, also a Chicago firm.
Chicago Loft Conversion
Randal Birkey created this urban skyscraper tower design as a personal architectural design and illustration exercise. This version of his design was rendered in watercolor on D’Arches watercolor board.
Randal Birkey's Tower Design
A graphic designer from the Marietta, South Carolina area contacted Randal in 2003 through this portfolio website and inquired about developing a streetscape illustration to be used in promoting a residential housing development. Randal worked with the designer and the photo resources provided by the developers and architects to create this illustration intended to communicate a lifestyle to prospective home buyers.
Redfearn Lifestyle Streetscape
It is now 2010 and the development was built, and here is a photo along one of the streets.
Redfearn Development - South Carolina
Randal was commissioned by a real estate development firm to develop this architectural rendering of a residential design being offered in a development in Chicago’s near South Loop area. This was to be new construction offered in the Prairie School style, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright. Randal first worked from architectural drawings to develop a 3D perspective wireframe. Once a view was established and approved by the client, Randal transferred the line work to watercolor illustration board, then rendered the house in watercolor and ink line work. The original was done on D’Arches 22 x 32 watercolor illustration board.
Prairie Style House
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