Botanist's Apartment - Process



This project started out as a design for my Illustration 160 class. We were to make a cut-away interior design in 2-point linear perspective. The space should be that of an "enthusiast" and we needed to fill the room objects that said enthusiast would use and have in their space. We needed to make it feel lived in. One of the easiest ways to do that is by breaking up the geometric shapes of linear perspective with softer organic shapes, which immediately led me to plants.

Our enthusiast is an aspiring botanist / herbalist. I began the process for this project by finding loads of reference images and by making an actual list of all the things that would need to be included in this lovely lady's home.


After researching, the next step was to make some thumbnails.

I particularly enjoyed elements from these four sketches I started with. I liked the idea of it being a studio apartment and having more than just a bedroom or workspace set-up, and I really liked the idea of the pitched roof, crossbeams, and a loft. After those thumbnails, I set up the grid I'd be using throughout the remainder of my project and I refined my ideas into one solid-looking sketch.



Concentrating on our use of line weight to create space, the next step was to lay down our line art and really get to a point where we could receive critique and further improve our drawings.


At this point, I had blocked out almost all of my furniture, and was beginning to add texture to some things. The feedback I received was mostly in relation to changing the angle of the roof so it felt more believable and to work on more detailed texture in my floorboards. It was a little bit after I had made these corrections that I colored the image, but then I went back in and added more line art, so you'll actually be able to see there are two different "final" versions.


The finished colored piece I think feels very alive. Someone lives here and cleans and takes care of things regularly. I had a lot of fun working with the earth tones for the majority of this drawing and using little bits of pink and lavender to create some variety.


For our actual submission of the project, I made some necessary changes, but then also added a touch more character to the illustration. There are a few unkept plants growing from the walls, and the walls and floors are a little more weathered they they were in the colored version. Though the submission of the work didn't require value, I thought with such a complex space, it helped to differentiate between small items close together and helped create a better sense of depth within the space. I ended up submitting it both with and without added value just so that I was both following the assignment criteria, and doing a little extra. I think the final black and white drawing turned out really well too, and I think I might do more pieces like this in the future because even though it's a little more labor-intensive than some of my other environment drawings, I'm really happy with how this one looks.