AKVIS Sketch in Architecture

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The author of this article is Rolfe Singerman.

Working with the Photo Shop plug-in version of AKVIS Sketch, Rolfe Singerman, retired art and photography instructor, is planning an exhibit of digitally enhanced images of a century of architecture displayed in the over 118 homes that line the mile and a half length of Washington Street in Cumberland, Maryland. This is the street that in the nineteenth century gave rise to elegant homes of the Federal, Queen Anne, and Victorian architectures. George Washington set up the first home at the head of this street, a cabin and army headquarters combined. For six weeks starting in July of 2011 the Allegany Arts Council's Saville Gallery will display the entire street in vivid structural detail. Layers of photographic color and finely tuned pencil drawings will emphasize the individual characteristics of each style represented on this historic street.


I chose AKVIS Sketch for its ability to draw attention to the unique structures, patterns, and textures that might otherwise be unnoticed in a regular color photo. With an address such as 500 Washington Street I save the AKVIS transformation as ‘500 sketch’ and immediately open the color original beside it. Since they are identical in size I can position the black and white drawing on top and cut out a few areas allowing some of the underlying photo to show. I try to let the design elements and architectural style guide me in choosing just enough color for eye appeal. The Photo Shop eraser tool gives me another method for teasing in some color.


To go along with the exhibit of 12x16 architectural renderings, I am also using AKVIS Sketch to illustrate a book, “Dictionary of Washington Street Architecture” that depicts dozens of architectural features that appear in the design of these classic homes. A matching photographic drawing will accompany each term and definition and be labeled with an address linking it to one of the show pieces.


With time on my side and so many images to create I expect to pause a while after each block of homes and consider how successfully I’m using the substantial adjustments offered with the AKVIS Sketch program. I may even opt for no natural color and simply use Photo Shop’s ‘colorize’ option to sepia tone each drawing. No matter the outcome, I trust the local residents and tourists will find joy in viewing the distinctive design of this part of town without having to brave the weather or walk all the way up hill on original brick paving. I suspect, too, the emphasis of line drawings will help better portray architecture of the Victorian period.



Here are the other examples of using AKVIS Sketch in architecture (see more...):

Classic Style
Classic Style
Artistic Style
Artistic Style


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