I have an old-school drafting table and I use it everyday. Drawing by hand is always the very first thing that I do when starting a design project. It's how I capture site notes, develop ideas and quickly sketch and create diagrams. These initial rough sketches are developed into an overall site plan. As a Landscape Architect and Artist, drawing is a primary tool in my creative process. Here I give a sample of some of my hand drawn sketches to give you a look at my behind the scenes process of drawing.
I draw mostly on trace paper and vellum because it is the most economical paper to use and is transparent enough to be layered during the process. I go through a lot of materials- paper, pens, markers, colored pencils- but it's affordable to use these analog drawing supplies compared to the price I pay for multiple software programs for drafting and 3D modeling. Both analog drawing and computer software are critical parts of my workflow and I've developed a process that integrates them seamlessly. Drawing by hand comes first.
This is my favorite part of the process. To me, drawing by hand is the easiest and fastest method for thinking through the design. As I draw, I ask questions of what I'm making: How will this be experienced? What are the most important moments for the expression of water? How will these ideas relate to the existing microclimates? Where are the opportunities for creating refined edges that respect the existing context? The initial sketches also create a paper trail of ideas and concepts so that I can see the genesis and evolution of my thought process. It's helpful to have this in the digital age where it's all too easy to erase, delete, and ctrl-Z to undo your work. Drawing on paper is just a bit more permanent than some digital methods and it can be fun to look through older project sketches once the work has been built to see the original inspiration and thinking behind what was created.