This is a watercolor rendering I painted in 2019. It’s a conceptual illustration of an art museum that I designed for a hilltop site. The forms were conceived originally with much inspiration from a Chevy Big Block engine. Subsequently, a great deal of architectural thought was devoted to making the building work as a functioning art museum with all the requirements therein. Basically, it’s a two-story structure with generous volumes and a great deal of interior light. A post and beam building structure was integrated with the original massing to account for the structural means of support. There is an internal spiral staircase that drops down below as an additional element of ingress and egress. The three-story exterior staircase on the right is the main circulation element. By going outside when you travel from one level to another, the art observer has a built-in opportunity to cleanse their palette on the way to looking at more artwork. While the visitor is faced with a considerable trek to arrive at the museum via a rocky hillside, they are rewarded with spectacular views once they do arrive at their destination. Inspiration from two sources: the artwork within, and the beautiful vistas of the surroundings.
As a rendering exercise, most of the bright and white areas of the painting were reserved for the subject–the building. The surrounding sky and foreground landscape have mostly dark tones so that the building stands out. I wanted to keep the interior of the museum looking light and warm, so there are no cool colors shown here throughout the interior space as you look through the glass. Although this is a large painting for me, it was accomplished in a fairly short period of time, due to the many other illustrations I was working on at the same time. About 8 to 10 hours from start to finish, for this 24 x 36 inch original. As my college art instructor used to say “Use a big brush and work quickly”.