One advantage to doing preliminary site sketches for formal works like this is discovering views you wouldn't have thought of drawing. There is a process of discovery by which you come to know the architecture as a fully-formed entity. It can be a brief discussion or become a life-long friendship, but by being on-site you are open to discover things about your subject. And like meeting someone at a cafe, they present to you uniquely in the moment. That is why it is so wonderful to see how other artists have portrayed the same subject.
A portrait is a blending of the subject's projections and the artist's interpretations and intended messaging. My narrative for this picture is arrival, of emerging from the passage from the airplane gates and stepping aside from the flow of travelers rushing to their 'final destinations' to take in the architectural elements that are the layered reveal of a well-designed building.
I was looking for a vantage point that compounded the various curves of the TWA Terminal, as each shape is uniquely navigating space, much like the travelers who passed through this jet-age marvel. But also, I wanted to show the relative smallness of the building, as most images find its most expansive, formal aspects. Airport terminals have become vast utilitarian hubs, leaving behind the more human-scaled elements that let TWA work from the personal up, rather than from the structural down. The curves of TWA swirl around personal sized space and movement. I found my view off the main axis, on the way to the restroom. The supporting arch for the walkway above swirls completely around and doubles back, a chorus of curving. To get the framing I wanted I had to be below standing-height, so I drew sitting on my luggage near the bank of restored pay-phones.
What lessons from painting and other forms of illusionary imaging can we translate to new tools for our newest mode of visual communication—3D rendering?
Here is an article I wrote for CGarchitect.com