July 21, 2008

Master Renderer: Paul Maguire

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Renderings and interior illustrations always amaze me.  I've drawn almost all my life so, as an interior design major, I view rendering as an important artistic outlet.  Rendering adds a personal touch and a uniqueness that could never be achieved through the use of a modern computer.  
I commonly get to do presentation renderings at my current interior design internship at HDD, but I still definitely want to improve my rendering skills, it's one of my major goals.  I have noticed an improvement just through the work i've done at HDD, but I've also been meaning to sketch as much as I can....which I have not been doing a good job of.  As I was thinking of other ways I could improve my rendering skills, it came to me.  I knew I needed to research artists and emulate the ones that make me think "I want to be able to do that!".  I decided to take it one level further and try to catch an interview (via email) with these amazing renderers.  This is not only a great learning experience for me but I hope to help out my readers as well.  And so I introduce to you my first renderer interviewee...Paul Maguire:
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What is your name?
Paul Maguire

What company are you involved with?
No company, I work independently.

How did you get involved with interior renderings?
I got involved with a small design office run by one of the instructors at the Cleveland Institute of Arts, where I attended school.  I had some friends working there, and they encouraged me to get involved.  I taught myself to do perspective drawings, then interviewed for a freelance job.  After 3 years I moved to New York, and have been working in the field ever since.

What materials do you commonly use?
Pencil, prismacolor, watercolor.

What is your favorite medium to work in?
Pencil

What is your favorite rendering tip/secret?
Practice, practice, practice.

What do you find to be the most difficult part or rendering?
Each rendering offers its own unique challenge.  I think the most difficult task is to convey the spirit of a place, rather than just the details.  In addition to the architecture itself, the activity within the space and the lighting are the most important.

What has been most beneficial to your rendering skills (classes, books, experimentation, etc.)?
Looking at and emulating the work of artists I admire.  Watching them work when I'm able.  Instructional books are almost no help.

Do you have any advice for students that want to improve or pursue rendering?
Do as much drawing as possible.  Sketch all the time.  Experiment.  Challenge yourself.

Anything else you would like to say?
Drawing skills are still highly valued in architecture and design at present, even with the ubiquity of the computer.  Designers with good drawing skills are never out of work, and also seem to be the most talented at design.  I believe an ability to sketch one's ideas clearly shows a basic understanding of form, which leads to a solid design sensibility.  Even in the fields of animation for film and video games, the initial concept work is done by pencil artists.  Computers do mostly finish work.  If you must use a computer for your illustrations, use it as a tool rather than a solution.

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You can check out more of Paul's renderings here.  They are all quite amazing.
Photo Credits: www.maguirender.com

7 comments:

design for mankind. said...

GREAT interview! :)

design chick said...

Wow! I wish I could do that, I know I would have gotten a much better grade in my rendering class if I could. These are really very amazing. I'm sure it took a ton of practice and hours of hard work

Dave said...

Great rendering work.
I always find it difficult to line up the perspective correctly on a surface when I am working in sketchup.
Paul has got it spot on.

Mogio said...
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Lisa Renee said...

Yes, Paul's work is quite impressive. I'm working on sketching at least a little bit everyday so I can improve...like Paul said, practice practice practice!

And dave - I was totally under the impression that these were all hand done. Do you think sketchup was really used?

Chelsea said...

hey there- i'm a senior in the interior design department at virginia commonwealth university. we're really pushed to use sketchup as a tool for hand renderings. it's a great way to quickly set up a perspective and then print it out to hand render. i've always had great luck with it and it's much faster than drafting it all out by hand. what are your techniques for rendering?

Juxtaposition Design said...

My personal rendering techniques...well...I have a LOVE for hand rendering and hand drafting. We are just learning Revit this year so I'm thinking that I might take a liking to using revit to create all the elevations and perspectives, but then still going through and hand rendering. I hear sketch-up is pretty awesome though, I want to try it out!