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Introduction to Landscape Graphics Class

I’ve been wanting to take a formal, hand drafting class for awhile. My map drawings looked too much like middle-school art projects and I needed to learn how to take them to the next level.

Austin Community College offers Introduction to Landscape Graphics through their Continuing Education program. This class is exclusively about hand drafting techniques, and it was exactly what I was looking for. It worked out for me to take it in the Fall of 2014, and the results speak for themselves, I think.

(Above) A map of my property I drew before I took the class and (below) the map I drew for my final class project.

(Above) A map of my property I drew before I took the class and (below) the map I drew for my final class project.

Since I had done a lot of colored pencil art in high school, colored pencil was my go-to rendering tool for the above maps; however, I’ve really come around to working with markers, and so I invested in a set of Copic markers and have been sketching and rendering in markers since.

Some of my marker sketches

Some of my marker sketches, applying the techniques I learned in class.

Zone and Sector Maps (House)

Here are the maps for the zones and sectors of my house.

Because of how I created these, I can very easily make changes and updates as needed, without having to re-draw any more than is necessary.

Zone Map - Click for larger image

Zone Map – Click for larger image

Thoughts about my zones:

  • I wasn’t sure about mapping Zone 1 in the backyard, because, currently, it extends to the hen yard at the back of the property; however, I didn’t want to draw my zones based on elements that might move. The area by the house is guaranteed.
  • I wasn’t sure how to handle Zone 5 since I’d like to do some improvements throughout the greenbelt along the back of the property. Should I leave just a little piece of it untouched? But then is any of it really Zone 5 enough to even bother leaving alone? Would other, wilder parts of my neighborhood suffice?
  • I included a small Zone 1 area in the front yard, even though currently that’s really probably Zone 3. I hardly ever go out there, but I’m trying to get better about it.
Sector Map - Click for larger image

Sector Map – Click for larger image

Thoughts on the sectors:

  • I’d say waterflow is the major influencing sector. We get a lot of water from the neighbors to the south.
  • Lots of small, urban wildlife (snake, birds, toads, cats, possums, etc.) pass from the drainage greenbelt behind our house, through our property, to the open area just across the cul-de-sac from us.
  • Since the areas of pooling straddle the fenceline, I’ll need to be very careful that anything I do to modify that area, doesn’t negatively affect my neighbors.