The Sketch Method

For the set design of the bar scene the only ‘certain’ was that there should be ‘redlined booths’ along one wall. The image that immediately came to mind was of old American speakeasies, with shelves of bottles set against bare brick walls.


Below is the first sketch following this idea. It’s a very basic set of a narrow bar with high-backed booths parallel to the simple bar with sunken shelves behind.


After that initial sketch I attended a drawing workshop, which I used to improve my use of perspective. Below you can see my drawings using one-point and two-point perspective.

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I wanted to consider what influences to draw from. I thought about speakeasies and sketched a couple signs for the bar based on the era in which speakeasies first appeared.


Although I liked the style of the above text, I thought it was too ‘sleek’ a design for the bar in this story. The narrative is set in a dystopian world so different styles can be used, but the character who runs the bar seems to be a scavenger so I decided it would be more appropriate to have a simple or old fashioned sign.


I also wanted to consider alternative layouts for the bar. It seemed important that the booths remained close to the bar so I decided to keep the design fairly simple.

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After drawing up the floorplan I could then focus on the details of the design such as texture, colour and props. I looked at the vac-formed textures available and decided to include brick corbels to exaggerate the ‘roughness’ of the bar. I also chose the ‘rough worn English bond brickwork’ texture for the wall behind the booths and behind the bar.BrickArcCorbelSeparateBrickspage123_124782364143009

Below is an extended elevation taken from the the floorplan above with the addition of the chosen textures.


For the interior walls of the bar I decided on a wallpaper that would add to the atmosphere of the set. I wanted to copy the rich textures and colours from the film In The Mood For Love and therefore I wanted to have a wallpaper that could be successfully ‘stressed’ so that it was peeling off in places to show the plaster beneath.


I then made a basic white-card model of the set to help with considering camera angles and what details will have the most focus.

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The next step is to consider the details, colours, props and lighting for the set. I have begun to sketch more designs but I want to draw more from Eve Stewart’s work and research different ideas such as using train seats for the booths.



Below is a biro sketch of the bar with detail of the sunken shelves and possible signage for the set.


2 thoughts on “The Sketch Method

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