Nancy Opsata Tribute

On a late afternoon last week, after receiving an initial shocking call from ASAI President Emeritus Dick Sneary,and then both of us making a few more calls to her closer friends that evening, ASAI has learned that its long-time, most supportive, non-illustrator member, Nancy Opsata had passed away in early December 2021. I then did some on-line searching and found the following notice about Dear Nancy on her FB page,with this most flattering,insightful photo capturing her wonderful persona; as posted by her Brother Jim, and Sister-In-law Vicki:


“It is with great sorrow that our family announces the passing of my sister, Nancy Lee Opsata, on December 3, 2021 in Monterey, California. A service will be held this Saturday, December 11th, at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Monterey at 11:00 a.m, and it will be live-streamed from the church website. We plan to hold a memorial in Olympia at a later time for all her friends and family in Washington.”
Nancy Opsata 1946-2021


In finding her site that evening, I posted the following message there, meant to express some of that sense of shared endearment felt by so many ASAI members for Nancy:


ASAI Co-Founder Frank M. Costantino:
“Just finding out now, some 4 months later, about Dear Nancy, a most gentle and sharing Soul. She was a member of the ASAI,, though she was not an illustrator; but she attended our annual conferences around the country & overseas, and bonded with & very much enjoyed the company of many member/friends, and developed close & enduring & fun-loving connections with her friends from various parts of this country, Canada, and the world. She was such a very special person…”


I quickly received the following FB reply:
“Hi Frank, Thanks for your message. Nancy was my sister-in-law. I know how much she enjoyed ASAI and her friends there. Her loss was a great shock to all of us. We did not realize she was sick, but she had liver disease and was put in hospice two weeks after going into the hospital and died a few days after. She didn’t want anyone to know she was ill, so my husband (her only sibling) and I only found out the day she went into hospice and so no one in the family was even able to speak with her. There was a service for her at St Timothy’s Lutheran Church in Monterey that was video-taped and on You Tube. Her ashes are in Olympia, Washington at our family cabin. Her favorite place. We appreciate your friendship with her.” Take care, Vicki Opsata


My response:
“I only saw/read your most helpful message this am; very much appreciated & will share with her ASAI “family” that were really connected with her. My Regrets to Nancy’s brother, you &many others who were also touched by this dear woman & a gentle soul. All the Best.”
After then speaking directly with a few of Nancy’s friends, and in turn exchanging this news with so many other close friends within ASAI, numerous heartfelt comments were written,very quickly exchanged,and forwarded, as below. Nancy had first become an ASAI member in 1999, at our San Francisco AIP 14 Conference, which was near her home in Monterey;and she had been a faithful member over these past twenty-two years. Though her private college prep school in Quito, Ecuador,and her training in three medical institutions as a Psychiatric Nurse did not quite align Nancy with our profession, ASAI was always open for supporters from any other profession. Nancy found out about our work, and was encouraged to keep a sketchbook for her own doodles and drawings; and later she had some lessons in interior design, perspective and watercolors. Nancy also quickly bonded with many of our woman members, such that they shared friendships across the country and the world.She was never one to shirk a good time either. Nancy later served for a term on the Board,and diligently helped edit and re-write the Society’s operational manual, which was sorely needed at that time. She was also the touch point for many members who happened to visit the West Coast;and Nancy always made time for her ASAI colleagues.


I mentioned to our Executive Director Tina that ASAI should post our Members’ remembrances of Nancy, to which her many friends have contributed(as you can see below); and which would also allow other members to offer some comments,or to know about this special woman. Though newer members may not have known Nancy, and given the two-year-plus disruption from Covid, the testimonies below may provide a stronger sense of the deep comradery among our members, which has been an earmark benefit of our Society –that friendliness of membership “with meaning that is beyond just being a member” according to Co-Founder Steve Oles. ASAI still encourages new member friendships which will extend well beyond our professional sphere and may indeed last for years.


The Messages:


ASAI Co-Founder Steve Oles, Santa Fe:
“This brings tears to these old eyes.It’s no exaggeration to claim that I (as a hugely interested party) ‘love’ many of you guys.But Nancy was always my secret heart throb. How could she be otherwise? Gentle, understanding, understated, and quietly friendly by nature—and loyal to ASAI. Quick of wit, fun by inclination—but with an undertone of almost grave seriousness. Trained as a nurse, among the most noble of callings, and totally appropriate to her character.She was almost too good. Certainly too young.A reminder of two things: the fragility of life, and the sweetly positive impact that true kindness can have on the lives of others.Nancy had that impact on mine. I’ll miss her from now on.”


(photo w/Nancy from Brisbane AIP 17 conference – Barbara, Liz, Annette Jacoby & Frank)

President Emeritus Jane Grealy, Brisbane AUS:
“Such shocking news. Nancy was truly special and I will try to hold the memory of her gentle words, kindnesses and smiling face. What an example to us all. So sad to hear this and I don’t really want to believe it. I always thought we would see her again.”


President Emeritus Barbara Ratner, Atlanta, GA:
“Nancy was proud of her Norwegian heritage, she loved her lakeside cabin and her independence, and she knew how to have fun. She and I shared a small prop plane with open windows, flying along the coast of Australia, the two of us giggling and hanging on.I will miss her.”


President Emeritus Gordon Grice, Toronto:
“That is sad news indeed. Nancy was a rare bird: a registered nurse (I believe) who found greater kinship amongst the ASAI misfits. A tragic loss to our organization.”


President Emeritus Tom Schaller, New York, NY:
“Oh…So sorry to hear this.It is a loss. Life is fragile indeed.”


Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize Winner, Chris Grubbs, San Francisco CA & Savannah, GA:
“I’ll miss Nancy.”(via London)


President Emeritus Bill (& Sandy) Hook, Seattle WA:
“We are so sorry to hear this. We would stay with her at her family’s cabin on Hood Canal near Olympia when she was here in the summer. She didn’t contact us this last time and we assumed she was just busy. This is so sad. We did enjoy our times with her and will miss watching the sun and moon rising over Mt Rainier. Goodbye Nancy.”


President Emeritus Dick Sneary, Kansas City, MO:
“Nancy listened to us, was always friendly, but you could also sense a friendly argumentative stance, when she wanted to know more about a subject. She told us about her ancestor’s links to Norway after a visit. Nancy made it a point to reconnect for some good times with me & other ASAI members during a national plein air event in Monterey.”


President Emeritus Henry Sorenson, Bozeman MT:
“Nancy was fully committed to the ASAI –she got to every conference I can remember after her joining. She always felt she was not really a very accomplished artist but she loved learning, and loved the ASAI, and she loved us. I suggested to Nancy that she consider joining the Board as she had such a talent for organization and I thought she might be good at helping to re-organize and rewrite the ASAI Operations Manual. She did both; I know she worked on it hard for some time. Nancy was completely genuine and …pretty fearless –confident enough to speak her mind and confident enough to try almost anything. She shared her sense of things in open, frank, always thought-through reflections. Yet she was a gentle soul …always kind, always caring. She made everyone love her. You didn’t really have a choice. I have been fortunate to have been invited to join the Grey-Haired Lady Gang (Elizabeth Day, Barbara Ratner, Marsha Brown, and Nancy) for several sightseeing outings in various conference venues –always great fun.My photo is…of the (Grey-Haired) Ladies in Blue navigating a mazein Houston. And…Nancy was once John Wayne’s nurse: she kept proof in her wallet –a well-worn photo of the two, arm in arm. We will all carry on without her, even though I know she is still with us in spirit.”

Nancy with ASAI member/friends on RFK Greenway, Boston, AIP 31

President Emeritus Masaaki Yamada, Tokyo, JP:
“I just recently lost my father, and I can’t stop feeling saddened by this news.She came to Tokyo in 2011 and I have many fond memories of her.I will miss Nancy very much.”

President Emeritus Richard Chenowith, Silver Springs, MD:
“Thank you for passing on the news, Steve. So sorry to hear this… Getting to know her at…conferences was a joy.”

President Emeritus Frank Bartus, Miami,FL:
“Saddened to hear of this.Nancy was very loyal to all of us and it was always welcoming to see her. Thanks for letting us know Steve.”

Former ASAI Executive Director, Tamara Horch-Prezioso:
“She was such a loving, caring, compassionate person.More than once, her encouragement kept me going.I feel blessed beyond words to have known her. Thank you for including me on this message. I am so sorry to hear this and so very sorry for your loss. Nancy was an amazing person and I absolutely loved visiting with her when I worked with ASAI. She and I had numerous deep phone conversations…so supportive and loving.”

ASAI Member Marsha Brown, Toronto,CA:
“Nancy spotted me hesitating on the doorstep of my first seminar at my first conference in Providence in 2004. She immediately got up, took me under her wing, and connected me to ASAI forever. I am so saddened by her loss.”

Nancy was A Wonderful Soul…ASAI members are welcome to share more of these memories, like those recalled above. We must now be contented by these thoughts; and envision that Nancy, as a devout parishioner in Monterey, a choir member and singer, has now joined a Heavenly Choir to sing her Lord’s Praises.

The ASAI 2021 Virtual Conference Is Nearly Upon Us!

Future ReImagined
The Architecture In Perspective 36
2021 Conference

The value-packed ASAI 2021 Virtual Conference is nearly upon us! It’s from Nov 1st – 5th so don’t delay—the time to register would be… now! This year we’ve lined up 18 of the industry’s most accomplished artists and designers to speak. You will not want to miss it!

Join us on a journey of imagination, storytelling, artistry and technology where traditional and digital media collide to craft an authentic language that can allow us to re-Imagine our future.

Explore the Future of Architectural Visualization and Design and discover how to shape your own voice, create impactful stories, rethink visualization as a creative tool, design virtual worlds, and the relevance of seduction and uncertainty in the age of photorealism.

The Lineup


Andrei Dolnikov – The Sound of an Image


Carlotta Cominetti – Storytelling in Architectural Visualization


Cesar Fragachan – Play, Design, Build


Csaba Bánáti – Shaping an authentic language in the industry


Dennis Allain – Architecture, Storytelling + Medium


Gaku Tada – Breeze the space with imagination in 3D


Jianfei Chu​- Play, Design, Build


Jose Uribe – ASAI President


Keely Colcleugh​ – Visualization in an age of sensory deprivation


Mariana Cabugueira – The Practice of Fluid Digital Design


Miikka Rosendahl – Enter the Metaverse


Mike Golden – What We Learn When We Close 3ds Max


Paul Loh – Design Methodologies: Experiments in Visualization


Paul Nicholls – This is not Architecture


Pico Velasquez – Architecting the Metaverse


Tamás Fischer – Storytelling in Architectural Visualization


Thomas Schaller – Visions of the Unknown


Vera Kolgashkina – Architecture and Light

Register Now!

About ASAI

Founded in 1986 in the United States, the American Society of Architectural Illustrators is comprised of professional illustrators, architects, designers, teachers, students, corporations, and anyone engaged in the serious pursuit of architectural illustration. The central purpose of ASAI remains the improvement of architectural drawing worldwide.

Future: Re-imagined

Architecture in Perspective Themed Category for the International Competition

Great architectural illustrations have the power of innovation and seduction. They present new alternatives for unbuilt spaces, allow us to dream of a better way of living and they jumpstart conversations about the future without the need for a single word.

Throughout history, Architectural illustrations and the imagery of new environments have been the perfect medium to test unique ideas and present questions that challenge the establishment and shake established norms. From Boulleé and Ledoux’ Utopian drawings of the XVII century, to the future of cities presented by Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, to the Techno Utopias from Archigram and Archizoom, and the futuristic cities imagined in film by Syd Mead; Architectural imagery has allowed us to understand and feel a new reality, question how we can leave the Earth in a better place and tell the story of a space that is only present in our imagination as an extension of the static image presented.

After an unprecedented year that has challenged the very essence of urban living and social interaction, we’ve been presented with a series of questions that make us wonder about the future of our habitat and the need for new kinds of home, office, retail, institutional and event spaces, as well as the general future of cities.

For this reason this year, ASAI would like to invite all professional and student illustrators and designers to dream big about the future, translate these ideas into a single visual and take part in the thematic portion of the Architecture in Perspective competition.

As Hugh Ferriss once remarked “there is a difference between a correct drawing and an authentic one”… ASAI’s international jury will be looking at drawings that showcase a higher level of authenticity in its conception, execution and storytelling.

We invite you to enter the competition with your vision of the future re-imagined. Deadline is July 30, 2021.

Remembering Syd Mead



The first time I met Syd Mead was over the telephone. As ASAI (then ASAP) president, in 1993, it was my job to hunt down three willing professionals for our annual AIP jury. I don’t remember who suggested that we ask Syd to join the jury, but we all recognized it was a long shot – what would be the odds of one the world’s most eminent illustrators flying from LA to Toronto to serve on our humble jury? But it was a shot worth taking, so I made a cold call to his studio in Pasadena. Syd was warm and friendly on the phone. He expressed his appreciation for having been asked and quickly agreed. I was on cloud nine.

Syd was as friendly and generous in person as he was on the telephone, and even though the two other jurors and I were completely starstruck, Syd quickly put us at ease with his unassuming manner. Our AIP jury was successful and memorable.

The next time I met Syd, there was a crowd. The Society had decided to double down on our good fortune and invite Syd back to give a talk at our annual conference, also in Toronto. The problem was, we needed to pay for Syd’s expenses and the rental of the auditorium, and our coffers were a little low. By a stroke of fate, the director’s cut of Blade Runner was released that summer and the Toronto showing had attracted a throng of Syd Mead fans. I plucked up my courage and dispensed with my pride, and worked the movie theater ticket line, passing out printed invitations to the talk, hoping to fill a few extra seats. That autumn, Syd made a triumphant return to Toronto and spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Royal York Hotel—the turnout was astounding. The talk was, of course, brilliant.

I remember meeting Syd again when held our Pasadena conference. He and his partner Roger Servick kindly invited us to his studio in Burbank, which was an architectural gem, and which, Syd enjoyed telling us, was right across the arroyo from “Stately Wayne Manor,” the house that served as the set for Batman’s hideaway in the TV series.

The last time I met Syd was in Toronto again. I was working at the time for Forrec, a theme park design company, and Syd was in town on business. I asked him if he would come to our studio and talk to some of our designers. This being at least two
decades since the release of Blade Runner, a few of the younger designers (astonishingly) weren’t that familiar with the name Syd Mead. But those who knew his work and reputation were excited about meeting him. Syd was a terrific raconteur and his stories regaled all of us. By the time he left, all the designers, young and old, felt as though they had made a new friend.

There is one important thing many of us learned from Syd Mead, and it isn’t about design, illustration or futurism. It is about the importance of a good story, in words and images, and being kind and generous towards everybody, especially those
whose lives we may affect by the work we do. — Gordon S.Grice

(L–R) Frank Costanino, Syd Mead, and Gordon Grice attending the Architecture in Perspective
conference in Pasadena, CA. Photographer unknown.

In every era there are shining lights illuminating the way and providing inspiration for countless colleagues in a given discipline. In our field of inspirational graphics, Syd Mead was a supernova in our time. His magic was unparalleled, and will continue to inspire and amaze far into the future. — Steve Oles, ASAI Cofounder

(L–R) Frank Costanino, Syd Mead, and Gordon Grice attending the Architecture in Perspective
conference in Pasadena, CA. Photographer unknown.



So much has been written to document the career and accomplishments of Syd Mead. Rather than restate any of this, sharing some of my personal experience working with Syd in the early 1980’s seemed the best way to pay tribute to such a great man.

Upon receiving a brief resume and examples of my work in February of 1980, Syd sent round trip tickets from Minneapolis to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA for us to meet. He personally came to greet me and put me up in his condo, which rested atop the bluffs of Capistrano Beach, from which Catalina Island was visible. The weekend visit included us watching “The Miracle on Ice” as Team USA won Olympic Gold by defeating Team USSR.

As soon as I saw Syd’s studio and the work on his board, as well as his books and posters, I began to realize the hugeness of his talent and greatness. I had not known of Syd before that moment!

After learning more about each other, Syd again took the time to drive me back to the airport on a late Sunday night. Along the way he offered to have me work with him. Syd and his business manager were so helpful. They found a condo for me with the caveat that the place must accept a dog, named Poorness.

This did not prove to be easy, but a place was found.

When I arrived, I found that all utilities, including cable and phone service, were set up and running. This was so thoughtful and gracious and just the beginning of Syd’s generosity toward me. I later saw that Syd helped so many people. A lady friend of his had fallen upon hard times in Houston during this time and he moved her to Southern California. Another automotive student from Germany needed help getting into Art Center and Syd took care of all of that.

Syd was in the middle of working on Dangerous Days, which was the working name for Blade Runner. It was amazing to see the illustrations come together. Syd worked from a small bedroom in his condo. One would imagine a glitzy studio with computers, flashing lights and chrome furnishings. Instead he worked in shorts and sandals, having to straddle his old and grumpy dog Ralph, who would growl at Syd if asked to move aside. When looking closely at the renderings for Blade Runner, Tron and other projects, strands of dog hair could be seen embedded in the paint.

A typical workday for Syd would begin at 9:00 AM, and he’d usually work on contracted projects like Blade Runner and Tron till 5:00 PM sharp. One might think that for such important projects he’d spend extra time on them, but he stopped promptly because that was in the contract. Sometimes there were hard deadlines with scheduled UPS pick-ups at that 5:00 PM time.

Typically, around mid afternoon, with a still very unfinished looking rendering on his board, he’d chat, calmly taking a moment for a cigarette and then a sip of a gin & tonic, while I nervously reminded him that the deadline was looming. Never speeding up, and ignoring his watch, he very confidently applied one strategic stroke from his brush after another, pausing often to explain what he was doing. And with just enough time to package his artwork, he would achieve a stunning and remarkable result. With all removed from his board, and after a brief break for dinner, he’d go on to other projects or sketch and draw concepts that came to mind till about 9:00 PM. I never observed him reading, yet he was always on top of the very latest aeronautical and scientific trends which he’d incorporate in his work as a visionary. Whenever he traveled or had free time to draw, he’d come up with new concepts and ideas for his own enjoyment. When clients would come to him in a panic, looking for ideas for some new project with a tight time frame, Syd could just dig up sketches and doodlings from his endless library of concepts and quickly adapt them to the project. To the clients’ amazement Syd had immediate and well-developed solutions to present.

Amongst his many other projects were architectural renderings for firms such as HKS, Houston (Harwood K. Smith and Partners). My role with Syd was to assist with this area of his work. Syd used Winsor Newton brushes and designer’s gouache. He would often reference high quality advertising photos of perhaps a wine bottle on a granite surface with beautiful lighting to extract colors to be used on a dusk scene rendering of dramatic high-rise office towers. For his perspectives he used the orthographic projection method as a base for his layouts but often took very calculated liberties to enhance the feel of the structures.

Syd related that, as a student, when classmates would go off and take breaks, he’d stay at his board and practice drawing elliptical circles at various degrees. And not just as seen on templates but in true perspective! He explained to me that when you draw ellipses you need to feel the centrifugal force. You can see this effect in many of his illustrations.

Before proceeding to his final renderings, Syd would often do a “study rendering.” One that comes to mind was an ornate dining hall of a Saudi Arabian palace. The study rendering, done in an afternoon, could bring tears to your eyes. I asked him why he felt he needed to do a finished rendering because the study looked so exquisite. I got my answer when I saw the final art, which was just that much more dazzling and amazing. The study allowed Syd to analyze values and colors so that the final was perfection.

When Syd did a painting, he worked to cover the entire surface of the board within an hour or two. All areas were treated with the same degree of importance until layer upon layer of paint began to illuminate the focal point. One can see in most of his renderings remnants of the first rough layers of paint.

Syd was very patient with me because I had not been exposed to his methods of rendering. He took the time to carefully explain what he did and never criticized what I had done (though he surely could have). And once my work was presented to him, he would, in a matter of minutes, place his final touches that seemingly magically transformed the painting to his liking! It was amazing.

When I became homesick and wanted to return to the Midwest, Syd wanted to give me a nice bonus— for no other reason than his kindness. I told him that since it was me leaving, I could not accept it.

Later I found that he had somehow “smuggled” the bonus into my packed belongings!

The one thing I taught Syd? Not much, it’s very basic but I showed him how I would register a layout; a “trace down” on a board by placing holes through both the layout and the board, so that it could easily be placed back over the board. He called these “Bartus holes” and teasingly reminded me of this when we would talk over the years.

Syd always insisted to me that he was not an artist but a designer who could illustrate his ideas. We all know better than that because he was a master of both.

Syd mentioned Roger Servick to me often. Roger, my condolences to you. — Frank Bartus


Author: Frank Costantino

During the week of January 24, 2021, and after some months of delays in preparation and completion of the award, ASAI co-founder Frank Costantino, arranged for the presentation of the Architecture in Perspective 35 Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize to Dennis Allain, here in Massachusetts. This Prize, unique to ASAI is not only the top award for the Society’s annual international competition, but is also the world’s most prestigious prize for architectural drawing. This Prize is typically given to a jury-selected recipient as the culmination of the Society’s annual conference, which for 2020 was to have been held in Berlin, Germany in October. However, this fourth, exciting international trip and event for ASAI members was reluctantly cancelled at the latest date, given the ongoing pandemic; and was presented in a virtual format.

Dennis’s extraordinary image, “Alone”, produced with his proprietary blend of digital programs, furthered the visionary works that have brought Dennis his second Ferriss Prize. He had previously won the Society’s top prize back for Architecture in Perspective 21, with a ground-breaking elevational perspective image. Dennis now joins a very select group of four other ASAI members, whose extraordinary works have been twice-selected for the Ferriss Prize. These members include Lee Dunnette, first double winner, Thomas Schaller of NYC & LA, Gilbert Gorski of Chicago, and Jon Kletzien of AMD, Providence. These esteemed, highly accomplished members represent a very small club, among the 2100+ selected winners in Architecture in Perspective competitions over the past 35 years. The competition stipulation also is that a member cannot be selected for a second Ferriss Prize until a five year period after the first. And the fact that every competition invites three different jurors each year, makes a repeat selection a very rare occurrence indeed.

However, Dennis’ imagery is so powerful, imaginative and symbolic, that among his generally annual selections, his illustrations have also been distinguished with Member Choice awards, as well as many Juror Choice or Category Awards. In other words, his excellent work has received a stellar string of recognition. Dennis’s objective for his work is “to tell a good story, and with an arresting image – wow! factors”.

The AIP 35 Juror Christoph Sattler found that Dennis’s image “reveals an incredibly dramatic, almost surreal urban scenario. Is it a catastrophe that is just happening, or is it the view of a city in decay? The artist brings together architectural imaginations from the turn of the century, futuristic skyscrapers and destructive structures where one does not know whether they will fall from the sky or emerge from the underground. A mysterious train passes the scenery. The representation shows a very differentiated color palette, ranging from an eerie and dangerous to a light and aggressive atmosphere. It is highly emotional, and it develops a dramatic lighting of great quality. The picture is also convincing because it is completely free of marketing or advertising graphics, but belongs to a purely artistic field.”

So, with my studio being quite close to Dennis’, I brought the finished framed Prize to his place during a gentle snowfall. It seemed appropriate for me to present the Architecture in Perspective 35 Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize in person, since I have been fortunate to do so for nearly all the Winners of the Competitions & during our Prize presentations – from the beginning of our Society in 1986, with my Co-Founder Steve Oles.

In addition to my ASAI connections with Dennis, I have also had a personal history with him over a period of some thirty years. Dennis was a former student in one of my watercolor seminars, when his interest in illustration was first developing. He subsequently became employed by a long-time client of mine, the late Howard Elkus FAIA and David Manfredi FAIA (r.) of Elkus Manfredi Architects in Boston. It was at this firm that Dennis developed his illustration and digital skills under Howard’s keen eye and drawing guidance. ; as well as David’s encouraging support for furthering Dennis’ in-house opportunities with illustration experimentation and development. After some years with both Howard’s & David’s personal support and sponsorship, Dennis started his own illustration studio and has never looked back being busy with commissions from all over the country.

The Ferriss Prize is a hefty double-imprinted medallion, pewter-cast, and featuring an iconic Hugh Ferriss image (taken from his work for NYC’s zoning and building guideline studies from the 1950’s), with an edge-surround of the Society’s name. (see photo below) This cast medal, the last of the original imprints, still shows the originally conceived name of the Society – as “Perspectivists”. The obverse wording, as here, provides ASAI’s hallmark phrasing for superior achievement in drawing – “For Excellence In The Graphic Representation Of Architecture” – together with the engraved name of the Winner. The Award itself is a custom double-facing framed piece, showing both sides of the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize medal, together with a small reprint of the winning image – a rather weighty award.

So while I was making the presentation to Dennis on behalf of the Board and all ASAI members, and for the Society’s record, I reiterated the above facts to him. Kerri-Ann, Dennis’ wife and avid photographer, not only took a video of the member-less presentation for the Society, she also took some candid pictures of both of masked-us after the exchange. Kerri-Ann also sent ASAI another picture of the beaming Dennis with his double Ferriss Prizes (See Below: AIP 35 on the left, with AIP 21 on the right).

ASAI has long been the touchstone for this level of illustration excellence for its entire existence; and with its upcoming Architecture in Perspective 36 competition, again continues its mission for encouraging outstanding work from all its members, and the profession worldwide.

Announcing the winners of the Architecture in Perspective 35 Professional and Student Competitions

We are so excited to announce the selected artists for the 35th Architecture in Perspective Professional and Student Competitions.

A Different Process

Architecture in Perspective 35 Professional Jury Zoom Meeting

It has been a long standing tradition that the adjudication of the professional competition is done in person. We are aware that digital advancements make it possible to carry these proceedings virtually, but we have always felt that meeting in person for this event allows for dialog that flows differently in person then via video conferencing. In fact, conversation about trends, traditions, history and the future media are encouraged during the jury process. This year, we did not have the option to meet in person. For weeks and weeks Gordon Grice, Sergei Tchoban and I were in constant contact regarding the events of the world and how the COVID-19 pandemic might effect world travel until it became obvious. Travel bans were in effect and we were staying put.

On Saturday, March 28, 2020 on a Zoom video conference we met with jurors Uli Hanisch, Prof. Katrin Günther and Christoph Sattler. Also in attendance was Gordon Grice, competition mediator, Sergei Tchoban, ASAI 2020 President and myself, Tina Bryant, Executive Director of ASAI. While the dialog was different during the video conference the results were the same. The jurors were impressed and inspired by entries from ASAI members. Difficult choices were made. Every year it is difficult to see great images denied a place in the exhibition, but it is this unique process of having different jurors every year from different countries, different industries, different experiences that creates an annual archive of the architectural illustration and visualization industry.

Even with these unique circumstances we are proud of the work that our members create and it was a delight to scroll through all the images that were sent in and share them with jurors.

Architecture in Perspective 35 Student Jury Zoom Meeting

The student jury met via the typical video conference on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Sergei Tchoban, Manfred Ortner and Christoph Langhof viewed the student entries for selection. One of the jurors shared some of the titles of the large book collection he had behind him and even introduce Gordon Grice to an artist he didn’t know about. If you know Gordo, then you know that’s hard to do! Haus Rucker, look him up. We have been delighted to see a growing mix of digital and traditional entries in the student competition. In accordance with these unprecedented times, after a  prolonged and spirited exchange among the jurors the competition committee decided to make a unique exception to allow 1 artist from the student competition to be chosen for two different juror awards.

The Show

In total there were 90 pieces selected to represent ASAI in the Architecture in Perspective 35 catalog and exhibition. An eclectic group of architectural illustrations and visualizations, digital and traditional work that represents today’s industry and the varied influences in education.

Dennis Allain was awarded his second Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize and joins an elite group artists who’ve also attained this position. Other artists who also hold this two-time title are Thomas Schaller and Gilbert Gorski.

These images will be published in a printed catalog that will be added to the archival library that is Architecture in Perspective. There will also be an exhibition held at the Tchoban Foundation – Museum of Architectural Drawing. Given the situation of the world, we are still determining whether there will be a physical exhibition or a digital experience, but more on that later!

Congratulations to all the artists. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment.

(CARES) Act: Relief for Small Businesses and the Self-Employed

Dear Colleagues,

At our request, Bruce Lehman Esq.,of Lehman Nilon & Associates has analyzed available relief to illustrators and artists under the CARES Act. We are grateful to Mr. Lehman for his quick action and expertise to decipher some dense material and give guidance to visual artists.

Mr. Lehman is Pro Bono Advisor to the American Society of Illustrators Partnership (ASIP), Legislative Advisor to Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI), and Legislative Advisor to Artists Rights Society (ARS).

As the economic disruption continues and extends these resources may be helpful, or even vital, to visual artists.

Please share this information with your members.


Cynthia and Brad


Summary of Relief Provided to Small Businesses, the Self-Employed and Non-for-Profits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act


The emergency economic relief legislation signed into law last week contains several provisions that can provide support for artists who either are self employed or work in small businesses.  Illustrators and fine artists can avail themselves of three separate programs under the new law:

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation;
  • Emergency Injury Disaster (EIDL) Loans, and
  • The Paycheck Protection Program.

In addition, Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments can be deferred until the end of the calendar year without penalty.


Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Normally, self-employed individuals are not covered under state-operated unemployment compensation programs as the premium for unemployment compensation insurance is paid by an employer. However, the emergency legislation covers self-employed persons who lose their income. The new legislation expands eligibility to include anyone who is:

“self-employed, is seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment under State or Federal law….”  

Under this provision of the CARES Act, a self-employed person will receive the weekly payment that their state normally provides under unemployment compensation insurance plus $600. The benefit lasts for up to 39 weeks. The applicant for unemployment compensation may self-certify that he or she is otherwise able to work and available to work except for their unemployment or because they have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus, are unable to reach their place of employment because of the Covid-19 virus or are caring for someone with the virus.

To participate in this program a freelancer or self-employed artist needs to apply through their state’s unemployment office. In most cases this can be done online. The following URL from the U.S. Department of Labor contains information and has a menu option that will link you to your state office.


Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

EIDL loans are normally used in the case of natural disasters such as a hurricane. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees may borrow up to $2 million under the program. However, the CARES Act extends the EIDL program to self-employed individuals and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees who have suffered economic loss as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The program is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Anyone falling into these categories may apply for loan “advance” of up to $10,000 for the purpose of maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs to obtain materials, or making mortgage or rent payments. There is little paperwork and the applicant can self-certify that he or she meets the criteria. The SBA is supposed to provide the loan advance within three days of application.

While these advances are called loans, repayment is waived if the applicant uses the money for the enumerated purposes.  Information about applying for an EIDL advance, including a link to an online application, may be found on the SBA website at

If an applicant also applies for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, separately provided in the CARES Act, the $10,000 advance will be deducted from any loan under that program.


The Paycheck Protection Program

The CARES Act provides $ 349 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses and non-profits of fewer than 500 employees as well as self-employed individuals. The loans can be used for salaries and other payroll expenses, rent and utilities, mortgage interest and interest on other debts incurred before February 15, 2020.

Applicants can seek amounts that are two and a half times monthly payroll expenses for full-time employees. The limit is $10 million with repayment within ten years at a 4% interest rate. However, the loan in effect converts to a grant if the recipient keeps all employees on the payroll through June 30, 2020 and uses the money for allowable expenses. Allowable expenses are: (1) payroll costs; (2) continuation of employee health care benefits; (3) employee salaries, commissions and similar compensation, (4) mortgage interest; (5) rent; (6) utilities; (7) interest on pre-existing debt.

The loan program will be administered by banks and credit unions that that have agreed to participate. As of this writing the program is not up and running, but cooperating banks and credit unions should be able to begin processing applications in the very near future. Since the loans will be processed on a first come, first serve basis until the $349 billion limit is reached, it is important to move quickly if there is a desire to participate in this program. If you have a bank with which you normally do business, you may wish to contact them as soon as possible to get in the que for this program.

Coronavirus: Working Remotely

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Rotator Graphic for (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario “Charo” Gutierrez)

If you are a solo-preneuer some of these tools and processes of running a business are not new to you, but as many companies begin to assist their employees to work remotely due to COVID-19, we thought that a list of useful apps would assist your workflow and communications.

This information was provided in the Women in Arch Viz Facebook Group by Christiana Tudor. She has given ASAI permission to use this useful information.

Productivity & collaboration:
◾ G-suite –
◾ Office 365 –
◾ Microsoft Teams –

Meeting scheduling:
◾ Doodle –
◾ Google Calendar –
◾ Calendly –
◾ Worldtimebuddy –

◾ Slack –
◾ Zoom –
◾ Google Meet –
◾ Skype –

Decision Making:
◾ Loomio –

Resource planning:
◾ Harvest Forecast
◾ Float –

Project Management
◾ Basecamp –
◾ Asana –
◾ Trello –
◾ Activecollab –
◾ Notion

◾ Mural –
◾ Milanote –

Audio Atmosphere:
◾ Coffitivity –

Time tracking:
◾ Toggl –
◾ Rescuetime –
◾ Timedoctor –
◾ Timely –

Password Management:
◾ 1Password –
◾ LastPass –

Socialising & Team Happiness:
◾ Donut –
◾ Oskar –
◾ Office Vibe –

Note-taking apps:
◾ Evernote –
◾ Bear –
◾ Onenote –
◾ Google Keep –

Where to discover even more apps:

A great book on remote working:
◾ Remote –

Let’s continue delivering high-quality services while working remotely!

#workfromhome #remotetools

Debunking the Myths of the Architecture in Perspective Competitions

Throughout the years I’ve had many questions related to ASAI and the Architecture in Perspective competition. I’ve put together some common questions along with a response and a little history. I hope you find this information helpful and get your submissions ready for the upcoming deadlines of the 35th Architecture in Perspective International Professional and Student Competitions.

Good luck!

MYTH: Only artists living in the US can participate in the Architecture in Perspective (AIP) professional and student competitions. I mean the organization is called the American Society of Architectural Illustrators, right?

FACT: The professional and student competitions are open to ANYONE in the world who would like to submit their work. We hope it’s obvious, but only students who are currently enrolled in University may enter the student competition.

HISTORY: Yes, we know it can be confusing that the name is the American Society of Architectural Illustrators. It’s a long story why that is so, but don’t let the name hold you up. From its inception ASAI has been an international organization.

MYTH: The AIP competitions only accept traditional entries.

FACT: Nope. It has been an ongoing belief that traditional and digital work can be put next to each other and judged side by side on the merits of the work, technique, and story of the image. One medium does not overshadow the other and displays an inclusive exhibition of diverse work created in the architectural visualization industry.

HISTORY: Check out the varied work from the most recent competitions AIP 33 and AIP 34. If you’d like to see a 34-year history of exhibitions think about starting your collection of catalogs chronicling the history of this industry.

MYTH: Entries for the AIP 35 professional competition need to have been created in 2020.

FACT: You may choose to submit work that you are proud of that has been done at any point in your professional career. In fact, even if it has been a piece that you already submitted, you can submit it again as long as it hasn’t already been included in a previous AIP exhibition.

MYTH: You must work solely as a professional illustrator to enter the Architecture in Perspective professional competition.

FACT: The AIP competitions are not limited to strictly illustrators, but are open to architects, designers, teachers, students, corporations, and anyone engaged in the serious pursuit of architectural drawing.

MYTH: You must be a sole proprietor to enter work.

FACT: Artists who work as a 1 person show or within a firm may enter the competition.

MYTH: There is no one behind the curtain at the ASAI headquarters.

FACT: Not a chance! Hi! My name is Tina Bryant. I am the Executive Director of ASAI and I am happy to assist you often available at non standard business hours to accommodate inquiries for artists all over the world. I do my best to be available at a time that is convenient for you. Email Me!

Great Talks About Photo Realism

The original post by Bogdan Sasu is on the GTAPR website

Great Talks About Photo Realism
Great Talks About Photo Realism – Author: Bogdan Sasu


These past few months were pretty intense. I decided to add a blog to the site and I thought that a first post with a quick summary of what happened would be ideal.

Let’s start with the beginning: my name is Bogdan, I’m a 3D artist based in Romania, an endless dreamer and a stubborn innovator. My journey into the art of photo realism started way back in 2006.  I soon started to get frustrated with not getting good enough results with my images which affected me a lot. So I searched and searched in order to understand things beyond a simple tutorial or course; I wanted to know how light and other elements worked and what I needed to get that amazing photo-like image.

I’ve worked some years and improved along the way but I was still not getting the results I wanted. Around 2014, the idea of talking to great artists in the field started to take shape – I was sure this way my questions about great images will be answered.

Soon after the idea of the book took shape in my mind, along with the title and the questions, everything started to fall into place and my struggle became even harder.

Some years had passed and I kept on pushing forward and kept on believing that this book could be a landmark. At the beginning of 2019, I saw a video on YouTube by Fabio Palvelli  and I soon realized that he might be driven by the same passion as I am. Since I had nothing to lose, Alexandra (my fiancée) encouraged me to write him about the book. There I was, writing this email, hoping that maybe this time the result will be different. One or two days had passed before I got a reply. Great Talks about Photo Realism was no longer just an idea in my head, but a story that had to be written.

How It All Started

In the following months, I had great talks via email with the artists and they seemed very excited about the project. At that point, it was still not very clear to me where I was going with this, but I was driven and focused on my next task as a laser beam; the next natural step to take was to assemble everything.

In June 2019, we printed the first draft. We presented Fabio with a copy of the book and he was amazed by the work we had done and by its quality print so he assured me that it would be a success. Personally, I was a bit reserved because I was focused on the next step which was to prepare the book for the final print so we could finally start our presale campaign.

July 1, the first day of presales made all those years of dreaming and some months of hard work worthwhile; I remember we had over 60 copies sold in that very day. I continue to be amazed by the impressive feedback from the community; I’m excited like a kid when I realize that all those years of “failure” were actually the seed of what’s happening today and I couldn’t be happier.

After July 1, the entire project started to gain momentum: making sure that everything runs smoothly is now on my day-to-day agenda. I work with passionate people who share my vision and can help me and this project grow and evolve.

For me, the last couple of months were like a GTAPR test, which we successfully passed. We managed to achieve some of our goals so far and, most importantly, “I” or “Fabio and I” became “we” and “the Gtapr team”. It was and it is an amazing ride for which I am thankful to you – the artists, the studios, the curious ones, the dreamers – who interacted with us and became part of the GTAPR family.

What’s next?

I guess you will need to stay close and find out. What’s for sure is that we are preparing more surprises for you and we wish to participate at as many events in the field as possible. The Archviz community is really one of the best there is so thank you!

More About the Book

We Are Excited to Announce the Launch of Great Talks about Photo Realism

The book is the very first such project uniting world-renowned artists in the 3D community.

Early bird sales are now available on the book website until end of July. The pre-sale offers include seven 3D scenes for free, as well as a numbered and customized copy with the author’s inscription. Get your copy today!

Great Talks about Photo Realism by Bogdan Sasu is a book that promises to unveil the stories of some of the best international visualization artists in the industry. If you’ve ever wondered about the secrets behind creating photo-realistic images, you now have a chance to peek inside the great minds who have already captured the attention in the field.

Bogdan Sasu is an artist, 3D generalist and author living in Romania who has more than two decades experience in the creative arts. His interests range from drawing to chip carving, from paintings to mosaics and stained glass. In 2006, he started exploring the possibilities of replicating the reality inside a computer, so he found the challenges he needed in the realm of 3D.

Year after year, he would strive to improve his skills and expand his knowledge in the field, so, naturally, he wanted to learn from the best artists in the industry. One of the aims was to find the secret behind creating photo-realistic images.

This was the spark that ignited the conversations that followed with artists all over the world. And this was what marked the beginning of a most exhilarating and fortunate adventure into book publishing.

Essentially, Great Talks about Photo Realism is more than a book. It is a community of dedicated artists who can bend reality with their craft. It is about coming together so they can realize their full potential as artists and see where creativity can take them.

It’s a vibrant visual experience which exhibits some of the most famous and award-winning 3D artworks as much as it is an invitation inside the lives of these people (so, it’s scenes and behind-the-scenes, if you will).

Make sure you visit the book’s website to see for yourself.

More resources:

Find us on Facebook and Instagram!

Artists from our book such as … use Corona for versatility and amazing results in seconds. The engine is built to encourage creativity by allowing you to put aside the settings; with the default values it works in over 98% of the scenes. This gives the artist the freedom to focus more on light, color balance and composition without worrying about the render stage.

Using Corona is similar to organic architecture, if you like – everything is there and feels natural and intuitive. Moreover, you can also find an important tool for post processing: the Corona editor which is extremely easy to use.

Oftentimes, Corona faces some adversity because the user wouldn’t try something new, but once you manage to press render without any additional time spent on settings and see that it really works suddenly, the balance starts to tip in favor of this simple render engine.

The continuous growth, the many beautiful renders from users across the globe and also from our contributing artists stand as a testament of a mature and innovative render software. The uniqueness of Corona lays in complex simplicity that enriches creativity for every artist and studio that uses it. There is no doubt that Corona has heavily influenced and continues to influence the work of some of the best artists in this wonderful industry.

Conference Recap: Architecture in Perspective 34 Goes To Hollywood

For our 34th Annual International Conference, we traveled to Tinseltown! This year’s event, “AIP Goes to Hollywood,” included students, professionals and enthusiasts of architecture and environmental art came from around the world to engage in an open conversation on the relationship between  architectural illustration in 3D environments, architecture, cinema gaming, matte painting, photography and VR/AR. Attendees of the conference complimented, President Keely Colcleugh of Kilograph on her ability to put together a speaker lineup that was eclectic and inspiring.

A key component of the Architecture in Perspective 34 Conference was to provide an expanded scope of the event with a diverse speaker panel and to allow ample opportunities for alumni and new attendees to network and engage with each other during a variety of networking and learning opportunities including:

  • Environments & Emerging Technologies – The conference kicked off with a discussion panel at Gnomon, moderated by Chris Nichols of CG Garage.  All-star artists representing a myriad of different industries and mediums talked about how new technologies are changing the way architectural concepts are developed and communicated.
  • AIP 34 Exhibition Opening – Award-winning artwork from the International Architecture in Perspective 34 Professional and Student Competitions displayed at the WUHO Gallery that included a watercolor VR experience of the unbuilt work of Michael Graves “Imagined Landscapes”.
  • Urban Sketch & Photography Tour – Conference attendees explored and sketched historic locations around Los Angeles. The tour engaged artists on a route from the Kimpton Everly Hotel to Hollywood Pantages Theater Metro Station (Red Line), Union Station to  El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument and ending with lunch at the historic district of Olvera Street.
  • The eclectic 2-day lineup of speakers at this year’s conference featured practitioners from varied fields including architecture, photography, augmented and virtual reality, Hollywood visual effects and more. Speakers included:

The final event of the conference was the awards ceremony where award winners from 2019’s AIP competition received their awards with the highest honor of the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize being presented to Corey Harper of TILTPIXEL during a special ceremony. Other awards given were Lifetime Achievement awards presented to Masaaki Yamada and Tina Bryant.

ASAI is extremely grateful for the glowing feedback already received from attendees and panelists, as well as for the tremendous support from our volunteers, venue partners, conference partners and sponsors.

We look forward to seeing you in 2020 in Berlin, Germany where Sergei Tchoban has already begun the planning for the 35th Architecture in Perspective International Conference. The dates for the conference are October 14-17, 2020. Details will be announced on the website along with the professional and student competition starting at the beginning of the new year. SAVE THE DATE!

PS. Did you take photos while at the conference? We would love to see them. Please send us your favorites!


This is the first article in a series was originally posted by Frank Costantino on LinkedIn.

In the course of my career as an architectural illustrator, populating project perspectives was a necessity for humanizing a new building design in its intended environment. The scale of figures had always been critical for establishing scale of the structure and the spatial depth of the overall view. The matter becomes a key compositional process in streetscape imagery, with foreground figures and natural activity and gestures, and other details that need to be depicted, the positioning of which not be intrusive to the big picture of the new design.

A watercolor for Cesar Pelli, in what was a rare scenario at the time – a rain shower on a cloudy, drizzly day – was a new tower’s office entry in a historic Boston transit station. My familiarity with this area of the city was a valued input to the New Haven design team for informing the project depiction. The hunched and umbrella-carrying figures are grouped in a supportive way to highlight the new entry facade, just off center of the view; but yet the active figures provide comfortable movements for the eye along the street space, and throughout the painting.

Another varied example of figurative positioning is detailed in a shaded university concourse at a new UC Merced campus – for EHDD in SF – depicting crowded student activity on a bright California day; yet such population not overpowering the tangible components of adjacent buildings and the shielding design of an upper sun screen and planted pergola. All these figures were first sketched out for rough positioning on an initial overlay of the perspective, then refined primarily from memory, but also from some reference photos for figure types and clothing. A second, or even a third layer, was sketched to help in refining the proportions and overlapping forms and gestures, before adapting the figures to a final drawing. To make-up or imagine such scale groupings was my own imposed challenge for comfortably enhancing and balancing this illustration.

Not having had any art lessons or figure drawing experience, I kept different sizes and types of sketchbooks for notating gestures of figures that caught my eye; whether that be at home, or travelling, or in conferences or meetings. The gestural action of a subject at these moments required a confident hand to well place the figure in the space of the page, while capturing convincing proportion for whatever the gesture might be; usually in a relaxed attitude. The medium did make a difference in approach and comfort level, and correctability. Pencil, charcoal, and color pencil allowed for some adjustments that enhanced a wobbly work and helped cover the inaccuracies of proportion with some level of honest “technique”.

But I found the best results from a drawing to be an almost an intuitive engagement with the subject, whereby a rational, deliberate judgement was suspended for the flowing, if not frantic, energy of capturing the arresting vision of that subject. In this case of my friend and colleague delivering an animated talk, his continued movement required intermittent drawing to fit the initial gesture drawn at the outset for capturing the figure.

However, when opting to really challenge myself, and improve my skill sets by using the uncorrectable medium of pen & ink, the need for more careful seeing and more deliberate judgement for the mark-making and continuity of line work required even more concentration and patient seeing. Confident speed was also a necessity in this process for drawing the figure, since movements, however slight, altered the shape of space and the figure’s ground-to-field relation, as well as facial features and expression, glasses, limbs, clothing, etc.,

Depending on my relative location to who I might be drawing, the pen & ink medium necessitated an almost disengaged, detached place of mind; and to avoid an intellectual analysis of the process, or a questioning hesitation in capturing the figure. The truth of such drawing was seemingly verified by the reaction of viewers, or the subjects themselves. What emerged was a depiction of the intangibles of action and/or emotion. The drawing always tells the truth.

I can only encourage folks to adopt sketchbook drawing, not only for practice in sharpening the eye, but also for pleasure of mark-making, and refining one’s drawing, visual and memory skills. The drawing experience will be further enhanced as the artist becomes deeply engaged in a given moment.

I’ve had the pleasure of drawing my sons since they were born, and continuing for nearly 50 years, to do sketches of them. This ongoing sketch practice informed my illustration work, as well as other artworks I’ve been fortunate to produce. I can only strongly suggest that figure sketching is well worth anyone’s effort; and it can only help in informing numerous skill sets that will very likely improve one’s professional work too. And however imperfect those sketches may be, they will always serve as memorable records of one’s engagement with people, places and times. copyright – f.m.costantino, 2019

My Friend Charles Reid

This  article was originally posted by Frank Costantino on LinkedIn.

Just learned (via my good friend John Haycraft of Sydney) about the passing of Charles Reid, watercolorist extraordinaire. Charles was such an incredible influence on so many painters around the world, that his expansive legacy will live on for decades to come. That will certainly be the case for yours truly, as I had learned so much from him, and developed a continuing friendship with Charles and his dear wife Judy.

No alt text provided for this image

I had the good fortune to first meet Charles at Key West, when Bill Hook, then President of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators ( retained Charles for a targeted workshop for its ASAI members from all around the country. It was a revelation to see the ease and command of the medium with which he executed his demo views for us. While he was doing a beach scene for the group, I had captured Charles and Bill Hook together as he was painting at easel. During the last day’s session, Charles admitted that he was “intimidated by all these watercolor illustrators…”; which floored everybody, coming from so illustrious a painter!

No alt text provided for this image

I had a second opportunity to work with Charles when ASAI again arranged for his conducting a limited workshop for its members on scenic Catalina Island, CA. We even had a member come all the way from Japan to attend the four fantastic days of painting. In addition to the many scenic places on Avalon, I had chosen to paint Keitaro Hatanaka, when Charles asked that we should paint each other after his portrait demo. Keitaro was wearing two pair of glasses at the time and shielded from the CA sun. The paint methods from Charles were liberating for me in capturing flesh tones, light and values, etc.

Having connected well with Charles and Judy during that Catalina trip, I had asked Charles to serve as an Awards Juror for the fourth Plein Air Vermont event in North Bennington, VT in 2013. He was a terrific presence at this event, and had attracted a great crowd with a stunning portrait demo at a Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, up the road from the event venue. He had made no bones about his tendency to quietly and randomly hiss (I guessed an intaking of breath, or maybe a low whistling) while he worked on the deep colors of the model. Answering questions during the work, he explained his technique of using a loaded brush to paint upwards, rather than a typically downward stroke. There was also book signing, arranged by Northshire who had ordered some of his books, and which was welcomed by the many guests at the demo.

No alt text provided for this image

Charles was also a very astute juror, since PAVT 4 had a large number of remarkable painters from around the country. He had chosen Vermont’s own Mark Boedges for his outstanding barn painting for the First Prize. Charles and Mark are together with Tony Conner and Frank, two of four Co-Founders of the PAVT event. (above) Mark won a full page ad image for his prize winner.

No alt text provided for this image

Charles also agreed to an interview/lecture about his work, about his early training and background, hosted by yours truly at the Bennington Museum. (above) It was an in-depth coverage of his career, his self-taught skills, his subjects, his many travels, books and videos, and some of his favorite painters. Charles candor and openness on so many points was an intriguing aspect to the many principles he shared in his workshop teachings. It was a remarkable show of and insight into works, which was recorded by the local cable station.

No alt text provided for this image

This opportunity, via PAVT, to more strongly connect with Charles was a privilege and a treasure for me. We continued by exchanging Holiday cards every year, which was a delight. He was a dear man, dedicated to his painting and readily sharing his knowledge. And he set such a strong example for so many others – painters and instructors – now following in his very large footsteps. Charles Reid forged an enormous path that will assure his legacy for a very long time. Too Many Thanks; & So Long Charles…

Sergei Tchoban, 2020 ASAI President

We are very excited to have Sergei Tchoban join the ASAI Board of Directors. His longtime support of ASAI as a member has awarded him many awards in the Architecture in Perspective Professional Competition.

Among his other duties on the board, he is actively planning the 2020 Architecture in Perspective Conference in Berlin, Germany. We look forward to releasing those details at a later date.

Sergei Tchoban, Architekt BDA
TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten, Berlin
SPEECH, Moscow

Sergei Tchoban, born in Saint Petersburg in 1962, is a Russian-German architect. After his studies at the Russian Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg, he worked as a freelance architect in Russia until in 1992 he started working at the architectural office NPS Nietz – Prasch – Sigl in Hamburg. In 1995 he became managing partner of this company, which since 2017 trades as TCHOBAN VOSS Architekten. In 2006 Sergei Tchoban founded the architectural office SPEECH in Moscow together with Sergey Kuznetsov. 2009 the Tchoban Foundation started, growing 2013 into the Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin.

Between 2009 and 2011 Sergei Tchoban has been member of the urban advisory board of the city of Linz and will resume this activity from 2018 on. Since 2013 he is member of the urban advisory board of the city of Moscow. Moreover Tchoban has been teaching at the Moscow Graduate School of Architecture MARCH during 2013 and 2014. He was jury member of the Iakov Chernikhov International Prize for Young Architects in 2014 and a jury member of the World Architecture Festival WAF in 2016 and 2017. He chairs the jury of the international drawing competition ArchiGrafik since 2013. In 2017 he founded the first Biennale for young architects in Russia, with the aim of encouraging and supporting their professional development.

At the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010 and 2012 Sergei Tchoban was curator of the Russian Pavilion. In 2015 he was the architect of the Russian Pavilion for the EXPO Milan. Further he was responsible for the exhibit design of several international exhibitions, the latest in the Vatican Museum in Rome. Since 1992 Sergei Tchoban is member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators ASAI. His drawings have been displayed in several museums and galleries and several are part of the collections of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Architectural Archive of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

2018 Sergei Tchoban received the European Prize for Architecture by Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Keely Colcleugh 2019 ASAI President

The American Society of Architectural Illustrators is pleased to announce that Keely Colcleugh of Kilograph is joining the Board of Directors as 2018 Vice President and the 2019 President. As the 2019 President, she will host the Architecture in Perspective 34 Competition and Conference.


Keely is the Director and Founder of Kilograph, a visual communications and emerging VR/AR technology studio based in Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from McGill University in Montreal Canada and a Master of Design in New Media degree from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCIArc). Drawing on 20 years of experience in the fields of architecture, feature film visual effects, and communications design, she has worked at Bruce Mau Design in Toronto Canada, The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and AMO, and as a visualization artist at Atelier Jean Nouvel in Paris.

In 2004, she moved to Los Angeles to begin a career as a Previs Animator on feature films, including Iron Man and Superman, before starting Kilograph in 2009. When Keely isn’t working, she’s speaking about the importance of architectural visualization to architecture students and graphic artists. She has lectured at the California State Polytechnic University, Woodbury University, the University of Kentucky, and USC School of Architecture. She has been a guest lecturer at the IUAV in Venice Italy’s Master of Digital Architectural program, and at Trojan Horse was a Unicorn, speaking on the topic of narrative in architectural visualization.

She is a board member at the A+D museum of Los Angeles, and a member of the Jury for the Architizer A+ Awards.

About the American Society of Architectural Illustrators

ASAI, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the art, science and profession of architectural illustration.Through communication, education and advocacy, the Society strives to refine and emphasize the role of illustration in the practice and appreciation of architecture.


The American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) was founded in 1986 as a professional organization to represent the business and artistic interests of architectural illustrators throughout North America and around the world.

ASAI’s principal mandate was and remains the fostering of communication among its members, raising the standards of architectural drawing, and acquainting the broader public with the importance of such drawings as a conceptual and representational tool in architecture. Membership in the organization is not limited to professional illustrators, but is open to architects, designers, teachers, students, corporations, and anyone engaged in the serious pursuit of architectural drawing.

The American Society of Architectural Illustrators also assists in the advancement of the profession in a number of significant ways. It serves as a referral agency for those seeking the services of a illustrator, as a network for practitioners and affiliated organizations from around the world, as a clearing-house for ideas and discussions about architectural illustration, and as a sponsor of regional and local member activities. The central purpose of ASAI remains the improvement of architectural drawing worldwide. By recognizing and celebrating the highest achievements in the illustration of our built environment, the organization — together with the dedicated, committed and passionate efforts of its international members — continues to further the quality of the work of all who have an interest in architectural illustration. In 1995, ASAI was recognized for its excellence in achieving its mandate and purposes with an American Institute of Architecture Honor Award which commended the organization for its work in strengthening collaborative associations with the communities of architects, designers and other professionals, as well as for its programs dedicated to educating the public about architectural drawing.

Introducing the AIP 32 Student Jury

Our first deadline for Architecture in Perspective (AIP) 32 has come and gone with the final deadline for the Professional Competition, which closed at the beginning of the month. However, students can still submit their renderings and sketches through March 10th, 2017. As members of ASAI and participants in the AIP 32 Competition and Conference, students from around the world join leaders in architectural illustration and gain visibility for their artwork.

This year, three esteemed jurors will discuss, debate and ultimately judge student submissions for AIP 32. The very best will win the coveted Student Award of Excellence, which includes a Certificate of Excellence, a $1,000 (USD) Cash Prize, complimentary 2018 membership and complimentary conference registration. The winning image will be included in the AIP exhibition that travels the United States and international venues. Additional Student Awards of Merit may be granted by the jury at their discretion, and all winning images will be published in the AIP catalog and on the ASAI website.

The 2017 Student Competition Jurors are an accomplished group of industry professionals and ASAI members.

MMatthew-Brehmatthew Brehm

A Professor at the University of Idaho, Matthew Brehm is also an author, a founding board member of the Urban Sketchers non-profit organization, an award-winning artist and an expert in observational drawing. After receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame, Matthew worked for design firms in Washington D.C. before attending the University of Oregon to earn his Master of Architecture. Today, as a professor at the University of Idaho, Matthew’s focus revolves around design communication, design process, architectural graphics and representational sketching. He initiated, and still runs, an eight-week study abroad program for Idaho architecture students to work and study in Rome. As a founding member of Urban Sketchers, Matthew is a frequent speaker at the group’s international events. He has authored and illustrated three books on drawing from observation. He describes one of his passions as “observing and understanding the world through sketching with various media, such as pencil, pen, charcoal and watercolor.”1 When asked of his other pursuits, he states, “I used to play music and do a lot of vegetable gardening, but teaching, and especially the Rome Program, has meant that I no longer have much time for hobbies. Sketching used to be a hobby, but now it’s more tied to my work, and I like it that way.” 2

Gil_GorskiGilbert Gorski

A licensed architect and renowned illustrator, Gil Gorski has twice been awarded the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize, the nation’s top honor in the field of architectural illustration. As an architect, Gil has led the design of major projects, including the world headquarters for the McDonald’s Corporation in Oak Brook, Illinois, and the Oceanarium, a large-scale addition to the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. He was designated the Burnham Fellow by the Chicago Architectural Club and was awarded a three-month associate fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. He was also granted the National Collaborative Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects, and he held the James A. and Louise F. Nolen Chair in Architecture as a professor at the University of Notre Dame. Gil has authored several books, and his artwork has been met with international acclaim. Today, he resides in western Pennsylvania, where he primarily paints landscapes. “Painting’s relevance has been diminished by other art forms, yet I remain attracted to it for a number of reasons,” Gil says. “First, I like working with my hands. Second, painting for me reaffirms the power of handmade objects—oil paintings in particular must be seen in person, they defy being captured with photography. Finally, I am interested in the poetry of common things; painting allows me to express the extraordinary I see in the ordinary.” 3

Corey_BW_scaledCorey Harper

As the founder of TILTPIXEL, a premiere architectural visualization studio in Houston, Corey draws from fifteen years of industry experience to lead a team of digital artists in the production of high impact imagery and short films. As an artist, Corey’s renderings and animations have been utilized by architects, developers, brokers and Fortune 500 companies all over the world. Corey most recently received the ASAI Award of Excellence in 2015 for his speakeasy penthouse design and rendering. His work has also been published in Architectural Record magazine. Corey graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Design, Emphasis on Visualization, from Texas A&M University before starting his career at PDR Corporation, a Texas-based creative design firm. Five years later, he refined his skillset as a Principal for Neoscape in Boston. At the end of 2009 he relocated to Houston where he founded TILTPIXEL. Today, Corey focuses on expanding TILTPIXEL’s footprint in the industry by pushing the boundaries of artistic vision, and by providing quality deliverables with a rigorous attention to customer service. Corey currently serves as the 2017 President of ASAI. As President, he strives to broaden ASAI’s visibility amongst the architectural community, while preserving the mission of the organization and the intentions of its founders.

We encourage students from around the world to join ASAI and submit their formal presentation renderings, informal sketches, study projects, drawings, paintings and computer imagery to AIP 32 before the deadline of March 10th. On October 19th – 21st, 2017, we look forward to welcoming students to Houston for the ASAI international Conference, where they will learn from industry greats, engage in dynamic conversation, and gain top-notch education on a wide array of topics in architectural illustration.





Protect Your Copyrights: Respond to this Library of Congress Survey

From the Illustrators Partnership
REMINDER: Protect Your Copyrights:
Respond to this Library of Congress Survey

Deadline: Next Tuesday, January 31.

The survey is short. Only a few words to say about yourself and 3 questions to answer. And if you don’t have the time to write, you can copy and paste our suggestions.

Please take a minute, go to this link and fill in the boxes.

A. In response to the 3 questions, here are some suggested answers.


B. In response to Item 4, you can upload additional comments as a pdf. Consider identifying yourself as a creator (and not a user) and make a personal statement:
Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE,
Washington, DC 20540

I am a professional freelance artist and small business owner. I’ve been in business for ___ years. I specialize in _____. I am wholly responsible for all my business and overhead expenses. I pay my own insurance premiums and health care expenses. I fund my own retirement plans and have no other safety net. I earn my entire income from the licensing of my copyrighted work, so it is critical for my ability to stay in business that the US continue to provide creators with the full protections of existing copyright law.
My copyrights are my work product and my work product is my livelihood. I have experienced massive copyright infringement for the last two decades, by publishers and “advocacy organizations” who claim reprographic royalties earned by my work, by publishers who engage in unauthorized sublicensing behind subscription walls, and by infringers who steal online images. The next Register should uphold Berne, and wholly support the efforts of illustrators to be safe-guarded by a functioning US visual art collecting society that protects the commerce of our secondary rights both domestically and overseas, and directs the secondary rights revenue stream of earned royalties to the illustrators who created the work.

Respectfully submitted,

If you’ve missed our previous alerts, here’s the story in a nutshell: Dr. Carla Hayden, the new Librarian of Congress, has fired the head of the Copyright Office and is now soliciting advice on the “knowledge, skills and abilities” people think the new Register should have.

It has been widely reported that Dr. Hayden supports the agenda of the “open source” lobby. So if past is prologue, these anti-copyright interests will use this survey” to gin up an astroturf response from their supporters, then take the results to Congress to claim that the American people want work on the Internet to be free.

To counter the lobbying tactics of Big Internet firms, creators must respond to this survey in force with a call to retain the full protections of copyright as provided for in  Article I Section 8 of the Constitution.


Please post or forward this artist alert to any interested party.

Introducing the AIP 32 Professional Jury

As we enter the final few weeks of our AIP 32 Professional Competition, ASAI jurors are looking ahead to early March, when they will congregate in the TILTPIXEL offices of ASAI President, Corey Harper. There, they will cull through hundreds of entries, deliberate for many hours, and finally assign cash prizes and award recognition to the best of the best. Who among us is up to the task? This year, Corey will welcome three esteemed artists to lead the charge of jury deliberation.

Scott DeWoDeWoody_Scott_460x345ody serves as the Director of Visualization for Gensler in Houston, as well as the company’s Firmwide Creative Media Manager. Scott began drawing and sketching at an early age, and he knew by middle school, when his love for video games took shape, that his passion for art would lead to a career in computer animation. He taught himself 3D modeling in high school and attended the Art Institute of Houston for college, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in media arts and animation. Upon graduation in 2007, he joined Gensler as an Illustrator. From there, he has risen to oversee his firm’s rendering technology with the addition to VR, AR, and interactive media. He has worked for numerous clients, including NVIDIA Corporation, ExxonMobil, Shell Oil Company, BP, City Center Las Vegas, and many more. Scott continuously studies color theory and composition, while maintaining an intense focus on image quality and workflow. His leadership at Gensler enables the firm to explore new possibilities of architecture in the interactive space.

Vince vincent-hunterHunter is a Principal of Design at WDG Architects in Dallas. Vince joined WDG over 22 years ago, shortly after earning a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. More recently, his responsibilities have grown to include the management of WDG’s planning and building design practice in the firm’s Dallas office. Vince has spearheaded numerous multifamily, urban master planning and commercial projects in North Texas, in addition to mixed use, hospitality, retail and senior living. Much of Vince’s success can be attributed to his team leadership, working with the client, Design Architect and consultants to ensure quality design from concept through completion. He focuses on both aesthetic excellence and innovation in technology and building efficiency. Outside of work, Vince is an avid cyclist and a board member of the Texas Irish Foundation, which is a non-profit that raises funds for a variety of charitable organizations.

Jorge TiscaJorgeTiscarenoreño currently serves as a Senior Project Designer at PBK and has worked in the architectural industry for over 20 years. His portfolio reaches beyond Texas and encompasses a diverse array of corporate, educational and athletic facilities. He has received numerous design awards, as well as national recognition, and is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Autodesk University. As a fixture in the architectural visualization community, Jorge served as a judge for the 2010 CGArchitect Architectural 3D Awards. Prior to PBK, Jorge worked as a Senior Designer at SHW Group, as well as a Design Visualization Firmwide Manager for Gensler. Jorge’s colleagues tout his leadership and creativity, and his expertise in digital design, modeling and rendering tools. His role at PBK involves every phase of the design process, from architectural programming to design conception and development. He maintains a client-focused perspective and a keen attention to expectations as he tackles architectural challenges.

ASAI is grateful for the contributions of Scott, Vince and Jorge as they make plans to meet as a Jury in Houston.

Don’t forget to submit your digital or traditional renderings and sketches today! The deadline for the AIP 32 Professional Competition is February 3rd, 2017, and the deadline for the Student Competition is March 10th, 2017. Click here to enter!

Lon Grohs, 2018 President

Please take a moment to congratulate ASAI’s 2018 President. Meet Lon Grohs of Chaos Group.

“My mission is to help artists and designers create a better world – both real and imagined.

Through a combination of executive leadership, public speaking and teaching, I’ve dedicated my career to enabling artists and designers with the information and technology they need. Because I believe our collective creativity will bring great things to our planet – and maybe even others.

I have deep love and respect for the art of architectural illustration, and not only am I interested in preserving the founding principles of the ASAI, I believe I can help the organization continue to evolve and thrive.”

Lon is an ASAI award-winning visual artist, CCO of Chaos Group and founder of Chaos Group Labs – a collaborative research and development hub, focused on GPU rendering, cloud rendering, and VR technology. Knowing the challenges faced by designers every day, Lon joined Chaos Group in 2011 with a passion to push technology to aid in artistry and design.

Formerly Creative Director and a principal at Neoscape, Lon oversaw the studio’s visualization teams on multiple projects worldwide.

Looking Ahead to AIP 32

As 2016 draws to a close, ASAI Vice President, Corey Harper, is in the throes of planning for Architecture in Perspective 32. Corey will succeed Carlos Cristerna as President of ASAI in 2017, and he looks forward to welcoming ASAI members in Houston from October 19 – 21 for an exciting, jam-packed annual conference.

As Carlos and prior Presidents can attest, there is a lot that goes into planning a strong conference for our membership. Corey is hard at work contacting potential sponsors, lining up speakers, reaching out to universities and partnering with local architecture organizations to shape three days teeming with education, professional development and networking.

Our ASAI home base in Houston will be at the Hotel Zaza, located in the heart of the city’s Museum District and directly adjacent to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. It will be a short walk to Rice University, home to one of the country’s leading architecture schools.


For those who have never ventured to Houston (or Texas for that matter), here are some facts to help acquaint you…

  • Houston is America’s fourth largest city, trailing New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • According to several studies, it is also America’s youngest city, as well as its most ethnically and culturally diverse.
  • Diversity is a contributing factor to Houston’s bustling restaurant scene, with accessible options from every ethnicity saturating the city.
  • The Trust for Public Land ranked Houston first among the nation’s 10 most populous cities in total acreage of parkland and third in park acreage per capita.
  • Houston’s Museum District is home to 20 world-class museums and institutions, all within walking distance from one another. Similarly, it’s Theater District houses resident professional companies in all four areas of performing arts: ballet, opera, symphony and theater.
  • The Texas Medical Center, located a short distance from the Houston Museum District, is the largest medical complex in the world. The first heart transplant was performed in Houston, and Life Flight was also founded in Houston.
  • Dubbed the Energy Capital of the World, Houston is home to 5000 energy-related firms. It also houses NASA’s Johnson Space Center, spurring its nickname, “Space City.”
  • Houston’s vibrant architectural community prizes buildings designed by architects such as M. Pei, César Pelli and Philip Johnson.

With the new year approaching, we are excited to share more details of AIP 32 as plans cement, sponsors sign on and the agenda takes shape. In addition to a first-class sketch tour, we will have a lineup of speakers keen on sharing their perspectives of the importance of architectural illustration, the future of our industry and the ways in which art and architecture are inextricably linked. Join us in Houston on October 19th for an AIP that can’t be missed.