Frontier Steak House Sketch

A hand draw pen and ink sketchEvery sketch was done by hand using the pencil or pen and markers in the days before computer drawing programs.

This building is one of the oldest in the Rancho Cucamonga area. It was home to one of the first wineries in Cucamonga and owned by Tiburcio Tapia, a local businessman. A lot of history is associated with this building.

Laura Baker, from Frontier Restaurants called me and asked if I had a portfolio that I could show her and I asked her to come down to the shop to see the work I had displayed. After she walked in she said that I was the one they were looking for.

This restaurant was part of the Knowlwood and Russell Restaurant chain and the first of their restaurants in the Inland Empire, Rancho Cucamonga to be exact.

Mike Rhodes gave me the opportunity to do the sign design and sign painting for the interior and exterior of this building. There were a lot of interior directional signs and wall murals. There were exterior signs that had to be done and most of them were hand lettered, including an old wine barrel that was out front. I also designed the table mats for print and the menus. It was great to be involved in the research and production of the signs for this establishment.

Sketch for the Christmas House

A hand drawn sketch for the Christmas House in Rancho CucamongaThe ‘Christmas House’ was down the street from my sign shop in Rancho Cucamonga. The sign was in need of repair so I asked the owners if I could do a sketch and bid on a new sign. This was pre-computers when all of my drawings were done with pen and markers.

I usually did a pen sketch to make sure I was on the same page with the client and also tried to have a proposal ready. If all was copacetic, I would furnish a colored drawing and take my deposit to start the work. I did not get this job, but I always liked the sketch.

The Pencil

A pencil at workThere are many ‘tools of the trade’ and I guess the first to consider would be the pencil. It is with this tool that most sketches are started and concepts made a reality.

The first pencil utilizing a wooden holder was said to be created by an Italian couple for marking their carpentry. Two centuries later an Austrian named Joseph Hardmuth founded the Koh-i-Noor company and discovered a method to combine powdered graphite with clay to create the modern artificial pencil lead. By varying the ratio of graphite to clay, the hardness of the graphite lead could also be varied.

As a draftsman I have used a mechanical and the varied lead weight mechanical pencils to create basic drawings and as a woodworker I use the flat carpenter pencil. When I was a young and aspiring artist I used to go down to the art store and for 25 cents purchase the ‘Paradise Pencils’ in all their colored glory. I still use charcoal pencils and the Berol Draughtsman 314 for sketches and such. As a sign painter I use the Stabillo 8014 for layout.