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Full-color illustration of the Mountain Dog home plan by Lorraine Plaxico.

Transforming Blueprints into Art with an Architectural Illustrator


358 words | 2 min read

Throughout the 7 years Sundog Homes has worked with her, Lorraine Plaxico has consistently produced gallery-worthy watercolor renderings of our home plans. “A set of blueprints [is] informational but flat, lifeless and often virtually unreadable to those not in the building industry,” according to her website. But with more than 30 years of experience as an architectural illustrator, Lorraine has worked with numerous developers, architects, and interior designers to bring blueprints and floor plans to life.

An Artistic Approach

She prefers hand-drawn, mixed media illustrations of homes, rather than exclusively computer-generated graphics. She acknowledges that “...The many 3-D modeling software programs used today are sophisticated, [but] none can achieve the quality and effect of an artist’s handiwork,” which is why she uses her fine art and interior design degrees to make artistic illustrations of complicated home plans.


Steps in the Process

Sundog Homes’ sales manager Phillip Gamble discovered Lorraine’s work when he was searching for a rendering artist; he noticed her signature on other renderings he had seen and reached out to her. She produced work for one of the first homes we built in The Ramble Biltmore Forest, and we’ve maintained the relationship to today. As we expand our custom offerings, we continue to work with her.

Just as a home builder has a step-by-step process for creating a new home from the ground-up, so does Lorraine as an illustrator. The first step is to choose what views a client needs of the home to be rendered. Once the views are established, the second step is drawing a basic black and white sketch. We go over it with her to iron out all the exterior elements, and when that drawing is approved, Lorraine goes forward with the more detailed illustration with full colors.


The Finished Product - Your Home

Since we customize each of our homes to meet the expectations of our clients, the finished art is only one version of what a home may look like. We’re involved in every aspect of the building process, and if a client doesn’t like something about a plan, we’re happy to tweak it to make it right.


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