Berlin Looking South - Completion

It’s done! Berlin looking South is completed and also ready for our licensee’s 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle production. It took roughly about 3.5 months (without the breaks) and a bit of work to get from this... to that... :-) . Up for the next challenge.

Berlin Looking South - Bringing the City to Life

The good, old mac in the shop behaved well, all the elements are coloured and ready to be placed. After a little break (which brought me also to the beautiful south coast around Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters) I am ready to complete Berlin Looking South. The coloured elements are inserted as separate layers so I can move them independently to the perfect position and add shadows to make them truly 3-dimensional. To really “anchor” them inside the image boats need to have their “movement waves” (something I didn’t do in the beginning) and some of the cars and trains should also be partly hidden, either being behind each other or behind a building. It gives a nice sense of space and depth.

Berlin Looking South - Getting There

Hurray! All the painting work of the image itself is done! What’s left is the colourful life: people, cars, trains, boats and a few things for the sky. I will use the bank holiday weekend in the shop to work on car traffic, a smaller job and lighter file the good, old mac and an older photoshop version will hopefully cope with.

Berlin Looking South - It's a Colourful World

After battling with some computer problems due to older software losing quite a bit of work along the way I can now crack on with the latest version of photoshop and suddenly, in terms of the software, life is just a doddle. The individual buildings get their own colour identity ideally based on their material hence why I’m always happy to identify brick buildings which ask for vivid, strong hues of orange, ochre or red. Glass structures come to life with different shades of a bottle green, sandstone is represented by brown or red. So these are the clear choices that naturally make a nice and colourful image. The "Red City Hall" (top right corner) has its name for a reason However, quite oft

Berlin Looking South - Pixels, Bit and MBs

Now that all the hand drawn work is done, completed and scanned the project is literally off the drawing board but far from over. I will start the digital phase now which can have its owns difficulties and challenges as everyone who works with heavy files will know all too well. Luckily from now on I can save myself the work of scanning the drawing in lots of different A3 size steps and stitching them together at the end. When the image you scan is already more than 2metres wide the digital file will inevitably have a substantial size even before having done any colouring work to it. During the painting process it will grow massively last but not least because of the enormous amount of diffe

Berlin Looking South - Let's Scan

Now I need to go to the scanning service and then print the file as my under layer for the last phase of hand drawn work (yes, it’s not completely over yet!). I want to fill the image with life! Even though I had customers appreciating the completely empty, slightly surreal cityscape it is not very realistic and anyway I want to depict the very pace, dynamics, the hustle and the bustle of the metropolis. Berlin might be more laid back than London, Paris or New York but as every city it has street life with cars, buses, trains, boats and first of all people. I start with the cars. Having drawn so many of them over the last few years to populate many city streets around the globe I still want

Berlin Looking South - Lines, Lines, Lines...

Over the period of almost 2 weeks I was working my way westwards (or in drawing terms from the left to the right) on the fine liner drawing. Luckily I found a good and friendly professional scanning service in Islington that can scan the more than 2m long image in one piece so finally I don’t have to stitch several A2 sheets together, take them apart again at the end and scan the image in 10 or more steps. Thank god for that, hurray! Drawing on a big, single sheet makes my life easier but still, a bit of patience ;-) , a good range of fine liner pens, lots of blotting paper and good music will be needed for the next week or so. It’s growing... As much as I love drawing I must admit that it

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