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Berlin Looking South - The Start

So, here I am starting the new year at the drawing board in my new private studio with a commission for a view of Central Berlin, the place I called home for about 10 years and which has changed a lot and evolved (as has my drawing style) since I last depicted it around the year 2006. A very exciting beginning of the year!

The image shall have a panoramic format and naturally I want it to include all major characteristics (i.e. the nicely meandering river Spree and the elegant curve of the elevated railway lines crossing the city centre) and important landmark buildings to make it an iconic representation of the city.

Berlin Looking South - layout sketch - main composition elements

I start my little layout sketch accordingly. To get the most dynamic impression I decide that the smooth and linear shapes of the river and the train viaducts should also run in to the foreground, touching the bottom edge of the image in the centre and disappearing in the distance towards the edges on either side. This always gives a nice feel of distance and space.

The vantage point slightly north of the historic centre and looking to the south is also the best way to give the TV Tower the necessary height making it stick out appropriately as the city’s tallest building.

Berlin Looking South - layout sketch - refined street layout

Berlin Looking South - layout sketch - refined street layout

Berlin Looking South - layout sketch - refined street layout

The aligned, large scale new government buildings at the bottom right will add a nice, strong geometrical shape to the composition; the grid pattern street layout of the central Friedrichstadt district is perfect for indulging in the fun of perspective drawing; the famous, tree lined Avenue “Unter den Linden” runs almost as a centre line from left to right; Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Parliament building will stand out prominently and the lush greenery of Tiergarten park as well as the skyline of former West Berlin’s city centre are featured nicely.

To cut a long story short: this must be the right angle!

Berlin Looking South - under layer for drawing

First step done: in the layout everything seems to be at the right place. The sketch has been scanned, enlarged and printed to the final size of the artwork 2m by 75cm as my under layer for the hand-drawing.

Let the three dimensional work begin!

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