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 often I come across nondescript colours: concrete, render and even the typical limestone grey found a lot in Central London which is very elegant in reality but would make a rather bland image. So I like to interpret them with yellow(s) or shades of blue with different degrees of transparency.

So the colouring process always starts with a reality check but develops into a fine line dance weighing reality and interpretation to get to a nicely balanced and colourful composition that is still seen as an accurate portrait of the existing city. I am always after the stamp of approval from the locals.

In my early work I used to mainly “drop” the colours: a brighter shade for the sunny side and a darker one for the shadow. As always things develop and I started to paint properly with digital means.

My favourite tool hereby is the soft edge brush which allows to paint shadows, reflections, highlights and gradients that make especially organic shapes really 3-dimensional.

For all this work I love my digital drawing tablet and pen!!!!!

It’s also all the little detail that counts hence why I really enjoy indicating all the different embassies that can be found in the area by their flags. Here I am becoming a kid again :-).

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