Rendering Architectural Elevations

I have created thousands of architectural illustrations, but in each and every one, I try to develop a new technique, explore new ways of using color, or learn something new. This not only keeps the work fresh and interesting, it allows me to grow as an artist and designer.

Creating a ragged edge around the rendered elevation is a technique I use frequently. At first glance it seems simple, but I spend more time on this than you might think. In effect, it creates a negative space in the artwork. Applied carefully, it will create balance, develop focal points, and enhance the motion in the piece.

Blobs of people shaped objects create life and activity while suggesting the scale of the architecture. The lack of detail keeps the focus on the architecture and not on specific characteristics of the people.

Framing a focal point with foreground landscaping will define the artwork’s motion and draw the visitors eye to the main architectural feature. The splash of color in the flowers create a sense of elegance while developing a contrast with the rustic stone.

Depth can be created with lighter colors in the background trees, this is a well known technique. It can also add depth in the foreground, visible in the walkway as it extends towards the viewer. Keep painting and enjoy the experience of trying something new each and every time!

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Dramatic Environment in Illustration

When creating architectural illustration, a more dramatic environment will add some excitement to the work. Rain or snow can be used for extreme effect, but simply making the time of day early evening can be quite dramatic. Dusk can be especially effective; a brighter sky and long shadows will add a lot of contrast to the rendering.

This illustration, the base of a high rise hotel in Scotland, has a unique but simple elevation. Using early evening as the time of day, details are still visible, lamps are turned on, light is projecting up the stone exterior, and shadows bring out the movement in the elevation.

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