Creative Musings

12 Oct 2015

Architecture As Art

Architecture offers the budding artist many possibilities. As an artist you may be drawn to the outside of building attracted to the large scale or more intimate details of the façade. Alternatively the interior of buildings could be more appealing, how does a vast structure function on a day-to-day basis? Does the interior disappoint, flow or lift the spirits? Architecture can be industrial, public/work space or a domestic dwelling, one only needs to look out the window for material to sketch or photograph. You could be drawn to cityscapes or rolling countryside with farm buildings. Does a particular era appeal to you more; Gothic, Renaissance, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, or Modern Sustainable? Wither you travel further afield or stay local, live in a small village, town or large city there are a myriad of possibilities to explore under the theme of architecture.

A great way to explore architecture embedding large-scale line and form is out and about in your local area armed with sketch book and camera to record your findings. Location studies help reinforce quick sketching techniques, hand eye coordination, recording atmosphere, lightening and changing elements of the weather. A camera is an ideal tool to capture the subject matter for further in-studio studies and developing a theme over several weeks or months.

Helene Hjalmarsson

Student Location Work Downtown MalmöPat Pitcher Judi Hildebrand

Paper Collage Exercise 

A fun way to remove the tightness from this genre of art practice is to interpret tonal values, line and form using paper collage.

Materials                                                                                                                                          Old Magizines/newpapers                                                                                                                   160g + paper or card heavy stock to prevent buckle                                                                    Picture of Building                                                                                                                        Scissors                                                                                                                                             School glue                                                                                                                                           Old glue/paint brush

  • Select you choosen building ensuring it appeals to you, has sufficient interest, light and shadows.
  • Gather interesting colours and texts from old magazines/newspapers that relate to your building.
  • Arrange into plies of tonal colours then tear or cut into smaller more manageable pieces.
  • Roughly carry out a linear sketch of your building onto 160g+ paper or card.
  • Start with covering the background and foreground gluing pieces of paper collage in subtle colours to the paper/card.

Glue background

  • Allow background to dry.
  • Build up your structure laying down the large area taking into consideration areas of dark and light.
  • Try not to over think and do not be attached to the process; remember JFP (just for practice).
  • Once the base of the structure is complete allow to dry.
  • Add the final details to your paper collage.

Paper Collage Gunilla Wiinberg

  • If needed use a sharpie pen or marker to enhance the building

Pat Pitcher

Some of the students finished studies

Judi Hildebrand

Judi Hildebrand

Pia Havéus

Pia Havéus

Pat Pitcher

Pat Pitcher

Here is a superb how to incorporate collage and painting to make a thing of beauty in Artists & Illustrators   Love Devon based artist Mike Bernard saving my pennies to own one of his masterpieces, his book is a well thumbed studio favourite.

Finally before moving onto the final large architectural project a large scale study of building detail was carried out. Observation in key and a good remember that looking should take longer than doing.

Large scale Agneta CiArt

Large Scaled study in Oil pastelLarge Scale Oil pastel

Large-scale studies of a small area or details of selected subject matter really helps build up memory recall and helps you get to know your subject more intimately.

As work begins on individual final pieces I am excited to watch them evolve in beauty and confidence. Promise to post pics of students progress at a later date.

Quick quiz –  Guess What Building & Where

Pictures I have taken on my travels over the years, can you guess what buildings and where they are located?

CiArt 1

No 1 Where & What?

CiArt 2

No 2 Where & What ?

CiArt 3

No 3 Where & What

Post your answers below

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