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I love the book! I recommend it for all ages for its educational approach to architecture and color balance.
18 May 2020 (18:14)
love the style of the book, the buildings look exotic and ancient
02 July 2020 (09:00)
good book may it is, but hard to download
02 August 2020 (17:30)
Just amazing! but hard to download
03 January 2021 (19:25)
This book is def not for beginnners. It expects you to already know the basics of architecture, and then quickly moves into complicated designs. I came to this book looking for a guide on how to start drawing landscapes, so it wasn't exactly the best fit for me. If you're looking for a starting point, this isn't the book for you; however, if you're already somewhat well-versed in the area this would be a good book to read.
04 March 2021 (18:50)
From ancient citadels and gothic castles to subterranean palaces and Floating fortresses HOW TO DRAW AND PAINT Fantasy Architecture HOW TO DRAW AND PAINT Fantasy Architecture ROB ALEXANDER A QUARTO BOOK First edition for North America published in 2011 by Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. Copyright © 2011 Quarto Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. All inquiries should be addressed to: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Boulevard Hauppauge, New York 11788 www.barronseduc.com Library of Congress Control No.: 2010928093 ISBN 13: 978 0 7641 4535 3 ISBN 10: 0 7641 4535 5 QUAR.FREN Conceived, designed, and produced by Quarto Publishing plc The Old Brewery 6 Blundell Street London N7 9BH Project Editor: Emma Poulter Art editor and designer: Jacqueline Palmer Picture Researcher: Sarah Bell Copyeditor: Sally Macachern Proofreader: Tracie Davis Indexer: Richard Rosenfeld Art Director: Caroline Guest Creative Director: Moira Clinch Publisher: Paul Carslake Color separation by Pica Digital Pte Ltd, Singapore Printed by Star Standard Industries (PTE) Limited, Singapore 987654321 Contents Foreword About This Book 6 6 Chapter : Introduction to Architecture Middle Eastern Architecture Middle Eastern Details Romanesque Architecture Romanesque Details Gothic Architecture Gothic Details Mesoamerican Architecture Mesoamerican Details Viking Structures Asian Architecture Asian Details Modern and Futurist Architecture Modern and Futurist Details 8 10 12 16 18 22 24 30 32 36 38 40 46 48 Chapter 2: Picture-Making Techniques Light, Shadows, Values, and Shapes Perspective, Distance, and Depth Composition and Concept Color Theory and Usage Mood and Drama 52 54 58 62 66 70 Chapter : Details and Textures Traditional Art Materials Digital Art Materials 1. Wood 2. Wood Joinery 3. Stone and Brickwork 4. Thatching 5. Plaster 6. Marble 7. Weathering and Aging 8. Mosaics and Painted Til; es 9. Fire and Smoke Damage Chapter : Creating Your Own Worlds Layering Values by Rob Alexander Evoking Mood by Anthony Scott Waters Painting Light by Lorenz Hideyoshi Ruwwe Exploring Ideas by Stephen Hickman Establishing Depth by Rob Alexander Creating Drama by Tom Kidd Index Credits 74 76 78 80 84 86 90 91 92 94 96 98 100 102 106 110 114 118 122 126 128 FOREWORD I have always been fascinated by architecture, especially older styles of architecture. The thought of someone taking stone or wood, working it and shaping it, and fitting it all together to create something as magnificent as a Mayan pyramid, or the Hagia Sophia, Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, or the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple in Narita always made me want to reach for a paintbrush. I think it’s the light. The way that great architecture becomes part of the environment, integrated with it, or dominating it, capturing, holding, or reflecting the light, so that what was complex, manmade, and possibly sterile or cold becomes instead majestic and awe inspiring. That sense of wonder has become something fascinating for me, something to capture and explore in everything I paint, and, ultimately, has led to the book you now hold. Study, enjoy, and let yourself fall in love with architecture the way I have. ABOUT THIS BOOK This book is about painting architecture for the fantasy and sciencefiction artist. You probably know that already, and it’s likely that was a factor in your picking up the book in the first place. While it won’t provide you everything you need to get through your first-year university architecture course, it will give you a very solid understanding of how some of fantasy arts' most influential architectural styles came about, why they look and work the way they do, what influences they had on other architects and artists alike, and provide the understanding you need to make use of realworld architecture in your own creations. The book is written from a visual artist’s perspective. Rather than compare minor nuances that distinguish German Gothic from French or English Gothic, the book looks at architectural styles in a broader sense to give you a firm knowledge of their most common forms, elements, and characteristics, and an understanding of their styles, the cultures that created them and the ways in which they tend to be used in fantasy and science-fiction art. It will not provide you with a handful of shortcuts to picture making, nor will it teach you one specific technique for painting. What it will do is teach you about architecture, about how and why the buildings look as they do, why they were built the way they were, and show you how to understand them in a visual, artistic sense so that you can create your own images from a position of knowledge, confidence, and understanding. The book is organized into four chapters CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE This chapter examines the basics of Middle Eastern, Romanesque, Gothic, Mesoamerican, Viking, Asian, and Modern or Futuristic architecture. 22 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE HEAVENLY INSPIRATION GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE Gothic architecture is the quintessential fantasy architectural style. From majestic castles and graceful cathedrals to haunted ruins, its distinctive lines and clean, graceful forms are at once beautiful, evocative, dark, and moody, providing versatile building blocks for the fantasy artist. This means you can borrow heavily from Gothic architecture to create imagery that conveys a strong sense of being tall, graceful, airy, and delicate while also looking strong and solid. ESTABLISHING THE GOTHIC MOOD The strong Gothic lines and shapes of the background cathedral carry the entire image, and the height, grace, and openness of the interior space provide the perfect setting for telling the story of a long-abandoned shrine or temple. Even in a ruined state, the immense scale of the cathedral is apparent, and helps lend both a height and elegance to the otherwise squat, Romanesque-style architecture of the main buildings. USING LIGHT The warmth of skillfully added sunlight in this painting creates a peaceful focus to this vaulted space, and highlights the sleeping stone figures on the sarcophagus. Gothic architectural details—softened by climbing foliage—add to the ancient, undisturbed atmosphere. 25 WOODEN HAMMERBEAMS FREN p8-51 intro to arch_.indd Photographs and drawings of real-world architectural examples Hammerbeams consist of a series of trusses, repeated at intervals, to transmit the weight and thrust of the roof as low as possible in the supporting wall. Intricately carved, beautiful, and functional, they serve the same purpose as ribbed vaults, lending an elegance and beauty to the interior lines while at the same time directing the weight of the roof above and maintaining the sense of open space and light. the exterior walls allowed for the creation of architecture styles, pillars were often taller structures with clearly defined interior compound, composed of many tall thin 7/12/10 1:01:38mass PM 7/12/10 12:59:15 PM FREN p8-51 intro to arch_.indd 23 spaces, while also reducing the overall columns. These tall thin “ribs” were of the buildings. A large portion of the delicate in appearance and helped create a strong sense of verticality structural weight was channeled through as they soared upward to the the arches and out into the buttresses, rather ceiling vaults. than being supported by thick walls and massive pillars. This allowed the arches and columns to be simultaneously taller and more delicate, and thinner walls meant windows—lots and lots of windows. Arches became pointed rather than rounded, eliminating the keystone which reduced the outward thrust and allowed them to maintain a consistent height even if their width changed. Perhaps most importantly, the use of the buttresses also allowed the weight and thrust of the ceiling to be successfully funneled away from the arches to the walls at specific points via the ribbed vaults, allowing for tall, graceful, and well-lit upper stories. 22 Work by professional artists inspired by the architectural genre Thank you to the wonderful artists who contributed to this book: names appear alongside work; all uncredited art is by Rob Alexander. The foils (window tracery) reinforce a sense of height, and the sunlight streaming through the windows creates a sense of openness in what would otherwise be a very dark and oppressive interior. Tall, stately, graceful, brooding, romantic, haunted—all these and more apply to Gothic architecture, a staple for the fantasy artist. 7/12/10 12:59:15 1:01:43 PM 7/12/10 PM W INDOW TRACERY Through the fourteenth century the tracery geometry became much more complicated and subtle; the complex patterns of the decorated style were created by combining parts of circles to form flowing designs. Types of tracery shown from top left to bottom right: early English, geometric, decorated, perpendicular. RIBBED VAULTS Both decorative and functional, the ribs transfer the ceiling’s weight and thrust to specific points on the wall and out to the buttresses. This allows for thinner walls with windows and delicate features in the upper story. The ribs also created a very strong and stable building style that can be thought of as elastic or dynamic, able to adjust well to shifts due to settling or buckling of the masonry. Column capitals, like the piers, are multifaceted and echo the piers below as they lead the eye effortlessly up to the ribs above. FREN p8-51 intro to arch_.indd 24 BUTTRESSES The flying buttresses or arms (A) transfer the thrust outward and downward to the pier buttresses (B). Note how all the elements work together to reinforce the sense of the vertical, from the window foils and the lower arch to the buttress and pinnacles. The silhouette created is very evocative and unified. Emphasizing these features can give your image complexity, direction, and cohesion, whether you’re painting romantic fantasy or haunted ruins. Remember, the spaces between the buttresses are often windows and the arms may be roofed over, creating alcoves and spaces (C), to allow you to play with light, shadow, and volume. BASE MOLDINGS Moldings decorated the base of columns, ensuring that every available surface was beautiful and graceful. PIERS Because the weight on the pillars was less, the piers, while still strong supports, became more fanciful and decorative, their faces broken up with many facets and planes. 7/12/10 12:59:15 1:01:47 PM 7/12/10 PM FREN p8-51 intro to arch_.indd 25 7/12/10 12:59:15 1:01:50 PM 7/12/10 PM 7 ABOUT THIS BOOK CHAPTER 2: PICTURE-MAKING TECHNIQUES 62 How-to techniques slanted toward artists painting architecture. Perspective, lighting, color theory, composition, mood, and concept are all examined and explained as they relate to painting manmade structures. PICTURE-MAKING TECHNIQUES COMPOSITION AND CONCEPT COMPOSITION AND CONCEPT Composition is the arrangement of values, shapes, and colors, the rhythm of lights and darks, and the overall design of your painting. Concept is the driving force behind all the compositional choices; it’s the underlying idea that holds your picture together, giving it life, unity, and energy. The concept is the underlying idea that binds your whole image together and gives it direction and purpose. For example, if you want to paint the flooded ruins of an old city, where do you start? The idea is too vague. Even if you add a setting, such as a river, and an architectural style, such as Romanesque, there is not yet a clear idea of how to approach the painting. You must ask yourself what it is about the city ruins that you most want to explore and convey. It could be shape, color, value, texture, a play on intensity, or an exploration of bright or low lighting, for example. These are concepts. Let’s pick color as our concept, and let's refine it further. The painting will be about a splash of strong, warm color in a field of cool neutrals, perhaps the remnants of a dome or bit of paint against the dull color of the stone. Now you have a clear focus to begin defining, driving, and unifying your painting, and a gauge to constantly refer back to that will both keep you on track and tell you when you are finished. Working drawings demonstrate how an artist has created their image, from initital sketch to final piece Key Points • Conceptualize first—you need a focus, a direction for your painting. FREN p52_65 ART Techs_.indd 62 IN CONTEXT “After the Fall” page 17 3.4 Weathered Stone and Crumbling Masonry Bricks are manufactured, rather than being cut from existing stone, which both homogenizes the overall color range and results in each brick being a slightly different color. Mortar is clean and white when first applied, small fingers of it spreading into gaps and cracks in the bricks. As it ages, these fingers are the first areas to weather and fall off. Cracks are more likely to appear in the mortar than in the bricks themselves. Aged bricks are worn smooth, and will have duller colors, chips, pits, and missing chunks. Missing areas of mortar between bricks may have been taken over by moss or grasses. If there is mortar or plaster covering the bricks, look for a smoother, whiter surface in new plaster, often with trowel marks; pits and cracks in mid-aged coverings, and missing chunks, large cracks, and extreme weathering in very aged coverings. Crumbled masonry typically has faded colors and softened edges. It’s weathered, exposed, and eroded. It is both the chaos of ruins and the clean structure of architecture. Sharp edges occur mainly in areas that have recently broken or chipped. Stronger colors often result from stains, lichen, and so on, and tend to span multiple bricks or stones. Suggestions of the detail and structure that was once intact can help place and define your ruins, creating both your current story and backstory at the same time. If the stones were well shaped and fitted at first, the overall structure will be apparent, even after it ages and the mortar crumbles. Splits, gaps, and cracks will help further define and add character and realism to your structure. 1. Begin by laying in middle and dark tones, effectively creating a silhouette of your shape. Keep in mind the value and temperature of your shadows, and make the edges ragged and broken, not clean and crisp. Having some stones or blocks that are not crumbled allows you to establish scale, perspective, and mass or volume early in your painting. Keep the paint thin, do not overblend, and allow the brushstrokes to remain a part of the surface description. 1. Start with fairly flat, uniform colors, laid in loosely. Allow brushstrokes to overlap, keeping color variations subtle. The concern here is mass, establishing a sense of volume and structure through value, not color. Suggest color, but create a definite sense of form. 2. 2. Once the underlayer is dry, 3. With opaque paint, lay in the lighter lay in colors and lighter values to define your structure with thicker paint and broad brushstrokes, or a palette knife; let the paint layer break, leaving some spots and areas where the underlayer shows through. In the shadow areas, lay in colors similar in value but different in temperature and hue to your underpainting to create surface irregularities without flattening the structure. Strive to create structure and chaos in the same space through careful control of the paint layers, particularly in areas of strong light or broken, worn, or pitted stone. Once dry, strengthen colors and values to define individual bricks— some lighter, some darker. If you have weathering or staining, which will affect more than one brick, begin to add that in. Loosely suggest base colors for any vegetation or other surface irregularities you may have. Strive for a balance between loose and expressive, and subtle and controlled as you reinforce the structure. Keep the paint thin, allowing the first layer to show through as much as possible—you are refining the initial layer, not hiding it. 4 2 values for the mortar. Add chips or cracks as needed, finish the details in the vegetation, and strengthen the surface texture of the brickwork. Add spots of color for texture and to tie the wall in with the rest of your painting, according to the specific building you are creating. 1 3 1 Lay in shadows from bricks that 3 Add highlights and underhang stick out farther than the rest. shadows to mossy growths. 2 Use clean, white opaque paint on 4 Vary the amount of definition fresh mortar, grayer and duller on older mortar. FREN p74-99 details and texture_.indd 88 1 Allow dabs and splotches of color to sit next to one another, rather than blending them. between bricks. 7/12/10 6:08:06 6:03:11 PM 2 • Unity—work the whole composition at once. Now that the final drawing is complete, it’s time to consider color and shape more thoroughly. Using flat colors at first, explore the large shapes. The emphasis is on establishing a basic palette, a warm to cool range that will allow you to maintain the focus of your initial concept, and to create shadow shapes and negative space that will strengthen your composition. Here, the studies progressed from flat fields of color that very clearly establish the shapes into a small watercolor study, which allows for more subtlety and variation although still allows you to work quickly. The watercolor study (4) was about 4 x 7 in on watercolor paper, and took about fifteen minutes; the flat color studies (1–3) were done in Photoshop, and took about seven minutes each. Again, the purpose here is not to paint details, but to work out how the large shapes, colors, and values will work together. 3 4 F INAL IMAGE Building on all the steps that have come before, the image is painted in watercolor. However, it’s not just a matter of painting what was done in the studies in more detail. You have to evaluate what you are doing at each stage of the creative process. Here, the right foreground hill structure was changed to create more of a stepped look to the shadow shapes and allow the ruins to read more clearly, whereas the grasses were painted with cooler, darker colors in order to more clearly emphasize the warm dome in the mid-ground. • Tension—look for areas of contrast within your picture design, such as lights against darks, large and small shapes, or dull colors against bright ones, in order to add tension, vitality, and complexity to your composition. FREN p52_65 ART Techs_.indd 63 7/12/10 3:35:50 3:37:24 PM Texture reference files present a range of textural effects as an inspirational resource Sidebars point you toward finished art elsewhere in the book that uses the relevant textures Stone Arch Ruin With Encroaching Vegetation TEXTURE REFERENCE FILE Aged Red Brick Wall With Mossy Infills and Broken Mortar 1 89 STONE AND BRICKWORK 3.3 Brickwork and Mortar • Simplify—focus first on the large masses, shapes, values, and colors. Details can come later. 7/12/10 3:35:50 3:37:21 PM TEXTURE REFERENCE FILE DETAILS AND TEXTURES INITIAL SKETCHES These two initial sketches explore more fully the ideas in the thumbnail above. Each has been sketched rapidly, and has focused on capturing a sense of depth, of shape variation, and working with shadow shapes. Here the initial concept, rather than the reference, is the guiding point, allowing the image to develop on its own, rather than being limited by the reference. Each sketch has a primary feature or section of the ruined city that is strongly silhouetted, reads clearly, and could be painted warm and made the focus of the image. • Explore your composition—no great design ever happens by accident. Explore your options and strive to create the strongest composition you can. The final idea is now taken to a final sketch. At this point, reference material is gathered to add the necessary realism to the city. Even in a ruined state, there must be enough architecture to make it read clearly, and it must be drawn accurately. VALUE AND COLOR STUDIES Conceptualize First 88 63 F INAL SKETCH THUMBNAIL In this thumbnail the overall concept of the warm area set in a field of cool colors has been defined. Now it’s time to explore how best to compose and arrange the image. It’s often helpful to begin with very loose thumbnails, drawings that can be made in fifteen seconds or less. Focus on the idea, and explore basic shapes and values. At this stage the drawings often look as much like abstract shapes as they do buildings. IN CONTEXT “Karak, the lost fort” page 17 top 3. Once the main layer is dry, strengthen, clarify or reinforce the overall structure, and add details such as runes or carvings, vegetation, highlights, and shadows between stones, in large holes or cracks, and so on. Look for areas where you can describe what the structure originally looked like, as well as its current condition. Be careful not to destroy the structure by adding too much detail. Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to highlights, cracks, and so on, and often, less is more. CHAPTER 3: DETAILS AND TEXTURES How to draw and paint specific details, textures, and materials in clear, easy-to-follow steps. Particular attention is given to understanding the way the various forms look, how they age and weather, and what materials were most commonly used as well as how they were worked and how to accurately and convincingly draw and paint them, making use of the art techniques discussed in Chapter 2. 1 2 2 Rely on value to create a strong sense of structure and solidity in your rocks. FREN p74-99 details and texture_.indd 89 7/12/10 6:08:30 6:03:11 PM CHAPTER 4: CREATING YOUR O WN WORLDS Look over the shoulders of some of today’s best artists. Their working methods are clearly explained with step-by-step examples that show you their thought process, their creative process, and how they approached their paintings. It’s a rare chance to see behind the eyes of these artists as they bring together all their considerable knowledge of history, architecture, and painting techniques to craft something truly wonderful. 110 CREATING YOUR OWN WORLDS 7. F INISHING TOUCHES: LIGHT MANSION In order to enhance the illusion of depth, the foreground elements were darkened and blurred, and the image borders vignetted with a dark gradient. Details were added with overlaid textures to distinguish the materials and surfaces, which are made to look reflective and shiny in certain areas. The sky was broken up with wispy clouds and a planet in the top-left corner. The background was kept very bold and far less detailed than the main building, which is meant to be the focus of the painting. Adding fountains and little background light sources using photo textures, further helped with scale and realism. PHOTOGRAPHIC TEXTURES Photographic textures were used by overlaying them on separate layers, which could be tweaked in order to blend them realistically with the painting. PAINTING LIGHT 111 Overlaying photo textures to show tiny lights in the distance gave the impression of a populated area. Note the simplified brushstrokes for the background building to push it into the background. This sequence focuses on how to artif icially light a sci-f i environment using Photoshop and how to combine foliage and architecture harmoniously to create an otherworldly atmosphere. Trees and foliage can make good reference points for scale and also add realism to a scene. Overlaid textures as well as reflections outlined the materials used. 4. DEFINING SHAPES The process of defining the shapes in the building and surrounding structures was begun. A faint orange tone in the sky was introduced to suggest a setting sun. Yellow was used as the predominant light source coming from the building. Adding colors with an overlay or color dodge tool and then blending resulted in vibrant color mixing. LORENZ HIDEYOSHI RUWWE PAINTING LIGHT Before starting a painting, first consider the subject matter and how it is best presented. Here, the artist wanted to create a serene scene set in an alien world where architecture and nature combined harmoniously. The focus of the painting is on the unique building design built from geometric shapes in an organic way, so it ties in with the surrounding greenery. The twilight-like lighting was enhanced by accents of artificial light, illuminating the environment and creating vibrant color mixing. The overall green tone with complementing hues and slight color shifts added to the inviting mood. 1. CONCEPT SKETCHES Inspiration came from a handful of sketches that had been done previously. The artist was drawn to the organically shaped buildings and smooth curves in the scenery and used them as the basis for his concept. Sketches like these will help you formulate compositional ideas early on. 5. ADDING TEXTURE O VERLAYS A textured brush was used to break up the overhanging rock formation so it looked more natural. The more geometric shapes in the buildings and landscape keep the eye interested FREN p100-125 transitions_.indd 112 while the background is left open to interpretation. The artist started to add texture overlays to describe the materials. Blue was introduced in various areas to add variation. To achieve clean lines and curves the artist used the path tool and converted it to a lassoed selection within which he painted with a soft brush, resulting in smooth gradients and value changes. 2. MONOCHROME SKETCH Starting with monochrome tones helped establish value relationships within the painting. These were kept vague and unrefined since there would be time to tweak them later. Bold strokes helped define the main masses and structures in the painting, and establish a basic composition. FREN p100-125 transitions_.indd 110 Fountains in a pond surrounded with flowers were added to create areas of interest and character to the concept. 6. LIGHTING THE SCENE Plants and foliage were introduced in the foreground to create more depth and scale. Similar or complementary colors maintained the overall tone. The building was hazed to push it back a little more into the distance. A lot of illumination was coming from various light sources spilling into the environment. Airbrushing with a soft brush over bright areas helped to create a soft, hazy atmosphere, as if particles in the air are affected by the light. 3. LAYING DOWN INITIAL COLORS On a new layer set to the “color blending” mode, the artist filled in colors with big brushstrokes. This dictated the general color palette while leaving opportunities for color changes later on. 7/12/10 8:53:03 8:53:56 PM FREN p100-125 transitions_.indd 111 7/12/10 8:54:00 8:53:03 PM 7/12/10 8:54:04 PM FREN p100-125 transitions_.indd 113 Panels identify key technical aspects of the painting 7/12/10 8:53:03 8:54:05 PM CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE This is intended as a basic introduction to architecture, as seen through the lens of the fantasy artist. Details, history, methods, features, and construction are all discussed from the point of view of the artist who wants to understand the architecture from a visual perspective, in order to create his or her own fantasy worlds and buildings in a more convincing, realistic, and believable way. 10 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Middle Eastern architecture refers primarily to the styles and designs of Muslim or Arabic architecture, and is distinct in being the architecture of a religion, rather than a region or empire. DEFENSIVE LIVING This is a typical “ksar,” or fortified city, in Morocco. The houses are all joined into a single, central mass, often built into the side of a mountain for extra defense, with a single outer wall to protect it. MIDDLE EASTERN ARCHITECTURE The Byzantine (New Rome) styles and ideas of architecture, which heavily influenced European architecture, eventually leading to the Romanesque style, also had a profound influence on Arabic or Middle Eastern architecture. Combining Byzantine influences with those from Persia and Egypt, the architects of the Middle East developed a style markedly their own, with domed roofs, tall thin minarets, and large, open doorways decorated in bright colors and repeating patterns. The primary building layout is one of an open courtyard surrounded by four walls and covered arcades to provide shelter from the sun, with a flat or domed roof. This basic layout holds for houses, inns, mausoleums, and, most importantly, mosques. SOLKU THE CITY—UNITY T HROUGH COLOR AND SHAPE • JON HODGSON VARIATIONS ON A WATERY T HEME • ROB ALEXANDER • JAIME JASSO This painting is an excellent example of using color and form together to create a visual identity. The rugged, brown mountains and dry, warm palette colors leave no doubt that this is a hot desert climate. Combined with the strong, clean but simple architectural forms, especially the central domed structure at the heart of the city, the viewer is left with an unmistakable impression of age, of a walled city fortress in a desert that has existed for centuries. The use of one-point perspective creates a series of flat planes (the tops of the walls), which both generate a sense of depth and space as they recede and break up the mass of the city, providing just enough definition to create structure and volume in the shapes of the buildings. These two images are a wonderful example of taking something out of its context and creating a new world as a result. Both make extensive use of the soaring minarets, thick stocky towers, and domed roofs to create a world at once both alien and familiar, and both are set in water-based environments, though with very different ways of depicting them. Notice how, even without significantly altering the forms of the towers, domes, and minarets, but playing with their compositional arrangement, size, and placement, the artists were able to create a fantasy world from familiar objects and shapes. 12 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Distinguishing characteristics • Domed roof—a central dome, often with many smaller, off-center, or partial domes covering the mosques and other important structures. • Minarets—tall, thin structures that may be freestanding, or attached to the mosque. • Mathematically based, abstract decoration— the use of geometric, decorative repeating patterns or calligraphy to adorn the structures, as representational art was forbidden. • Central waters— a fountain or pool will be in the center of each courtyard. At a mosque, it will be for ablutions, in a house it will help cool the home in the summer, and provide a private indoor garden. • Cresting—external walls of mosques were frequently capped with decorative crests, similar to, and possibly the inspiration for, crenellations. MIDDLE EASTERN DETAILS HORSESHOE ARCH The Horseshoe or keyhole arch is very common in Middle Eastern architecture. Highly decorated with endless arabesques, it provides the fantasy artist with a wealth of possibilities for personalization and decoration. CRENELLATION Crenellations echoed the shapes and designs of the arabesques found elsewhere in the structure. Beautiful and delicate, they were often designed more for beauty than defense. Byzantine architecture was a dominant force in the Middle East from the time the Roman Empire moved its capital there in 330 a.d., renaming the city Byzantium Constantinople, until its fall to the Turks in 1453, while Arabic or Muslim architecture was the dominant style in many nearby countries, starting around the year 600. Therefore, there was considerable exposure, communication, and influence between the two styles. The architectural styles of the Byzantine Empire also influenced architecture in many Slavic countries, including Russia, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine, and stretched East past the Black Sea and into Asia Minor, so from an artist’s perspective, any discussion of Arabic or Middle Eastern architecture must be related in some way to Byzantine architecture and sensibilities, as well as those of Persia, Turkey, and Egypt. The region covered by Middle Eastern- or Arabic-style architecture is vast, and while there were definite stylistic differences between the regions, the fantasy artist is mainly concerned with the similarities between the forms and the techniques. Chiefly, these are the crenellated walls, domed roofs, and tall, thin towers called minarets, all built around the central open courtyard. The most distinctive structure of Middle Eastern architecture is the mosque, and perhaps the most distinctive feature of the mosque is the multidomed roof. The Ottoman Turks introduced the central-dome mosque after they captured Constantinople in the fifteenth century, most likely inspired by the Hagia Sophia, a monument to architecture and the largest cathedral in the world for nearly 1,000 years. It was in Hagia Sophia that architects perfected the system of placing a round dome over a square-shaped room via the use of pendentives. The multiple domes and partial domes were most often round, shallow, and slightly pointed at the top. The bulbous, onionlike shape or the full rounded domes were not common in most parts of the Middle East. Minarets, the tall, thin towers from which worshipers are called to prayer, are another extremely distinctive and Arabic feature. They can be round, tapering, faceted, or square in MULTIDOMED ROOF Set against the moonlit sky, the multiple domes and partial domes generate a fantasy image all by themselves, the strong, powerful shapes leading the eye upward. A marked departure from the single domes, which are the staple of many Western cathedrals, these cascading forms speak of a culture both ancient and sophisticated, and convey an enduring timelessness. Taken out of context, or combined with non-Arabic styles, they can help you to create a complex and convincing world, rich with culture and history. ARABESQUE MINARET shape, but all will have a base, a shaft, and a gallery, with stairs winding up the exterior in a counterclockwise direction, providing access to the upper gallery, and much-needed structural support for the tower itself. Designed to be a very visible point of focus, and deliberately different from the steeples or bell towers of the Christian religions, the variations in their shape nonetheless serve the fantasy artist well. The majority of those domes and minarets, as well as entryways, walls, and ceilings were decorated extensively, but since the depiction of realistic, representational forms was forbidden, repeating, geometric colors and patterns were often used, as well as calligraphy. Some were brightly colored, some plain, or created by alternating bands of light and dark bricks, or interlocking stones and voussoirs. Again, this is a feature that the fantasy artist can make good use of, both for its aesthetic value as well as to lend a delightful Middle Eastern feel to an image. This love of the decorative and passion for intricate detail is continued on the walls, and on occasion, the roofs in the form of cresting. Sometimes thick and protective, but at other times delicate, thin veneers; they were at all times beautiful, intricate, repeated shapes. The use of the pendentive allowed Hagia Sophia to achieve its incredibly large interior space. These three styles of minaret clearly show the base, shaft, and gallery construction, and the dominance they have over the surrounding structures. The similarities outweigh the differences; for the fantasy artist, as free-standing or attached, round, faceted, or square, short, or tall, they all have a very distinctive character that is unmistakably Middle Eastern. Since the realistic, representational depiction of animals, nature, and people is forbidden in the Koran, the architects and craftsmen of the Middle East developed an intricate, abstract form of decoration. These decorative details are exquisite in their complexity and beauty. They can be found adorning doorways, doors, windows, walls, and domes. Of particular note for the artist is the fact that it is almost impossible to distinguish where exactly a given design originated, as the mathematics that underlies the designs is consistent within the Arabic region. Mathematical precision, symbolic meaning, and the desire to create a pleasing design govern all the calligraphy, abstract motifs, and patterns. PENDENTIVE A pendentive is an arch that spans a wide space and arcs upward and inward at the same time. One arch caps each of the four walls of a large, square open space, and as they rise to meet each other, the increasing wall thickness allows the architect to bring them together in a circular, rather than square shape, so that a dome can be placed on top of it. In this way, a round dome can be placed over the square room, and if need be, an oblong-shaped dome can be placed over a rectangular room. PAINTED CALLIGRAPHIC TILES The use of the Arabic script as a decorative motif is quite common, whether it be on a painted tile, or long thin banners or panels, for example, the side panels of a doorway. Often, it is used to represent natural forms, such as animals. Notice how the script echoes some of the design sensibilities of the row of tiles above it, which may in turn echo the row of crests or crenellations on the top of the wall. ABSTRACT PATTERN The complex, mathematical form is continuous, each part leading to the next, each ending a beginning of another part of the whole, the pattern repeating endlessly. THE DEAD CITY Coming upon the ruins of a strange city on an even stranger, alien world, a group of travelers pauses to stare in wonder. The figures give scale and secondary focus to the image, revealing the skeletal remains to be that of giants, and the world an epic, primal place. The Middle Eastern-inspired city emerges, tattered, ancient, forgotten by time, but recognizable to the viewer primarily through the use of the repeated minaret shapes and the arches and domes we associate with that type of architecture. These familiar shapes work to ground and establish the image, in spite of the alien qualities to the world itself. The image is driven by the concepts of order and pattern in the midst of organic shapes, a contrast of vertical and horizontal planes, and light against dark. Those concepts inspired the creation of the image and guided it, helping to shape the city forms, to emphasize or minimize specific points, and to provide a point of reference to balance the foreground elements against the mid-ground city. COLOR AND FORM Choosing a near monochromatic color palette provided the world with an alien feel, but it also meant that value control would be more important than usual for the image, since the normal color relationships were absent. In spite of the details in the foreground, it is kept darker, more subdued, the features massing together. This is achieved primarily by making sure that the farthest edge from us in the foreground is a near silhouette, so that even with the details in the foreground, the shape itself will read as a shape, clearly set off from the mid-ground, and creating depth and distance from the city. The strong, clear, and crisp features of the minarets and tops of the city towers contrast with the softer, distressed, ethereal qualities of the rest of the city, giving the whole structure a ghostlike quality, almost as if it were only partially here, existing in this world and another simultaneously. The strange, angled rocks of the foreground work with the tree limbs, light passages, and debris littering the ground to direct the eye toward the city, maintaining it as the focus of the image, but they also serve to emphasize the horizontal aspects of the foreground. Even the large, triangular shapes on the far left and right of the image appear like massive, horizontal chunks of the earth that have been pushed up or broken off, both setting off the city and bracketing it; focusing the viewer’s eye on the center of the image and creating contrast with the vertical structures and lines of the city itself. This contrast of the familiar against the unusual or unfamiliar is a good way of creating a world that is different from our own, or an architectural style that is new and different, without losing all points of reference for the viewer and alienating him or her. For the fantasy artist, it’s a powerful tool for storytelling, world creation, and allowing you to explore and experiment visually, building on what exists to convincingly create those things and places that do not. 16 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Romanesque architecture is massive, sturdy, timeless, and enduring with an incredible strength and solidity; it is equally capable of telling stories of grandeur and glory or of faded dreams and empires. ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE Along with Gothic architecture, Romanesque architecture forms the backbone of most traditional European fantasy imagery. Contrary to popular belief, Romanesque architecture is not a continuation of the architecture that the Romans brought into Europe. Much of that knowledge was either lost when the empire collapsed, or never really took hold across most of Europe. Instead, Romanesque architecture sprang from the architecture of the Middle East, particularly the Byzantine Empire, where the Roman style remained in use—with some changes and evolutions—for centuries while Europe fought a series of wars, endured the “Dark Ages,” and experienced the eventual emergence of large, powerful nations, primarily Spain, France, and Germany. The Crusades exposed large portions of the European population to a style of building and design that was grand, durable, and well suited to the construction of churches and castles, which were the most common types of structure being built at the time. UNITY T HROUGH REPETITION 컄 While several different architectural styles were used in this image to create a sense of a world built and rebuilt upon itself time and time again over the centuries, the use of a single, dominant style lends coherence and strength to the image. The repeating forms of the freestanding Romanesque arches and the exposed supports of the ruined wall and arches work with the ruined pillars and statuary to suggest a culture, a place, long ago fallen to ruin. SEEKING OUT THE LIGHT This view from the inside of an arcade clearly shows why they were such a common feature of Romanesque architecture. They created an exterior walkway that was open, inviting, light, and airy, in stark contrast to the dark and oppressive interiors that were so common. USING ELEMENTS TO SUGGEST A STORY 컄 Even though only a portion of a wall or arch is visible, the characteristics of Romanesque architecture read so strongly and clearly that they can instantly give character and direction to your image. The thick walls and rounded arch of this gatehouse are clearly Romanesque in style, and speak of a remote but enduring outpost from a long-lost culture finally swallowed by the sands. With no other architecture in the image, a whole culture is nonetheless suggested, along with a history, generated by painting nothing more than an arch and part of a wall. ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE 17 18 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Distinguishing characteristics • Rounded arches—strong and stable, but very limited by the fact that the shape and the height to width ratio are fixed. • Thick walls—sometimes massive stone blocks, sometimes two thinner shells with rubble between them, their thickness alone clearly indicates Romanesque architecture, even when in ruins. • Massive, sturdy piers—a staple of Romanesque architecture, and an excellent resource for the fantasy artist, the piers are like massive tree trunks, heavy and unmovable. • Barrel and groin vaults— the simplest of vaults, and the most restrictive; a fact that led to the development of the pointed Gothic arch and a whole new style of architecture. • Small windows—the thickness of the walls dictated that windows be small and few in number, lending Romanesque architecture a dim, moody quality of light that is perfect for dark and shadowy fantasy imagery. ROMANESQUE DETAILS SQUAT AND HEAVY 왕 Everything about an architectural style has a purpose. The doorway, bold and open, is also solid and heavy. The size of the stones, the spaces between them, and the sturdy pillars all indicate a need for strength and support. Study these characteristics, and when you are going against character, consider how the changes will fit with the rest of your design. FF TOWARD GOTHIC Groin vaults could be strengthened if ribs were added along their diagonal axis, but the height of the diagonals and the main arches were then different. Attempts to solve this problem eventually led to the use of the pointed arch, one of the most characteristic features of the Gothic style. Unlike the ribbed, Gothic arches, which transmitted their weight vertically as well as outward to specific points along the walls, and could be supported by the flying buttresses, barrel vaults transmitted their load evenly and uniformly outward. Therefore, they needed to be supported along their whole length by thick walls and oversized piers. The primary characteristics of Romanesque architecture are mass and solidity. Whereas Gothic architecture is tall and delicate in appearance, with an emphasis on the vertical, Romanesque is squat and sturdy, with an emphasis on the horizontal; it is enduring, with a sense of permanence that can lend a sad beauty and poetry to fantasy images when it’s in ruins, and a sense of sophistication, credibility, and longevity to a culture when it is intact. Visually, Romanesque architecture can be thought of as compartmentalized. Whereas Gothic architecture was all about creating a large, open, and unified interior space, Romanesque architecture sought to create numerous separate compartments. In general, Romanesque architecture has a dark, somber look and is more sturdy and functional than elegant or decorative. The large stones, small windows, and thick walls can create a wonderfully moody, shadow-filled image, or ruins that seem to have stood for thousands of years. CAPITALS 왕 Form must follow function in architecture, even if the forms are also decorative. Capitals had to support the weight above them. Decorative elements tended to protrude from the base, and were neither weight bearing, nor in any way diminishing from the structural support that the core of the capital provided. ROMANESQUE DETAILS A barrel vault (left) is the simplest type of vaulted roof. It consists of a single circular arch that stretches from wall to wall over the length of a specific space. However, because they transfer the weight they support outward, barrel vaults generally need to be supported on both sides by thick, solid walls, with either small windows or no windows. A groin vault (left) is simply two barrel vaults set at right angles to each other. Because the height to width ratio of the circular arch is fixed, groin vaults almost always enclose a square shape. BARREL AND GROIN VAULTS Especially thick walls were needed to bear the weight and pressure transmitted outward by the arches. Often the walls were actually two thinner shells, with a space between them that was filled with rubble. It was also common to use smaller pieces of masonry with lots of mortar between them to create walls. The increased mortar added strength and durability to the walls, occasionally giving rise to ruins with wonderful, near abstract shapes, when parts of a wall remain tall and intact while others crumble, allowing you considerable flexibility in your design and compositions. In fantasy art, the ruins of these distinctive walls, or their foundations, can convey a great deal about your world. The arch of Tiberius at Leptis Magna, Libya ARCADING One of the most prevalent decorative features of Romanesque architecture is the use of arcades, or rows of columns with rounded arches between them. These could be flush with a wall (blind arcade), or used to create a walkway, such as the dwarf arcades at Speyer Cathedral, Germany, or internal aisles like those at Santa Maria della Pieve in Arezzo, Italy. ROUNDED ARCHES The semicircular arches were made of wedge-shaped bricks or stone. They were strong enough to support the considerable weight of the roofs, but by virtue of their shape, they transferred all the weight outward to the side, and they were very limited in that they had to maintain a constant shape. If the width of the opening changed, so too did the height of the arch. Because the rounded shape was similar to the arches used in Roman architecture, architecture historians dubbed the style Romanesque before they understood that the buildings were not based directly on Roman structures, but instead were influenced by Byzantine architecture. THICK WALLS 19 SMALL W INDOWS The thickness of the walls and the structural support they had to provide meant that any windows had to be small openings, which greatly reduced the amount of light inside the cathedral or castle, giving it a very dark, gloomy feel that is perfect for fantasy imagery. Very small windows might have a simple lintel over them, but most had a rounded arch, as did the majority of the doorways or other openings, in order to reduce the weight directly on them and transfer it to either side of the opening. Use this knowledge to help you determine how far apart ruins can realistically be spread before they would collapse, solve visual problems such as where or how far out of position a wall or pier can be before it would fall apart or the arch collapse, and imagine how the stonework over a door or window might sag and shift after years of abandonment. San Michele, a Catholic basilica church in Rome THE HALLOWED FOUNTAIN Borrowing architectural influences and styles from many periods and places, this image is unified by the repetition of the curved Romanesque arch flanked by twin pillars. PLANNING AND CONCEPT Such a large, complex image requires a lot of planning, and a strong concept to direct and unify it. The driving force became the figure in the center of the fountain, and everything was then designed to reinforce this. All the small figures in the image and all the statues are pointed toward the central figure. The freestanding arch leads both figuratively and literally to the fountain, and the dark shapes on the left and right edges of the image bracket the fountain, keeping the viewer’s eye moving around the composition, but never letting it out to the edge of the canvas. The figure is also set off by the strong contrast of the dark figure against the lighter buildings behind it, and by the color and temperature differences between the cool water and figure and the warm areas behind it. Perhaps the strongest contrast and emphasis of the figure is the way the horizontal lines and emphasis of the architecture are cut by the vertical lines of the figure and the water streams, which all serve to lead the eye toward the central figure. COLOR VALUES Conceptually and compositionally, the whole image can be reduced to a few basic values and shapes, which is vital to keeping the composition strong and focused. Squinting at the image reveals that the buildings and freestanding arch have essentially one value in the lights and one value in the shadows. The ground plane and fountain become a single, dark mass, and the foreground elements are reduced to another single, darker value. Looked at this way, the image reads clearly as a series of value changes or layers, starting dark in the foreground to set the stage, then getting progressively lighter as they recede. If you lay them out this way in the sketch, and sculpt the shadow shapes so that they depict form and provide depth or contrast where needed, even large, complex compositions can be reduced to something easily manageable, and the initial sketch can help keep you from getting lost in the details or losing your value relationships as you work. 22 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Tall, stately, graceful, brooding, romantic, haunted—all these and more apply to Gothic architecture, a staple for the fantasy artist. GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE Gothic architecture is the quintessential fantasy architectural style. From majestic castles and graceful cathedrals to haunted ruins, its distinctive lines and clean, graceful forms are at once beautiful, evocative, dark, and moody, providing versatile building blocks for the fantasy artist. This means you can borrow heavily from Gothic architecture to create imagery that conveys a strong sense of being tall, graceful, airy, and delicate while also looking strong and solid. ESTABLISHING THE GOTHIC MOOD The strong Gothic lines and shapes of the background cathedral carry the entire image, and the height, grace, and openness of the interior space provide the perfect setting for telling the story of a long-abandoned shrine or temple. Even in a ruined state, the immense scale of the cathedral is apparent, and helps lend both a height and elegance to the otherwise squat, Romanesque-style architecture of the main buildings. USING LIGHT The warmth of skillfully added sunlight in this painting creates a peaceful focus to this vaulted space, and highlights the sleeping stone figures on the sarcophagus. Gothic architectural details—softened by climbing foliage—add to the ancient, undisturbed atmosphere. HEAVENLY INSPIRATION The foils (window tracery) reinforce a sense of height, and the sunlight streaming through the windows creates a sense of openness in what would otherwise be a very dark and oppressive interior. 24 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Distinguishing characteristics • Pointed arches— eliminating the keystone and using a pointed arch reduced the sideways thrust, and allowed for variation in the height to width ratio of the arch • Flying buttresses—a system of external supports which transferred the weight of the ceiling outward and downward, allowing for thinner walls • Ribbed vaults— provided additional strength, and channeled the weight of the roof to specific points along the wall and out to the buttresses • Ornamental piers—often with grouped colonnettes or mini pillars, they helped support the lighter roofs, and became decorative as well as functional GOTHIC CAPITALS 컄 GOTHIC DETAILS The primary characteristics of Gothic architecture are its height and delicacy. The use of flying and pier buttresses on the exterior walls allowed for the creation of taller structures with clearly defined interior spaces, while also reducing the overall mass of the buildings. A large portion of the structural weight was channeled through the arches and out into the buttresses, rather than being supported by thick walls and massive pillars. This allowed the arches and columns to be simultaneously taller and more delicate, and thinner walls meant windows—lots and lots of windows. Arches became pointed rather than rounded, eliminating the keystone which reduced the outward thrust and allowed them to maintain a consistent height even if their width changed. Perhaps most importantly, the use of the buttresses also allowed the weight and thrust of the ceiling to be successfully funneled away from the arches to the walls at specific points via the ribbed vaults, allowing for tall, graceful, and well-lit upper stories. Capitals are the decorated caps or tops of columns, and they were at their most varied during the height of Gothic architecture. PILLARS 왓 Because they did not support as much weight as in earlier architecture styles, pillars were often compound, composed of many tall thin columns. These tall thin “ribs” were delicate in appearance and helped create a strong sense of verticality as they soared upward to the ceiling vaults. RIBBED VAULTS Both decorative and functional, the ribs transfer the ceiling’s weight and thrust to specific points on the wall and out to the buttresses. This allows for thinner walls with windows and delicate features in the upper story. The ribs also created a very strong and stable building style that can be thought of as elastic or dynamic, able to adjust well to shifts due to settling or buckling of the masonry. Column capitals, like the piers, are multifaceted and echo the piers below as they lead the eye effortlessly up to the ribs above. PIERS 컄 Because the weight on the pillars was less, the piers, while still strong supports, became more fanciful and decorative, their faces broken up with many facets and planes. • Multi-foil windows— window tracery became elaborate, reenforcing the sense of height and delicacy of the architecture WOODEN HAMMERBEAMS 왕 Hammerbeams consist of a series of trusses, repeated at intervals, to transmit the weight and thrust of the roof as low as possible in the supporting wall. Intricately carved, beautiful, and functional, they serve the same purpose as ribbed vaults, lending an elegance and beauty to the interior lines while at the same time directing the weight of the roof above and maintaining the sense of open space and light. BUTTRESSES 왓 The flying buttresses or arms (A) transfer the thrust outward and downward to the pier buttresses (B). Note how all the elements work together to reinforce the sense of the vertical, from the window foils and the lower arch to the buttress and pinnacles. The silhouette created is very evocative and unified. Emphasizing these features can give your image complexity, direction, and cohesion, whether you’re painting romantic fantasy or haunted ruins. Remember, the spaces between the buttresses are often windows and the arms may be roofed over, creating alcoves and spaces (C), to allow you to play with light, shadow, and volume. W INDOW TRACERY 왕컅 Through the fourteenth century the tracery geometry became much more complicated and subtle; the complex patterns of the decorated style were created by combining parts of circles to form flowing designs. Types of tracery shown from top left to bottom right: early English, geometric, decorated, perpendicular. BASE MOLDINGS 왓 Moldings decorated the base of columns, ensuring that every available surface was beautiful and graceful. 26 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE HOODMOLDS 왓 The hood protected the area beneath it from rainwater, and the dripstones helped channel the rainwater down the columns. GOTHIC BUILDINGS 왓 DRIPSTONES 컅컄 Although there was considerable variation in the structural forms, the pointed arch is so strongly associated with Gothic architecture as to be inseparable. Whether single or in multiples, plain, ornate, or enhanced with widow foils, the basic shape will instantly convey a Gothic sensibility to your image. Consider also adding Gothic touches to non-traditional Gothic forms, such as the rectangular window, in order to convey a sense of history and character to your image that might have resulted from renovations, rebuilding or a change in the ruling power of your world. Dripstones are the ornamental end caps to the hoodmold or drip mold, a lip which projects out over a window, door, or sill, acting very much like a combination umbrella and gutter. Water was funneled along and down the hoodmold to the dripstones, where it ran down the wall, pier, or buttress and away from the opening of the door or window. Dripstones were most often carved in decorative leaf and floral motifs, or else in grotesques or chimeras, similar to the gargoyle rainspouts. Rectangular hoodmolds, such as the one in the drawing of the rectangular window above, were called labels, and served the same function. GOTHIC DETAILS 왓 The qualities of Gothic architecture which allowed for its soaring heights, delicate stone work and well-lit interiors also opened the way for much more decorative treatments of the various features. Flying and pier buttresses, columns and supporting piers, and bases were carved and decorated, but so too were windows, doors, and walls. The pointed arch motif was prevalent, as were vertical lines and tapering forms, and in all things, there was a sense of the vertical, a lifting of the eye toward the heavens, as the drawing left clearly shows. GOTHIC DOORWAYS 컄 Unlike their squat, heavy Romanesque counterparts that had to support the considerable weight above and on either side of them, Gothic doorways could be taller, thinner, and more graceful, echoing the characteristics of the building itself. Deep hoods, called archivolts, were often highly decorated and carved, and the use of decorative colonettes, piers, and cable molding provides the fantasy artist a wealth of choices for making your world unique and expressive. ARCHES The classical Gothic features—a pointed arch and colonnettes on decorative bases (piers)—present the fantasy artist with a versatile template that is easy to build from. Start to think about what you want your picture to say, and what forms and shapes will allow you to most clearly convey that to the viewer. GOTHIC CREATURES Decorative gargoyle-like shapes that do not channel water are called grotesques or chimeras. They may have partially served simply as decorative elements, to beautify the building exterior, to move the eye toward the heavens, and to call attention to the building itself, and for the fantasy artist, their variety presents unlimited opportunities for expressing the character and personality of your world. GARGOYLES A gargoyle is basically an elaborate waterspout or rain spout—a long, thin projecting sculptural element that overhangs the roof and directs water away from the building, preventing it from running down the walls and eroding the mortar that binds the masonry. Often carved in fantastical animal forms, they became very prevalent in Gothic architecture, as the presence of the flying buttress meant that water could be easily channeled from the roofs to the buttresses and then to the gargoyles and out over the clearstory and away from the building. Gargoyles are seldom used singularly, but are rather in rows or clusters. TEMPLE GARDEN The central tower incorporates many Gothic elements, and the overall design mimics the floor plan of a traditional cathedral, but it’s all given a fantastical twist. The central tower dominates, flanked by the traditional two-tower arrangement. Pinnacles and window tracery—which is repeated in the external fluting and multi-storied windows—are all traditional Gothic elements, recognizable enough to make meaningful associations in our mind, but pushed into the fantasy realm by the setting and the scale. PAINTING TECHNIQUES The initial concept was for a truly majestic cathedral, with natural and manmade elements in harmony, on an epic scale, and everything in the image was chosen to support that direction. Beginning by combining and overlaying numerous pencil sketches, the composition was refined and details added, balancing the many complex elements against a strong, simple composition. Color was added in Photoshop, rough values established, then the image was archival printed, sealed, and mounted on Masonite before being finished with oil paints. The sweeping curves of the walls are smooth, with the textures coming mainly from the foliage, integrating nature into the structure and allowing the eye to easily travel up and into the central tower. The curves of the ceiling gently bring the eye back down into the composition on the right, where the walkway leads us again into the center. The loop repeats, the eye keeps moving in and up, constantly reinforcing the sense of majesty that was the initial concept and driving force of the image. 30 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Perhaps it’s the unusual shapes of the buildings, or the glyphlike writings in their distinctive square blocks, or the fact that so many of the remaining Mesoamerican cities, pyramids, and temples were nearly consumed by the lush, overgrown jungle, but whatever the root cause, there is a strong sense of the alien mystique to the ruins of Central and South America. MESOAMERICAN ARCHITECTURE For the fantasy artist, Mesoamerican architecture refers primarily to the complex cities, step pyramids, and great temples of the Central and South American peoples, most commonly the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans. Unlike the Egyptian pyramids, which stand tall and proud in their desert environment, long explored and documented, the architecture of Mesoamerica, so recently rediscovered and so little understood, seems shrouded in mystery, a link to a past that is as remote and impenetrable as the jungle that hides it. A blend of the primitive and the sophisticated, where post-and-lintel construction dominated and neither the arch nor the wheel was known, and yet the stonework was so masterfully cut that it had no need of mortar to bind it together and holds together still, as tightly strong as the day it was built. The Mesoamericans had complex, fully developed systems of mathematics, medicine, astronomy, trade routes, and writing. Their decorative stone carving—sculptures and glyphlike writing—was crafted with such skill that much of it survives, despite centuries of weathering and erosion and the deliberate attempts of the Spanish conquistadores to destroy it. GEOMETRICAL SYMBOLOGY AND STYLIZATION Geometric stylization, circular designs, spiral motifs, and strong, clean lines are distinctively Mesoamerican. Note how in the painting below, the sphinx, an image firmly associated with Egypt, reads more as Mesoamerican because of the angular, stylized design and emphasis on the flat planes and horizontal axis, which echoes the design of the pyramid. MIXING REFERENCES • DON MAITZ Combining characteristics of several different cultures, the design (shown in thumbnail format, left, and painted, below) holds together due to the strong, clean lines and bold shapes of the image. The steep, smoothsided pyramid has definite Egyptian overtones, but the entrances on all four sides, the tablero style of cap, and figureheads lend a decidedly Mesoamerican flavor. An excellent example of borrowing from real-world sources, but use them as a starting point, not an end point for your design. Note also the way the drifting plumes of smoke break up what would otherwise be a very static composition. MESOAMERICAN ARCHITECTURE PLACING A STRUCTURE IN AN ENVIRONMENT Capitalizing on the overgrown jungle and warm tropical feel of the setting and color scheme, which echo our own world, the pyramid is styled along the lines of a traditional Mesoamerican structure and reads clearly in spite of the extra levels, the lack of a temple capping the pyramid, and the odd design. The strong, clean lines give a sense of strength, permanence, and solidity when juxtaposed against the lush jungle environment, as if the building has stood, somehow protected or safe from the ravages of nature. The steps are recognizable to the viewer, a known quantity, and therefore they establish a scale for the pyramid, giving a large, epic feel to the image. 31 32 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Distinguishing characteristics • Post and lintel construction—the keystone was unknown in preColumbian architecture, so there were no true arches, and hence buildings tended to be low and wide, rather than tall. • Spiritual symbolism—the cities were laid out to reflect the heavens and the underworld with the temples, stelae, and ball court forming the axis mundi between the north and south halves. • Step pyramids— constructed in the taludtablero style of flat platforms on top of angled slopes or sides. • Highly decorated— frequent use of carvings, inscriptions, and sculptural relief on lintels, friezes, doorways, and colonettes. “Stone of the Sun,” the Aztec calendar stone MESOAMERICAN DETAILS SPIRITUAL SYMBOLISM The pyramid with the temple on top was the axis mundi of the city, the spiritual center of the culture. Centrally located, the temple was the highest point, closest to the heavens and the gods. It was situated at the crossroads of the compass points and aligned to the position of the sun or stars on specific days of the year, often equinoxes, to capture or create certain lighting effects on certain days of the year. There seems to have been very little significant change to the style of building, so even palaces or temples that took hundreds of years to complete have a harmonious and unified look. Cities that could have held 100 to 150 thousand inhabitants were laid out with a precision and order that bespoke of considerable skill and knowledge. For the fantasy artist, even the suggestion of a large, orderly city peeking through dense jungle growth can be a powerful visual, or the ruins of a simple post-and-lintel doorway, perhaps with painted runes or graffiti on them, telling a story within a story. The large Mesoamerican cities were an attempt to create a tangible manifestation of the heavens and earth, and embody the spiritual beliefs of the people. The northern parts of the city represented the underworld, and held tombs and other related structures, whereas the southern end represented life and held residences, markets, and monuments to the nobility. Between the two were likely to be the stelae, or standing stones, which represented the world tree that holds the heavens and connects them to the earth, pyramids topped by great temples, and the ball court, which may have represented the meeting point between heaven and the underworld, a place of crossing over. On the plains, the tops of temples were built with tall roof combs projecting upward to create a mountain, so that the ancestors’ spirits, which lived in mountains, would have a place to reside within the city. STEP PYRAMIDS ARTISTIC VARIATION Use the variation in pyramid design to your advantage. The viewer will recognize the basic design of the step pyramid, even if you alter the shape, placement, spacing, or number of tableros. Create your own temple and pyramid shapes, play with complexity by drawing three-, four-, or even six-sided designs, or try curved rather than straight staircases. You will find you can easily create a unique world that will still echo ours but allow you to capitalize on viewers’ knowledge of the Mesoamerican mystique. Several variations of the step pyramid design were used, but all tended to follow a similar pattern. The variations, which may well have arisen through changes in leadership as one region conquered another, or through trade or other contact, give the fantasy artist considerable latitude in design. The basic structure or pattern is one of steep sloping sides, called taluds, capped with flat, tablelike sections called tableros. There may have been multiple tableros breaking up the sloped side. Some were rectangular in profile, others were undercut or multilayered. Temples were situated on top of the pyramids, making them closer to heaven than any other point of the city, the axis mundi of the Mesoamerican city. Xaibe Mayan Mayan pyramid in pyramid in El Tajin, Mexico Coba, Mexico MASTERFUL STONE CUTTING Lacking wheels, pulleys, or metal tools but possessing a tremendous supply of manpower, the Mesoamerican peoples managed to cut, shape, move, and assemble intricate stonework and massive blocks of limestone. In part this was possible because limestone, when first cut from the quarry, is soft enough to work with stone tools. After time and exposure to the air, it hardens considerably. This allowed precise cutting and fitting of large blocks of stone, leaving gaps so small that a knife blade will scarcely slip through, to create walls and structures that retain their integrity after centuries of abandonment and exposure to the elements. FANTASY LANGUAGES The best known of the Mesoamerican writing systems is the Mayan. Its distinctive square-cut blocks, into which the picture glyphs were carved, provide fantasy artists with a wealth of possibilities for creating cultures and landscapes that will nonetheless still resonate strongly with viewers. Look for ways to echo other cultures or their iconography in your work, in order to lend a complexity and sense of reality and history to it. One of fantasy’s most influential stories, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, was often described by its author as a story loosely fitted around the languages he created. The more you can bring into your images from real-world sources, at least in spirit, the stronger your images are going to be. A classic example of pre-Toltec style at Chichén Itzá HIGHLY DECORATED From numerous carvings of figures and deities to heavily inscribed and decorated friezes, lintels, columns, doors, and even steps, the Mesoamericans showed an incredible skill in carving and decorating their cities. POST-AND-LINTEL CONSTRUCTION Not having the keystone or rounded arch, the Mesoamericans were limited to the use of the corbeled arch, a simple staggering of bricks or blocks to create an opening in a wall or a doorway. These pseudo-arches are structurally much less strong than a true arch, and so many of the buildings were long and wide, or else relied on the massive limestone blocks for support. MISTIKAN • JAIME JASSO This digital painting uses familiar forms to create an entirely new world. The typical “talud tablero”-style pyramids, roof combs, and long flights of stairs are familiar—the flanking towers and walkways usher in the realm of fantasy. USE EXISTING STYLES TO CREATE UNIQUE WORLDS Understanding architectural styles and forms, in this case Mesoamerican, allows you to create new forms, shapes, and structures that seamlessly build a unique world. Each new element should look as if it belongs to the same city, complex, or building, while at the same time, mixing elements gives you freedom to design the image and composition without constraint. TARGETING THE GAZE The dark foreground and hills bracket the center of the image, focusing the eye on the middle pyramid first; the strong contrast and clean, straight lines separating it from the organic shapes that surround it. From there, the little spit of green land at the bottom right of the pyramid, the arc of the back hills, and the ribbon of water in the foreground all lead the eye to the right, and the true heart of the image: the multitiered temple, shrouded in mist and mystery. The careful use of line, value, and color within the composition are what allow this deliberate directing of the eye. There is relatively little contrast in the foreground elements, allowing them to become a large, dark, framing mass. The values of the mid-ground elements are very subtly rendered, with the warm lights of the central pyramid set against the cool darks of the hill, and the darks of the temple set against the lighter value of the sky. The touches of sunlight on both the hills and manmade structures add points of accent that help move the eye throughout the composition. The strong, repeating diagonals of the hills, pyramids, stones, water ripples, and tree branches echo and reinforce the shapes of the pyramids as well as the vertical nature of the roof combs and temples atop the right-hand pyramid. They break the vertical lines, making them appear taller and allowing them to become the natural focal point of the image. 36 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE The Vikings exploded into the pages of European history in 793 when they sailed to Lindisfarne (Holy Island), burning and looting, but before writing them off as bloodthirsty barbarians, it is worth remembering that they were a sophisticated culture, highly skilled in many arts. VIKING STRUCTURES Courageous, fearless, strong, aggressive lovers of battle, adaptable, loyal, and noble—all these apply to the Vikings. The image of them as fearless, bloodthirsty warriors, demons from hell who had it in for the Christians, was painted by a people on the losing side, and is as one-sided as it is misguided. The Vikings were raiders, to be sure, seeking treasure, livestock, and slaves, but they were also traders, adventurers, and explorers whose legacy is still with us today. They left their mark across Europe from Dublin and York to Paris, Kiev, and Constantinople. The Vikings lived, explored, and thrived in a variety of climates and locations that heavily influenced their building materials and methods, from the longhouses walled and roofed with sod in Iceland and Greenland to the wooden-framed wattle and daub houses of Ireland. Regardless of the materials used, however, there was a consistency to the designs and layout of Viking architecture. WOODWORKING SKILLS The Viking tradition of artistry and functionality, shown in these carvings, provides the fantasy artist with a rich legacy, full of visuals that capture the imagination every bit as much as Celtic knot work or Gothic arches. In fact, without their famous wooden longships, which were strong, flexible, and durable in the extreme, the Vikings could not have traveled, traded, or expanded as they did. AN ENDURING COMBINATION OF CULTURES Ranging in height from a few feet to over thirty, intricately carved circular cross-stones originally marked crossroads and boundary points, as well as being public monuments. Distinguishing characteristics • Longhouse—communal family living, originally shaped to match an upturned longship. • Stave church—displaying masterful woodworking prowess, these were as sturdy and beautiful, and as lovingly made and decorated as any longship. • Woodworking skills— from longships and churches to sleds, wagons, and weathervanes, the Vikings’ finesse with woodworking, joining, and carving was superb. • Material variation— building with what they had at hand, and adapting to their environment. VIKING STRUCTURES STAVE CHURCH LONGHOUSE Stave churches were elegant examples of a synthesis of the eastern European cog-jointed styles of building and western European stave-post styles. The churches were once a common sight all across northwest Europe. Church interior is shown above right. These long, low houses, built mainly of wood with thatch or sod for a roof, and, in some climates, sod for the north wall to create additional insulation, are the quintessential Viking architecture. A central hearth provided light and heat, as there were seldom windows, in order to conserve heat. Early versions of the longhouse were tapered at both ends. The lord’s longship was wintered upside down on the roof, so the house was shaped to match. In later variations, high roofs with a steep pitch kept rain and snow from accumulating, and smoke vents at either end allowed the worst of the fire’s smoke and ash to escape. Interiors were still somewhat smoky, especially the loft, and with the lack of window, often gloomy and dim—a perfect mood-setting condition for the fantasy artist, where shadows play tricks on the eyes and suggestions of form create mysteries. MATERIAL VARIATION The Vikings employed a wide range of materials, from wood to sod to thatch to wattle and daub, applying them to the construction methods and designs they had developed. There was very little in the way of transportation infrastructure on land, so moving materials any distance became very difficult, leading to a reliance on readily available materials, and, often, the need to build close to fjords and rivers. 37 38 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE With their flaring, curved rooflines, low, wide expanses, and near seamless integration with nature, the temples, palaces, and pagodas of Asia encapsulate a look at once both alien and beautiful to Western eyes. ASIAN ARCHITECTURE Like the buildings of the Vikings, much of the architecture of Asia is constructed of wood, rather than stone. The unusual designs, superb craftsmanship, and distinctive shapes have influenced modern architects and fantasy artists alike. From their distinctive sloping roofs and ornate decoration to their harmonious relationship with the natural world, fantasy art borrows heavily from Asia to create worlds at once exotic, beautiful, alien, and remote. The cultural refinement and elegance of Asia is a world apart from the gritty, muddy, sweat-stained knights besieging European castles. CLIFFSIDE LIVING The gently sloping rooflines, slightly flared walls and tiered design of this monastery in Bhutan create an Asian style and integrate the building with its surroundings. DOMINATING ROOFLINES • JON HODGSON The central towers, above, are not Asian in style or shape, but the wide, low roofs with a curved flare convey the Asian sensibility. Remember that sometimes all you need is the suggestion of a style, or part of a recognizable type of architecture, to establish the look of the entire image. In the final painting, below, other Asian characteristics have been added—the castle and surrounding walls have a distinctly Asian feel, even in this fantastical setting. ASIAN ARCHITECTURE THE OLD INFLUENCING THE MODERN • LORENZ HIDEYOSHI Despite strong verticals—which should lead the viewer's eye up and off the page—the emphasis of the rooflines, echoed by the balconies, water puddles, and the wires connecting the two buildings all serve to emphasize the horizontal, boxing in the composition and creating a much more intimate setting. The traditional Asian features are introduced into a modern setting to create an image that is both very distinct and approachable. USING VISUAL SYMBOLS • ANTHONY WATERS Sometimes, all that is needed are one or two visual characteristics to convey a style. In this example, the curved, hornlike projections that jut from the ends of the roofs and the large brick edge pattern of the right-hand building reference an Asian influence. 39 40 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Distinguishing characteristics • Wooden construction— fine workmanship, detail, and decoration. • Dominated by the roofs—distinctive, curved, sloping roof shape is both functional and sturdy, and common to all of Asia. • Emphasis on the horizontal axis—the focus was on the width of buildings or complexes, as well as on symmetry and balance. • Integration with the natural world—these structures did not squat in the landscape; they nestled gently into it, looking almost as if they grew there. • Rounded, arched bridges—in a land with so many rivers and mountains, bridges are a must, and the rounded Asian bridge is as distinctive as the sloped, curved rooflines. ASIAN DETAILS A Chinese “pai-lou,” a monumental arch Whether it be the typical long, low houses, palaces, and temples, or the tall, thin pagodas, there is a very strong visual unity, balance, and symmetry to the overall design and layout of Asian architecture. A reverence for the natural world is reflected in the way that structures are embedded in their environment so as to look natural themselves, a part of the wilderness. This is a stark contrast to the European style, where castles and fortresses sit like scars upon mountains, or on hastily erected earthen hills, dominating and overpowering the natural world. Even cathedrals were intended to show man’s power over nature, a bending of the natural world to his will. Disturbing nature so strongly, according to Asian beliefs, would have dire consequences at both the spiritual and magical level. or gateway A Japanese pagoda, originally built in 730 A.D. Chinese Continuity China is the world’s oldest continuous civilization, thriving for thousands of years as essentially a single empire. (The Western Roman Empire, by contrast, lasted a mere 500 years.) Existing in isolation for the first few centuries, China developed a sophisticated, orderly, and functional style of architecture and city planning, which—from the fantasy artist’s perspective—changed remarkably little over the centuries as it gradually spread across and influenced almost all of Asia. One of the main reasons for this lack of change was the necessity of building with wood, whose inherent characteristics discourage significant changes or innovation in building styles. Also, the strongly held Confucian beliefs of the Chinese discouraged deviation from past traditions and styles, even down to the rules for the use of color, ornamentation, and decoration to declare the social status of a homeowner and the colors that could be used for the temple roofs. Rooms, buildings, and cities were symmetrical, orderly, and uniform. A traditional Chinese “moon gate” (a circular opening in a wall leading to a garden or courtyard) BALANCE AND SYMMETRY Round doors are not just for hobbits. In keeping with the principles of balance, symmetry, order, and continuity that underlie Chinese architecture, rounded doors, called moon gates, were commonly built as entryways to the interior gardens and courtyards. A Chinese Buddhist temple WOODEN CONSTRUCTION Workable stone was scarce across much of Asia, so wood was the natural choice of building material. The constant threat of fire, the frequent earthquakes of Japan, and the rapid deterioration of wood meant buildings frequently needed to be rebuilt or repaired. This was a much easier task with wooden structures. Even moving an entire building or city was possible if it was wood, rather than stone. In Japan, it was common to intentionally destroy a temple every twenty years and rebuild an exact replica. A traditional Japanese tea house Japanese Refinement The Japanese, while heavily influenced by Chinese styles and design, sought to refine their buildings, striving for a delicate, wellbalanced symmetry, with a decorative beauty and workmanship akin to fine art. A good example of this is the Japanese system of compound brackets, which support the roofs. These intricate forms are as complex, beautiful, and structurally sound as any of the stone capitals in Europe. Like the roofs they support, the brackets have an almost indefinable “Japanese” character to them, as iconic as Doric capitals or the Gothic arch, and just as much of a staple for the fantasy artist in creating interesting, evocative worlds. Japanese compound brackets Front view of the Grand Shrine of Izumo, Japan Matsumoto Castle, Japan 42 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE ROUNDED, ARCHED BRIDGES Whereas bridges themselves are hardly unique to Asia, the distinctly arched, curving bridge, usually made of stone, is so strongly linked to Asia that, even with no other architecture evident in a painting, the viewer will automatically presume a cultural and aesthetic sensibility that mirrors or mimics the Asian. This effect can be particularly powerful when juxtaposed against other clearly non-Asian elements in a picture, or when a setting requires a sense of elegance, refinement, or sophistication. A kondo (or “golden hall”), a sacred hall within a Buddhist temple EMPHASIS ON THE HORIZONTAL AXIS Often there was no separation or distinction between sacred and secular architecture or between great and lesser houses. All tended to follow the same basic plan, and to express a similar emphasis on the horizontal, or width. The long, low styles, the flaring roofs, and the large compounds all reinforced the wide, spreading nature of the structures. Detail of rooftop at Matsumoto Castle, Japan Byodo-in or “Pheonix Hall,” in Uji, Japan ASIAN DETAILS 43 INTEGRATION WITH THE NATURAL WORLD A key feature in all Asian architecture is a respect for, and integration with, the natural world. Where possible, structures are nestled carefully into the environment. Artificial lakes or woodlands in temple compounds and palace grounds are created with an artlessness that looks natural and unlabored. This is a feature perhaps as distinctive and defining as the shapes of the roofs for the fantasy artist, for it immediately marks the setting as distinct and different from the European norm, even if the castles are straight out of the Middle Ages or Gothic period. Shibi, a type of architecural ornamentation in the shape of a dolphin’s tail DOMINATED BY THE ROOFS The roof is the chief feature in almost all Asian structures, a dominating element that strongly dictates much of the layout of the house or temple, and which was emphasized, not downplayed as the Greeks or Romans did. Their method of construction was unique as well. Unlike their European counterparts, who raised a row of columns and then built the roof on top of them, resting it on the capitals, Asians built the framework for the roof first. From that, they determined the placement of the columns. The columns were then built under the roof framework, raising it up. The trusses that gave the roof its structural strength were formed of bamboo, held together by wooden tenons in rigid rectangles, not triangles. This allowed the weight of the roof to be transmitted vertically, not outward, and necessitated the use of compound brackets, which attached the columns directly to the roof trusses without capitals. In this way, the roof was supported by rows of large, straight tree-trunk pillars of columns, not by the walls, which were thin, delicate, and entirely unsuited to bearing heavy loads. Imagine what your picture might convey if the walls became even more decorative, or lacelike, or incorporated visual elements from other architectural styles. Try creating a world with a hint of Asia and a hint of Gothic in the fjords of Norway. PALACE IN THE CLOUDS As was the case with the complex images on pages 16–17 and 20—21, this image combines elements from multiple styles, types, and time periods of Asian architecture as well as made-up elements. The need and challenge to create a detailed, “City of the Gods” illustration required an image that had the feel of a quintessential Asian structure, without looking like anything specifically Japanese, Chinese, or any other Asian culture. LIGHTING AND COMPOSITION Backlighting was chosen to give a strong “divine light” feel to the image, and that naturally suggested roofs that were lighter on top, darker underneath in order to work with the lighting, rather than against it, and the use of the cool tones throughout meant that the warm colors of the central towers would clearly stand out as the focus of the image Compositionally, the emphasis of the horizontal axis in the architecture is supported and echoed by the strong horizontal bands of clouds and the mists, maintaining the characteristics of Asian architecture and giving an innate credibility to the image. They read and define the image in spite of the many vertical pillars and towers, largely because of the strong use of the dark undersides of the rooflines to clearly create dark or shadow shapes, which will read well and establish the architectural forms while also creating depth and space in the image. 46 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHITECTURE Modern materials and construction allow for feats of design and construction that seem almost magical in their scope and execution. From gleaming glass and metal utopias to crowded, sooty metropolises, modern architecture presents the fantasy artist with a broad, unlimited canvas. NOISY NEIGHBORS • PAUL BOURNE MODERN AND FUTURIST ARCHITECTURE Although there are limits to what modern architecture materials can do, or how tall buildings can be, or exactly what shapes can be created, for the fantasy artist, these limits become much less meaningful or confining, especially when creating images of the future. There is such an endless variety of building materials, styles, locations, and functions that limits become almost irrelevant. On the other hand, rules like perspective, lighting, mood, scale, depth, and proportion become even more crucial, as so many of the traditional visual clues are absent or distorted. NIGHT AND DAY Noon on a clear, sunny day is not always the best choice of lighting, and with all the artificial lights of different colors, reflective surfaces and materials, and moods available in a painting of modern or futurist architecture, the choices of lighting, time of day, and mood are almost endless. Some images will naturally suggest a time of day, but if yours does not, don’t hesitate to experiment and try multiple solutions to see what will best convey the mood, atmosphere, and quality of the image. Creating such a complex, futuristic environment requires an ability to capture mood, lighting, and texture, and to reduce the composition to fundamental, abstract shapes without losing the focus or story to the image. This wonderful example makes good use of atmospheric perspective, large simple shapes, and mood to focus our attention on the foreground towers, which are richly textured and detailed. Once the pattern has been established for them, the eye of the viewer will transfer that pattern to other objects in the image, allowing the creation of a complex image without the loss of clarity or focus on the central portion of the image. DIFFERENT APPROACHES • FRANCO BAMBILLA (TOP) • PAUL BOURNE (BOTTOM) The top image suggests a densely populated utopian city bursting at the seams, built up over the years and complex in nature. The range of colors, shapes, and sizes indicate a place that has evolved. The lower image is mood driven, the buildings all painted in the same colors, textures, and materials, in order to create a sense of mass and uniformity. Atmospheric perspective is used to reduce the city elements to a large, solid shape. The city environment is a gritty, industrial, overcrowded metropolis of the future. LIGHTING Distinguishing characteristics • Continuity without uniformity— cities do not spring up all at once, so don’t make them look too uniform. • Character —especially in future settings, look for ways to give your architecture visual character and identity. • Form follows function—with such a variety of materials and styles possible, strive to let your design reflect something of the nature and character of your architecture, the function of your building, and the materials it’s made of. Modern and future cities can be lit from any angle, in any color, or combination of colors, which itself can create rich, complex atmospheres and moods. The exhausts, smoke, and steam from buildings can generate atmospheric perspective like haze and diffuse lights strongly and effectively. MODERN AND FUTURIST DETAILS Modern architecture usually involves the creation of an entire city or complex, rather than an individual building, castle, or cathedral. Even if the focus of the image is a single building or small group of structures, it is most likely that other buildings will be visible in the mid- and background. This means that you must strive to find ways to simplify your image, to maintain the focus or concept, and to work with shape (both positive and negative) and value, as much as perspective or color. Start by creating a sense of space or depth, with mood, color, lighting, or perspective, even in your rough sketches as a way to establish the focus and emphasis you want. Learn to think in terms of shape, perspective, atmosphere, light, and color, and remember that especially with modern or futuristic images, there are very few limits on shape or size of your structures. Your image may convey a shallow depth of field or it may encompass miles of space, in which case you must handle the elements with a strong use of picture-making fundamentals in order to maintain a sense of space, depth, scale, and proportion. Look for ways to introduce variations of size, materials, colors, or textures in order to help break up the masses of your image or establish a focus or center of interest. MATERIALS Most cities are built up over the centuries, with buildings being constantly added, removed, renovated, and updated. This means that there are a wide variety of surface materials and textures to choose from when you design your city, from stone and concrete to chrome, weathered metal, plastic, or glass. Learn to look at the world around you from the perspective of light and texture, and make a study of the way details, color, texture, and form are revealed by the different surfaces, as well as what intrinsic mood, character, or story each has to tell, in order to create your own worlds and tell the stories you want to tell. For example, a gleaming tower of glass and chrome will look much different in the midst of a drab, industrial setting than it would rising from the lush green hills of an Asian harbor or the sands of an arid, rocky environment. As the context changes, so too does the story the building tells, the history of the setting, or the culture and mood of the people who populate your story. BUILDING SHAPE AND STRUCTURE Buildings shapes can range from rigid, linear designs to the abstract, sometimes combining both in a single structure. Proper use of perspective, scale, and proportion become crucial when dealing with buildings that are irregular in shape. Look for ways to simplify their shapes, or establish the perspective and depth with secondary structures, so that the viewers know what they are looking at, and to give yourself a guide for the design of your buildings or cityscape. 49 CRASH SITE • LORENZ HIDEYOSHI Sometimes it’s the deliberate differences and dominating quality of the structure that tells your story or that conveys your idea. In this image, the crashed ship reads first as a building, its scale and location making it seem like a part of the city that dominates the other structures around it. What at first reads as a building deliberately designed to dominate its surroundings, proclaiming its mastery like Ozymandias's statue is then revealed to be the wreck of a crashed ship, creating a story within a story and engaging the viewer. INSPIRATIONAL BUILDINGS Modern architecture is full of buildings that resemble space ships, giant sails, staircases, tubes, and tunnels—almost anything you can imagine. Modern construction material and techniques allow for such a wide variety of design and form that the fantasy artist is truly limited only by his or her imagination. Challenge the accepted ideas and conventions, let your mind go, and you will find there is little difference between creating a city of the far future, where impossible-seeming angles and shapes hold together almost in defiance of logic or physics, and creating a castle or cathedral held together and shaped by the forces of magic. MEGA-STRUCTURE • LORENZ HIDEYOSHI Creating a complex, large cityscape can seem daunting at first, but by breaking down the process, working with value, shape, perspective, and keeping a central concept in mind, the process is made manageable. FOCUS In this painting, the focus is on the large central tower structure, which dominates the center of the image. All the lines and shapes of perspective lead the eye toward the structure, as do the clouds, the water in the mid- ground, and the helicopters. The city itself is organized into large shapes, separated by value, texture, and vertical points of emphasis, with the distant parts merging into a single mass. Selective details and buildings provide scale, depth, and form, and clearly establish the perspective. The base of the mega-structure is the only strong horizontal band of light value, drawing the eye and anchoring the tower. The water in the middle of the image further isolates and emphasizes the structure, providing a light but cool passage that contrasts with the warm colors of the structure's lights. The foreground is similarly treated as a large mass, darker than the mid-ground, its contrast reduced so as not to compete with the central tower. The details and buildings in the lower-right corner work to establish a pattern, scale, and perspective, and by setting them against the reflected light of the water and the misted background, they read clearly without dominating the image or detracting from the center of interest. CHAPTER 2 PICTURE-MAKING TECHNIQUES A knowledge of architecture requires an equally strong knowledge of art techniques to bring your imagination to life. This chapter covers the basics, with the emphasis on drawing and painting architecture and understanding lighting, perspective, mood, drama, and color theory as it specifically applies to drawing and painting architecture. 54 PICTURE-MAKING TECHNIQUES LIGHT, SHADOWS, VALUES, AND SHAPES Painting is all about light—you are never just painting a building, you are painting the effects of light on that building. Light reveals the nature of your buildings and gives a focus to your image, whereas shadows provide the three-dimensional structure and the framework. The center of interest in your image will always be in the light. Highlights Look for highlights where a plane changes direction, or at the corners of objects. Remember that the highlight will usually be influenced more by the color of the light source than by the object being illuminated. Because you are striving to create the illusion of brightness, or its absence, always look for contrasts, for ways to strengthen the illusion you are crafting. To make the highlight you paint look as strong and bright as possible, place a cool highlight on a warm object, or a warm highlight on a cool object. This will create not only value contrast, but also color and temperature. Other ways to make your lights look brighter are to darken the areas around them, or to add more color in the transition zone between the light and shadow areas and reduce the amount of color in the highlight. The brighter a highlight, the less color you will see in it. In your light areas, strive to have only one dominating element—either the value or the color, but not both. Shadows Keep the paint in your shadows thin and smooth, and avoid adding unnecessary details or information to them. Shadows should be sections of the painting that the viewer’s eye Key Points • Choose your lights— decide what type of lighting will best convey your idea, your initial concept. • Be consistent—once you have decided on a type of light, be consistent with it throughout the image. • Closer is always more—the closer an object is to t