Monday, 11 February 2013

How I Create Black and White Illustrations

Hey guys, just thought I'd do a quick blog update on how I create my black and white London city illustrations. This one is the 453 bus route, which I got from New Cross Gate (South London) to Trafalgar Square. In this particular piece, I used an A1(841 x 594 mm) piece of tracing paper, and I began in the bottom left corner. 

453 bus route illustration London
453 Bus Route, London

So, here are at the bottom left of the page. I'm starting my journey at New Cross Gate. If you don't know London that well, New Cross is located in the South of the City. You can get to New Cross on foot pretty easily from central London, if you walk through Lambeth, down to Elephant and Castle and head down the Old Kent Road.

I'm using my pen to create a sense of texture in the line work. I like to draw so that I can feel the bricks on the walls, and the feel of the pavement. I also like to capture the light with white space in the drawing.

Bus route London study
New Cross

Next stop in the London city illustration is Elephant and Castle. I've travelled down the Old Kent Road, onto the New Kent Road off Tower Bridge Road, and now we're heading into Elephant and Castle.

I have mixed feelings in regard to Elephant. On one hand, I love it. The London College of Communication is there, and I always love visiting the students, and seeing what work they're getting up to. Plus, there is the beautiful old tube station, covered in original maroon pre-war tiles.

HOWEVER: there is also the horrific murder alley underneath the concrete roads - the pedestrian subway. If there were ever worse signage, and a more dangerous thoroughfare, I have yet to see it! (below pic)

In the sky over Elephant, there's is a dark cloud, and strong pen lines indicating heavy rain. Plus, I've added a lot of texture detailing the different kind of buildings in Elephant.

Black and white drawing
Elephant and Castle
Next stop! Lambeth!

My favourite thing in Lambeth is of course, the Imperial War Museum. Any visitors in 2013 will unfortunately be disapointed as it's currently closed for a refurb. However, it's a beautiful park to go walking in, and lovely surrounding architecture.

Plus, there's a load of these bad boys!

UK Heritage Blue Plaques

Black and White drawing study
Next we're on to Westminster Abbey, and round the houses of Parliament and onto the Mall and Horseguard's Parade (below)

From Lambeth, through Westminster and the Mall up to Trafalgar Square is one of my favourite walks. It's a little hectic on weekends, but at dusk and in the early morning, there's nothing lovelier than walking alone under the Houses of Parliament.

Almost done! For those wondering, here's the pen I used. 

A rapidograph 0.3 and 0.5

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