Architectural Illustration Approaches

Key Resources on architectural illustration

The Society of Architectural Illustrators

Represents ‘professionals who bring architecture to life’. Their illustrators / SAI members A–Z section shows a wide range of different approaches.
www.sai.org.uk

Archigram (1961–1974)
A group of architects influenced by avant-garde art movements who playfully challenged assumptions about modern architecture. All of their work was presented as proposals, through drawings and collage. A very different approach to representing and visualising architecture through drawing.

Illustration web Architecture Section

The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA)
Has a series of online workshops, videos and other resources exploring architectural history, drawing and design. Useful to gain a broader perspective on architectural ideas.
www.architecture.com

Michael Blower archive
Examples of British architect Michael Blower’s sketchbooks are available via the website:
http://www.vads.ac.uk

Photorealistic 3D and CGI imaging

Top of the list of Google Search for Architectural Illustration are companies doing photorealistic 3D and CGI imaging, some with animation. This is a very specialised field requiring a high level of 3D Digital skill – not something I could aspire to.

RenderImage

GNet3D

Graphite/ink/charcoal

Michael Vaughan
Michael; Vaughan
Michael; Vaughan
Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Watercolour/ink and wash/acrylic

Some of this merges into street/travel illustration.

Philip Bannister
Philip Bannister watercolour
Philip Bannister watercolour
Philip Bannister ink
Philip Bannister ink
John Walsom

He sets up perspective views on a drawing board in the traditional way and uses a range of stencils for ellipses and curves, working with pencils, brushes and paint. His watercolour images are usually more detailed and accurate than his acrylic paintings. He spends more time doing the drawing than the painting. He also paints in oils en plein air – he likes to work fast with the changing light.

John Walsom
John Walsom
John Walsom
John Walsom

Mixed media

Lucia Emanuela Curzi

Lucia often brings together lots of photographic references and creates a preliminary collage as well as doing some sketches. Her actual illustrations are created on paper using ink, watercolour, pastels, pens or acrylic – though not necessarily all together.  However she does use Photoshop to tweak and perfect a piece. Also fashion.

Lucia Emanuela Curzi
Lucia Emanuela Curzi
Lucia Emanuela Curzi
Lucia Emanuela Curzi

Digital

 

Fujio Yoshida
Fujio Yoshida
Fujio Yoshida
Fujio Yoshida
Fujio Yoshida
Mike Hall

Clean with some Photorealism. Hand-drawn imagery and coloured digitally. Sometimes he combines drawn print designs with digital elements to build up an image. Sometimes, he’ll also draw his map designs using vector graphics.

Mike Hall
Mike Hall
Mike Hall
Mike Hall
Cliff Mills

more stylised influenced by Pop Art. Drawn with pen and ink then scanned and coloured in Photoshop.

Cliff Mills
Cliff Mills
Cliff Mills
Cliff Mills
Juliet Percival

She works from a graphite or pen drawing, sometimes with a subtle watercolour background. This is scanned in and coloured digitally using Photoshop’s brushes or flat colours.

Juliet Percival
Juliet Percival
Juliet Percival
Juliet Percival
Decue Wu

Uses different compositions, and bold colors in a limited palette, often creating patterns. Most of her work is done using Photoshop and Illustrator, but she also combines hand-made textures, screenprinting and collage work. Also does Fashion.

Decu Wu
Decu Wu
Decue Wu
Decue Wu
Thilo Rothaker
Thilo Rothaker
Thilo Rothaker
Thilo Rothaker
Thilo Rothaker

3D Sculpture

Model Making on SAI

Tobias Wustefeld

Tobias creates little worlds in bringing together digital and traditional techniques. He draws designs by hand and finishes them in 3D with the computer.

Tobias Wustefeld
Tobias Wustefeld
Tobias Wustefeld
Tobias Wustefeld
Alex Hogrefe
Alex Hogrefe
Alex Hogrefe

Visualising Architecture

Interesting Tutorial on using SketchUp

Andre Chiote
Andre Chiote ?ercedes Benw Building
Andre Chiote Mercedes Benz Building

5 abstract illustrations

Alessandro Gottardo

Shout website

AWWW awards

Alessandro Gottardo aka Shout is an Italian artist, illustrator and designer. His very simple and surreal ‘meaning of life’ images are very carefully controlled, generally amusing, but also very poignant.

He studied at a specialist art high school in Venice and in the Illustration department of the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milano. He creates visual art projects for advertising campaigns, design products and publishers in four continents. SHOUT images  have been featured in these following prestigious annuals: Communications Arts, American Illustrators, Society of Illustrators and 3×3 Magazine

Adam Simpson

Website: http://www.adsimpson.com

 Architecture

Moby – An architectural playlist

Electronic musician, Moby, created a list of buildings and their perfect musical accompaniment. These artworks were commissioned to accompany the eight pairings.

See more


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Film Posters

Artwork commissioned by Studio Small for BAFTA. Each artwork is inspired by one of the 5 Best Film nominees in 2011: The Kings Speech, Black Swan, True Grit, Inception and The Social Network.

Boundaries

A floor-to-ceiling artwork, appearing on all sides of an elevator vestibule at the ‘Boundary Hotel’, situated on Boundary Street in East London.

The artwork was devised around a grid of boundary walls. Each segment is approximately 170mm square. The aim was to take an alternative approach to dealing with the seemingly dead space of an elevator interior, by immersing the visitor in an epic artwork, which is impossible to absorb in one short trip. Each journey offers a chance to study a new scene: a geometric toile de jouy, of sorts.

Loveth Well

Artwork inspired by the final scene of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Created for Beat.

M C Escher

Official website: http://www.mcescher.com

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972)  played with architecture, perspective and impossible spaces. He aimed to show reality is wondrous, comprehensible and fascinating. During his lifetime, made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and over 2000 drawings and sketches. Apart from being a graphic artist, M.C. Escher illustrated books, designed tapestries, postage stamps and murals.

Perspective

Hand with Reflecting Sphere

Tower of Babel

Impossible constructions

Relativity

Convex and Concave
Still Life and Street

Transformation Prints

Day and Night

Realism

He also made more realistic work during the time he lived and traveled in Italy. Castrovalva for example, shows Escher’s fascination for high and low, close by and far away. The lithograph Atrani, a small town on the Amalfi Coast was made in 1931, but comes back for example, in his masterpiece Metamorphosis I and II.

Lynd Ward

Trailer — “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward”

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Gods’ men HD

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The Biggest Bear

[wpdevart_youtube]4NGreOnPNok[/wpdevart_youtube]

Google images

Lynd Kendall Ward (June 26, 1905 – June 28, 1985) was an American artist and storyteller, known for his series of wordless novels using wood engraving, and his illustrations for juvenile and adult books. His wordless novels have influenced the development of the graphic novel. Strongly associated with his wood engravings, he also worked in watercolor, oil, brush and ink, lithography and mezzotint. Ward was a son of Methodist minister and political organizer Harry F. Ward.

Life

Lynd Kendall Ward was born on June 26, 1905, in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Harry F. Ward, was born in Chiswick, England, in 1873; the elder Ward was a Methodist who moved to the United States in 1891 after reading the progressive Social Aspects of Christianity (1889) by Richard T. Ely.

Ward was early drawn to art, and decided to become an artist when his first-grade teacher told him that “Ward” spelled backward is “draw”. Ward studied fine arts at Columbia Teachers College in New York. He edited the Jester of Columbia, to which he contributed arts and crafts how-to articles.

Ward studied as a special one-year student at the National Academy of Graphic Arts and Bookmaking in Leipzig.  He learned etching from Alois Kolb, lithography from Georg Alexander Mathéy, and wood engraving from Hans Alexander “Theodore” Mueller; Ward was particularly influenced by Mueller. Ward chanced across a copy of Flemish artist Frans Masereel‘s wordless novel The Sun (1919), a story told in sixty-three silent woodcuts.

Ward returned to the United States in September 1927, and a number of book publishers in his portfolio. In 1928, his first commissioned work illustrated Dorothy Rowe‘s The Begging Deer: Stories of Japanese Children with eight brush drawings. May helped with background research for the illustrations, and wrote another book of Japanese folk tales, Prince Bantam (1929), with illustrations by Ward. Other work at the time included illustrations for the children’s book Little Blacknose by Hildegarde Swift, and an illustrated edition of Oscar Wilde‘s poem “Ballad of Reading Gaol“.

In 1929, Ward was inspired to create a wordless novel of his own after he came across German artist Otto Nückel‘s Destiny (1926). The first American wordless novel, Gods’ Man was published by Smith & Cape that October, the week before the Wall Street Crash of 1929; over the next four years, it sold more than 20,000 copies.[11] He made five more such works: Madman’s Drum (1930), Wild Pilgrimage (1932), Prelude to a Million Years (1933),Song Without Words (1936), and Vertigo (1937).

In addition to woodcuts, Ward also worked in watercolor, oil, brush and ink, lithography and mezzotint. Ward illustrated over a hundred children’s books, several of which were collaborations with his wife, May McNeer. Starting in 1938, Ward became a frequent illustrator of the Heritage Limited Editions Club’s series of classic works. He was well known for the political themes of his artwork, often addressing labor and class issues. In 1932 he founded Equinox Cooperative Press. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators, the Society of American Graphic Arts, and the National Academy of Design. Ward retired to his home in Reston, Virginia, in 1979. He died on June 28, 1985, two days after his 80th birthday.

In celebration of the art and life of this American printmaker and illustrator, independent filmmaker Michael Maglaras of 217 Films produced a new film titled “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward.” The documentary features an interview with the artist’s daughter Robin Ward Savage, as well as more than 150 works from all periods of Ward’s career. The 94-minute documentary, culled from over 7 hours of film and narrated by Maglaras, premiered at Penn State University Libraries, Foster Auditorium, on April 20, 2012, where it was warmly received. Penn State’s Special Collections Library has also become the repository for much Lynd Ward material, and may continue to receive material from Ward family collections.

 Novels in woodcuts

Ward is known for his wordless novels told entirely through dramatic wood engravings. Ward’s first work, Gods’ Man (1929), uses a blend of Art Deco and Expressionist styles to tell the story of an artist’s struggle with his craft, his seduction and subsequent abuse by money and power, his escape to innocence, and his unavoidable doom. Ward, in employing the concept of the wordless pictorial narrative, acknowledged as his predecessors the European artists Frans Masereel and Otto Nückel. Released the week of the 1929 stock market crash, Gods’ Manwould continue to exert influence well beyond the Depression era, becoming an important source of inspiration for Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg.

Ward produced six wood engraving novels over the next eight years, including:

Ward left one more wordless novel partially completed at the time of his death in 1985. The 26 completed wood engravings (out of a planned total of 44) were published in a limited edition in 2001, under the title Lynd Ward’s Last, Unfinished, Wordless Novel.[15]

He also produced a wordless story for children, The Silver Pony, which is told entirely in black, white and shades of gray painted illustrations; it was published in 1973.

Other works

In 1930 Ward’s wood engravings were used to illustrate Alec Waugh‘s travel book Hot Countries; in 1936 an edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was published with illustrations by Ward. His work on children’s books included his 1953 Caldecott Medal winning book The Biggest Bear, and his work on Esther ForbesJohnny Tremain.

Ward illustrated the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, with text by Hildegarde Swift.

Ward’s work included an awareness of the racial injustice to be found in the United States. This is first apparent in the lynching scenes from Wild Pilgrimage and appears again in his drawings for North Star Shining: A Pictorial History of the American Negro, by Hildegarde Hoyt Swift, published in 1947. Ward uses African American characters, as well as several different Native ones in his book The Silver Pony.

In 1941 his illustrations were used in Great Ghost Stories of the World:The Haunted Omnibus, edited by Alexander Laing.

In 1974 Harry N. Abrams published Storyteller Without Words, a book that included Ward’s six novels plus an assortment of his illustrations from other books. Ward himself broke his silence and wrote brief prologues to each of his works. In 2010, the Library of America published Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts, with a new chronology of Ward’s life and an introduction by Art Spiegelman.

Source: Wikipedia, You Tube and reading of the novels.

Paul Cezanne

Cezanne Creative Commons website

 

Paul Cezanne (January 19, 1839 – October 22, 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cezanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cezanne “is the father of us all” cannot be easily dismissed.

Cezanne’s work demonstrates a mastery of design, colour, composition and draftsmanship. His often repetitive, sensitive and exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognisable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields, at once both a direct expression of the sensations of the observing eye and an abstraction from observed nature. The paintings convey Cezanne’s intense study of his subjects, a searching gaze and a dogged struggle to deal with the complexity of human visual perception.

Paul Cezanne was a French painter, often called the father of modern art, who strove to develop an ideal synthesis of naturalistic representation, personal expression, and abstract pictorial order.

Cezanne was born in the southern French town of Aix-en-Provence, January 19, 1839, the son of a wealthy banker. His boyhood companion was Emile Zola, who later gained fame as a novelist and man of letters. As did Zola, Cezanne developed artistic interests at an early age, much to the dismay of his father. In 1862, after a number of bitter family disputes, the aspiring artist was given a small allowance and sent to study art in Paris, where Zola had already gone. From the start he was drawn to the more radical elements of the Parisian art world. He especially admired the romantic painter Eugene Delacroix and, among the younger masters, Gustave Courbet and the notorious Edouard Manet, who exhibited realist paintings that were shocking in both style and subject matter to most of their contemporaries.

Many of Cezanne’s early works were painted in dark tones applied with heavy, fluid pigment, suggesting the moody, romantic expressionism of previous generations. Just as Zola pursued his interest in the realist novel, however, Cezanne also gradually developed a commitment to the representation of contemporary life, painting the world he observed without concern for thematic idealization or stylistic affectation.

The most significant influence on the work of his early maturity proved to be Camille Pissarro, an older but as yet unrecognized painter who lived with his large family in a rural area outside Paris. Pissarro not only provided the moral encouragement that the insecure Cezanne required, but he also introduced him to the new impressionist technique for rendering outdoor light.

Along with the painters Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and a few others, Pissarro had developed a painting style that involved working outdoors (en plein air) rapidly and on a reduced scale, employing small touches of pure color, generally without the use of preparatory sketches or linear outlines. In such a manner Pissarro and the others hoped to capture the most transient natural effects as well as their own passing emotional states as the artists stood before nature. Under Pissarro’s tutelage, and within a very short time during 1872-73, Cezanne shifted from dark tones to bright hues and began to concentrate on scenes of farmland and rural villages.

Although he seemed less technically accomplished than the other impressionists, Cezanne was accepted by the group and exhibited with them in 1874 and 1877. In general the impressionists did not have much commercial success, and Cezanne’s works received the harshest critical commentary. He drifted away from many of his Parisian contacts during the late 1870s and ’80s and spent much of his time in his native Aix. After 1882, he did not work closely again with Pissarro. In 1886, Cezanne became embittered over what he took to be thinly disguised references to his own failures in one of Zola’s novels. As a result he broke off relations with his oldest supporter. In the same year, he inherited his father’s wealth and finally, at the age of 47, became financially independent, but socially he remained quite isolated.

Cezanne’s goal was, in his own mind, never fully attained. He left most of his works unfinished and destroyed many others. He complained of his failure at rendering the human figure, and indeed the great figural works of his last years-such as the Large Bathers(circa 1899-1906, Museum of Art, Philadelphia) – reveal curious distortions that seem to have been dictated by the rigor of the system of color modulation he imposed on his own representations. The succeeding generation of painters, however, eventually came to be receptive to nearly all of Cezanne’s idiosyncrasies. Cezanne’s heirs felt that the naturalistic painting of impressionism had become formularized, and a new and original style, however difficult it might be, was needed to return a sense of sincerity and commitment to modern art.

For many years Cezanne was known only to his old impressionist colleagues and to a few younger radical postimpressionist artists, including the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and the French painter Paul Gauguin. In 1895, however, Ambroise Vollard, an ambitious Paris art dealer, arranged a show of Cezanne’s works and over the next few years promoted them successfully. By 1904, Cezanne was featured in a major official exhibition, and by the time of his death (in Aix on October 22, 1906) he had attained the status of a legendary figure. During his last years many younger artists traveled to Aix to observe him at work and to receive any words of wisdom he might offer. Both his style and his theory remained mysterious and cryptic; he seemed to some a naive primitive, while to others he was a sophisticated master of technical procedure. The intensity of his color, coupled with the apparent rigor of his compositional organization, signaled to most that, despite the artist’s own frequent despair, he had synthesized the basic expressive and representational elements of painting in a highly original manner. (From www.repropaint.com)

watercolours

Cezanne’s approach to watercolour YouTube

Cézanne’s watercolours are studies preparatory to painting in oil, notes of strong sensations before nature afterwards to be rendered in the more permanent and solid seeming medium. They are also solutions of those problems of picture making which were his lifelong obsession, and which, at a certain period of his life, could be more easily settled in watercolour than in oil.
In about 1883 Cézanne’s struggle to achieve the greatest possible modelling through colour had led to a density of texture which the passage of time has made most beautiful to us, but which Cézanne felt to be too congested. He wished to attain the same effect with far greater simplicity of means.
He therefore limited his palette to green, blue and a few warm earth colours and adopted as an exercise in economy a spare and delicate technique of watercolour. What began as a discipline became a delight; and some of the paintings here exhibited were clearly executed for their own sakes. But they retain the evidence of their origin. No attempt is made at a full continuous description of appearances; the white paper predominates and the eye leaps form on complex of colour to another, forgetting that in between is nothing but whiteness.
Why is it that in spite of this lack of finish Cézanne’s watercolours give such a satisfying sense of completeness? For one thing because he knew how to concentrate all his resources on the essentials of a composition.

In this, as in other ways, Cézanne’s watercolours are a key to the understanding of his oils, and, in fact, greatly influenced his oil technique. They show, for example, his uneasy relation with the contour which, he is reputed to have said, escaped him, but which, in fact, gave him the dreaded sense of imprisonment.

Grosvenor School

Claude Flight

Google images

Walter Claude Flight (born London 1881 – died 1955) also known as Claude Flight or W. Claude Flight was a British artist who pioneered and popularised the linoleum cut technique. He also painted, illustrated and made wood cuts.

Influenced by Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism, his work expressed dynamic rhythm through bold, simple forms. His linocut prints show his interest in depicting speed and movement.

Flight was a fervent promoter of the linoleum cut technique from the time he first used it in 1919. He felt by promoting the use of the cheap and easily obtained new material he was making it possible for the masses to be exposed to art. He saw in it the potentiality of a truly democratic art form.

Flight had tried a number of different careers before settling on art. He had kept bees, farmed and also had tried engineering before studying art at Heatherley School of Fine Art from 1913–1914 and from 1918. Flight exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1921, in Paris in 1922 and in London at the R.B.A. from 1923. He also exhibited regularly at the Redfern Gallery and abroad.

Flight was a member of the Seven and Five Society in 1923 whose members included Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. He was a member of the Grubb Group in 1928. He collaborated with Edith Lawrencewith whom he had an interior design business, taught at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art from 1926 and wrote and organized exhibitions on linocuts. His pupils included various now-famous print artists such as Lill Tschudi,Cyril Power, Eileen Mayo and Sybil Andrews.

He produced over 64 different prints and published 9 books on linocutting.

List of works

This print resulted from a Swiss summer holiday made by Flight and Edith Lawrence in 1933. They stayed as guests of Lill Tschudi at her family home in Schwanden.

Source: Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Lil Tschudi

Google images

Lill Tschudi (1911–2004) was a Swiss artist associated with the Grosvenor School of Modern Art.

Lill Tschudi was born at Schwanden, Glarus, Switzerland. As a girl she saw an exhibit of linocut prints by Austrian artist Norbertine Bresslern Roth, and decided that she also wanted to be a printmaker.

Tschudi officially studied at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art from 1929 to 1930. From 1931 to 1933, she lived in Paris and studied with André Lhote, Gino Severini, and Fernand Léger. She returned to Switzerland in 1935, and lived mainly with her sister’s family (her sister Ida Tschudi-Schümperlin was also an artist).

Tschudi would produce over 300 linocuts in her career, exhibiting in London with Claude Flight and other printmakers. Her typical subjects included athletes, such as skiers and cyclists, transportation scenes, workers, and musicians. A wartime side project with her sister Ida involved printing illustrations for “Glarner Gemeindewappen,” a booklet of the municipal coats-of-arms for the Canton of Glarus, in 1941 (this booklet is now considered rare and quite valuable). Her 1933 print “Ice Hockey” was used for the cover illustration of Margaret Timmers, Impressions of the 20th Century: Fine Art Prints from the V&A Collection (Victoria & Albert Museum Publications 2001).

Tschudi died in Switzerland in 2004, age 93. Her work was featured in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s joint 2008 exhibit, “British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life, 1914–1939.” Prints by Grosvenor School artists, including Tschudi, proved popular at a 2012 auction in London. Her works were part of another exhibit in spring 2013, “The Cutting Edge of Modernity: An Exhibition of Grosvenor School Linocuts” at the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London.

Source: Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Sybil Andrews

Google images

Women artists: Sybil Andrews

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Sybil Andrews (19 April 1898 – 21 December 1992) was an English printmaker best known for her modernist linocuts.

Life in England

Born Sybal Andrews in Bury St Edmunds, Andrews was unable to attend art school after finishing secondary school as her family lacked the funds to pay for tuition. Andrews first apprenticed as a welder and worked at an airplane factory during World War I, where she helped in the development of the first all-metal aeroplane for the Bristol Welding Company.During this period she took an art correspondence course and after the war returned to Bury St Edmunds where she was employed as an art teacher at Portland House School. In 1922 Andrews attended Heatherley’s School of Fine Art in London. She began producing and exhibiting linocuts from 1921 until 1939, working frequently with her informal partner Cyril Power. She also helped in the establishment and became the first secretary (1925–1928) of the The Grosvenor School of Modern Art. With the beginning of World War II, Andrews resumed work as a welder for the British Power Company, constructing warships. Here she met Walter Morgan, whom she married in 1943.

In England one of the largest collections in public ownership is held by St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Service Bury St Edmunds. This collection includes a number of early water-colour paintings, executed while the artist was still living in Suffolk.

Life in Canada

In 1947 she and Morgan moved to Canada and settled in Campbell River, British Columbia. Sybil Andrews was elected to the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers in 1951 when her linocut Indian Dance” was selected as the presentation print. In 1975 while working as a teacher and focusing on her practice she completed one of her major works”The Banner of St Edmund.” It is hand embroidered in silks on linen and was first conceived, designed and begun in 1930. This banner now hangs in the Treasury of the St James Cathedral in the town of her birth.

The Glenbow Museum in Canada houses the majority of her work with a collection of over 1000 examples of Andrews’ works, including all of her famous colour linocuts and the original linoleum blocks, oil paintings and watercolour, drawings, drypoint etchings, sketchbooks, and personal papers. In recent years her works have sold extremely well at auction with record prices being achieved primarily within Canada.

In 2015 an exhibition was held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada, “A Study in Contrast: Sybil Andrews and Gwenda Morgan”, comparing and contrasting the fellow Grosvenor School artists.

List of works

Source:

You Tube video

Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Cyril Power

Google images

Cyril Edward Power (17 December 1872 – 25 May 1951) was an English artist best known for his linocut prints, long-standing artistic partnership with Canadian artist Sybil Andrewsand for co-founding The Grosvenor School Of Modern Art in London in 1925. He was also a successful architect and teacher.

Early years and architecture

Cyril Edward Power was born on 17 December 1872 in Redcliffe Street, Chelsea, the eldest child of Edward William Power who encouraged him to draw from an early age. This passion led to him studying architecture and working in his father’s office before being awarded the Sloane Medallion by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1900 for his design for an art school.

During the early 1920s Power was producing watercolour landscapes and townscapes as well as the first of some 40 drypoints.

Power and Andrews enrolled at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art, London in 1925 when he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Power also helped Iain McNab and Claude Flight set up The Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Warwick Square, London with Andrews becoming the School Secretary. Power was a principal lecturer, typically on the subjects of: The Form and Structure of Buildings, Historical Ornament and Symbolism and Outline of Architectural Styles and Frank Rutter, the art critic, on Modern Painters from Cézanne to Picasso.

It was here at The Grosvenor School that Claude Flight taught the art of linocutting. His classes were attended by his colleagues Power and Andrews and students that came from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, attracted by the advertisements in The Studio magazine. Around this time he and Sybil Andrews began co-authoring prints together under the name Andrew Power.

1929 saw Claude Flight and his associates mount the first exhibition of British linocuts in June at the Redfern Gallery, London. A series of exhibitions were held annually both there and at the Ward Gallery. Further exhibitions were arranged by Flight and traveled to the United States Of America, Australia and China.

The success of these exhibitions led to a commission by Frank Pick, the Deputy Chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London to design a series of posters. These were produced as chromolithographyand were based on the theme of sporting venues reached via the London Underground system and lead to further sporting posters which became stylistically influential on other artists of the era.

In 1930 Power was elected member of the Royal Society of British Artists and established a studio with Andrews in Hammersmith close to the River Thames, a location which inspired many prints by both artists, most notably ‘The Eight’ by Power and ‘Bringing in the Boat’ by Sybil Andrews.

Their first major joint exhibition was at the Redfern Gallery in 1933 which consisted of linocuts and monotypes. The following years saw many more joint exhibitions until the dissolution of their informal partnership in July 1938 when they gave up their studio. Andrews moved to her cottage ‘Pipers’, near Lymington on the Hampshire coast which Power had modernised and enlarged the previous year. She met and married shipyard worker Walter Morgan during the war in 1943, and emigrated to Canada with him four years later. Power rejoined the family who had just moved from Hertfordshire to New Malden in Surrey.

In September 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, Power was attached to a Heavy Rescue Squad as a surveyor, based at Wandsworth Town Hall. He continued drawing and painting, tending to work principally in oils using a palette knife technique. He also spent time lecturing on painting and linocutting to the local art society at New Malden and at Kingston-Upon-Thames.

During the last year of his life Power completed some eighty-nine oil paintings, a format he had grown increasingly fond of in the preceding years. These were mainly landscapes of the surrounding areas, often Helford River and the Falmouth area of Cornwall as well as some floral studies. He died in London in May 1951, aged seventy-eight.

Notable works

  • The Tube Station (1932)
  • The Tube Staircase (1929)
  • Skaters (1930)
  • The Eight (1930)
  • The Merry Go Round (1931)

Source: Wikipedia

Clifford S Ackley ed British Prints from the Machine Age: Rhythms of Modern Life 1914-1947 Thames and Hudson 2008

Flat Design

What is flat perspective?

In its pure form flat perspective there are no line, no shadow or converging lines to represent depth. The process of flattening can create interesting distortions of the form. The lack of visual depth makes the whole surface area equally important. It has a different visual dynamic, placing more emphasis on abstract line, colour and shape. This approach is often used by illustrators involved in pattern-making, fabric design, textiles and other surface-based media. It is also common in film animations.

Historical precedents

This type of perspective is common for example in:

Egyptian wall painting

Isis with her Horned Crown
Isis with her Horned Crown. Note the profiles of the face, the full front torso, the side view of the chair, flat stylised wings and the five flat fingers on the hand

Classical Greek vases

Here the figures and the table are all side view on.Drawing of the hands however is more realistic than in the Egyptian painting.
 Panel amphora from the workshop of Exekias. Note the shapes of the legs. These figures do have some flat but 3/4 foreshortening
Panel amphora from the workshop of Exekias. Note the shapes of the legs. These figures do have some flat but 3/4 foreshortening

 

Western Art

Art Nouveau, Art Deco and some paintings by Picasso which reduce 3D representations to 2D images.

Woodcuts and linocuts

Some linocuts like those by the Grosvenor school

 

Film Titles

Saul Bass‘s film titles

Abstract Painting

Will Scott‘s Still Life

Contemporary ‘flat illustration’

‘Flat illustration’ has become very fashionable with digital software like Illustrator. This takes flat perspective even further and uses solid blocks of colour/tone to represent objects, reducing details to very simple shapes. Flat illustration is often used in information graphics, cartoons and Flash animation.

Adam Simpson‘s Moby architecture illustrations

See Flash video by Georgetoon on cartoons

There are differences between illustrators and images eg  two or more sides of objects may be shown with different tones and or slightly converging lines to show some form. Some illustrators do add shadows.

Further possibilities from photography

Some illustrators have also drawn on photography to produce flat images.

Flattened perspective in photography reduces the depth of a photograph through using a telephoto lens and using minimum aperture to reduce differences in focus between near and far objects.

Illustrators who use this type of approach:

Malcolm Coils for townscapes

Panoramas can also be seen as a form of flat perspective:  round views of up to 360 degrees is reduced to one flat image.

Video

Find examples of illustrators who have designed wallpapers, fabrics, wrapping paper or for other flat surfaces that you find interesting. How do their illustrations play with the idea of flatness?

research on packaging

 

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