An original design looking at the charactor of the Bishop from the famous art treasure - the Lewis Chessmen. I tried to bring out a slightly mysterious character to him using colour, an imaginary pathway and some celestial background elements. I used another of my locally photographed textures to give a nice organic cosmic effect - from a stone wall near to my flat. You can take such a texture, turn it black and white in Adobe Photoshop with a filter, and with a Levels adjustment layer you "crush" the blacks and white - maybe having having added a Brightness/ Contrast layer beforehand. This is a great way to add organic elements to vector-based imagery in Adobe Illustrator - and opens your eyes to lots of great details around your local community. 

Blends in Illustrator feature heavily to add contours and some cross hatching. Shadows and highlights were added using layers with different Blend modes and transparencies. The "planets" also follow the Golden Ratio, just for completeness. The nearest part of the "pathway" is softened by use of an Opactity mask, where a greyscale gradient lets a fade out occur.

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Glasgow, where I currently live, has an abundance of beautiful iconic buildings. I am working on a series of vector designs based on Glasgow landmarks. This is a project I have desired to undertake for some time.

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An original design celebrating the Lewis Chessmen. Experimental use of Blends to flow the contours, with an added diagonal blend to act as shading (a cross hatch). I had some fun trying out the use of textures using photos I've taken locally of interesting patterns in the environment.

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To my shame (currently 2nd Feb 2019), I have never been to the Glasgow Science Centre where the "Space Needle", or Glasgow Tower, is based. When I see it I think of Seattle's Space Needle observation tower, and therefore of the longrunning classic comedy "Frasier".

When it was being built I had a great view of it from my then location in Finnieston, Glasgow. So I really enjoyed study the structure through depicting it here.

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I've long wanted to attempt an original map design - so the perfect subject for me to try was my homeland of the Outer Hebrides. I chose an angular style - inspired by a "semi modern" 1950's/ 60's vibe. 

I loved using the Offset Path to create the area for "ben day" dots - the ingenious printing and design method devised to shade but saving on expensive inks. The angular island shape was copied and offset to the right and down to create a shadow, with blending mode set to Multiply. A 3rd copy was set on top to prove an outline. On the original I applied a gentle radial gradient.

Map decoration is a great tradition, especially in the "empty" regions such as sea. So to reflect the legacy and character of these historic isles, I drew a Viking longboat inspired by the visually appealing Comhairle nan Eilean Siar emblem. To compliment this history I included a modern reference to the Isle of Harris Cal Mac Ferry, for which I created my own vector artwork. These, along with a grid, were blended with Blend modes into the sea.

To add interest, I decided to divide the islands into their historic Parish boundaries, and labelled them in the traditional Gaelic.

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Glasgow, where I currently live, has an abundance of beautiful iconic buildings. I am working on a series of vector designs based on Glasgow landmarks. This is a project I have desired to undertake for some time.

This example is based on the famous St George's Tron Church on Buchanan Street, or "SGT" for short. My main focus here was to simplify the illustration, bringing out only enough details that were necessary to help identify this iconic church. That is something I find challenging, as I love details and seeing where skilled work has been done in stone. But I am working in pixels, and am merely representing a real world object.

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Glasgow, where I currently live, has an abundance of beautiful iconic buildings. I am working on a series of vector designs based on Glasgow landmarks. This is a project I have desired to undertake for some time.

The People’s Palace is set in historic Glasgow Green. It is home to a collection of objects, photographs, prints and film which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked and played in years gone by to the present day.

The Winter Gardens are set to the side of the People's Palace where you can wander among the exotic palms and plants or enjoy a coffee or lunch at the café. Outside, you can admire the restored Doulton Fountain and relax in the beautiful surroundings of Glasgow Green, Glasgow's oldest public outdoor space.

This work is by far my most ambitious so far, but it was an Adobe Illustrator school in and of itself. Unlike my drawing of the Finnieston crane, the details of this structure are largely curved, not merely straight lines running from A to B. Great practise for using the Pen Tool, with some use of the Curved Pen Tool.

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Glasgow, where I currently live, has an abundance of beautiful iconic buildings. I am working on a series of vector designs based on Glasgow landmarks. This is a project I have desired to undertake for some time.

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It's true that in some respects, it is sad to realise that this icon of Glasgow's proud industrial heritage is a non-functioning cantilever crane, an ornamental structure and not a useful tool. It is still, of course, magnificent - and drawing it was a pleasant opportunity to look at it's structure. 

In an age where technology is thought of as the Internet and computing, we loose ourselves if we lack an understanding of the power of manufacturing. Massive scale, brutal metal-melting temperatures, immense power utilised by masterpieces of engineering - such as embodied in this crane.

Creating this original vector image was a challenge, but one which I revelled in. Line weight and detail were very much explored in making this. I ended up making a number of Pattern Brushes to deal with the intricate structure of the tower. The Blend Tool was very useful in tackling the upper railing, which I undertook in sections.

I am proud of this work, which has personal significance to me.

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This project was great fun. Before computers, design and print was largely the preserve of professional trained workers. Lettering, illustration, page layout all took time and effort, and so a body of knowledge of good design was built up by craftspeople.

I love that look. This work was an attempt to capture some of that look.

This Art Deco Glasgow landmark deserves to feature somewhere in some high budget Agatha Christie detective series - I see Hercule Poirot sauntering down Sauchiehall Street with a sausage supper, his mind engrossed in unravelling a serious crime, whilst considering whether or not to pop in to "Nice n Sleazy's" just across the road (a notable watering hole).

A really superb building - I remember it as a Strathclyde University Halls of Residence, but the University sold it in the early 2000s.

This work was very educational, as matters of how much detail to include were very much to the fore.

Also on my mind was how to depict windows, of which this structure has many. I left many with an open right side, so as not to create myriad "boxes". Some resemble hair combes or "E"s, but I'm happy with my choice.

In addition, in the central building detail, I didn't depict the vertice of the curved elements fixed on to the building - I feel the brain naturally adds it in by itself, therefore I display the stunning arc by itself.

 

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This illustration was used in event publicity in West Dunbartonshire. It was quite a challenge to draw a portrait in vector, and I was pleased with the results. However, I need to really work on drawing hair in vector illustration.

 

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