In this project I will start by investigating the way different artists
depict styles of architecture. And how architectural styles are influenced not
only by materials available at the time when they were built but also cultural
architecture is integral to modern living in modern urban cities, and I want to
particularly focus on the variety of skyscrapers. It will certainly help with
my further studies in university, as I’m planning to become an architect.
Moreover, I find it interesting to explore how in the 21st century
the range of new technologies and materials affect the appearance of buildings.
part of my research I’ve used some photographs from my trip to Brazil and from
my hometown of Moscow, and I’m also going to compare these styles with
architecture in London.
started researching artists I came across the works of particular artists which
I was inspired by. From this initial research I’ve realized that even though
the topic of modern architecture is quite narrow, there are still hundreds of
sub-topics to choose from. Based on the books I’ve looked through and internet
sources, I’ve chosen a list of artists and architects I will be looking at in
this project. They all have different techniques and styles. For example, Zaha
Hadid is a “paper architect” who used geometric abstract style in her
paintings, Fortunato Depero who was a futuristic artist and Josef Kote who uses
his unique style of painting.
Fortunato Depero was an artist, designer and also a part of the
Italian Futuristic movement. He specialized in theatre and graphic design. His
interests are reflected in the style of his work. He was born in 1892 and in
this painting the viewer is able to see some examples of futuristic buildings
and mechanisms of 1930’s so we can tell when this work was painted. It was the
time when the style of Art Deco was prospering, accenting on the grandeur of
chrome and steel. Depero used vertical repetitions and levels, breaking the
buildings down with simple geometric shapes which gives a balance to the
overall composition. He also used warm colors against a black background,
making the painting look optimistic, even though the palette range is limited.
I like this painting because of the interesting details and symbolism, despite
the fact that it’s very simplified.
Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect who was also very
inspired by works of Malevich, so a lot of her art works echo the style of Supermatism.
Most of her art works have an idea of simple geometric forms and contrasting
colors. Also, most of her painting were later used as a design to her
constructions. By looking at this picture, we can say that it’s diagonally proportioned
and composed of repetitive geometric figures. Zaha pictured some two sides of a
bridge and a river, but without using highlights or shades. The colors are
bright and even though the color palette is very limited, it makes the piece
In this section I looked at how simple geometric forms
can be used in paintings. I was inspired by two artists: Zaha Hadid and
Fortunato Depero, both of them used straight lines and shapes to create
complicated structures. One of my art works was a pencil drawing in crosshatching
technique of part of Depero’s paintings.
Another one was
an acrylic painting of a building, using a masking tape to create a sense of
sharp and clear lines, I also used a simple colour palette, consisting only of
four colours. For my last painting I used my own style to draw a building from
a photograph using pro markers and dark blue tones. Then I also added a black
pen to make it look more three dimensional.
In this section I completed two
paintings: one with details using acrylic paint and another one as an
experiment. The first painting I did
from my own photograph. I started the process of drawing by making a quick
sketch on large A3 sheet and then applying the acrylic paint starting with the
background. I chose grey mixed with red and blue as a background colour to
represent typical English weather. Furthermore, I used cold tones and dry paint
in order to create a dilapidated and gloomy atmosphere. Also, I used perspective
with a line going towards the vanishing point to attract the viewer’s attention
into the painting. The second painting was an experiment with the same
photograph. I started by painting an A4 sheet with black paint, then I cut
geometric forms out of another piece of paper and stuck then on the black
paper as a mask. Then I painted over it so the colours were around the shapes.
I used red, orange and green to represent the colours of the traffic lights. I
liked this technique, however I at first I was struggling to paint other
colours over black. As this painting was quite successful I decided to start
focusing on views through streets, traffic lights and road works as this gives
a busy urban mood to the composition.
Further research led me to explore the works of Josef Kote.His views
through streets tied in well with my aims and also admire his colour range,
application of paint and abstract foreground details. Josef Kote is a modern
Albanian artist who works in his unique style of painting and as his signature
he uses drip effect along the bottom. He paints everything from portraits to
landscapes, however, I find this cityscape very interesting because even though
there are no people in it, it shows how busy big cities like New York are. For
most of his paintings, and as well as this one, Kote uses sweeping brush
strokes, so the painting is not very detailed.
He also uses perspective to draw the viewer’s eye into the painting. What
also sets him apart from other artists is that he makes the background more
detailed than the foreground. Although, he uses cold tones, the wide range of
colours makes this painting look very bright and optimistic.
Here is my version of Kote’s
painting. It was very hard to work in oil paint because it’s only the second
time I have used them and also Kote’s unusual technique was quite hard to apply.
Also, Kote’s tones are much brighter than mine and the details are much more
accurate, despite that, I think that I made a good attempt analysing the artist’s
work. From this experience I decided to highlight the way Josef Kote uses
perspective and tones to create depth and make the distance more obvious. He
uses cold tones for the background and these become warmer as the objects get
closer to the viewer. Another of his individual features in this painting is
that the brush strokes become bigger and more sweeping towards the foreground.
It took me some time to get my brush strokes the right size and in the right
I visited this exhibition of Jasper John’s work “Something
Resembling Truth” at the Royal Academy of and this inspired me to experiment
with collage and work in 3-D.
I liked how Jasper Johns takes
everyday objects and incorporates them into his work. He is an American painter
and printmaker whose idea was to bridge the aesthetic gap between Abstract
Expressionism and Pop Art during the late 50’s. Even nowadays he continues to
experiment with materials, subjects and styles. Instead of direct
representation, Johns likes to use symbolism: flags and targets are the main
objects in his works. Johns also adopted abstract expressionist’s brushstrokes,
using the idea that it enhances
the multiplicity of meanings and interpretations in his paintings. He also uses shreds of newspaper, found objects, and
even mass-produced goods in his paintings in order to ‘erase’ the division
between fine art and mass culture. For this 3-d model I used 3 pieces of
cardboard folded and stuck to the white board. I painted them to look like
demolished building on mu photograph. I then painted the background to make it
look like a sky and also I threaded a needle through 4 parts of the cardboard
to make them look like wires. Overall, it was difficult to fold teh cardboard
in order to create th eright perspective and the right impression but I really
enjoyed working on my first 3-d model.
For this piece I used tube tickets and maps of London,
also inspired by Jasper Johns’ work. Like him I collected a few tube tickets
and a London map. I then painted the background with a street view.
Tom Butler is an English painter known for his contemporary
cityscapes. He uses different media to express his vision of the modern
capitals. Butler combines his graphic skills with the usage of mixed media and
found materials, for example, magazine, newspaper etc. He favours wide avenues,
full of strong architectural elements: bridges, columns, grand buildings, busy
store fronts and fashionable boulevards. These cosmopolitan metropolises are
often inhabited by dark silhouettes: shoppers or pedestrians, doing shopping,
or huddling against the rain.
During a school trip to The Tate
Britain I managed to find a number of oil paintings which inspired me.
The Soul of the
Soulless City by Richard Wynne Nevinson.
skyscrapers and railways of New York represent the dynamism of the modern-day
city. This painting, initially titled ‘New York – an Abstraction’, indicates
the former-futurist Nevinson’s enthusiastic reaction, in which the urgency of
the metropolis is matched with a modernist style of painting derived from
chosen this painting because Nevinson uses a strong perspective and perspective
lines which lead the view’s eye into the painting. He also uses a very subdued
colour palette and a very dim light to make the skyscrapers and demolished
constructions look harmonious.
Ludgate Circus Entrance to the City
by Jacque Emilie Blanch.
painting indicates a view from Ludgate Circus, looking down in the direction of
St Paul’s. The foreground is crowded with hansom cabs and motor buses; the
horse-drawn bus being an unprecedented sight by this time. A steam train
crosses Ludgate Hill railway bridge above.
chosen this painting because it’s a busy London scene which is very attractive
to look at. I also liked the way how Blanch used warm colours to reflect the
St Martin in the fields by William Logsdail.
It is the most famous of his series of London scenes.
The view indicates the state of child street sellers, and would also have
reminded todays audiences of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ riots which had taken place in
Trafalgar Square a few months before. During the demonstration thousands of
people, appealing for the right of free speech, were inhumanely attacked by
Most f the paintings I’ve chosen to include in my project have one point
perspective directly opposite the painter’s view point
But in this example the artist view point is slightly to the right hand
It’s a very effective method of drawing the view’s attention into the
After seeing this painting I drew a large charcoal drawing with similar
classical architecture. I also wanted to include some elements of the street
seen (traffic light) and a part of the classical building. In my opinion, it
have been better with more contrast.
To explore different
architecture styles from different view points I’ve done a series of sketches
in a pencil. I gave me more understanding of perspective and tonal contrast,
which was good practice before final piece.
I decided to make one final piece in three dimensions and therefore
planned it in three parts: 1. Traffic lights and stop signs 2. Background 3. Road
I intended to draw
together my experiments with perspective and composition in an urban
environment and my architectural studies of London. Making the piece three
dimensional will reinforce the idea of moving through the road.
First of all, I made 3 traffic lights out of cardboard and painted them
with acrylic paint and 2 stop signs following the same procedure.
Then, I took a big
piece of cardboard and divided it into two sections. In each section I then
drew a building from my own photograph. Next, I painted the background with
blue, white and grey colours. I also painted the buildings with cream, pink and
brown colours. To complete the street view, I painted a road on a separate
piece of cardboard. I think that it was successful in terms of perspective and
overall impression of a street, however, I had some difficulties with mixing
the acrylic paint on the cardboard and, in my opinion, colour gradient could be
I also wanted to show how it will look combined on one canvas, that’s
why I’ve decided to draw the same street view with oil paints. I’ve chosen oil
paints because one of their properties is that they mix better than acrylic paints, and
moreover, they give a smoother tone to colours. That’s why I think that oil
version of this painting is better than acrylic one.
After completing both final pieces, I wanted to
compare them. The main difference is in how different elements look combined
with each other, 2-D model looks more unified than 3-D, however, 3-model looks
more realistic due to its’ size. 2-D model also has more grey tones in the
background and creamy colours in the foreground, whereas 3-D model is generally
darker in the foreground and has brighter tones in the background.
Overall, I think that I’ve successfully met my
aims, however, it would have been better if I’ve payed a greater attention to the
Fortunta Depero, Zaha Hadid
academy of Arts: Jasper Johns “Something
of research: Sketching in London and Dubai