Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The One



We “met” almost 5 years ago and it felt like love at first sight (at least from my side). Since then I wanted to draw this building many times but somehow the right moment never came… under those 5 years (doesn’t sound convincing, I  know). I always had a soft spot for old wooden buildings with charming details and this one was very old and really beautifully detailed.

It’s called Vastveitsloftet and was originally build in  XIVth century in Norway. After a few hundred years it was transported to Stockholm’s Skansen.

The surrounding is really picturesque as the building is placed on a high rock, overlooking a bay. If we have poor eyesight we probably won’t even see gigantic, grey socialist architecture on the other side of the bay.

The building originally served as a storehouse and maybe that’s why it was so carefully decorated.
What I find charming in a wooden architecture, are imperfections in the material: knots, cracks, signs of deteriorations, and elements in different sizes.



One day later...

Sweet, but… dark, desaturated tones would be much more sufficient.


And one more day... 


Gloomy, but not too gloomy (i.e. lagom gloomy). For some strange reason, this mood fits old Scandinavian buildings quite well :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Concept Designs - Tabletop Miniatures

"I don't dislike to be alone"
Ingmar Bergman

What would you do, if you had plenty of spare time and wouldn’t have to worry too much about economic issues? Well, most of the people would like to travel the world and spend time with their friends (which is not such a bad idea), but I would love to create my own, miniature cities and other fantasy sceneries like those from tabletop RPG games. Okay, maybe I would also travel here and there...

True, I don’t have time for creating physical models, painting them and building fantasy lands of them, but lately, I had (again!) an opportunity to work on concept designs for a company producing such 3D models. Their Kickstarter campaign has just ended and, considering how successful it was, I can guess, that there are quite a lot people interested in spending hours and days on building their miniature worlds and probably even fight battles there. The only difference is, that they actually HAVE time for that 😊

To the point! My task was to design ships, a little bizarre harbor city buildings, and various scenery objects for “lost tribes”. Below you can see, among others, a boathouse, a navigator’s guild, a port tavern, a governor’s mansion, a wizard’s tower, a shaman’s hut and tribal tree houses.



 I hope that all the backers will have fun with these sceneries!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

"Magician's Palace" - Designing Imaginary Architecture

Hi there! In snowy and cold winter days like these, there’s nothing better than warm tea near the burning fireplace. As I don’t have a burning fireplace (or any other fireplace for that matter), warm tea near the computer has to suffice.

So! Here is the last of the four “case studies” but just one of the whole mass of drawings made for a course in designing imaginaryarchitecture. The concept process behind this design has been described in the course and below you can see the drawing process. This illustration is called “The Magician’s Palace” and the form of the building is strongly influenced by gothic cathedrals.

1.      Well, an expression “concept sketch” may be too generous, but this tangle of lines really helped me to capture the idea.


2.      Just a few fine, accurate lines, which will determine the size of the building on a large piece of paper.


3.      Sketches of details, which I wanted to capture as soon as possible before I forget them (I avoid using reference photos while drawing architectural objects).


Repeating the previous step in ink with “copying” repeatable elements. I’ve been using here the same waterproof Faber-Castell pens, size S. Actually, if I could find size XS, it would be even better.


4.      Further delving into details… and a moment of doubt. It’s going to take a looooong time before…


5.      …finish!

Well, it’s not the real finish yet. Below you can take a look at a short video, where I’ve been painting it with watercolors in sepia tones.


Keep warm!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Swamp Fortress




We are moving forward with exploring medieval fantasy architecture. After simple wooden huts and decaying townhouses, it’s time for a larger building - a castle in the middle of wetlands.






1.      In the case of fantasy objects, imagination is crucial, so…

Yes, that’s the fruit of my imagination. If you saw some of my previous posts, you’ve probably noticed, that thumbnail concept sketches made for my own projects are barely legible and they rarely foretell success in further works on a drawing. Let’s see what will happen this time!

2.      A really fast sketch on a large paper which will develop in a finished, detailed drawing


3.      More cautious drawing with ink


4.      Details


5.      Adding materials and shading. A few hours of adding materials and shading, actually. There is also a place for a mysterious creature from the thumbnail sketch, hurray!


This could be a finished drawing, but, in fact, I added watercolors to it. You can take a look at a short video, to see the results.


If you would like to know how to design imaginary buildings, like this one, you can watch my Skillshare course. I’m talking here about using more or less fantastical building materials, creating feasible structures, but also telling how life in various types of buildings could look like and how their function would influence their look. And of course, I couldn’t ignore my favorite subject: The Frequently Made Mistakes 😊