The Secrets Behind the Architectural Illustrator's Sleight of Hand

Call it "manipulation" or "visioning," but any way you look at it, illustrations of proposed projects have an immense impact on whether they get funded, approved, and built. Tristin Hopper looks at the "toolbox of tricks" employed by illustrators.

From impressionistic watercolors to photo-realistic digital renderings, the products of architectural illustrators are indispensable to the worlds of planning and development. Hopper looks at the role that "this hidden class of artists" plays in imagining the future of our cities. "Skilled, calculating and versed in the art of manipulation, these unseen and unsung artists may have more sway over the shape of Canada's cities than we know."

"Architectural illustrations are 'meant to be manipulative,' said Gordon Grice, a prominent Toronto-based illustrator. 'We're like lawyers; every case needs to have its best points brought forward.'"

"Want to portray a building as a swinging hotspot? Depict it at night, splash on some purple light and paste in some arm-in-arm couples and a fireworks display. Looking to showcase a building as a green development? Show 'as much vegetation as possible' and give the structure an otherworldly glow, said Miryam Doshin, account executive for Toronto's Modexx Studios. 'You don't notice it you just think, ‘Oh, it's such a happy, shiny building.'"


Full Story: Architectural illustrators use toolbox of tricks to ‘manipulate’ the way we look at buildings


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