James O’Hanlon - Birmingham 2012

Inspiration from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Hanlon has created a bird’s eye view of Birmingham in a pure state by reducing it down to lines and perception and not experimenting with lighting.

The bird’s eye view was taken from one of the upper floors of the Alpha Tower, one of Birmingham's tallest towers. One photograph was blown up to work from and recreate in lines and the rest were kept on the computer to be zoomed in for details.

There is an unbelievable attention to detail, to even adding rooftop chairs, satellite dishes and window cleaning rails. It was a piece that I stood by for quite some time as the view was so perfectly pieced together.

There is no horizon, just a clashing of lines at the top of the painting, to show the depth of the view and to show that things in the distance merge together.

Also there are no people in the cars or on the streets as Hanlon didn't want there to be any narrative by adding the people, or making the piece at all romantic.

I found it quite had to find anything else on Hordon or even anymore of his work, which was disappointing. 

In my last university project i found myself drawing a lot of Birmingham architecture, which i really enjoyed experimenting with by not having the lines perfectly straight or at the right angle, which could sometimes give the illustration more character. After seeing Hordon's work i want to try adding more details to my illustrations.

I definitely agree with the idea that people bring narrative to a piece, as with these two illustrations, there much more of a feel to the first piece, subconsciously I’m already making stories for the people whereas in the second the architecture has all the attention, so the beauty and the details of it are appreciated more.

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