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INVISIBLE

CITIES
ART OF SOPHRONIA

By Jennifer Ball

Introduction
The purpose of the project was to provide us all with the opportunity
to become a concept artist. Understanding what that term meant
and what that type of art might look like then creating concept art
thumbnails, nally producing our concept art project.

We each were given 19 descriptions of cities that italo Calvino
created in his mind. We read each description and then sketched
101 thumbnails that depicted the cities. We could work traditionally
on paper or use Photoshop software and a graphics tablet! Initially I
chose to work traditionally but as my condence in Photoshop grew
I was keen to practice my skills in this area.

From the thumbnails, we chose one city to develop further and
nally present as three digital paintings! My experience was very
limited and I found this project incredibly dicult but as I look back I
am amazed at the way in which my paintings have developed.

I chose the city of Sophronia a city made up of two halves. Calvino
describes: in one there is the great roller coaster with its steep
humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of
spinning cages. The other half of the city is of stone and marble and
cement with the bank, the factories just these sentences
were enough to spark my imagination. Almost immediately,
Sophronia became real and I could see the fun, colourful, vibrant
fairground-like town set against a backdrop of the more dull,
functional and industrial skyline. And so Sophronia was born. I am
proud to walk with you and introduce you to my city.

Inuences
Creating thumbnails from my head was limiting imagination and ideas. I
explored real world references and researched shapes, colour, buildings and
perspective.

There was a real temptation to create half of the city as simply a fun
fairground experience without even considering that in order to gain any
credibility, the city required an infra-structure. The Post modern structures of
bridges and buildings on my inuence map helped me to identify shapes that I
could use in my city.

I was really keen to include a Ferris wheel into my painting, using it as a place
where people might live. The London eye became my reference point and I
placed the Ferris wheel at the foreground of my exterior establishing shot.

Lowry has inspired me since being a child. The simplicity of his paintings and
the story that they told seemed to speak to me. Although he use dull shades
and colours, they speak of industry, business and life in general. The
juxtaposition of the more fairground-like part of the City was also inspired by
scenes from the lm Inside Out and Wreck it Ralph. The bright, garish and
exciting shapes draw in the viewer and for the lms duration you are
transported to a fantasy world.

Original sketched thumbnails - Sophronia

Drawing the rollercoaster bridge in perspective

Before adding the


ferris wheel..

and then the skyline

Building the actual skyline the city scape..

and introducing the


other half of the
city


Sophronia begins
to emerge and
colour is
experimented with

Thumbnails of interior establishing shot

Thumbails of low angle exterior shot

Final concept drawing - Exterior Establishing Shot

Final concept drawing - Exterior Low Angle Shot

Final concept drawing - Interior Establishing Shot

Concept Sophronia