Patrick Vale’s Freehand Drawing of Lower Manhattan
A metropolis like Manhattan is a seemingly infinite labyrinth of skyscrapers. When looked upon as a whole, it is overwhelming. But when UK artist Patrick Vale freehand draws the city, fragment-by-fragment, it is a bit more tangible. Using a pen and a piece of paper, Vale constructed the thriving Lower Manhattan region of New York City. Like fellow UK illustrator Jenni Sparks’ skillful interpretation of London, Vale’s wonderful depiction of the Big Apple is as exciting as the city itself.
The artists created a short video chronicling his drawing of Lower Manhattan from the perspective of the Empire State Building. The time-lapse video shows his astonishing artistic undertaking. Patrick Vale said that the great part about the video was that “having all the frames… you can then play with the speed in the edit and through this can communicate the energy and vibrancy of a bustling city like NYC.” You can view the time-lapse video on Vimeo.
The viewer realizes that the accurate detail of each building, street, and even each tiny window make up the beautiful whole that is New York City. Because he doesn’t use a ruler or a graph, he shows he’s less concerned about perfect lines as he is about the overall accuracy of the cityscape. This particular method of freehand drawing lends itself to a more interesting interpretation of the city, with a few bumps and grooves that make it feel as if the viewer is there overlooking the same scene as the artist. This is architectural illustration at its very best because, while technical, Vale has a distinct style that is cohesive with the urban landscape.
Patrick Vale lives and works in London. This is not his first attempt at erecting a city from a piece of paper. He has also illustrated Florence and London in similar detail. For more information about this insane artist, check out his website.