Harry Potter meets Escher – Inspired by Diagon House
Back in April I set off to begin research for a new piece. I was meant to be drawing Edinburgh but then I walked down Victoria Street and eventually found the correct street level that led to Diagon House. From the moment I walked into the store I felt like I’d been transported into the world of wizardry. This shop was full of little trinkets, potions, wands, hot air balloons, little aeroplanes, propellors and all sorts of creations from across the world. Two floors of little gems I could spend hours scouring through. As I wandered through archways and up and down the staircases discovering all the Harry Potter goodies I knew this was going to be the starting point for my Edinburgh range.
Diagon House (established in 1823 as Museum Context – a name it has since reverted to):
I was aware that J K Rowling had written much of Harry Potter in Edinburgh and I could see so much inspiration from this city in the books and films. My little tour of Edinburgh included potential venues / areas that could have been the basis for various parts of the books. After much research I know that a number of places have been connected to form the final images but Edinburgh and particularly Victoria street seemed to fit my vision of Diagon Alley perfectly. If you’ve been to Edinburgh you’ll appreciate the staircases and multiple levels the streets are on. Edinburgh was always going to be the city I attempted to style into an Escher based piece and Harry Potter with it’s hidden magical dimension fit the bill perfectly. I’ve based this drawing on MC Escher’s lithograph print Relativity. This was a challenge from the very beginning as Escher is a technical master of perspective and I was moving from a series of one point perspective drawings to an isometric style piece. For my first attempt at such a complex perspective drawing I hope I’ve done it some justice. (If you’re not familiar with MC Escher’s work please do look it up).
I began this drawing with a Penrose triangle and worked in the staircases at the different angles that I wanted them. This is a lot more complex than it looks! As all my initial drawings are in black and white it does really play havoc with the way you see things – one moment the angle looks correct – the next you take a step back and perspective’s change again.
Early stage sketch in pencil. On the right hand side you have the Diagon house building. THe first floor is cut off by a different perspective of the top half of the building, that leads into the top left hand side. If it all gets too confusing have a look at the final image annotated below.
The final drawing with my annotations:
The entire drawing is based on the inside of Diagon house, the front view and Victoria street. Based on the image above (final drawing)- the top left hand side of the drawing is the inside of the shop and Victoria street on the right hand side. The drawing changes perspective at the top of the stairs and introduces another plane. The stair case in the middle has a more of a floaty feel to it giving the impression that it is part of the wall that joins on to the fire place but also disappears once its visitor has left.
Paper used: Bristol Board 280gsm
Pen: Kuretake Bimoji fude felt tip brush pen.
Overview: I don’t think Bristol board suits the wear and tear impacts of my drawing style but I’ll definitely be using it for sketches. The Kuretake comes well reviewed and was my first attempt at using a brush pen. I usually use solid nib pens and have a single thickness in line throughout the piece. As a brush pens its pretty easy to handle and get used to. I struggled a little with the architectural elements probably because I’m used to applying more pressure but it definitely helps with more fluid work.
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