UNIT 86: YCA FUTURISTIC CITY nicole wright


I want to look at creating a digital artwork piece of my interpretation of The Future of Nottingham, this will either be created in Adobe Photoshop as a digitally painted piece or a pure graphic piece in Adobe Illustrator.

I want to be using a lot of tutorials through this project so that I'm learning new techniques. If I decide upon digital painting it will probably be looking at basic drawing tutorials and creating depth. If I do a lot of work on Illustrator I want to learn how to add perspective, rather than my work being purely flat.

Looking at a mixture of Utopian landscapes and Post-Apocolyptic and finding colours I like.
Looking at more overgrown and Eco-City paints.
Looking at Adobe Illustrator versions of cities which I aspire to create in similar styles.


My feedback consisted of mainly refining my idea, as everything felt too disorganised because I had two separate ideas practically and two different methods to create it within. I think that After much thinking, I decided on an over-grown futuristic city to be completed in Adobe Illustrator. Also to think about what type of city I would want to produce that would be suitable for the awards (e.g. dark and gloomy won't be as appealing).

Where now?

I want to look at lots of cities and designs for the future, finding cityscapes that I like and find visually pleasing. I think looking at both photographical references as well as looking at similar artists will benefit me. I want to research into perspective drawings and complete a few of my own, and decide on what type of perspective drawing I want to include.

Eco-Cities and Urban Ecology

Eco Cities comprise of areas that want to reduce carbon emissions, increase economic growth and improve the health of the citizens within. There are different variables that contribute to this such as having renewable sources which provide a greater return and being mostly self sustainable and natural.

Urban Ecology is the term for the study of how organisms react to being placed within an Urban Environment. Urban Environments are considered as any area such as a town, city, area of landfill or area inhabited by human life.

As I'm looking at creating an overgrown style city, I also think looking at Eco-cities is relevant to see what is already out there and what I can do to make my style work within this theme.

Tianjin Eco City

Tianjin is a 30sqkm project that is being created to show the way that new green technologies are growing (literally) and expanding to make cities less harmful and more useful. There are a variety of different landscapes residents can choose to live amongst, such as: Lifescape, Eco-Valley, Urbanscape, Windscape, Earthscape and Eco-Corridors. Each sector of the development will provide different benefits to the residents of Tianjin and improve their wellbeing significantly.

The city uses sustainable features such as solar and wind power, rainwater recycling and desalination of sea water. There are plans to reduce carbon emissions via use of the Light rail system which has advanced technology and promotes commuting rather than large amounts of traffic.

I can't wait to see the completion of this due in 2020.


Perspective is important to include in most 3D drawings as it brings them to life. Sometimes this can make a piece of work appear realistic for architectural drawings especially.

One point perspective method shows that things will get smaller as the distance increases and they become further away. This also concludes that there will be a singular vanishing point within the horizon line.

Here, this tutorial shows an easy way to make perspective drawing look good! Following similar steps after watching I came up with a similar drawing below:

He basically explains how to keep everything aligned from the vanishing point, making sure to use diagonal lines as a guideline to keep everything in perspective. Everything you see in the video explains that you should be keeping everything gradually smaller towards the vanishing point. Once you have the basic outlines, he goes on to add his own additional detail.

1. Draw a line with a marker for your horizon line
2. Draw two lines coming out from the horizon point, here I found it easier to make it seem like a Triangular shape.
3. After this I added colour to make this appear to be a road and removed the horizon point.
4. Adding details to make it seem more like a road, cat eye lights and gradient shadows, making everything look like it's slowly getting smaller fading into the background.

Two point perspective will use two vanishing points and these are then connected by a horizontal line. This as an example, would show two sides of a building.

1. Draw a horizontal line with two vanishing points and a line in the middle.
2. Draw two lines coming from each vanishing point which connect to the middle line.
3. Here I filled in the box so you can see the actual shape.
4. I also added some windows as it will fit within the theme I am looking at, which is a lot of glass buildings as well as the green/eco theme.
5. Removing the lines to show the shape.
6. Making one side appear darker to show extra depth.

How will this help me?

Well, after looking into different perspective drawings I can focus on these techniques when creating my piece. Knowing how to make cubes and cuboids look visually accurate will be important for my final piece.


My original sketch was still somewhat similar to the final design, with a lot more buildings being included in the first draft. I wanted to include lots of decorative buildings that would make Market Square particularly look interesting! I thought about a lot of white for the buildings here, and maybe even transforming the council house into a crisp, clean white.

From this sketch I thought a lot about the overall look I was going for, because I wasn't sure how I was going to make this project my own after looking at so many digitally painted/photographs of what I liked. I aimed for looking at a light colour palette, to keep it vibrant and fresh feeling because overall is what I'd like my future city to look like.

I followed a lot of this through to my final design, especially the layout. I decided when creating, that although I liked my sketch there was lots of buildings I wanted to incorporate and found that it'd be better to work in 3's (Council house, glass building e.g. and improved corner house). I found this the most visually pleasing, and left out the mascot I was considering adding as it didn't overall fit with what aesthetic I ended up going with.


My final piece for this was submitted to the YCA and I will be awaiting a response. My piece fits within my idea of "Future City", as it's how I envision Nottingham in X amount of years, glass, green and grass. I want to see my city have much more nature, so some of it is a little exaggerated! But I honestly do want to feel that my city is trying to be better, as overall having trees and nature around you will improve your mood and health as well as look really beautiful. I think I've made it seem a little over the top but that is also just my style, the colours are all very contrasting and soft when placed together, giving a cute cartoon feel I wanted.

To begin with I used the grid to keep everything in line and snap to point was on. From this, I didn't think that I could work within grids well but in fact the Council House was the best part of my map (in my opinion) and I used grids the most for it.

I've tried to include as much perspective as possible, but leaving the lions and trees to fit within the flatness created based on the colour palette I've used (as I'm usually an obsessor of gradients to add dimension). The problems incurred during the right side of the final piece, as I struggled a lot to make things mirror and match, so that's why there is a lack of goings on in that side of the image.

I tried to use the technique of 3's (marketing wise, if you advertise anything in three's there is much more appeal) when using Glass! Green! Grass! and My future city is glass, green and grown.

I wanted to keep the edges of the designs choppy and completely random to show the carefree, illustrated style I was going for. I felt as though this would make it less serious and defined, therefore the aesthetic I was going for when creating.

I think my strengths during this was that I already enjoy creating buildings and I find it fun! So, this for me wasn't a gruelling task, and it made me want to work on this piece constantly and let it take a lot of my time (approx. 3-4 days taken to make, with 2 full on days non-stop) but I did struggle with trying to make the right side match up. Making this all over again and reworking this piece, I'd probably try a different angle because the angle that I worked at made it difficult for me to complete the whole "map" and there's less detail on one side.

Some screenshots I've found of mid-creation of my piece.


There was also another piece that I created for the awards which I didn't know whether to include, but it does make sense to now after one piece of feedback was that I could've shown Nottingham in a different light. This version of Nottingham was based off of a Bioshock poster for the city of Rapture, I wanted to encapsulate the theme of a new city, something that seems dark and mysterious. There's elements of Art Deco as well that I really do enjoy and I played around with different embellishments (unfortunately cannot find my screenshots of the variations!!!). There is use of a similar font to the Bioshock one, with small elements edited to my liking and I've tried to make this relate to my inspiration but change up different parts to make it my own.

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