'The Theory of Everything', Cambridge and working pretty darned quickly...

The opening scenes of 'The Theory of Everything' sees a young Stephan Hawking and his friend on their bikes race through the streets of 1960's Cambridge, along 'The Backs' with Kings College in the background and through the back gate of Trinity College ( I think). I enjoyed the film immensely on many levels. The re-occuring motifs of concentric circles and spirals reflect Professor Hawking's fascination with black holes and abstract ( for me) thoughts about Time.

I had not drawn any of Cambridge's iconic buildings for many many years but felt rather moved to do so after watching 'The History of Everything.' My father worked near Market Square & we would often go for the afternoon in the warmer months. I was also fortunate enough to attend a year's Foundation Course in Art in Cambridge over 20 years ago. One morning a week ( in all weather's I might add) we were sent out to the Botanic Gardens, Fitzwilliam Museum or people watching Parkers Piece or any number of places in Cambridge to hone our drawing skills. So I have many fond memories of this wonderful place.

I had been meaning to create a map of this university town for years. And even when I decided to go for it I realised I had to hasten my renderings due to other work deadlines. So instead of transferring elements onto different layers I decide to work much simpler and leave out several stages, working more closely from my sketches - I'll use Kings College as an example...

 Initial sketch of King's drawn in brush pen & live traced in Ai

Initial sketch of King's drawn in brush pen & live traced in Ai

 The bottom 'layer' or outline as such has been taken away leaving the 'inner' sections of the sketch. Now exported to PS

The bottom 'layer' or outline as such has been taken away leaving the 'inner' sections of the sketch. Now exported to PS

 Working in different (& fewer) layers with clipping masks I was able to add colour & texture

Working in different (& fewer) layers with clipping masks I was able to add colour & texture

I felt it still retained the spirit of the sketch ( yes... my Kings College is wonky) and I was able to render the other highlights of my map in this manner and save a huge about of time. It also made me less precious of every detail (aka less anal) I'm pretty proud of my map as it highlights my favourite places and I make a pilgrimage of sorts every year.