Architect and illustrator Chris Dove created the stunning architectural drawings showcased on the new uni-PIN packaging.
Born in Liverpool, Chris trained as an architect; studying the Diploma of Architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art as well as schools In Liverpool and London. He has applied his love for drawing to his architecture work, as a way of illustrating his projects, producing a fantastic collection of original, visceral sketches and drawings that are packed with skill and character.
Here he talks about The ‘Rooves’ illustration series (some of which is featured on the uni-PIN packing), his drawing practice and working with uni-PIN pens.
“Drawing for me has always been a way of expressing myself when talking or writing isn’t enough. Working in architecture, I think it’s often about trying to get an idea from somewhere in the back of your mind in to reality. It’s really not a pretentious or complicated thing, it’s quite simple really. I think drawing is a fantastic way of being able to fully explain something in your mind, through your hands. I think my architectural training has affected my appreciation of small details, as this is often something I enjoy the most with architecture.
I work both as an architect and an illustrator and I really enjoy the crossover of the two. I like to use drawing to explain the ideas and design of projects. Digital renderings are great, but sometimes a series of drawings can help to loosely explain the massing or ideas of a project, and look to engage people’s imagination a little more. I also find that being able to draw helps to explain things; the ability to knock up a quick sketch to illustrate a tricky junction to a builder is a genuinely important asset of an architect.
The ‘Rooves’ series began after a residency in Venice as part of Scotland’s entry to the Venice Biennale in 2014. I became fascinated with the pattern of the streets, the canals, the dead ends, the tight streets opening into open expanses of public squares. I just wanted to draw it to study how it worked. It wasn’t really like any of the cities I’d been in recently such as New York and Glasgow, where there was a structured grid and rhythm to the city. This initial drawing looking at the rooftops, streets, squares and canals of Venice started a study into other European cities I’d visited and wanted to compare. Other drawings followed, working in a similar scale and style to develop a set, for Barcelona, Paris, Stockholm and Rome amongst others. I haven’t finished it yet, I’ve still got a few more to do!
PINs have always been a constant tool in my arsenal of pens for my work. Initially I used them for sketching and looser, rougher, quicker drawings. I found they were incredibly useful to be able to sketch out ideas quickly in a sketchbook. The ‘Rooves’ series were some of the drawings I used PINs at a much larger scale. The range of thicknesses really helps to give character to a larger drawing.
I’ve always had an issue with other brands ink not being ‘black’ enough, but the depth and intensity of the black you get with PINs is really great. Without going into the realms of Indian inks and other traditional and messy forms of pen and ink, PINs have always given me a quick and easy to use quality that I’ve always really enjoyed making pieces with, without the hassle of cleaning up, refilling bottles and unblocking nibs!
My dream drawing commission would be to draw something from the Brutalist architecture movement. Something big, heavy and concrete with lots of pattern and texture, such as the Barbican Centre or the National Theatre, that would be a really interesting series. Failing that, I’m not quite done with the Rooves series yet; I’d love to visit and draw Florence, I think the tight urban grain of the city centre would make for a great drawing.”