I’m pleased to be able to share with you my illustration of The Exchange Blackburn. This impressive Grade II building has been the centre of a huge regeneration project that aims to preserve this once bustling cotton exchange so that it can continue to be enjoyed by all of us for years to come.
Creating a Doodlher illustration of The Exchange began as all my artwork does, on paper with pen. It was during this process that I was able to appreciate all the minute details and intricacies of the building’s architecture. The stained glass windows, pointed arches and moldings were plentiful.
For every visible feature, however, there was another hidden beneath protective wood panelling, or simply missing altogether. I wanted to try and capture the essence of The Exchange in its best possible light, so had to employ some imagination cross-referenced with old photographs to identify how certain features of the building may have originally looked.
Once I had completed sketching all of the building’s main features, it was time to fire up the computer and begin creating the final digital illustration. Using my original pen sketch as a guide, I painstakingly redrew the entire building using my cursor and digital ink.
The addition of colour was the final part of the puzzle, and it was incredibly satisfying to finally bring depth and vibrancy to my original black and white image. I felt like I was pumping life into it.
Illustrating The Exchange was an absolute joy. From sketch to a full colour digital illustration, it felt like the venue was being regenerated before my very eyes. My artwork combines what was, what is, and what could be – a visual metaphor for this building’s history, its renaissance, and its future as a dynamic and vibrant place for everyone.