"Architecture of the Portrait": Illustrations by Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa

Chilean architect and illustrator Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa created "Architecture of the Portrait": a series of illustrations of renowned architects drawn with the precision and accuracy of a fineliner. In order to choose the protagonists of her geometrical analyses, the architect states a preference for strong character and the presence of imperfections, which imparts a certain richness to the representation.

The architectural construction of the face is done using lines to create a hatch effect. Next, she adds color that pays tribute to the traditional default CAD shades: yellow, cyan and magenta.

Architecture of the Portrait: Illustrations by Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa - More Images+ 1

The Process

It all starts with the model. "I have my preference for faces with character that have something particular about them, such as a large nose or many furrows on the skin, spots, moles or fallen eyes. The imperfections make a richer face and therefore also affects its representation," says Francisca. She works from photographs in order to have an accurate reference of all the face's details.

The photograph is manipulated to extract the contrast of lights and shadows as a guide to begin the illustration. From this reference, the shadows are transformed into polygons and then into lines, which slowly make up the final result.

"I always sought to explore different forms of drawing and expression in terms of the architectural drawing, both in digital and in hand-drawing. The value that it gives to the project is vital, and it became my favorite moment: having to sit down and decide the best way to express the work and make better understood; how to work the thicknesses, the degrees of grays, shadows, and transparency. For me the representational aspect of the project is fundamental."

This passion for drawing gave her the idea to bring all the richness and detail of an architectural plan into the freedom of the portrait--using the same rules but relaxing their rigor so that she has the freedom to play.

Mies Van Der Rohe. Image © Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa
Tadao Ando. Image © Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa
Zaha Hadid. Image © Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa
Rem Koolhaas. Image © Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa
Teodoro Fernández. Image © Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa

* To see more of her work you can visit her site or Instagram account.

About this author
Cite: Franco, José Tomás. ""Architecture of the Portrait": Illustrations by Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa" ["Arquitectura del retrato", por Francisca Álvarez Ainzúa] 03 Apr 2017. ArchDaily. (Trans. Castro, Fernanda) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/868255/architecture-of-the-portrait-illustrations-by-francisca-alvarez-ainzua> ISSN 0719-8884

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