Towers of The Netherlands by Coen Pohl

The series ‘Towers of The Netherlands’ is a personal project that puts certain famous landmarks in The Netherlands in the spotlight. As the artist did with his earlier projects, he likes to ‘lift’ certain elements of the city out of their urban environment and group them together in a series of illustrations. Read on and enjoy!

At first I experimented with just one tower in Amsterdam to find a semi-abstract, semi-realistic illustration style which I could use in future projects. But after getting a ton of suggestions from others for towers in their cities, I expanded on this idea and started to create a series of posters out of it.

– Coen Pohl

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The focus of the towers is mostly on their top part, because this is the part we often can’t see from up close. Either we stand underneath it or we see it from far away, which is a shame because most of these towers have included fantastic architectural features. To mix things up a bit I choose steer away from famous towers only, and instead choose towers of different architectural styles from 10 different cities.

– Coen Pohl

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The white line around the towers gives the illustration a little bit of ‘depth’. By having the top of this line going behind the building and the bottom part in front, the tower looks like going through an abstract rectangle which floats in the air around the tower. The 3D illusion this creates is subtle but noticeable. The project took around 50 hours to complete. Especially the churches and their architectural ornaments added a lot of time while other modern towers were done in about one or two hours.

– Coen Pohl

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Instead of using fully-featured 3D software I like to use the 3D tool in Adobe Illustrator (‘Filter’ > ‘3D’ > ‘Extrude & Bevel’). While this tool has it’s drawbacks compared to real 3D software, it’s very easy to use and ideal for simple elements. As I almost all of my earlier projects I like to work with isometric perspective. This means that, unlike realistic perspective, there are no vanishing points. Normally, objects further away become smaller then objects up close. In isometric perspective, objects maintain their original size, no matter how ‘far’ away they are. This gives the illustration a more graphical approach. Think of it as a Lego instructions books where isometric perspective is used as well. The 3D tool in illustrator has four options from a drop down menu to render a flat shape into an isometric view (top, left, right or bottom).As a start I try to find some pictures of each tower from different angles, then for each main section of the tower I make a simple cross-section (like a floor plan but without the interior). The cross-sections can then be extruded with the 3D tool in an isometric perspective.

– Coen Pohl

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I really like this the definition of ‘Sonder’:

“The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

– Coen Pohl

ABOUT COEN POHL

Coen Pohl started his interest in Graphic Design and Illustration at a young age. Designing his own websites and drawing spaceship interiors at the age of 13. After high school, a new fascination started to grow; a fascination with cities and skyscrapers. Also interested in web design and mobile apps, Coen chose to study Multimedia & Communication Design where he took the role as designer in a range of different projects. Before graduating, he started working as a user-interface designer for a location-based storytelling platform. After a few trips to booming China and South-Korea and seeing it’s enormous cities and endless construction sites, the fascination for the urban landscape turned into an obsession, reflecting this in his work.

See more of his amazing artworks in Behance.