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Unlike more traditional methods, our work is not created on a single canvas or a dedicated sheet of paper. Instead, each piece is created by developing a series of layers, each layer being a unique hand-crafted sketch with its own intended purpose for the whole. These parts are then combined to make a single final piece. Each sketch is built up independently, utilizing various media in a way that makes them essential to every other part. This layered result can then be produced in many different formats- including archival prints, canvas gallery wraps and even merchandise for your home or office.
How The Print Is Planned
First, we study our atlas to seek out interesting sections of geography that speaks to our aesthetic. We then use a combination of inspirational sources to piece together the interesting area that we want to portray. This will give rise to the parent sketch which will then be used as a foundation to build up the parts that follow.
We Like Layers!
It may seem like a complex route to take, but using these separate layers to build up the final piece really accentuates the depth of the artwork. Some pieces can have as many as 7 layers. Each layer is a hand-crafted sketch that has been meticulously worked up as an independent part. There is no formula here, that is the beauty - depending on the medium being used is, how the sketch is drafted or even what time of day it is can result in a different effect for each layer. We love this layered effect even if it is extremely time-consuming. Even though a piece can take up to 10 weeks to complete, the result is always worth it.
How We Decide What Colors To Use
When we think of a place, that will spark a memory, that memory is what we use to inspire color. Memories such as cherry Blossoms in full bloom over the streets of Washington DC or even fall on the banks of the Charles River. We use the chosen area as our inspiration which leads to a unity of color and linework in the final piece. There are also times we review the space that the piece is going into or perhaps even the piece on it's own and try develop a palette that will marry well with that space or that layout. We do not try to indicate zoning, traffic patterns or demographics through color but sometimes even that can inspire something great. Our first attempt to show other data in our work is depicted in our newest pieces, the Cycling Series, where the city bike routes are highlighted as a feature.
We Are Embracing The Digital Age
As much as we know the value of the physical hard work put into the layers, we also understand the value of the digital tools that we use to combine these pieces. Once the handmade drawing, painting and sketching is done we process all the parts in a way that allows us to blend and manipulate them using design software. All while maintaining as much of the original hand crafted aesthetic as possible. The final piece is rendered as a single image and can be transferred to your selected media. Giving you the freedom to choose how you would like to experience a Carland Cartography piece. This also allows us to offer you savings by not having to include the costs of storage of large work, hefty lateral files, and complex inventory tracking systems.
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