As I intended to keep the houses illustrations quite clean and simple, I needed a impactful background to bring interest to the rest of the project.
And what better background than an actual map! For it not to be too overwhelming, I lightly brayered some Fresco Finish acrylic paint in Snowflake all over, with a better coverage in the middle where I was planning to put my life map.
Now for the houses! I decided to create textured backgrounds to invoke stone. My hope was to reduce the amount of colouring I would have to do on the houses. I went for a warm and a cold tone, using Golden Sands and Sleight Blue Infusions. I sprinkled them on my palette then rolled Snowflake paint over with my brayer before applying to the paper. Super quick and simple and I love the result! I feel the residual grains of Infusions really mimic the variation of colour of natural stone.
I chose striking references from each city, even if that is not were I actually lived! I spent my childhood in Joigny, a medieval town in the North of Burgundy (founded in 996!). Lots of gorgeous timbered houses have been preserved, more or less elaborate. Some have sculpted beams, some have mosaics in between the beams and they are all different. Here is an impressive example, it was the Bailiff's house.
These are the Hospices de Beaune. Founded during the 15th century, it was hospital dedicated to care for the poor. It was active until the 1960's and is now a museum. It is also in Beaune, not Dijon... I therefore chose as reference the slightly less extravagant Hôtel de Vogüe, actually in the city center:
Time to bring it all together! I glued the houses on the map but they seem to just float on the background. Therefore I added some shadows and streets texture to ground them.