Description: Hey there. Let's tackle this monster of a building. Big Ben is the clock tower on the Palace of Westminster in London, England. Well, technically it's the name of the bell inside the tower, but I wouldnt've have known that if I hadn't read it on Wikipedia. ANYWAY, let's begin, shall we? To start, draw a skewed rectangular shape for one side of the clock face. I guess that would be called a parallelogram.
Description: Next we want to draw some vertical lines descending from the corners of the previous shapes. This will create the main shape of the tower. Note that on the outer lines, there's a small dip inward toward the top.
Description: This is where we begin to add some detail. Since there is SO much detail on Big Ben, it's impossible to capture every bit of it. Thus, we're forced to simplify. The vertical "bars" on each edge of the tower are covered in grooves. Let's indicate those first by wrapping wavy, zig-zag lines around them. Match these up with the bars from Step 13.
Description: Draw a row of 7 oval "pill" shapes above and below the clock section. Have the lower row be a bit bolder than the top. Just below, draw a series of 7 small arches as a guide for the next step.
Description: Moving away from the main tower for a bit, draw evenly-spaced towers along the side of the palace. If you're working on a computer, you can cheat a bit by using Copy>Paste. Make sure the tops of the towers line up with the perspective on the top of the roof.
Description: Once again we're reducing the complex detail of this structure to a very, very simple form. Using simple curves, draw a peak between the small towers of the palace. Add the tops of a few towers from the opposite side of the building peering over the top of the roof.
Description: Here is where we really get into the finer details of the structure. As I mentioned before, it's nearly impossible to draw every single detail. For time's sake, we're doing to simplify and indicate some of the main details. On the triangular roof sections, note the small "window" shapes. These and the spires from the corners of the roofs are key details. Indicate the grooves of the tower's surface and small details surrounding the clock face.
Description: Again keeping it very loose and simple, indicate the windows on the palace, along with some of the grooves and general details. Since Big Ben is the focus of this tutorial, I went very loose with these details.
Description: Ok, this step is pretty hardcore. It's also optional. You'll notice the main lines of the tower are pretty bold and sterile. If you're on the computer, use the Eraser tool next. If you're doing this by hand, you might want to use a white gel pen or any other white paint/ink/gesso/gouache/whatever. Go in and start eating away at those bold lines with your brush. Leave the outer lines mostly intact and focus on the inner edge of those lines. Keep your marks ragged and feel free to tap around and be random. This step will transform your drawing from a collection of flat shapes to a detailed-looking, highly-rendered illustration. I could keep working on sections of this image for countless hours, but I'm going to step back, slap some color on it, and call it a day. Hope you all enjoyed!
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