And so we come at last to the mother of them all. This illustration of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in the first century A.D. was the last one which I completed for the HCSB Study Bible, and it was also the most technically challenging. This was due to the sheer amount of detail, exacerbated by the large size required for the final since this illustration would be doing double duty: a close-up, detailed view of the entire temple complex and surrounding areas would be shown on the same spread which features the two views of Herod’s Temple which I have detailed here previously, and another spread would feature the complete illustration of the entire city.
I proposed two possible views during the sketching phase. One view was from the same angle (southeast) that all of the other, Old Testament views of Jerusalem had employed.
This had the advantage of continuity, but I really felt that a view looking over the Mount of Olives from the east would be more dramatic and would better display the more interesting parts of the city, especially the temple complex.
In either case, I wanted to position things carefully so that (for the complete view) nothing of crucial interest would get lost in the gutter, which is always a concern when working across a full spread, especially in a book which has a large number of pages. Ultimately the second view won out, and then began the process, which progressed in fits in starts over several months, of executing a detailed sketch at full size (19" x 24").
Once this was approved, I backed the sketch up to a piece of bristol board and rendered the final using a technical pen, with the aid of a lightbox. (I couldn’t bear the thought of actually transferring the sketch directly to the board, which essentially would have meant having to draw every detail not twice but three times!) At this point point the deadline was drawing near and I spent several days on end at the drawing table. There were oh so many individual buildings and houses! My drawing hand was pretty sore by the time it was finished, and I had a distinctive callous on the last knuckle of my middle finger, where the pen rested—but it was all worth it!
Here is a final, detailed view—and with this my posts on this particularly, big, exciting and rewarding project come to an end. Many thanks to those of you who have eagerly followed these posts over the course of the past few months. Please continue to check back in on a weekly basis or so; I plan to keep posting regularly on other projects and other topics that will merit your interest and attention!