Boxes 8 : Towers

‘Now you’re added up to what you’re from…’ – Bon Iver – Towers

Okay, we’ve made a load of boxes… whats next? how about joining them together to make bigger more intricate boxes so you can make some of the more complex structures in the doodle.

As discussed in the ‘Evolution Of A Doodle’ post, there is a process and flow to the way I draw pictures. After finishing that first canvas, I gave up with the idea of three full canvases and looked instead to show this evolution in progress. On canvas 3 in mauve pen (red clashed to much) single boxes and basic structures float in the white canvas. On canvas  2 in purple pen, the boxes start to drift together creating complex shapes on 4-5 separate box shapes. And as we have seen in canvas 1, the cityscape comes together. This progression of single shapes into larger complex bodies and then into the mass not only applies to the 2D doodles but also my 3D structures.


One element that is easy to build 3D from the 2D are the towers that litter the doodle skyline and are prevalent throughout all my finished designs. Starting with a pyramid shape for the roof and then from the base attaching a long rectangular box. In many of these a window appears (usually arched giving the impression of churches) or elements are cut out. Below this could be another box, or a staircase or a plinth. These tower/churches are very satisfying to make and once box elements are made, they are easy to assemble. As we will see below some towers are very plain whilst others raise up in complexity. Here are 3 examples

IMG_3251IMG_3242The Blue Tower is the simplest with only 3 distinct elements. The pyramid is made from a very pale blue/turquoise coloured card and has a base of 5cm square. Each side of the sloping apex measures 6.5cm. The main body in a darker blue card is a simple rectangular box, with a 5cm square base and a height of 7 cm. In one panel an arched window is cut out but instead of my usual tunnel or iniside attachment, a small panel of corrugated cardboard (white with blue flickers) is used to board the window from the inside. Below this box, sits a plinth in the same pale blue colour. The top follows the same dimensions as the other elements 5cm square whilst the bottom measures 6cm square. Connecting the two squares sloping slides measuring 1cm.

IMG_3243IMG_3249Keeping with the blue theme, the small tower has added complexity. It is made up of 8 elements. Starting with the pale blue pyramid at the top with its 3cm square base and its 3.5cm side. A cream coloured oblong box is below, 3 cm square base and 5 cm tall. A rectangular window is cut in one face measuring 1cm x 3cm. There is an inside box attachment in this which is oversized. I mismeasured the window so creating a space inside which adds depth around the window. Below this a pale blue plinth, 3cm top and 4 cm base with 1.5cm sloping edges. Now below this legs made from four cream 1cm cubes. These were tricky to make and difficult to place into position (in the corners of the plinth – a little away from the edges). Finally to add stability a very flat box, measuring 4cm square and 1 cm high.

IMG_3250IMG_3240Finally we have what became known as the E church/tower which has 5 complex elements. The brown pyramid atop is very small 2.5cm base with 2.5cm sides. Next comes a 2.5cm cube in cream card. a 1.5cm square window is cut into one face with a 1cm deep brown boxed attachment inside. This is flush to the edges of the window. below this the first brown plinth with a 2.5cm square top, edges of 2.5 cm leading to a sizeable 5cm square base. Below this is the box which gave this tower its name. I constructed a large C shaped box. Effectively its a rectangular box measuring 5cmx5cmx7cm with a 2cmx5cmx3cm removed. (See the design to the left). This requires careful measuring and planning to make sure that you have enough panels for each side and that you have tabs in the right places to pull it together. To add a little more difficulty, a 3cmx1cmx1cm outward box was attached to the inner face of the C box inadvertently making an E shape.  Finally to finish off this tower a second brown plinth is added, 5cm square top and 6cm square base with edges measuring 1.5cm

You can make these towers as complex as you want by incorporating any number of boxes and attachments. As always take care in the planning, drawing and assembly of all of these separate elements. When starting to join them together, starting off slowly helps give an understanding of how the structures come together enabling you later to build bigger and more complex towers that will help you reach for the sky.



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