British painter Ben Johnson is best known for his mind-bogglingly intricate paintings of architectural interiors and cityscapes. But as stunning as the paintings are, his artistic process is equally as intriguing. In his recent painting of the Patio de los Arrayanes in the Alhambra, Johnson says the drawing alone took over a year to complete. Combining a multitude of photo references, he selected the extensive color palette of hundreds of shades of paint. From there, he used machine-cut stencils with cut-outs for a single color each and he applied the paint using a variety of tools such as a spray-gun, sponge, or brush.
“Each painting is a challenge,” he says in a recent video. “If I’m repeating something I’ve done before, I think I’d be very bored with it. Every painting is new and with each painting, I try and go a little bit further than I have with the previous painting.”
Johnson’s first retrospective exhibition, celebrating his 54 years of work, is currently being held at the Southampton City Art Gallery in the UK through January 23, 2016. [h/t archdaily.com]