Imaginary Castle by Sy Gardner

Sy Gardner Imaginary Castles

In this interesting pen-and-ink architecture illustration, Sy Gardner (@sygardnerart) transports us to an enormous range of imaginary castles, built directly into a towering mountain, overlooking a vast stretch of rocky terrain. Sy is a concept artist, so I believe this scene was sketched from his own imagination, but I do note influences from some German castles, notable for their steep tile roofs, and those long lines created by their tall statures. German castles differ from the stony, boxy, parapet-filled rooflines of English castles... and other than the single spire we see peaking over the upper right mountain ridge, these castle buildings are obviously lacking in the steeply built conical spires that would typically adorn the French Medieval fortresses.

I imagine these structures might provide a rather marvelous view from nearly any window, though the bare landscape that stretches out before us gives me pause. Except for his subtle yet skillfully applied marker shading, Sy left the ground barren and devoid of naught but a stark field jutted with rocks devoid of vegetation. Such a fact might lead you to believe that this castle is abandoned. This does not appear an apt location to cultivate crops, and I would expect that hunting game would be equally difficult... if you can find any.

So perhaps this was not a castle set in the capital of a realm. Instead we may be looking upon a massive garrison, which claimed that spectacular vista as a supremely defensible position, and that panoramic viewshed as an omniscient outlook. Any necessary food would be shipped in. The castle line would not be self sufficient. It's possible.

Or maybe Sy just wanted to draw some castles on a mountain in the distance... if that's the case, I think it is rather magnificent. Who do you think lives there? Let's us know in the comments.


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