The Squid

This aerial was part of a recent project that I had contributed both design and illustrative content towards. The 'squid' in the center of the project along with some of the additional surrounding massing was provided by the client. The goal was to emphasize a multitude of exciting performances that would support the central 'island' program. Relating hotel functions to these performances and attractions was also an important part of the projects overall concept.


I had produced this design/illustration a couple years back for a hotel/casino project. The idea was to create a whimsical garden landscape to serve as the entrance forecourt to a more modern architectural expression beyond. I am not particularly good at landscapes but I was pretty happy with this one. It seems as though the less time I have on something the less time I have to screw it up.


I recently had an opportunity to work on a resort/entertainment concept. Collaborating along side Forrec to develop the design; I was tasked with bringing vision to a place of: imagination, energy and wonder.

Art Deco Study

I had recently submitted three illustrations into the Architecture in Perspective 30 International Competition and was thrilled to find out I had received a Jurors award. One of only three such honors recognized per year. Thanks to the entire jury and especially Don Schmidt for selecting my image.

Bridge 101

Here is a new image I recently worked on. Not sure if I can ever consider these finished but I had taken this about as far as I could go. It was originally going to be about the archway design of a police department building. I later began playing around with bridge designs and then later started to scab onto the bridge 'new housing' inspired by Leb Woods.

Holy Sun City

I recently collaborated with Qing Lu of AUL Creative in China on the Holy Sun City mixed use project. The image below was also selected for a Award of Excellence and published in last years AIP29 publication. The design was already established and my studio was tasked with creating an image that conveyed a sense of entry and spirituality.

2024 Boston Olympic Bid

Its been quite some time since my last post and my new years resolution is to take better advantage of my blog and other various social media outlets... Recently I was invited to be part of a local team to work on the 2024 Boston Olympic bid. I was thrilled that our city was chosen to represent the USA for the upcoming international  competition against some of the most iconic cities in the world. My roll was to bring vision and conceptual design to what a Boston Olympics could look like. Below is one of the first studies I had done...

Alden B Dow Museum

Lots going on here at the studio. I was recently invited to submit work along with 15 other artists for a new exhibition, The Architecture of an Idea: Illustrations and Concepts. The show will be from May 11th  - September 8th. 'The selected invited artists range from architects, illustrators, model makers and fine artists working in a variety of media from traditional drawing, painting, and sculpture, to digital work.  The works are conceptions for built and un-built structures, while others are purely artistic expressions'. 

Winter Walk

It has been reasonably busy these past few months so I have not had much time to blog. Here is an image I worked on that was a rarely requested winter scene. I researched a bunch of real photography and tried to use a grey/pink color pallet.


Finally, here is a detail of the existing structure. Several other illustrations for this project had been commissioned after this first piece. Great project and the clients where very interested in capturing both the design intent and the atmosphere of the space.  Not sure how close I got to achieving the desired atmosphere but the available photography of the existing space proved invaluable in trying to approach the volume and character of the structural mosaic.

Evening Illustration

I have not posted anything in a week or two. In some ways this is a good thing. Meaning; if I am not on MO that means I am here working in the studio on commissioned work. Luckily the studio has been a bit busier these days.

In any event; this small crop from a larger image (originally 20x11) is from a recent rendering that I created for a client. The intention is to capture an intimate scale village atmosphere in the early evening. At the same time the image needed to feel 'busy'. I am constantly trying to practice my entourage and digital painting method. Thanks for looking.


This image was something I found some time ago which struck me both in composition and in color palette. I often roam the internet looking for interesting photography that is architectonic in nature. If I find imagery that is interesting or that I might be able to learn from, I save it and add it to an 'Inspiration' folder for furture reference.

Something New

I am sitting here Saturday morning, September 17th learning how to Blog. My name is Dennis Allain and I would like to introduce you to Magnum Opus. Interestingly enough, a blog created the same day I was, 44 years ago. MO will explore the world of architectural language,art and technique. Here I am making a concerted effort to post my musings over images that inspire me. This Blog is also intended to serve as a sounding board for digital artwork that I have created for clients as well as for myself; which brings me to the above illustration. This is a crop of a much larger image now posted on my new website under 'Self'. Simply put, this was inspired by all the classic 'agency cover up' stories of the Sci Fi world. This piece was also an exercise in capturing an impressionistic esthetic with the use of digital medium. Thank you for visiting MO and I look forward to continuing the dialogue well into the future...Cheers,D