Painted Cityscape at Night

I'm sharing two painting projects in a row, but they couldn't be more different. Yesterday's subject was a colorful daytime scene of a stunning natural wonder, while today's is a cityscape at night. 


Painted Cityscape at Night



Put paint in the palette and water in a cup. Select a wide brush. 

Cut the watercolor paper so it is the size of a postcard and orient it vertically. Blend the paints to create five different shades of gray and paint them on the paper with a wet brush. These will be the buildings. I left white space for the sidewalk and the sky, but that's not necessary since they're both darker than the colors of the buildings. 

Mix gray and black to create the color of the sidewalk. Mix in Thunder Blue for the sky. You can stagger the heights of the buildings for interest.

Use a craft knife to carve an eraser into a rectangle. 

Dip the eraser into black paint and stamp windows onto the buildings. Vary the windows on the different buildings by stamping horizontally and vertically. You can stamp twice to create a larger window. Leave some blank spaces to make the lighted windows. 

Clean your homemade stamp by washing it under running water and blotting it on a paper towel. Then dip it into yellow paint and stamp in the remaining windows. 

Use a small brush to add bands of gray to the lower parts of the buildings to represent awnings or signs.

Water down some yellow paint and add blobs along the sidewalk.

When the paint has dried completely, use the flair pen to outline the buildings, windows, doors, and awnings. 

Draw street lamps in the center of each of the yellow blobs, then add the rough shapes of people walking by. 

This is a great project to do with kids, but can be difficult for those who struggle with perfectionism. It's nearly impossible to line up all the windows perfectly, for example, and that's OK. It's not an architectural drawing. For students who focus too much on perfection, challenge them to intentionally draw wavy lines and crooked buildings. Dr. Seuss made a whole career out of imperfection!


  1. This looks AWESOME!!!! I love the windows!!!

  2. This is absolutely amazing! I love that it's perfectly imperfect! And especially like the way you stamped your windows!


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