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City Painting Ideas: How To Paint A Busy City Landscape

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Step 4: The Left Side, Layering, And Adding Contrast

Painting more layers to the city landscape

Shifting to the other side, begin by preparing Yellow Ochre with Neutral Tint on your palette, then paint the main building near the left side of the vanishing point. The Transamerica Pyramid (i.e. the slanted structure above) can be painted as well after adding more Yellow Ochre for a lighter color. Next, mix Neutral Tint, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Deep, and a touch of Burnt Sienna, using this color for the rooftop of the leftmost building. Add Burnt Umber into the blue-gray mixture on your palette for the shadowed side of the same building, then dilute this color with more water and use this light gray to paint the lighter areas, giving more contrast and depth to the overall painting. While this base layer of paint dries, prep Cobalt Violet Light with Peacock Blue, and use the wet-in-wet technique to blend it into the still-wet shadowed side of the leftmost building as an additional layer. 

Continue back to the right-side of the painting, applying the many different varieties of grays to either lighten or darken areas that need more contrasting value and structural details. This will add depth to your city landscape like nothing else. Using the Cobalt Violet/Peacock mix, fix the color of the rightmost building, glazing over the first layer for a stronger color. For the side of this same building, add a little Cadmium Yellow Deep to make it lighter.