Home » Famous Painting Study #3: Diebenkorn’s Abstract Cityscape

Famous Painting Study #3: Diebenkorn’s Abstract Cityscape

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Get ready for famous painting number 3, where this time, we’re studying the nuances of an abstract cityscape. Artist William “Bill” Dunn learns from Richard Diebenkorn’s Cityscape I, a painting that focuses on shape and color. Want to watch the video version? The full tutorial is available to members of our Watercolor University.

Materials Used In This Watercolor Study:

  • Reference picture of Diebenkorn’s Cityscape I
  • A block of Hahnemühle’s Cornwall matt watercolor paper (210lb, size 9.4″ x 12.6″)
  • Pentel Graphgear 1000 automatic drafting pencil, 0.9mm lead size with 2B lead
  • ½” Artist’s or masking tape
  • Painting palette for watercolor paints
  • Auxiliary plate or palette for gouache paint
  • A container of water
  • Paper towels or a rag
  • A tabletop easel or a box to prop your painting on
  • A spray bottle with clean water
  • Kneaded eraser

Paints (Holbein Artists’ Watercolors)

  • Cadmium Lemon Yellow
  • Naples Yellow
  • Gamboge Nova
  • Brilliant Orange
  • Brilliant Pink
  • Leaf Green
  • Greenish Yellow
  • Olive Green
  • Cobalt Green
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Turquoise Blue
  • Cobalt Blue Hue
  • Phthalo Blue
  • Indigo
  • Buff Titanium
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Neutral Tint
  • Ivory Black

Daniel Smith’s Extra Fine Watercolors

  • Chromium Green Oxide
  • Carbazole Violet

Holbein Artists’ Gouache

  • Zinc White


  • Escoda Perla Joseph Zbukvic Series: Round brush (no. 8)
  • Neef Rigger Supreme Taklon Series: Long handle rigger brush (no. 12)
  • Silver Brush Golden Natural: Liner brush (no. 2)