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Night City SkyLine Painting Lesson

Night City SkyLine Painting LessonNight SkyLine Cityscape Painting

This is a simple concept with big visual impact! The contrast of the night skyline against the colorful sunset really pops! I did this project with 1st-6th grade students in my after school art class with great success. All ages were able to paint this city scape with eases and they turned out stunning!

The foundation of this lesson came from the book “Painting Techniques” (no longer in print), but have made some alterations.

Supplies: 12×18″ tag board, tempera paint, brushes, water cups, per-cut city skylines, pencils

  1. Draw the horizon line (not in the middle of the paper-that’s boring!)
  2. Paint background sunset above the horizon line. We talked about overlapping your paint strokes to blend the colors together. Because we used tempera paints, we had to work quickly to blend colors before the paint dried. If it dries out, you can always go over the paint with just water to blend colors.
  3. Paint blue for the water below the horizon line.
  4. Trace outline of city scape. I cut several different skylines out of folders, especially for the younger kids. (Older students were encouraged to draw their own skyline.) Number the templates because we will use them again to draw the reflection in the water. Have the students write the number of the templates they used on the back of their paper.
  5. Flip templates over so they are mirror image to the ones above the horizon line foe the reflection in the water.
  6. Paint the buildings above the horizon line with a flat brush using solid black strokes.
  7. Dry brush paint the building reflection with black paint that has been wiped off on a paper towel. Use a flat brush. Show the students how to wipe the brush to remove some of the paint then place the brush on the lines & flick the brush down.
  8. Using both ends of a small round brush, paint the windows with white paint. I encouraged the students to vary the kinds of windows they painted in (round square, rectangle & linear.) repeat some of the windows in the reflection in the water.
  9. Paint small horizontal lines using the all the sunset colors in the water.
  10. Stipple paint green along the horizon line varying he height. Mix some white in with the green & stipple on top of the green-just at the top, so it looks like the moonlight/sunlight is hitting it.
  11. Finish the painting by paint in a few stars (using the opposite end of a small paint brush) & a crescent moon.

This lesson was written by Michelle C East. If you choose to re-blog or use this lesson in any way (written or photos), then please make sure to link/credit to Create Art with ME.

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  1. Geri B

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