Painting City Scenes by Frank Francese


Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff!

I would like to show you how to quickly put a city scene together using a big brush, bold colors, interesting shapes, people and cars using the exercises I showed you before.

Using a big brush we'll start off with some straight Cobalt Blue. Start at the top and run it across very quickly. We can start cutting our shapes in like this. I think this particular scene is from York in England. I really enjoy painting the English countryside.

I do not draw on my paper, I guess you folks out there have already guessed that. Once I have a line established on the page, I was always taught to never cross it. This will free you up and will enable you to do something very very interesting.

I like to treat painting as if I had colored paper and a pair of scissors - very quickly and simply.

If you work in big shapes as I'm doing now, and you work with great color and you work fast, you should be able to come up with something very enjoyable.

Next I'll come down here with a smaller brush and put in the roofs on these houses. This board is on an angle so the paint will pool up along these edges here. You just want to pick it up with your brush. I think it's important in watercolor to let the paint mix and not try to control it. Otherwise you'll become aggravated and it will show in your work.

Now I will go in and start filling in my figures. Before I can do anything else I need to establish my foreground and then I can negative paint my storefronts around the people and the cars that we have set up here.

Very simple and it's still the same process that I showed you when painting figures and painting automobiles. This car here will give it some scale. Don't be too critical of your work, just get it on quickly and with authority. I believe you'll like the outcome. Next we'll come up here and I'll put some more people over here.

Then I can start putting in the storefronts here. I'll have a nice white building here with some windows in it, but first I have to establish some areas that will showcase these cars.

All the while I'm thinking of how I can speed this process up. When I paint quickly like this I'm not thinking about anything. I'm only thinking of just getting the paint down on the page quickly. I don't want to get real analytical about it, or let my mind catch up to me because then I'll start second-guessing myself. Once you start second-guessing yourself, you'll have real problems.

When this dried and ran into this wet area here I lost some of that definition, but I believe I can wait until it dries and put a little dark right there and I think it will pull right out and be just fine.

Near the cottages right here, this area will remain white, but I'm going to put some objects in the foreground here. My shadows will take care of some of this. If this is dry we can come in and start applying some darks along the roof top line.

Now, watch this. We can put our foreground in like this - be sure to go around your cars and people - but this is starting to come together.

Put darks in wherever you think you need these darks but don't overdo it - you want to keep it as simple as possible.

Be sure you wipe up the water underneath your painting because if you don't, it will syphon back into the paper and make a blossom on the front of your painting. Then we'll dry this real quick and put our trees and light source in.

We're going to apply a glaze over these areas to create a light source. Once we create a light source a painting is finished in my estimation. You may have to come back in and do a few areas of correction.

I havea couple of trees I want to put in here first. We don't want to overdo it - just give the indication that it's a tree. The more you do here, the more you'll distract from everything else. So keep it simple. This tree looks old and tired.

My light source will be coming from the left. What I'm going to do is mix my colors. I'll apply a shadow here and there where it makes sense. This mixture I'm putting on will dry transparent. If you put a little time thinking about what your final product is going to be you'll have a lot less aggravation.

The backs of these cars will be in shadow, too. We're editing on our shadows - pushing things back and bringing things forward.

Here in the corner I'm putting a shadow in from an object that is out of the composition. It's throwing a shadow across the page like that. In essence what we've done is redirected the viewer's eyes to where it should be.

We need a few extras here and then we'll call it completed. Little details like heating vents sticking out of roofs. It really adds to the overall painting.

One of the last things an artist should do is sign your work. It becomes a design factor.

Thank you very much!

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