Painting A Street Scene

When painting a street scene, or even a rural area with buildings and structures, there are elements involved that make things a little more complicated. First is linear perspective, finding the horizon line and the vanishing points to give the buildings and roads depth. There are a lot of small simple books online that explain artistic perspective, easy to read and understand. Just a simple understanding is all you need. John Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting has a good chapter on linear perspective. But the most important part is simplifying the scene. Finding that overall shadow pattern that sets up the larger shapes and makes it easier to paint. It's easier to see the whole composition and set up the drawing with an overall shadow pattern.

Always working with large shapes first, getting the right value and color relationships, then working smaller deciding what details to use and what to leave out.

It's a good idea to do a smaller value study first, using ivory black and white or raw umber and white. This way you can concentrate on the values without thinking about color. Remember values are always more important than color. Then do a color version, using the value painting to check the values of your color.

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