help with a city scene
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  1. #1
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    help with a city scene

    hi,

    been struggling with this for a couple of days as i do not paint city scenes or landscapes, this is a first time for me. i like the trees, and lower area, but im having a bitch of a time trying to paint the buildings with any success. any helpful hints or hand holding would be appreciated.

    thank you very much.

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  2. #2
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    First off, I would put down a shadow color. Pick a color other than white and put it down as a background color. Then I would go to painting in the places where the light was hitting... but that might just be me.

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    Try some dark blue for one of the buildings (if unsure, don't paint every building yet and experiment with one - I say the far left one). I'd still with blue and cold cream colours since your palette looks like it's based on the cold colours anyways. To make an object look large and heavy, it's darker at the bottom to suggest weight. Keep the windows pretty light, maybe put a stripe on the building - attracts the eye and spruces it up. I get a lot of striped flats round my city.
    Hope that's helped, it's going really well at the moment!

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  4. #4
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    I agree with above. If you add a background color other then white, it fixes your color perception better. You can focus better on values, etc. When it comes to coloring buildings itself, when coloring, try making your own custom texture brushes that would give those nice effects when blending colors. Also, once you fill in the colors you like, add a overlay image of buildings you like to add texture but don't forget to decrease the opacity so that your hand's texturing will come through.

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  5. #5
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    Nice drawing. Here is how you color it:

    1. As suggested by others, pick a background color and transparently cover your linework with it.
    2. Paint in everything with it's basic "shadow" tone.
    3. Decide where the light source is and paint in the "light" areas.

    It really is that simple. The important thing is to have the discipline to work the whole picture and not get caught up in details until the big simple shapes are all working correctly.



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  7. #6
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    I really like the line work so far! Did you do it in Photoshop?
    I agree with everyone else above me as to lay down a nice color on the canvas that fits the mood of the scene.
    I've noticed when ever I start to paint directly on white, the end result is a sort of washed out painting.

    The post above me was super helpful as well, good job!

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  8. #7
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    Wow, great illustration of the point Giacomo.



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  9. #8
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    Lets see an update!



    Last edited by Bai Fan; April 12th, 2010 at 04:40 PM.
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  10. #9
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    thanks for the help! ill do an update later this today, when i can get my waycom and computer to the office! ill post tommorow!

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    here is a slightly updated version. i started over with your advice, but lacked time to get going on it yet, to many students in the office asking for help. i get the process, but for some reason to me, it doesnt look like a "daylight" scene, it looks "off" not to mention i screwed the lighting again, but take a look.

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    Use the cool colors for the shadows, add some warm light to show sunlight. Also, pick a direction the sunlight is coming from and stay consistent. You have shadows on the street side of the buildings to the right, street side of the buildings to the left and the building in the front left has shadows on the street side and the front side. I really cant tell where the sun is in the sky.

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  13. #12
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    This is great line art for some lighting studies. I would try not thinking of this as one piece you are working into a painting, but as a series. Once you finish one painting, choose a drastically different time of day and repaint it. Morning, noon, dusk, etc would have dramatically different colors and shadows.

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    What Bai Fan says, all I see are greens and blues. Or just cool colours in general. Create your light source first things first. Plop a sun in, then it WILL feel like daytime! Make a new layer and roughly splash over some creams and bright desaturated yellows where you think the highlights are.
    Actually...by the looks of things, the sun is behind the canvas, am I right? In which case, screw the light source and just make sure you got all your highlights facing the right way. No point in advancing until your lights and darks have coordinated themselves

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    Also -- a helpful hint -- blue skies are typically very pale toward the horizon, and get darker as you go up. Right now, you have the opposite, and there isn't quite enough contrast between the dark/light parts of the sky.

    This will make it feel a lot more "sunny" and daylight.

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  16. #15
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    thanks everyone i got time towork on it today as its my day off, so ill post it when i make some progress!

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  17. #16
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    after starting over again and again, trying what you told me ive come to this version now, but it still seems flat, no volume. i dont mind the colors and i want it to have the black lines show in it, but it just seems so flat. take a look:

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  18. #17
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    I'm surprised no one mentioned the fact that the buildings on the left side of the image are off balance...

    The reason it looks flat is because there is almost no tonal variation, just some gradient here and there. The road is one value for its entirety. Pretty much the same thing goes for everything else. Personally I find the colors really dull and too desaturated but that's a matter of opinion. I think when you color the cars and maybe add some clouds it will look better. Here is a quick example of the building issue.

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