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City lights watercolor demonstration

City lights watercolor demonstration. The rain on the sidewalk, the hectic energy of the busy people, the flying taxis. There is so much inspiration in the city scene. In this watercolor painting demonstration, the show’s star is a wet pavement reflecting bright neon lights. Follow acclaimed artist Paul Jackson and learn how to bring this nocturnal cityscape to a busy life. Then feel free to access more instructions from Paul on the Watercolor Workshop DVD: Night on the Town. Have fun!

Draw and draw with Paint

A night on the town is one of my favorite places to look for cool things to paint. I find inspiration everywhere, but it’s the city lights that catch my eye: lots of neon, different colors, mainly when reflected on a rainy sidewalk.

Reference and modification

I got very detailed in line drawing and outlined all the lights and the various perspective lines and shapes. However, I changed the reference. You will notice that the ambiguous image of the people here, I have, switched to a focal limit a body with an umbrella practicing a photo with an iPhone.

He continues: In this composition, I liked that the policeman wrote a ticket to the girl and the car, I liked some of the characters on the footpath, but I thought it was necessary where the focal point was.

Change a bit

Paul assigns his drawing to watercolor paper utilizing a sheet of duplicate paper and a pencil before going on to the next step. I’ll splash Paint to create this composition with just a slight wash of a neutral purple color that will fade under everything else in the Paint later on. It will help me determine where my sidewalk figures will go.

Note: I didn’t write that much with my pencil drawing because I didn’t limit myself. I want to be able to create and go on the go with this painting. Also, I don’t want to have too much graphite on the spread paper.

Mask and undercoat

watercolor demonstration

I’m going to put the masking fluid in quite a few places in this reference. I took a black and white copier of my photo and showed you all the places where I plan to apply the masking liquid here. It’s all the backlights, and some of these highlights happen on the sidewalk. Jackson notes that it is lovely if some of the masking liquid drips onto the floor because it only adds to its textural effect. There is a lot of texture on this sidewalk that we can work with. I usually take the masking liquid, fill the brush, and spray it a little in the foreground.

Now that the masking liquid is dry, the artist squirts water over it, dropping bursts of soft color to capture reflections from the lights above. It is my ideal part of this art. Wet on wet is not as controllable as wet on dry, but you can make it work if you balance the water correctly and level it. Go ahead, dilute [the paint] with lots and lots of water. I’ll take my full brush and remove about half of the paint, making it a half-full brush. It is pointed, and it is not flat at the end. It’s not even leaking. It is liquid enough to make this mark without flooding the paper with a large puddle.

Increase the color and begin the background

Now that the paper is completely dry again, Jackson begins to remove some of the masking liquid by removing the signature and a couple of lines on the floor. Underneath, they will leave an excellent, lighter version of themselves; but they will no longer resist water and paint so that they will be painted and mixed a bit. You don’t want everyone to stand out. I want to leave some, so I selectively remove them. He adds, let’s do another layer of big wet wash. I still get some wonderful smooth edges because I have a lot of liquid on the paper. Those little soft edges make this floor look wet.

Next, Jackson flips the painting over and begins working from top to bottom. You should always orient your card to make it easier for you to make the marks you want. If you have trouble seeing the image upside down, reverse the reference. It makes it easy. Jackson reveals that when your design is upside down, you’re just staring at conceptual aspects rather than painting how you think the characters should look. Instead, paint the profiles you see, and you’ll get much better results.


When it comes to numbers, capturing all the details is not so necessary. It is ambiguous. It is hard to know what is occurring to some of these people because they are moving. It is very humid and rainy, and not everything has centered on these guys. But that’s okay. You don’t require to concentrate on these fellows. However, they are part of the composition, so you have to consider each element of your design and consider its scale and purpose in the image frame.

He proceeds: This girl [with the umbrella], her goal is to get your attention. I will continue to put darker pigments on her and give her shape, giving her more detail than most of the other characters here, simply because I want her to stand out.

Final adjustments

And now is the opportunity for the grand reveal. With the tape off, It looks fantastic, Jackson exclaims. I collected all the vibrant energy of the city on a small piece of paper. There are significant implications of movement, reflection and light, and chaos with the people passing by. I like the fact that I haven’t focused too much on all the details. It made making this piece so much more fun. I have to do all the fun things like spray and spray and do it all wet on wet.

Jackson records that while mastering wet-on-wet art can be difficult, he thinks it is tremendous fun and visually pleasant information about watercolor. It is the technique that says watercolor, concludes Jackson. When you see wet in wet, that gradation, that beautiful smooth flow, in watercolor, we can do it more quickly than with any medium.

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