How to Paint a Skyline

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Painting a skyline involves first painting in the colors of the sky as the background, and then using dark colors to outline the buildings and cityscape. Add in more detail, like windows and roofs, with help from an award-winning artist in this free video on acrylic painting techniques.

Part of the Video Series: Painting With Acrylics
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Video Transcript

Hello I'm Jacklyn Laflamme from I'm here on behalf of the Broward Art Guild. In this clip I'm going to show you how to paint a skyline. First we're going to start off, I've laid out all the background colors so it kind of creates a sky. You always want to do your background before painting the foreground. So we're going to take some, two different shades of purple and we're just going to start to outline our skyline. You don't need to worry too much at this point about making it too detailed, we just want to lay in some buildings and just get the general outline of the sky and of the buildings. Then you can go back and take a little bit lighter shade of purple and you can start filling in the buildings. You just want to do nice long strokes to fill in the buildings. You don't need to worry too much about the bottom right now because we're going to continue the painting on and do a reflection of the buildings as if they were sitting on the shoreline. Again, just nice big, long strokes mixing between a lighter and a darker purple. And once you get your buildings filled in, then you can go back and take a lighter shade of purple or white and you can start working in some of the details and you can just work it right into the paint and you can start putting in some of the windows and some of the details in the buildings just like this. Again we're not going to worry too much about the edges, you want to work in the windows while the paint is still a little bit wet so that you can get a nice mixture of reflections. Then you can do little dots, you can do just lines, you can crisscross the lines and make a grid pattern. So think about how, what patterns you'd like to have on all the buildings. Once you finish putting the windows on the buildings, you can go back and start take a thin brush and start adding some lines just to outline your buildings. And you can also at that point if you want to go back and add some perspective. Always remember that acrylic paint is very forgiving and you can always paint over it so you don't need to worry about too much about making mistakes. If there's an area you don't like, you can always go back and rework it. As you can see I've added a little bit more detail and as you keep adding the details you can see that the city is now coming more and more to life with a little bit more time and effort, you can have the most perfect skyline. This is Jacklyn Laflamme, thank you for watching.


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