Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pastel Resist Night Skyline

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope it was a good break.  I was in Florida with my family.  It was nice to see flowers and green grass again.

I'm back at it, scheduled into residencies up until Spring break.

This week's project is one I presented at ECEC as part of my Canadian series, pastel resist skylines.  This is Toronto but any skyline will do.  My hometown here in Calgary also works well with reflections in the Bow river.


- reference photo of skyline
- white drawing paper, pastels work well on paper with a little bit of tooth or roughness
- green painter's tape, art board
- pencil, eraser, ruler
- oil pastels
- black sharpie
- disk tempera paint


Place your paper onto your art board and tape into place.  This will give you that nice clean edge at the end.

In pencil draw out your skyline.  You can use a reference photo to draw a specific city or just have the kids create their own.  Draw a horizon line in the lower third of your paper.  Your skyline will be reflected in this lower section.  Most cities are near water and this water is where we see the reflections.

Go over your skyline with sharpie or permanent black marker, just the outline.

The skyline is a nighttime scene.  With oil pastel add in all the windows and the lights on top of the buildings.

I used some black pastel to define the horizon line and some of the sides of the buildings.

In the lower third, the water, smudge in the reflections.  You want them to correspond to the buildings so smudge long rectangles of colour.
Don't forget the moon if you have added one.

When the pastel has all been added it's time to add the paint.

Start at the horizon line. Working up add some purple paint, gradually make it darker purple adding some blue and then black when you reach the top.

The part below the horizon is darker than the sky.  A little purple but mostly black.

When the top of the horizon line has dried (it takes only minutes), go over the buildings with black tempera.  This is the secret and makes them stand out from the sky.

When it has fully dried remove the painter's tape.

With our short days in January this project fits well.  If you are starting an Olympic theme there is a great night skyline of Sochi here just click on #3.

Here is another skyline project you could try:

 Night or Day Skylines.

Give it a try and I'll see you next time.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this idea! I may give it a try with my kids! :)