Video Library


Oil demo on 12x12" panel of what it's like to be inspired plein air at night in Paris.


Extra time is spent in the 'drawing/toning' stage. Spend more time on this if desired. It's important to get a feel of where the dark tones of the painting are going before proceeding to the highlights.

Watercolor artists can do this demo (light to dark) with a scatter pattern of 'lights and brights' to start (see final painting in download tab to know where these go). Draw out with pencil or a light Burnt Umber wash some of the building structures, next paint the sky and have the building facades mix part way into the sky for flow. Follow with super-darks (French Ultramarine plus Burnt Umber mix) for roof tops and tree. This mix is great because it's forgiving... you can do lifting out with a damp brush (while wet) or later when the art is dry (try a sponge or a wet brush). Let swabbed out area dry first and then retouch with a glaze if it needs color.

City scenes are great fun to paint... and surprisingly forgiving. Beginners can focus on the square building (right side) if perspective feels overwhelming. City scenes offer a great way to practice going more abstract. Although it might seem there are tight rules (perspective, straight lines, etc) I see cities as a way to embrace wacky edges, smudges, and energetic dabs. These coalesce to go beyond what a photo can capture. I love city scenes!

IDEAS: Copy the demo as shown or try your own scene. Pick any night scene... this can be in your home town or a vacation photo. It's best if you have been to the location. Rainy nights are great to see the melting colors and enhanced gloss of the city. Beware that photos can blow out the lights and make them too bright. The white ball should not be replicated on the artwork, plan to reduce the white ball and instead think of a bull's eye of concentric circles with a small yellow/white dot in the very center.

Paris And Moonlight Lashley Oil 12x12