Painting Urban and Cityscapes
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Painting Urban and Cityscapes

Hashim Akib

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300 Seiten
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eBook - ePub

Painting Urban and Cityscapes

Hashim Akib

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Über dieses Buch

Cities provide endless exciting scenes for the artist, from sun-baked cafes, rain-soaked streets, illuminated nightscapes and busy squares to quiet, atmospheric corners. This practical book explains how to paint these scenes using water-based painting materials and new techniques. With invaluable tips and advice throughout, it encourages a looser, more colourful approach to painting and shares a range of ideas for style and intepretation. Includes a guide to water-based mediums including acrylic, watercolour and mixed media, with advice on drawing, creative colour mixing and perspective. With step-by-step instruction to techniques, including tackling a street scene, and creating and capturing the movement of people, this inspirational book will help you capture the colour and movement of urban scenes and develop your own creative style of painting. Will appeal to all artists, architects, urban sketchers, interior designers and building companies.Superbly illustrated with 190 colour images.

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Working Conditions
I am very fortunate to have a dedicated studio space that is shared by a collective of artists in a converted old fire station. I have a room for storing paintings and materials, a room for painting and there is a large hall for exhibitions or to run art workshops. In the past I have worked on kitchen tables and floors but wherever you draw or paint your workspace should be a little sanctuary to where you can escape and produce your artistic creations. The lack of space I used to endure did result in me becoming organized and well prepared for a day’s painting. Being in any way organized is probably not the remit of many artists but one that is valuable to propagate. Clearing away and preparing for any painting creates the environment where the momentum of painting will become fluid without the distractions of looking for any materials or running out of paint. I know some thrive in the creativity of chaos but I would rather the chaos only occur on canvas. It is stating the obvious but lighting is everything as the impressions of colours do change under different conditions and you certainly need to see what you are painting. Natural light is obviously the best source and making the most of mornings does pay dividends rather than working into the evening. This is all complete common sense but these are all things I used to ignore as I would sometimes paint under the most atrocious artificial lighting; it wasn’t quite painting by candlelight but fairly close. The daylight bulbs you can purchase also seem very dim to me as I would imagine you would need a few to make a really plausible light source. I mention this as a realization that my own eyesight is not what it used to be and as a way of preserving this precious resource, finding better conditions will mean longevity in painting.
My studio. Your working conditions and environment are worth the consideration to obtain the best results from a day’s painting. Good lighting, ventilation and preparation are not always practical but much more conducive to a becoming a happy painter.
Understanding your materials is paramount to getting the most out of them. You are quite safe with pens and pencils but when paint starts flowing and big brushes come into play it is another story. I have seen plenty of beginners and more seasoned amateur artists foiled by how unforgiving a medium can be. As much as they force their agenda the medium fights back and ultimately the painting suffers. Obviously, any practical experience is invaluable but a little insight beforehand goes a long way.
In this chapter we will be skating through some of the materials you will encounter in this book and which can be useful in the depiction of cityscapes. My own specialism is acrylics, which I have been using for a couple of decades now. As most of my peers moved into the seriousness of oil painting, I saw a whole new horizon with acrylics and what, in historical art terms, is one of the youngest mediums. Where oil and watercolour have a long, illustrious collection of great artists with whom to aspire, acrylics has very few, which provides valuable, uncharted territory to explore. When I began painting, many artists working in acrylics watered them down and the medium was considered a poor relation to its long-standing rivals. However, as with many new mediums showcased here, the quality and manufacturing processes have improved greatly. I have decided to focus on waterbased mediums, primarily acrylics, with some watercolour, with the inclusion of drawing media and spray cans as additional extras. Each are practical to use and easy to clean, although if you are using spray cans it is advisable to wear a face mask and work in a well-ventilated room. You will find each medium produces very different results and requires some consideration before use. Some mediums flow, blending with ease, others are more tactile, requiring a more hands-on approach, while certain mediums provide ultimate control and work best with a delicate touch. Quite simply, regard each medium as ingredients that can be used separately or mixed together. The addition of such varied materials and mediums can be costly; however, the purpose here is to show what is on offer, what is possible and what will inspire enough to form the basis for your own cityscape masterpieces.
Overview of materials. Choosing a drawing or painting medium can be daunting with so many on the market. This is even before deciding on colours, so appreciating what each one has to offer will help make up your mind.
Drawing is the most accessible way into creating art. There are a variety of drawing implements available from pencils, different pens, chalks and charcoal, to specialist erasers called putty rubbers.
Drawing Materials
Pencil is your best starting point and comes in different grades from very hard to soft, providing a variety of tones from grey to very black. These are graded from H for hard to B for soft; a 2B or 4B is the most practical with which to begin. Putty rubbers are great if you need to erase any mistakes as no residue of the rubber remains.
Pen and ink also gives superior control but is less forgiving as marks cannot be erased. This can work to your advantage as it makes you more definitive and less reliant on constantly correcting mistakes. Your average ballpoint pen gives a consistent flow of ink but if you are looking for more irregular marks the nib pens come in different varieties.
Charcoal is the messier and grittier proposition in drawing. As the entire implement is the drawing tool, much more can be made of marks and tones. These are ideal for quick sketches but smudge easily if not fixed with spray fixative. Hairspray can work just as well for fixing charcoal and chalk pastel.
Coloured pencils and pastel pencils introduce colour, which can be layered in a very controlled way but can be timeconsuming. These pencils can work really well over a dry, light watercolour wash where elements can then be strengthened and refined.
Pastels and chalks provide blocks of colour which can produce incredibly smooth blends. Like charcoal, the nature of pastel does create a slightly unstable working surface that needs to be fixed with fixative. Again pastels can work well applied over initial washes of watercolour or smooth acrylics.
Water-based Paint
Water-based paint tends to be less toxic or completely non-toxic compared with oil paint. It is generally easier to clean and far more convenient to pick up and transport. Individually you could write a whole volume on each of these mediums but I will just be providing a flavour of the possibilities. The other factor to note is that paint can come in many different varieties, from basic and student to the more expensive artist quality. The fundamental difference between all the grades is the proportion of pigment to binder; the more expensive the paint, the more pigment used and the more intense the colour appears. With experience you tend to see a greater disparity between grades as artists’ colours are more luminous and certainly acrylics dry to a satin rather than a matt finish.
Watercolour comes in so many varieties, with certain colours noticeably different depending on which brand you go for. Paint can also vary in how translucent it appears. My own preference is for ShinHan artist quality watercolours as the range of colours are more intense with a touch more opacity.
Watercolour is one of the most popular mediums and provides unrivalled subtlety from translucent layers, especially when using ‘wet on wet’ techniques. The paint comes in a variety of different-sized ‘pans’ or as tubes. Pans are exposed dry pigment that activates when water is added. It is the most unforgiving medium, which punishes severely for insecurities or mistakes.
Acrylics are available in different consistencies and, depending on how you like to work, will determine which is most suitable. I prefer heavy body paint, which can be diluted with various mediums and still retain good colour strength. When thickening soft-bodied paint with paste or gels the colour vibrancy does suffer a little. Just about all brands of acrylic can be mixed together.
Acrylics are the most versatile of all mediums. They have fast drying times and light washes can dry in minutes, with thicker applications drying in hours as opposed to oils, which can take days or weeks for layers to dry. Drying times are also dependent on the temperature of ...


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APA 6 Citation
Akib, H. (2017). Painting Urban and Cityscapes ([edition unavailable]). The Crowood Press. Retrieved from (Original work published 2017)
Chicago Citation
Akib, Hashim. (2017) 2017. Painting Urban and Cityscapes. [Edition unavailable]. The Crowood Press.
Harvard Citation
Akib, H. (2017) Painting Urban and Cityscapes. [edition unavailable]. The Crowood Press. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Akib, Hashim. Painting Urban and Cityscapes. [edition unavailable]. The Crowood Press, 2017. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.