Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunset Cityscapes

There are certain art projects I am drawn to - Cubism, Impressionism, birds and cityscapes come to mind. Everytime I spot a cityscape project on another blog, I ooh and aah. My "favorites" list are filled with cityscape art project ideas. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for my days living in the fabulous Midtown Atlanta or in the bustling Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles.(I lived literally a stone's throw from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and would take my then 3 year old) son to the children's space there on a weekly basis. People laugh when I tell them that the transition from L.A. to a quiet beach town was a difficult one. It was hard going to sleep at night without the hum of traffic and helicopters. :)

Back to art projects! I found the idea for this one on Artsonia. Credit goes to Muraski Elementary School in Stronsville, Ohio. There are some gorgeous pieces posted there. My example pales by comparison. And I have to really give credit to the teacher for the variety of unique sunset cityscapes. This is not a cookie cutter collection. So being that the sunsets in L.A. are particularly beautiful this time of year, I am going to do this project with my 3rd-5th graders to satisfy my selfish craving to enjoy them.

After drawing a faint horizon line, the children will use watercolor to create their sunsets. I plan to offer a few examples to show the magnificent colors and variety of sunsets, stressing to blend the colors with a brushstroke of water when needed. The water beneath the city can be painted in the same way. Yellows or pinks (or other colors for that matter) can be added in narrow verticle lines to echo the sky scraper lights they will add later. After the watercolor has dried, the children will paint a variety of black buildings using acrylic, varying their heights and style to add interest. Using the back of a small paintbrush dipped in a variety of colors, they can create the lighted windows. They can keep their palette limited with this part or use the rainbow. The last touch is to add some horizontal lines to create water reflections.


  1. I agree, great idea! Can't wait to see the kid's works.

  2. I used to live in the Miracle Mile area as well! My parents still live off of Wilshire and LaBrea. My mother actually started a Miracle Mile Art Walk a few years back. Funny how you mention Atlanta too because I now live in Northern Georgia. Both are wonderful cities. These cityscapes are beautiful! I just might try them with my students.


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