Travel around the world without having to pack your bags, with these 16 cityscape ideas. Whether you’re looking for something fun to have a crack at, a new media to try your hand at, or searching for some creative inspiration, these ideas will get your creative sparks flying.
1. Santorini, Greece
This pencil and watercolour cityscape captures the coastal feel of Santorini and the unique curves of the city. Its Matisse-style drawing is broken up by bursts of colour added to the tops of buildings, shrubs, stairs and the ocean.
2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The vibrancy of these colours, along with Kuala Lumpur’s unique architecture, make for an inviting cityscape. Experimenting with shadows and lines that change in transparency can be a good way to play with new techniques.
3. Stockholm, Sweden
For another cityscape idea, check the weather! This watercolour doesn’t just show off Sweden’s famous capital, but also, it’s warm summer weather. The sky’s washes pick up hints of blues, oranges and pinks that sit nicely alongside a towering Storkyrkan cathedral.
4. Wroclaw, Poland
Play with composition and angles to find a unique point of view for your cityscapes. This angle shows off the Tumski bridge in Poland’s Wroclaw making it look like a rollercoaster. That along with this unique style of drawing feels like a page out of a fun comic book.
5. London, United Kingdom
This Monet-style, impressionist cityscape shows London at sunset on a misty afternoon. This style uses choppy brush strokes in oil to show the light and haze from the city’s weather. Red gently flows through from the street to the women’s beret too. We’re inspired to start experimenting with oil paints after seeing this one.
6. Lagos, Nigeria
Monochromes can also be a way to create a unique abstract cityscape. Cityscapes like this in Lagos, look just as stunning with a few colours, you certainly don’t have to have every colour under the sun to create.
7. Kolkata, India
Cityscapes don’t have to be oil, acrylic can be used to show the energy of a city too. An acrylic with a vibrant colour pay off can show the buzz of a bustling street and energy of a crowded place. Here we have a cityscape of Howrah Bridge Kolkata. The yellow of the cars breaks up the city and brightens the overall atmosphere.
8. Montreal, Canada
This abstract cityscape is a mix of bold colours that melt together to form the cobble streets of Old Montreal. Play around with different colours and strokes to form your own expressionist style cityscape.
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The time of day can easily change your cityscape and mood. In this oil, an evening sky with gradients of light reflects over the city’s river. But the perfect light may only last 10 or 15 minutes so you might have to paint quickly. Artist @kateryna_ti_art painted this oil in under 20 minutes! The time of day and weather can be a great way to change up a cityscape and tell a different story from one season to another.
10. Paris, France
This charcoal cityscape lends itself a little more toward an architectural style. The structured details of a Parisian bridge during a rainy evening play up light and contrast.
11. Auckland, New Zealand
This abstract cityscape, bursting with colour shows the character and charm of Auckland’s Queen Street and reminds us of the power of bold colours.
12. Manchester, United Kingdom
Play up with composition and size for a bit of added surrealism as a cityscape idea. The city tower’s position lends itself almost to Dali, and falls into a melting city. Some oil has been added to the trees to add a touch of rich colour and texture.
13. Singapore, Singapore
Focusing on a single building can also be a cityscape idea for creating a detailed scene within a city. This spiraling staircase could be mistaken for an Mc Escher with its detail and precision. But also reminds us that you don’t need to have a range of equipment to draw realistic cityscapes, this is simply pencil and pen.
14. Melbourne, Australia
This watercolour cityscape shows not just the beaming glow from Flinders Street Station, but also the mood on a Melbourne afternoon. Experimenting with light and shadows can not only add a nice touch, it can also be used to illustrate the atmosphere. This watercolour uses light and shadows to capture a sun shower in the city known for its four-seasons-in-one-day.
15. Istanbul, Turkey
Adding in small features like people and birds can bring life to a watercolour cityscape. Here, we see black crows have been added to the sky, with a couple of fishermen inside a green boat, this adds both a nice warm touch but also gives us a glance at the lifestyle of the city.
16. New York, United States
If you’re looking to create something totally unique, try your hand at a collage cityscape. This city skyline is made up of vintage papers. Think newspapers, magazines and catalogues, to create a bustling city for the town that never sleeps.