Manhattan Skyline

This weekend my family, friends and I went to Liberty State Park located on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, and we enjoyed a splendid summer afternoon. We picked out a beautiful spot in front of the Manhattan skyline along the Hudson River. While my children were playing around and watching the boats, I took the opportunity to paint the skyline. Right away I was struck by the richness of colors of the building’s facades. It was also surprising to see how the ever-changing light of day affected these colors—like a magic color ball.

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View of the Manhattan Skyline from our spot along the hudson River

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Plein Air Watercolor Sketch Manhattan Skyline

Since this skyline is so impressive with all its vibrant colors, I couldnt wait to start with a pastel version back home. For my pastel drawings I’m using my favorite paper from the brand “Pastelmat”. First I started with a monochromatic underpainting in an eggplant color to block in the darkest darks and the middle values.

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Step 1: Work in Progress – Pastel Underpainting

The next step is adding colors. Although I’m using a reference photo, it’s a challenge to create one’s own interpretation of the subject. My goal is not to make a perfect copy of the photo. I think the challenge is to create a painting that’s more exciting to look at than the photo.

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Step 2: Finished Pastel Painting Manhattan Skyline

I took a lot of reference photos, so I have plenty of inspiration for future paintings of this amazing skyline. Stay tuned!

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