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How To Paint Buildings

How To Paint Buildings

To be able to paint different buildings, you must see it in different perspectives. From your own eye level to the top of a skycraper, this film guides you through how to properly oil paint buildings.

I'm going to show you how to paint a building. I'm going to start off with imagining the building where we're looking at the front edge, the nearest corner of the building to us, and I'm going to produce this in what we call two-point perspective. So, first of all, I'm going to imagine that my eye line is about door height across here and I'm going to take a line from the bottom of the corner to the, what we call the vanishing point somewhere along that eye line and I can take the top to that same vanishing point as well.

I'm just drawing with some raw amber oil paint, little bit of thinner to help it draw. These are lines just to show the end, from the end. Imagine this is a sort of a modeless block where we've got a cube there.

We want to turn it into a house with an apex roof and we want the triangle to be somewhere here. Then, the best thing to do is take a cross from corner to corner and that point there shows us how far back in perspective the apex roof is to be. And now put the apex roof, in like that, and this line here is we're going to go from the same building so we go to the same vanishing point down here.

I can put the other end in like that. Now, if I think where the light source is coming from, I want to pretend the light source is coming from here. So, this side is going to be in shadow, the roof is going to be the lightest and this will be a tone in the middle.

So I'll put the one in shadow first, just sketching with the raw amber, might add a tiny bit of ultramarine to darken it and I can sketch outside of the building in there. And this side here won't be so dark so I'm going to just add some white to the same color. Now, obviously all buildings are different.

You look at buildings from different viewpoints but this is just a guide of how you might like to approach when you are sitting out there looking at the building, how you might want to approach the challenge of getting it right in perspective. Now, we make the roof much lighter but add a little bit of extra white, block that in, getting smaller as it gets further away. And there's my building shape.

If I wanted to put some windows in, I need to consider perspective as well. So I'm going to go back to my dark color and if I wanted a window here, then that window is going to get smaller as it gets further away going towards that vanishing point. So, it's going to be a shape like that and put here fairly dark and the next one will get even smaller, like so, it's going further away.

And if we had a door, so you'll have it here. That will also get to the vanishing point and you'll fit it in here. Now, if we were flying over a helicopter, our viewpoint would be very different.

I'd still start with the front corner which should be here but our eye line is no longer the height of the door and you have my eye line now because I'm flying right up here. So, I could take these lines to my vanishing points like that and here. Put my sides in.

As you can see now, we're looking on top of the roof. A mistake that lots of people make when they're drawing outside and they're looking at their house like this and they know that there's a roof on top and they want to put in the view from the top. Always think about where I am, what can you really see when you're looking.

So from a helicopter, you would be able to see on top. Once I get the apex roof, I put the X in to make sure that I get the middle point to my line down, to the vanishing point across here which is horizontal and there's my shape. So, I'm going to go dark here again.

We've got that dark where the shadow is. Always think about where the sun is going to be coming from. Then, we've got a bit more light on it there and the top where the light's very bright.

It's going to be so much brighter. With oil paints, it feels a bit sticky when putting the paint on and just add a little bit of linseed oil or a bit of thinner. Linseed oil gives it that