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lakeshoredrive   click enlarges

I promised to have some sort of cityscape going when I posted “Walking the Dogs”. This is my second attempt at a cityscape. I took this picture out the front window of my sister’s car on a Sunday morning in June. Lakeshore Drive brings memories of heading home to Wilmette with my Granny. She could navigate this road, beautifully.

I need work on city scapes. Mine tend to look stiff. Probably because I’m using the think side of my brain instead of the feeling side. I’m going to take my own suggestion and do some blind line of cityscapes and continuous line to try to get the feel and the flow of one.

Thank-you to Stephen for continually whipping off those landscapes and sharing your experiences. Reading your posts have inspired me to work on landscapes more.

Thank-you to Raji who accepted the challenge of a cityscape, recently. Seeing his post got me back on track.


  1. Lakeshore Drive shot from a car! Oh Leslie. I wonder what sort of cityscape you’d paint from a view of the top of that ferris wheel on Navy Pier–mmm. Wish I had such a photo to share with you for that purpose. Your ‘blues’ give this an unexpected ‘softness’–nice and inviting.
    –for now–

    • Thank-you 47. Top of the ferris wheel…oh my! I’m struggling here with the cityscapes from the ground. I’ll grab some cityscapes from wet canvas and see if I can’t loosen up with some line drawings and simple thumbnails and give another cityscape a go. But thank-you; the blues are rather prominent in this.

  2. Leslie! I am overwhelmed by all your beautiful paintings.

    • I consider this high praise indeed from one so in tune with nature to appreciate my cityscape. Did you notice, without those trees and bushes lining Lakeshore Drive, how sterile and sad looking this cityscape might become?

        • Deva
        • Posted August 24, 2009 at 3:42 am
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        Yes, I thought about that. Of course… 😉 But I think your cityscape looks quite exciting alone too. I’d like to have a look around in there. 🙂 Although I love nature, I don’t like the planted tree-line that you find in every city a whole lot. It’s so unnatural… It’s like they try to make nature as perfect as their buildings, but they haven’t understood that nature is perfect because it’s not..

  3. Leslie, I’ve been wanting to do a city scape for so long and once again you’ve inspired me. I love how you handled the trees along the street and put all the tall buildings in the background.

    Really, really, really great!

    • Thank-you for liking this, Carol. Here is where you get to hear me say I’m not satisfied, as yet. I want to let you know you have a good eye. An art friend of mine pointed out that the trees were what I was accustomed to. You know, that helped. I am comfortable with painting trees. I’ve got to get those buildings to flow and sing like the trees. I have got to practice with the whole concept and maybe treat the buildings as a group. I feel the challenge!

    • severnyproductions
    • Posted August 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm
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    • Reply

    us artists are never satisfied with our work are we. lol. nice painting. i’ve tried city scapes before it didn’t work for me. but for you it seems to do

    • Thank-you, Kokot. I think you are right and that is why we do what we do. It was fun to work on, but I felt a little stiff while creating it. I just know I’d like this to swing or flow a little better. I think you do really well with buildings. Minster and Riverview come to mind when I recall Kokot art.

  4. You know, my first impression on seeing this was the sense of fluidity it has – maybe because it gives the impression of being right after a rain – was it?

    • Thank-you for the comment, Anne, of fluidity because I strive for that. But no, the pavement wasn’t wet. I get carried away.I really like to let the water have as much of it’s own way as possible. I wanted to capture how bright the sunlight was in the middle ground and somehow have the grays in the foreground point to the John Hancock building that’s right next to “The Golden Mile” on Michigan Avenue in Chicago straight ahead. People that are familiar with Lakeshore Drive know they take a sharp left right there and the road carries them out closer to Lake Michigan and over the river.

  5. Thanks for mentioning me Leslie! When I first saw your cityscape, I was entranced. I especially love the cars, greeneries and the road. Painting those rows upon rows of windows can be a pain.There must be a better way…

    • You truly inspired me to keep working on a cityscape, Raji. I’ve been looking at other city scapes and in some, windows are suggested by including a few. More abstract ones look like some artists have printed them in with bubble wrap and other textured things. Thanks for the comment.

  6. I love the POV with this – also your use of that violet-blue: instant sunshine and contrast between the trees and those imposing skyscrapers. I’m not a buildings person myself – I like figurative, usually narrative, art both to do and look at but I do find this appealing on lots of levels. I hope that doesn’t read ‘backhanded’!

    • Thank-you, Sarah. I,too, like figurative, but have seen many city and landscapes that have a life to them. I’d like to try and find that with landscape and cityscape. Thank-you for saying you liked the point of view. As I kept flashing pictures out the window I was hoping I had one that would work.

  7. I imagine this must have been a very difficult painting and probably took you ages. There’s so much detail to look at and yet the eye doesn’t get lost. This is my favourite so far.

    • Thank-you, June. That is high praise..and just what I might have needed to keep me working on these. I kept watching all of you trying new things, so I wanted to try new, also.

  8. Deva……Excellent point!

  9. I knew it would be another good one Les, wow.

    • Thanks, Tracey. I’m waiting on your sunflower to be finished. I keep visiting.

  10. This is wonderful, Leslie! I really love the colors you used. They make cold steel look warm and inviting!

    • Thank-you Beth. Maybe there is some truth to using warm colors in one’s darks. I fed alizarin crimson into the dark blues and permanent rose into the lighter blues to punch them. Wonder if that’s part of what makes it look warmer.

  11. Yes, it’s crimson and rose that do it. They immediately put me at ease, in what would otherwise be a cooler painting. If that makes any sense.

  12. this is great stuff – after a brief look at the foreground my eye is drawn to the tall dark building then back to the road going in – nice tension – your cars are also comfortable on the road – with nice round wheels – I battle with this – nice work hey – and thanks for the appreciation – Stephen

    • Hi Stephen. Thank-you for the compliment.
      That’s what I aimed for was to get the John Hancock building to be what drew the eye. I did pay attention to those silly wheels because I screwed up on wheels in the walking the dogs one. I think I’m a little too exacting with this, so I’m trying to pick up tips from you and the others who paint landscapes.

  13. You have been quite busy, Leslie. So many wonderful paintings here for me to explore, and investigate.

    I know what you mean about your cityscapes. I have an affinity for nature, but less so for cities. It shows in my photography, too.

    Also need to work on my portraits, so will be seeking someone to model for me, I think, rather than go for my usual candid captures.

    • Thanks for the visit, Kate. I really need to begin to look at a landscape as a whole instead of concentrate on each small facet of them. Somehow I need to “marry” its’ parts. I’ll get there. You know, part of what makes things interesting to do is the challenge they offer us. Don’t you agree?
      Love your corn moon you just posted!

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