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This was a landscape I challenged myself to do from a photo my son took after a Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packer game 2 years ago. At first it was great fun trying to lay everything in. But, oh my, the layers I had to add to get any depth at all. I tried to capture what the camera picked up in movement in the foreground. Rendering all the people piling off the ramp was another challenge. This is done in prismacolor colored pencils on Strathmore vellum bristol board. I did not know about the Stonehenge paper that I use, now, for colored pencil work.  The other thing I noticed, today, were all the little people compositions within this, so I cropped them to share with you.



  1. wow, the only time I’ve been to Soldier Field was for the Women’s Soccer games.

    • I’ve driven past the new one several times but not been to a Bears’ Game. My son goes when he can.

  2. You have rendered a night scene in colored pencil very well and that too a crowded night scene! I think I have only seen few works of night scenes done in watercolor.Some say it is difficult to paint a night scene in watercolor. What do you think?

    • Thank-you for your comment, Raji. You ask a good question about night scenes in watercolor. I have done one but it is so long ago that I don’t have a photo of it nor do I own it any longer. I payed very close attention to the lights and darks of the scene and concentrated on that rather than the fact that it was a night scene. I think our minds talk us out of being able to do some things. I remember I used prussian blue and alizarin crimson mixed on the paper to render the night sky and much of the painting had a monochromatic look to it.

  3. Did not know you were working on this! I love surprises. I like the way you posted the sub-set of smaller views…thanks Les.

    • I did this last winter for my landscape assignment in colored pencil class.That is probably why I hadn’t talked about it. Saw it the other day and thought opening week-end would be a good time to post. I didn’t even notice the little compositions within this piece until today. Thanks for appreciating it. Can’t wait to see the barn painting!

  4. Leslie, this is just an amazing rendition of a night time street scene. The colors are amazing. I love the way you showed us the vignettes of the smaller groups of people.

    Oh, my grand daughter loved your comment on her photograph, and responded to you there. That was so sweet of you to encourage a budding artist.

    • Thank-you, Kate. Those little pictures within the picture just tickled me because I didn’t notice I was creating little scenes, also. I’m going to have to pay attention from now on. Perhaps you will find this true in your photography also!
      Madyson’s flower is so cool, I encourage everyone to visit her photo on

  5. beautiful piece. i like the activity in this

  6. I love the sky (of course!) I like how you put all these different people in there. Lots and lots and lots of people.. 🙂 But to me it is very unusual to see such a colorfull stadium. Sigh…

    • Thanks, Deva! I know what you mean about colors. Lots and lots of lights. Lots of excessive use of energy. I wonder how much energy we’d save if all games were played during the day?

        • Deva
        • Posted September 13, 2009 at 9:29 am
        • Permalink

        I think we could save quite a bit, but then again, no one would watch, cause everyone would be working.. And then no one would play and then there wouldn’t be much fun in the world.. 😉

      • I agree, Deva.

  7. What a challenge! Like your style. I like the fluid yet chaotic sense of motion in this one.

    • Thanks, Fantasia! You said it right. It was a challenge and I totally agree with chaotic. When I first started watching football, I thought chaotic was really the “name” of the game. Why should Soldier Field appear less than that? Smile.

  8. This should be called a “people-scape” instead of a landscape! There is amazing energy & movement in this drawing. The sky seems as active as all the people exiting the stadium. I also love how you rendered the light coming from the lampposts. Very exciting.

    • You are absolutely correct in that people scape idea because I spent more time on them (squinting a lot!). Thank-you for the comment….someday maybe something this aggressive again.

  9. Very interesting to see – I can really see your watercolour style in this. I like, too, that it does have a slightly graphic look to it.

    • I had to concentrate graphically a little or I would have probably run off the page. You mention my watercolor style and others have, also. Is it, do you think, that an artist takes with him to other mediums his first love? Thanks for the comment, Sarah.

  10. Very good. All that detail!

    • Thank-you, Cecily. I couldn’t leave out the detail to this one because I wasn’t too familiar with all these shapes in this environment and I don’t think I could have rendered all that blurring without the reference material.

  11. This is dazzling! I really like it. It reminds me that Van gogh once said that there were more colors to paint at night.

    • Thank-you, Jay. There were certainly more layers of colored pencil to achieve all these darks. Even the yellows around the lights took layer after layer. Van Gogh had to be right.

    • heatherslalaland
    • Posted September 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm
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    • Reply

    Lovely work Leslie. I absolutely love the lights, and the glow they’re giving off. The sky is fantastic. It must have taken ages to do this. I don’t know if I would have the patience!

    • Thank-you, Heather. I almost didn’t have the patience to finish it, but since I didn’t totally botch it, I had to keep going. Something pulls at me when it is not finished. You will discover that if you already haven’t already.

        • heatherslalaland
        • Posted September 18, 2009 at 7:45 am
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        Absolutely! It will just nag away at me if I haven’t completed it. Then again, it is also about knowing when enough is enough.

  12. Wow look at how those lamps glow – this is such a fun painting – this captures the feel of being a spectator of a big game

    • Hi Stephen! Thanks for commenting on this one and that you say it captures the feel of being a spectator at a game. That makes me feel good about having done it.

  13. WOW that’s a lot of work ! I like that you put a close up of the people. They are very well done. You are amazing.

    • Thanks Isabelle. All those little people were calling me to crop them for you. Like I said, above, I didn’t even pay attention to those groupings as I was shading along. I saw them the other day when I readied this for posting.

  14. This must have taken you ages to complete – and cramped fingers. You’re very brave to take on such a complicated picture with so much going on – and at night too! But you did it and it works beautifully – there’s so much energy it gives the viewer a real feel for the event.

    • Hi June. Yes. This one took hours and hours to complete. I was possessed by the challenge. Thank-you for the compliment.

  15. Wonderful. I am inspired by these. Beautiful.

  16. Wow this is really amazing, i can’t imagine how much effort and stamina required in completing this painting. Really nice work on each of the individul person in detail. i think i would just give up by painting fewer and fewer persons as i go along. Great job

    • Thank-you Francis. I did about give up! This took forever. I really like colored pencil for a change in media once in awhile, but it takes a lot of patience to layer.

  17. Hey Leslie – I missed this one! Dazzling, sparkling, wild colours; you’ve really captured the atmosphere beautifully. Lovely stuff. Your drawing work is always very strong; have you ever tried water-soluble pencils? I think they would suit your style.

    • Thank-you, Keith. I have a set of those pencils. I tried them a couple years ago. Maybe I should try something with them again. Thanks for the comment on my drawing. Have a good class! I want to hear about it.

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