Step by step oil painting demonstration
Painting people and cityscape in Oil.
A step-by-step demonstration.
Below is a demonstration of a city oil painting with people and buildings.

Please do not copy or reproduce (repost, put in blog etc) this for 'any' reason.
Copyright: Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
South Bank, London - Copyright - Alistair Butt plus other companies - reproduced here with written consent
Stage One:
The picture below shows the quick establishment of the main elements using oil paint mixed with turpentine while trying to place the main darks ready for over painting.

This was painted over a previously prepared gesso board using a light blue/grey wash (seen in the sky and foreground).
Stage Two:
The background ... starting with the area of trees, using a mixture of greens and browns in various tones to establish both form and texture.

The buildings that line the far bank of the River Thames were painted next, painting around the tree leaves/trunks etc where required.

The buildings were painted slightly darker than required as the plan was to 'dry brush' the bright hazy light on later. Next to be completed was the wonderfully ornate lamp stands that line the South Bank.

The final section was the sky (again slightly darker) painted around the buildings, lamps and tree with small areas cut into it.
Stage Three:
The people... the first decision to be made was...

A - paint all of the people as whole group i.e paint all skin areas, all browns, all blues, etc or

B - paint them individually
In the end a sort of mixture of the above two resulted with small groups being completed at a time with the larger figures done individually - working more or less from left to right.

This was the most time consuming stage, the result of the time taken to mix all the different colours. Within each group/figure the painting of the darks (if required on top of the under painting) comes first, followed by the mid tone colours, next the light tones (not that many) before adding the bright highlights.
Stage Four:
The foreground... the area that inspired this painting, the mixture of tones and colours of the shadows cast by the figures against the bright sunlit pavement.

All the shadows were painted first using a mixture of colours and tones before the sunlit areas were painted. Some edges required blending/softening while other sections were left sharper.

The sky and distant buildings received their dry brushing with an 'off' white colour to tone them down and create a hazy feel to the background building/sky.

Finally some lines to indicate the slabs on the pavement were painted.

Copyright:
Alistair Butt and third parties have reproduction rights.
Further Oil painting step-by-step demonstrations
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration
Copyright 2012 - Alistair Butt - click for oil demonstration