Asakusa

Somehow I wasn't sure what I want to paint and when I'm like that nothing usually comes right, so I decided I can struggle a bit with urban landscape and don't feel bad about the result. I never draw such things. I expected disaster. It was a huge shock that something actually came out of it. I made lots of mistakes and killed the perspective in few places but I'm still proud. I put it here for fun and to show you what could have been made better. Especially you shouldn't trust your eye and be lazy when it comes to drawing grid/lines for perspective. Or just be lazy and use the brush I give you ;)

What I really should have started with: one-point perspective. You can 'draw' it in 3 seconds, you just need to download brush with perspective and you can do it HERE. I didn't make that brush, I already had it so I don't know the author... After you have your perspective painted on a separate layer, you can start sketching buildings. What happens if you don't use it, you can see below. I sketched without any guidelines and that's why perspective on the final drawing is slightly messed up.

On the separate layer I place first colors. I'm generous when it comes to contrasts, you can see pure black and almost pure white here, which is kind of unusual for me. But yeah, I was experimenting, so who cares. I use mostly blue hues, some red tones for accent. You can probably notice how contrasts are greater on the building closer to the viewer, same with colors - they are dull in the center part, where building are far away. It's to make viewer focused on the part that is closer to him.

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Just above the layer with base colors I add some more new ones and start painting specific parts of the landscape. I start with the asphalt and make the surface smooth at first, then add texture. I use small dots for the texture, as you can see it's nothing fancy. Just be careful and remember that you need to make them smaller if they are further away. Another layer is the building on the right side. To be sure that I have sharp edges and straight lines everywhere I use line tool a lot, just set it to be extra wide. Pressing shift while using hard edged brush also does the trick. Architecture here is very sterile and that makes the mood so I want those edges clean and sharp.

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Lines on the street were drawn using line tool and then transformed to match the perspective. I gently erase some of the parts, to make them fit better and look convincing. I add some dots too, to match the texture of the asphalt. Then comes the next building, but as you can see it's not very detailed. I painted this simple picture just as you see it, I didn't use zoom even once.

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And wires. Asian street just doesn't look the same without them. So I take my hand, force it to stop shaking and try to draw some wires and shadows of them on the building. It looks so much better and all I did was adding some lines. One thing worth noticing: again the thickness of the wire changes with the distance. On the middle picture you can also see that I fixed perspective for the building on the right a little. It's still broken, but I can't see it without the perspective grid :D Building on the left was a pleasure - with line tool tiles just paint themselves, suddenly appearing before me. Just remember that dark edges are often accompanied by lighter ones.

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I blur out some of those sharp edges with the smudge tool. Last thing I add are those black shadows. I painted them with hard edged brush and use Motion blur filter to create the effect. Texts were added using regular text tool, I didn't even try to paint them, my handwriting is terrible. Buildings in the distance were also fixed, I added some more shapes and blurred them a little with one of artistic filters. And it's ready! On the last picture you can see how awful it looks in 100% zoom :D

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Those interested in Japan or just looking for inspiration I can point to my photo-tumblr when I posted many pictures from my travels. Take a pick and start painting! Japan