How to Draw a Nighttime City Skyline

Written by leslie rose
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How to Draw a Nighttime City Skyline
City skylines are usually entirely geometric, so use a ruler. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Nighttime city skylines can be rendered easily because they consist entirely of geometric shapes. Images of nighttime skylines may be useful in many contexts, from murals to menus, stationary borders to fine art paintings. Whether you want to render the skyline for fun or for a serious project, it won't take long to draw a skyline that is easily recognised and appreciated by viewers.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2B Pencil
  • Black coloured pencil
  • Yellow coloured pencil
  • Blue coloured pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper

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  1. 1

    Draw the horizon line very lightly on the paper with a 2B pencil. This is a straight horizontal line that shows the place where the earth meets the sky. This will mostly be covered up by buildings when the drawing is finished.

  2. 2

    Draw several vertically oriented rectangles of different heights and widths. These rectangles should overlap with the horizon so that parts of them fall below the horizon and parts fall above. These represent the skyscrapers of the city. The more rectangles you draw, the more buildings there are in your skyline.

  3. 3

    Draw clusters of smaller vertically-oriented rectangles within the larger rectangles. These smaller rectangles represent windows. You may draw as few or as many of these rectangles as you wish.

  4. 4

    Colour the page from the bottom of the paper up through the horizon, using the black coloured pencil. Shade the skyscrapers as well, but leave the windows unshaded.

  5. 5

    Colour in the sky using the blue coloured pencil, then colour over the blue with black, so that the sky is an inky blue-black colour.

  6. 6

    Use the yellow coloured pencil to colour the windows of the buildings.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a ruler to render all straight lines.

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