Sunset Cityscapes

I do this project year after year with the 1st graders, and it’s always a hit. The kids really get creative with their buildings and the results are fabulous!

1. Begin by painting clear water over a piece of white 9×12 watercolor paper or heavy-weight construction paper (what I use). Then do a wet-on-wet watercolor wash of bright, sunset colors (no black or brown). I like to show the students calendar photos of colorful sunsets to inspire them!

2. While your painting is drying, draw your buildings on a separate piece of black 9×12 construction paper, using a white Prismacolor pencil. We talk about all the geometric shapes found in buildings and I draw a few examples on the board to show them how easy it is to combine these different elements to create a variety of interesting buildings. (I specifically tell them not to write any words on their buildings, other than their name in the lower right corner.)

3. Next, go over tips for using scissors before turning students loose to cut out their buildings.

4. Finally, glue your buildings onto your sunset background, after it’s had time to dry. Remind students to apply glue to the smaller piece of paper and press it onto the larger paper. Also, remind them to glue their buildings to the bottom edge of the paper, making sure their buildings are resting solidly on the ground and not floating in the sky!

Mount on a larger piece of black paper for a dramatic effect…..

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One Response to Sunset Cityscapes

  1. Snippety Gibbet June 21, 2009 at 5:20 am #

    Hmm. I like that. I'm rather “done” on teaching their architecture drawings in the same old way. I'll have to bookmark this one. jan