How to Draw an Anime-Style Cityscape (Background Art) | Winged Canvas | Skillshare

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How to Draw an Anime-Style Cityscape (Background Art)

teacher avatar Winged Canvas, Classes for Art Nerds

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Sketching the Cityscape


    • 3.

      Colouring the Cityscape


    • 4.

      Colouring and Shading the Cityscape


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About This Class

Cityscapes are beautiful views in real life, so why not learn to draw them? This class will teach you how to create an anime-style cityscape in the stunning warm tones of a sunset. You’ll be guided through every step of the process, but given the option to improvise, so that you can level up your landscape skills!

By the end of this course, you will know how to:

  • Use an analogous colour scheme
  • Draw a cityscape in anime-style
  • Use colour to express mood
  • Express distance and perspective with value
  • Create a sunset background


  • My demo is drawn digitally using Medibang Paint Pro, but you may use any medium
  • If you're working traditionally, I recommend pencil, fineliner and coloured pencils
  • To learn how to use digital techniques, see our lesson: Intro to Digital Art in MediBang

[Sketching and outlining the city]

[Colouring and adding details to the city]

About the Instructor:

Felicia Bielby is a concept artist and art instructor. She specializes in 3D modelling and game development with a passion for the world of magic and fantasy! 

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Winged Canvas

Classes for Art Nerds


Winged Canvas is an online visual arts school based in Ontario, Canada, and we represent a roster of professional artists and illustrators with a passion for teaching. We host virtual art programs and mentorship for aspiring artists ages 9 - 99. We also design art resources? for classrooms and provide free art tutorials on our YouTube channel, helping self starters, teachers and homeschoolers access quality visual arts education from home.

At Skillshare, Winged Canvas brings you special programs in illustration, character design, figure drawing, digital art and cartooning -- designed exclusively from our roster of talented artists!

About our Instructors:

Fei Lu is a figurative artist specializing in portraiture and contemporary realism. She holds a BA in i... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Do you want to learn background art and add cityscapes to your list of animated drawing skills. This class will guide you through creating your own urban environment and level up your landscapes. My name is Felicia and I am a concept artist and instructor at wing Canvas. In the next set of lessons, you'll learn how to sketch your cityscape. Use a color palette to set a mood and add simple shading for debt. By the end of this class, you'll have designed a unique semi realistic cityscape illustration that'll be a perfect background to your anime and manga characters. I'll be illustrating an urban sunset scene step-by-step. And you're invited to follow along with me. If you're a beginner, otherwise, feel free to design your own buildings and freestyle to create your own unique cityscape. Feel free to draw in any medium of your choice. I love to see what you create at the end. So please share your artwork with our community. Have fun in class. 2. Sketching the Cityscape: So we will be looking at warm and cool colors today. So you can choose to either create a warm or cool environment. So using either warm or cool colors, warm is the red, orange, and yellow colors. And the cool colors are green, blue, and purple. So kinda splitting up the rainbow in half. But makes sure that we are using those colors today is that is going to be our focus. I guess. This is also a very simple scene that we're going to be making. Though I'm going to show you a few examples here. So this is an example of a anime cool background. So here we have lots of snow and lots of cool colors. So there's purples and blues of all different kinds of values. So we have blue, darker blues up here, some lighter blues as the sky. There's also some purple down here. We do have a little character here running in the background is very, very small. And that might be an element that you'd like to include in yours. Maybe just a small silhouette of a character. Here's another cool background. All these colors up together, these blue colors make it seem as if the background is very cold. Here we have lots of snow icicles dripping down here, and big patch of ice. Lots of blues. We don't see any sort of read or warm colors here. Very, very cold and freezing environment here. If you'd like to do cold colors, maybe think about where you're going to have your environment. Is it going to be in the Arctic VD? It's a rainy day and you have lots of blues. A warm environment here. Here we have the character Sailor Moon here. She's just sitting on a bench and we have lots of warm colors. This is a lake in the background, but our lake is a warm color. We have lots of yellows and oranges, and pinks and reds. This makes the scene seem as if it's very warm. She is wearing some summer clothing here. We can tell that she's not cold at all. And it's very, very warm here. So you can choose to do maybe a sunset with some warm colors here. If you'd like to do a summary background. And this is another warm example. So even though we have a blue sky here, a lot of the rocks and the dirt are very warm colors. It's very sunny and it seems as if the temperature is very warm out. And we also have a orangey dirt road going along with some desert rocks here. And this is from a Pokemon background here. Another example. Yes, very warm colors here with rocks and dirt. So this is an example of another environment. You could have a character here that also has the same colors, but could have a dark red color as maybe their clothing or something like that. I will be making a warm environment today. I will start making my city. And I'm obviously going to start with my sketch first before I do any sort of coloring this so I can plan out where I want my buildings and where I want my environment to eat place and where I want it to look. When to start by making some buildings here. Lots of straight lines. If you need to make any sort of straight lines today, make sure you have a ruler with you. Or some sort of straight edge. If you have a book that you can use, that works just as well. I'm just going to do one side of my building. Here is a sketch. Not too worried about my lines. All of my buildings here and the sky are going to be warm colors. Ink, I'll have a nice sunset, maybe. Something like that. Showing some pink and orange and yellow. Remember if you are going to use cool colors, I'll make a little palette here, just so you can reference. Here we have cool colors, so we have green and blue. And purple. You don't have to use all of them. Maybe you just want to use blue and purple. You don't have to use the green if you don't want to. And our warm colors are red, orange, and yellow. You could base it off of the temperatures. So if you're thinking of cool colors, it could be a cold environment. Just think about maybe what the temperature you'd like yours to be. If you want yours in a warm area, it's still can use blues and purples and greens. It's just a different look to it. On my building here I'm going to have just a few windows. Won't draw them all the way down. Just a couple here and there. I'm going to be making a sunset around my city. And it's going to have lots of pinks and oranges. And those kinds of colors. Can you think about how I want my buildings to look? I think I'll have one right over top of this building here. Oh, my buildings here are going to have some straight lines. And right now I'm not focusing on obviously the colors just using a black pen. So I know where I want all of my background elements to be. Taking small little squares are my windows here. On this building. I have some stairs here. Walking up, taking some sort of a ladder shape by using lines, host in a zigzag pattern all the way down here until you can't see it anymore. Well, I didn't know their small building in the background right beside it. Having them very close together. You don't have buildings in the back. Oh, these are going to have thinner lines because they're far in the distance. It soon will be hard to see them. One of the really large. I'm also adding more lines to the sides of them on an angle. So it looks like it is 3D. So instead of having them straight on, they do have a 3D look to it. I think I might also add the more stairs onto this building. It's, I liked the look of what I did before. We'll have similar bars. Maybe a little platform here. Sketching out my lines. He didn't have a little balcony on this roof to it's going to be following. The top here, a little post here on the sides in a gate just so they don't slip out. I'll have a sign on this building here. It's gonna do a rectangle. This is where my sign will be. B. They have some stairs or advertisements on the side here to. These will all be some nice warm colors here. Think about what are the objects you're going to have in your environment two years is any cold place. Think about some old things to include in there. Maybe you have an ice cream truck that's kinda cold freezer of some sort. I'm popsicles. All those can be kinda blue colors. Just show how cold it is. Right now I'm just adding some little details to my buildings. Some skinny rectangles here. In the distance here I'm going to have big tower on top of my building. This might be for radio or something. Adding little, little details. We're going to finish up this gap here at smart buildings. I'm also trying to overlap them to not having them side-by-side. Overlapping some of my shapes here. So somewhere in the back, somewhere in the front. So as I make them, I'll erase a couple of my lines here, just going to able to get right over top. Let's do another tone. My buildings are all different shapes and sizes. Lots of variation to them, all different from each other. And they all have different elements. Adding little tiny squares up top here. This is a little storage up here. Another little town. You know, do a couple more in the back here before they slowly fade off. Thanks. This is where I'll add bright sun. When to place my son. Right in the middle here. Just going to lightly place that circle. But since it's going to be behind my buildings, I'm gonna make sure it's not over top of them. Right behind them. Some fluffy clouds to thinking a bubbly sort of pattern. A little lump here, a little skinny end. Now I also have some clouds going over top of my son here. Let's covering just a portion of it. My lines are a little thick upon this building, so I'm just taking my eraser and lightly facing part of it. With this side here too. 3. Colouring the Cityscape: Here's my sketch. Like they're just a little bit. I'll start adding some colors. I'm having a warm colored piece. I'm going to start by coloring my entire page. Ink color, the color relate. Yeah. I know I want my page to be very bright, very warm. I'm just going to start off by making my full page pink. If you're using pencil crayons for this, you can draw each individual part on yours, so say your buildings. You can start off by coloring in those one color. And your son, for any of your other arts to you? I'm just taking mine and following the whole thing so I can color right over top of it. Sun is going to be in a nice warm yellow. Also add some orange in there. Well, I did say that red is a warm color, but that also includes pink as well. Since pink is just red and white mixed together. Ink is also a warm color. When to leave that for now, and I'm going to end my other parts as well. Start with my buildings. And I'll start making them different tones of pink and purple. So I have a lot of warm colors here. My piece is going to be very bright today. You didn't have to use bright colors for yours. Maybe you have dark blues and dark purples. You don't have to use any light ones if you don't want to. Just depends on where you have East. Taking different colors of pinks and placing them onto my buildings here. This one is a bit of a purply pink. Afterward, I can add a little bit more detail. If I want. My windows and doors. All those things are going to be a darker color than the rest of my building. So you can easily tell that there are different shapes on here. In this part of the building. Isn't going to be facing the sun, so it will be a little darker. The sun will make everything facing it bright. And behind it will be the darker colors. They'll be in Little Shadows. Just placing down flat base colors for now. I'm not worried about adding those details in just yet. It's taking a little baby steps. And I'm also following my sketch here. But if you'd like to add some more details to yours, you don't need to follow your sketch completely. Can always add more details or even changed some things. Adding a darker purple for the stairs here. I'm able to tell the difference between the door, the windows, and the stairs, making them different colors. We'll also add some little details here with that darker purple. Maybe making an extra window here. And these are just straight lines crossing over each other. Very simple details, but it adds a little touch to it. I'll make this a purply color instead of pink. I'm just going to color in this building is similar to the one right beside it. In kind of pink coloring in my lines there are my sketch adding a darker color for that other side of the building as it should. The sun isn't hitting this part. That's why I'm making it darker. At these buildings in relating would probably not be all these crazy pink colors. Might be gray or brown. Since we have this really neat sunset going on here makes them all look very pink and purple. Different than what you would normally see. But a city with these colored buildings would look very cool. This might be a very vibrant pink here. They can get eight tone it down a little. We'll see how great my piece looks by the end. I'm going to do the same for this one as well. This side darker, little bit of a crazy dark, but let's see if I can turn it down. It's probably good. Now let's start with these ones in the back here. Think about what colors I want them to be. Probably some lighter ones. You want to have our lighter colors in the back and our darker ones in the front. Also don't want them to get too lost. Just going to lay down one color for now. And think about where I want them to go later. Going right over top of my son here. This building is going to be hiding a part of it. Right now. These colors are very similar to my sky here. I don't want them to blend in that much, so I might make them a little darker or a little lighter. Just so they're not so similar. That will often get too lost. I'm definitely going to add some orange to the sky or read. Alright, once I get to that, I'll remember. I'd love to add some, some orange to this or read. I'll do both. Maybe. Just trying these little rectangle shapes up here. And this little radio tower and zoom in here, It's very tiny. Just a simple cylinder shape. Long rectangle with a circle as its thesis on the end. Here we go. And that also gives a very interesting shape right on our sun here. We'll add a little bit more detail. So going back to this building here, just getting those spots that I missed, it, miss a couple of corners. Let's make those clouds now. I'm going to start a light peachy color on them. And then we'll start building up more color from there. Orangey sort of blur. I'll add some yellow to it too. Cloud shapes aren't perfect, kind of all over the place. If you look up into the sky, not one of them is the same. It's okay to just have little wacky heard of shapes to it. Scribbles. I have mine very bubbly, lots of round shapes. I'm going to get a lighter orange here for the one right over top of it, changing up the color so I can tell that there's two clouds here and not just one. But I am going to go back and add some different values to it. Maybe some darker oranges, some lighter ones. Always adding more detail when I can. And this one is also going right over top of our sun. Me hiding a little tiny part of it just in this corner. My piece. Right now I have pinks, which is a kind of red alert, just adding white to it. I have orange and I also have yellow. I almost have all of those warm colors that I talked about. They're all on things that aren't exactly those colors. On a normal day. Buildings aren't usually pink. But it's an interesting appearance to this piece. Using cool and warm colors might not be something that you normally do. But it's an interesting way to look at colors to this building is kind of covering over this club to migrate behind it. This cloud here is writing most of the sun. Right in the middle there. Almost reaching out to our radio tower that I made Cloud to do. And I'll do this, that darker orange over there. On the opposite side of my page. 4. Colouring and Shading the Cityscape: With these clouds, I'm going to start adding some darker sort of oranges and reds to them as well. You can go in and try to add some darker oranges here. I'm adding those lighter colors onto here. Maybe I'll add some yellow onto this cloud as well. Almost if it's catching that yellow from the sun. Adding some more dark oranges to my clouds here. I'm underneath some over top. This kind of having fun with it. And also going to add some of that yellow there just from the sun. Okay, tying it in together. I might add some in the background as well. So right now I have a plain background, but if I add some reds, oranges to it, that might make it look a little more interesting. Me grab a yellow sheet here. I have some lighter yellows coming right behind my son. Let's see how I like it. Don't I can always just get rid of it. Might be a bit too bright. Softer. Not sure if I quite like it so far, just trying out some things. Anymore of the red background right to the top there. Little bit darker. I'll add some small details on these buildings in the back here. Very, very small. We have some little strokes for the Windows. Something like that. Some little dots. Those can be my little windows. Dashes. I'm going to do that all across here. Take a little bit of time, but that's okay. Again, using a purple color, so it's still continuing to use my warm colors. Not using any black or gray. Warm colors. That kinda looks like there. Very light way of doing it. Make sure you have lots of different sizes and shapes for your things. Might want to make it a little darker. I think it's too bright. They're adding a darker pink right over top of it. This one also has some windows on it as well. You go, I'll make these bigger than the other one. Is changing at what I'm doing. If I had some small windows, will make some big ones. Alright. I'll add some more details on these buildings here to piece on, could just be a little dashes. Two lines of them. I think That's all I can fit. Here we go. Weight change up some of these colors here. That I've gone back to the beginning. I can go ahead and some of these colors add some lighter pink, darker ones. Both Windows and colors here. I'll add this kind of peripheral to instead. And lighter purple. That might look better. Have a purple sign on this building. Lots of fun colors. And on here I gotta get a darker, purpley pink, or the back of this building. Since it is far from the sun, will be a little shadow. Once again, these are just some simple rectangles here. Adding some little details here and there. I'm actually going to fill this one with darker. Looking at my other buildings. I think it needs to be a little darker than that. Now these posters will be this sort of color. Grabbing the same sort of purples and reds around my piece. Not getting any new pink, but having them in different places. They are small and not worried about making any handles for any details on the stairs. Because the very, very small part of my drawing. So if I just do some lines and some dashes, shows what I mean without even having a lot of detail. That's son also going to have lighter yellows right in the center there. Maybe not too dark, but just a little bit. If I even have some orange colors to the edges of my son a little bit and warm it up just a tad. I think I like it just like that. Nice details are so simple. Lines and shapes. I'm not making every single window frame or anything like that. Curtains. Going to details like that. Very, very simple. These windows in the distance are going to be very tiny. They're so far away from where we are looking at some more lines or outlines to my building as well. Instead of having them, the theory light, I might go in and make them really sharp. I have some time to do that. Right now. I'm just going to go over my alerts here and my buildings, those sketch lines that I made before. But I'm just going to make them darker so we can see them a little better than before. Making my son a little bit more yellow. And I'm gonna go back into my quotes. Change after a couple of the colors. Adding some color orange or dark or oranges to this guy. Just about done here. Add some lights to my clouds and always add some more highlights. The clouds are the only thing that I really tried to blend on my piece here. The rest is just some flat colors. For my buildings. I guess my background as well. It did blend out there. That's a nice radiant or sunset there. I'm just changing up the color of this building. Also going to change the windows that I made on there. Just gonna be straight lines. But I'm making them a lighter pink than previously I had a purple. They're just small, small changes. I'm also making these stairs lighter color. Just looking back. I think they're too dark. Just making that small changes as well. Just keep going back-and-forth. Yellow to orange, yellow to orange. These final finishing touches. Thank you all for joining today. That I hope you-all have a great rest of your day. Bye everyone.