Watercolor Manhattan Street Scene – How to loosen up your style

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Watercolor Manhattan Street Scene – How to loosen up your style: Video workshop available above. Click ‘Play’ to begin.

Watercolor Manhattan Street Scene – Introduction

In this article and video, you will learn how to paint a watercolor manhattan street scene with figures, cars, buildings in a loose impressionistic style.

This video includes complete step-by-step instructions on how to paint this scene.

I have pre-drawn this scene in pencil, however, you can use the reference photo or tracing template below to complete the drawing. You can find these resources below.


  • https://watercolourmentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/empire-state-building-2770365_1920-1.jpg
  • https://watercolourmentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Design-1.png
Watercolor Manhattan Street Scene
Manhattan Stree Scene – 1/4 sheet.

Watercolor Manhattan Street Scene – Reflection

I used very few colors in this scene, predominantly lemon yellow, some orange/gamboge. The darker colors are mainly gray or neutral tint.

Notice the contrast under the buildings. Those are crucial to creating depth and contrast, the feeling of light and dark in a landscape. I also have added shadows to the figures and a large, soft shadow in the foreground to show the effect of light on the ground.

The figures and cars bring life to the scene and break the scene up into areas of light and dark too. All part of creating contrasts and adding to the variety of tones in the scene.

Watercolor Manhattan Street Scene
I painted this scene again but with more red hues! Check out the video tutorial for this scene here.

Manhattan Again – Deja Vu!

I also painted this scene a second time with a slightly different color palette. Watch the video tutorial below.

Links and Extra Resources

Basic Materials (Affiliate Links):
Etchr Professional Black Drawing Pens – https://amzn.to/3d1zhil
Uniball Eye Drawing Pens: https://amzn.to/3letASU
Etchr Perfect Sketchbook – https://amzn.to/3n7ZQZm
Etchr Mixed Media Sketchbook – https://amzn.to/3DbFiEC
Daniel Smith Essential Mixing Set – https://amzn.to/3CaxD8e
Daniel Smith Secondary Watercolour Set: https://amzn.to/3nnr9yS
Daniel Smith Primary Watercolour Set: https://amzn.to/3Ct9cTV
Daniel Smith Mineral Mixing Set: https://amzn.to/3kP4YQi
Black Tulip Brush Set – https://bit.ly/2Scl7nM
Baohong 100% Cotton Watercolour Paper: https://amzn.to/30hNDs4

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