Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Simplify! - A Cityscape Challenge

OK! Looks like we have a bunch of takers! WooHOO~!

I'm glad so many of you want to try this. I think it'll be very interesting and instructive not only to do an exercise like this, but to see how others solve the same problems. How exciting~

OK, so the photo above is the reference we will all use to do a painting. Everyone is welcome to try - this is just for fun, remember, so don't even worry if you feel like you're too much of a beginner. Just give it a try. I guarantee you'll learn something!

I think we ought to have some basic guidelines.

  • Use the reference photo above. If you click on it, you'll get a larger version on your screen. Feel free to download it to your desktop to print it out or whatever you need to do to make it easier for you to paint from.
  • Deadline. Let's say three weeks. You have to have it done and posted by March 11th.
  • By "posted" I mean you can send me a jpeg via email, or if you're a blogger and you'd like to post your efforts on your own blog, just email me the link.
  • Any medium.
  • Any size.
  • Remember the point is to simplify. NOT to try and render every damn detail.
  • You may use some or all of the "rules" that I talked about in my last post. You don't have to use any of them. You can come up with your own set of rules. You don't have to have any rules at all.
Again, this is just for fun so do it in the way you feel comfortable. There are no rules as to technique or methods or sequences. I just want to see how different (or similar) our solutions are.

If you're a blogger, you might post the work-in-progress on your blogs. Might be fun, and your readers may want to try, too. If you do post your progress, please send me the link.

I think that's it for now.  Good luck and have fun~

Oh. One tip; CROP!  Cropping is one of the main tools of editing and simplification. Use it!


  1. Your blog & tips have been an immense help & inspiration. I'd love to join in the challenge, time & work permitting. Thanks for all your knowledge & talent & for sharing with us!

  2. If you don't mind... I'd love to toss my hat into the ring as well.

    Love this kind of challenge.

    Barb Noonan

  3. Terry...would love to try this...count me in!

  4. This is waaaaay out of my comfort zone so should probably give it a try.

  5. I am in! Thanks Terry. Mine will be published at my blog on the 22Feb

  6. Terry how do I e-mail you my painting? I tried replying to the mail I got from you but my main computer wont accept it. Sure I am missing something but I don't have a blog just an e-mail address! Not to swift with computers Ha, ha!

  7. Jen, just attach a jpeg to email and send it to terry@terrymiura.com

    If that doesn't work.... I dunno, have a friend send it to me? or put it somewhere...anywhere public on the internet Facebook, twitter, whatever and send me the link!

  8. Thanks Terry. I sent it so let me know if it doesn't get there.

  9. I think I'd like to give this one a go. Thanks so much for hosting this challenge, I'm looking forward to giving it a try! I've always wanted to do a city street scene, but I never felt I could because I didn't know where to simplify. This should be interesting.....

  10. I had to give it a try. Hopefully you got my submission. Talk about being out of my comfort zone: I used an unfamiliar media (soft pastels) and an unfamiliar composition (I usually do portraits, flowers, etc, not city scapes). Good to be challenged and grow.. Thank you!

  11. Hi Terry. I'm up for the challenge, too. I've been in downtown ann arbor photographing since I saw your wonderful cityscapes. I'd really like to get out there with my paints but so far I'm a little intimidated about public painting. I've tried a more private group at the botanical gardens and that was much easier. Practice. I'll try til I do it!

  12. Oh oh - I am so new to this painter's internet world that I don't know how to send my contribution to the challenge painting. Ready to send...kindly advise. Doretta

  13. Gopher, you can just email me the jpeg and I will post it. send it along with thoughts and comments on the experience to: terry@terrymiura.com

    looking forward to seeing your work!

  14. terry I would like to toss my hat in the ring to
    David thomson