Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sketchbook: Mexico City

color pencil and crayon drawing

This drawing of a shop in Mexico City was done for the Virtual Paintout, using Google Maps Street View.

Great location to wander, close to Plaza de la Constitution, Templo Mayor, Palacio Nacional, and Catedral Metropolitana. 

These are all amazing buildings, but they didn't give me the feeling of Mexico City, the way this little shop does.

I love using Street View to virtually visit places. 

This was my first attempt to draw from Street View. If you'll notice, the perspective is really strange. Obviously, I got confused by the lens distortion from the Street View camera. This is a drawback of drawing from Street View.

Do you want to know my process for drawing? 

These are the pencils I use. Multicolor pencils! 

This is how I get that "rainbow" effect in my sketches. 

These are great for blending shadow colors also. Don't use them like this though, sharpen them first! That way you will get a nice fine line, and you will have more control over your line.

Step one is using the pencil to lightly sketch out the composition and basic shapes . . .

Check out the perspective lines I drew for help, they are going every which way! 

Step two is darkening the shadows with the pencil:

Adding some foliage to the tree with the side of the pencil:

Finally, I add color using Crayola crayons.

I don't limit myself to the colors I see.

I use my imagination, using the colors that I think will make a nice picture.

The rainbow colors of my pencil drawing show through the crayon.

The wonderful thing about Mexico City is that it is a very colorful place! 

I have never been there in real life, but my explorations on Street View have let me see the vibrant colors and street life of this city.

Check out the The Virtual Paintout to see the work by other artists. 

Each month focuses on a different location.


  1. Excellent choice for Mexico city. What a fun challenge this was this month. Wonderful image - and thanks for sharing your in-progress techniques.

  2. Thank you for sharing your process. I always enjoy seeing how an artist works. Fun fun fun. Makes me wish that when I bought a rainbow pencil for a little girl, that I bought one for myself also.