When students learn how to draw a city, they get to practice their symmetrical skills, not to mention their fine motor skills. Those little details that are so much fun to look at, call for some careful tracing and coloring.
Drawing buildings, as opposed to people or flowers or animals, is a nice way to mix things up every once in awhile. It calls for using the side of one’s brain that makes things organized and orderly, with lots of straight lines instead of curvy ones. Add a little make-believe about buildings from another time or another place and you have the makings of a fun and creative project.
This city building tutorial asks students to draw lots of buildings side by side, but adds just a few details that one might find more often in other countries, and not so much in our neighborhoods. The stacked roof is more common in Amsterdam, and the tower and street lamp look like they are from another time too.
Yes, you could bring out rulers to help your students draw nice straight lines, but they can be cumbersome and hard for little hands to manage. The next best thing is to start with a sheet of drawing paper that has already has a light grid on it, and then a matching tutorial. Both are available in the PDF tutorial that is linked below, and both will help young artists practice their fine motor skills.
Preview of the Step by Step PDF Tutorial
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Preview of the Grid Template
Preview of the Sample Line Drawing
City Coloring Page
Materials for City Drawing
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- Drawing Paper. Don’t substitute it with copy paper or construction paper. The surface will get fuzzy, erasing might cause holes, and the colors will generally not look as bright.
- Pencil. The Ticonderoga brand are the most reliable, make nice dark lines when you need them, and are the easiest to erase.
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tips. Stabilo Markers. They have the best colors, the best tips, and last the longest.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent markers make nice black lines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them in areas with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath for table protection.
- Stabilo Markers. The large pack provides lots of fun color choices, several shades of each color, including a few choices for skin. The tips are perfect for coloring, and there’s even a promise that they will work after being uncapped for 8 weeks!
Step by Step Directions for City Drawing
Time needed: 1 hour.
Draw a City in Nine Easy Steps
- Draw the ground line. Start the left buildings.
- Draw two more buildings.
- Add roof top details and clock tower.
- Draw the windows and chimney of left building.
- Add windows and door of next building.
- Draw window in the next building.
- Draw the window and door for the last building.
- Finish with top windows and lamp post.
- Trace with a black marker and color.