Edward Hopper

I came across one of his books in the library the other day and I thought his work was relevant to the townscape project.

I looked at this drawing because I think it is beautiful.  The classic, stylish building stands out against the pale background of the empty sky.  It is really striking, mysterious and atmospheric.

House by the Railroad 1925

House by the Railroad

I have made some drawings of Hopper’s painting:

Edward Hopper's painting: House by the Railroad, 1925.

Edward Hopper’s painting: House by the Railroad, 1925.

Edward Hopper's painting House by the Railroad again, this time in oil pastels.

Edward Hopper’s painting House by the Railroad again, this time in oil pastels.

Below is a collection of Hopper’s drawings which I found on the internet.  It is very helpful to see how he makes studies of all these different views, and makes notes around them.

Railroad Crossing 1922-23

Railroad Crossing 1922-23

I think Hopper’s paintings and drawings are useful to me because I am learning to draw townscapes and buildings.  He has drawn a range of different townscapes – he draws lone buildings, like Railroad Crossing and House by the Railroad; he draws terraced buildings like the one below, Early Sunday Morning.

He uses colour, which is something I like about his paintings – his drawings in black and white are also very interesting, so that shows the different ways you can draw the same scene, and capture different elements with each approach.  With colour you can get a warm atmosphere.  He uses a lot of dark colours in companion with lighter colours of the sky and the walls of buildings, which changes the atmosphere, and makes me feel a little bit disconcerted.

Early Sunday Morning 1930

Early Sunday Morning 1930

Below is an example of one of Hopper’s paintings which shows a townscape from a closer view point, with people in the picture which changes the way you look at it compared to if it was just an empty shop front.

Nighthawks, 1942.

Nighthawks, 1942.


Lighthouse Hill – 1927

Above is another alternative perspective because it is looking up at buildings from below.  I will have to look out for opportunities to draw this sort of view.  Below is another close up view of a building, showing a bay window and scenery behind that.  There is a woman inside the building, which distracts you from the building and the trees because you wonder who she is and what she is looking at.

Cape Cod Morning


Approaching the City (below) is a view which feels too close to the buildings and railway.  It never occurred to me (when I was drawing and looking for scenes to draw) that I could just draw parts of buildings and not the whole thing.  I am not sure I like this image however, because it makes me want to step back from it and try to see the whole thing, which is a hopeless desire because this is the whole thing.


Approaching the City

Approaching the City

Below: looking down on buildings.  I noticed this drawing because it is from a high view point, with the focus being on one particular building, slightly right from centre.  It is an interesting layout which works really well.

The City

The City

Below is another townscape looking at a building with a view through a window, which looks into a room with a figure in it, and then out through another window to the other side of the building.  It is another unusual view, which feels a little bit unnatural, as if the viewer is spying on the figure without his knowledge.  It is unusual for a townscape also because it is a close up of a building, with only fractions of other buildings showing.

Office in a Small City

Office in a Small City

August in the City

August in the City

The above August in the City is good because you are close enough to see details of things inside the building, and the decorations above the door.  It is an interesting way to draw buildings (from very close) I will try this in future when drawing a building.  Previously I have been drawing buildings only when they (at least one of them) fit inside the page on which I draw.


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