Abstract Urban Landscape Tutorial with Acrylic and Collage

In this tutorial, we’ll explore how to create an abstract urban landscape painting using acrylic paint and collage techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a beginner, this project promises an exciting artistic journey.

Urban landscapes are dynamic, bustling, and full of life. Capturing the essence of a cityscape can be a thrilling endeavor for any artist. One unique way to approach this subject is through abstract art, which allows you to play with shapes, colors, and textures to convey the energy of an urban environment.

So, Let’s Get Started with an Abstract Urban Inspired Landscape Tutorial

We will begin with materials and then have a Quick Look at some of the key steps taken in the video.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Canvas or canvas board
  2. Acrylic paints (variety of colors)
  3. Paintbrushes (various sizes)
  4. Palette knives
  5. Collage materials (old newspapers, magazines, colored paper, etc.)
  6. Gel medium or adhesive
  7. Water and a container for mixing paint
  8. Paper towels or rags
  9. Pencil and eraser
  10. Reference photos of urban scenes (optional)

Here’s the finished painting along with inspiration imagewe will cover in this tutorial.

Abstract Urban Landscape Tutorial with Acrylic and Collage
P-town dwellers by Robert Joyner
inspiration image
inspiration image

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Before you begin, set up a clean and organized workspace. Lay out your materials within easy reach, and protect your work surface with a drop cloth or newspaper to catch any spills. Have your reference photos handy if you’re using them for inspiration.

Step 2: Create the Background

Start by applying a layer of acrylic paint to your canvas. You can choose any color that resonates with the mood you want to convey for your urban landscape. Use a large brush or a palette knife to cover the entire canvas. Feel free to mix colors to achieve the desired hue. Let this base layer dry completely.

Step 3: Plan Your Composition

With a pencil, lightly sketch the basic composition of your urban landscape on the dried background. This can include buildings, streets, bridges, or any elements you associate with a cityscape. Remember, abstract art doesn’t require precise details; focus on shapes and lines that capture the essence of a city.

Step 4: Collage Elements

Now comes the exciting part. Begin cutting out shapes and textures from your collage materials, such as newspapers, magazines, or colored paper. These elements will become the buildings, streets, and other features of your urban landscape. Use gel medium or adhesive to attach them to the canvas, following the composition you sketched earlier. Overlap the collage pieces for added depth.

Step 5: Layer with Acrylics

Once your collage elements are in place and the adhesive has dried, start layering acrylic paint on top. Use a combination of brushes and palette knives to add colors and textures to your buildings and streets. Experiment with bold strokes, drips, and splatters to create a dynamic and energetic atmosphere.

Step 6: Details and Highlights

Now, add details and highlights to your abstract urban landscape. Use lighter and darker shades of acrylic paint to define building shapes and create depth. You can also incorporate metallic or iridescent paints for a shimmering cityscape effect.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Take a step back and assess your artwork. Make any final adjustments or additions as needed. This is your chance to fine-tune your composition and ensure it conveys the urban vibe you envisioned.

Step 8: Let It Dry

Allow your abstract urban landscape to dry completely. This may take several hours or even overnight, depending on the thickness of the paint layers.


Creating an abstract urban landscape with acrylics and collage is a captivating artistic journey. It allows you to experiment with color, texture, and composition while conveying the vibrant energy of a cityscape. Remember that abstract art is all about self-expression, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine.

Whether you’re drawn to the chaotic beauty of a bustling metropolis or the serene charm of a quiet town, this technique offers endless possibilities to explore the world of urban landscapes through your unique artistic lens. So, gather your materials, immerse yourself in the cityscape, and let your imagination flow onto the canvas. Happy painting!