Sketching out and composing a city of the mind.

Not to go on and on about it, but I really get frustrated with computers, and trying to use them.  I have a suspicion that making a slideshow to put on your blog is alarmingly simple to do, since I see them around the internet all the time, but the skill eludes me.... so here are some photos in sequence of the progress I have made on my cityscape painting.  This is a commissioned painting for a family that likes my cityscapes and wants to give their living space a fun urban feel.  I think a lot about the book I read on urbanism- A Pattern Language.  My dad gave the book to Keith a few years ago for Christmas.  My Dad is an architect, and Keith is an "armchair city planner", so this gives them something in common.  The book is a great read, and presents ideas on what makes cities livable, and alive.  I try to remember these ideas when I'm laying out one of my city painting.  These are cities of the mind, and they also need to be alive and give the mind places to wander.  They need nooks and crannies.  The buildings need personalities.
At this point in the painting, compositional changes may still happen.  I like the idea of a walled city on a river.  I haven't done one like this yet.  I love to put bridges in my paintings.  And the bridge in this one has already changed since the photo was taken. There will be an open park in the center where I'll put some people and perhaps dogs.  There are a lot of covered porches in this one, so there will be of course people hanging out on them.  I hate it when some one has a great big beautiful porch but you never see them out enjoying it.  So I'm excited to start adding more color, but need to spend some time with this composition and make sure it's working.