Kansas City Skyline by Charlie O'Shields

I figured a virtual tour of Kansas City should begin with an establishing shot, so I decided to try a rather ambitious doodlewash of the primary skyline. At 7×10″ this is the largest doodlewash to date and I now realize why I like things small. This was rough and took much longer! I wasn’t sure if I would finish it, with my short attention span and all.

But I really wanted to paint this image to kick off my tour of KC. I just couldn’t complete it in time to post at the start of the tour. Yesterday’s sketch was just a study for this final painting as I didn’t want to mess things up. I used a full palette for this one and a heck of lot of lines of ink! But this is the quintessential view of downtown Kansas City, so I really wanted to share it with you before we start touring the streets together.

Union Station is the primary building, but if you look in the distance you can see the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at the top left. Behind it, the sculptural elements that crown the pylons of the Bartle Hall Convention Center are called “Sky Stations”, and were designed by artist R.M. Fischer in 1994. The area in between is called the Kansas City Crossroads, and I think I’ll be sketching there quite a lot this month.

Hope you’ll join me as we visit different places in the city. I really love Kansas City. This is where I grew up and where I’ve lived my entire life. I love to travel, but this is the place I love to call home.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

48 replies on “Welcome to Kansas City

  1. WOWZA! Charlie! This is over the top AMAZING! I hope you frame it! I can see you have put in the hours on this one! I even noticed the fountain in the front. Your details and colors are fabulous! I have never been to your beautiful city. I hope to visit some day. 😊
    P.S. I look forward to your tour!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m looking at it blown up on a big screen now. The angles of your buildings are really good. I’m crazy for the all the dimensionality and I’m also really liking the shadows. this looks like it should have taken you a month to do. It is so details. And of course, your skies are excellent. Even the sky reflected in that building in the middle-right: that’s genius stuff there. Very , very impressive. You should enter this in a competition.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! Thank you so much for the amazing feedback Kirk! This one took a lot of energy and I’m thrilled you like it so much!! I’ve never even thought about entering competitions. But a Kansas City Twiiter magazine retweeted it and someone asked if the print was for sale, so that was cool! 😊hehe

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Is that a mosque, with the blue rooftops, top left corner? pause* No! It’s probably a sports stadium…but, then, I guess that could be viewed as a religious temple too! lol.
    Charlie, I like this view, and especially how you’ve shown a reflective surface on the exterior of that building to the right of the station. Yesterday’s brush pen work, to me, is more complete…in a special way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…that the Center for Performing Arts …I drew the front of it in my first urban sketch several posts back. Glad you liked my reflection…that was my favorite part of this one. And not to worry…I’ll be reaching for the brush pen more! I won’t have time to do many like this one soon!


    1. Thanks so much Kari!! I started the sketch yesterday and yes! I started with the station. I realized I couldn’t finish it since it was so large and complex. so I did the quick ink brush of the station instead for yesterday’s post. All total it probably took 3 hours. About twice as long as I would ever normally spend!


  3. …Kansas City, Mo? or Kansas? It must be Kansas–so long since I was in that part of the world (I am a graduate of Stephens College, Columbia, Mo.) and it is grand to see the whole panorama, including the old before the new. How ambitious–and dedicated, Charlie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How beautiful and detailed. I was recently told Kansas City is the Paris of the Plains. Is that why you recently did so many paintings of Paris?

    I love the skyline and your architecture is great. Love the glass building and the fountain is fab!

    Liked by 1 person

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