Stephen Dobson: Captivating Urban Paintings in Oil

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Cities are full of energy and life all their own. To capture that energy in paint takes true talent. . . and I think you’ll agree that Stephen Dobson has that talent in spades.

Working from his studio in Canada, Stephen focuses on communicating the emotion and “feeling” he gets from compelling urban environments. He does that by skillfully replicating the fast-paced life of the city through careful study of both light and color.

The painting below is a wonderful example of how Stephen expresses feeling through oils. The scene is delicately lit with spots of glowing light—but just enough to show the energy and motion of the cars. I can imagine a light mist, cool air, and sounds of tires rolling stickily on wet pavement. It’s full of life, engaging, and yet still mysterious.

Front Street

The composition of this next scene puts the viewer in a powerful, yet vulnerable position by placing us high above the city, looking down. Pair that with glowing light and subtle pops of color, and you have a dynamic night scene with a new perspective. I truly enjoy how Stephen is able to capture evening in such a beautiful way.

Burrard Street

Stephen’s last painting once again shows his skill at representing light. Another rainy day gives the opportunity to show light reflecting off wet surfaces. This composition makes the walkway and sky a major focus.

Quite honestly, I am very impressed that he turned a simple concrete walk into a lovely surface combining a multitude of soft colors.

Walk on the Sea Wall

If you’d like to experience more of Stephen’s captivating urban oil paintings, please visit his website at


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