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Line And Wash Essentials: Urban Sketching For Beginners
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3h 49m

Start drawing or painting and build your confidence with this urban sketching for beginners course. Re-create architectural details now!

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Course Skill Level
Time Estimate
3h 49m


Hello, I'm Darren Yeo, a watercolour artist and teacher based in Melbourne, Australia. I am the founder of one of the largest watercolour learning communities, "Watercolour Mentor". My work features predominantly natural landscapes, urban streetscapes, and portraiture in watercolor medium. Watercolours are special to me because there is a sense of finality once an area has dried – you can’t erase or go over that area to ‘fix’ it. You need to accept and work with what is there. To lea

About This Course

Who this course is for:

  • Beginner students learning watercolor painting
  • Beginners looking for an easy process to sketch urban landscapes
  • Beginner students seeking to improve their drawing and sketching skills
  • Art students looking for a fun and easy way to capture a memory of a location

What you’ll learn: 

  • How to sketch urban landscapes in pen and watercolor
  • How to identify a light source and the correct use of values in painting
  • How to use essential watercolor techniques, such as wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry
  • How to simplify complex buildings into basic shapes, and accurately re-create architectural details
  • How to start your drawing or painting and build your confidence
  • How to compose a drawing or painting


  • No prior knowledge is required to take this course

Throughout this Line and Wash Essentials: Urban Sketching for Beginners course, we’ll explore the fundamental elements that form the foundation of urban scenes, incorporating figures and buildings. Engage in practical exercises designed to guide you in the art of planning and composing a line and wash painting.

Mastering the ability to see shapes in the ordinary aspects of daily life is a vital skill, especially when simplifying intricate forms like buildings and figures. Throughout this course, I will guide you in honing the skill of recognizing any subject into basic shapes. This training will significantly enhance your drawing confidence, resulting in more precise representations of the subjects you tackle.

Grasping the essential steps and processes involved in constructing a painting is crucial. Surprisingly, the painting journey begins even before your brush touches the paper! Through a range of exercises, we’ll build your confidence in discerning the appropriate colors and timing for employing specific techniques. I’ll walk you through my comprehensive 7-step process, guaranteeing that you ultimately create a painting that you’ll be proud of.

The process in summary:

  • Choose a suitable scene or reference photo
  • Identify the light and dark areas – Squint!

Choose the compositional and design elements you wish to incorporate or omit, considering perspective in the process. It may involve adjusting the light source, shadows, or even modifying colors. This step can be challenging, and we’ll delve deeper into it as we work on our projects together. My own learning journey involved a combination of trial and error, along with the application of theoretical concepts such as the rule of thirds and the use of odd-numbered subjects.

  • Sketch in pen or pencil
  • Paint the light
  • Paint the shadows
  • Paint the darkest areas and highlights

A crucial skill to acquire is the art of starting your painting. Granting yourself the freedom to make mistakes or produce imperfect work is essential. I’ll provide you with some valuable tips to steer clear of the common pitfalls often encountered when initiating a painting.

Other topics covered in this course include:

  • Water Consistency and Color Mixing
  • Comprehending Values and Color
  • Mastering Brush Control
  • Essential Layering Techniques
  • Quick Guide to One-Point Perspective
  • Principles of Composition
  • Boosting Confidence
  • Addressing Mistakes and Overcoming Self-Limiting Thoughts
  • Developing Resilience and Persistence
  • A 7-Step, Distinctive Watercolor Painting Process
  • Bringing It All Together to Conclude a Painting

I’m thrilled to embark on this journey with you, so let’s dive into the world of painting!


Your course project is to sketch and paint a line and wash urban scenes! 

This could serve as the featured scene in the final video for the course project or can be based on one of your personal photographs or scenes. Additionally, you can refer to the attached scanned drawing/painting templates. I suggest creating each scene freehand, as drawing is a crucial step in enhancing your painting skills. This allows you to conceptualize and plan your painting. Once the drawing is complete, follow the watercolor steps and processes outlined in the course to finalize your painting.

Materials: Use any normal or mechanical pencil/pen, watercolor paper, and brushes you have available. I recommend:

  • Mechanical pencil (0.5mm)
  • Permanent liquid ink pen (0.5-0.7mm nib) or pigment liners
  • 100% cotton watercolor paper or sketchbook
  • Watercolor Brushes – mop brush and a variety of round and flat brushes.

Getting Started: Complete the practice exercises and sketches first. These are crafted to acquaint you with my methodology before diving into the final project. Optionally, you can enhance your experience by downloading tracing templates to facilitate the transfer of your drawing.

As an added challenge, explore free reference photo websites and select an image you’d like to paint. Employ the steps and processes provided in this course to craft your distinctive urban landscape painting.

Discover more painting styles, visit my profile to learn more!

Our Promise to You

By the end of this course, you will have learned urban sketching and painting.

10 Day Money Back Guarantee. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, simply contact us and we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

Get started today!

Course Curriculum

Section 1 - Introduction
Introduction 00:00:00
Course Outline 00:00:00
Resources – Urban Sketching 00:00:00
Section 2 - Theory And Exercises
The Art Of Beginning 00:00:00
Exercise: Simple Sunset 00:00:00
Exercise: Simple Night Sky 00:00:00
Choosing A Suitable Reference 00:00:00
Section 3 - Projects
Shop: Drawing 00:00:00
Shop: Painting 00:00:00
House: Drawing 00:00:00
House: Painting 00:00:00
Townhouses: Drawing 00:00:00
Townhouses: Paint The Light 00:00:00
Townhouses: Paint The Shadows 00:00:00

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