Watercolor with Me: Romantic Eiffel Tower | Jessica Sanders | Skillshare

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Watercolor with Me: Romantic Eiffel Tower

teacher avatar Jessica Sanders, Artist | Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

13 Lessons (1h 3m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Practice Sketch

    • 4. Eiffle Part 1

    • 5. Eiffel Part 2

    • 6. Eiffel Part 3

    • 7. Thank You & Project

    • 8. Eiffel With No Sketch

    • 9. First Attempt

    • 10. Evaluating First Attempt

    • 11. Semi realistic Sketch

    • 12. Semi Realistic Part 2

    • 13. Real time Sketching Practice

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About This Class

Let's paint a romantic Eiffel Tower scene! <3

In this intermediate level class, we will paint a beautiful, romantic Eiffel tower scene, with a cotton candy sky, in a loose and sketchy style.   

After chatting about supplies, and a bit of practice sketching,  I will walk you through sketching and painting the Eiffel Tower!  We will keep it loose, sketchy, and free - impressionistic.  We will enhance our watercolor skills while focusing on enjoying our exploration of watercolor!

I recommend this class for intermediate students. This class will not cover basic watercolor techniques, or basic sketching techniques.  However, if you are a beginner, please don't hesitate to try the class!  You need some previous knowledge of watercolor and sketching, but I make the lessons as easy to follow as possible. We often don't know how far we can go until we try!

Class Breakdown

  • Main Lessons - approximately 20 minutes
    • Supplies
    • Practice Sketches
    • 3 Lessons to complete the Eiffel Tower scene
  • Extended Learning - approximately 40 minutes
    • Painting Eiffel with no sketch
    • First Attempt at painting Eiffel
    • Evaluating my first attempt
    • Semi-realistic sketch
    • Semi-realistic painting
    • Real-time sketching practice

Meet Your Teacher

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Jessica Sanders

Artist | Designer


Jessica Sanders

Artist, Instructor, Designer

Hiya, beautiful skillsharer,

I hope all is well with you!

I tried out a fun technique last week, and, well...

I got super excited about it!! It was so fun, I just had to share it.  :-D 

I was so excited, that I turned it into a wonderful, relaxing, playful class.  

Watercolor with Me: Lovely Leaf Prints & Negative Shape Painting

Image: Leaf print example painting by Jessica Sanders

Let's make lovely leaf prints with watercolor together! 

We'll play with watercolor, and practice negative shape painting - a very important skill in watercolor painting.

In this class for beginners, or anyone who... See full profile

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1. Welcome: today. Let's get loose and sketchy and impressionistic. And let's have some fun with watercolor. How low My gran friends Jessica Sanders here, welcome to my channel in this intermediate level class will paint the Eiffel Tower. We'll start by getting to know the Eiffel Tower will use a reference and do some sketching in our sketchbook just to learn more about it. And then we'll move straight into our painting will sketch directly onto our water color, and then I'll start teaching you all. The stabs for painting will create a beautiful first wash of a cotton candy sky, and then we'll start adding the details of our tower. I'll share tips and tricks along the way and try and help you stay loose and sketchy as we go. We'll have just enough detail, so you know it's the apple tower, but we'll keep it very impressionistic. Let's get started 2. Supplies: For this class, you'll need watercolor supplies. You'll need a rough or cold press, watercolor paper, water colors, Ah, variety of watercolor brushes, water and a cloth or paper towel. You will also need some sketching tools, such as a colored pencil, graphite pencil and a couple of pins, a black and white. So let's get started with our practice sketching. 3. Practice Sketch: When you're approaching a new subject that you've never painted or drawn before, then I suggest the first thing you do is explore that subject. So in this case, we're talking about the Eiffel Tower. So what I would suggest is that you fill up an entire sketchbook page of drawings of the Eiffel Tower. Learn about its proportion, learn about its shapes, learn about the atmosphere that you want to create with your painting. Now we want this to be a fairly quick exercise. I actually spent about 30 minutes just drawing the Eiffel Tower over and over again. I started with a colored pencil. It's a rainbow colored pencil, has all these different colors in it, and it's fun to sketch with. And I just wanted to accept my lines, not be erasing, redrawing, etcetera, just exploring. Now I'll just go back over the shapes over and over again and sort of solidify the ones that I like. But I'm not going to erase anything at this point. This will help you keep your drawing loose and not be too serious and not be looking for that finished piece of artwork. Remember, this is about exploring and learning This is not about creating a finished artwork At this point, the benefit of drawing and sketching the Eiffel Tower over and over again is that as you go , you'll see more. So when you first look at it, you'll see certain things. But the more you draw it in, the more you look at it, the more you will notice, you'll begin to see details that you didn't see before. The details will start to stand out to you a little bit. So if you notice, for example, in my very first sketch, I don't have any of the X pattern crossbars that are on the tower, and that's sort of an essential part of the Eiffel Tower. It really makes it be what the Eiffel Tower is toe have those details of those crossbars. Also, those platforms haven't angle edge. I didn't notice that at first I just drew boxes there, so I'm sort of refining and learning mawr. As I go this house you get past the symbology that's in my head. So when I think of the Eiffel Tower, there's a certain image that comes to mind, right? But it's not necessarily how the Eiffel Tower looks. It's really by idea of how the Eiffel Tower looks. It's a symbol that our brain has created. So by redrawing over and over again, I'm sort of re learning what the Eiffel Tower actually looks like. So I suggest the usual large versions and small versions. The larger versions will have a little bit more detail. I'm not going for complete realism here, but I do want to convey the idea that this is not just any tower. This is the Eiffel Tower and has specific parts and pieces that make it that are essential , essential, essentially to the Eiffel Tower. So now I'm switching from my colored pencil to a graphite pencil. Now, that was just a personal choice as I was going through my drawing, partially because I'm drawing a small one, and I wanted more detail than I could get with my color pencil. By this time I have an idea of the structure of the Eiffel Tower. I draw a straight line, I draw the arch at the bottom, and then I draw the edges around so all loose sketching and it doesn't have to be perfect. We're just conveying the idea of the Eiffel Tower. Use multiple reference photos. Not everything is coming from one Fogo. And also you can get an idea of perspective of just how large the Eiffel Tower is compared to the buildings around it. I honestly had no idea that the Eiffel Tower was so huge. I've never been to Paris, and I didn't know was. So you'd until I started sketching these little buildings that were in the background. So take some time to sketch notice. I'm overlapping. This is a really messy sketch page. You can make yours more need if you like, and take some time to sketch and explore the Eiffel Tower before you get ready to start painting. 4. Eiffle Part 1: now that we've completed some practice sketching and we filled a page with Eiffel Towers, Let's move on to sketching it on her watercolor paper. So I'm taking what I've learned, and I'm applying it here. I started with the tall straight line, which represents sort of the center line of our Eiffel Tower, draw the arch and then swooping lines down to the bottom. So I'm taking a little bit of artistic license here, and then the lines aren't perfectly straight. And again, I'm just trying to sketch the idea of the Eiffel Tower. Not really a realistic version, so continue to refine your shapes and work on that proportion. Now my proportion is not really exact. But if you want that, of course, you can always measure. You can compare the width of the bottom of the Eiffel Tower to the height, and that will give you the proportions that you need. It's about 1/3 of the height of the tower, so tower is really very tall. If you were watching carefully, you saw that I flipped this paper over. I wasn't happy with that first sketch, so I flipped it to the back. I could do that with this paper because kind of the same on both sides, your paper, Maybe different. So just be aware of that. You could always a race if you really wanted to, but it does affect the texture of the paper. Just a little. I'm not really sure what it was about the first sketch that I didn't really like, but I just didn't like it as I was going. And so I just went, Okay, starting again and flipped it over. So I'm keeping my sketch very loose, not very detailed at all. And I'm writing the word love as my sort of romantic peace to this painting. It just feels like it belongs there. Now, remember, you don't have to have perfect handwriting or be a calligrapher or a Lederer too, right? Just take your time and write neatly Use your best handwriting. Now that my sketches done, I'm ready for the first wash of color. I'm going for sort of a cotton candy sky with the light blue pinks and like a peachy orange color so you can see the texture of fine paper is so rough. That leaves a lot of little white patches. And that is exactly why I'm using this paper. I love ever painting skies because it creates that idea of sunlight with no effort on my part. Now I'm going to paint straight across most of my tower. I'm leaving a little bit of white area at the top of my sketch, but otherwise, just straight across, I'm loading up my brush with lots of water, lots of paint and just dancing my brush across the paper. I work from the blue to the pink to the more peachy orangey color and back to the pink. That way don't have any weird and unexpected blends with the orange in the blue. What you're watching now is double the speed that I'm actually painting. So remember, just take your time. You don't have to paint as fast as this video looks like you are now the blue. At the top is a cobalt or cerulean blue, and now I'm using ultra marine blue, which some more purple e blue. It's going to give the effect of distance. Now you don't have to use the exact colors I'm using, but just have some pinks. Send PCI oranges and some blues, and you'll do just fine. Keep it loose and fluid. Don't try to control your brush too much. Just create movement. It's going to create the idea of clouds as you use your brush to create movement. Now I've covered the entire paper, including almost all of the tower. With the sky and background color, the Eiffel Tower is seen through. You're going to be able to see the sky through it, so there's no reason not to just paint straight over our drawing. Remember, watercolor dries lighter, so adding in this splashy bits will just punch up the color a little bit in some of the places. If you have some puddles on the edges, you can either dry those off with a tissue. Or you can just tip the paper and let that color run and move in blend, which is what I decided to do. Now let this first layer this first wash dry 5. Eiffel Part 2: once that first washes dried, let's move on to painting our tower. I'm starting with a purple. My color choices are based on keeping a romantic feeling or atmosphere to this painting. So right now I'm painting the purple in the shadow areas. Really, this is the dark part of my tower. So at the very top on the shadow side, down through the middle, as we've seen in our reference photo in our practice drawing, it's rarely dark. So that's where I'm putting that purple sort of shadow color. Now I want to bring in a little sunlight, so I'm using that peachy pinky color to paint the light side of my tower and putting a line as Ed and I'm softening where I feel, I need it area where the purple is there in a blob against the sky. I just went my brush and soften that right out, and you see, it just sort of disappears into the sky, which is exactly what I wanted it to do, so you can see I'm reusing my sky colors. Now I'm using the pinks. I'm using the oranges and pickiness and the blues purple e color so that it creates continuity within my painting, but this time I have less water than I had before. So my colors are a little bit darker, also adding a little bit of a tree line underneath the tower and painting Paris or the idea of skyline of Paris in the background and using a light purple, it's going to fade to the back and just be ah, hint of what's there. I'm using that same purple and a very small realm to brush a size zero to paint some birds in the sky. Those birds air just essentially the shape of a check mark, and I put a little few dots that could be birds even further away. If you're sky doesn't have as much. Color is your life. Now is a good time to add a second layer of some of those colors to enhance them. Now don't do the entire sky. Just pick and choose areas that you think need a little bit more color. You can create some hard edges and some soft edges, and it will enhance the look of clouds. So now this time, instead of painting over my tower, I'm skipping it and painting on both sides. The contrast was too much here at this tree line, so I also painted over the edge of that. So as you're working parts and pieces of your painting will dry. So while I was painting the sky, then my tower had some time to dry. And so now I'm going back and reinforcing those shadow areas. I'm using a mix of the pink and purple to add depth to the color and create some contrast. I'm also reinforcing the shapes that I see that are essential to what the Eiffel Tower looks like. At this point, you can use your small round brush, start adding in some details, like the X shapes that you can see on the tower. Now remember, we're going for loose and sketchy. You don't have to do every single line and all the little tiny details. If you just add some, you will convey the idea that there, there, so it is possible to get too tight and too detailed right here. So just remember, take a breath, relax, enjoy the process, convey the idea without adding too much detail, and you will keep that loose, Sketchy field from this point on, will be adding less and less to her painting. As we go, we'll be covering lists. Actual space on the paper were just adding some small details, and some final touches were strengthening our shadows in some areas and just creating a little bit more deaths. But again, keep it loose and sketchy. Don't get too uptight. It's not realism here. It's just for fun, enjoyment and exploring and just getting into that creative space. So once you've finished adding your details of a few exes and reinforcing the shadows, let this layer dry and then we'll move on to the next step. 6. Eiffel Part 3: remember how I wrote the word love in pencil on my painting? Well, now it's time to paint that, and all I'm doing is using the very tip of my large brush. Now you can use a smaller brush if you prefer, but I just chose to use the brush I was already using, which is my number eight round brush, and it worked just fine. I simply used my best handwriting. As I mentioned before. You can really barely see the pencil because we painted over already, and that actually works out just fine for this painting. Use very light pressure on your brush, and then you can reinforce the areas that you want to be whiter. Now, while that word is drawing, I'm adding a few more exes, just playing around a little bit, reinforcing some of the shapes like the birds, because I could see them very well. I want him to stand out a little bit more and adding in a little bit more shadow color here and there. At any point in time, I could call this painting done, and you could call your painting done, but for me, I just wanted to add a little bit more visual texture. And so I'm going to go a little bit further than you may want to go. It's up to you when you want to actually stop. You may want to actually take a break and come back with fresh eyes and see where you are for me. I wanted to add a little bit more graphic quality to this painting, and so I'm going in now with a pin. This is just a fine tip, waterproof of ballpoint pen and unjust reinforcing some of the lines and some of the shadow areas, including some of those exes. Again, I'm not going to add every single line in detail that I see just doing some sketchy bits, and this rough paper really lends itself well to that. I'm not going to get complete lines because of the texture of the paper, and that's actually perfect. So once I've added in the idea of some of those lines in that sketchy nous, then I'm going to go back in with a white and bring out some of the highlights that I may have lost. While I was painting, I'm highlighting the needle portion of our tower and the edges where I feel the light would be hitting it. I even add in a few white ex shapes and go over where I had some of the black lines with the white just to provide a really nice contrast. Now I felt at the top that dill wasn't really defined. And so I've got a small brush and I'm adding in some darker blue around it, just a little bit and then pulling that color out as if it were cloud to really emphasize that top. So I'm overlaying a second or third wash of color here. Actually, that's the same color I used before, but a little bit darker and creating a little bit more contrast with the tower. Now let's do the same thing with our word. I'm adding some white highlights, and they also use the black pin to add some dark sort of shadows and definition to the word . So I put the white on the top areas, and now I'm adding very been black lines to some of the bottom and the inside areas. Remember, I'm using a waterproof ink, and that is important because I'm also going to go back and reinforce the water color color's. I went to darken them up in some areas to make the words stand out just a little bit more. But I don't want that black ink to be activated by the water, so be sure you're using a waterproof ink if you're using a pin and acrylic ink would also work. So I'm observing my painting and deciding what highlights and shadows it needs and adding those touches and now but notice. It's very few. It's not very many places on the painting. It's just a little here and there and then a final touch of splatters. Because you know I love the splatters. Feel free to leave those out if you don't like them. It's your painting, remember? So those are the finishing touches to add to your painting and keep it loose and lovely and sketchy, and you're going to get some great results 7. Thank You & Project: for your project. Try sketching the Eiffel Tower, get to know the Eiffel Tower by sketching, and then you'll be well prepared to do your painting, which is the main part of your project. So I can't wait to see the romantic sketchy Eiffel Towers that you paint. Thank you so much for taking my class. I hope you enjoyed it. And I can't wait to see your work. 8. Eiffel With No Sketch: while preparing for this class, I try it out the Eiffel Tower in several different ways. And while it's not an official part of the class, I thought you might like to see some of that. So the one thing that I attempted to do was to paint the tower without a sketch first. And of course, that's perfectly legitimate way to do it. And it turned out to be kind of cute. So I'm applying what I learned in my sketching session, but it's dead. I'm just using a light, watery mix of water, color paint and a small brush to paint the outline of the tower. I'm using the same color mixes as well, so I have the pinky purples and the sort of peachy pinks and that sort of thing. So it's sort of the same feeling, but it's a completely different style sketch. Well, it's a watercolor sketch. I also used basically the same process where I started with that light, watery mix, and then I added some darks to create some shadow areas and then refining the features with the smaller brush. So I'll turn on some music for you now, and you can see how this little sketch of a painting developed way 9. First Attempt: This is my first attempt at painting the Eiffel Tower, and I'm using my colored pencil as a schedule. I think it as a really nice touch, and I am using the same process over and over again. So that's one reason why I'm showing you these. I didn't change the process throughout the painting. Really, I only modified it slightly, So the modification here is using the colored pencil. There'll be no erasing, but I didn't erase in the others. But the lines stand out more with the color pencil. Now for this painting and the others in the unofficial section, the bonus section of this plaice. I'm not using the rough watercolor paper. I'm just using the cold press, and it does give a little bit of different effect with how the paint goes on the paper. So if you notice I'm kind of doing the same thing, dancing my brush around it's pretty wet and watery, but with the rough paper, all those little white speckles show up with this paper. Even those cold press and textured it's not rough, and it doesn't have those little white kind of sparkles. So for that I would have to do like a dry brush effect to get those on this paper. So I'll turn on some music and let you see how this painting develops. And in the next video, I'll show my initial reaction toe how this painting turned out there. 10. Evaluating First Attempt: So I want to discuss my first attempt of the results of it. There's some things I like and some things I don't like. And maybe this will help you to evaluate your paintings as well. So first off is my proportions. My proportions of the tower are off. This should definitely be quite a bit taller now. Part of the reason that is that I chose this small piece of paper and I want my tower to be really big. But this paper is really not the best choice for it unless I want to make my tower smaller . So this really wide basis too wide for the height of the tower. If I had made this base a little bit smaller, it might have been proportionally better. But I also wanted the base this wide so that the issue really had was the size of my paper in getting the proportion that I wanted. But since I knew my proportion was off, once I got started, finished drawing, I knew my proportion was off. And so I just decided, Well, I'm just going to continue and play around with it. Another issue I had was my original shape. here on the bottom was curved here, and it should have been more straight out this way for the shape of the tower. But I was able, actually, and fix that pretty easily. I add a lot of ink work to add a graphic quality to it. I tested out writing the word love answer Bird shapes on on the sky. Now, I kind of let go of this was originally I was thinking I would have, like cotton candy sky. And maybe I would like to do that, but I just stopped when I realized, Oh, this this isn't gonna work because my proportions air off. I'm not going to worry too much about getting that sky just the way I want it. I do like in particular the way this highlight and shadow looks here. I think that looks really cool when I just add in some shadow areas and this is the most dramatic highlight and shadow effect, and I like the way that looks No. Does that look like the Eiffel Tower? I'm not sure. I'll have to get out my reference photo, which I didn't actually have in front of me, which was probably a mistake. So I was drawing from my drawings, and that's OK, but you don't get us much information from your own drawings, as you got from looking at the reference photos. So I love this particular drawing. It's my favorite, but looking at this is not going to give me the same results when I'm redrawing as looking at the reference photos. Since I have the squatty to short tower, I just want to play around with other ideas. So I added birds in the sky, which I think is kind of cool. I added. I don't know if you could see it very well, but this is sort of the Paris skyline to give this tower more scope and a perspective. I've never been to Paris, but wow, seeing photos and looking more closely, more detail as I was drawing and realizing how large this tower is compared to other buildings. I mean, there's a Ferris wheel down here that looks in real life that looks tiny compared to this tower, and so really helped me to get an idea of the perspective of how big this was, and I just played around with the outline City outline here on my tower just just because I could, because I knew that this wasn't really going to be finished. Great painting. I just wanted to play around and practice with it and good, good use out of what I did. Um, I added, worked on adding this perspective here on the bottom, although I'm not sure that's really very good, because actually, the bottom of the tower is quite different than this makes it. Look. This looks like it's just a solid peace, but not actually the way it is anyway. It's It's okay. I'm just playing around with it and playing around with perspective, adding highlights and shadows. I added some ink work and that sort of thing lots of ink with my pen just to get that graphic quality. And so it was. It was a good, helpful practice. It would have been nice if I thought, Oh, this is going to be a great finished piece and I maybe could take it a little bit further if I worked on the sky and that sort of thing. But it's not a bad first painting for the Eiffel Tower is not a great one, right? But it was a learning experience, and I want you to understand one thing I'm really trying to teach people when I'm teaching art is that you may see a lot of finished works from successful professional painters. But that doesn't mean that was the first time that they tried to paint that certain thing. So everyone has to practice and this was practice. So after a day or two, I really looked at this painting and I decided that I really love it just the way it is. It's such an interesting painting, very stylized, and it's cute. 11. Semi realistic Sketch: another attempt I made was to do a semi realistic painting. Now it's a more detailed drawing. It's not realistic or photo realistic by any means, but it's just realistic for me. And for my style. I'm very loose in sketchy. So this was a little bit of a challenge, but I just wanted to try it, and I thought I'd share that with you. So this video is the sketch in the next video? Is the painting? Uh, no. Uh uh huh. 12. Semi Realistic Part 2: So this is this semi realistic painting that I was telling you about. Now it's forest technique. This one is a little bit different because I started by sort of adding a shadow color to my tower. I'm painting the sky in the same way as going across the tower, but when I start working on the tower, I'm actually going toe lay down, Ah, whole line of shadow on one side. So the other thing that makes this a little bit different is the color palette. This is a more realistic color palette. If you want to call it that, it's less dreamy. It's not that cotton que and the effect I'm using blue and yellow, and it's almost like it's a cloudy sky rather than a light and airy and happy Scott. What's again? I'll turn on some music and you can see how this painting develops. - What 13. Real time Sketching Practice: just in case you were interested in watching my sketching and real time. I wanted to include this video. I spent about half an hour just playing and sketching Eiffel Tower, using various reference photos, sketching it in different sizes as you saw in the class lesson. But this is actually how fast I was sketching when I was doing it. So it may help you to work on your sketching, if you see in more detail what I was doing. So it turns a music on for you now and please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way. Thank you so so much. - Uh , - yeah . Okay. Yeah, - no .