Step-by-Step: Watercolor Tour Eiffel | Maria Smirnova | Skillshare

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Step-by-Step: Watercolor Tour Eiffel

teacher avatar Maria Smirnova, Watercolor artist

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

10 Lessons (1h 15m)
    • 1. What is this class about?

    • 2. Materials overview

    • 3. Drawing

    • 4. Color blending

    • 5. Background sky

    • 6. Background city

    • 7. The Tower. Part 1

    • 8. The Tower. Part 2

    • 9. Shadow detailing

    • 10. Light detailing

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About This Class


If you take a colorful shining sunset and add the most romantic landmark in the world you’ll get the perfect subject for training your watercolor skills.

In this class, I’m going to show you a creation process of the Eiffel tower watercolor.

The class may be interesting both for beginners and intermediate artists who never stop improving their technique.

You will discover:

* How to draw the Eiffel Tower

* How to make the color graduation

* How to paint sunset sky with clouds

* How to use the opacity of watercolor paints

* How to avoid some common mistakes

Join the class and enjoy watercolors!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Maria Smirnova

Watercolor artist



I'm Maria, a watercolor artist and instructor, currently based in Paris.

An electrical engineer in the past, I've changed my whole life chasing my dreams.

I draw and paint since I remember myself and the last several years were about practicing watercolor. I totally fell in love with this amazing material and it has become a big part of my life by now.

Almost every painting I’ve made is about light. It is all about something instant, flash slipping away. 

I'm glad to share with you some techniques and tricks I use in my work!

See full profile

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1. What is this class about?: Hi. Are you looking for a perfect subject for training your water car skills? Write down the recipe, take one shining, colorful sunset and then add one of the most recognizable monuments in the world is full of inspiration and a pinch of for regions charm. And what a way! Get the new class where I'm going to show you how to draw the Eifel Tower. Have to create kharg radiations and faint sound since guy and also demonstrate his I'm calling mistakes to avoid. So you'll be able to use these techniques for your future water car paintings looking forward to see in the class. 2. Materials overview: First of all, let's take a look at needed materials. We'll definitely need water. Car, paper. I've ticked it on the clipboard with masking tape, damn going to use three different types of brush. 1st 1 is white synthetic brush. I'll use it to read the paper. I also use this wrong brush and the smaller one. They both are square. Oh, either makes our imitation. Next, we need a pound so on and a razor for preparation drawing. I'm going to use this type of brush for detailed specification. It is a water brush, but right now it is empty. I'll apply them as ordinary brush. It means up with them into the water as usual brush. I just really like their fine tip with it. I campaign tiny details easily on. That's great because I'll paint something date. And finally, I have water core pains and plastic pallets. Water, which stays behind the scene. Some script paper to test color, Bland's on paper towel or a piece of T shoot. I think it's quite enough for us to start 3. Drawing: before we'll start the watercolor. We certainly need to make it preparation drawing. First of all, I'd like to talk about proportions off course. It's not necessary to charge the construction, but it would be useful to start out main fires and proportions of the tower. I've prepared this fast little sketch to show you what exactly we need to note about the dimensions. After that, I'll show you how to reproduce them on the paper. The first thing I always think about and I start with is Tower's height. I don't need to planet in future paintings and how. And do not forget to keep some space between the object on the painting edge. Now I mark where the tower is going to be. Ah, what we're gonna do next. It may seem that this second floor of the tower is in the middle, but it's not as you can see. I checked the information in the Internet and we care somewhere else. What measurements has the efforts? Our that way I've discovered that the height off the second level is about 115 meters. Well, information is different in different sources, so I've written them down approximately So here we can see that this party's 115 meters to 324 which gives us about 1/3 of the legs. And now we know that the second floor is only the third of the entire height. Next we see that the 1st 4 has 57 meters high. So we just plead this part in to the same section we have here on the top. I think we have enough information. Uh, I'll keep this catch here and will help me with my drawing. Of course, I also can use photos to draw the shape accurately. But actually, I've been drawing so many times so it seems I can do it with my eyes closed. But for the first time, of course, it can be not that easy. Eso, further from the Internet may help. I put it here on the side. I started with the horizon's. This is the line where we'll be foundation of the tower. I'll try to make the like darker so you can see clearly. Ah, here will be the CD outline. I'll do it later. Then I decide that I'm going to place the tower right in the middle. It is our main park. Well, maybe it is incorrectly in terms off the rule of thirds when radical object this position in the centre. But for this painting is just a composition feature. I'm going vertical line. It is the main access off the construction. And I always started by do this better to draw it lightly because it's our guidelines. We don't need this line in final drawing. I keep some space on the top. Was I supposed to do? I'll show you. Here is the painting boundary. And here is the tower's top. This is a terry hide from the bottom to the top. Now I need to divide it in three parts. I do it without measuring approximately. But you can measure it with a pencil or use a ruler. Of course. Well, I guess I've made it almost good here in the bottom of Drawings City. So this part can be even shorter combet anyway. But bear in mind that if you draw on watercolor paper, you should be careful with the paper surface. It can be very sensitive to any mechanical impact, so just draw lightly since the beginning. So you want me to raise a lot. Next I next ice plead this part into here. 5100 meters. Then the whites off the towers foundation is the same as this high. They are almost equal, so I can measure it on Drove the section and this piece I'm simply making two times more narrow. Sigmund is going here. On the top on here is the antenna. Here is the balcony on the 2nd 1 What ? I have horizontal lines. I can finally commend them. This line goes trade and then slide occurs at the end. Tower legs are an extension of these parts. As as you can see, this line goes through the tower. Here we have a crossbar and here will be some crisscrosses. This part will be invisible and then tower legs again. I can even make this angle more acute here in the middle. I'm drawing three lines. We need several because there is an elevator section here. This part also will be dark very soon. And this is the place for an arch which connects two sides. No, I have no need in lots of details at the moment. So I'm not drawing all these crease crosses and lines. I'll do them with a brush. Next time, try to see the outline on all these part below. I'll fulfill using watercolor So now I can raise first hearts out the line. I've drone. Next. Let's check the proportions with the ruler help if needed. I like to make this section wider. I'm also adding somewhere horizontal lines. But I think like it's enough as we've already got all essential parts. We have main access tall, the Insana. We keep some space in this guy reminding you that's this'll. Eine is not in the mail. The center is here. If you drew this line too high, you'll get the fat and massive tower. But in life it's an elegant and beautiful, so we'll try to do so. As I said for many times today you may use a ruler bad. In fact, drawing made by hand always look more attractive. Well, we finally have this catch so we can move to watercolors 4. Color blending: Now I'm going to show you the colors I'll use and how to create a car ingredient. I'm taking a piece of paper, the same paper type I'm going to use for the painting after on. That's put it like that to have everything in a frame. I'd like to remind you that wide light and whether color always has the color of the paper . Whether color is transparent on we can't effectively use wide bait for that. Especially to put it over the dark background. I paint from light to dark, so I started with yellow. First, I need warm yellow shade, so I'm taking this one. Next. I'm aiding a little bit of an apple. Yael Arad, take a look. Um, Ellen, Gate it right from this yellow spot. Then I mating sound. Kinnock Riddle Rose. You can paint with any other called red. You have. They spent here is fresh, so I am taking it carefully. Um, by the way, I almost didn't watch the process between these two operations and the same again, I'm getting some rose color from yellow. And after I'm painting with Ultramarine blue the same way. So this is my basic palette for today. Here you may note that the greedy in is not as music I wanted to be. Ah, it happened because the paper was not bad enough. Same problem in this area. But here is to come correctly bid because the surface is not dry yet. I'm also going to using the trend blue for the clouds. That's how it looks like. That's it. I guess I also use a couple of other colors for details in this part, such as road blue and pains. Great, but I'll show you them the moment out pains. You might train yourself with this congregation before you start. That makes the resolve more predictable. And there is a way to simplify this draw frame like this small rectangular area, or be great tango wedded with clean water. Now I'm doing it, and then you do just the same actions. In this case, you can create smoother, great, and while papers wet, you can help pains to blend right on the paper surface. It seems I still have some blue on the brush, so these cholera doesn't look very clean to me. I think it's very useful exercise because we used this type of gradation in lots of different subjects. You can move the brush in vertical way or horizontally, but keep in mind that this movement will be seen, even though it may be dozens himself. So, depending on what exactly you pain, you choose the direction it amends. Some practices well, but it worth it anyway, - Um , let's go to the blue. You can also blend some widened and start with this color on down used the blue. If you feel like something is missing, you can edit while the paper surface still shining, which means wet, and you can have them to brown. Besides, this technique works better on cotton paper because it doesn't dry so professed. And it's important if you paint on sellers or mixed paper, the result can be different. So keep in mind on don't be sad if something goes wrong. Probably it's just features of material on anyway. Practice makes perfect 5. Background sky: Well, now we're going to start the most important part the background and taking white brush and waiting the paper surface. The weather here is hard today, so I understand that everything will drive much faster than usual. That's why I need to read the paper ready? Well, I'm meeting even more water but trying not to make a book, whether girls inside the paper and I can see how its surface is becoming wavy and it's absolutely normal. I'm trying to work carefully because this brush is tired a bit and I don't want to damage the paper. Then I'll use to squeal. Makes brush. I start immediately taking yellow pains very bright on Dhere. As you probably remember, I'd like to create the wide light effect behind the tower. For that, I need to keep the paper free of any color. I'm painting gently from the size. First, you can see as the papers where everything will go blurring. I can also paint a little here later. Here will be a city bad. It's It will be darker anyway, admitting now Apple's Yellow Band? No, here, you see, um, if this kind of sports like stars or snowflakes appears. It means that your brushes too wet. So why did you need to get rid of excessive water in it? Betting it dry with the paper towel. If you're confused about how to paint clouds, photos of this kind of help you that I'm moving. Teoh Rose color. This pain here is very fresh. Just from the Dubai That said eso I'm trying to be accurate taking it on the brush. I stuff from above. I've got to read about color and excessive water from the brush. I'm going to blend pains here on the edge between two colors. When I have the same amount off, whether on the brush and on paper surface. I can't do this kind of movement, which don't bring you color to the paper and do not take it out. Well, apparently it is possible Only wild Baber Still wet. I'm aiding clouds here. You see, I still had some roast pain on the rush, and I also have puts yellow to the top. So I'm making the color brush strokes. Uh, this area is almost dry, so I need to work attentively around it. Look after your paper if it's still shining or not, because if it is not, you should stop the pain on dry zones even though you may not love how they look like off course. I paint all the tower zone to because we work from light to dark on the tower will be much doctor them this kite. So there is no point to keep this faith for you Off color. I'll paint the tower right on it. There will be see the area. I watch this part with clean water. I don't want to have a sharp image because it also can be seen even from under following layers off pains. All right. Next time taking bigger brush and working with while it pay attention to brush movement. Ah, for this guy, I do them horizontally. If I start to do circular motions, I'll get the impression of clause in this area. We're going to do this, but later But right now it is just the background for a while. I don't touch the bottom off painting. Do the heart Whether everything dries fast as this party to and I'm taking Doctor Blue, I'm finishing this guy. It is important to create a correct owned radiation because it works where? Well, for these halted shine in effect. Okay, I'm emanating Intell trim blue as it is. Not that while it is true marine booze, this is the base for the background, and I still need to add a few clouds. This area off the paper is not shiny no more, so it's unfortunately dry, so I can only work in this part. I am taking smaller barrage this time, and now it is essential not to take a lot of water on the brush and painting with industry and blue. You may also bland several different colors, several blues or at some great or make your clouds wide. It's for example, you know it's you who decides, but the color should be dark. That is what important. I'm touching paper travel to leave extra water because I've already have some on the paper . I'm meeting clouds and I don't move the brush like that. No more moments have to become more free for an abstract shape of the clouds. I can take them more while it's or at a shadow. You see, I'm taking more blue. The lower clouds go deal either and more. Why did they become so I clean have been the brush. I'm taking more rows and keep working and they also become smaller blue again. I'd love to paint a couple of close here, but this part is well dry. Unfortunately, what else can I dio? Um I wish my brush and now I'm taking grows and even a bit of Napoli's yellow. Okay. And then I met ing them here. The brush is not wary wet and you might see it is taken some car from the paper at the same time adding rose and it brings an effect off eliminated clouds. It seems like sun shines on them from here. What else can I do? Um, I'd like to add a few details, but it is sad that everything is dry here. Well, mama bad. Anyway, the clouds have recently painted here is too wet. So the only thing is possible is to add some shadows to them. It will become more real if I want stop and we'll continue to paint in the area where the paper is almost dry. That these weather I'm bringing will push the color which is not fixed on paper yet to these part boundaries on. Well, got a color stains type I don't really want to see in this Khyam painting. Well, it seems now I can't add anything, so let's leave it like that. And by the way, I haven't noted before. But here you can see what may happen if you have more weather here and less water on almost dry paper. Here. Do you see this counter? I'm lucky because I would be in the city on it. Toe white, it just look after your paper. Drying this skill certainly need some practice. Just paint more often and you'll be able to control this effects. Um 6. Background city: So now I want to create this part of the painting. It will be composed of background and details, but dark details I'm going to add after I paint tower at the moment. I just don't wanna have any spaces without car. This area is quite small, so I'm not even going to edit. Before I started. I'll begin with the you'll either. Colors. So I'm landing yellow orange meeks off watercolor. This city has orange 10 close to dishonor the area other words to the center and it colors become darker and colder and everything will be dark. And maybe you and while it here first I'm doing the top of the city sealer on hiding the same time. This wonderful stain. Here we go. I'm meeting drops off yellow paint and then I'm prone to switching to Dr Colors. If you want to make this color transitions Mother, it would be better toe when the paper before painting. Well, this body part that list in case if you don't really care, just pain. Wedding dry. I have have buildings here, rooftops the exact same thing for this area on colors. Neither have been changed. I'm just variety the concentration of different colors. One thing I can recommend is to make the far side of the city more transparent. That is, to add more water and the foreground. We'll do more type to work faster. I'm taking bigger brush. You can also tell your board. Put something under it to make the water call go down. Now I'm trying to create multi color watercolor wash using the same things here. I move my brush following rooftop shape. I've checked how tightly masking tape is holding the paper. It seems like I already have some weather color under the tape. Well, we'll find later and it's OK. I guess it's almost enough there stains of big men here, but I'd rather let them be. It is important to make this part more interesting, and I'm bringing that car here and there. Maybe these future rooftops. You see, this area is still shining at the time here, the papers dry, so this water cars starting to be great and it doesn't look fascinating. So try to control what what's happening on the paper, of course, only if you don't want to create its effect on purpose. I don't mind about a couple drops of yellow on Rose just to create a color connection between these two parts, and that's it 7. The Tower. Part 1: I'll use this to brush or one of them. Although the first is smaller and the second is bigger, both of them feed for the tailing very well because of their fine t. So what I'm going to do now? First of all, I'll get the color I need for the beginning. It shouldn't be too dark. So let's start. Ivan can add Payne's gray now, but I'm using it with enough water. Well, I guess this Hughes nice working order is the same as for pencil drawing. I start with the man access while doing it. I'm not squeezing the brush. Besides, I have no weather and tide, so I use only this part. It is important to make every line a beat. Intermittent. I've thrown the men access and now I'm moving to horizontal lines. Connect these two lines. We can also variety the collar and here will be a line to I could paint it later though the balconies. I'm just touching the paper like that. You see, first layer is completely dry and I can calmly work on it. The lines I make are fragmentary and incomplete. These bales Canton of the tower will help me to paint confidently with Dr Collars. - So now I'm taking darker, bland and I start to add bars. Intersections. - I'm looking at the photo all the time. It is always in front of me. When I paint these bars, I do first in one direction and then being across them. And I'm also trying to make the construction lighter feel. The difference between this on that one here is to understand how the construction looks like. But it is much more like so just try to keep some space in lines you create. Uh, anyway, you won't be able to reproduce everything you see on the photo. Well, and it doesn't make any sense for us, actually. Next, inside a skeleton, I start to add more horizontal lines. I give doing them off different thickness. You see somewhere they are senior. I'm trying to draw them in similar way 8. The Tower. Part 2: more grey blue on blend becomes darker. I'm not repeating every line and just getting details and looking at the photo and trying tried in to find light and dark elements and highlighting them in my picture. These lines should be darker, I think, even though I've painted them lied at the beginning. Well, this part seems a bit screwed to me. I tried to fix it. I'm taking lighter hue. Keep making crosses with this brush movement. This direction. I'm back. I'm trying to deploy my hand this way to show you better. What? Enjoying well, shape of the terrorist to look perfect. But it's not critical. I can correct later. - All right, I'm meeting that callers to the center. It gets dark here. So maybe this part of the video one have enough light, Unfortunately, so I'm sorry. So, uh, I continue to paint bars and dark details. I'm still trying to figure out which part of the tower makes him the crew. Curiously, that I only see through the camera in normal way, it seems like to me, but a camera doesn't like no, so I'll try to rebury. Otherwise, you'll say I explain you all the proportions but couldn't draw it correctly. I a there, let's add some more bars. And here we have a dark stage actually on. It should be darker here for sure. I repeat some lines cause they are important somewhere. I'm leaving lights based somewhere. I'm painting shadows. All right. At a certain point, take a break and try to look at your painting from the distance. Just no. Stand up and leave the table. Maybe in this way, you'll see Better watch out Where is need to be at it? Well, I still don't understand why these barbed moves bad. I don't know. Oh, maybe I'll pain like that here. It really haunts me. - Well , let's just keep going here. I have horizontal lines on in this part. Everything is dark. I've turned my brush this way. Could it like this Keep painting here? The construction is not transparent, so I feel this space with color. But here on the balcony teas there are bars here so I can see the sky through it. Line in this place An arch. Now I'm taking me with more intensive and dark color on feel this spaces there will be the city's gave in the bottom so I don't touch it for a while. Okay. Well, what else? Maybe several dark adults out. Details are missing. Admitting them. Uh, talk Koppel lines here. How to understand it. We should stop Well, when you don't really know what to add. So I stopped here to 9. Shadow detailing: All right. We continue working on this cityscape color scheme is the same. I already have song details here and I keep getting dark spots. Why do I need for that? I just need an impression off rooftops. Well, I act in an intuitive way. - A bit of gray, a bit more off into tram blue. The image I'm getting is quite abstract, as you may see. If you don't, you're able to pay In the city, you can replace rooftops, but by treetops, sewage, for example. They are much easier to pain. I'm using dry brush from time to time somewhere I have wet spots and I had some dark your color into them on You can see how the watercolors pretty inside them. You also can take a photo of the CD. It may help, but it also may be a bad idea because we don't really need to draw all these shapes. We just need the impression off buildings and rooftops. These drugs aren't painting Now our chimneys, If you've ever seen Parisian rooftops, you know that they are full of them On in the shadow, they look like short strokes. Here I pain with semi transparent blue and here in the zone where the tower's basement is, it is supposed to be dark enough. Next, I also can add a bit of dark, maybe even as darkness here some windows here and there. As I have dark tone here, I needed to be repeated somewhere in the bottom in details. So I'm adding them as we knows. For example, why not here? I'm simply touching the paper on somewhere. I'm covering bigger spaces with the shadows. Okay, - I'm going to let all this area become driving for our dry details. It is important for me to pain in both vertical and horizontal directions. Horizontal lines given impression off rooftops while vertical ones split buildings. One from another. I let some Why details. And then I'll decide if it is enough. Off dark or not. Well, I also add a couple of things here. I just know that the tower is not that tall here. So I would like to cover it. Yes, like like that will be nice. I also contain a dome of the cathedral or something like that. - So here we have a dark on almost abstract city Onda. Now it is time for some line details 10. Light detailing: Finally, it's time for the last details. I'm taking a smaller brush and I'm going to paint with two colors. It's one Go Napoli's Yellow, red and Royal Blue. By scenario, I used them because they are opaque things. It means that I can pay them on dark layer off color, while other white colors won't be seen painted like that because you know that weather cars transparent but some colors, which for example, contains white pigments, may have opaque features, and they are able to cover their careers. I'm taking a lot of pain with almost no, whether inside, and I'll paint details like Windows and Siegel eyes somewhere , they may really have a shape of a window, but somewhere there just Brendan brushstrokes somewhere made with dry brush. The best bed ground for them is these shadows, apparently lied on the foreground should be bigger than once in the distance. Do I will said's betters to give this chi part untouched, just covered with paper, I'm cleaning the brush on Dalit blue the same way you can also use wide blush. I think it works well on the makes the painting more interesting. No, when I already have blue details here. I'd like to add a couple to the tower here in the shadow, - like like that There's two parts off the painting are even more connected. No. Now I'm watching my work through the camera, and for me, it's easier to decide if I need to add something or not. Well, I think I can finish here. When your weather car training is done, you can try to erase pasa lines, but be careful. Make sure that the paper is completely dry here. I had some liquid color and saying the painting, so please don't repeat my mistakes. So here is the result you see in the area where the tape wasn't the touch Teoh. Good enough. What color went? Other news it? Yep, I have also shown you some common mistakes. So you see it is important to control all the time what's happening on the paper, and we should be ready that something may go wrong. But the main thing anyway is to enjoy the process off course. Now it's your turn to paint Parisian sounds it that hesitate to change the composition and colors. For example, you can variety color saturation, take less rose on the cars off the sky paver, or you can change the car, skim, make it lighter change or keep the cityscape implementation. And it's also can be more comfortable to practice on smaller size paper things. One is like to post cards. I'd say that mistakes on in the races are less visible on that side. All right. I hope the question off light in watercolor has become more clear for you on Paris is closer. Now, don't forget to share your projects here on skill share. I'll comment and give you some tips. Thank you for watching the video. I hope you enjoyed it. See you next time. Bye bye.