Urban Sketch Watercolor Tutorial

drawing painting Mar 11, 2021
Urban Sketch Watercolor Tutorial

Hi there! I'm so happy to be sharing this wonderful watercolor tutorial on how to paint your favorite dream vacation spot. I've chosen Cadaques, Spain for my own. I've recently been dreaming of heading back to Spain! I suppose this is a tutorial for us all to dream of our next adventure. 

My name is Jamie, I'm an illustrator and lover of all things nature and travel. Grab your supplies and paint along!



These are just suggestions, use what you have!



Step 1: Sketch Your Scene



Sketch out the main areas in pencil.  I used a few reference photos to come up with this composition (unsplash.com and pixabay.com are great resources or you can use your own photos).  The sky will take up 1/4 of the space, so that's something you should keep in mind when sketching. Next, mark your waterline, then draw the outline of the buildings. 

I like to start from the left and make my way across the page since I’m right-handed.  Draw in some windows here and there.



Step 2: Add Some Color



Let’s add some color! Take some burnt sienna (or whatever you have) to paint the rooftops.  You can vary the color from roof to roof to keep it lively. For some, dilute the paint and then drop in some crimson around the edges. You can also just keep the paint lighter in value in some spots to help contrast with the dark areas. I also added some pink-ish hues to some of the buildings to add interest.

Take your sap and paint some greenery to help frame the buildings. Now mix your Prussian, sienna, and crimson to get a rich dark color. Use this to plop in some windows.  



Step 3: Wet the Area with Clean Water




For the sky, I slightly wet the area with clean water (leave some spots dry, these will be our clouds). Take your cerulean and teeny bit of Prussian and drop into the wet areas. Splatter a bit of the paint to keep it loose and fun!

For the water, take your cerulean and paint in horizontal strokes. Add the landmass in the distance with the same dark mixture used for the windows.



Step 4: Add Shadows




Since the buildings are white, all we have to do is add shadows. Mix your blue with a little bit of crimson for a violet-y shade.  Paint under the roofs with one confident swipe! Put in any details you’d like such as roof lines and chimney tops. 

Tada! Finished! Thank you for painting with me. Hope you had as much fun as I did. Use this to inspire your own illustration of your favorite local spots. Stay safe and creative!




Hi everyone, Jamie Kim here! I think I've made it clear that I love all plants alike. I guess you can also see that I'm a lover of watercolor and basically all art, I'm not shy about it! Other things I love are anything Murakami, embroidery, gouache, pumpkin butter (because who doesn't?), and did I mention cacti and succulents? When not holding a pen or sketchbook, I can be heard playing the guitar, uke, and piano! Let’s connect on my website or on IG!


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