Best seller

Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink

A course by Alex Hillkurtz
Storyboard Artist. París, France.
Joined November 2019
, Storyboard Artist

Combine loose ink sketching with watercolor to create beautiful buildings that leap off the page

  • Best seller
  • 99% positive reviews (5.9K)
  • 137514 students
  • Audio: English
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Polish, Dutch

Combine loose ink sketching with watercolor to create beautiful buildings that leap off the page

  • 99% positive reviews (5.9K)
  • 137514 students
  • 20 lessons (3h 31m)
  • 17 additional resources (7 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, Italian, French, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Architectural sketching is a wonderful way to truly experience a place, discovering new details in each glance. Renowned storyboard artist Alex Hillkurtz finds a sense of fulfillment in discovering the hidden corners of the city that sketching allows. You can find some of his storyboarding work in films like Argo, Almost Famous, and It's Complicated, among many others.

In this course, Alex will show you his approach to capturing the depth and feeling of a place using watercolor and ink and translating that onto your page, because it’s one thing to depict a scene accurately and another entirely to portray the character and mood of a place. Learn to sketch and use watercolors to infuse your paintings with new life.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation
  • U3
    U3. Production
  • U4
    U4. Putting it All Together
  • U5
    U5. Variations of Style and Presentation
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

This course starts with an overview of how Alex has been influenced by his past experiences and you'll take a look at a collection of artists who have influenced his traditional approach to painting. He also shares additional resources, images, and links to books.

In the next unit, Alex presents all the materials you need for architectural sketching with watercolor, as well as tips on where to find the best art supplies. He also gives lessons on linear perspective and composition, so you have a solid foundation moving forward.

Learn the foundational techniques you need for a lifetime of successful watercolor sketching. Start slow with washes of color, then move on to mixing colors. These may seem like basic techniques, but when combined they give you everything you need to create beautiful paintings.

Next, apply all you’ve learned about composition, perspective, and color mixing to create a painting of a beautiful Parisian building. Alex explains how to capture light and shadows to create a stunning architectural watercolor piece.

Finally, Alex shares some final thoughts on finding your own voice, as well as tips on how to care for and preserve your watercolor paintings.

What is this course's project?

You will create a finished painting using watercolor and pen, which depicts a beautiful building leaping off the page with light and shadow.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for watercolor artists, urban sketchers, professional illustrators, and anyone who would like to improve their architectural sketching and watercolor techniques.

Requirements and materials

Alex guides you through everything you need to know, so no previous experience with watercolor sketching is needed. He also provides some reference images and invites you to use your own images as well.

As for materials, you need a sketchbook, pencils, three different watercolor brushes (one round, one flat, and one mop), an ink pen or a fountain pen with waterproof ink, paint, and a few other painting basics that Alex reviews in detail throughout the course.


137514 Students
5912 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
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Alex Hillkurtz

A course by Alex Hillkurtz

Teacher Plus
Storyboard Artist

Alex Hillkurtz was born in England and grew up in California where he is a renowned storyboard artist for feature films, television, and commercials. His film credits include Argo, Almost Famous, It’s Complicated, and many others. Alex currently lives in Paris with his film editor wife, Tiffany, and enjoys discovering the hidden corners of the city that sketching and painting allow.

He uses the language of cinema to compose his images, moving beyond what one sees and depicting what he wants others to see. He believes that in our overly crowded lives, sketching and painting invites us to move at a more deliberate pace, giving us a true sense of place, where unexpected stories are revealed.


  • U1


    • Introduction
    • Influences
    • What we will do on the course
  • U2


    • Presentation of Materials
    • The Basics of Perspective
    • Creating Dynamic Compositions
    • Where are the Vanishing Points?
    • Finding the Horizon Line
  • U3


    • Creating Textures with Color Washes
    • Color Mixes
    • Choosing the right view/picture
    • Creating a Thumbnail Sketch
  • U4

    Putting it All Together

    • The Pencil Sketch
    • Sketching with Fountain Pen and Ink
    • Watercolor! The First Wash
    • Watercolor! Shadows and Details 1
    • Watercolor! Shadows and Details 2
    • Watercolor! Shadows and Details 3
  • U5

    Variations of Style and Presentation

    • Style and Finding your Voice
    • Work presentation
  • FP

    Final project

    • Architectural drawing with watercolor and ink

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink. Illustration course by Alex Hillkurtz Best seller

Architectural Sketching with Watercolor and Ink

A course by Alex Hillkurtz
Storyboard Artist. París, France.
Joined November 2019
  • 99% positive reviews (5.9K)
  • 137514 students