Best seller

Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners

A course by Laura McKendry
Artist and Illustrator. London, United Kingdom.
Joined March 2020
, Artist and Illustrator

Paint exciting watercolor illustrations by exploring playful and unconventional techniques in your sketchbook

  • Best seller
  • 100% positive reviews (1.5K)
  • 50737 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Paint exciting watercolor illustrations by exploring playful and unconventional techniques in your sketchbook

  • 100% positive reviews (1.5K)
  • 50737 students
  • 23 lessons (5h 25m)
  • 20 additional resources (9 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Use your sketchbook as a playground to create unique illustrations and awaken your creativity. Artist and illustrator Laura McKendry believes the best way to approach our creative process is with a playful attitude. She is known for her abstract and imaginative compositions which have seen her create illustrations for the likes of Laura Ashley and Papyrus.

In this course, Laura shares the step-by-step process she uses for creative watercolor sketching. Learn to enrich your sketchbook with unconventional color combinations and create experimental illustrations which express your playfulness.

This is Laura’s second course with Domestika. In her first, Illustrating Nature: A Creative Exploration, she shares her expertise on illustrating the natural world. This course is ideal for anyone who is interested in capturing their everyday surroundings in watercolor form.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Warming up Your Brush, Hands and Eyes
  • U3
    U3. Get to Grips With Colour
  • U4
    U4. Creating Playful Illustrations
  • U5
    U5. Enriching Your Sketchbook
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Laura begins the course by sharing her work as an artist and educator. She talks through the influences which impact her creative approach and how to go about finding inspiration.

Get to know the materials required to create watercolor sketches. Learn what to consider when choosing your sketchbook, paints, and brushes as a beginner. Then warm up your hands and start experimenting with objects and playful techniques. Let loose and explore what happens when paint meets wet paper. Discover how to create contrast and tone and have fun with the possibilities watercolors provide.

Experiment with color. Start with the theory behind the color wheel, then learn how to identify hue, value, and intensity, to understand how to develop color combinations. Combine layers of color, taking inspiration from the world around you, and find out how to achieve unconventional results with your paintbrush.

Fill your sketchbook with rough sketches, using photos for inspiration, before simplifying them into basic shapes. Then dive into discord and play around with colors that clash. Combine the tools and techniques from earlier in the course to create collages with patterns and textures.

Continue filling your sketchbook by exploring different ways of combining the techniques from previous lessons. Finish the course by hearing the stories behind Laura’s artwork.

What is this course's project?

Fill a sketchbook with playful watercolor illustrations to use as inspiration for future artwork.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for anyone with an interest in illustrating with watercolors.

Requirements and materials

No previous experience is necessary.

You will need watercolors, brushes, other drawing materials of your choice, and a sketchbook.


50737 Students
1495 Reviews
100% Positive ratings
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Laura McKendry

A course by Laura McKendry

Teacher Plus
Artist and Illustrator

Laura McKendry is an illustrator and artist based in London, UK, who is renowned for incorporating unusual tools and materials into her watercolor and ink-based pieces. Her work can be found on greeting cards, wrapping paper, homeware, and fine art prints for clients like Artko, Impress, Jaccart, Laura Ashley, Papyrus, WHSmith, and Waterstones.

Her book cover illustration for André Alexis’ novel Fifteen Dogs was nominated for the V&A Illustration Awards in 2016. She also teaches short courses on drawing and illustration at Central Saint Martins and the University of Arts London, and runs online workshops that focus on finding ways to unlock creativity while perfecting creative techniques.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences
  • U2

    Warming up Your Brush, Hands and Eyes

    • Introducing the Materials
    • Dancing With Your Brushes
    • Taking Your Paintbrush for a Walk
    • Furry Blurry
    • Flying with Monochrome 1
    • Flying with Monochrome 2
  • U3

    Get to Grips With Colour

    • Taking a Spin With Colour 1
    • Taking a Spin With Colour 2
    • Abstract Transparencies 1
    • Abstract Transparencies 2
    • When Colours Bleed
  • U4

    Creating Playful Illustrations

    • Abstracted Aviary
    • Diving Into Discord
    • Playful Collage 1
    • Playful Collage 2
  • U5

    Enriching Your Sketchbook

    • Combining Techniques 1
    • Combining Techniques 2
    • Connecting Ideas
    • The End Pages 1
    • The End Pages 2
    • The End Pages 3
  • FP

    Final project

    • Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners

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 or PRO 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 or PRO member, when you complete a course 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
Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners. Illustration course by Laura McKendry Best seller

Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners

A course by Laura McKendry
Artist and Illustrator. London, United Kingdom.
Joined March 2020
  • 100% positive reviews (1.5K)
  • 50737 students