How to Draw a Lighthouse

Skill Level : 1 Beginner, 2 Intermediate

Medium : Pencil Drawing

Subject : Seascapes

Tutor : Nolan Clark

Class Length : 2 hours 11 minutes

Avg Rating :

Silver Level or Higher Class

Class Description

In this class we will draw a peaceful lighthouse scene

During the class you will learn :

1) How to create your own clouds
2) How to create the illusion of distance in the sea
3) How to shade the buildings and lighthouse so they look 3 dimensional
4) How to create a looking in effect in the foreground
5) How to show a field of flowers in the distance.

Latest Reviews

Nolan: Thank you for another great class. I really like to paint and draw lighthouses. Kathy


Class Tutorial


Start off by drawing in the horizon line, making sure it is perfectly straight.
Draw the buildings and the lighthouse as accurately as you can too making sure you get the symmetry of the lighthouse correct. I have used my artist license to leave out some of the buildings.


Fill in the sky with an even tonal value. Don't worry about the clouds, they will come later, we are just trying to hide the white of the paper. Next add in the clouds. In this drawing I have used the clouds from another photo to make the sky more interesting. If you do the same, just make sure that the sun is coming from the correct direction in both photos. Clouds higher in the sky must be larger as they are closer to you. The closer you get to the horizon, the small the clouds must be.


Print out the template and combine the tiled pages together.  If you are new to working with tiled templates, watch as Nolan explains how to do it.  Transfer the tiled template to the canvas using whatever transfer technique you prefer.  Keep the template attached and hanging in back of the canvas for easy reference.

The lighthouse is at the back so draw that in first. Make sure you get a good contrast between the highlight and shadow side of the tower. With the lighthouse itself complete you can now move on to the houses. Don't try to add too much detail into the houses, do ensure you get their perspective correct. To stop the buildings looking flat, add enough contrast between the sunlit walls and the walls in shadow.

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Draw in the sea making sure you don't loose the horizon line. Make the sea darker at the horizon and lighter as you move closer. The waves in the front must be larger than the waves at the back in order to get the perspective looking correct.

Rocky Outcrop

The area by the lighthouse is quite rocky, so don't make this area too smooth


To create a meadow effect block in the foreground. Add some grasses overlapping the sea - this adds distance between the sea and the meadow. Complete the drawing by adding in the flowers. The flowers grow in groups so be careful to not make this area look too spotty.

Final Drawing

Stand back and admire your drawing of the Lighthouse


About Nolan Clark

Read more about Nolan Clark

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