How to Paint From Your Own Photos


Welcome to our course with Mikhail Solovyov, which is dedicated to how to paint from your own photos!


What is the meaning and value of sketches? Why do thousands of artists carry sketchbooks with them and fill them, page after page, with sketches that are sometimes far from being successful? How, in a relatively short time, to express on paper exactly what you want to say and nothing else?

On the course you:

  • learn how to draw sketches from your travel photos
  • learn a few sketching techniques
  • learn how to simply and quickly draw everything that surrounds you
  • learn to draw with coffee
  • you will not be afraid of a clean sketchbook

After the course, you can create vivid sketches that will help you remember your trips! See what sketchbooks you can make after completing the course:

Michael Solovyev

Michael lives in Montrea since 2011. From there, his works continue to add to the beauty and value of both public and private collections around the world. He participated in 16 personal and more than 70 group exhibitions in different countries.  Michael won numerous awards, including the 1st Award of Excellence on Elected Members Exhibition Society of Canadian Artists in 2019. He teaches five self-written art courses in the Syn Studio, a prestigious art school in Montreal, as well as private lessons in his own studio and many masterclasses around the world. In recent years, he represented Canada at many famous watercolor festivals, including Hong Kong, Slovenia, India, Italy, France, Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hungary, and Portugal.

Instructor's Works
Course Program
1 Lesson 1. Watercolor Sketching and Lines

We will analyze the very idea of ​​sketches and how they differ from ordinary paintings. For starters, we'll focus on traditional watercolor sketching and learn how to convey an idea you're interested in using just a line and nothing else.

Lesson duration: 55 minutes.

2 Lesson 2. Spots, Lines, and Selection

In this lesson, we will learn that we do not always need color and tone. Sometimes, simple lines are enough to tell your story. But we'll go even further and learn how to connect graphic design lines and spots of color. Also, there are two types of spots - ones only adding a shadow (to make our sketch more authentic), and ones combining the line and color. In addition, Michael will tell you a secret to understanding the very methodology of sketches in general and how to learn the art of making simple - and most importantly, accurate - expressions of what you see and want to put on paper.

Lesson Duration: 71 minutes

3 Lesson 3. Mixing Styles and Spontaneous Sketching

We will use the same subject but draw it using different techniques, styles and tools. This will help us look at an already familiar issue from a different perspective and understand how best to tell the story. We will not only use traditional materials but also call for help on what may be at hand during our travels - for example, coffee. Choosing the right style and material for your sketch is already half the battle. In addition, we will get acquainted with a style that will not leave anyone indifferent - "Spontaneous Style."

Lesson Duration: 71 minutes

4 Lesson 4. Urban Landscape Techniques
You'll learn how to use light for creating cityscapes.
You'll discover how to eliminate unnecessary details.
You'll learn how to make exciting watercolor effects in cityscapes.
Lesson duration: 1 hour 2 minutes. 
5 Lesson 5. People and Cars in a Cityscape
You'll learn how to insert people and cars into cityscapes.
You'll discover how to paint people quickly.
You'll learn how to depict a group of people without painting all details.
You'll know where to place people in composition.
Lesson duration: 40 minutes. 
6 Lesson 6. Urban Landscape
We'll combine everything we've learned in previous lessons - the light, the simple expression of space, and the rules for constructing a cityscape.
You'll create a fantastic Montreal with people and cars.
Lesson duration: 52 minutes.
This Is What Our Courses Are Like
Smart Learning
The courses are developed by professionals and are maximally focused on the result!
Certificated in all courses: when you complete a course you will get a personalized certificate.
Expert Instructors
Each instructor teaches only what she/he does best, channeling true passion and perfection in every lesson.
Learn at Your Own Pace
Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule. You set your own timetable.
Professionally Created Courses
All of courses are made professionally and with love by a people, who a passionate about art.
Share Knowledge
Ask questions, request feedback, offer solutions. Share learning with other students in the community.


Your favourite sketchbook with watercolor paper.


Any brand of watercolors. Colors: Indigo, Cobalt blue (Ultramarine), Quinacridone Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Viridian, Perylen Red (Perylene Scarlet).


Flat brush 2 inch, Round brush (sable/synthetic) medium size, Small round brush for details (liner).


Paper napkin, spray-bottle.

What You Will Create
Our F.A.Q.
1 How do I pay for the course?

Our site supports PayPal as the primary way for payment. You will also need to pay with any Visa or MasterCard credit card connected to your PayPal account. A good guide to working with PayPal can be found here.


In 90% of cases, problems occur during the waiting stage for an SMS confirming the operation code. This special security system, which when making a payment online, checks with a special code in an SMS message sent to the number linked to the card that the owner is using the card. Sometimes owners change the card, but forget to change the phone number that it linked to. In this case, we advise you to call the bank and determine which phone number linked to the card and whether online payment enabled on the card.


The equally common problem is that you don't get an SMS with a code. In this case, we recommend that you first click on the button to re-send the message (each bank has its system). If you still don't receive the message, turn your phone on and off. Often, you will receive an SMS with the code immediately after turning it on. If you don't receive an SMS, try it in a few hours. Sometimes banks disable this system, and it doesn't work for a long time. If this does not work — contact the bank or us, and we will try to help.

2 When can I start my classes?

The course description provides the start and end dates of the course. The course's first lesson will be available on the day of the course start — the rest of the lessons open at 00-00 on the days specified in the course description.

3 How online classes work in your school?

You choose the course you like in our store and buy it. The course will appear in your account in the "My Courses" section. You can access them both from mobile devices and a personal computer of any type (PC, Mac). The course's first lesson opens on the course's starting day (shown on the course description page).


If the course is with teacher support, you complete the lesson's tasks, take photos of your work, upload it to your gallery, and write a message to the course teacher. The teacher checks your work, gives feedback, and opens access to the next lesson.


If the course is without teacher support, go through the lessons step-by-step, and feel free to upload your work to the gallery or personal social networks. But don't forget about our contests — be sure to mark your work with a special hashtag of the course!

4 How do I receive teacher feedback?

There are courses with the support of the teacher and without one — the type of feedback/support specified in the course description. If you purchased a course with teacher support, then after you have posted your work in your account (a photo of the work or a scanned version), you write to the teacher to check it. The teacher comments on the work after each completed lesson and opens the next lesson to you based on your progress.


In courses without teacher support, feedback is not provided.

5 Is it okay for me to start online learning with zero drawing experience?

Yes, our courses are designed for those who have never drawn and those who already draw. The level of difficulty of the course is indicated in its description. In our hearts, we believe that everyone can learn to draw — choose a course for beginner and start creating with us!

6 Can I watch videos after the course ends?

Our school has courses with time-limited access to lessons and with unlimited access. The course with unlimited access to lessons will always be in your account. You can watch them from any device at your convenience. Access to courses with a time-limit will be closed after the end of the course. If you don't have time to complete the course, we usually sell it later with unlimited access to the lessons; just visit our site!

7 I have problems with the site — crooked layout, I can't log in to my account, etc. What should I do?

We constantly check our site and update its functionality. It allows you to enjoy our school and drawing process. Unfortunately, this has a downside — modern browsers often save parts of the old version of the site, leading to different problems.


Fortunately, there is a simple solution — clear the browser cache. It is done quite simply (including mobile devices). You can read the fantastic instructions for all types of browsers and devices here. Usually, you will need to log in again on the site after performing these actions, and everything will start working correctly. If the problem is not resolved after this, please contact us by email, and we will figure out how to help you.

8 My video is slow, I can't watch my course. What should I do?

First, you should check your internet speed. Please try using Speedtest on the device that you use to access our site. If speed is lower then 512 kbps — then it is your connection. Please try to connect your device to a faster internet connection. If speed is Ok, then try the next steps.


Like all other big online learning companies, we rely on 3rd party video hosting; in our case — it's Vimeo, one of the best and biggest services there are. So steps that you should try:


1. Cleaning the cache of the browser. All instructions can be found here.

2. Try stopping the video and wait a bit for it to get cached, so it can make a small buffer for you to watch comfortably.

3. In the low right corner of the video player, there is a special settings button where you can choose quality. Please try setting a bit lower quality.


If nothing helps — try going directly to Vimeo and watch any video on the site. If this video is still slow, then there is just an issue with connecting to their servers, not more we can do about it. If it's fast — feel free to write to us, we will try to figure out something for you :)

Please subscribe!

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience on our website, measure traffic and efficiency. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of cookies.