Exquisite Watercolor Paintings Capture the Magic of Strolling Through Old European Cities

Architecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene Astakhova

Watercolorist Viviene Astakhova captures the unique allure of classical European architecture. Her expressive brushstrokes and sun-dappled lighting make each of the scenic places breathe with life. In fact, perusing her colorful portfolio feels as though you're taking a stroll through one of the picturesque cityscapes.

The Russian artist is an avid lover of old-world architecture and its ornate details. Historical cities such as Vienna, London, and St. Petersburg are the inspiration for her series of urban paintings. After sketching the buildings in pencil, Astakhova applies delicate layers of watercolor paint to the paper—intentionally keeping some areas paint-free. This deliberate placement gives her pictures a sense of buoyancy, which she emphasizes with expressive skies and watery shading of trees, canopies, and columns. Astakhova then completes her illustrations by returning with a technical pen and outlining a few details in black ink.

Although the watercolorist's paintings are incredible are on their own, much of her online success is also in the way she presents them on Instagram. Astakhova often enhances the romantic atmosphere of her cityscapes by photographing them in dimmed or shuttered lighting. Occasionally, the artist uses the photography process as an opportunity to add something more to her painting, like in her depiction of Big Ben. There, Astakhova guides a thin, solitary beam of light across the clock tower while the rest of the picture remains veiled in afternoon shadows. These thoughtful finishing touches make her delicate watercolor paintings enticing portals into coveted European cities.

Scroll down to see more architecture paintings by Astakhova, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest creations. Original paintings are available for purchase via Astakhova's website.

Watercolor artist Viviene Astakhova captures the serene beauty of classical European architecture.

Architecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene Astakhova

To do this, Astakhova adds atmospheric shadows and precise details to her paintings of buildings and streets…

Architecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene Astakhova

… this gives the watercolor illustrations a sense of buoyancy and light.

Architecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaWatercolor Architecture PaintingArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaArchitecture Watercolor Paintings by Viviene AstakhovaViviene Astakhova: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Viviene Astakhova.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.

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