Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sketches Of Chicago

Irina Sztukowski Watercolor

This week I am visiting the beautiful City of Chicago. And the best way for an artist to remember the travels is to paint. 

Luckily both times I've been to Chicago, which was early Fall and now late Spring, allowed to feel comfortable spreading my Travel Watercolor kit on a park bench and lose myself applying line by line, brush stroke by brush stroke.

The above sketch was done in the garden that surrounds the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the most richest and grand collections of classic and modern art. I can spend hours and hours browsing there from old masters to Impressionists, from amazing sculptures to shocking modern art of the beginning of 20th Century. 

The next sketch was done in the shade of walking pass along the river. I was fascinated how the new architecture there fits the old style buildings gracefully and monumentally.


And there is so much more to see and sketch in Chicago. My watercolor Travel Kit and my photo camera are my best friends today!
:)











Friday, May 13, 2016

Sunset And Trees Watercolor Lesson

impressionistic watercolors landscape with trees
These three landscapes look quite similar yet they all have their own story.
The first one was painted from the photograph that my friend gave me one day. She took this picture while traveling with her husband long time ago. I loved the bright sunset and black monotone trees on the foreground. Half year ago, the same dear friend lost her beloved husband of 51 years. When recently we were talking on a phone I asked her if she might be interested in watercolor lesson to try something new in her life. I offered her to paint the same bright landscape that you see on the left. She listened to my offer in disbelieve: How can she paint if she only held a brush once in her life. When she visited my studio, I performed the lesson to her, explaining step by step how to paint this bright sunset landscape. She did a great job. We had so much fun. And she left with completed artwork and a happy feeling that she learned something new that possibly might become a new hobby. 
The third painting I created when I was teaching last weekend a retired couple. The husband was looking forward to rejuvenate his love to watercolor that he developed long time ago when he was 15 years old. But the business life kept him away from this hobby; yet, now he was trying to grab the brush again. His wife never painted in her life, but she also was curious to try it. We painted together and both of them ended up with a finished artwork to bring home. 

And now, I want to explain step by step how to paint this bright, yet quite simply executed beautiful landscape in 10 easy steps.

Materials:
Paper (better 300lb Arches Watecolor Paper)
Flat Brush (any brush is good approximately 1 inch wide)
Round Brush #8 or #9 (approximately 1/4 inch in diameter)
Round Brush #4 or #6 (approximately 1/8 in diameter)
Sponge (either natural or just torn kitchen sponge)
Container for water and couple of paper towels.
Watercolor paints (better in tubes)
Red
Yellow
Purple
Black
(yes, only four colors with make this painting shine!)

Step 1:
Water the paper with flat brush
Step 2:
Paint two horizontal strips of yellow in the middle leaving a white 1 inch stripe in between (using same flat brush)
Step 3:
Next to the yellow (while it is still wet) paint the red color in diagonal streaks above the second yellow line and horizontal streaks below (using the round brush #8 or #9) . Because paint is hitting the wet yellow color, it will melt and create a nice soft clouds like feathers.
Step 4:
Next to the red, add some purple diagonal streaks on the top (the sky area) and horizontal on the bottom (using the same round brush). Make sure that purple doesn't touch yellow as it might create unwanted gray messy color. You can also add black color above purple to make the sky more dramatic. 
Step 5:
While paper is still wet, in the space that you left white (from the step 2) you can place a little uneven purple line that would indicate a forest line in the far background.
Step 6:
Relax and have a cup of tea as you need the wet painting to dry completely.
Step 7:
When painting is completely dry, take the round brush #4 or #6 and dip it generously in the black paint. Paint uneven vertical lines indicating the trees, and horizontal smaller lines indicating branches. 
Step 8:
With the black paint paint the waves underneath of each tree. These waves will be reflections of the trees.
Step 9:
Grab a sponge, deep it in the wet black paint and start applying with gentle dabbing motion around the tree branches. 
Step 10:
Enjoy completed artwork! 
:)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Ginger Bread Cookies Illustration

Ginger Bread Anise Star Coriander Clover painting

This is the painting that became an inspiration for the last Yogurt Flavor for the International client: 


Now it is the time to reveal the country where my illustration will be traveling. 

The customer is in Switzerland, and I had worked with amazing designers from Allink Company on this project. I am very grateful to them that they found me and introduced to their Yogurt producing company. I do not reveal the end-customer name until the yogurt go to the production. It is really amazing how my watercolors can travel the World at a faster speed than I can do :)

Live To Create!








Friday, April 29, 2016

Art Licensing Journey

Sztukowsi stretched canvas Sunflowers painting

The Art Licensing Journey continues for me and my paintings. 

As I've received the first Quarter payment from the company I work with (The ArtWall) , in the article I was writing previously (link is HERE), the whole excitement of being Licensed Artist seemed to be much more real.

For me licensing my art means that more people will be able to obtain the copies of my favorite paintings. 

Today, I've learned that not only Overstock.com and Ebay.com are now selling my art; but, as well as one of the most successful retailers such Walmart ( or should we rename it Walm-ART ;)) is presenting the paintings that I have completed in the last five years. 

Affordable Artwork for sale

In this case, being a licensed artist on my Art Licensing journey, and I can say with confidence now, the hard work does pay! :)
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