Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Thousand Scratches And A Few Figure Drawings - Dogs Vs People

Scratch Board dog portrait

A little puppy Fred back in 2012. I made this drawing for my husband to have a good memories of our cute little puppy. The puppy is now 70 plus pounds and he got a brother, red fox lab, George. I have not had a chance to paint or draw both of them yet. But I do have lots of cute photo references. And with this drawing it is a good start.

The technique here is very interesting: the original surface is black and waxy. Then I took an X-acto Knife and applying scratch after scratch created this drawing. A thousand scratches later, the while puppy, grass, flowers, and a ball appeared on a black surface.
This drawing was a good practice for my hand.

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Almost every artist knows that drawing skills help to make paintings better. 
I made myself a huge and valuable gift this Fall: I've enrolled in 6 hour Figure Drawing class . Each week for the next four months I will straighten my drawing skills, with live and not-so-life models, researching anatomy books,  and old masters drawings. 

I am excited!

By now we did some simple drawings in the class, fast sketches so to speak. We catch and sketch the movement of the model working with the lines.

anatomy study

art class



In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Point Bonita and Rodeo Beach Plein-Air Painting Day

San Francisco Bay

I painted this artwork on plein-air (outdoors) when the weather was changing rapidly. It was foggy in the morning. But then, the wind picked-up burning the fog, lifting it, and letting the sun shine and reveal the beauty of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

Our CWA artists and their guests had a marvelous time. Somebody painted the lighthouse, others went to Rodeo Beach, and my friends and I picked the view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Point Bonita Lighthouse

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Original Artwork Golden Gate Bridge is 12"x16" Watercolor on 140lb Cold Pressed Cotton paper

The highlights of that day Plein-air at Point Bonita are in CWA Newsletter here
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More plein-air paintings are in this Gallery


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tulips With Sunflowers Mini Art And Fun Commissions

watercolor realism

While working on a couple of projects, I wanted to place a few miniatures that are only 3.5" wide. Above Tulips On The Window painting looks good and fresh with "vanished" edges. 

And this little Sunflowers contain my favorite contrast combination these days: a warm yellow against cool blues:

yellow blue floral still life

Meanwhile I continued working on my projects. 
The Colors Of Russia art show was quite successful (read the previous post here). As the follow-up I was asked to make a few more paintings for the clients, who loved the original show:

Russia Sketch

Another fun commission was something outside of my usual work. One client, a restaurant owner, asked me to make a little design for a business card that would contain some "FOOD items". The challenge there for me was to simplify the paintings in order for them to be seen (be "readable")  in a small area of a teeny-tiny business card... So, it was interesting to make it happen. 
The original artworks were 8 inches tall.

One of them had to have a symbolized bowl of soup:
food art


Another one had to "read" coffee and sandwich:  
Kitchen Art
I couldn't resist to place a couple cookies there.

The design of the business card (the visual part of it) had to show the soup far in the background and the cup of coffee in the front:

The main text of the business card could be placed over the bowl of soup..


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul





Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sketching Italy - Part III

Part I is HERE
Part II is HERE
Although Rome looked so much as Saint Petersburg (Russia) to me as there are so many buildings in Saint Petersburg that were built by Italian architects back in 18th century; Rome, has its own, one of a kind, feeling when you come face-to-face to the older than old ruins

First thing in Rome, we've visited Colosseum:
ancient building

and next, the Forum ruins next to Colosseum. They surely remind people about thousand-years history and once powerful empire:
Roman old

Being in Rome only for two days was pretty intense as we had big plans. One of the days was devoted to a holy place, a country in the country, the incredible Vatican

As you see, no time to paint at all, but I painted Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica a few years ago, and now it comes handy: 
Holy City

Most impressive for me in Vatican was the Papal residence, with paintings (fresco) from floor to ceiling, gorgeous statues, and mosaic floors. Sistine Chapel was impressive, but tourists there are not allowed to talk or take photos.. you can only breath in.. 

Leaving Rome after two busy days was like escaping ancient civilization, when we started heading South. Our point of view shifted to the one of the popular leisure places, Amalfi Coast... 

Passing Naples and Pompeii, we landed in a beautiful town Sorrento, with its view on volcano Vesuvius:

Naples view

cafe

Three Story high cliffs with the hotels on a top and a private rocky beach below: 
umbrellas

It was so relaxing that we had time to just rest and watch beautiful sunsets and the boats parked at the shore:
Mediterranean sea

italian landscape

After traveling along the coast and visiting very beautiful towns Ravello, Positano, and Amalfi (I can't wait to work on my photos and start painting them in my studio); it was nice to relax the last 24 hours in downtown Sorrento with its lovely narrow streets full of souvenir shops, restaurants, and flowers everywhere: 

building flowers

Italy trip was fantastic! Unforgettable and inspiring for a lot future painting to be created...


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul


Monday, August 5, 2013

Sketching Italy - Part II

For those who missed the first post, Part I is HERE

Leaving Venice was sad but I knew that Florence will not disappoint my artist's eye. 

And the first thing I've run into was an art fair next to San Lorenzo cathedral, where artists were selling their beautiful art:
art fair in Florence

Florence in comparison to Venice is much larger and the colors of Florence are more solid and settled vs vibrant colors of Venetian buildings. 

Lots of towers in Florence are made of sand-color stones, reveling the age in the texture: 
streets of Florence

Hundreds of tourists occupied the plaza next to Palazzo Vecchio, a truly old, magnificent building. Each statue on the Piazza told a story, mythical or historical. 

plaza statues
Far in the distance, Neptune is overseeing the crowd. 

David (a copy of the original that we saw in Accademia ), is guarding the entry to Palazzo Vecchio:
nude statue

Besides the fact that Florence streets, statues, and fountains are like a museum under an open sky, there is also a largest collection of Renaissance art in Uffizi Gallery that I had chance to visit. Unfortunately, in most museums they don't allow photo cameras; and, I could imagine, they wouldn't permit a watercolorist sitting and painting there.. But the memory of a beautiful art will stay with me forever. 

One of the five days in Florence, we escaped the city going on 12 hour tour to Tuscany, where we had chance to visit Pisa, Siena, a thousand year old San Gimignano. On the way there, we admired Italian wineries of Tuscany and multiple Sunflowers fields:
Italy

On our last day in Florence we crossed the famous bridge Ponte Vecchio and stepped into the beauty of Palazzo Pitti  with its fountains and terraces.
Quiet walk at Boboli Gardens impressed with hidden paths,  peaceful ponds, and moss-green marble statutes:  
Boboli Gardens

The Florentine time was up and we headed out to the train station. Less than a two-hour train ride from Florence to Rome was lovely. We were passing by farms, mountains, old towns: colorful Italian landscapes: 
Italian landscape

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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sketching Italy - Part I

After a long long flight, having a refreshing ride in a water taxi, my husband and I landed in the comfortable room of one Venetian hotel:
interior

The couple of sketches I made there were at the time when, after running around the town overwhelmed with heat and the history, we had a chance to cool down for a few minutes and rest:
lamp window door table mirror

Beautiful canals with waters from turquoise blue to milky emerald, flowers on the windows, and polls in the water attracted my attention the first day of our city discovery: 

cityscape

Two gondoliers were resting before the next ride. No rush, no hurry, they knew the next group of tourists is inevitably coming:
Italy sketch bridge

After walking through narrow streets where the Sun never hits the ground, it was nice to find a relatively large square surrounded with two canals and an army of buildings:
monument buildings Italy

But not only the canals that historical part of  Venice is made of. One of the main artery of the touristic mecca was Via Nuova, wide enough to fit even a car or two passing by, and with its colorful old buildings and shops, shops, shops:
Venice Italy trip

After three wonderful days in Venice, visiting museums such Palazzo Ducale, Biblioteca Nazionale, Modern and Ancient Art exhibitions at San Marco Piazza, Accademia and many gorgeous churches and cathedrals, we had to prepare to leave for a new endeavors that were planned on our Italy tour. 
Sitting in the lobby of the hotel Europa & Regina and waiting for the water ride to the train station, I had a few minutes to sketch my last Venetian interior:
Armchair Table Room

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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul




Recent Bestsellers - Art For Home Decor and On Merchandise

The last few weeks were very busy at my Online Gallery . Many art pieces from abstract to hyper realism were sold for a home interior ...