Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bringing Fall To Central Valley

Trees Red Yellow Autumn watercolor

I prepared this Impressionistic style painting of the Fall landscape for one watercolor lesson that I performed last Friday. 

The school is located in Central Valley, California (in Kings County), where Fall is coming either late or never. Oh no, of course, they will get a few yellow and red leaves closer to November-December. But now, all trees are green, farmers are finishing harvest, and the only indications of Fall are pumpkins in the grocery stores.

At the lesson, there were 36 students from grade 2 to 6. All of them were thrilled to try wet-on-wet technique and could not believe they can paint a Fall Landscape within an hour.. But we not only accomplished this, we even had a few minutes for a Pumpkin card project using an illustrative technique. 

Everyone had fun, even a couple of teachers asked to give them a brush and started painting :0)

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Carmel By The Sea - California Landscapes

Impressionism In Watercolor

Last weekend a group of CWA artists and a few of my close friends went to a lovely town at the Pacific ocean. This cute cozy place is called Carmel By The Sea.. a beautiful venue for painting, resting, and dining.

The morning started rough. We thought that it will be raining any minute. But the clouds passed by and only a few drops fell on our art works. 
We even enjoyed a partial sun giving some mysterious shadows on the sand:
boats birds trees

When painting this piece (above), I wanted to tell a little story (as I usually do with my art). I call it "All comes in pairs" ...If you look carefully, you will see two trees, two sailboats, two birds.. but only one person waking down the pier.. I left the second person somewhat hidden; so that, the viewers can make up their own romantic story

The last painting I did was of my friend-artist Vera Lysenko, she was passionately creating a seascape with acrylic. 
It is always fun to see the artist at work and wonder what is there on the canvas? 
Vera Lysenko

The artists gathered together after four hours of painting to see and discuss the artworks that they created:

More Plein-air Painting are HERE

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dogs And Bones

realistic watercolor

My two cute puppies are playing: Fred (the Blondy) was almost a year old, and George (the Red Head) was just a couple or three months. 

This is a fragment of a large painting that is still in progress. I just wanted to share those two brothers' conversation. George was always picking on Fred; but, he was also learning...

I wonder what kind of lesson he is receiving here? 
Dog knows!

And speaking of learning, in my Figure Drawing class we are working on a lot of bones and body parts.

Here are just a few of them:
realistic drawing

And a few more:
drawings body parts

And a glorious torso of Mister Skeleton himself:
illustration Halloween scary

Aha! Something spooky for upcoming Halloween :0)

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back To The Future

watercolor miniature

It is interesting how things are turning in my life. 
While I was chatting online about visiting Tyrus Wong exhibition at Disney Family Museum, and teaching the guests how to paint dramatic skies by wet-on-wet technique (in the previous post) ; something from the past came to my Inbox. 

My friend sent me photos of the miniatures that I've painted almost 20 years ago... I've looked at them and recognized the Tyrus Wong style of painting.. 

Hm.. maybe, I looked into the future when I painted these two little pieces back in Russia? 

Who knows! 

But, speaking about my friend's e-mail, the timing was just right! :0)

Silhouette Tree Bush Water Sun

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

Monday, September 16, 2013

Walt Disney Family Museum Open Studio

Branch Blossom Birds

After visiting Tyrus Wong exhibition, and getting inspired; I've started the lesson with introducing wet-on-wet technique. Students of ages from 5 to 65 learned how to paint skies with watercolors. 

To my surprise, at the beginning, I got more adults than children coming to the class (the Open Studio event is build when anyone can come at any time and jump in painting with the teacher).. 

Later on, we got kids, who surprised me again, they were not afraid to try painting both projects: Sky in Style of Tyrus Wong and a Fall Theme. 

Everyone had fun. 
I have not noticed how quickly the tree hours of the lesson passed. We probably got between 40 - 50 young and not-so-young students happily learning new techniques painting with watercolor .. and some of them even went home with the greeting card made by themselves 

(Photos by Maria Batkova)

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Sky Meets Water - Disney Family Museum Open Studio

Grass Silhouette Landscape

This painting of the sky and a little ducky on the horizon is created as a tribute to Tyrus Wong exhibition Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong  at Walt Disney Family Museum
Walt Disney Website

WDFM invited me and other artists from CWA to teach how to do a "wash" in watercolors. 
California Watercolor Association

At the fist glance the wash is pretty easy to do, but a lot of people are afraid of making it. The fear probably comes from not knowing how to achieve the smooth layers of different colors melting into each other. 

I decided to show how to paint the skies in watercolor using wet-on-wet technique.

The public that comes to the open studio is of different age groups. So, if the adults can paint the sky, and kids will want to paint something else, I've prepared another lesson, based on  something bright and cheerful:
Realism in Watercolor

Can you guess what it will be? :0)

Meantime in my drawing class, we learn (or re-learn) some simple objects sketching. 
Here is the recent homework made in charcoal on the newsprint paper:
realistic drawings

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

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Painting Glass With Watercolor

transparent paintings

While I am in between of painting and drawing in my studio an din the class, I thought I'll answer one of my artist-friend's question: 

How to paint glass in watercolor?

A small collection above shows several fragments of a few different glass surfaces from my paintings.

Unlike non-transparent, non reflecting objects where the rules of shapes and values applied almost precisely, glass surface has it's own so to speak character. 

I call it ABSTRACTION. Yes, when painting glass the artist should abstract his mind from the subject and see the glass as the cluster of shapes, colors, reflections, and abstract forms.. 

I remember from my childhood how fascinating it was to look into Kaleidoscope at the unpredictable shapes of the small glass pieces reflected in the mirror... 

...and now, when I paint, I can see how blue and white lines, for example (below):
can create a shape of carved glass and a round vase:
still life

The sparkles in geometrical abstracts here:
can represent the crystal wine glass in this painting:
dew drops

Warm and cold grays with brown in this abstract fragment: 

all of a sudden, becomes a vase on the dining table:
realism in watercolors

But if the table is covered with tablecloth (see zoom-in fragment below): 

the glass vase would absorb the surrounding pattern and warm greens of the flower stems:
Glass Vase Tablecloth

And what if the glass is colored, not just transparent?

then, it will absorb the background through its own color.. just like in this green glass bottle:
Realistic Painting

Or, as in the case when glass is blue.. the blue usually is pretty strong, It almost does not allow the other colors in.. almost:
Can you resolve the puzzle and identify which from the above blue segments belongs to which blue vase below? :0)
Sunny morning still life


Glass Vase Painting

One of my favorite discoveries when painting glass, was this collection of rainbows:

I found it in the glass rocks. Each of them was reflecting the world around and sifting it through its own shape and its own color:
Realistic Painting

When I paint glass, I always discover surprising shapes and colors combinations. Sometimes a simple stroke of a brush can identify the glass on the paper, and sometimes it takes much longer time to paint all the reflection, all the "abstract" forms.

Here are just a few more paintings that include the glass:
Honey Bee
Still Life

Fall Still Life

All of the above paintings that are presented in this post are small, approximately 10"x8", painted on 140lb Cold Pressed watercolor paper. Most of them are sold, but my customers are still appreciating reproductions of them in prints and canvases through Fine Art America... Maybe because of painted glass? :0)

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

Watercolor Mandarin On Packaging of Saison Yogurt

Saison Mandarin Yogurt  -  new product on European market with my watercolor peeled and whole mandarin illustrations that I've pai...