Milestones and goals

Most people analyze the previous year and set up goals when the New Year is coming. I tried to illustrate both, remembering a game I played with myself years ago.

Like the medieval knights had a shield with the insignia of their family, I drew the shield that best characterized me at that moment. Great time to use secret symbols or color language, great time to simplify even deep thoughts, great time to combine art and fun. Have you ever tried to make up your personal shield?

I love when my right hemisphere activates while I draw, and then comes totally different kind of thoughts. That’s why I don’t have a plan in advance, I gradually draw what comes to mind and where there is still a space left on the paper. At least when I’m trying to draw messages from the inner self.

I used the same process for the Milestones 2021 and the Goals 2022 shields. Maybe they look ridiculous, but I precisely know what each part means. This time I don’t only share my art with you, but my heart.

With love, Ivana

One hand, different styles

When it comes to painting, I am still looking for myself. One and half years of experience ranks me as a pure beginner, so I need to work on basic techniques and test various supplies.

According to the comments on my personal art challenge I agree to see a tendency towards illustrations. I have a lot of ideas, most of which are stopped by lack of skills.

A great example from the past few days is a painting of lantern. Immediately, I imagined a scene from an old fairy tale, which I listened to as a child. The story tells about daily life of beetles that fly with lanterns to bring the light to people at night. Because of audio version I had no pictorial prejudices.

Full of joy, I sketched the basic idea on a scrap paper easily. Then I produced a problem in my head – mainly because of figural drawings. Although I reduced the number of beetles from five to three, the result lacks the poetics and simple lightness of the original sketch. Painted in watercolor with black liner and with the final touch by colored pencils.

Conclusion – I need more practice with figural drawings and courage to do it. My wise inner voice adds – maybe start with simple silhouettes like in the sketch, don’t push yourself into a real figural drawing. They won’t look real anyway.

In the shadow of Campanula

I made this drawing with silhouettes a few years ago by colored pencils only, maybe it looks better than actual beetles with lantern, what do you think?

There are also two of non-figural painting, covering topics of my personal challenge – document and butterfly. In these dark days I couldn’t paint a summer butterfly, so I decided for a night moth, specifically army green moth. I took a reference photo from wikipedia, hopefully it is free to use.

I would appreciate your comments, especially on the figural drawing. Some advice how to combine my lack of skills and experience with my desire to paint all the ideas and imaginations I have?

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

With love and hugs,


What to expect from the 2022

I played with tarot today, asking about 2022. Take it easy please.

Overall energy – Harvest

It’s time to harvest what has been planted before. Patience, precision and humility will be required. Rather than fighting for new fields, it would be better to gain more from what we already have, using creativity and innovations. There is a question and a challenge at the same time – which skills or abilities do I underestimate or underuse?

Surprisingly, a big potential could be discovered. There is a treasure right under your feet.

January – Looking for a better tomorrow

There is a lot of dreams and desires. Instead of standing on solid ground, we fly in the heaven, drifting with ideas, plans and expectations. Even this could be important.

Leaving bad memories and spleens behind, getting belief in good and love again, this could be an excellent start to the year 2022.

February – Awakening to reality

You cannot create happiness just by dreaming. You have to go and make mistakes. Only by trying things is possible to separate the real from the unreal. Having big eyes and setting goals high is natural and right, as long as we are capable correct the goals according to given circumstances.

Do not consider corrections as failures.

March – Sun shines again

It seems that the world is a nice place to live again. Dark places are brightened, except of duties there comes time for pleasure and joy. You have the choice – stay in the darkness or climb out into the light.

Opportunities do not come directly to us, yet they are all around. It’s up to you whether you take or let it be.

April – Riding a wave

Who took the opportunity, rides the wave and rides really fast. Maybe faster than keeping it under control. Full of enthusiasm we move forward. At this point, we need to feel the fire inside and to be alive. We could make mistakes because of the speed, but it’s better to move and make mistakes than to stand, catching dust in the garage.

Anyone who doesn’t leave his comfort zone voluntarily will be drawn there by other riders.

May – Doubts

After the wild water comes a calmer surface, time to think and exhale the fast driving experience. Guilty feelings could appear from the pond of emotions, do not be overwhelmed by them. Do not compare your life path with the others, do not be trapped by feeling of injustice or helplessness. These are just feelings and not the only ones available.

The challenge of May is to seek light in dark, hope in despair.

June – Reward

What May could owe, June richly rewards. Life is proven to be a sinusoid and this is the only way how to fully enjoy. Let’s learn to take what is available at the moment.

June offers a lot of experience, diversity is important. Try as much unknown as possible. You also don’t eat only potatoes, even if there is a cauldron of them available every day.

July – First harvest, next sowing plan

Looking back, we can recognize the basic from the empty activities, what exhausts us more than it bears fruits. There will be time and space for such contemplation in July. We may even tend to discuss it with others. Remember that the opponent is not the enemy, he brings the opportunity to clarify details and stay open.

July offers the key to the unanswered questions, do not forget to ask them.

August – Pampering

There is a huge need to pamper and be pampered. We can pamper family, friends or strangers on the street, always with full respect to them. The challenge is to open specific part of heart and forget about people’s credibility or how we consider it.

Do not claim any response and be surprise in the future.

September – Balance of power

There is a rebalancing of the tools of power. We have learned that goodness and empathy will move us to the goal as quickly as ambition and purposeful action. September pushes to use both hemispheres, crippling any one-sidedness.

Don’t hit your head on the wall, try to balance and compensate. Otherwise, frustration and disappointment will arise.

October – Family

Time to realize the importance of the family. What the family brings to us, what we owe to it, or maybe how much they take our breath away, despite the frame of time. October brings the opportunity to discover and release what sucks our strength and blocks some abilities.

Perhaps we do the same to anybody else. Let’s take control of what is ours and leave control what is not.

November – Rushing forward

Doing everything in double speed. The quality could cry, but there is a lesson to move and not to dig in bullshit. We are challenged to leave situations in which we’ve been trapped for a long time.

At this speed, pay attention to judgements, they need to be verified in time.

December – Blessing

There is a treasure behind the cobwebs, there is enough for everybody. It’s up to you whether you focus on cobwebs and complain about their dirt or treasure and enjoy its benefits. Both is true.

December brings a lot of gifts – take what you wish and do not feel guilty. Be grateful, not bound. Be yourself, don’t judge anyone.

Happy New Year to all of you! And thanks for understanding my not enough flexible English 🙂


I’ve been used Crowley (Thoth) tarot cards for my reading.

Happy Holidays!

Time is running fast and holidays are just around the corner. Although I don’t have snow and the classic Christmas winter behind the windows, I hope many of you enjoy it.

I painted a waxwing with frozen hips to feel the winter atmosphere better. Thanks to an old gardening magazine for a reference photo!

I also participated in the Holiday card project again. I love this activity on the DeviantArt platform, because every artist has the opportunity to create an original Holiday card that will be distributed to a specific person in a hospital or nursing home. This year, it was only necessary to deliver cards in digital form due to covid-19. Let’s hope the cards find and please their recipients anyway.

Additionally, I created a small anti-stress coloring book as a monthly 2022 diary for my friends. If you are interested, it is free to download for you too! I’ll be happy if you enjoy it!

Happy Holidays to all of you!


Food and plant

Just a brief report about progress in my personal art challenge. To my surprise, I paint faster than I can write about it, which is probably another form of progress.

Drawing a plant, I wanted to created sunflower with a human face, kind of dreamy one. Instead, I got a portrait much more realistic than if I had tried it. The intention and the result did not correspond at all.

Sunflower. Watercolor, black liner, Inktense pencils, common colored pencils. Size A4.

Painting food, I wanted to be realistic and hopefully it turned out that way.

I am happy to see that I was able to paint realistic food, but I also find it a bit boring. Not the painting itself, there I still have a lot to learn, but the result – no dynamism or fun inside. I want to believe that such opinion is also part of progress.

Happy days before Holidays!



Nothing to do with Microsoft, just the opening of a second year of personal art challenge. Even made on time, I come to report late.

Since the spring, I had a clear vision of a window, from which a goat looks out over a box with flowers. Specifically, there should be tulips and daffodils. I delayed until all the tulips and daffodils were gone and autumn came. Then I put the window at the top of the new list.

As if I knew, I had a hard time with the goat. Quite satisfied with the sketch, I tried to add more colors and apply a white gel pen, which I just bought. And suddenly a completely different animal appeared in the window!

The first goat may be a little tough in its expression, but the other is as mild as a lamb. Is it still a goat?

Originally, I sketched the window itself – small in size, colored by ink pencils. Nothing special until I decided to create a seamless pattern from it. Looks interesting, what do you say?

Hope you have a pleasant time, looking forward to the holidays!

Love and hugs,


Obsessed with autumn leaves

I have a few posts in my head and since the first snow has fallen today, it’s the last time to write about autumn leaves.

I love the autumn colors every year, but this year I was completely obsessed. When I was not looking at the overall composition, I carefully inspected the shapes and colors of the individual leaves along the path.

I tried to paint the leaves by memory several times, but finally I kept bringing colorful trophies from my walks, according to which I drew and painted mostly with watercolor or ink pencils.

Hope you will like some of them!

With love and warm autumn greetings,



A year ago, I challenged myself to regularly draw or paint a picture every week according to predetermined list of topics. Any technique allowed. Being inspired by the inktober event, I wished to improve my skills on regular basis.

So I put down 52 topics to be processed in any order, which really helped. Sometimes I easily painted even more pictures on a selected topic, sometimes I had to force myself, which was pretty obvious from the result. Step by step, week by week, 52 artworks are done.

Big thanks to the friends, who supported me along the way! At the moment, I am grateful for all the support as well as I am proud to have completed my challenge. It doesn’t mean that I am proud of each of the artworks. That’s why I started to get another 52 topics. Almost at the end of the list!

I decided to share the results of my challenge, even there are so many. When I see them together, I see that I have no style of my own. So far, I am still trying different things and looking for what suits me best. One thing seems to be obvious. Using black contour line makes me more confident, whether I then use colored pencils, watercolor or ink pencils.

Perhaps next challenge will help to discover other facts or feelings that will lead to my own style. Your comments or recommendations on this matter are welcome!

With love and hugs,


Repeated pattern, part two

Thanks for the encouragement to make repeated pattern from my artwork, printable on fabric!

Since the hand-drawing tiles were demanding on patience, accuracy and time, I tried to dive into editing tools a bit deeper. Even free software contains a long list of them, under whose names I usually can’t imagine anything at all.

I’m a beginner, but I’m not a coward! Moreover, I was gifted by the nature of a discoverer. So I tested applying one tool after another until I met the right one. Hurrah!

So far I haven’t tried any modifications to the basic settings, instead I immediately applied this tool to a million of my existing artworks.

The results are not such repeated patterns I originally imagined, but some of them are damn interesting, what do you think?

Where available, they are linked to the posts with original images.

Let me know if you found a favorite. It’ll help me keep improving. Thanks a lot!

Hugs and love,


P.S. The featured image contains a part of the leaves with droplets, see In the middle of lockdown.

Hand-drawing tiles

Somewhere in the depths of my heart, a dream had been hidden for a long time. The dream of wearing clothes with my art on it. I mean to sew clothes from the fabric on which my art is printed.

From many reasons I considered this dream unrealistic. But something has changed. Maybe I gained more self-confidence, maybe I just met the right website at the right time. Even a local company offers printing on fabric with a customer design at reasonable price from a small quantity! Is it really possible?

Having no other excuses at this end, I had to deal with how to create a digital pattern from my artwork. Which is a totally new world with zillion questions every minute.

I had no idea how to arrange the pattern if I didn’t want to leave a white background. To be honest, I don’t know until now. Any good advice is welcome!

What I did was a manual method using scissors, duct tape and a lot of patience. It meant cutting paper into quarters and moving them during drawing, thus simulating the continuity of the edges.

Then just check the continuity on computer and retouch remaining edges after scanning, and look at the finished pattern!

If it seems simple, then know that the whole process took me more than 20 hours. Plus many more hours of searching on internet and learning of graphic editing. But I am ready to create a real pattern and improve my skills.

Next, I would like to create a pattern from existing artwork that was not originally designed as a pattern. A long way ahead.

In case you have a good advice for a beginner like me, I will be very grateful!

Love and hugs,