Painting landscape

I have never wished to paint landscapes and I probably can’t even appreciate a well-painted landscape. I love being in the landscape and perceiving it with all my senses. Smell its scent, feel the sun’s rays or raindrops on my skin, hear the birds singing, touch the bark of the trees, taste the herbs or berries along the way. Eyes are only a part of the whole experience.

But then there is my artistic challenge and one of its topics is painting landscape.

When I tried to paint what I know from my surroundings – like the surface of a pond with several trees in background, it became a disaster. Perhaps because I painted at night under artificial light, without any reference picture. And it was the first time I tried to paint water surface. You really don’t want to see it 🙂

I felt much better after painting the ocean on the shore, even though I live hundreds of miles from the sea. But youtube knows everything! One of my favorite artist teacher Jenna Rainey just posted appropriate tutorial there, so I did what I watched. And you know what? I spent about a quarter of the time with a better result. It is worth to learn from someone who knows what he or she is doing.

According to the tutorial of Jenna.

Yesterday’s attempt to paint the landscape was a compromise between the two approaches. I used a reference picture of the landscape and did it my way. I am quite satisfied, so I can jump to the next topic of my artistic challenge. Hope you like it too 🙂

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Happy Easter!

There are many different Easter traditions in different countries, some have a close connection to religion, and others are more focused on welcoming spring. Pandemic and lockdown brought another dimension to consider.

Everything is minimized, so I will follow the trend and just wish Happy Easter to everyone!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Zentangle patterns

Recently I’ve been charmed by the zentangle art, especially its ability to calm mind. There are enormous quantity of patterns and they can be additionally combined or varied. All you need to create your own zentangle is paper, ink and endless patience. I wanted to try it immediately!

It’s clear, that immediately and patience don’t fit together too much. So my first attempts were big and not very neat. Then I began to miss colors, I took colored pencils and it became a little different zentangle, which looks more like me.

Finally, I wanted to paint zentangle patterns on fabric and used a white summer hat for it. Maybe it’s a little crazy, but for hot summer days it’ll be nice. What do you think?

Love and hugs,

Ivana

How many colors in my palette?

I am celebrating one-year anniversary of watercolor painting. Even in such a short time, I gained some experience, some of which surprised me a lot.

For example, I would never believe how much difference in results paper makes! At the moment, I am still balancing on the edge of price/performance rate, letting exclusive brands for later.

But what about paints? I love colors! Do I need to buy every existing tone? NO!

Today I’d like to share how my experience with color selection developed.

Yellow – most popular, most used

I used three full-pans of yellow in a year! Mostly because of mixing greens. After that I decided to add green to the palette, the yellowish-green to be more exact.

Anyway I consider practical having two yellow pans in the palette at the same time. One for mixing with blue and the other for mixing with red or separate use. Otherwise you will wash the pans and money too often.

Both of my yellows are cadmium lemon – not really cold, but certainly not a warm tone of yellow. Although it is nice to have a warm yellow to mix with red, it is horrible to get a nice green with it!

Originally, I had yellow ochre in the yellow scale. I won’t fill it anymore because it can be easily mixed just like orange.

Red – hell or paradise?

If the cold/warm definition matters somewhere, it is definitely red. I am not completely satisfied yet, but I am in the process of trying. On the warm scale of red I am currently using Ruby (PR 170) and it may be subject to change in the future. I am open to your experience and recommendation.

In general, warm tones of red are suitable to mix with yellow to get peach and orange tones, but it is almost impossible to get nice purple with it. Then you need a cold red, whether it is called rose or magenta.

I have Quinacridone Rose (PR 122) and I am extremely satisfied! It can be beautifully mixed with both blue and yellow, even if you don’t get a strict orange.

Blue – my source of green

As a person, I am not a fan of blue. I like turquoise and love everything green, and that’s what my paintings look like.

Originally, I bought only Ultramarine (PB29) and suffered from trying to mix a nice green. Impossible, because Ultramarine has a reddish tone inside. It is better to use it solo or with magenta/rose.

Soon I added Azure Blue, which is turquoise tone of blue (PB15+PG7). I love it solo and in the mix. There are beautiful tones on both, yellow and red (magenta) scale with it.

Today I added Cobalt Blue (PB28) to the palette, which will replace Ultramarine in the future. Cobalt Blue doesn’t have the reddish tone inside, so it is more suitable for mixing. Hopefully.

What’s left? Not necessary, but sitting there

Brown. Originally, I had umbra in my palette, but I was disappointed with its greenish tone inside. That’s why I used to mix brown from red and black. Today I added Mars Brown to the palette and we will see.

Violet. Easy to get it from Rose and Azure Blue. Anyway I added Quinacridone Violet (PV55) today – to complete 12 pcs and to try.

Black. As I said, I used to mix black with red to get browns, and black with azure blue to get misty green like for eucalyptus or sage leaves.

Gold. Metallic color of the Aztecs for special effects.

So, how many of colors do I really need?

Yellow in two pans, red and rose (magenta), azure blue for sure, cobalt blue perhaps. It makes 6 pans. The other 6 are for pleasure. It means you can get a huge number of colors even on a limited budget.

Then, you can spend the money for high quality paper!

In the picture above you can see factory color codes as well as the code of their pigments. The rest are mixed colors or better to say some of them.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

P.S. Since beginning, I have been using the White nights brand of paints.

In the middle of lockdown

Since the covid pandemic invaded our lives, we have all experienced a number of restrictions and strange situations, as well as suffering or even death of our loved ones. We learned how to wear masks and read facial expressions only from eye wrinkles, when we are lucky enough to meet in person.

Staying at home, we are overwhelmed by the endless flow of catastrophic news and / or senseless political quarrels about things they cannot understand. Sometimes I feel that this is worse than the pandemic itself. Mentally and emotionally, I am tired of it.

Then, it is completely out of my comprehension how health professionals can handle such situation for more than a year. On a daily basis, they keep dressing up in protective spacesuits and fighting for lives. Unlike the rest of us, they don’t have time to complain.

Whenever I remember their work, I am ashamed of my petty complaints about how I cannot breathe through the mask, and I do my best to be obedient to all the restrictions. Although the current lockdown is very strict and many people are trying to get around it.

The pandemic also brought me something good or I should say great. It’s been exactly a year since I decided to buy a brush and paints and start watercolor painting. All the pandemic limitations gave me freedom to learn and try. And I believe that once the horror of covid-19 is over, I will remember the times of the pandemic in connection with my watercolor beginnings.

I would like to think that we keep the better memories if we can choose.

Recently, I learned how to draw and paint droplets. The first example doesn’t need a comment, the second one should be a tribute to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. I hope the shamrock is clear but who would recognize that beer foam is covering the top? I still have some work to do. And I will be happy to do it, especially in the middle of lockdown.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Being a winner

Most people like to feel like a winner, at least from time to time. For some, a small victory on a daily basic is sufficient, others need to accumulate wealth or climb the highest mountains in the world. The greater the risk, the greater victory and often also pride.

Folk psychology says “Feel like a winner and you will get it”.

But is it that easy for everyone? Being a winner means leaving a number of losers behind. And many people are not willing to give the loser’s label to the others, because they used to get them too often earlier. They may have a traumatic experience with a so-called winner, who climbed on the backs of others, often by humiliating them.

Being a winner in a healthy way means to remain humble and supportive to all who have allowed him to win. And always take into account feelings of the losers behind.

So I painted a fake winner, who is blinded by his own glow. One could see a winner whose glory extends to heaven or a gilded dummy in the backyard in front of a poorly painted wall. It’s up to you 🙂

I would like to meet just a few fake winners and a lot of sensitive ones. Then it would be nice to join them.

Love and hugs to both, winners and losers!

Ivana

Dreaming

We’ve been living with pandemic for a year and it doesn’t seem to be better. Hospitals are about to collapse, even young people are dying, only the virus happily survives in new mutations.

From many reasons our little country is having a hard time just now. We are probably facing a strict lockdown in a few days. Listening to the bad news made me dream about the coming spring and my walks among flowers.

Until politicians find agreement on the lockdown’s terms, I will keep my dreaming. I need walks outside, even if I have to wear a top-class respirator on my face. Which became a reality since today.

Anyway, I hope to use my boots for walking not for gardening.

Stay healthy!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Hearts

Today’s painting – drawing is one of therapeutic. A wave of sadness came over me suddenly, so I needed to realize the power of hearts.

I believe, that the result shows clearly what was going through my mind 🙂

There are huge number of variations, each heart is unique in its capacity and depth of experience. Some are cheerful and others are recovering from their injuries. They all have the ability to heal if we leave them open. And sharing always helps.

Thanks for reading, my heart is beating with you.

And happy Valentine’s day!

Ivana

Cacti

My really first memory of cacti belongs to a little girl, who watched her father, taking care of small prickly plants and was terribly jealous. Dad made himself a special heating box and watered by exact number of drops each of his baby plant. That’s why I thought for a long time, that cacti are pampered princesses who steal love and attention.

Of course, I learned at school that cacti grow in dry deserts and are a small miracle of survival. But the child’s emotional experience was somehow stronger, so I avoided to meet cacti. Which is quite easy in Central Europe 🙂

What dramatically changed my attitude, was a holiday in the United States, especially traveling through Arizona and New Mexico. Suddenly I met real cacti. Huge, admirable, independent. No sign of pampered princess. I was amazed and speechless.

At that time I realized that the desert can be inhospitable, but it’s definitely not dead. There is a lot of life, just keep your eyes wide open and look beneath the surface. In terms of emotions, desert was one of the most powerful experiences in my life.

I am curious about your personal experience with this very special plant, or desert.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Flying!

Originally, I wanted to paint a phoenix bird with a dramatic sky and fiery feathers falling into tower’s ruin. I have got a weird pheasant instead. No drama around, but a pleasant sunny afternoon.

It looks I’m not ready for a wild transformation, either in life or on paper.

On the other hand, this version of the phoenix bird is at least flying. Try to compare with the frightened phoenix about two years ago.

I like both of them, but I keep the hope for real transformation where needed.

Love and hugs,

Ivana