Landscape again

Trying to meet the goals of my art challenge, I grabbed the topic of a mill today. I chose a windmill – sorry for the strange perspective – with tulips in front, because both evoke me summer in the Netherlands. For my painting I took inspiration from the same topic tutorial by Ellen Crimi-Trent.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Hope you will enjoy colorful bubbles in the grass as well.

Seeking shadow

As soon as the tropical weather arrives, I deal with the same every year – where to hide from the sun and overheating.

In walking distance, nature is getting drier and drier, in summer it looks like a savannah. Trees are becoming rarer, the forest is slowly dying. My heart cries for each of them.

Although we had a beautifully cold and rainy spring this year, the heat and drought have already clenched their claws. The tropical season has definitely started.

Yesterday I had to travel a lot of hours in high temperatures, so today I ordered a rest in the old park nearby. In fact, this park was founded in the late 18th century, and some trees are really huge. Which I love more than romantic pavilions and bridges, or the chateau, around which this amazing park is located.

You can walk many hours in this park and find your own wild retreat. And that’s exactly what I needed today. I was resting in a beautiful place and having fun painting with watercolors.

Hope you enjoyed your day as well!

With love and hugs,

Ivana

In case you like to know or see more, I found some info in English, see below. No, it is not an advertisement!

https://www.zamek-veltrusy.cz/en

Vaccinated!

From the beginning, I was pretty sure I wanted the vaccine when available for the group of my age because I didn’t feel strong enough to fight this virus alone.

When vaccines began to appear like mushrooms after rain, I asked my intuition which one is the best for me.

Instead of a simple recommendation I got a short story parallel to each vaccine available at that time. Based on my imagination only, because I am not an expert in any concerned field.

First, I was thinking of P.B. and I watched at the brave warrior who was conquering new territories to rule over them. He was not ready to share the leadership, but was fully prepared to fight the external enemy.

Ok, it looks like extremely effective vaccine, but I am not ready to give a complete control over myself to this warrior. His ambition didn’t seem satisfied with the only task of protection against covid.

Then, A.Z. came to me like a mist that slowly settled into each and every cell. The main mission was not to dominate, but to merge and cooperate.

Yes! This type of vaccine I decided to get. And I stuck to my decision even after all the negative news that has been coming up in recent months. The mist and cooperation are not for everyone. Leaving responsibility to the warrior is much easier. Just as fire may seem more suitable for immunization than water.

So I knew which vaccine I wanted but I didn’t know how to get it. Deliveries were small and slow, mostly based on P.B.

I was patient, didn’t want to skip vulnerable groups. Last week, I finally signed up for the vaccination and prayed for getting A.Z. Unfortunately, this was the only way. Even though we have the right to refuse the vaccine, we cannot choose which one to get.

And you know what? The next evening my local GP called to tell me, that she had two A.Z. vaccines left and if I didn’t want one. Was it an answer to my prayer?

To be honest, I didn’t feel well yesterday. I had a strong headache with feeling like be drugged and body beaten. But I took it as a proof that the vaccine was working.

Additionally, my imagination watched the body, getting an intense course of fighting covid. If I went to the judo lesson, I would also have a beaten body!

I was quite fine today, the cooperation with the A.Z. has been started!

Hope you get your dream vaccine if you choose one.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

P.S. Immediately after vaccination I was very thirsty and within two hours I drunk about two liters of water. Which is, I believe, kind of natural prevention against thrombosis that people fear with the A.Z.

Painting fruits

Fruit is a great topic for a beginner, don’t you think? There are beautiful shapes, lots of work with light and shadow, and it may or may not be realistic. Loosely painted fruit can still look recognizable and yummy.

But I decided to paint realistic apple – whole and cut in half. Or as much realistic as I can. I spent several hours layering various reds and then lifting them back before I got a pretty good whole red apple. But it was so lonely, even though the sketch of the half already existed next to it.

So I decided to add more fruit to make company to the apples and let them feel happier. Plus no paper waste! 🙂

I would probably change the composition a bit, if I thought about the other fruits right away. But pretty good on the first try, what do you think?

I have to admit that without pandemic, I probably wouldn’t started with watercolors. Today I know it would be a shame. Painting gives me great pleasure (more than drawing) and I cannot wait for further improvements.

Watercolor is an exciting adventure!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

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

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