Playing with palettes

How do you select colors for your drawing or painting? Do you make a palette first? I would expect YES.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I started from the opposite site. When I grabbed colored pencils as an adult, I did so with my eyes closed, wondering what it would bring to my drawing. It was surprisingly good and harmonious, which encouraged trust in my own intuition, neglected for many years.

Later I choose colors more consciously, but the old habits continued to work. In each set of colored pencils I first used the yellow – orange – green tones, probably the colors of my soul. Colors that my intuition gravitates to, whatever I’m drawing. All the blues and purples were piling up almost unused.

Exceptional play with blue, pink and violet colored pencils.

Something changed when I bought watercolor paints two and half years ago. I discovered the adventure of mixing colors and fell in love. Conclusion? I need to work with colors consciously, I need vibrant colors on my pictures.

Colorful flowers – watercolor and Inktense pencils, intuitive color selection.

Recently, I took my old colored pencils and tried to create a range of beautiful combinations just for fun. I spent hours creating them and cannot wait to use them all. I’m not sure yet, but it looks I’m currently leaning towards a combination of watercolor in the base, ink or colored pencils in the final layer to get closer to one of the color palletes.

That’s called evolution, right?

Mushroom in earthy tones. Watercolor background, colored pencils above.

I hope that your life brings you pleasure and the joy of change.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

Path to patterns

I’m still a newbie, but I can look back and make a few notes about the path. If you are familiar with digital graphics, don’t read any further or you will burst out laughing.

The first step was to understand how the seamless pattern works. Believe it or not, I did it completely non-digitally, using scissors and masking tape. It was a huge test of patience, but I succeeded! The only weakness was that the borders between the quarters of the paper, which I moved on the masking tape, were visible in the final image. Which led the non-digital method to digital retouching, unfortunately. And I had no idea how to do it in the beginning.

Being immersed in the basic tools of digital graphics, I discovered a simple possibility how to create seamless patterns from existing images. Yes, after such an effort, I needed something simple with a quick result. In principle, the program blurs the edges and blends with the duplicate.

Now, I’m at the stage where I’m learning to work with layers. Selecting segments and grouping them into patterns can be fun for people who know how to do it. I like getting results, but it’s still exhausting for me. Please give me feedback, I need a kick for more attempts.

Thanks all of you for reading and support!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Back on board

It was quite a long break due to healthy and recovery issues, but I am back!

I was painting almost all the time, but my pictures reflect the lack of energy.

Some of my “painting forest” challenge:

Now, I am looking forward to paint and feel more happiness. I bring it soon to you, hopefully.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

Painting forest

I love walking forest, I love watching little changes every day. Changes that are proof of life. Nobody says which ones are good or bad, everything is natural and alive. Walking forest means a kind of therapy for me, therapy of freedom or therapy by freedom.

What would a professional therapist say about the fact that I like to bring a trophy from a walk? I don’t care, but I do so. A small leaf of interesting shape or color is enough, I can use it later as a reference for painting. Actually I prefer trophies that I can use in some way. Trophies like leafs, bark, herbs, fruits, mushrooms, etc. Why to waste all the treasures?

Painting forest is a part of my personal art challenge for this year, see above. Probably not enough for me, so I joined another challenge in early March. It came to me in response how to improve my watercolor. Paint the same topic every day for a long period of time! Do not spend much time over it, do it as quickly as possible. You will gradually relax and your own style should appear. Yes. I want that!

After a month, I am still at the starting line. I painted without reference picture for the first 5 days and it was a disaster! I hope those scary pictures are not the only image of my mind. Having reference photo is much easier, I have something to lean back and focus on painting.

Do you have a favorite?

At the moment, I would like to apologize to all excellent authors, whose photos I devaluated with my quick painting. I promise not to exhibit them! They are quietly hidden in my sketchbook, thin sheets buckled because I didn’t use watercolor paper for this exercise. I hope to improve next month!

Hugs and love,

Ivana

Anniversary

Two years ago in March, covid-19 came to our country, the first restrictions appeared and then the total lockdown. No one had enough experience, but good enough information was rolling everywhere. At this point, I decided to start with watercolor.

As I have mentioned several times, I have held a mental block to wet techniques since childhood. But fighting this fear was easier than dealing with upcoming pandemic or better to say with scary scenario, served by TV 24/7. So I bought watercolor paints and paper and dived into tutorials. Which really helped, because I discovered a new world.

I didn’t stop living my life except the ongoing restrictions. But somewhere inside me a flame of passion began to burn, and it burns there up to this day.

My painting success is floating up and down, I am still trying to learn new skills and have more practice. Sometimes I push it too hard, but painting is still a great pleasure for me.

I would like to thank all of you, because your encouraging support helps me to overcome weak points. You deserve to know about that anniversary. Thanks for being with me on the watercolor road!

Hugs and love,

Ivana

My watercolor set of March, 2020.

Paint a monster

Many artists paint monsters – many kinds of them, so the monster became a part of my artistic challenge too. It should be easy – paint what you want, no stress with the right proportions, it is a monster!

I was looking forward to discipline with no limits, asking my inner child for help. But either I don’t have enough fantasies or the monsters belong to the list, which is better for me to avoid. My monsters are not scary at all. Maybe bored, maybe cute, maybe a little upset. But not scary.

In fact, I don’t like scary pictures, I don’t watch scary movies, I don’t read books with monsters and a lot of blood. I don’t like violence in any form. Until I tried to paint a monster, I didn’t realize how deeply pacifism is a part of my nature. From this point of view I am happy for my naive monsters and art in general.

Have you ever wondered how your nature shapes the choice of topics, techniques, styles? It is not only skills but also our inner essence which define the art. It sounds clear but I should repeat it often for myself to stay who I am. Your comments help me too.

Enjoy the so called monsters!

Hugs and love,

Ivana

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,

Ivana

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!

Ivana

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!

Ivana