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

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

Painting animals

After revealing my blindness to perspective, I felt to challenge myself and paint a four-legged animal.

The first animal that came to my mind was a hippopotamus! A weird choice for someone, who lives in Central Europe and loves walking in local forests, where are a lot of wild animals but certainly no hippo.

It took me time to realize that this choice was made by inner coward. He accepted the challenge, but cut most of its thorns. So I painted a four-legged animal, hidden deep in the water.

In fact, it is more like a sketchbook illustration, a hippo in two versions. Don’t ask how much graphite and eraser it cost before I could use the paint, although the legs and body are hidden 🙂

How I love the kingdom of plants!

But the challenge must go on. My next topic belongs also to the animals, and it is a bird!

Btw. Which of the two hippos do you prefer? Personally, I vote for the open mouth. I consider him safer even though I don’t know if he is screaming or yawning. What do you think?

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Candle light madness

First of all, happy new year to all of you! Like most I believe that 2021 will be better and safer, opportunities for prosperity and mobility will return, our joy and creativity will grow. Hopefully.

I need a bit more creativity at the moment. Since the end of the year, I have been stuck with candle light. Many attempts, not very visible progress. Believe or not, the candle lights above are the more successful ones. I decided to post them with a little hope to break the trap and start another project.

The funny thing is, that candle light should be a shortcut of an old lamp, shining in a snowy street. I changed the original plan, because perspective is my nightmare and both, the street and the lamp, include a big portion of it. I know, there are rules and tools how to handle perspective, but the basic problem is that my eyes just cannot see it.

You definitely know various magical pictures with visual illusion. I have never seen expected illusion in any of them. My eyes see what is painted and reject the illusion. It took me long to understand, that perspective belongs to such illusions. All those tricks on a flat surface are supposed to create the illusion of 3D.

I admire everyone who can do it! But my eyes or the brain are not equipped with this particular chip converting 2D to 3D.

Of course I could drill myself, but all the joy would disappear from my painting. It doesn’t make sense, I need joy more than perfect paintings. So, I could continue to avoid objects with high level of perspective. Perhaps, but how long?

Something in my gut tells me to make my own rules of perspective using the set of skills and disabilities I have been given. I hope to find enough courage for it soon. If you have advice or recommendation, I would appreciate it!

Otherwise I spend too much time and energy on so called shortcut like the candle light.

Thanks for being with me.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Left in silence

I needed some therapeutic painting yesterday. To bring peace to troubled heart, I tried to paint the silence in the middle of snowy forest. Scenery, which I have seen only on TV in last years, while as a child I remember the snow every winter. It sounds like from my grandma when she remembered her youth 🙂

Anyway, I spent several hours trying to create a snowy serenity that I finally had to break by a snowman in front. And then the sleigh, forgotten by the child builders, made the point behind the whole story. Still, it’s a landscape of silence, but the signs of playful creativity bring a kind of hope and hidden joy. At least for me.

I’d like to share the feelings that yesterday’s painting gave to me.

With love and hugs,

Ivana