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

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

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

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

Wrapped well

Thank you for all the encouragement! It made me hungry to paint another topic from my 52 challenges earlier.

And because Christmas is just around the corner, I chose the topic “ribbon”. I got the result after about five hours, as I had never painted any ribbon before. That’s why it became part of my challenge 🙂

Hope you will like the gift, hidden inside. Let your imagination fly and leave me a comment on what you see under the ribbon.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

Mixing green

Actually, I don’t have any green in my palette, so mixing green is a must. Especially if you love to paint natural motives like I do. Getting the right hue of green then becomes an exciting challenge.

Before I touched watercolors, I had a clear idea. Green? Nothing complicated, just mix yellow and blue, and done! Ha, ha, it didn’t work so easily when came to practice.

My inner researcher brought me to play with options and create swatches of various mixed green. Finaly I was surprised how many of them I’ve got.

From inside of my limited palette I used following colors (White nights brand):

Yellow (PY154)

Cadmium Lemon (PY35)

Ultramarine (PB29)

Azure Blue (PB15:3, PG7)

Yellow Ochre (PY43, PY154)

Umber (PY43, PBr7, PBk7)

Ivory Black (PR102, PBk7)

OK, I have found something about pigments too. My inner researcher never sleeps 🙂 And yes, next time I will order colors with this in mind. But now, I work with what I have.

What do you think about the range of greens?

I love mixing yellow with the azure blue in both, light and dark values. Using ultramarine brings more olive tones, which is not bad as well, and to be honest, maybe more natural. But I still love the vibrant mix of the azure blue 🙂

Out of my expectation is the mix of azure blue with black. Such beautiful smoky blue-green! And useful as well. This one is highly placed on my preferences too.

How about you? How do you mix green if you do it? Any tips for a beginner like me? I would appreciate comments, sharing experience and a good advice.

Stay happy and creative!

Love, Ivana