Carmel Mission Basilica – Watercolor Painting On Canvas

Basilica, California, Carmel by the Sea, landscape, Mission, plein air, Spanish, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour
Watercolor Painting on Canvas Carmel by The Sea mission
This watercolor artwork was painted on a special canvas, that is made for watercolors and acrylic paints. I painted it on one of my trips to Carmel By The Sea, a beautiful quiet town where this Spanish Mission was built. 
The garden next to Basilica was full of flowers and the fountain was my focal point in this composition. Painting on the spot, el plein-air style, is not an easy task. The artist needs to be quick and spontaneous when painting rapidly changing weather. The morning sky cleared rather quickly that day; but, I am happy I was able to catch those fresh strikes of the clouds at the beginning, which gave this nice live look to the painting. 

More beautiful landscapes are here:

Cheers from

Small Town In The Mountains – Watercolor Pencils – Step By Step

Brentwood, California, landscape, lesson, Mountain Diablo, mountains, outside, plein air, sketch, sketching, step by step, step by step painting, town, watercolor pencils
watercolour pencils
I was recently visiting my friend artist in a small town of Brentwood that is hiding between the golf course and just behind a highest point of Bay Area, San Francisco, the famous Mountain Diablo. We went to paint en plain-air style, e.g. we grabbed our art materials and went painting outside. 
The weather was beautiful. Everywhere I turned I’d seen a lovely subject for painting. I’ve chosen to paint a scene with a small town in the golf course hills with a huge mountain behind. My choice of the materials this time were watercolor pencils (I’ve previously wrote an article about watercolor pencils HERE ) . 

I’ve sketched the drawing with a simple pencil first, and then started applying my watercolor pencils. That was the part that was actually accomplished outside:
The trick with watercolor pencils is that you have to know what colors to mix and predict what outcome will be at the time you put  water on the paper. I intentionally was drawing with a limited pallet. Out of my 72 watercolor pencils that I have in the box, I’ve picked only 16 to go plein-air painting.
Here is the first stage of the drawing/future painting:
After, I got home the main work had begun. 
I’ve added more pencils in depth, then highlighted the drawing with ink:
Then, I grabbed a softest Kolinsky Sable brush Number 11 and dipped it in a clear water. First areas that were “watered” were large ones, the sky and the grass below. Then I started adding some water to the smaller details such buildings and trees:
Right away I’ve noticed that in some areas the wash of water made the colors too bright, in others the colors were simply “washed” away. But the good part, that with watercolor pencils you can always reapply the colors with one important warning though: the paper should be bone dry before you add more colors. 

After several times of re-applying the pencils and rejuvenating them with water (clear water on the soft brush), the painting was completed and now it is ready to see the World!! 🙂
watercolour pencils step by step
Cheers from 

Irina Sztukowski. Solo Art Show

artshow, California, copper skillet, landscape, Martinez, seashcape, solo, solo artshow, Sztukowski, Watercolor
I am glad to announce a few new additions to my Solo Art Show that is held in the Art Room of a famous Martinez restaurant Courtyard – Copper Skillet.
More than a dozen of paintings, ranging from florals to classic still lifes and landscapes are on display. 

Stop by, enjoy breakfast or lunch and have a great time! 
811 Ferry Street Martinez, CA 94553 

Watercolor Seascape – Pacific Ocean – Gualala

California, Gualala, Irina, low tide, Pacific Ocean, Sea Ranch, seascape, Sztukowsi, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Pacific Ocean Shore Low Tide
During my stay at the vintage ranch that I wrote about in the previous post I also had a chance to have a nice drive through the woods and reach the Pacific Ocean shore, near the Sea Ranch. 

The small town Gualala is sitting right at the shore, making rare tourist or passing by person wonder about its beauty. There are no better words that the official website of this town says:

Gualala? What’s That?

“Well, it’s a name that’s hard to pronounce and even harder to spell. Sometimes it’s hard to remember. Some people call it gwa-LA-la, but the natives call it wa-LA-la. This comes from the Kashaya Pomo Indian phrase, “ah kha wa la lee” which means, “Where the water flows down”, which makes sense–for the river goes out to the ocean right across from the center of town, right by that big sand bar where the whales stop for lunch every year.    It’s up on the coast of California, north of San Francisco a ways. Not a big place, like some of those expensive resort areas. But, you know, once you’ve been to Gualala you’ll never forget the wonderful times you had there. You’d love it. Use the links at the top of the page to look around and get to know the place.” 
(http://www.gualala.com/)  


I loved looking at the low tide revealing the shore, where the ocean was splashing rough waves to the sand line and all of a sudden the water stayed still right after that. I loved painting that uneven fence that goes miles and miles along the shore right from the Sea Ranch. The day was just perfect for painting this seascape in watercolor

And as always there are more seascape paintings in my

Old White Barn At Sonoma Farm Anvil Vineyard & Ranch

Annapolis, Anvil, barn, California, farm, Hedgepeth, landscape, ranch, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour, white barn
watercolor painting summer hills and field
Last weekend I was visiting a beautiful Anvil Vineyard and Ranch that is hidden in Sonoma County mountains. I loved how in just a few hours drive from my home I got into a pure Nature space not touched by civilization and gorgeous in its vintage beauty.

For my painting I selected this old white barn in the grass field.

 I was amazed by a contrast of the Summer field, green trees, and lit by the sun old building. The mountains behind the farm were so stunningly colorful ranging from pale blue to the deep purple… 

A hidden Treasure of California! 

This art piece became a great addition to my Landscape Gallery on my website www.artirina.com 

Winning Landscapes In Watercolor

bestsellers, bestselling, California, Carmel by the Sea, Golden Gate Bridge, Irina, landscape, San Francisco, Sztukowski, Watercolor
California landscapes Irina Sztukowski Bestseller
Bestseller San Francisco Landscape
A while ago I wrote about an exiting endeavor with licensing of my art ( Art Licensing, Art Licensing Journey blog posts) and today I am happy to share the winners of the last two Quarters. The most sold landscapes were the ones that are also on my website www.artirina.com are the bestsellers:

Carmel By The Sea watercolor painting 
&
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco watercolor painting

I believe that the customers like  Carmel By The Sea landscape for its fearless brush strokes. I painted that artwork on the spot, L’ Plein-air style, and I think the fresh ocean breeze and Nature changing pattern that day reflected quite well in this painting.

Another painting, San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, was actually painted in my art studio from the photograph that my customer presented. This painting is quite different from the one above. It has lots of details and careful brush strokes, that obviously appreciated by so many customers of mine these days. 

I love when my art finds good homes and brings joy to the art collectors throughout the country and the world. 

🙂

Fog In San Francisco

artwork, Bay Area, bridge, California, collage, fog, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Bridge, Painting, San Francisco, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour
Watercolor by Irina Sztukowski
When I moved to San Francisco around 15 years ago, I was lucky to get an apartment in the most beautiful place of the city, next to the Ocean Beach, with the walking distance to Golden Gate park.

I couldn’t understand the face expression of my friends when I was announcing about my new place to live… My friends just shook their heads and said: “A lot of fog!”… So what?!! I didn’t get it at that time. But when the fog season came, oh, I understood that face expression clearly. The fog was milky thick, I couldn’t see not even Pacific Ocean.. not even a closest street crosswalk, not even my hands.. (exaggerating, of course!! :))
But, really, if I painted the Golden Gate bridge that time, it would be more like that:
But I need to have a mercy for my Art Collectors; so, I am revealing the Bridge in all its monumental beauty, just slightly touching it with the “Fog Application”.. just for the feel of those foggy days..

Welcome to the Bay Area San Francisco, one of the most beautiful places on Earth!!
Watercolor by Irina Sztukowski
  

Sequoia Forest And Mountains

art that sells, bestseller, bestsellers, California, forest, Giant Trees, impressionism, landscape, national park, realism, Sequoia, Watercolor
Sequoia National Park painting
The first painting of the New Year is the Winter forest of Sequoia National Park. I love visiting this place, mostly in the Spring and Summer. And, I got lucky to see it once in the coldest season of the year. The snow was up to 15 feet. I could barely recognize the park I was familiar with. It was not too terribly cold, but the massive amount of white and blue was overwhelming. 

The National Park Sequoia is impressive in any season.

In my impressionistic painting above the giant trees stand still in their monumental beauty, competing with the grandiose stillness of the snowy mountains in the background. 

And here are a few other paintings that I created celebrating different seasons of the Sequoia National Park. These two artworks have a little twist. Each of them, besides the beautiful scenery have a secret to share: somebody is hiding in the bushes or between the trees.
Try to find them.. 🙂
Realistic landscape

Realistic Forest Giant Trees
www.artirina.com

San Francisco Impressionism Vs Abstract

abstract, Bay Area, bridge, California, city, Golden Gate, impressionism, San Francisco, silhouette, Skyline, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolors, watercolour
impressionism in watercolors
In these two paintings I was exploring Impressionism and Abstract. 
The brush strokes of the above painting with wet-on-wet technique  resemble Bay Area’s windy day when the fog just disappeared revealing the fist sunlight that highlighted emerald green waters of San Francisco Bay. The silhouette of the city is on the background barely visible through the lines of the Golden Gate Bridge.

For another, abstract, painting of San Francisco skyline I used vivid, contrast brush strokes to resemble contemporary life of the downtown with its skyscrapers, lights of the evening city, and the fast pace of the busy megapolis:
vivid watercolor
www.artirina.com

San Francisco City Skyline Watercolor

abstract, Bay Area, blue, California, landscape, San Francisco, San Francisco Skyline, seascape, silhouette, Skyline, Sztukowski, warm, Watercolor, watercolour
contemporary art California seascape
Location! Location! Location!

Living in one of the most beautiful places on earth, San Francisco Bay Area, gives a very good favor to an artist’s imagination. 

I love looking at San Francisco silhouette from Treasure Island. 

I always wanted to paint the skyline and the time has come. 

For these designs I carefully drew the silhouette of this beautiful City and filled them with my abstract artworks. 
It definitely created a unique pattern that resembles the Golden Gate City, yet does not interrupt the viewers’ eye with too many details of the modern life.

And for those who like the clear city skylines with white background, I made another , more abstract-ish silhouette of San Francisco that would look cool on stretched canvas with black or white edges:
contemporary painting California seascape
Location! Location! Location!
🙂


www.artirina.com