Tulips With Sunflowers Mini Art And Fun Commissions

Church, coffee, commission, cookies, Fine Art, Irina, realism, Russia, sandwich, sketches, soup, Still Life, sunflowers, Sztukowski, tulips, Watercolor
watercolor realism
While working on a couple of projects, I wanted to place a few miniatures that are only 3.5″ wide. Above Tulips On The Window painting looks good and fresh with “vanished” edges. 

And this little Sunflowers contain my favorite contrast combination these days: a warm yellow against cool blues:
yellow blue floral still life
Meanwhile I continued working on my projects. 
The Colors Of Russia art show was quite successful (read the previous post here). As the follow-up I was asked to make a few more paintings for the clients, who loved the original show:

Russia Sketch
Another fun commission was something outside of my usual work. One client, a restaurant owner, asked me to make a little design for a business card that would contain some “FOOD items”. The challenge there for me was to simplify the paintings in order for them to be seen (be “readable”)  in a small area of a teeny-tiny business card… So, it was interesting to make it happen. 
The original artworks were 8 inches tall.

One of them had to have a symbolized bowl of soup:
food art
Another one had to “read” coffee and sandwich:  
Kitchen Art
I couldn’t resist to place a couple cookies there.

The design of the business card (the visual part of it) had to show the soup far in the background and the cup of coffee in the front:

The main text of the business card could be placed over the bowl of soup..

In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Crockett, California – St.Rose Of Lima Church Grotto

California, Catholic Grotto, Church, Crockett, Grotto, Painting, realism in watercolor, St.Rose Lima, Sztukowski, Travel, Uncategorized, Watercolor
For Detailed Image Click Here
A beautiful Grotto of St.Rose Lima Church in a small town of Crockett, California. I came here today for my  Plein Air paintings. This town is a small hidden place right next to couple of bridges that connect East Bay with the North. 
My colleges from CWA met at 10 am; and, after finding a spot to paint,  we were supposed to paint until 1:00 pm. The heat was rising. At 10:30am it was already 102 F degrees. How did I survive? I am not sure; though, I did pray to be able to finish the painting and I think I was heard. 
And, by the end of the day I have developed a new watercolor technique: not wet-on-wet, not dry-on-dry, not even wet-on-dry or opposite. I would call this technique – A Very Very Dry- On A Super Hot and Dry :0).. The moisture was evaporating before I could touch the paper with the brush.. Yeah.. Summers in California are not created for 3 hour plein-air paintings :0). But who doesn’t like a challenge: today I’ve confirmed one more time: I do :0)
More Plein-air paintings are HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Mama Mia! So Many Roofs! Siena, Italy

Church, city, Cityscape, Europe, italian, Italy, italy painting, Italy trip, Ochre, paintng Italia, realism in watercolor, Siena, Sienna, Sztukowski, Travel, trip to italy, Uncategorized, watercolour

The history of this painting goes back to the last year when I was preparing for the Sketchbook Project – Travel With Me. The sketch will soon end up in NY Library after it travels in the different countries. 
When I was painting a larger format it took quite a while even the overall tone of the painting is pretty much the same and contains primarily Ochre and Burnt Sienna (Note the town that is painted is called Siena). I couldn’t understand what took so long to paint; and at the end I finally got it. The painting contains 17 roofs (big and small, close and far)! I guess, it does take time not only to build the roof, but as well to painted it. :0) 
To make the painting more “alive” I’ve added birds, some flowers on the back, geranium on the window sand hanging outside laundry. I thought this will give nice people presence in this old rustic town.
23″x17″ Watercolor Painting on 140lb Cold Pressed Paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Barcelona, Spain – Travel With Me – Sketchbook Project

Barcelona, Blood Cathedral, book, Church, Gaudi, sketch, Sketchbook, sketching, Spain, Sztukowski, Travel, Uncategorized, Watercolor
Watercolor travel sketch
Spain is the country that woke up my love to the color. Being born in the North of Russia, in the city that has half year winter, and another half cloudy skies and gray weather; and when the Sun is literally shining only around 30 days in whole year (except the cold winter days with below 30 Celsius when you don’t want to show up your nose out of the door); in Spain I was welcomed by a warm sea, sunny days, friendly people, hot music, and absolutely stunning architecture. I thought nothing can impress me after leaving in the great City of Saint Petersburg. When I visited Barcelona and saw future Gaudi’s inspiration Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, it reminded me a sand castle made by a genius Giant. Looking fragile but meantime timelessly strong and eternal the Cathedral of Barcelona captivated my attention for a long time. I found myself in between time zones when I stopped keeping track on what was happening around and remained looking at the piece of art, centimeter by centimeter, exploring its beauty.
More sketches are in my new book Travel Sketches

In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Saint Petersburg, Russia – Travel With Me – Sketchbook Project

Blood Cathedral, Church, Russia, Saint Petersburg, sketch, sketchbook project, Travel, Uncategorized

This year I am participating in The Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour and I chose the theme Travel With Me. The book has only 14 pages and it will have 14 of my original watercolor sketches. I decided to place seven countries that I’ve visited or lived in; and, other seven will be the countries and places that I dream to visit.

And what is the better choice to start with if not my home country that I’ve been for 32 years of my life, Russia, Saint Petersburg. The sketch that you see is about Blood Cathedral (

The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood)

, an amazing piece of architecture that was built in early 1900s. I lived 10 minutes walk from this church but was able to visit it only in the late 90s as it was closed for restoration for more than 30 years. The building is decorated with tiny pieces of mosaics, gold, blue, terracotta. Each inch is worth looking at and admire.
This is the first sketch for my book. Thirteen more to come.
4″x6″ Watercolor on 90lb Cold Pressed Paper