Ink And Watecolour Town Streets – Sketching the City of San Francisco

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interior with ink watercolor painting on the wall
Ink And Watercolor Town Scene Paintings in Interior Decor . Artist Irina Sztukowski 
In preparation for one exciting publishing project, I looked at my ink paintings of San Francisco with a different point of view. These illustrations of town scenes were completed on separate pieces of paper. But, now combining them together in one print, allows the viewer to get a feeling of the historical sights of the city with its beautiful buildings, decorative gates, tall towers, and streets perspective. A lovely presentation of Black & White or Monochrome decor for interior design. 

The print of this painting is available HERE
The Black & White Gallery on my website contains dozens of artworks in monochrome pallet.

Cheers from

Eiffel Tower – Sunny Day In Paris

art, Charvin, city, Cityscape, Eiffel, Eiffel Tower, France, French, Handmade, Painting, palette, Paris, sketch, Tower, Travel, Watercolor
travel sketch of Paris France
I have painted Eiffel Tower many many times. It is easy to prove this statement just by showing my France Gallery , which has more than five dozens paintings and design with Eiffel Tower and streets of Paris by now. 
But this time it was a special treat for me to paint the famous Eiffel Tower in person, as French say tete-a-tete (e.g. in person) and in el plein-air style (as the same French say) practically meaning that I was sitting there and painting Eiffel Tower from that particular spot. 
Last month I was traveling to three wonderful countries for inspirational business trip. France was one of them. 
Lucky for me the day I was painting was more like a Summer day as if Paris greeted me with a beautiful sunlight and gorgeous shadows well suitable for a nice watercolor painting. 
I was surprised to find a street that led to Eiffel Tower, but no tourists were there. Only block of the buildings was separating me with the crowd gathering around and under the tower, and here I am in almost solitude making a first drawing in this beautiful city of Paris breathing in a summer like spring day enjoying every moment. 
It was wonderful experience! 
Truly artistic one, when you don’t notice nor occasional person passing by, no time flying. I’ve only noticed that couple of hours evaporated quickly by looking at the shadows that changed drastically. Good thing I took an initial photograph of the place and was able to finish the paining in the hotel room, in my mini-art-studio that I improvised right there. 

Even though I brought my travel palette with me on the trip; I couldn’t resist the temptation when passing by an old Charvin Art Shop on Seine river embankment. This company produces watercolor handmade paints since 1830. Just to think that famous impressionists were painting Eiffel Tower and Paris streets with watercolor of this company, created a strong desire for me to get one of travel boxes with French watercolors. That was the best souvenir I could bring from France: a handmade watercolors in the box, and painted with these watercolors Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower that fit my suitcase!! 🙂

painting and palette

Cheers from 

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

Sketching Italy – Part II

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For those who missed the first post, Part I is HERE
Leaving Venice was sad but I knew that Florence will not disappoint my artist’s eye. 

And the first thing I’ve run into was an art fair next to San Lorenzo cathedral, where artists were selling their beautiful art:
art fair in Florence
Florence in comparison to Venice is much larger and the colors of Florence are more solid and settled vs vibrant colors of Venetian buildings. 

Lots of towers in Florence are made of sand-color stones, reveling the age in the texture: 
streets of Florence
Hundreds of tourists occupied the plaza next to Palazzo Vecchio, a truly old, magnificent building. Each statue on the Piazza told a story, mythical or historical. 

plaza statues
Far in the distance, Neptune is overseeing the crowd. 
David (a copy of the original that we saw in Accademia ), is guarding the entry to Palazzo Vecchio:
nude statue
Besides the fact that Florence streets, statues, and fountains are like a museum under an open sky, there is also a largest collection of Renaissance art in Uffizi Gallery that I had chance to visit. Unfortunately, in most museums they don’t allow photo cameras; and, I could imagine, they wouldn’t permit a watercolorist sitting and painting there.. But the memory of a beautiful art will stay with me forever. 

One of the five days in Florence, we escaped the city going on 12 hour tour to Tuscany, where we had chance to visit Pisa, Siena, a thousand year old San Gimignano. On the way there, we admired Italian wineries of Tuscany and multiple Sunflowers fields:
Italy
On our last day in Florence we crossed the famous bridge Ponte Vecchio and stepped into the beauty of Palazzo Pitti  with its fountains and terraces.
Quiet walk at Boboli Gardens impressed with hidden paths,  peaceful ponds, and moss-green marble statutes:  
Boboli Gardens
The Florentine time was up and we headed out to the train station. Less than a two-hour train ride from Florence to Rome was lovely. We were passing by farms, mountains, old towns: colorful Italian landscapes: 
Italian landscape
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In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Sketching Italy – Part I

buildings, city, history, hotel, Italia, italian, Italy, map, realism, sketch, sketches, Sztukowski, tourism, tourists, town, trip, Venice, voyage
After a long long flight, having a refreshing ride in a water taxi, my husband and I landed in the comfortable room of one Venetian hotel:
interior
The couple of sketches I made there were at the time when, after running around the town overwhelmed with heat and the history, we had a chance to cool down for a few minutes and rest:
lamp window door table mirror
Beautiful canals with waters from turquoise blue to milky emerald, flowers on the windows, and polls in the water attracted my attention the first day of our city discovery: 
cityscape
Two gondoliers were resting before the next ride. No rush, no hurry, they knew the next group of tourists is inevitably coming:
Italy sketch bridge
After walking through narrow streets where the Sun never hits the ground, it was nice to find a relatively large square surrounded with two canals and an army of buildings:
monument buildings Italy
But not only the canals that historical part of  Venice is made of. One of the main artery of the touristic mecca was Via Nuova, wide enough to fit even a car or two passing by, and with its colorful old buildings and shops, shops, shops:
Venice Italy trip
After three wonderful days in Venice, visiting museums such Palazzo Ducale, Biblioteca Nazionale, Modern and Ancient Art exhibitions at San Marco Piazza, Accademia and many gorgeous churches and cathedrals, we had to prepare to leave for a new endeavors that were planned on our Italy tour. 
Sitting in the lobby of the hotel Europa & Regina and waiting for the water ride to the train station, I had a few minutes to sketch my last Venetian interior:
Armchair Table Room

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

Paris France Rue Saint Dominique

city, Cityscape, Eiffel, famous, France, Irina, Painting, Paris, place, realism in watercolor, Rue, Saint, sunset, Sztukowski, Tower, Travel, Watercolor
Detailed Image is HERE
No need to explain my love to Paris and traveling to Europe. OK, to a traveling in general. I love it! First time I’ve visited Paris in 1995. That time I lived in Saint Petersburg, Russia; and, a week in Paris was beyond my dreams. A travel company I worked for offered a super cheap deal (though for me it still was 4 times of my salary) and I took off. Next time I went their seven years later. My friend and I celebrated my 38th Birthday.. One evening we were heading to our hotel. It just stopped raining and setting Sun hit the loud streets with the last beams of that day. I lifted my head and all of a sudden saw that Eiffel Tower disappeared. Only top of the construction was clearly visible. Thank God I had my camera with me.
In this painting of Paris street I wanted to portray that feeling I had when I saw the Eiffel Tower in the sun light. Maybe it is not traditional view as all posters in the world would want to picture Eiffel Tower in full its glory. Oh well, I saw it floating in the air. 
The girl on the front is just a random Paris visitor. She is rushing home and doesn’t even know what’s happening behind. I gave her my hairstyle and dressed in my coat and a scarf. I also wanted to put some story into my painting of Paris as I think this city (no matter what they might say) is romantic. Here is my story:
“It was nice fresh evening in Paris. Only second day and She was already in love with the City. Heading home that night and dreaming of quiet dinner she heard a loud boom. The motorcycle broke the murmur of Rue Saint Dominique and made Her turn the head toward the noise. He takes his helmet of and looks in her direction. Her face is lit by the evening Sun and with astonishment of the beautiful Eiffel Tower disappearance…” 
You feel the romance here, eh?! :0) .. finish the story yourself.. 
Okay, back to the Paris paintings. All what you see on it is only artist’s imagination, with exception only the Eiffel Tower, Paris, The Sun. Feel my love to that romantic city. I’ve even created a Gallery that called My Paris Mania where you can find  dozens of impressions from my Eiffel Tower and Paris paintings.
This morning the curiosity led me to find a website with 360 degree photos of Paris streets. I loved placing Full Screen feature and look around as I am there in Paris right now:
Happy Traveling!
And  I also found an interesting article posted by Fox News on Ten Things You’d Never Guess About Paris. It was an opinion of one writer who came to Paris from America and settled down there. Per his point of view, as an example:
– the less French you speak than better you are
– the French people appreciate American culture more than we think
– the French like tourists
– but French people in general sometimes don’t like Parisians (read why)
and much much more :0)
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Original Painting Rue Saint Dominique is 22″x18″ on 140lb Arches Cold Pressed
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.
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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