Moving Or Still, Nude Or Clothed: Still Strikingly Stunning

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realism human woman body
The blog post subject applies to a human body, in this case especially to a woman’s figure. Yet, any body is beautiful: the lines, the muscles, the curves that Nature gifted all of us independently of gender, race, etc.; are stunning. 

From August through December of this year I had a great opportunity to be in a Figure Drawing Class with one of the best art professors in San Francisco Bay Area, Jane Fisher. 
In this class we learned the terms and definitions of human body anatomy; particularly the bones. 
The main reason that I’ve attended this class was a priceless chance to draw the live models from San Francisco Art Model agency.

“Study of the human figure has traditionally been considered the best way to learning how to draw, beginning in the late Renaissance and continuing to the present”
(Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw, ISBN 0395205484)
When our professor told us that she fell in love with human anatomy, especially bones, I was questioning it: how can you be in love with, let’s say, skull or rib cage, or coccyx (the “tale-bone”).. But after drawing quite a few sketches of skeletons and gestures of live models, I have to admit: The human body IS AMAZING. There is no straight line, all bones and muscles ARE meant to be in the right place for a right function! Unbelievable!

In this class (which is actually a first part of complete course of Figure Drawing) I’ve done probably more than 100 quick sketches of the fast (2, 5, or 10 min) movements; around 20 long studies of the body, many body parts drawings from anatomy books and old masters artworks. That was quite an experience. The class was intense, filled with condensed knowledge, lots of interesting slides, facts, and inspirations for a future research. 

Here are just a few drawings of the models. Some of them are in charcoal some in ink, some of them on white paper, others on toned: 

Nude woman
Sleeping On The Beach
charcoal drawing
Seated Woman
… and many more drawings are in the Nude gallery, which will be growing not only with classic studies, but also with somewhat abstract or romantic paintings.  
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Something Expanded And Something Shrunk – Welcoming Fall In My Studio

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Impressionism in Watercolor
Just before a busy weekend I wanted to loosen-up and paint something pretty large, bright, fast and pretty.. I took as the suggestion my mini-artwork of the Fall Landscape (see the previous post HERE
And instead of 1″x1.5″ I made a painting 18″x24″
So the expansion was something like that:
A small forest grew into a large one in the matter of minutes.

Meantime, I had quite meticulous work coming-up this weekend; and, many more hours to paint. 

My friend artist and I met in my studio for a painting session. I’ve set up a few still life objects and we grabbed the brushes. All of a sudden, with us two, with at least three still life sets and two puppies on the floor my studio SHRUNK!!! 
And for the next 10 hours on Saturday, and good 5 hours on Sunday, we had to watch where to step in order not to crash into something or somebody. 
But it was fun! Though the time flew by too quickly. 

My friend Vera completed her beautiful still life in acrylic:
9″x12″ Still Life by Vera Lysenko

I started a larger still life, and will need to work on it for at least 10 more hours. 
So far the fragment is done:
Realism in Watercolor by Irina Sztukowski
Stay tuned, the whole thing is coming soon :0)

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More Fall paintings in the Seasons gallery HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul


Bringing Fall To Central Valley

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Trees Red Yellow Autumn watercolor
I prepared this Impressionistic style painting of the Fall landscape for one watercolor lesson that I performed last Friday. 

The school is located in Central Valley, California (in Kings County), where Fall is coming either late or never. Oh no, of course, they will get a few yellow and red leaves closer to November-December. But now, all trees are green, farmers are finishing harvest, and the only indications of Fall are pumpkins in the grocery stores.

At the lesson, there were 36 students from grade 2 to 6. All of them were thrilled to try wet-on-wet technique and could not believe they can paint a Fall Landscape within an hour.. But we not only accomplished this, we even had a few minutes for a Pumpkin card project using an illustrative technique. 

Everyone had fun, even a couple of teachers asked to give them a brush and started painting :0)


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

When Sky Meets Water – Disney Family Museum Open Studio

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Grass Silhouette Landscape
This painting of the sky and a little ducky on the horizon is created as a tribute to Tyrus Wong exhibition Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong  at Walt Disney Family Museum
Walt Disney Website

WDFM invited me and other artists from CWA to teach how to do a “wash” in watercolors. 
California Watercolor Association

At the fist glance the wash is pretty easy to do, but a lot of people are afraid of making it. The fear probably comes from not knowing how to achieve the smooth layers of different colors melting into each other. 

I decided to show how to paint the skies in watercolor using wet-on-wet technique.

The public that comes to the open studio is of different age groups. So, if the adults can paint the sky, and kids will want to paint something else, I’ve prepared another lesson, based on  something bright and cheerful:
Realism in Watercolor
Can you guess what it will be? :0)

Meantime in my drawing class, we learn (or re-learn) some simple objects sketching. 
Here is the recent homework made in charcoal on the newsprint paper:
realistic drawings


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

A Thousand Scratches And A Few Figure Drawings – Dogs Vs People

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Scratch Board dog portrait
A little puppy Fred back in 2012. I made this drawing for my husband to have a good memories of our cute little puppy. The puppy is now 70 plus pounds and he got a brother, red fox lab, George. I have not had a chance to paint or draw both of them yet. But I do have lots of cute photo references. And with this drawing it is a good start.

The technique here is very interesting: the original surface is black and waxy. Then I took an X-acto Knife and applying scratch after scratch created this drawing. A thousand scratches later, the while puppy, grass, flowers, and a ball appeared on a black surface.
This drawing was a good practice for my hand.

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Almost every artist knows that drawing skills help to make paintings better. 
I made myself a huge and valuable gift this Fall: I’ve enrolled in 6 hour Figure Drawing class . Each week for the next four months I will straighten my drawing skills, with live and not-so-life models, researching anatomy books,  and old masters drawings. 

I am excited!

By now we did some simple drawings in the class, fast sketches so to speak. We catch and sketch the movement of the model working with the lines.
anatomy study

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

The Oldest Student I’ve Ever Had

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Last Thursday I was teaching seniors at Assisted Living facility in Pleasant Hill, CA on behalf of Outreach program with CWA
art class

old people painting

red cups

old artist
My oldest student that day was 98 years old. She did incredible job on following instructions, painting and most importantly having lots of fun.
We were exercising Spring and Easter themes through a negative painting approach, dotted technique, and even had time to try wet-on-wet approach. 
…………………………………………………………………………
Wonderful photos by Maria Batkova, who is now a proud CWA member and a great assistant

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

Classroom – Watercolor Collage

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I gave this collage quite a long name: “When Heart is in
Watercolors Bright Ideas Will Come”. Long but so simple and so self-explanatory.
This collage was born in my Art 106 Drawing & Composition class that I am
taking this semester. The assignment was to show a class room using one-point
perspective and based on our real facility. We could also add either personal
meaning or pursue some theme. Materials are glue, paper, magazine cut-outs or
whatever we could find and apply.
My idea did not wait too long to be born. And as I used to
have a watercolor class in the same room, and I am now a proudly devoted
watercolor artist, I have decided to organize my “Classroom” placing my
watercolor art on the walls and making all students look like me. Basically, it
is me in the different stages of the art process. And yes, when I create I have
that “light” glowing in my mind. Yet when I am tired (you see the girl at the
far left desk?) the ideas are “turned off”. I cut my art for walls, the still
life, and the little hearts from my old postcards and calendars. And the Blick
art supply magazine helped me to make the space look more like a classroom or studio.
The lights for the lightbolbs came from Michael’s cute cards supply shelves.
While cutting the postcards with my watercolor, I had
another bright idea. There are a lot of sketch-like, palette pieces, and drafts
watercolor around my studio. I could definitely use them one day to create some
decorative art pieces and give them a new life.
Studying about collages in my art history class last
semester I’ve learned that collage art was basically initiated by Picasso and
his artist friend…. They looked for a different materials for their art and
started combining their found objects on one flat space, would it be a piece of
cardboard or wood. Collage in its Nature is brining various materials in one
organized space and giving them sometimes totally new meaning… Courtesy to WiKi
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collage
The term collage derives from the French “coller”
meaning “
glue”. This term was coined by both Georges
Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century
when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.
………………………………………………………………….. 

24″x18″ collage

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More Collages and cool Abstracts are HERE

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