Moving Or Still, Nude Or Clothed: Still Strikingly Stunning

anatomy, body, class, dancers, drawing, figure, Fine Art, Nude, seated model, studies, study, woman
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

Apples and Lime – Putting Hands To Work

drawing, Dutch Republic, Fine Art, hand, old masters, realism, sketches, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor
realism in watercolor
Click on Image for a detailed view
I am making a very good progress on my complex Old Masters/ Dutch Style still life (my favorite thing to paint actually).. 

This is a complete, so to speak, fragment. Complete, but a Fragment. I played with the virtual frame to show that even a fragment can be sufficient when speaking about composition. The only thing I would change if I set this still life as a separate thing; I’d place the knife towards the apples.. But because it is a fragment, it will point “out” of the painting ..

Meantime, the drawing in the class required some serious hand work.. I’ve put my hands and some other students hands 
TO WORK 
:0)

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

A Gift From The Garden – A Happy Apple

apple, art, Dutch style painting, Fine Art, fruit, garden, Irina, Painting, realism, realism in watercolor, realistic, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Still life garden fruit
Introducing a Garden Apple, the one that didn’t come from the grocery store!

 I love freshly picked apples for their gentle highlights, for almost fuzzy glowing from inside skin. Unlike the store-bought apples with the layer of wax and days on the shelf, the garden fruits seem to be more happy.. 

This apple surely was a happy camper. The leaves on the branch were like spreading hands..and the fruit was smiling:
 “Eat me! Oh, no, wait, paint me first!”
:0)

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Original Painting “Still Life With Apple” is 6″x11″ on Arches 300lb Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper
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More delicious paintings are in one special Gallery HERE


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

Carmel By The Sea – California Landscapes

bestsellers, bestselling art, California, Carmel, Carmel by the Sea, Fine Art, Irina, outdoors, Painting, plein air, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour
Impressionism In Watercolor
Last weekend a group of CWA artists and a few of my close friends went to a lovely town at the Pacific ocean. This cute cozy place is called Carmel By The Sea.. a beautiful venue for painting, resting, and dining.

The morning started rough. We thought that it will be raining any minute. But the clouds passed by and only a few drops fell on our art works. 
We even enjoyed a partial sun giving some mysterious shadows on the sand:
boats birds trees
When painting this piece (above), I wanted to tell a little story (as I usually do with my art). I call it “All comes in pairs” …If you look carefully, you will see two trees, two sailboats, two birds.. but only one person waking down the pier.. I left the second person somewhat hidden; so that, the viewers can make up their own romantic story

The last painting I did was of my friend-artist Vera Lysenko, she was passionately creating a seascape with acrylic. 
It is always fun to see the artist at work and wonder what is there on the canvas? 
Vera Lysenko
The artists gathered together after four hours of painting to see and discuss the artworks that they created:


More Plein-air Painting are HERE


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

Point Bonita and Rodeo Beach Plein-Air Painting Day

artists, Bay, bestselling art, bridge, California, Fine Art, Golden Gate Bridge, Irina, lighthouse, plein air, Point Bonita, realism, realistic, Sztukowski, Watercolor
San Francisco Bay
I painted this artwork on plein-air (outdoors) when the weather was changing rapidly. It was foggy in the morning. But then, the wind picked-up burning the fog, lifting it, and letting the sun shine and reveal the beauty of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

Our CWA artists and their guests had a marvelous time. Somebody painted the lighthouse, others went to Rodeo Beach, and my friends and I picked the view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Point Bonita Lighthouse
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Original Artwork Golden Gate Bridge is 12″x16″ Watercolor on 140lb Cold Pressed Cotton paper


The highlights of that day Plein-air at Point Bonita are in CWA Newsletter here
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More plein-air paintings are in this Gallery



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

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



Pink Rose Buds

Fine Art, flower, garden, Irina, Irina's art, pink rose, realism, red geranium, roses, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolor technique, waterrcolour
blossom
This little pink Lady named Rose was blooming in my garden a couple of month ago.. The morning Sun just hit the petals, and the background was still dark from the shadow of the fence. 

The challenge in this Pink Rose painting was that I wanted to leave the geranium on the background but keep it very vague, not popping-up so to speak. Instead, I wanted to make my Pink Rose shine. Any professional artist will tell you that if you want to have something on the back ground make it cooler than the front; and, vise versa: make the foreground warm to pop-up. 

In this painting of the Pink (almost purple) rose everything is opposite to the usual rules: the rose color is cooler than the background colors. 

How did I achieve the contrast? I’ve loaded my brush with very juicy red. After masking the rose drawing, I’ve applied wet on wet technique, in several layers, until I was satisfied with the deepness of the red geranium. Then, I’ve painted the rose in a very light washes, ending the session with almost dry-on-dry application.
…………………………………………………………………………
Original artwork Pink Rose Bloom is 10″x8″ on Fabriano Extra White 140lb painted with Winsor&Newton Watercolor 

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

Making Life A Little Brighter – Fun Tree Of Life Series

abstract, bestsellers, bird, bright, cat, Fine Art, flower, Happy, heart, Irina, Irina's art, life, Nature, silhouette, Szutkowski, vivid art, Watercolor
abstract
With all the recent serious things such judging, writing for CWA, preparing for the shows, and meantime working on a couple of commissions; I really wanted to loosen up and make something just for fun.

Here is my little Fun Tree of Life series

First, I placed some random swirls on Strathmore 140lb Cold Pressed paper, then I washed them off. Next, more swirls were coming, and more and more using dry-on-wet technique. When this was done, I applied wet-on-wet nice juicy wash of rich colors such Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, and all what I felt is right for this project from my pallet.

Still sounds too serious?
Ok, ok.

Here is when the fun came. When paper was dry, I looked at each swirl and it basically “dictated”, moved my hand to where I felt putting the branches of the tree, plus a little cute additions to the trees that made it fun.

Impression I and Impression II (above) are all about birds and flowers.
Impression III and Impression IV have hidden birds, plus one of them is full of fruits and has a curious cat:
red yellow painting
In Impression V the cat is hiding on a tree. And Impression VI is caring two hearts and two love birds:
hunting cat and bird

Just like in real life, we grow, we thrive, sometimes don’t see things right in front of our eyes, sometimes are happy just by looking at a simple flower or a birdie, or find love where we least expect it… 

Oh, I am getting again too serious.. better stop and keep working!
:0)



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

Pears Trio

art that sells, canvas, Fine Art, Irina, Irina's art, myrtle wood, pear, pear art, pears, realism, realistic, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour
watercolor pears
Oh Pears, Pears! Each time I paint them I think about a figure painting. They are just like humans: not two pears are alike, are they?

These three ladies I painted on special Watercolor Canvas made by Fredrix. I loved to experiment. If to look closely, there is texture of the canvas is seen. 

The pears were from Farmers Market. They perfectly showing their imperfection: pretty as Nature intended.
The shelf that they are sitting on is made of Myrtle Wood. My husband and I picked the wood from the shop in Oregon; and, then he made the lovely shelf that I cherish.
Myrtle wood has quite interesting texture and it is one of the rare woods in the world.

Per www.myrtlewood.com 
No other hardwood excels Oregon Myrtlewood in
beauty of grain and variety of coloring. Golden tans and muted reds, yellow
greens and soft grays, ash blonds and seal browns, often patterned with velvet
black for striking designs within the wood. Here is nature’s artistry
unsurpassed!
 (read more here)

I had fun not only painting those pears, but also got lost in the grain of the wood. At some point, while painting it, I was thinking I painted marble shelf, not a wooden one.

Now, back to the pears. 
Here are just a few pears for the road
 :0)

They do look good when they sprinkled with a few drops of water:
still life painting
SOLD


A single pear on a watercolor board Aquabord does make a personal statement 
(the story about it is in the previous post here): 
realistic painting
SOLD


And, even with coffee, pears look appealing, playful, and yummy: 
cerafe
SOLD
(prints are available in my Still Life Gallery here)

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Original Painting Three Pears on The Myrtle Wood Shelf is 8″x10″ Watercolor on Fredrix Canvas


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

Painting California Poppies

art that sells, Blake Garden, California, Fine Art, green, Irina, Irina's watercolor, orange, Painting, park, plein air, poppies, realism, realistic painting, red, state flower, Sztukowski
orange painting
California Poppies (scientific name Eschscholzia Californica) sometimes are called a Cup of Gold. They are official California state flowers.

I found this small golden field when going one day to Blake Garden in Berkeley Hills for a plain-air session. I was so occupied painting another field of Red Poppies that I only had a few minutes to run around the park and take some photos. In contrary to the poppies that I painted that day (see painting below), these orange cuties were volunteers. They just spread around the park glowing and bringing light and cheer.
poppy painting
SOLD
(previous post is here, and the prints are available here)
As I recall, it was a little meadow with the Red and Pink poppies hiding in the forest like garden.

The red ones were planted by people. 

The orange ones were probably brought by birds and wind. 

They decided to locate themselves wherever was comfortable: on a pathway that brought the artists to a marvelous view of the San Francisco Bay
I painted an artist there who came to paint California Poppies; so, that there is more to the story. When the viewer comes to the painting, the fist thing he/she sees are the poppies: bright, orange, big. Yet with more careful observation, you can notice that somebody else is there admiring the orange flowers at the Bay. 

In the last couple of years I painted quite a few of those orange flowers. But the painting above is probably the largest one 
(original painting California Poppies is 23″x17″ on Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor paper) 
 and it has a story
:0)

Here are just a few of those “Golden Pots”:
floral

framed art
SOLD

fine art
SOLD
open floral
SOLD
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul