Watercolor Iris Garden

flower, garden, iris flower painting, Iris flowers garden, purple iris, realism in watercolor, Watercolor, watercolor iris, yellow iris
realism in watercolor
This 16″‘x20″ Iris Flowers painting was a pure joy to create. I received commission request from a client to paint this garden from multiple photographs. Her husband grows gorgeous iris flowers of many kinds in his garden. My client wanted to place some of them into one painting. 

First, I have created a few sketches:

After the composition and sketches were approved, I started painting:
I have used wet-on-wet technique for the background wash, yet leaving the leaves of the iris flowers untouched. Later I painted them, one at the time, to give them more definition.

Painting flowers was truly fun. I had to incorporate the photo-references of blue iris, purple iris, and yellow iris flowers into one little garden that fits 16″x20″ window of the Arches Cold pressed watercolor paper. 

I also documented stages of the painting and later on created a mini movie with step-by-step creation of these Iris Flowers Garden:

My client was very happy with the results; and, she loved the original painting when it finally arrived in the mail.
But, as I usually like a little more than just one painting creation, I’ve also created a few designs with these Iris Flowers for Thank-You Cards, Birthday Cards and just Notecards with these sweet little flowers.
My Cards Gallery is now in full bloom with these and other iris flowers.

Happy Birthday – Again?!!

birthday, card, cards, designs, floral, flower, Flowers, Happy, orchid, Sunflower, Watercolor, watercolor cards
Happy Birthday
It is becoming a good tradition now to give myself a Gift of Art every year. 
This year in the month of my Birthday, I created Happy Birthday designs with the flowers from my virtual garden, most of them are the images of the paintings that were already sold. And now, they get a new, also very Happy, appearance in my Happy Birthday designs.

For example these lovely Sunflowers:
 I thought that blue and green background with yellow highlights will give them a good contrast:  

floral design   watercolor

 The gentle purple of the orchid called for lilac and purple shades:

Happy BD watercolor
Rich royal blue helped the Poppies and Purple Iris to be “framed” in a simple, yet romantic design:

Happy Birthday   Happy Birthday
As well as those Impressionistic Water Lilies, which are “floating” in the blue, water-like, surrounding:
watercolor design
 Juicy pink made my Hibiscus and the Rose with the Dew Drops even more gentle:

Happy Birthday Card   Happy
And a sweet miniature Tulips on the window were just a right size for this vintage feeling Birthday card:

Watercolor cards
Overall, I shell say, I went overboard with my Happy Birthday designs this year as I created dozens of floral Birthday cards.
 But what a great gift to myself!! 
Besides, I surely had lots of fun!

More designs are in my Cards Gallery here

First Daffodils Of The Season

daffodil, daffodils, floral, flower, Irina, Painting, purple, realism in watercolor, realistic painting, Still Life, Sztukowski, vase, Watercolor, watercolors, Wedgwood, yellow
Fine Art realistic artwork
These gentle yellow daffodils popped-up in my backyard a couple of days ago. I couldn’t resist to pick a bunch and set up a still life.

I intentionally placed freshly picked flowers into an antique Wedgwood vase. It emphasizes the fact how small is the distance between beauty of a two-day-old flower and a century-old pottery. 

The beauty is eternal! 

And the waves and a maze of a pattern of this silk scarf adds the interest to this full of life and color still life.

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
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
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!

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

Evening Primrose – Another Purple Flower

Bay Area flowers, bestseller, evening primrose, Fine Art, floral, flower, primrose, purple, realism, realistic painting, Watercolor, watercolour
Pink Lady Flower
Though this flower sometimes is called Evening Pink Primrose, I got lucky and met it in purple. 

One more painting of Bay Area Flowers series is completed. 

I was able to catch a close up of the flower in the evening Sun, which gave a good 3D effect to the painting. After the painting was finished I’ve made a little research on the flower as I didn’t want to place the post on just “Another Purple Flower“. I found out that:
Originally native only to central grasslands from Missouri and Nebraska south
through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to northeastern Mexico, Pink ladies or Pink
evening primrose is an upright to sprawling, 1 1/2 ft.
 perennial, which
spreads to form extensive colonies. Its large, four-petaled flowers,
 solitary from
leaf axils, range in color from dark pink to white. Nodding buds, opening into
pink or white flowers, are in the upper leaf axils on slender, downy stems. The
delicate-textured, cup-shaped blossoms are lined with pink or red veins.
Foliage is usually linear and
 pinnate, although leaves can be entire and lance-shaped depending on locality. A hardy and drought
resistant species that can form colonies of considerable size. The flowers may
be as small as 1 (2.5 cm) wide under drought conditions. The plant is
frequently grown in gardens and escapes from cultivation.
As the common name implies, most evening primrose species open
their flowers in the evening, closing them again early each morning. The
flowers of some members of the
 genus open in the evening so rapidly that the movement can almost be
observed. Pink evening primrose populations in the southern part of its natural
range, however, open their flowers in the morning and close them each evening.
To further complicate matters, populations in the northern parts of its range
tend to open in the evening. 
After the research on Evening Primrose, I’ve accidentally, but to my amazement, discovered the name of those purple flowers that I’ve recently painted, yet struggled to find the name of the species:
Purple Flower
It turned out that this plant is called Madeira Cranebill
The old post on this painting is HERE
Original Evening Primrose Flower painting is 20″x16″ on 300lb Arches Watercolor Cold Pressed paper

More exciting artworks are HERE

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

White Oleander Painting

bestseller, flower, garden, Irina's art, Irina's watercolors, Oleander, poison, realism in watercolor, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolor flowers, White Oleander painting
Watercolor art
Do you see white flowers? 
Aha, it is a White Oleander, the one that is growing down my street.

 This yet poisonous (see the story here ) but such beautiful bush amazes me each time when I take a walk in the neighborhood.   

And now I’ll explain why I asked about white:

I painted these Oleander flowers without using any white color, and on a top of it there is not even a  spec of white paper left on the painting. Before I began to paint, I made a good “rainbow-ie” wash on the paper. Then I dried it nicely, reserved the space for the middle of the flowers and started playing with one wash after another on the flowers’ surface.

Yet the real magic began when I worked on the background. The so-rather-not-white flowers all of a sudden became united and quiet white against the dark of the background colors.

I love that kind of magic!! 
Original painting White Oleander is 20″x16″ on 300lb Arches professional watercolor paper


Watercolor Rose Painting

bestseller, bestsellers, bestselling art, bouquet, floral, flower, garden, Irina, Nature, red, rose, rose day, rose parade, summer, Szutkowski, watercolor rose, watercolour
pink roses
I am celebrating a Rose Petals Day today. And even though I found out that an official Rose Day is somewhere in February, on my blog it is here and now :0)..

Why do I love roses? I think for their multiple generous petals, which at the first glance are looking alike yet not the same. Each petal is unique when, after all, unites into a gorgeous flower. 

Why else? Hm…I also like these flowers for the challenge. When the artist paints a rose, she has to put herself in some meditation stage, painting one petal after another.. and, again, never forget about stepping away and see the whole flower. 

When painting this rose, I almost got lost in the petals, in their beauty, and their abstracted realism.

Just take a look at the fragments of the same rose, isn’t it a lovely abstract suggested in the turn of petals?


petal study
Celebrate a Rose Day with me. I pulled all my recent roses and combined them in a PhotoShop “bouquet” for you :0)
rose garden
Original painting Rose (above all) is Watercolor on 20″x16″ 300lb Cold Pressed Paper

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

Happy 12/12/12

Fine Art, floral, Florals, flower, Flowers, paintings, realism in watercolor, realistic flowers, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour, website
What a Magic day! 
Today, I will think about 12 people who brought the light in my life, 12 beautiful flowers that I had chance to paint, and 12 future paintings that are on their way :0) 

Happy 12/12/12 to you too!

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

Red Rose

book, Carolyne Swayze, flower, Of Noble Character, realism in watercolor, realistic rose, red rose, Sztukowski, Uncategorized, Watercolor, watercolor rose
Red Rose
This beautiful Rose (or shell I say the photo that became an inspiration for this painting) was featured on the book of an
incredible woman writer Carolyne Swayze . Her novel  Of  Noble Character is sailing the world right now (literally and virtually)Being a person of multiple talents, just name a few such singing, song writing, and even creating outstanding miniatures for Collectible Doll Houses;  she wrote this book after a deep research of European and American history. And even though her book is a fiction, a story about people in the book appears more than real. I am only on my first chapter, but already feel I am involved with the lives of the characters, their worries and victories of everyday lives. I was amazed how easily the author plays with the past and present tense, engaging her readers to be THERE and NOW. 
A little bit about my Rose Painting
I’ve decided to paint this flower slightly different from a realistic still life in the interior. I intentionally left white background with no shadows as the
symbol of purity, and I thought of placing the leaves like open arms as if they invite the viewer to enjoy the beauty. If curious, you can compare the original picture with the painting by clicking HERE. It is interesting how we, the Artists, can interpret and present a picture of a simple flower bringing our personal experience into a story.
I also thought that this Red Rose would make a wonderful either Birthday or a Thank-You card. See my  design below:
Original Art painted in watercolor. Size 10″x14″. Arches Cold Pressed Paper.
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul