Pardon "Mon" French

abstract, design, Eiffel Tower, French Curve, girl portrait, Hallmark, Home Decor, interior decor, Painting, purple, style, Sztukowski, Watercolor, yellow
decorative design
One day I was feeling like creating some abstract in yellow and purple (two complementary colors that can balance each other very well). The idea didn’t have to wait too long to come. My inspiration that day was right at my desk in the studio: a bunch of French Curves

French Curve is a special tool that artists and drafters use to create a curvy line. I love the shape of the french curve for the soft organic forms, which when applied together can create an interesting whimsical design.

And that how the above artworks got created, not mentioning the next ones: 
watercolor
and the next:
French Curve Yellow Purple
All of those and many other French Curve creations landed in my Decorative Design gallery on FAA.

But my “feeling French” mood didn’t stop at just an abstract artwork. I’ve decided to combine two of my favorite “French” paintings into one, creating a cute Hallmark style design..

And Vuola! I am happy to present:

realism in watercolor French painting
I thought that the portrait of a little girl, a daughter of my friend (whose mom, by the way, came to the U.S. from France); this girl would look very nice with the Eiffel Tower on the back and those fluffy purple clouds.
:0)


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

A Baby Portrait and a Toddler Portrait

artist that takes commission, baby portrait, children portraits, commission art, family portrait, girl portrait, toddler portrait, watercolor portrait

Here are two sketch-like portraits of a baby and a toddler. 
I am working on an a larger art piece these days, a cityscape. And at the end of the day I was so tired of painting all the windows and walls that I needed to do something totally different. 
The opportunity was sitting in my Photo Reference folder. I wanted to paint these two portraits of a baby an a toddler long time ago. And the time has come. The baby was just a few months old when I took the photo (oh, no no don’t think she is now going to the college, but pretty close ;0)..she is almost one.. but, time flies as we know) and the picture of a toddler came from friend (her daughter on a beach a couple years ago).
Just look to compare how much a few years can change. The baby’s head is not certainly strong on her  shoulders, her body was comfortably leaning to mama’s chest. Her eyes are curious looking at the World. Her fluffy hair are so gentle and light. What a precious age, which will pass by so quick! Now look at the toddler. Her head-turn is well pronounced, her hair-dress is almost sophisticated. And even though her eyes are looking away, I think she already has a new game in her creative mind.  
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Original Paintings are 8″x10″ watercolor on 140lb Cold Pressed paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Girl’s Portrait Study Final Phase

artist Irina Sztukowski, family painting, girl portrait, Irina's watercolors, step by step painting, Uncategorized, watercolor portrait

The Girl’s portrait is completed. I’ve defined hair, worked on eyes and lips. And at the final stage looked at the anything that needs to be fixed.

What did I learn?

– The shadow side of the face lit by the Sun needs to be painted darker than you think when mixing the paint. And even it looks exaggerated when it is wet it will dry lighter.
– The time to finish is the time when the artist thinks it is done. I could work on this portrait until the year end; but, it was time to stop. Sometimes it is hard to do so.
– Red hair requires pretty much all colors but Red: I used all shades of gold, which are yellow, transparent orange, burned sienna, green.
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I had a lot of fun painting this portrait, learned a lot, and now it is even a little sad it is done. But I need to move forward 🙂
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24″X18″ Winsor&Newton Watercolor on 140 Cold Pressed paper

Girl’s Portrait Study Phase V

family portraits, girl portrait, Irina's watercolors, step by step painting, step-by-step project, Uncategorized



This time I am identifying the body parts; but, not finishing them completely. Everything is touched and everything is needed perfection at this stage (ears, nose, eyes, lips) . I would call this period the most unsatisfying as I really want it to be completed but know that it is impossible to see unity unless you work on whole face at once. At least my Girl now gets more character, doesn’t she? 🙂

Girl’s Portrait Study Phase IV

family painting, girl portrait, Uncategorized

Today is definitely a Hair Day (good or bad? you decide).. I’ve added some gold in my girl’s hair. Even she is a Blond now she is positively going to be a Cute Red Head. I’ve used wet-on -wet technique thinking that later I can touch the hair with the small (dry-on-wet) brush in order to define them. I know some artists that do not focus on defining hair and it does look great with the accent on the face and eyes, but for this portrait I think I will stick to my usual technique.

Girl’s Portrait Study Phase III

family painting, girl portrait, Irina's watercolors, original art, Uncategorized

I’ve worked on the dress pattern trying to frame the face, but not to overdo. At this stage I’ve only placed two washes on the girls face to distinguish the shadow side and part that’s on the sun. There are more washes to the face to come as more contrast is needed. The common practice shows that when painting a sunny day you would have a difference 40% between shade and sunny side. So I have to remember to exaggerate the shadow side when painting(plus remembering that watercolors dry at least 30% lighter).

The first touch of girl’s hair shows the Blond; but I will need to work towards the Redish Blond to match the model’s personality.

Girl’s Portrait Study Phase II

family portrait, girl portrait, Irina's watercolors, kids portraits, Uncategorized

I’ve added a few shades of red into the cold purple to make it warmer and made the bottom of the painting more intense to settle down the future portrait. Can’t wait to start working on baby’s face. The background is pretty much done (unless I will want to insert an object or two.. we shell see)… It looks a little dark now as the girls face is not yet touched.

Girl’s Portrait Study Phase I

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I have not painted kids on the large format paper. This is my first try on 18″x24″. I’ve met the girl this Fall at one party. The sun was shining just right and the parents were so kind to let me taking my future photo-reference that I’ve jumped to the opportunity. The girls personality is just amazing. Like a lot of Red Heads she was shining from inside. Shy at the beginning, she revealed her smart and talkative nature after the first half an hour of the party; and, became the main subject of admiration. The same moment when I took her photo she was sitting herself comfortably in the huge chair and all of a sudden she heard the dogs barking nearby; she was not scared, no, instead she was curious if this dog can jump over the fence that she can see it. What a Cutie!

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After the drawing I’ve started the painting by covering the main area of the portrait with Masking Fluid around the edges and the middle of the portrait with the cut out paper. I’ve started the painting with the wash of yellow and alizarin crimson slowly moving to a darker (ultramarine blue and violet) colors. The reason I’ve chosen these colors for the background is that the girl has rainbow-flowery dress and I thought it would be nice to include the colors of her dress into the background wash.
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The composition that I’ve chosen is also very unusual for me. The girls portrait is moved to the far right when I left almost a half of the painting for a background. I’ve done it intentionally to emphasize the feeling of sun and wind and make the viewer wonder what is there? what this girl sees? I believe this composition gives more space for imagination.

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

Polka Dots

baby portrait, girl portrait, kids portraits, painting by Irina, polka dot

This smart little girl came to my life unexpectedly. My online friend June posted a picture of her granddaughter and I was fascinated by this baby picture. Something was just telling me I need to paint this portrait. Her eyes, her face, her cute outfit! I could just imagine how the girl was just playing a few minutes ago and was asked by parents to sit and concentrate on something; and, yes she definitely did try doing that; but, look at her eyes: she is still thinking about the game. Her imagination is still working its way out. I think that kids’ eyes are telling us a lot; it is like a Whole Universe is there; we just need to look into them and open a new beautiful World for ourselves.

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When I started painting this portrait I was very concerned about how I will paint her eyes (as it it a center point of the composition). The Polka Dots helped me tremendously! I started the painting them; got lost in the texture and relaxed a little. Later, when I moved to the face I still didn’t paint eyes, I worked on the skin tones and made quite a few good washes (layer by layer) in order to achieve the baby skin feeling. I had so much fun! Yet the real fun came when I started mixing colors for the eyes. The tone of the eyes was different from the blue of the sweater. I intentionally made a sweater lighter than on the picture to contrast with Emerald Blueish Green of the eyes. The highlights on the eye lids and in the corner of the eyes help to make them very 3-dementional and be a real centerpiece of whole composition.
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I am so glad I had an opportunity to work on one more baby portrait. Each time I paint babies or kids I am realizing it is much different from the adults portraits; and, baby portraits definitely have their charm and cuteness 🙂
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8″x10″ Watercolor on Arches 140 Cold Pressed Paper