Trip to Monterey or Not?

adoption, African, family portrait, kids portraits, Monterey, portrait, Uncategorized
22″x17″ Pastel on Tinted 80lb Paper
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This was my Final Project and my Final Pastel Painting. 
The smiley model of this painting is an adorable boy from Africa who was adopted by  one great San Francisco family. His nature is just like a Sunshine. In fact, if to translate his name to English it would read something like that. The family is getting this portrait as a gift from the Artist.
I’ve used several techniques when working on this art piece. For the face, I put layer after layer with smudging technique, yet the eyes I’ve drawn with the point of a pastel stick in the sharp crisp strokes. For the fuzzy fleece jacket I placed my pastel stick horizontally on the paper and moved different directions to allow the texture of the paper to shine through. When I took the original picture it was not that colorful at all. The background was a concrete pavement with a few pigeons on a back. I decided to combine two in one. I got one of the photo references that I had from my trip to Monterey and made the little boy “travel” to that beautiful place. 
And now when my semester is over, I need to get inspired to paint as bring as pastels with my lovely watercolors. The “models” didn’t wait too long. The day started bright; and my fresh-picked garden roses posed for me if they were asking to paint them in the future:

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

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

buy art, commission, commission art, family painting, girl portrait, Irina, kids portraits, order commission, Sztukowski, Uncategorized

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

Kids Portraits

children paintings, family portraits, kids portraits, original watercolor, Painting, Sun Light

Lately I am painting a lot of kids from ages between 6 and 12. And it is the great thing. I guess the Universe heard me saying: “I wish to practice painting more kids’ faces” and Vu-O-la, I’ve got it all. I’ve even got a very interesting commission the other day to paint a Black-&-White paining of two kids. It is in process right now.
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On the first painting you can see a sister and brother hiding behind the Agapanthus bush. One day we were walking with our niece and nephew in the neighborhood and found that flower-less bush (which is pretty difficult in California, everything is blooming!). We told kids to hide behind the bush and pretend that they are flowers. They did a good job, they were just happily glowing like a real flowers 🙂
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Next painting of a cute blue-eyes blond is the girl that lives in Holland. I was talking with my friend through Skype and she sent me a picture of her family. At that time I was under serious commission and was pretty stiff with all the details. I needed to loosen up and I decided to paint the little cutie. Needless to say, when I sent the image to my friend, the sister of the girl was kind of jealous that I had not painted her. I had no choice but do it ;),  And I enjoyed it so much.
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Descriptions of the Artworks:
Peekaboo (Flowers) – 8″x10″ Fabriano 140 Cold Pressed
Both Girls are on 8″x10″ Canson 140 Cold Pressed (yet the different techniques have been used: Blond is done pretty much in dry brush, the Curly Lock was made mixing Wet-On-Wet, Wet-on-Dry)

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