Small Town In The Mountains – Watercolor Pencils – Step By Step

Brentwood, California, landscape, lesson, Mountain Diablo, mountains, outside, plein air, sketch, sketching, step by step, step by step painting, town, watercolor pencils
watercolour pencils
I was recently visiting my friend artist in a small town of Brentwood that is hiding between the golf course and just behind a highest point of Bay Area, San Francisco, the famous Mountain Diablo. We went to paint en plain-air style, e.g. we grabbed our art materials and went painting outside. 
The weather was beautiful. Everywhere I turned I’d seen a lovely subject for painting. I’ve chosen to paint a scene with a small town in the golf course hills with a huge mountain behind. My choice of the materials this time were watercolor pencils (I’ve previously wrote an article about watercolor pencils HERE ) . 

I’ve sketched the drawing with a simple pencil first, and then started applying my watercolor pencils. That was the part that was actually accomplished outside:
The trick with watercolor pencils is that you have to know what colors to mix and predict what outcome will be at the time you put  water on the paper. I intentionally was drawing with a limited pallet. Out of my 72 watercolor pencils that I have in the box, I’ve picked only 16 to go plein-air painting.
Here is the first stage of the drawing/future painting:
After, I got home the main work had begun. 
I’ve added more pencils in depth, then highlighted the drawing with ink:
Then, I grabbed a softest Kolinsky Sable brush Number 11 and dipped it in a clear water. First areas that were “watered” were large ones, the sky and the grass below. Then I started adding some water to the smaller details such buildings and trees:
Right away I’ve noticed that in some areas the wash of water made the colors too bright, in others the colors were simply “washed” away. But the good part, that with watercolor pencils you can always reapply the colors with one important warning though: the paper should be bone dry before you add more colors. 

After several times of re-applying the pencils and rejuvenating them with water (clear water on the soft brush), the painting was completed and now it is ready to see the World!! 🙂
watercolour pencils step by step
Cheers from 

Winter Landscape Into Interior

decor, Home Decor, interior, landscape, mountains, national park, pine, realism, Sequoia, snow, Sztukowski, trees, Watercolor, watercolour, Winter
I found a great solution for a Winter landscape by selecting this silver frame. Cool colors of the metallic polish fit so well all the cool hues of the snowy forest with its tall trees of the Sequoia National Park. 

Later, I placed the framed painting into three different interiors. These interiors are very similar by their muted light colors. 

The painting fit all three interiors quite well. It brought rather interesting highlights into each home decor:


Painting For Publishing For A New Art Book

blossoms, blue, book publication, dry on dry, lesson, mountains, Spring, Spring In The Mountains, ultramarine, Walt Disney Museum, watercolor technique, watercolour, wet on wet
blue watercolor artwork home decor
I was invited by a publishing company Linea Editorial, which is located in Barcelona, Spain; to participate in a new book called One Watercolor Every Day. Their creative team selected my painting Spring In The Mountains. This artwork depicts an old blooming tree against the endless blue sky with mountains and birds in the background. It is a symbol of the beginning: a new life, a free spirit and eternal wisdom.
I am so happy to be a part of the book that will be published in 2017. It will contain more than 100 artists throughout the World. What an honor! I am very very pleased 🙂
I wanted to tell a little more about how I created this painting. 
The story of the creation of this artwork is quite interesting. One year, I was invited to teach the class at Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. The main idea of the lesson was to explore wet-on-wet technique. My first impulse was to teach the students how to paint sky. The subject with the blue sky and the tree just popped in my head. The lesson that I was giving in San Francisco was a great success. Art students enjoyed very much to learn a new skill. 
Later on, this artwork was selected by jury of the artists for the art show called Feeling Blue that took place in Naperville, IL Art Gallery
I have used two different techniques to achieve the desired results. Most of the painting is completed in watercolors; but, I used wax in order to reserve the whites of the flowers and the tree bark. Usually, I use masking liquid, but this time I wanted to make something that does not have to dry slow (as my student would not have so much time at the lesson). Then I employed a wet-on-wet technique mixing phthalo blue with a little bit of ultramarine. When the paper, 140 lb Cold Pressed Arches, was dry, I painted the tree with ultramarine blue right out of Winsor&Newton tube, and added black watercolor for the contrast. The blossoms of the tree, the mountains, and the birds were painted by using a dry-on-dry technique where a minimal amount of paint is applied to the dry paper with gentle brush strokes; and, where the artist has full control of building up an intensity of the painted subject.  
My Spring In The Mountains painting is truly going to travel a lot next year, now in the form of the publication in the art book. 
How many wonderful surprises are still there for my art?! 
I am so excited 🙂

Riding My Bicycle Everywhere

bicycle, bicycle art, California, illustration, landscape, landscapes with bicycles, marina, mountains, paintings with bicycles, Russia, Saint Petersburg, San Francisco, Sztukowski, Watercolor
decorative watercolor artwork
These days I am playing with bicycle illustrations for my Bicycles Gallery
There is certainly something romantic in the image of a bicycle with the landscape. The painting is telling the story; and, everyone would have his or her own story to tell for sure.

My story is that I am riding my bike virtually to a lot of places on Earth, because as an artist I can :0)

I’ve ridden my illustrative bicycle with the basket full of sunflowers to the mountains (above artwork)

Then, I brought my bicycle to a marina with the bridge and the sailboats at the shore:
sailboats at the shore
Later, I’ve decided to travel to San Francisco and park my bicycle right next to the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge:

San Francisco California Watercolor Landscape
I’ve even “traveled” with my sweet vintage bicycle to Saint Petersburg, Russia; where I parked it next to the monumental waters of Neva River:
Watercolor Cityscape

I had so much fun on my virtual travels!
And a good part of painted bicycles, that no matter where you go, the tires will never get flat!! :0)


www.artirina.com

Stormy Seascape Vintage Style

British School, De Young Museum, impressionism, landscape, mountains, ocean, old masters, realism, rocky, sailboat, San Francisco, sea, seascape, shore, style, Watercolor, William Turner
Ocean watercolor painting Old Masters style
In eager anticipation of a future trip to see William Turner‘s exhibition, that is taking place this Summer at the De Yong Museum in San Francisco; I’ve decided to create my own vintage style seascape painting:


In this artwork I followed not only good traditions of Old Masters of the British School; but also allowed myself to apply some fast brushstrokes in Impressionistic style.

Pretty much whole painting was completed in a dry brush technique when I used a very hard bristles (two size brushes), creating layer after layer to achieve the deep sea rough waters, the rocky mountains, and dramatic skies.

A lonely sailboat heading back to the harbor to escape the upcoming storm, The shore mountains are still lit by the sun in some places, but very soon, all will turn dark from the shadows of the clouds and those powerful ocean waves.

An interesting mysterious story:
When I finished the painting, I noticed a smiley face in the clouds. I left it there, thinking, “it is probably William Turner, looking at my art and saying: Good Job Irina!! Well Done!!”
🙂



www.artirina.com

California Landscapes – Redwood Creek Overview From Redwood National Park

California, Creek, landscape, mountains, national park, realism, Redwood, Redwood Creek, Travel, trip, Watercolor
realism in watercolor California landscape
A fascinating view of the mountains, which give a shelter to a peaceful in the summer time and full of energy in the Spring creek, the Redwood Creek.

When I stood there and watched this grandiose monumental view, listened to the sounds of wind, looked at the awakening from Winter nature; I started imagining how I can bring all that beauty on the piece of paper. Needless to say, when I came home; I had to paint this landscape.

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 The Redwood National and State Park is located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park was established in 1968. Redwood Creek follows the Grogan Fault; along the west bank of the creek, schist (coarse-grained metamorphic rock that consists of layers of different minerals and can be split into thin irregular plates) and other naturally transformed rocks can be found there, while sedimentary rocks of the Franciscan Assemblage are located on the east bank.
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www.artirina.com 

St. John’s Ranch – Mt Shasta County

bestsellers, California, country, field, Irina, landscape, mountains, realism, realism in watercolor, realistic, realistic painting, Shasta, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Shasta Mountain County

Shasta County Landscape painting realism in watercolor

Two lovely country scenes were waiting for me when last week long trip get-away brought us to Mountain Shasta county, which is five hours drive north from San Francisco Bay Area.

We were camping in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the fields and mountains.. Not a sound of civilization, no Internet, not even a cell phone coverage. This truly made me think about serenity and peace.. 

I was painting both artworks in plein-air style, sitting under the warm California Sun. The light breeze was helping to dry my paints that I could move on and on. And only mooing of the cows and birds tweets accompanied me while I was creating. 
I hope the peace and serenity are shown in my works; as, usually, the artist’s feeling influences the paintings
:0)

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The original painting Range Of Mountains – 10″x14″ on 140lb Cold Pressed 100% Arches Professional watercolor
The original painting Bald Mountain – 12″x16″ on on 140lb Cold Pressed 100% Arches Professional watercolor
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For more California Landscapes please visit my Gallery California by clicking HERE



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



Norway Fjord

artist that takes commission, commission, Europe, Fjord, landscape, mountains, Norway, realism, realism in watercolor, sea, Sztukowski, Travel, Uncategorized, water, Watercolor
(Click HERE for detailed image)
……………………..
One of my dear art collectors sent me a photo of the beautiful
Fjord from her trip to Norway.
Fjord, from the norse
“fjörðr”, in English means “where you travel across”. Also,
it has the same origin as the norwegian word “ferd”, English
“fare” or “travel”.  (Source: Wikipedia.no). 
Created my moving glaciers more
than 2.5 million years ago, Fjords 
are some
of the most dramatic landscape features on Earth. Just imaging how the glacier
was “slicing” the mountains, moving the rocks aside: and, how later
on the sea found its way there.
When I was
painting this piece I admired the monumental silence of the
mountains, calm water and a crisp air. And I hope I could bring my admiration into
my art.
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12″x16″
Watercolor on 300lb Cold Pressed Arches 

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

Slide Rock State Park (Sedona)

Arizona, Creek, mountains, rock, rocks, Sedona, slide rock park, water

This beautiful place is hiding between mountains in Sedona (Arizona). It became tourists vacation spot in early 30’s . The creek is polishing the orange rocks to the point that they turned out to be smooth and slippery. Families like to come here in the hot Arizona Summers and enjoy the cool water of the creek. I chose to paint this particular spot as the rocks there are different not only in structure but in colors as well ( smooth layered sandy rocks vs cold choppy lava created giants)

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5″x7″ Winsor & Newton Watercolor on 140 Cold Press Paper

www.artirina.com

Sedona Arizona

Arizona, Canyon, mountains, realism in watercolor, realistic painting, rocks, Sedona, watercolors

This week my husband and I are traveling places. It is my birthday week and we decided to pop up on our small trailer and for the first time give it a try. We visited Death Valley and Grand Canyon. Right now we are staying at the beautiful place next to the Red Rock in Sedona, Arizona. If you heard about this place you probably know that people claim this town to be spiritual and mysterious one. We’ve seen a lot of funky shops here where you can clear your spirit, take picture of you aura and find a peace. I don’t know about all of that; but, just looking at the gorgeous rocks, mountains, trees, canyons I agree, the Mother Nature definitely marked this place as One Must See.

I’ve painted this small 5″x7″ sketch of one of the surrounding rocks. The sunlight was just right. During our short trip we took hundreds of pictures that I am hoping to convert some of them to the paintings one rainy day in California 🙂
5″x7″ Watercolor on Arches 140 lb Cold pressed Paper