Ranunculus Painting – Phase II

Florals, flower, flower painting, flower pot, Flowers, irina szutkowski, Irina's watercolors, original art, step by step painting, Uncategorized

At  the Phase II for the Ranunculus painting I made a wash for the background and started on the tablecloth pattern, trying to place it in the perspective and keep it simple as intended. The challenge with the background is that until the flowers are worked on the pale green does not look appealing to me as I usually  choose the darker background when flowers are light. But we will see.
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10″x8″ Watercolor Painting (first wash)

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

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.

Curious Eyes

dog painting, Gift Ideas, gogs, handmade gifts, Irina's watercolors, original art, terrier, Uncategorized
It is amazing how two curious eyes can make us happy and smile. My client found me on Etsy and purchased this Sniffer for her mom in Canada. I painted this dog from memory, I don’t know his name or where he lives. I don’t even know if it is HE or SHE. But I am very happy that these two curious eyes and one wet sniffer will make happy one old sweet lady in a different country 🙂

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3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ Watercolor on Paper

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

Spring in The Tea Garden

Golden Gate Park, Japanese Garden, landscape, original art, San Francisco, Spring, Tea Garden

11″x14″ Watercolor on 140 lb Cold Pressed
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This painting and few others were recently accepted in the Best of Worldwide Watermedia book by Kennedy Publishing for 2012. It was sweet to receive the e-mail from the publisher about their selection.
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This painting has a very emotional value for me. I love to visit Japanese Garden in San Francisco Golden Gate Park. And each time I am there the garden looks different even they don’t change the exterior much. But the blooming plants that what makes it different and interesting each time I go there. The painting was made in the Spring of 2009 when my Dad came to America for the first time to celebrate his 60th Birthday. I took the photo reference and painted the garden after my Dad left. And every time I took the brush to proceed painting I remembered the good times with my Dad.

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


Water Lilies Watercolor

blue, canvas painting, green, Irina's watercolors, original art, piink, water lilies, watercolor lesson, watercolor on canvas

Like MonetImpressionImpressionism in Watercolors
I was exploring a new surface for my watercolors: Watercolor Canvas. Before, I tried watercolor board and thought to try a canvas this time. The board surprised me with the fact that it was practically impossible to place the layers. When I tried to place second layer on it, my first layer would mix with wet surface and simply disappear. From my experience, watercolor canvas has better fluidity than a board; you can make a good wash if working fast and knowing what colors will go in what place (does not allow reapplying though); and, the canvas allows to place a second layer yet it should be darker than the previous one.

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And I was surprised how my hands were adjusting to the quality of the surface this time. Feeling that the colors will not flow like on 100% Cotton Watercolor Paper, my hands started applying paint in kind of pointing style (e.g. instead of sweeping my brush across I was “pocking” dots all over the surface with different colors or just making very short strokes). Quite interesting experience! My style changed completely in just a few minutes since I started painting. The surface dictated the technique. At some point I thought about Monet and his Water Lilies; how did he paint them? What did he feel? Although, yes he used oil paint; I guess I got the oil paint thinking then 🙂
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The advantage of the watercolor on canvas is that if you want you can place it on a wall without framing (though you will need to use fixative of course). Yet, lately I am experimenting with watercolor board (with stretched Cotton Paper) that also will not need frame except a cradle board. I’ve noticed that some of my clients would like to have watercolor paintings without frames in there collections. I was researching how to do that too. And I’ll share this experience with you in the future.
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9″x12″ Fredrix Watercolor Canvas, Winsor & Newton Watercolor, Aqarell-Fixativ by Schmincke & Co

For more Watercolor Canvases, Acrylic and Metal Prints with my art – click HERE

watercolors art

fine art Irina

Boys and the Ocean

commission art, figure painting, Irina's watercolors, ocean, ocean painting, original art, rocks, sand, watercolors by Irina




This commission painting that I have recently finished has its very sweet little story as all painting usually are. My client wanted to make a birthday gift to her sister and she ordered a painting from the picture that was taken long time ago. The picture was with three sons watching the surfers at Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, California. Boys Dad used to work for the US Geological Survey and he spent a lot of time on the sea. When his sons grew up he passed the love to the ocean to them. They absorbed the ocean into their blood, became experienced divers, and could not imagine their lives without the big water. When I was painting this piece, I tried to show the boys that are not just looking at the Ocean, but rather looking to their Future. It was so much fun to paint fairly large for my scale painting and make a big washes of the sky and the water yet apply tiny details for the rocks’ texture and the boys’ figures.

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16″ x 20″ Winsor & Newton Watercolor on 300 lb Cold Pressed Paper

Dancing Pearls

ballerina, ballet, ballet slippers, dance, Fabriano, original art, pearl, pearls, pink, purple, slipper, Still Life, watercolor paper
Irina Sztukowski




One day pearls had a dream, they wanted to dance. They sneaked into ballet slippers and waited for their turn…
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I love watching ballet. My childhood city Saint Petersburg is famous by Kirov (now Mariinsky) Theater. I used to come there when I was a kid and always was curious how those tiny teeny girls can dance on their tiptoes barely touching the ground. It seemed so easy so light. When I was around ten my Dad helped the theater to pack their costumes for a business trip; and, when they learned he has two girls they presented him (oh Gosh!) two pair of cute little slippers.. My sister and I tried to dance in them and realized that it is not that easy and light. Good life lesson…
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I painted pearls and ballet slippers together as when looking at them I know how it is difficult go achieve the light flawless dance performance and it is hard to get a pearl from the deep sea. Yet I admire their beauty and loveliness with all my heart and appreciate AWE moment when I see the dancing ballerina or a great piece of jewelry.
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This painting was my first experience on Artistico Fabriano paper. I love its smooth fine surface.
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8″x10″ Winsor & Newton Watercolor on 140 Cold Press Fabriano
www.artirina.com

Tulips on Fire

Florals, flower painting, green, original art, pink, red, tulip, tulips, yellow

One of the best and the most amazing things for the Artist is when he/she can share the art with other people. And it is always great when people admire your art, and when people want your art – is the most grateful moments. Although, for me personally it is hard sometimes to detach from my paintings. That’s probably why I sell more prints than paintings ;)… Original paintings are like babies. But hey, children suppose to grow up and eventually they will make outside the nest.
Today one of my favorite customers sent me an e-mail with the subject: ” I have to have it!” She chose this painting of tulips. When I painted this one I really wanted to show the sun showing through the petals penetrating them through red making it pink. The game of three colors (red, pink, and yellow) reminded me of a fire. And I called this painting “Tulips on Fire”. I am glad that now these tulips will sparkle in someones’ house 🙂
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8″x10″ Watercolor on 140lb Cold Press Arches

White & Red Christmas Spirit

original art, original watercolor painting, pink poinsettia, poinsettia painting, red poinsettia, Watercolor, white poinsettia

I loved painting a variety of Poinsettia in this piece: white, red, pink. The most exciting part was to paint the white one: pure reflections from the lights shining through to the pink violet and blue. I also decided to place white Poinsettia on the top as it is lighter; although the dark background would point out a good recognizable shape. This bunch will make pretty good Christmas Cards 🙂
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Watercolor on Paper; Size 8″x10″

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com 

Trip To Italy

boat, buildings, Flowers, Italy, mountains, original art, Positano, rocks, See shore, ship

I have never been to Italy; but my friend has. She took this beautiful picture of small Italian town called Positano. This town was noticed by John Steinbeck in 1953 who wrote: “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”
I loved to paint the rocky walls and small buildings clinging to each other so close that you barely can see the streets in between.
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Watercolor on paper. 140 Cold press. Size: 8″x10″

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More than a thousand artworks ranging from realism to a decorative abstract and detailed botanical painting by Irina Sztukowski are presented now on her website  www.artirina.com