Would Monet Approve?

artists, discussion, impressionism, landscape, Monet, Portraits, realism, San Francisco, seascapes, thoughts, Watercolor
A couple of days ago I visited an excellent exhibition in Legion Of Honor in San Francisco: The Intimate Impressionism. And I was thinking what is the difference in our days between impressionistic style and realistic one. 
The art of Eugene Boudin for example, was quite realistic, when Auguste Renoir’s landscapes with pastoral scenes were more on impressionistic side.

I pulled a few of my works and investigated them with the new eye.

Here is somewhat impressionistic seascape:
and here is a more realistic seascape with the girl and the ocean:
Or, here is the impressionism style rose bouquet:
Vs the one in more realistic manner:
Same comparison between the portraits of pets. This cat is painted with quite realistic approach:
When this kitty brings somewhat impressionistic feeling:
My thoughts are that when I paint with fast brush strokes, looking more at the whole picture, or working outside in the plein-air situation when weather is changing rapidly, objects are moving; then, I think the artwork has more impressionism in it. Yet still realistic, the fast and fresh approach has impressionistic feel. On another hand, the details and carefully thought composition call for more realistic style. 

I hope Monet approves my thoughts 🙂

Per Oxford Dictionary,
A style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color.
A literary or artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve accurate depiction.

Oval Paintings?

art that sells, bestsellers, Flowers, format, fruits, landscapes, oval, paintings, Portraits, realism, realism in watercolor, sold art, sold paintings, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Still Life Brace Vase
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting
French Roses painting
Last weekend I was talking to a potential customer who was specifically looking for an odd shape painting. I showed pretty much all my paintings, but they were all not odd, they were squared…
Then, I started putting some thoughts into the request and it occurred to me, that it is quite easy to make pretty much any shape with the square/rectangular painting as long as composition allows.
Then I started playing with the paintings images that I have and PhotoShop in order to create ovals. And I was surprised how pictures transformed. For me personally, they started looking a little rustic, antique, and charming.  
Here are just a few as an example.
Florals look lovely in the oval shapes, aren’t they?
Tea Party
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Tea-time Roses painting

Realistic Still Life
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Yellow Flower
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Landscapes look almost like somebody is peeking through the binoculars: 
Boat Sky Birds
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Italy Pink Flowers
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Positano Italy painting

Water Rocks Trees
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Fruits and berries are just asking to “oval” them due to their natural roundness:
Bowl Towel Realistic Painting
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Realism in Watercolor
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Yellow Purple
Lemons painting
Portraits definitely remind some old style photography ( except that they are just in color):
Breeze Portrait
Rainbow Breeze painting

Smiling Children
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Peekaboo painting

Pink Hat with Flower
Sweet Dreams painting
(previous blog post about this painting is here)
Still Life paintings look sweet in the oval shapes too:
Old Masters School

Realistic Art
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Old School Art
Even mademoiselle Eiffel Tower got its rustic look peeking at us through the oval shape:

Vintage Style Painting
 (prints are available) click on the name of the painting

Eiffel Tower painting

What an interesting transformation!!! 

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

Face-ing the Art Show

art commission, art show, art that sells, art that shows, faces, Fine Art, Irina, Martinez, pastel, Portraits, realism in watercolor, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour
Six of my paintings were accepted into the Art Show Faces by Art & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County . I am glad I could pull them together as some were in private collections. 
My sister Masha Batkova took these photos and proposed that as soon the show’s called Faces, my face should be next to each painting :0)

The art show is at Art Passages Gallery, which is located in historical downtown Martinez, 651 Pine Street, open until February 4th, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am  – 5:00 pm
Everyone is Welcome!!!

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

How Fast They Do Grow!

Army, baby, family, flag, man, my son, Painting, pet, pillow, Portraits, sleeping, smile, soldier, teen, toddler, worrior
1993 Sketch of my son sleeping. He was only 4 year old toddler.

Here he is already 15 with our dog Maggie. Year 2005. 

And here he is a 23 year old man. I made this sketch today from a few month old photo.
How fast they DO grow!!
All original paintings are 8″x10″ Watercolor
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Facebook – The Book Of Faces

art commission, artist that takes commissions, book of faces, commission, commission art, facebook, Fine Art, Portraits, realism in watercolor, Uncategorized, watercolor portraits
I wonder if there will be a time when somebody says “Facebook” people actually don’t think instantaneously about a blue “f” but in fact will think about a Book Of Faces. Here I placed my Book of Faces so to speak, which has the resent portraits I’ve painted. It is actually fun to see them in one place.
Below is the painting that I finished last night. I want to call it “Grab The Summer, And Don’t Let It Go” (ok, maybe a shorter than that :0)

See Detailed Image Here

10″x14″ Watercolor on 300lb Arches Watercolor Paper

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

Step-by-Step Watercolor Painting Video – Girl’s Portrait

Painting, Portraits, Tutorial, video

In this short step-by-step watercolor movie, the white paper transforms into a sweet girl’s painting where all colors of the rainbow highlight this Little Cutie’s personality.

Black & White Watercolor

Fine Art, Painting, Portraits, Watercolor

My client asked to make a painting from black and white photo of her grand kids. The painting was a surprise gift for her daughter. When I looked at the photo reference I thought the lighting was quite unusual. Girls face is lit up from the bottom left corner, which makes the portrait being different from a standard setting. The composition of the photo has rotating dynamics. But I gave it a try and painted first 5″x7″ small sketch and next 8″x10″ painting. In the step by step photos you can see that I’ve started with the background (wen-on-wet technique) and then moved to the faces. The girl’s face was a challenge, so I did it first. As the fist small painting that I made supposed to be a sketch I’ve inserted a flower with the color center in the girls hair by playing with the process and complementing the black and white approach of the rest of the painting.
The client loved them and purchased both watercolor paintings. And her daughter was more than pleased to receive such an exclusive gift. My last observation is that when people give a painting gift to their loved ones it goes beyond what some expected merchandise can do; and, by bringing a giver an extreme satisfaction it also makes a person on the receiving end so happy, surprised and delighted (even the painting is Black&White 😉
5″x7″ and 8″x10″ Payne’s Gray Colour from Winsor & Newton on 140 lb Cold Pressed Paper










San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge – Two Love Birds

Fine Art, Painting, Portraits, Travel, Watercolor, watercolor board


San Francisco was always a very interesting subject for me to paint. And lately I’ve got an opportunity to express my admiration of the Bay Area to the paper. My client asked me to paint a piece for her wedding anniversary from the picture where she and her husband had a wonderful time playing in the city and resting at the beach by Golden Gate Bridge. I fell in love with the idea immediately as it was a great romance there. Although the original photo was a little bit on a grey scale, therefore I felt it would be great to add a few shades of the blue, fading pink and yellow to the sky and a little burned sienna to the hills. When I’ve researched the picture before painting, I’ve noticed how so Red Golden Gate Bridge is not any red when you look at it from the distance. Besides, it is almost grayish pink at the far end. That what Miss Perspective does to the colors.


There were a few people fishing on the wave-breakers. I eliminated them giving my couple some privacy. Instead, I’ve placed two tiny egrets on the rocks (the sub name of the painting is Two Love Birds)… A few English Daisies on the front added a little romantic mood (there was a dead grass on the picture that did not feel right for the idea of the anniversary gift).


My client loved the painting, but she didn’t want to frame it. She loved it on a wall unframed. I’ve got a cradle board and mounted painting on it; and I’ve painted the sides with white acrylic to give a completed look. Using Watercolor Fixative will protect the painting from the moisture and I hope the painting will last to the family to at least their 75 wedding anniversary and beyond  J


Winsor & Newton Watercolor on Arches Paper, 16”x 20” , cradle board