Mountain Rigi – Antique Watercolor – Turner Study

antique, antique watercolor, Blue Rigi, landscape, Red Rigi, study, vintage, vintage watercolor, Watercolor, William Turner
Old Masters study
After visiting William Turner’s exhibition in De Young Museum (my previous post Stormy Seascape Vintage Style showed how excited I was to go there); I became even more interested in Old Masters styles and techniques.

I have decided to study several Turner’s paintings with Mount Rigi. My point was to explore the ability of antique, 1894 watercolor paint set, which I have purchased last year for this specific purpose, e.g the study of the Old Masters techniques. 

I loved to challenge myself, and paint without the limits, yet being limited by 19th century pigments and tools. 

In this painting, I combined study of three different Turner’s paintings of this Switzerland mountain: Blue Rigi, Red Rigi, and Dark Rigi. 

I was lucky to see two of the paintings in the De Young Museum. I was standing for probably good twenty minutes exploring inch after inch of the Blue Rigi and the sketch of the Red Rigi, presented there at the exhibition:
antique watercolor

antique watercolor
Turner painted all three paintings in 1842. I have the antique watercolors sets ranging from 1894 through 1952.
The color pallet there is definitely limited, and the pigments are almost hard as the rocks. But, I love them. There was so much of excitement that was coming out or into me (or both) when I touch these paints with my brush. It is hard to explain. It needs to be experience personally 🙂 
The watercolor set (top left) was from 1894 and I mostly used that one to accomplish my painting.
I also looked at the print of the Blue Rigi by Turner, and the illustration in my book British Watercolors, where I found Dark Rigi:
antique watercolor
Somewhere, in the middle of the process, something magic happened. My brush wanted to add some details that were not in Turner’s paintings. 
The tour into the Old Master’s masterpieces allowed me to create my own art piece, full of light, color and fresh mountain air. I felt as if I was there in 19th century; painting this gorgeous Switzerland landscape. 
Wonderful feeling!!

Going Vintage

antique, antique watercolor, Couleurs Sans Danger, James Tissot, Kathleen Newton, Lilian Harvey, Princess Diana, study, Tissot, vintage, vintage art, vintage cards

Lilian Harvey fragment in watercolor
This painting is a careful study of the artwork of James Tissot, Le Banc De Jardin (The Garden Bench), which he painted in 1882. My point of the interest was a little girl in a green dress, Lilian Harvey. This girl is peacefully reclining on a garden bench, leaning on her dear aunt Kathleen Newton. Lilian’s eyes are curious to watch the artist painting. She is resting, but any time she might jump to look at the painting in progress; as one day she will be too painting inspired by the great artist James Tissot…

The exploration of the old masters brought me to a new series, a Vintage Art; but, not only I was curious in the subjects, I also started to explore an old medium. 
I bought a few boxes of antique watercolor paint and started painting. Not an easy task, when you already got spoiled by hundreds of paints’ shades and colors of our modern days.

The antique watercolors more opaque, not so much transparent.Some of the colors (such juicy green or turquoise were missing and I had to work around creating my own mixes). Lots of work, but I definitely enjoyed it. 
Couleurs Sans Danger vintage

The first artwork was an inspiration from old antique greeting cards style. The cute little girl with rosy cheeks was born:

Portrait Of a Girl
I  painted this artwork with the antique French watercolors ,Couleurs Sans Danger. It was quite an experience! 
 Later on, this girl will become a great model for Christmas Cards with nostalgic vintage feeling.

The story of the vintage style exploration was just starting. Something else happened in just a few days after the first vintage painting. 
All of a sudden, my head started creating more and more images from the artworks that I’ve previously painted. And, sure enough, as I have something similar to OCD, which is called OAD (Obsessive Artist Disorder) a dozen of vintage images landed in a new gallery:

I am introducing just a few of them here. In my opinion, those images, create sweet vintage feelings and might trigger good old memories from the viewers:

A peacefully sleeping baby:

antique style art
A sweet memories from the trip to the shore:
Antique art style
Princess Diana portrait in vintage style:
Vintage style artwork
Paris France wall art

Moving Or Still, Nude Or Clothed: Still Strikingly Stunning

anatomy, body, class, dancers, drawing, figure, Fine Art, Nude, seated model, studies, study, woman
realism human woman body
The blog post subject applies to a human body, in this case especially to a woman’s figure. Yet, any body is beautiful: the lines, the muscles, the curves that Nature gifted all of us independently of gender, race, etc.; are stunning. 

From August through December of this year I had a great opportunity to be in a Figure Drawing Class with one of the best art professors in San Francisco Bay Area, Jane Fisher. 
In this class we learned the terms and definitions of human body anatomy; particularly the bones. 
The main reason that I’ve attended this class was a priceless chance to draw the live models from San Francisco Art Model agency.

“Study of the human figure has traditionally been considered the best way to learning how to draw, beginning in the late Renaissance and continuing to the present”
(Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw, ISBN 0395205484)
When our professor told us that she fell in love with human anatomy, especially bones, I was questioning it: how can you be in love with, let’s say, skull or rib cage, or coccyx (the “tale-bone”).. But after drawing quite a few sketches of skeletons and gestures of live models, I have to admit: The human body IS AMAZING. There is no straight line, all bones and muscles ARE meant to be in the right place for a right function! Unbelievable!

In this class (which is actually a first part of complete course of Figure Drawing) I’ve done probably more than 100 quick sketches of the fast (2, 5, or 10 min) movements; around 20 long studies of the body, many body parts drawings from anatomy books and old masters artworks. That was quite an experience. The class was intense, filled with condensed knowledge, lots of interesting slides, facts, and inspirations for a future research. 

Here are just a few drawings of the models. Some of them are in charcoal some in ink, some of them on white paper, others on toned: 

Nude woman
Sleeping On The Beach
charcoal drawing
Seated Woman
… and many more drawings are in the Nude gallery, which will be growing not only with classic studies, but also with somewhat abstract or romantic paintings.  
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Dogs And Bones

anatomy, body, bones, commission art, Dogs, drawings, labrador, Painting, parts, pets portraits, puppies, puppy, realism, realistic, study, Watercolor
realistic watercolor
My two cute puppies are playing: Fred (the Blondy) was almost a year old, and George (the Red Head) was just a couple or three months. 

This is a fragment of a large painting that is still in progress. I just wanted to share those two brothers’ conversation. George was always picking on Fred; but, he was also learning…

I wonder what kind of lesson he is receiving here? 
Dog knows!

And speaking of learning, in my Figure Drawing class we are working on a lot of bones and body parts.

Here are just a few of them:
realistic drawing
And a few more:
drawings body parts

And a glorious torso of Mister Skeleton himself:
illustration Halloween scary
Aha! Something spooky for upcoming Halloween :0)

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

A Thousand Scratches And A Few Figure Drawings – Dogs Vs People

class, dog, doggy, draw, drawing, figure, figure drawing, puppy, puppy's love, school, scratch, scratch board, study
Scratch Board dog portrait
A little puppy Fred back in 2012. I made this drawing for my husband to have a good memories of our cute little puppy. The puppy is now 70 plus pounds and he got a brother, red fox lab, George. I have not had a chance to paint or draw both of them yet. But I do have lots of cute photo references. And with this drawing it is a good start.

The technique here is very interesting: the original surface is black and waxy. Then I took an X-acto Knife and applying scratch after scratch created this drawing. A thousand scratches later, the while puppy, grass, flowers, and a ball appeared on a black surface.
This drawing was a good practice for my hand.


Almost every artist knows that drawing skills help to make paintings better. 
I made myself a huge and valuable gift this Fall: I’ve enrolled in 6 hour Figure Drawing class . Each week for the next four months I will straighten my drawing skills, with live and not-so-life models, researching anatomy books,  and old masters drawings. 

I am excited!

By now we did some simple drawings in the class, fast sketches so to speak. We catch and sketch the movement of the model working with the lines.
anatomy study

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

Fine Arts Diploma

artist that sells art, Diablo Valley College, DVC, Fine Art Degree, graduate, Irina, study, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolour, workshop
Fine Art
Back in 2011, I decided to get my Art Degree here in America. I went back to school. Before 2011, I got a lot of professional credits in Arts and also in Accounting through DVC – Diablo Valley College. But for official degree I had to focus on adding more General Education classes. My Bachelor in Arts from Russia (1992) was not enough for American degree as I didn’t take neither American History nor History of California classes. And, I did not have an opportunity in Russia to take any other science such Astronomy or Algebra, Health Science or English Writing & Composition. So, I jumped right in and studied hard earning my degree.
 A couple of weeks ago, Hooray! Hooray!, my sweet diplomas finally arrived: one AA in Fine Arts and another one AS in Accounting. 
Something to celebrate, eh.. (besides those 100+ paintings that I crated in the last 4-5 years :0)!!!
Associate in Arts
But as I said in one of my articles for CWA Newsletter: it is never late to study.. and I want to add: to study more. Next week I am taking a workshop of one absolutely wonderful watercolor teacher Birgit O’Connor. I am exited to learn something new! :0)
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul