Decorative Flowers

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interior design and decor for wall
As my clients and friends are asking what I am working on these days, I will allow a sneak peek into my virtual artist studio. And, with that said, I am happy to introduce a new collection of Decorative Flowers. My idea is to place a super realistic watercolor flowers on the abstract surface. 

I have created unique earthy designs for the background using watercolor dabbing technique with different natural sponges and variety of colors. 
It allows to make the background sections “to melt” into each other, giving some point of interest; but, meantime, it does not distract from realistic floral paintings. 

This series could be called Botanical; yet, the interesting background makes it exclusive in some sense.
These decorative flowers bunch unites the body of work into a community of color, idea, technique, and style.

It is Botanical yet is is also Semi-Botanical
It is Realistic yet it is also Semi-Realistic
It is Abstract yet it is also Semi-Abstract

interior design for home and office space
I share here the first three out of a half dozen designs that have been created already. And, as always, more flowers soon will be posted into the Floral Gallery and Decor Interior Design Gallery on my website www.artirina.com 

Interior design for home and office

Playing with Mirrors and Crystals, Seashells and Sea Salt

art by Irina, crystal, old masters, Painting, realism in watercolor, salt, sea salt, sea shell, seashell, step by step, Still Life, technique, Watercolor
Realistic Still Life
When painting this rather classic style still life I used some very old and some modern techniques. 
A buzz about Camera Obscura   or Camera Lucida on how the Old Masters used all available and imaginable tools to achieve realism in their art, including the use of mirrors; all that and a bit curiosity inspired me to make one experiment. 

Usually, I use mirror when I estimate an almost complete artworks of mine. The reflection helps to “abstract” from the subject of countless hours of work and see it with the new eye.

But, yet, I have never painted the way I painted this still life.

It is known that painting crystals is not an easy task, especially looking closely at each sparkling edge that can mislead the artist’s hand.
So, instead of painting from live still life, I used the mirror. From the very beginning, I’ve looked not at an object of my painting but into the mirror. And, I’ve painted the reflection: 

For the background I’ve used a modern technique by applying sea salt into wen-on-wet paint. After the salt dried, it created a beautiful texture that no brush can do:

At the very end I checked the accuracy of values by, again, using mirror’s help: I’ve placed the painting upside-down and looked at the reflection, made a few additions until I was satisfied with the result:  


The Old Masters technique was quite fun to use and really helpful! 

Bringing Fall To Central Valley

autumn, class, fall, impressionism, Impressionism in Watercolor, Irina, lesson, Sztukowski, technique, trees, water, Watercolor, watercolor lesson, wet on wet
Trees Red Yellow Autumn watercolor
I prepared this Impressionistic style painting of the Fall landscape for one watercolor lesson that I performed last Friday. 

The school is located in Central Valley, California (in Kings County), where Fall is coming either late or never. Oh no, of course, they will get a few yellow and red leaves closer to November-December. But now, all trees are green, farmers are finishing harvest, and the only indications of Fall are pumpkins in the grocery stores.

At the lesson, there were 36 students from grade 2 to 6. All of them were thrilled to try wet-on-wet technique and could not believe they can paint a Fall Landscape within an hour.. But we not only accomplished this, we even had a few minutes for a Pumpkin card project using an illustrative technique. 

Everyone had fun, even a couple of teachers asked to give them a brush and started painting :0)


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

Walt Disney Family Museum Open Studio

bestselling art, card, family, greeting, museum, paining, Pumpkin, sky, technique, Thanksgiving, Walt Disney, Watercolor, watercolor lesson, wet on wet
Branch Blossom Birds
After visiting Tyrus Wong exhibition, and getting inspired; I’ve started the lesson with introducing wet-on-wet technique. Students of ages from 5 to 65 learned how to paint skies with watercolors. 

To my surprise, at the beginning, I got more adults than children coming to the class (the Open Studio event is build when anyone can come at any time and jump in painting with the teacher).. 

Later on, we got kids, who surprised me again, they were not afraid to try painting both projects: Sky in Style of Tyrus Wong and a Fall Theme. 
Everyone had fun. 
I have not noticed how quickly the tree hours of the lesson passed. We probably got between 40 – 50 young and not-so-young students happily learning new techniques painting with watercolor .. and some of them even went home with the greeting card made by themselves 
:0) 
(Photos by Maria Batkova)
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Watercolor Cards – Demo at Coffee Break

art, cards, demo, floral, Free Demo, how to paint in watercolor, Irina, Painting, Sztukowski, technique, Watercolor, watercolor card, watercolor cards, watercolour
Painting Floral Cards
Demo at Coffee Break started with bright Red on my brush. I, all of a sudden, wanted to begin not with Wet-On-Dry technique as planned, but with Wet-On-Really-Really-Wet.. 

I splashed some water in random places on the paper and made them red allowing the paint to flow down creating the stems of the flowers. My model was a recent loose painting of Red Puppies, which I created using the same technique:
Purple Lavender Yellow Flowers
After the first painting was done, I’ve made a few more cards with Wet-On-Dry technique “pulling” images from my memory. 
Still Life Painting
SOLD

Cards with Flowers
SOLD

I hope everyone enjoyed the day. 
But the most people having fun, I believe, were I and these young visitors 
:0)
Fun With Paint
In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Moving Colors with Birgit – Workshop

dry, Fine Art, Flowers, Irina, learning, petals, realism in watercolor, Sztukowski, teaching, technique, Watercolor, watercolor technique, watercolour, wet, workshop
watercolor washes
This week CWA workshop with Birgit O’Connor brought a whole new experience into my artist’s life. It was my first workshop that I’ve ever taken with an artist, besides an academic schooling of course. I had  given workshops myself before and I was curious to see how is one of my favorite artists doing it. 

I had three goals when I started the  workshop:
– To learn how to loosen up
– To work in the group
– To get inspired

As the result, I did learn how to move a color without a fear and obtain control of a large areas and shapes. I observed what the other artists did when following the teacher’s instructions. The group was amazing, mostly intermediate and advanced artists; and, they did great:
California Watercolor Association
This workshop really helped me to loosen up and even though I worked on my own art projects, I tried to absorb every second of Birgit’s presentation and listened carefully to her instructions in the class.

I also got inspired and started four new pieces for my Bay Area Flowers series: this time using 300lb Cold Pressed watercolor paper and Artist’s grade watercolors while working with the new brushes (brushes that I got from the workshop, and I liked their quality very much). 

I am glad that Birgit did not mind me being a “black sheep” and working on my own project with my own photo references. In fact, she complemented me several times on how I applied the color and worked with values :0)

Painting with Birgit
 ……………………………………..
Art work “It Is All In Petals” is the collage made of fragments of my work in progress.


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


Butterfly Watercolor Painting

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SOLD
It was only a few seconds that this butterfly allowed me to take pictures; and it was only twenty minutes that I allowed myself to paint it today.
This happy butterfly lives in glass dome of Academy of Science Museum in San Francisco. I find that painting butterflies gives these beauties a second lives as we all know they don’t live long.
The challenge for me was to paint background (wet on dry) using not too much wetness in order to continue the flower and the butterfly itself with minimal bleeding. After I was done with the first washes I happily realized that there are only 10 minutes passed. So I had whole 10 more minutes to focus on the details of that little creature.
Size 8 ½ x 7 ½ “, Strathmore Watercolor Paper, Windsor & Newton Artist Watercolor

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Invest in Beauty

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

 

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