Wizard Of Oz – illustrate a book – Workshop

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illustration ruby slippers
Detailed images are in the Gallery HERE

The last workshop in the local library for this season was devoted to Wizard Of Oz book and movie. It was hard to separate the written story from the video version of it. For example, Dorothy had Silver Slippers in the book and Ruby Slippers in the movie. Scarecrow received a Diploma from Wizard of Oz;  but in the book he actually received a bag of bran with pins and needles. And Cowardly Lion got a potion of Courage in the book while in the movie he got a medal.
I taught kids about a Still Life by cutting a few objects from the Wizard Of Oz story and combining them into a visual still life:
Then I painted the actual still life on a paper, and  put it together:
We also had some “guests” who was watching us painting: my friend landed us a Wizard of Oz Barbie Doll collection:
Kids and I had a blast. We not only painted this time, we learned how to draw, how to place the images on a paper, make some important decisions on composition. The paintings turned out bright and creative:
Even Moms this time wanted to paint; and, I have to honestly tell you they did good and I saw they enjoyed every second of it :0)
Ruby Slippers painting:
Artwork from Wizard Of Oz in interior decor
Ruby Slippers Painting in interior decor
The painting print is available HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul


Illustrating A Book Workshop In Danville California

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Last week I shared my painting knowledge with the members of the Book Club at Danville library. Young readers, grade 4 and 5, met to read a book Planting The Trees Of Kenya: The Story Of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola. It delivers a true story about a winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Wangari Maathai who returned to her home country of Kenya and helped to save the farmland by planting the trees.

I was presenting a workshop: How To “Plant” The Trees On The Paper. For my lesson, I have chosen several techniques to show to the kids. 

First we did a background in wet-on-wet technique and later on (when paper was bone-dry) we planted a Whimsical Tree, full of happy branches, swirls, and birds.

As you see, each tree was telling its own story:

Children also learned how to paint Fall trees using dabbing technique and even a sponge. 
In one short session we probably “planted” one hundred of those trees. The Fall landscapes filled the room with the bright colors. I swear, if we didn’t have so much fun that day, we could even hear our painted birds signing on the branches of those trees ;0)

And even though, not all the trees in Danville, California, were yellow, orange and red yet; our trees, on the paper, were surely indicating a beautiful Fall season in its full glory! 


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

Moving Colors with Birgit – Workshop

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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
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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


Fine Arts Diploma

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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

Winnie-The-Pooh – illustrate a book – Workshop

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Detailed Images are in Art for Kids Gallery
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The work week was quite busy for me. Between the preparation for Tao House Art Show, attending CWA meeting and working in a Concord Gallery I also had a workshop in Martinez Library on Tuesday. 
This time I taught kids how to apply watercolor wet-on-wet (we played with the Winnie’s head for that), dry-on-dry ( his honey pot and a tree were just asking be painted that way), and we even learned what is the difference to paint free-hand vs following the given lines. 
It is amazing how the kids can absorb the information. Quick and easy! One little boy loved wet-on-wet technique so much that he painted entire second piece of art all over using not only all area of the painting but also mixing all available colors from his palette. 
Fun! Fun! Fun!
Be a judge, see the art report below:
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul