Tag Archives: nature

Memories of Summer – step-by-step

Watercolour painting -  Memories of Summer
One of the advantages of having time to paint during the day is that I can take progress photos of the painting as I paint (if I remember, as most often I get totally lost in the painting process and forget about everything else).
Painting Stage 1 - shadows
After arranging the still-life, I lightly sketched the shells & seagull feather with Faber-Castell 9000 pencil (F hardness) on Fabriano Artistico CP watercolour paper. Since I knew that the angle of the sun will change while I paint, I painted the shadows first to remind me where the light was coming from.
Painting Stage 2 - First Layer of watercolour
Next I added the first layer of Winsor & Newton watercolour to each shell & piece of coral individually, working wet-into-wet to allow the colours to merge and mix.
Painting Stage 3 - feather
After the first layer of the watercolour dried, I applied clean water to most of the feather. I kept some areas dry as I wanted them to remain white. I mixed Winsor & Newton French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna together to get various shades of grey. I started painting from the outside edge of the feather letting the colour bleed down towards the feather’s rachis (shaft).
Painting stage 4 - defining shapes & texture
Next I started adding details, further defining shapes and texture.
Painting Stage 5 - almost finished
I kept on slowly progressing around the painting.
Painting Stage 6 - finished
At this stage I decided to finish working on this painting and added my signature with a pencil.

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Feathers, feathers, everywhere

Hello!
How have you been? I’m still painting, but struggling to find time for writing. During the summer school holidays I mostly did quick sketches in my various sketchbooks. There is a story behind each sketch, but sadly no time to share them here. As the holidays came to the end, I got back to painting small standalone pieces in the attempt to regain some focus and to get used to the new daily routine.
Watercolour of four feathers

Four feathers – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper (4 x 4 inches)

My son is in childcare for 15 hours/week this year and I have great plans for learning, experimenting with new techniques and finally getting down on paper some of the paintings that were hunting my mind for months, sometimes years.
Watercolour of two blue feathers

Two blue feathers – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (5 x 7 inches)

As well as painting, I am spending a lot of time in front of the computer. Almost two years ago, when a friend wanted to buy some of my paintings, I opened an Etsy shop. It stood neglected all that time, but now I’m working on putting some small paintings, greeting cards and eventually prints into it.
Watercolour of three green feathers

Three feathers – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (5 x 7 inches)

I also created a Facebook page for my art. I’m not sure if I’m spreading myself too thin or stepping out into an exciting wider world.
Are you working on anything in particularly at the moment? Do you have any goals or dreams for this year?
Watercolour painting of acorns

Signs of Autumn – Winsor & Newton watercolours on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper (4 x 4 inches)

Passionfruit

After few days of 36-39C heat, today was slightly cooler with the forecast promising the top temperature of only 31C (87.8F).  So I used this opportunity to sketch the passionfruit vine, which is growing against otherwise ugly metal shed.  Sadly the flowers are already gone, but there are plenty of leaves and fruit.
Watercolour sketch of passionfruit vine

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

And here is the photo of the two page spread, because I love how the sunflower and passionfruit vine sketches look together.
Watercolour painting of Sunflower & passionfruit

Iron lacework Paintings

When I moved to Bendigo, I fall in love with the decorative iron lacework on the buildings. It makes even the most plain of them look elegant and festive, ready for high tea or a party. Slowly the idea for a series of paintings featuring ironwork & native plants started to form. Therefore I started taking photos and painting small studies attempting to figure out the best way to capture the filigree nature of the iron lacework. Since I haven’t posted them here previously, I thought I’ll share them with you now.
Iron lacework compass sketch

10 February 2015 Ironwork Compass – Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook

The Bendigo Discovery Centre, local Science Centre for the kids, was exploring the science of shadows during the winter school holidays and put out a call for the local artists to create shadow boxes. I couldn’t resist the temptation, since iron lacework creates gorgeous shadows, and attempted paper-cutting for the first time.

Goldfields Tea Break shadow box front
Goldfields Tea Break shadow box back

1 June 2015 Goldfields Tea Break – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Arches Paper; paper-cutting

Did you notice that it is the same iron lacework image that I later used for my Christmas cards?

After the paper-cutting I went back to the familiarity of painting, though I have some ideas for combining them both together.
Iron lacework & Eucalyptus sketch

5 August 2015 Iron lacework & Eucalyptus – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Saunders Waterford CP (not) paper

Iron lacework & Eucalyptus sketch

8 August 2015 Iron lacework & Eucalyptus – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Iron Lacework & Cherry blossoms sketch

30 August 2015 Iron lacework & Cherry Blossom – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

Iron Lacework & Cherry blossoms sketch

31 August 2015 Iron lacework & Cherry Blossom – Winsor & Newton watercolour on Daler-Rowney watercolour postcard

I want to continue to experiment with the iron lacework and compass imagery and there will be more iron lacework paintings next year.

In the Garden: Flowers

Hello! I’m on the spring-cleaning mission. Every room and every corner of the house has to be sorted and cleaned. I’m buying boxes for storing cooking ingredients, my and kids art & craft supplies, out-of-season clothes, etc. There are paintings that are begging to be framed and hanged to cheer up the blank light-brown walls (definitely not the colour I would choose to paint a house). I have over 9 (!) years of the computer files & photos to go through. I want to paint some illustration-type of images and would love to be able to use my own photos as references. However, it takes me too long to find the right photos and I want to learn to use Adobe Lightroom to index & cross-reference them all. And while I clean and sort, I’m also contemplating my priorities & dreams. I want to have a clearer direction of where I’m heading and what I want to achieve in the next few years.

While I’m trying to look inwards the nature outside is bursting out in flowers before everything complete dries up in the scorching sun.
The succulents are putting out gorgeous display of the flowers in the various colours and shapes.
Succulent with pink flowers
Succulent with white flowers
My friends are telling me that this is Jasmine and praise its scent, while I try to stay as far away from it as possible (I’m not a big fan of strong smells).
Jasmine

Inside of an iris
The irises are still blooming, but many of them are starting to wilt, so I painted one of the light ones and am hoping to find the time to paint the darker purple one.
Watercolour of light purple Iris

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

Some houses have gorgeous displays of roses and our white & purple ones are also starting to open up. I’ll paint them next.
White roses

Perfect find

Hey! How are you? I’ve been battling my MacBook this week. It’s been slow since I’ve upgraded the operating system to Yosemite earlier this year, but lately it reached ridiculous levels of painful slowness – every few minutes everything stops and I get to “enjoy” looking at the spinning “beachball” cursor, while waiting for the system to catch up. I cleaned few things up & it seems to improve matters, however the laptop is still sluggish and freezes up periodically, so I may try doing a complete OS re-install (dreading it! Can you believe I used to work in IT?!?). My husband, who still works in IT, keeps on smiling knowingly & suggesting that maybe the time has come to buy a new computer (mine is 5 years old). Wish me luck in getting this beast to work!

On one of my walks, which weren’t so numerous this week due to the sudden heat, I found another feather. It was a perfect companion to two other tiny pinkish ones, which were patiently waiting to be painted.
Watercolour of pink feathers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Arches medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

It is so easy to say that this wasn’t a good week (with another mild sickness & nights of broken sleep), yet I live a comfortable life in a beautiful place with a loving family and whenever I paint I’m reminded of how lucky I am. Wishing you beauty, peace and love.

Succulents

No, I didn’t paint during the trip to Melbourne. Looks like I still need to have my daily routines around me to keep me painting every day. Last night and today I added another cactus and two succulents to this page.
Watercolour sketch of succulents

Winsor & Newton watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

I have a big succulent collection (they are easy to propagate, easy to look after and the kids love them), so there are still plenty to paint. I may be able to fit another two to this page.