Sunday, November 23, 2014

Venice in Morning Haze

 Venice in Morning Haze 4, watercolor 30 x 23 cm
 A few years ago while walking along Piazza San Marco in Venice an enormous cruise ship sailed through the strait, dwarfing the city and its beautiful buildings. I had the feeling that this is completely out of place, uncanny and indecent. A pedestrian near by looked at the ship with utter contempt and said just "Americaano!" thus expressing the common feelings to this grotesque picture.

This spring, I happened to sail into Venice on a similar monstrous ship, at the end of an Adriatic cruise. No, I am not proud of that. However, this gave me the opportunity to take some very lovely pictures of the city at dawn. It was only 5:30 in the morning and the sun was not yet above the horizon. While slowly sailing through the canal I could enjoy the view of the back-lit city skyline and the mist raising from the water.
Venice in Morning Haze 3, watercolor 30 x 23 cm
These are a few watercolor sketches I made from those photos. I posted them in reverse chronological order as I think that they are getting better. Initially I was using Ocher, but then decided that the light and hazy effect calls for transparent pigments. So, the top two are done with Indian Yellow, Alizarin and Ultramarine. The other important thing is to have enough paint ready and work very fast before hard edges could form. I wasn't so good at this, apparently. A larger size would need more preparation.

Venice in Morning Haze 2, watercolor 30 x 23 cm

Venice in Morning Haze 1, watercolor 30 x 23 cm

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another view from Dubrovnik

Placa Street in Dubrovnik, watercolor 40 x 54 cm

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A small bouquet of roses

A small bouquet of roses 2, watercolor, 30 x 22 cm

A small bouquet of roses 2, watercolor, 30 x 22 cm

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Roofs and umbrellas

Red Roofs, watercolor 36 x 26 cm 
Cafe by the Harbor, watercolor 36 x 26 cm
A couple more scenes inspired by views from Dubrovnik. It's been nice to paint sunny scenes while the first snow is falling outside.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Old Town Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, watercolor 54 x 36 cm

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Gladiolus, watercolor 36 x 54 cm
The Gladiolus flower is a symbol of moral integrity and power. Does moral integrity bring power!? I want to believe that, although sometimes it doesn't seem this way...

Friday, September 19, 2014


Door 1, watercolor 22 x 30 cm
Doors 2, watercolor 22 x 30 cm
Although I photographed these doors in Valletta, they may be from anywhere in the Mediterranean region. I painted them a week ago but didn't find the time to post them.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Maltese Fishing Boats

Maltese Fishing Boats, watercolor 54 x 32 cm

Maltese Fishing Boat, watercolor 22 x 30 cm
I passed through the fishing village of Marsaxlokk on the east shore of Malta, during a sightseeing bus tour this spring. I was quite disappointed that we were not allowed to get off the buss and all my photos of these picturesque boats have an added blue haze from the bus window. This is where painting comes handy - I could enhance the colors and change the scene as I like it :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

More from Valletta

Building in Valletta, watercolor 
Building in Valletta, charcoal sketch
A couple more scenes from Malta. In the top one the challenge were the intricate details of the building. In the end I decided to go against the architect's design and to align all columns and capitals so I can paint it in fewer lines. 
The bottom painting became too overworked. Nevertheless, I'm happy with the complex repetitive patterns - the row of parked cars and the multitude of covered balconies. Simplifying complex architectural subjects is not an easy task... 

Street in Valletta, watercolor 30 x 40 cm

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Maltese balconies

Maltese balconies, watercolor 23 x 30 cm
These enclosed wooden balconies are one of the very typical characteristics of the Maltese architecture. Some are painted in bright colors, others have been neglected for decades. Some have elaborate carvings and decorations. Most are the size of a small balcony yet some of them are large and curve around the corner of the buildings. They are everywhere, sometimes hundreds of them in just one view.

Street in Valletta, charcoal sketch
Maltese balconies, charcoal sketch