Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Vienna City Hall

This is just a fragment of the ornate facade of the Vienna City Hall. Painted from a photograph from a vacation many years ago.

Luxor at night

We visited this temple a year ago in the evening. It was lit by projectors that made the color of the sandstone glow in warm hues.I expected the night picture to be a challenge, but it didn't turn out terribly bad.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Again in Nice

I wanted to do this one in as loose and free style as I can. I also wanted to make the colors and contrast in the foreground stronger. Both goals are partially achieved. Learning is a process and I fully enjoy it.The first one is 7.5 x 11 (19 x 28 cm) and the second one is tiny - only 5 x 7 (13 x 18 cm)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Street in Arles

Another cityscape after a photograph from last summer's vacation.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chapel at Eygalières 2

This is a second attempt on the same subject. I wanted to make the chapel more prominent by bringing it closer and painting it in more vibrant colors.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chapel at Eygalières

 This picturesque chapel is near the little Provencal village of Eygalières. And no, this isn't me there with the easel. There really was an artist painting on location when I visited.
As for the painting, as usual, there are things that turned out well and others that I do not like much, and would improve. Yet, it is a good picture with which to wish you Merry Christmas!

 This was the small sketch I made beforehand, to figure out the composition.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Street in Nice

I started this as a sketch on the back of a discarded picture. Wanted to do it in a very loose and free style. It started off well, but by the end I kept fussing and fiddling. Well, that's part of learning.
This is in the older part of Nice, where the streets are narrower, and the buildings have the typical local style.Painting these pictures brings back nice memories from last summer...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Roussillon

Another street in the village of Roussillon. Strolling through the streets was pleasant in the morning, but by noon they were packed with tourists.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Another provencal village perched on a hilltop. The houses here are not painted and have the natural color of the stone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The village of Roussillon

A view of this picturesque village in Provence, perched on a hill, with all its houses painted in the hues of orange.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A street in Roussillon in color

The view from the previous tonal sketch, now in color. I struggled with the wall colors, which kept turning out too flat. This one is my second attempt and I like it a bit better, so I'm posting it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Une rue à Roussillon

Roussillon is a picturesque village, perched on a hilltop in Provence. All its houses are painted in the nuances of orange, due to the ocher quarries located close by. Which, of course, means that I have to do this picture in color.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Alps in color

This is the landscape of the second tonal sketch from before, now in color. I am quite happy with the way it  turned out. A perfect place to end my alpine series. It is snowing outside and maybe I should turn to painting warmer places....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Below Eiger 2

This is a second attempt of this landscape... not substantially different from the first one.

Alps - tonal sketches

Two tonal sketches of Alpine landscapes. The first I tried painting a few days ago, and may attempt again. The second is a really nice composition. I thought this would be a good exercise for me as I  keep having trouble with the color values.
For the first one I tried mixing Payne's gray with raw sienna, to make the color warmer.  It turned out that the raw sienna sediments and comes out much stronger in the darker shades. Not a good combination of pigments.In the second one I used just Payne's gray.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just washes...

Today I came across a blog, created by several watercolorists, called "One hundred washes". They took on a challenge to paint a hundred washes each, thus experimenting with different techniques and learning along the way. Browsing through the posts in that blog was absolutely liberating for me. I couldn't wait to get to my paints. And, as I didn't have much time this evening anyway, this was a perfect project. The idea is to let the paints mix on the paper in a seemingly random fashion, yet trying to control the outcome.
Here are the results

Fire crackle
Simply sea
Fond of sunsets

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Below the Eiger

Hiking trails below the Eiger in the Bernese Oberland

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Above Grindelwald 2

A second variation on the same landscape...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Above Grindelwald

Autumn in the meadows under First, in the Grindelwald area

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maliovitsa (Мальовица)

The path towards the mountain hut in a May morning. There was still a lot of snow above the hut, so we could not go much further. Normally it takes several hours to reach the peak, where on a clear day the view is magnificent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Above Zermatt

The cluster of log cabins at the end of the path turned out to be a cozy alpine restaurant. The trail continues downhill to Zermatt, about an hour away.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Walking in the Bernese Oberland  from Muren to the village of Gimmelwald one passes through very steep meadows filled with beautiful wild flowers. Little log cabins and dark green rows of  pines break the lush green color. Add to that the cowbell sound.... Beautiful!


This is how we saw the peak on a June morning a year ago.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lake Louise in Banf

This view at Lake Louise is very impressive and I have tried painting it before. These attempts will not be my last either. While some things here turned out well, I am not very happy with others. For one, I should use watercolors as the transparent paints they are supposed to be.
When I was at the lake the sky was overcast and most of the imposing background mountains could not be seen, so I had to find photographs to use as a reference.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunny days

 Found this photo on the web and had to try painting it:

Sunshine over a sunflower field

a study of an alpine lake

Studies on skies

These two above are just experiments with wet-in-wet clouds.
In the ones below are actual skies from photographs. I think they turned out quite good.

Some older ones...

A path in Vitosha - 2009 (n/a)

Window in Yvoire, France - 2009
Doors in Tunis - 2009

Apple blossom - 2010 (n/a)

River - 2010 (n/a)

Autumn lake - 2010

I made this one below a few years ago, when I read somewhere about the wet-in-wet technique. I used ordinary paper and kid's watercolors in a box from the dollar store. It turned out quite good, mostly by chance. This picture kept alive my intention to start painting at some point.

Sunset over the sea - 2005 (n/a)