Saturday, February 26, 2011


Arches paper, 56 x 20 cm (n/a)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sea studies

I have been putting off learning to paint sea waters, waves and foam, so these are my first attempts - small size studies, just to try some colors and brushstrokes. A bit messy, a bit overworked, but not terribly bad, I think. And I love the sunny summery mood.

Monday, February 21, 2011


В памет на най-обективния подръжник на творческите ми опити...

In memory of the most objective supporter of my creative endeavors...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tulips in a yellow vase

Tulips, 24 x 45 cm (n/a)

Initially I was planning to have a dark background behind the flowers. Now, however, I am afraid that I'll ruin the whole picture if I try to add any background. So, I am curious to find out how others approach similar situations. Would you do the background first or last? Are there any tricks for dealing with the areas around the small details - leaves, stems and flowers in this case? How to prevent forming of hard edges or back-runs if wetting one area at a time? I suppose the answer to all of these is "experience" :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Yes, there are snowdrops in the garden! This last week, for the first time in more than a month, we had a few days with temperatures above freezing. The strong wind yesterday melted the snow in the backyard and revealed tens of little snowdrops that have been growing under the white cover. The flowers are not fully open yet. I now hope that we get some snowfall to cover them again, as there are minus teens in the forecast for next week, which may frost-burn them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My first apple

Though an apple may be the first thing one would try to paint when learning, I have never done it so far. In fact, I don't think I have done any still life (not counting the flowers). So, here are my first apples, six of them to make up for the past.
Yesterday I came across the Daily Paintworks site and their Ten Minute Challenge. The idea is to divide your canvas or paper into small squares, and to paint the same object into each of them giving yourself only 10 minutes for each. Start with the first square and when 10 minutes expire, stop no matter where you are. Then reset your time back to 0 and start with the second square. You can rotate your object and/or change the light for each new square.
This was a great exercise. The limited time forces you to focus on the main things and prevents you from fiddling. Repeating the same object, allows you to try different approaches. For example, the second and third apples I did by first applying blue, letting it dry, and then putting in the yellow and red. The bottom row I did without pencil and mixing the wet colors directly on the paper. Only the cast shadow was a pre-mixed gray.
I think I now know how to paint an apple :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snow covered moraines

Vitosha, the mountain raising above the Bulgarian capital city Sofia, has many moraine fields. The rocks have been shaped and rounded by the elements for thousands of years. Hiking through the moraines can be a challenge, or fun, depending on the attitude.
The photographs I used, attracted me with the smooth shapes of the snow-covered rocks and the interesting light and shadow effects.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Puisque c'est ma rose"


"C'est le temps que j'ai perdu pour ma rose qui fait ma rose si importante", Le Petit Prince
I am not much into prestigious flowers. A bunch of pansies or daisies make me just as happy as a bouquet of long-stem roses. Of course, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to paint the red and white roses that appeared in my vase...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Temple in Edfu (n/a)
 A year ago we managed to fulfill an old dream - to take a trip to Egypt and see many of the archeological sites left by the oldest advanced civilization. It was amazing to see first hand the scale of that architecture and to get so close to the source of so many exciting stories and riddles. Seeing what is happening lately in that country, I've been wondering if we "took the last train"...
Before I painted the temple scene, I watched the video demos on Trevor Lingard's blog, which helped me with both the buildings and the figures. I am so grateful for all the watercolor blogs, from which I can take example and learn.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blanket of snow

Needless to say, it is snowing outside again. Looks beautiful. As it is weekend nobody rushes to shovel, so the white cover is smooth and pretty.
This view is not from today, I am not so lucky to have such a view from my window. I've been thinking for a long time to try painting snow-covered spruce trees. I did this as a test, without a pencil drawing and it didn't turn out too bad.

Lake Louise

This is another attempt at the same view I tried back in November. I wasn't happy with the result back then and I am not satisfied now too. While there is some improvement, it is not the big change I expected to achieve. I have the feeling that I subconsciously try to stick to the same techniques and brushstrokes I have already done before. Maybe I should try a different mountain scene.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter sunset

I think that in one of my previous postings I insulted Winter, and it took a revenge by dumping piles of snow today. So I decided to try and rectify the situation by painting another winter landscape. I used a photo with interesting afternoon light, by my favorite photographer, with whom I happen to be related. I wanted to do a free and loose interpretation of the view. First I did the smaller one below, where I fussed and fiddled too much. I like better how the one above turned out.