Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

It is winter. Everything outside is covered in snow. The temperature is -20 C. But the beauty of painting is that it can take us to the warm sand of a sunny beach. We can go  where we want to be, or change things as we like them, today...

Let it be a Happy and Sunny New Year!

Bird on the wet sand, watercolor 26 x 23 cm

Wet Sand 2, watercolor 26 x 23 cm

Wet Sand 1, watercolor 21 x 26 cm

Friday, December 1, 2017

Playing in the sand

Playing in the sand, watercolor 30 x 20 cm

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sunset at the beach

Sunset at the beach, watercolor 28 x 20 cm
... memories from a trip to the Caribbean last winter

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Rose Valley

Rose Valley, watercolor sketch
The Rose Valley is the name of a region in Bulgaria, at the foothills of the Balkan mountains. The valley is famous for its rose-growing fields. This is a centuries old industry that makes Bulgaria one of the major producers of rose oil.

This year I happened to visit this region during the rose picking season, when the fields were in their full glory. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the landscape with lush green valleys, surrounded by rolling hills and framed by the high peaks of the Balkan in the background.

These are a few sketches I did on location, while enjoying the lovely spring weather.

Balkan Mountains, watercolor sketch

Panitsite Valley, watercolor sketch

Kalofer, watercolor sketch

Pelargonium, watercolor sketch

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What to do during a flight

Required materials:
- a thin sketchbook
- a water-brush
- a former eye-shadow palette turned into a mini-watercolor box
- an apple core.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Who raided the minibar?

Who raided the minibar?, watercolor 30 x 23 cm

Friday, March 17, 2017

Winter sunflowers

Winter Sunflowers hanging in my yard
This is an acrylic painting I did back in the summer to help me go through the long an cold winter. Well, this year the winter has been neither so cold, nor I hope, so long. But it is still nice to look out the window and see flowers in the yard :)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy vases

Happy vases 1, acrylic 23 x 18 cm

Happy vases 2, acrylic 23 x 18 cm
The stress at work has been draining my energy, so I haven't painted much lately. I love these bright little vases. The frosted glass they are made of proved challenging. It wasn't easy to detect the difference in values that light and shade create. I can think of much more interesting compositions with them, so maybe I'll get back to them again later

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Roses on the wall

Roses on the wall, acrylic on canvas 50 x 40 cm (n/a)
Painted from one of my photos from Tuscany last spring. I wanted to make a larger size painting, so I started with a sketch and a study a few weeks ago. Finally yesterday I gathered the courage to start it. And I couldn't stop until it was done.

charcoal sketch 25 x 18 cm

Acrylic study 23 x 15 cm

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Green apple

Yellow and Green, acrylic 23 x 18 cm (n/a)

Red and Green, acrylic 23 x 18 cm

Yellow and Green, watercolor 30 x 23 cm

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Strength in numbers

Strength in numbers, acrylic on canvas panel 22 x 18 cm (n/a)
Acrylics continue to be an interesting challenge for me. It is a bit of a battle with the cheaper paints I'm using. Mostly hues instead of the true pigments, so they are more transparent that they should be. My red is "cadmium red hue" and it is a cool color, so I had to mix it with orange to make it more red. on the other hand I find that if I use more expensive materials while learning, it makes me stiff and the results are not so good.

Red apple, acrylic study on cardboard 22 x 15 cm

Pear, acrylic study on cardboard 22 x 15 cm

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Together, watercolor 30 x 23 cm

Monday, January 30, 2017

Blue Campanula

Campanula pot, watrecolor 40 x 30 cm
I have never been a "long-stem-roses" kind of girl. A small bunch of violets or bellflower  are enough to make me happy. (someone please tell my husband...)
When I started painting this one, I found myself getting lost among the little bells, feeling tempted to see and depict each one of them. Then I thought how I could simplify the mass of little flowers and tried painting it a second time. I took photos at each stage, so here is the step-by-step:
Photo of my Campanula model

1. After a rough drawing, painted the background,
leaving hard edges on the side from where the light comes

2. After drying completely with a blow-dryer, painted
the cast shadows. Carried these also into the shaded part
of the objects and softened the edges there

3. Painted the flowers as a purple cloud of varying colors,
focusing on values - lighter  on the left and much darker
on the right and bottom. Tried to hint the shapes of
individual flowers at the edges. Also painted the pot.

Campanula pot 2, watercolor 30 x 22 cm

4. The last stage was details - green stems and leaves,
the ribbon, some details of the pot wrapping

And then I had to try it in Acrylic:
Blue Campanula, acrylic on canvas board, 23 x 18 cm (7" x 9 ") (n/a)

Monday, January 23, 2017

An apple a day

Apples and pear, watercolor 30 x 23 cm
As I am vary new to acrylics, I need to learn about some basic techniques. So, I got a couple of new books -  one is a very detailed guide in acrylics. The other, Carol Marine's "Daily Painting", an inspiring book with tons of loosely painted pictures and full of good advice. It reminded me of the 10-minute exercise, which I had tried before with watercolor. So, I quickly fixed up a light box, took a stop-watch and there you go...

Painting acrylic studies of an apple
10 minute apples, acrylic study

10 minute pears, acrylic study

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Coffee time

Coffee time, watercolor 23 x 30 cm

Coffee time, acrylic on canvas board 30 x 23 cm

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Still lifes

Black pepper, acrylic on canvas board  30 x 22 cm
I have been having fun, painting almost every day since Christmas. I've managed to find at least an hour daily, and this gives me so much satisfaction.
I decided to challenge myself with acrylics and quite liked the results. The opaque paints seem to make things much easier. Although I didn't do any pencil drawing, like I did for the watercolors, the objects came out pretty good. Maybe, just knowing that I can correct mistakes, gives me confidence, and there are no mistakes. Also, painting with acrylics seems much more intuitive. I can paint the objects, as they appear in space, starting from the furthest. Watercolors require a much more abstract view of the scene, in terms of areas of values and colors, instead of objects and planes.

Black pepper, watercolor 30 x 22 cm

Still life with onion, acrylic on canvas board 30 x 22 cm

Vases, watercolor 30 x 22 cm
Yellow jug, acrylic on canvas 25 x 20 cm

Monday, January 2, 2017

At sunset

Happy New Year!
Let's hope that despite the odds the year will be calm and prosperous.

Arno at sunset, watercolor 40 x 30 cm
During these holidays I spent quite a lot of time with my brushes, trying to regain the happy feeling of creative work. After a long break painting didn't come natural. My Muse was sitting in the corner pouting. She complained that I've been ignoring her for too long. OK, OK, I'll give her time to come around, no promises though... 

Sunset over the city, watercolor 40 x 30 cm