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Weekend painting tips to enjoy summer creativity

Some fine art tips, especially for beginners in acrylic painting can be always useful because many people have time and opportunity to do something about their creative intentions during the summer vacation. I will also answer some frequently asked questions. I have attached the demo art from many recent art classes and workshops.

People quite often ask: how do I know if art classes are for me? Well, there are no guaranties that you are going to become an artist or that you will sell your paintings right away. Nobody knows if you will have enough patience and perseverance to continue either on your own or in a group. Anything artistic and creative loves practice, and only doing and repeating what one just has learned will give noticeable and later remarkable results.

I suppose, sometimes people have too high expectations when they come to the 3-hour fun painting workshop, and in general, one has to be a realist to some extent: if the participant has never painted before or has done some small bit of painting 20 or more years ago, the first painting will be an interesting exercise which helps understanding what that exactly means to paint with a brush and to try mixing up colors so that the created image can match our imagination, but I would not advise to expect it to be a perfection and best art ever created. Who gets better when just picking up painting? People who are able to take risks, to experiment and who dare to step out of their comfort zone.

Signing up for a painting class does not mean that painting will paint itself.

The instructor is not a magician, but somebody who can explain, show, demonstrate and here and there correct if something does not happen or goes completely wrong. Live classes are much better than any online classes because I can see right away what is causing a problem: too much paint, too less paint, too dry or wet brush and so on. We are painting not only with brushstrokes, palette knives and sponges, but also with hand pressure, heavy or light movement of the hand, arm or wrist. Application of paint is a big deal and that is something which is done best in the presence of an instructor. I usually would explain why the particular image or composition is good or isn’t, why the particular choice of color works or doesn’t.

Some tips for beginning artists:

Whenever you have time and chance, tone your canvas in a light cardboard color using burnt sienna, yellow ochre and white. Instead of white, we can use gesso, as well. Acrylic gesso is acrylic primer, it seals the pores on canvas or any other material you would like to paint on, that includes wood panels, plastic and similar stuff. It allows using less paint and it is easier to apply it.

Think in layers, separate in your imagination the part which is behind and underneath, in order not to apply any small details right away. I’m often seeing how everybody tends to move to fine details way too quickly, well before the entire scene is worked out.

We always start from the back and with the background. Unless there is a large very light part, we have to start with dark shades and medium darks. That seems to be the most difficult part to convince the beginners that we do not put right away the final color, but we build it up.

There is a big difference between applying color and building it up. The further we are in the painting the closer to the front part we move. That is a bit different with separate objects like in still life or floral painting. However, we always start with more general things and just afterwards move to particular parts and details. In oil or acrylic, we always go from dark to light and finish up with small areas of highlights. If we have lost the dark parts, we have re-establish them.

Always use the brush which feels the most comfortable for the part of painting you are dealing with. It is difficult to draw fine lines with a huge brush and vice versa: it takes too long to cover large are with a tiny brush. Over time, every artist develops some kind of attraction to a certain brush whether flat, fan brush or round. It is very possible to paint the entire medium size acrylic painting with a medium size flat brush from start to finish.

We should never try to get violently something on canvas if this doesn’t happen. As with all water-based mediums, timing is an important part of acrylic painting. We should always use large loose brush strokes for first layers and keep the textured impasto approach for the most important areas and for the end, unless you are using the texture medium or modelling paste, then the sequence will be different.

Whenever we move from one color to another, we have to rinse the brush and swipe it on a paper towel. It is important not to have too much water on a brush before you get the paint.

Acrylic paint darkens as it dries, therefore, the values might appear not as they are while the paint is wet. Extenders and flow medium can extend the working time, however, working with sticky paint may be not suitable for all areas, therefore, it is better to work on segments and also use spray bottle to spray some water over painting time to time. That has to a controlled amount of water, unless you’d like the paint to run and create its own patterns.

Brushes always must be left in water until we can rinse them under running warm water and wash with soap.

If the object or scene is very complex, it is great to paint the main parts just in one color: create a monochromatic base image. Changing and adding color is very easy, the most difficult part is achieving the right values: intensity, light and dark proportion.

If you think that some painting is not good enough and it is not worth trying to make it right, you can cover the entire canvas (previous painting) with a mix of gesso and some colors and start a new painting. The small imprints from old painting lines will add more texture, they most often look interesting and you can build up a thicker layer above the basic layers.

It takes a lot to damage an acrylic painting completely since you can paint it over for as many times as you wish and have time for (or patience). Being afraid to do something wrong in acrylic painting has no reason: you can correct practically anything. It will take more work, time and paint, that’s all.

Summer acrylic paintings flower meadow 1

3-hour workshop painting demo of summer flower meadow

Spring road acrylic painting for adult painting class

We were painting the spring road with Wednesday class

Spring road 2, Fun and pleasure workshop painting

Spring road 2, 3-hour Fun and pleasure workshop painting

White daisies Workshop painting

White daisies 3-hour Fun and pleasure Workshop painting demo

Summer flower fields, acrylic painting

Summer flower fields, acrylic painting which we were doing during the last 3-hour Fun and pleasure painting workshop

Wild flower fields, acrylic painting

Wild flower fields, acrylic painting which we were doing during another 3-hour Saturday workshop

Poppy field, acrylic painting

We are quite often painting poppies during classes and workshops because everybody loves them and they are very easy

Birches and bluebells, acrylic painting

Small birches and bluebells we were painting during the last 3 adult acrylic painting classes

True colors of wildflower fields

True colors of wildflower fields: trying to get a good picture

One thing which is very difficult for me is the inability to capture the exact look of the painting when taking a photo. Well, I never have time enough, and the lighting is not that great, as well. To see the real colors I had to take some pics where paintings are in an angle.

True colors of daisies, acrylic painting photos

True colors of daisies, acrylic painting photos

More painting details

More painting details

The correct angle to capture the real color

The correct angle to capture the real color

Happy summer painting!

Please check out my new Life School blog!

Backyard strawberries

I finally started my new Life School blog!

I hoped some of the followers of this blog would in reality click on the link.

Please have a look, and I hope you will like it and possibly follow:

http://inesepogalifeschool.com/

It’s brand new, so there’s is just the intro page and the first post:

http://inesepogalifeschool.com/2015/06/15/hello-world/

backyard flowers

Ode to perseverance and how to overcome I cannot

Life is always full with something, and we are mostly busy, sometimes with the most beautiful things and events, sometimes with terrible, annoying issues. We simply deal with that, and not everybody has the courage to take some time for them and to spend it as they wish. We often hear: oh, I cannot attend your event because there’s too much on my plate at the moment. I cannot participate because I simply don’t have time. I cannot do this because I’m too tired after work. I’m too sick to paint and create. There are billions of excuses, and behind “I cannot” is quite often hiding: I don’t seriously want it. I am not willing to make a commitment. I am not sure if I want anything at all. It is so much better to do nothing, to stare at a screen, to watch other lives unfold and get complicated. It is so much easier to let everything just flow by and to go with the stream. The power of doing nothing is great! It is huge and it can take us over with ease.

Who doesn’t know moments of emptiness, moments of weakness, and moments of a complete exhaustion: mental and physical? That is life, and unfortunately, nothing and nobody can prevent such moments from happening. I know this so well: it can be abnormally tough at times to resist the tiredness and pain. Well, we have two choices: feel sorry and cry or stand up and get going.

I am for those who make everything happen. I am with those who fight their own moods, pain and helplessness. We have a fantastic tool to make our life better: it is the self-improvement. Step by step, one move at a time.

Therefore, I feel extremely blessed that my art and painting classes have brought me together with such sincere, honest and creative people. It is very simple to take a brush and swipe it over canvas. Play is attractive. How about when we want something more? Not only spots and splashes, but something way exceeding basics?

Creativity and self-improvement are both: rewarding and demanding. Rewarding all the way through the discoveries and confusion, giving back things which we never even expected; and demanding because we cannot give up our efforts by facing the first difficulties. Self-improvement requires perseverance, a strong spinal cord and ability to go against the wind. I suppose, life is generous mostly to those who dare. Dare to overcome at least their own resistance and remove the internal brakes.

I would not call the participants of the Wednesday group students anymore. Some of them have become established artists after attending my classes, and I am really proud of that because I care how my students are doing and they try to do their best. I am sometimes telling them: you don’t even need any classes any longer. They answer: we love the group and the atmosphere, and we still appreciate the advice. The Wednesday class takes a break now. We are meeting closer to the fall again. However, the question that surprises me most is: how do these really busy people always find the time not to skip any single class? Well, the secret must be unsophisticated: we always can find time for things we love. I would like to thank all my long-term creative friends and participants of these painting classes. Keep your brushes wet!

I am attaching some pictures from the recent painting class which was the last this spring/summer.

Adult painting class Birch painting

Sarah joined the group just recently

adult painting class LIz working at her masterwork

Liz working at her masterwork

adult painting class Amanda has developed a very interesting style

Amanda has developed a very interesting style

adult painting class Gordon is a musician and artist

Gordon is a musician and artist

adult painting class Bev's birch painting

Bev’s birch painting: she is one of those who keep attending art classes regardless of anything

adult painting class Classroom

Birches and bluebells: nice and extremely simple scene!

adult painting class Birch demo

The picture of the demo didn’t come out too clear, but it is visible

Adult painting class Whitby Ontario

Nice mood and lots of fun

adult painting class Liz paints with passion and no wonder she sells her paintings

Liz paints with passion and no wonder she sells her paintings

adult painting class new artists are welcome

The last spring/summer Wednesday class: see you all in September!

Take a moment and paint it

The blooming outdoors was and still is taking our breath away. Endless cloud of fragrances and all colors of the rainbow: how not to love this spring time? I think, I only live in spring. Summer brings its pleasure, too, but I’m already concerned in the fall because that means the dreadful winter is not far away. That’s just how I am, a spring and sun person.

I was so upset that my health decided to give me hard times exactly when everything just asks to be painted. Well, up to today, I didn’t get done much and kept everything to minimum, that unfortunately included posting, as well. Things seem to be easing up, so I’m quite hopeful that the improvement will finally start. I’m using that expensive pills at the moment that I pretty much should be skipping other stuff like the daily bread.

Even though struggles were inevitable, we managed to get done something very useful in the studio. The regular Wednesday class was painting wildflowers and so did the Saturday Fun and Pleasure acrylic painting event participants.

I had big difficulties with picture-taking because I don’t have filters that make a photographed acrylic or oil painting look nice, but nevertheless I took quite a few. I will let these pictures speak for me this time. Nothing makes me happier than people who are so satisfied with life just because they have wonderful time painting.

Some pictures are of my painting and some are from the painting in the studio: adults and young people. Just like always, for some of them these were the first paintings ever.

Please accept these unpretentious flowers

How did flowers evolve?

From happiness.

What gave them their fragrance?

Love.

I hope all moms received plenty of flowers today. They are a thing of enormous beauty, and they can say everything without words, just like art.

I also hope you are showing your love to your mom while there is still time enough, and you are not too late with your “I love you mom!”

It is so easy to love a small child; it takes more than superficial attraction to love genuinely very old people. To understand them and to appreciate, and to be grateful they are with us. Moms of people who belong to my generation are getting close to 90.

Thankfully, my mom is still doing lots of good things, sewing and gardening, not to mention small daily stuff like dishwashing, or cleaning. She loves flowers, so I sent her some, although, the Ocean is between us, that cannot stop us from exchanging some words on the phone or over Skype. The distance has the ability to make things clearer and more valuable. Simple words can get a new meaning.

Well, I was not very productive recently, but I have made some watercolors for cards, something unsophisticated, but sincere.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom, grandmother and great grandmother! I hope your kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren are blessings to you.

Pansies for Mother's Day

Please accept these unpretentious flowers as small thank you for everything you are to your children!

To find a bit of lasting happiness

Well, some of you probably noticed, I wasn’t posting for almost 2 weeks. Quite a while, but I obviously was busy, and the art blog starts to put a bit of pressure on me because I love inserting illustrations, but don’t have them ready sometimes.

It was a fairly important date last week: my studio-gallery has been 5 years at its current location, in Whitby, Ontario. It was the 5th anniversary since I started Art plus Life. Wondering where is … plus life? The other blog will come soon.

Although, I didn’t think it was a very remarkable date at first, as I scrolled through all pictures (I have many thousands of them), I could see that there has been huge progress, in fact, and a lot has been achieved and done during these 5 years.

I will not try to comment on all pictures, but since I thought seeing was more than telling, here we go: please have a look at the retrospective pictures gallery.

I started out with one student. I had 2 students after a week, and some more joined after a month. Wednesday class was the first one to become regular once a week class, with small interruptions it has been running since fall 2012. Teens Tuesday class was on since March 2012, as well. I started to hold Saturday workshops only about 8 months ago, it proved to be useful thing, so these will continue next September.

I look at these pictures, and it is hard to describe the mixed feelings: sort of satisfaction, sort of so much work in preparation, and lots of happiness, I have to admit. When most people come to this studio, they start from zero, since they have never drawn or painted before. We learn about paints, colors, brushes, papers and canvasses. I have been watching many talents unfolding and I have seen many depressed, exhausted and desperate persons turning into happy ones.

The Wednesday group feels like a family, we’ve been together for a long time. Diana used to be in this group, as well, but her life made a jump, and so we regretfully are not seeing her. Well, we welcome new students all the time, and the most incorrect assumption one can have is this one: painting and drawing is for those who want to be artists. Not at all! It is for everybody, to find peace, to rejoin with their soul, to spend great time, to make a good use of days when the weather is bad, to conquer addictions, to overcome fear and lack of confidence, to find a bit of happiness.

 

I have been working on my creeks which students already got done, and the brown cottage is our current project.

Recent art projects for adult painting classes

It’s clear that we are excited about blue at the moment.

Recent works in progress

To put some nice accent on this round date: 5 years, a show, sale and hands-on event follows in June 6 and 7.

 

To praise the divine, to overcome the dullness of routine

By far, my life hasn’t been a fairy-tale, but rather continuous attempt to prove that our powers exceed the known limits we have put ourselves within.  I believe that talk solves nothing. I am deeply convinced that too much fake positivism and superficial “everything is fine” statements can actually cause harm. When our intentions remain only as to-do-lists, there is no result. There is huge gap between the real action and intent.

We often hear that life is not fair. Well, life as such is fair and fine, it is humans who make things become unfair and unfavorable for others.

Therefore, I wish there was much less pretending that everything is fine and much more doing in order it was like that.

For me, praising the divine does not mean unstoppable talking about it. That means bringing the beauty to people and making them understand how little, in fact, we need to experience the most valuable things on this Earth. There would be much less suffering if one day we had opened our eyes and started calling things their correct names. Becoming realistic is not a bad start.

The daily routine is absorbing plenty of time and taking large amounts of energy. People who are not rich have to deal with this whether they are happy with it or not.  Even though, I could do so many useful and exciting things instead of cleaning up and washing dishes or cooking, that is not going to change. I do everything fast, and I have a prevention system in place: to avoid general cleaning, I do not allow any dirt or messes to accumulate. I spend 12 hours or more a day quite often on medical writing. That is the job I make my living with. I wish I earned my living with teaching and doing art, but that is a bit of unreal idea at the moment.

The other energy drainer is my health conditions. Thankfully, I have a huge medical knowledge, so I can realistically access my options. I deal with that, too, as good as I can, and I do not pretend these conditions are going away or disappearing, because they are not. Not all wounds can be healed with good intentions and positive attitude: some take surgeries and some take long treatments. However, I refuse to be completely limited or defined by these conditions. Whining or crying is not going to help, so I am a realist and I am setting for me reasonable goals. This does not mean having a negative attitude; this is just honestly evaluating the situation and having it under control.

I have inherited love to the nature and all Gods creations from my great grandparents, grandparents and my parents. I strongly believe that family either makes one creative and resourceful or completely ignores this necessity by not appreciating the great experiences and benefits creativity has to offer, although, this does not always mean any financial benefits. I am genuinely thankful I have all skills and knowledge to dress myself, sew and design my clothes and outfits, to grow my own garden plants , flowers and vegetables, to cook fantastic meals with little efforts, to decorate my living space and create all necessary items for that and so on and so forth. This is all because of my family. Somebody might call me workaholic, but I hate simply sitting around and doing nothing. I cannot recall any single episode of my childhood or earlier years when I had to admit I was bored. I was always busy. Trying to make something from nothing. That is a great way to, a great way to live since I am seeing some opportunity just about everywhere.

Spring flowers for greeting cards

I am sending flowers to my mom every time whenever there is some important day or some celebration because I know she appreciates and loves them. We are far away, the Ocean is between us, but we can talk on Skype. My husband gives me flowers on every occasion, not only when there’s a celebration or birthday, but just for pleasure, as well. I have always fresh flowers around me, many are potted. I believe he does this because he knows how I am talking to plants and how much I enjoy them. They respond with adorable blooms and never-ending beauty.

Apple blossoms and butterflies for greeting cards

I feel that my duty is to teach other people to enjoy things which are not that costly, but rather a true source of happiness, pleasure and satisfaction. It would be tough going through life without art and beauty. The importance of brain fitness is completely ignored, but I am trying to make everybody aware how this can be achieved with simple sketching and drawing on a daily basis. If one can escape the age related dementia and loss of brain functionality just doing some visual art exercises, why don’t they do that? That’s a good question because physical body is always put first and mental and spiritual well-being is supposed to occur automatically which is absolutely and totally wrong.

I hope I’m doing my part and creating art pieces for our eyes to enjoy. To me, this means praising the divine every single moment not only in words, but with doing.

Robin nest Easter card

Robins nest: a greeting card, poster, art print, and wall art

Spring art prints flower wall art

View on the table of my paintings, originals are 16 x 12 inches each

Wall art for spring decoration

I struggled a lot to get the right colors on photos, some came out ok, some not that much

Butterflies and birds spring watercolor paintings

These are the new images for spring cards, Mother’s Day cards and cheerful prints to decorate our living space for warmer and lighter season. They look excellent as pillows, too, I cannot enjoy enough. Everything is available through Fine Art America at very moderate prices (link on the right side).

Pink rose watercolor painting Orange rose watercolor painting

Apple blossoms and butterfliesSpring tulips

Happy Easter and sunny spring for those who do not celebrate Easter!

Million shades of everything: experiment!

When somebody wants to try painting, they usually are not very excited about getting lots of materials. However, some people would like to have their own paints, at least some of them in order to work on sketches or perfect the scenes we have done during workshops.

Acrylic color mixing art classes for beginners

Did you know that using just ultramarine blue, primary magenta, cadmium yellow medium and titanium white, it is possible to mix up quite a few thousands of shades, and these mixes are pretty much unlimited taking into account how slight change in proportion would alter the color? We don’t usually use only premixed colors or paints straight from the tube. Everybody is aware that yellow plus blue allows mixing up greens, and red plus blue creates purple shades.

Acrylic color mixing art classes for adults

Adding yellow to different shades of blue and red causes the graying effect and results in fantastic variations of neutrals. Why do we need grey shades and background neutrals? Well, they make other colors shine. We don’t have to always paint sunsets in order to observe how yellow shines on a grey-blue or purple, but we often need those fairly saturated neutrals to build up some scene or object. They also give all objects more substance.

Acrylic color mixing experiment

One can have color charts and theory books and check out all available information on color mixing, yet not manage it when it comes to painting. How so? We know many things in theory. Quite a lot of them, but when it comes to applying the theoretical knowledge in practice, everything is completely different. I’ve observed the following: we just discussed some approach or principle, and we are now about to use what we learned about it practically. What happens? Nothing. Theoretical knowledge without decent amount of practicing is worth zero.

Acrylic color mixing Spring paintings

We were doing a lot of spring scenes, roads and fences recently.

Acrylic color mixing workshop image

This is the image we got done within 3 hours.

I slightly adjusted it later, mainly trees.

Acrylic color mixing workshop Spring scene

Painting, drawing, singing, dancing, playing an instrument and similar can be only taught by explaining, showing and demonstrating. Plus theory which many people assume the most important part and that is not true. The rest is up to that person who wants to acquire new skills or ideas. Because they will have to do this on their own: they will have to use what they just saw or heard about practically, and they will be moving brush and adding colors. It is a great exercise for decision-making: we have to make a decision every second or even more frequently.

I’m always encouraging students to experiment. Experimenting and exploring is the key to knowledge. Why? There is never only one correct way of painting or drawing something. In fact, there are thousands of ways when we are trying to get similar results. Let’s take for example video tutorials. How to paint trees? How to paint clouds? How to paint forest? The answer is: whatever way you find it suitable for you because these tutorials will show how to paint trees according to X, or clouds as Y is seeing and perceiving them, and forest in a manner of Z, but A might consider such trees incorrect, and B will tell you that nobody should paint clouds like Y was doing them. If video material gives you push and you’re trying to figure it out after watching how effortlessly somebody has done it, fine. However, when you are one on one with brush and paints, things are not the same. The more paint colors you have, the more confused you might become. Well, many color mixes yield very close colors, especially in acrylic where everything will be much darker after it dries.

Do not allow anybody to steal the pleasure of discovery from you! Some people are very insecure initially since they believe they don’t know enough about painting to paint. Well, that’s just wrong. There are artists who have more experience, but nobody knows everything about everything. The other matter is that we develop our mastery and build experience only when we take creative risks and dare to explore and experiment. Therefore, experiment, experiment, experiment! It is good to ask a question when something is not happening the way you expected, but there is no need to check every single move on the internet and perform major search just because you are not sure whether to use blue-green or yellow-green on some spot. Do it your own way, it might take longer, but all efforts will pay off when you’ll have painted exactly what you were trying to.

These images show my efforts trying to take a decent picture of a wet painting in a poorly lightened room.

Acrylic color mixing Road to Spring

However, I quite liked two of these not ready for a website images:

Acrylic color mixing Spring scene

This has reflection because it was too wet.

Acrylic color mixing Spring painting

This came out darker than in reality

It is much better to have your own painting on the wall than some print. Print is a print, it will never have the energy of an original, therefore it makes sense to frame also kids art because it has that special touch. Does our art have to be perfect? We can certainly try to get to that stage, but absolutely flawless and impressive art is extremely rare. It sometimes happens, obviously not with every single piece. I’m doing this all the time: just working towards one great picture which will be the best ever.

Two major errors are these: beginners try to paint with hardly any paint, with a tiny droplet of it. In acrylic that means, it dries out almost instantly.

Acrylic paintings art classes for teens

The small poppies, just a 15 minute exercise, looks good on the wall, not that great as a picture.

Second: beginning artists always pay attention to color and most often absolutely no attention to value. We can change color in a second, but for any painting we need some kind of values placed accordingly to our plans. Therefore: experiment! So that you can meet the spring in nicely decorated house and use your own paintings for that purpose.

Road to spring acrylic painting by Inese Poga

Finally got a better picture which looks more than the real painting.

Is too much knowledge preventing you from getting started with something?

I’ve noticed when observing all kinds of students of different ages when they are about to pick up some new skill or try to do something they haven’t been trying before: too much preparation can result in never getting started with anything.

Children usually are very successful with absolutely new stuff: they don’t try to over-prepare and don’t try to collect all possible and imaginable tools and references in order to get started. That has been the case with anything in my very long teaching career: it was the same when I was teaching German language and literature, or Latvian, or design, or art.

We are flooded with huge amounts of information: every second, every minute when we have turned on TV or are sitting at computer, or are checking out our phone. This information can be related or totally unrelated, true or false, meaningless or crucial to whatever we are doing and we are supposed to absorb at least some of it. Should we? To some extent we obviously should be aware of what’s going on and do research when we are exploring something, learning something or trying to figure things out.

However, with so many sources and with such infinite amounts of advice, we most likely will feel rather lost.

This refers very directly to drawing, painting and any other creative activity. I know people who would not start drawing or painting because they assume they don’t know everything about it. They are trying to get ready for this activity, to learn “the basics”, to explore techniques and mediums in order to decide what exactly is that they’d like. Many of them never get to any drawing or painting. Why? There are millions of different techniques, approaches and ways to do that.

How it is then possible to find out whether painting is what one wants to do? Extremely simple: give it a try. Nobody knows everything about anything. We can follow hundreds of websites, we can watch thousands of “how to” videos and read endless articles or books about painting. There’s lots of advice out there, and some of that is even useful for us in particular, but most of it will not promote one’s start-up in art. Why not? We have to do before we can decide if we like that or not. Only those who get their hands on that something can hope to get something done.

Other good feature of students who don’t have too much knowledge is that they have no fear. They are not afraid to damage paper or canvas and they fearlessly apply courageous strokes of paint or put down lines on paper. That results in a good or satisfactory first painting. They do not think it is some kind of superb masterpiece but realistically evaluate it, try to understand what went wrong or didn’t come out as expected, and so they can keep improving themselves with the next painting. The knowledge comes through doing and that is the only way to gain experience. Experience is an excellent building block of mastery.

This is how hands-on activities are contributing to fast development of any skill: you see it happening and you try it immediately. Something went wrong: try it again. Watching other people doing and showing things can give us an idea about how we should proceed, but until we haven’t tried it out for real, we will never know how exactly it is done. We can learn all kinds of composition and color theories, but when the paint dries out fast and when the brush is moving, there’s no time to recall all lectures and articles. The way we can make our own color theory happen is to mix, to test, to check and to apply paint. This might take some time until the brain remembers what hands were doing and how this was matching our creative intentions, but eventually we will have it: our own elaborated theory on anything.

The first steps are the most difficult. Those who are afraid to get wet won’t ever learn swimming.

It will be interesting to compare some of these first works with art they’ll be doing in a year or two.

 

Gallery

The irreversibility of our life and pleasurable projects in pink

There is no “undo” command in our life. This makes everything we pursue, experience or achieve absolutely irreversible. Everything is a small moment, frozen in time. As I’m typing these words or you’re reading them, the past washes this second away and puts it in the big folder of our lifetime’s history. The cold sunrays of this disappearing day are pouring over the nearby rooftops and higher tree branches. This creates an illusion of warmth in the air. Yet, it is an illusion: as the quiet stream of twilight starts streaming in, we will find ourselves in even colder conditions, minus thirty or so.   How does this relate to pink projects? Very simple: when the environment is unfriendly, we should try doing something pleasant. Pleasant for me is drawing and painting something which takes me far away from this cold winter day and places in surroundings where I’d love to be. No tears, no regrets, no lost hopes: this is an easy mental transformation into a feeling-better-myself. We actually did similar project in the classroom. One project was all about yellow and orange, and the other was blooms and pink. These projects can be done by absolutely everybody whether they have any experience or not: they are as unsophisticated as one, two, three. Blossoms in pink watercolor project One: choose the reference image and draw the main lines with pencil or do a drawing from memory. Apple blossoms drawing Two: draw over lines which appear as being the most suitable with a black pen. Black ink can be used, as well, if somebody has it readily available. Apple blossoms drawing for art class Three: follow the reference image and your own feelings and apply colors which seem to you most fitting the drawing: one leaf or one petal at a time starting with light shades and going over in some spots with more intense color. Wash out connection lines with pure water. Drawings which do not look perfect at all become extremely beautiful with this approach. Pen and watercolor apple blossoms We were applying various shades of simply yellow, red, crimson red and dark red with blue. Apple blossoms pen and watercolor illustration These projects took us about 3 hours in total. Pink rose in watercolor, botanical illustration The rose was done in similar way, just skipping the black outline part. I had taken very many pictures during the last few weeks, but the flow of my time was so rapid, that I did not get a chance to share anything yet. I will have to post students’ works separately because there are quite a few. Pink blossoms: watercolor project for teens and adults It is amazing how it was impossible to get the correct colors in picture, so I took some photos just to compare with these paintings in context of surrounding environment, and they look much closer to how they are in reality. Just one more thing:  everybody can draw and paint and, therefore, create for themselves a beautiful rescue place from different troubles and hardships. However, we have to learn seeing things at first. This is almost like developing a much better perception of the surrounding world. We are used to see everything just walking by and running over. Now, it is time to stop and start noticing every line, every shade and later take a distance from it. That is the moment when we can put it on paper or canvas. Glue and watercolor cards We also created some three-dimensional, very quick glue and watercolor cards. They were effortless and fun to make, still look very nice. Hearts and red berries: glue and watercolor The instant internet presence in any move we make has also led people to slightly wrong understanding of being: everybody is comparing oneself to and competing with somebody else. I was reading the other day how one blogger felt unhappy because he thought his blog would be the best (how is that even possible, like generally the best?). Many people feel the same way when they try to express themselves artistically. The truth is: do it for yourself and your loved ones first and later you will see where this initiative or passion takes you. Mass media wants that: look at this and realize what you cannot. That is just so misleading, and it is also the wrong reason to become upset or unsatisfied, thus, giving up some nice thing which one has just started. Watercolor rose and apple blossoms: watercolor for teens and adults I’m also sending prayers to everybody who is on the road in bad weather conditions or those who need warmth. May you get home safe or find a cozy shelter.

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