The magic attraction of drawing and making time disappear with watercolors

Drawing and painting takes time, and I was recently short of it. However, we created sketches from real fruits in our watercolor class, we did large-scale reference drawing for our still life painting and we are also about to finish the chickadees and birch painting in the evening class.

I regret seeing how few people actually decide to engage in drawing and sketching because it is the perfect thing to get carried away by when it is not that pleasant outdoors. As many of you know, my health is very far from good, so, I’m using drawing and painting to a big extent as a part of my art therapy. It has good results!

I paint and create some drawing even when I cannot do anything else, when pain gets that bad that it prevents me from walking and standing. I paint and do drawing when I feel desperate, disappointed with the reality of life and when I am completely depressed because of strong medications which make me cry for hours and see no point in anything. It can be a bit difficult to get started, bet when I overcome the resistance, what a pleasure that is! I don’t always care how great the painting or drawing is or how perfect the color combinations are. Art is so fulfilling that I cannot compare this with anything else. Drawing and painting cures.

One set-up of still life which resulted in reference drawing to be used for creation of a painting

Watching different students getting started with their first drawing or painting certainly brings up some thoughts. When I have people with the attitude: I came to the class and teach me now, it can be tough. Teaching is only a part of the entire process, and whether somebody will achieve what they came to the class for, will definitely depend on their willingness to get engaged in the process of creation. Since it is a process and something ongoing with a potential of being developed endlessly, it would be silly to expect mastery within a few hours. Therefore, I really appreciate the students who enter my studio with open mind and heart and who want to see this as an exploration of our abilities, as an experiment in our capabilities and as an enjoyable learning experience.

Drawing still life: pen and watercolor sketch

First steps in still life painting is following the drawing and sketch: we did a very light line drawing and began to apply some paint

This is just the first half, but we will finish this painting during the next class

When we look at online, offline and otherwise prepared materials for somebody to get involved in drawing and painting, I must say nothing can replace the live interaction and face-to-face classes. Why? Because I can see right away what’s causing some problem: too much water, too dry paper, too less paint, too much paint, bad quality paper, brush or paint. When it comes to watercolors, everything matters, yet, the quality of paper is crucial to achieve anything. I always use the same paper that I give my students which is large size, between 16 x 18 in, and this time it was 18 x 24 inches. I have seen over the years how tiny and small paper prevents one from getting done good art. If paper is too small to see and perceive, it will be definitely too difficult to apply paint on it. Let’s just say if you are watching somebody painting online and you do not have a very thick, heavy and good quality paper, you can kill yourself, but you simply won’t achieve what they are showing you. Saving on paper is a mistake because thin paper won’t allow to lift paint and use multiple washes, as well as, to try other techniques. My students are using paints made in St. Petersburg from real pigments. The difference in transparency and ease of application is huge. Once again, with bad paints, you won’t have the same results and transparency.

Chickadees and birches project which we did in Tuesday night class, it is ready for sale, too, and I will upload it on Fine Art America site to get cards, prints, canvas prints, tote bags, phone case and pillows with this image, original is 18 x 24 inches

I am somebody who loves drawing, therefore, I’m also teaching to draw from real life, not photos whenever possible. I believe that drawing from real  subjects results in the best art because it gives one an absolute freedom of interpretation.

I am somebody who was born with the ability to draw and create a drawing from real or live subjects and set-ups. I am simply good at it.

Link to my drawing and painting classes:

Well, there are lots of unfinished paintings,, lots of drawing I still want to do, just like always, but I hope following my advice more people will pick up pencils and brushes and get engaged in drawing and painting. There is simply nothing like it. It doesn’t ask one to be in a good shape or to be dressed up and look perfect, it doesn’t even require being in a good mood. That comes as an additional benefit along the way. I’m also seeing art as a tool to cure addictions and prevent from falling back into addictions because it has such a huge power. Have a great week full of art!

59 Replies to “The magic attraction of drawing and making time disappear with watercolors”

    1. Thanks Susan! There hasn’t been any single day during the last 25 years without pain, and I sort of have learned to live with it. My other work is doing the medical stuff and it’s sitting at computer, so art is definitely the best way to escape the tough reality. I so much appreciate you read the article and stopped by! Have a great week!

  1. I really enjoy seeing the work as it progresses through to completion, as it’s such a mystery to me how it all comes together. Thanks for sharing. I know just what you mean about escaping in your art. Writing is my escape – don’t know what I’d do without it.

    1. Thanks for your nice comment! It’s nice it feels like there’s some mystery involved. I wish I had more pure painting or drawing time, but it’s mostly rush. I agree so much that we all need a place to escape the reality, and creative things like writing or painting are really well suited for this purpose.

        1. It’s good, definitely. I have had the same feelings as long as I live, I didn’t ever like February, I have even a poem in Latvian about how much I cannot stand it. So, that’s probably a small revenge. LOL. It’s just the confusion and insecurity, all that stuff because things usually fall apart, and the weather isn’t supportive either.

        2. Especially, May, June, July could be even longer. Well, March is not that pleasant month here, as well, but at least, there’s that feeling it shouldn’t be too far from real spring. I haven’t had any vacations for many years, but I can see how much that helps and makes winter shorter. I mean, especially going away in February.

        3. A friend of mine moved with her family to NZ. Her birthday is in January. Can you imagine her joy when she realised that she has got a summer birthday now 🙂 What a lovely bonus.

        4. We shouldn’t, but this time it’s more about me because my daughter takes things easy, she’s somebody who never gives up, I think we have this quality in common. She’s 36 and I’m 57, so I should generate more good news, shouldn’t I? It’s so that I’ve been so slow and I need to speed up everything.

        5. Right, so we have to take about this. The good thing is days are longer, I have more light. Whenever I want to do something whether painting, drawing, sewing or even taking photos from my paintings and still lives, I need real day light. I find that any artificial light changes the properties of paint color. Large watercolors are ok, their colors change not that much, but when it comes to acrylic, small watercolor and pastel, I cannot do anything without real daylight.

        6. I’m in Ontario, at Ontario lake, Whitby, which is a small bit East from Toronto, and New York is just across the lake on the USA side. We are sometimes driving to Chicago or New York. I would never want to be in the arctic zone, not me. Latvia also had winters, but the weather has been rather mild during the recent years over there. I’m in Canada, my husband is here with me, but all the rest of family, including my daughter, grandsons (17 and 12), my mom and my sister with her family, everybody is in Latvia. I used to go to Germany frequently because it was close and I speak German at a native level, too.

        7. At least, you have your husband. I will post some pictures from Latvia soon. I was there in 2013. I have some relatives left, but we are not super close. I am in touch with my Dad’s cousin who is 70-something herself. The life is shrinking fast.

        8. Oh, I’m going to Latvia every fall, flights are not that much at that time, and I have to because my mom is almost 86. 2013 was my daughter’s wedding, 2014 I cannot remember why it was important to go and last year I was teaching a bit people with University education. I have lots of Master’s degrees, too, I’m just not able to get things moving here. Partially because I’m not feeling well most of the time and partially because I have accepted my inert state and I’m not that active as I always used to be. I regret health getting worse here and there, it is so limiting. Well, you have some relatives over there, so you must have found a good life abroad. Is it England? I sort of got that impression, but maybe I’m wrong.
          Who else I have? I have my former students scattered all over the planet. Quite a few are in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and one is even in Australia. Some are in the USA, I don’t know any who are in Canada. It’s nice when guys who are in their 30s and 40s still send nice thank-you letters and notes. That is nice.
          Latvian population is decreasing because of many things. Life’s become difficult, not enough work, not enough support for elderly, many medical facilities and schools are closing down since too few students. However, Latvia is an extremely beautiful place. I wrote in my blog posts about that stuff, it should be every fall and summer some time back. There are pics of Riga and Tukums and other places.

  2. Loved your drawing Inese, and all of your painting talents.. And you are right drawing and sketching to me bring comfort on these damp days of winter just past..
    I have not done as much as I should.. but I do have a pastel to do for my daughter’s partner soon.. of one of their cats.. She has asked me to surprise him for his birthday.. And she has sent me several poses of the cat to choose from..

    Hope all is well with you and at least we now have Spring to look forward to.. Although we are set for snow for the next few days ..
    Love and Blessings your way

    1. Thank you Sue! It was almost like a nice letter!
      Pastels are great for doing cat portraits, so, I have no doubt you will do just fine.
      I’m slow today again. It’s very cold and very stormy, this place cannot be heated enough, therefore, I cannot do much with my hands frozen.
      I agree, we can look forward to having spring soon. I hope it sets in straight after this snow and frost is over. It’s very disappointing to have such cold and nasty weather after a few great sunny days we had. They were soooo promising.
      Well, I hope you get to creative things as soon as it feels right, and I will try, too!
      Sending much love to you also, and I am grateful for such warming up comments!

      1. I am being creative in other ways, but I am in the process of spinning out a tale of just how that came about with the Universe Speaks.. My next post is to be the Universe Listens.. with a follow up of the Universe Delivers 🙂 all very strange LOL…. Hope you get your hands warmed up soon.. The wind has picked up again here, so the snow if it sweeps across us tonight will blow in faster..
        And yes I love drawing and doing pastels of Cats.. 🙂 Lots of Love returned Inese.. xxx

        1. I see, that is great, too. I was just thinking the other day how my life is an example of totally unexpected turns. The Universe is pure energy and some of that gets directly to us. Everything can be expressed as energy whether minus, plus, alive or dead. The Universe is a serious matter and we have to pay more attention what we are sending out of ourselves. It’s tough to control this quite often. I know for sure that those things which I never thought about seriously really came true. When I was teaching at high school back in Latvia, I used to repeat quite often: Oh, I’d love so much to speak all day English. I loved English because my first University degree was in German, and I was sort of bored with speaking just German and Russian as foreign languages. That came true sooner than 2 year period. I was in Canada, although, I never even had been intending to come here. I got married within 4 months, although, I thought I’d never do that again. My life is a pure adventure and lots of terrible disasters. Fairy tale with elements of a horror movie. Isn’t that amazing? I have plenty of material which I am writing here and there. See, my native language is Latvian, and it took me long time to pick up thinking in English, as well. I’m still a bit short of vocabulary when I compare my native language skills with either German or English, but I’m getting better. Thanks again and have a wonderful evening!

        2. You speak English like a native and no one would ever guess its your third language LOL.And yes we have to be careful what we wish for, for the Universal Energies are always listening and sometimes it delivers not always what we expect, and at other times we can be amazed at the magic it brings..
          Thank you for sharing your adventure.. I so hope for more Fairy Tale endings and experiences for you though 😉

    1. Thank you so much! We were working in my newly developed acrylic technique painting lilies tonight. I think results will be awesome, I will post some time next week as we get this done. Flowers and still lives have a special magic, we should take advantage of that.

  3. Bonsoir INESE
    Le Bonheur est une plume
    La plus légère qui soit
    Jamais assez belle pour toi
    Ma Plume je la partage avec toi
    Le Bonheur se cueille comme une fleur
    Il faut prendre soin avec précaution
    Il faut attention que celui-ci ne se fane pas
    Par ces petits mots de Bonheur
    Passe une agréable soirée
    Prends bien soin de toi
    Bises , Bernard

    Je t’offre un petit café ou tisane

    1. Thanks! Chickadees got the finishing touch and more are ready by now. I am watching birds in the back yard, I have so many of them living right here. I have no idea what sells on Artflakes because I have sold quite a lot of images on Fine Art America, but none on Artflakes. They love abstract photos.

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