Art instruction: meaningful and useful tools for your creative freedom

art instruction

Art instruction is a way to find out how one is able to make creativity, drawing, sketching and painting part of their lives and self-care.

I received recently a lot of positive comments about my art classes. Parents admitted that the art instruction which is available in our region (Ontario, Whitby, Oshawa, Ajax) does not actually include learning how to draw or paint for real. That especially referred to art classes for teens. They told most art classes were rather craft classes that deal with glue, markers, inks, papers, mixed media topped on each other, and so on. Basically, they were looking for somebody who has the skill of drawing, sketching and painting and is able to present this skill to others. So they were very happy to find me.

Is that a surprise? It actually isn’t when we take into account the dramatically shortening attention span due to the overuse of devices, lack of commitment due to the inability to prioritize important things in our life and fake positive reviews of entertaining art events like paint nights. While some people who have no art creation experience would assume that entertaining art events with cocktails and food are art classes, as strange as it sounds, I must admit that they simply cannot be by their nature because they won’t teach anybody anything.

We have arrived at very misleading art instruction models. Most of them are designed to please the participant and to make believe that they are gaining a lot.

One of my 12-year-old students literally nailed it during the last watercolor class: most people are interested only in the final products and they have no interest or patience to learn about the process of getting to this final product.

Indeed, we are seeing this frequently. Due to the fact that potential students are made to believe they will learn something about drawing and painting while actually not learning anything, many venues that offer art classes are trying to go the way of the least resistance: they offer paper or canvas with drawing on it, so that the student has to only apply paint as instructed on these surfaces. Most events are a few hours a single night or one day only because everybody is in a big rush. Is it possible to master everything within such a small time frame? No, it isn’t. Alone brushing techniques take months to practice and manage, not to mention that colors, values and composition matter. We always place something in the painting on a certain spot, not where happens, but where it makes sense. Our task is to find out how to detect this spot.

While most people who sketch or paint somewhat representative scenes and subjects implement roads, buildings, fences, water streams, paths, tree lines and distance, only a few are aware that this is done by using linear perspective to which we are adding atmospheric or chromatic perspective to achieve impact and give our image power.

If we want to make art instruction meaningful again and if we want people to really fall in love with creativity and hand-made art, we have to go the long and more difficult way. We have to allow teens and adults who want to learn to do so. Having the final product or masterwork done in just a few hours is an illusion. Nevertheless, there are lots of people who believe in that. Final product or masterwork cannot be the only goal. What matters in this case is the journey to the final product, the multiple techniques and approaches, the enjoyable path to self-discovery, satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment.

So, I received nice compliments about my art instruction because nobody else actually bothers with teaching potential students the understanding of main drawing and painting principles in this area.

Our recent project: progress

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

art instruction: sketching and watercolor

Therefore, I am proud that my drawing, sketching and painting classes provide teens and adults with a meaningful art instruction that ensures one has tools to enjoy a creative freedom and is able to draw, sketch and paint anything they want and the way they would like to. I believe that is different and that works in favor of a student.

Please see also: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/10/02/art-created-different-dimension/

And if you live in Ontario, you can apply for my art classes directly here:  https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

Art instruction: online versus real, myths versus reality

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events.

100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case.

Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors.  Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing.

Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen?

The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong.

When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well.

Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear.

There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results.

While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life.

We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong.

I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting.

Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them.

Art instruction can be found in abundance everywhere: there are numerous online classes, numerous websites that will give an idea of that and also countless real life events. 100% of students who attend my art classes have been watching YouTube art instruction videos, demos and suggestions. One would think they have learned a lot. In fact, it isn’t the case. Most people after spending a lot of time with online art instruction videos haven’t learned anything. That sounds strange, but it is a fact. Most people who have been watching YouTube tutorials and demos do not know how to use the brush with acrylic, how to blend paint and how to make the correct color they want. Most people who were learning drawing and watercolor painting using online video tutorials are afraid of water; they do not know how to apply watercolor paint, how much water to use, how to time the painting process and how to avoid muddy colors. Most people, who were learning how to draw online, cannot draw anything on their own or using real things and their set-up compositions. They can only trace a photo or use an outline printout for their drawing. Why would that be? Why haven’t they become skilled after spending numerous hours at the screen? The reason might be the one-sidedness. If one has a lot of artistic experience and knowledge of paint application techniques and understanding of paint properties, they will benefit from such online art instruction videos. These, who have zero experience, most likely will not. I believe these art instruction videos are good for inspiration and issue solving if you have plenty of painting and drawing experience. If you do not have such experience, you will rather get confused and disappointed. In real and live class, I can see how somebody understood the demo or painting tip. You’d be surprised seeing what levels of moisture are applied when I am saying: make your paper wet. That ranges from flooded paper with puddles of water to slightly seeing shine on it. Graded wash is understood in very different ways: from thick layer of paint to no paint at all. Not to mention a wet paint application on wet paper and a dry paint application on wet or dry paper. Timing is a very important part of painting with either watercolor, or acrylic. By not observing timing and making good use of it, the potential artist will definitely get frustrated. There are things which are easy to do when the timing is right and impossible to do at all if the timing is wrong. When you are sitting on one side of screen, nobody can check or see how exactly you are applying advice or tip. In a real life class, I can see right away whether the paint is too wet, too dry, there is too little of it or there is way too much of it. I can see right away who understood the technique and who is struggling with it. I am able to notice the weaknesses and the strengths right away, as well. Brushing techniques are probably the most important part of acrylic painting. Most people have absolutely no idea about these techniques. It is understood that it does not matter how you put the acrylic paint on canvas. Well, that makes the painting experience either pleasant, or results in frustration when one cannot achieve what they want to. Most people do not know how wet and how dry watercolor paint should be, and I have seen how some would try applying it without any water at all. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is weird because we call it watercolor since it can be used only with water. Pigment in watercolor paint is activated using water, otherwise it won’t work. Without doing this properly, there is no watercolor painting, but we create a streaky smear. There is a principle which is always true when it comes to art supplies: the better quality art supplies are, the easier it is to apply them; and vice versa: the worse quality art supplies are, the more skills one will need to use them properly and to achieve good results. While many art instruction demos and videos are called “How to paint ….” they should be called, in fact, “How I paint ….” because there are lots of ways to interpret one and the same subject and one and the same theme. Many of demos also instead of “How to paint …” fall in the category “How not to paint …”. That’s just how wrong the demo or art instruction advice can be. With the wide-spread accessibility of internet and opportunity to share and post anything, we cannot be always sure if the advice we are given is correct or if it will ever work for us in particular. We have to approach everything selectively. That refers not only to art instruction, but also to any advice for any situation in life. We have seen by now how art instruction is given by people who do not have the slightest teaching or art experience, as well. Art instruction has become an area where everybody is an expert. Would anybody teach and give music lessons? Piano or guitar lessons, for instance? No, they would not. Would anybody without any knowledge and skill teach foreign language, math or chemistry? No, they would not because that means misleading the student and pretending that one has what they do not. When it comes to drawing and painting, it is assumed that having no experience is not an issue. Just teach it and everything will be fine, which is profoundly wrong. I would say if you want to see fast results and create a decent and interesting art, you definitely have to start with real and live art instruction. Let the art instructor see how and what you are doing because that is the only way to find out why some things absolutely do not work and what you should be doing to make this experience rewarding and uplifting. Realistically, the things one needs to learn are the main principles of drawing and painting, not the style and techniques of artist X, Y or Z. The truth is that once you have learned the basics and have established the foundation you will be able to create anything, draw and paint anything in your personal style and to develop a personal approach to any subject. That won’t limit you to just being able to paint one particular scene and subject. It will feel like: I can draw and paint any scene, any still life and floral composition. I can draw and paint anything. That’s why starting with techniques, values, color theory and composition is important. Practically, that means finding out what your brush, paint and pencil can do once you know how to use them. Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Our December art project: beginners and students with experience, everybody got fantastic results. It was a very successful art instruction, and I finished a few versions of my demo paintings. This is one of them. 

Therefore, I would suggest, we start with basics and go from simple subjects to very complex ones. Along with becoming skilled in art, drawing and painting are the absolutely best things to devote our free time and leisure hours to. This means also exploring ourselves, becoming smarter, better with decision-making and invisibly growing new brain cells, as well, extending the lifetime of the existing brain cells. That means a better memory and an improved cognitive function.

Suggestions on how to choose art classes: https://inesepogagallery.com/2017/10/09/choose-art-classes/

Registration for art classes: https://inesepogagallery.com/classes-workshops-schedule/

And some of our previous experiences: https://inesepogagallery.com/2013/09/20/art-classes-a-worthwhile-activity/

Different approach to art class: focus on relaxing and stress-free creativity

I am offering a new art class this fall: to paint and to relax letting all concerns and problems go. The key to creativity is being relaxed and not to expect miracles, but learn creating them.

I noticed that some students were taking art classes way too seriously, and being not in a relaxed mood does not allow achieving the same results what people, who always take things easy, do.

I want to make a welcoming environment for creation so that purely technical goals become secondary while painting.

American traditional art teaching pays too much attention to the technical execution of art while leaving the emotional and spiritual side totally neglected. Especially, when I just relocated to Canada, it was definitely overwhelming how sometimes artwork would scream: I am technically perfect, every smallest dot and line is where they should be and every color is exactly as the textbook requires. That is why some artists go for big lengths: they trace and copy photos, and redraw and repaint everything what in digitally adjusted photo is. Where is the creativity? That allows achieving a perfection which frequently lacks feelings and does not move emotions. I would like to emphasize: the creative process is the most valuable part of the artistic phenomenon.

Perfection in art is not the best guiding idea because it simply does not allow unfolding the creative potential.

I hear this quite frequently: I’m not touching this painting anymore because I do not want to damage it. Well, leaving work unfinished isn’t good either.

I also wanted to make an art class which is impossible to replicate online: just because the content of this class rests on the presence and the interaction between me, group and everybody as an individual.

I will gear everything towards a great, interesting, amazing and positive experience. That means learning about oneself and art, and learning to be creative without the annoying pressure which some teaching venues want to impose on somebody who is looking for a new skill and ability.

We will use blocks of paper, so that at the end of this  positive painting session  everybody will have an image diary and will be able to continue adding creations.

Inspiration and immersion in calm, creative environment is something we do not find often or elsewhere.

I believe, this type of art class where experience and activity flow together creating emotional satisfaction, thus, releasing stresses and providing with a new perspective on the bothering issues in one’s life, will be well attended and appreciated.

It’s very interesting that I was away and did not do any advertising so far, but people were applying, in fact, a lot of people, that included the new daytime watercolor painting class.

I am adding as illustration some brush stroke and wash only paintings which do not need any drawing. We use only watercolor and water, and we watch what happens and how our thoughts and ideas look on paper.

Watercolor paintings without drawing: fun, relaxing brushing and interesting flow of pigment:

Leaf patterns, washes and more washes, available at $85

Leaf patterns

Road towards the fall

Distant storm

Side by side with summer, available at $40 

Side by side with summer

Sponge trees

October sketch

Art classes are for everybody because we will be using only our personal preferences with choosing colors, subjects and the way they look.

And finally, the best new watercolor painting “Water edge”, available at $85 plus shipping Water edge

Participants will have a lot of choice: they can draw, they can use pen or they can also do very abstract or semi-abstract art for their image diary. That’s why it’s called: stress relief with color and line.

Who benefits from art and artists

When you look at art for sale, it can sometimes seem the artist is probably under drugs and wants to extremely profit from their paintings, drawings or other type of art. It seems so.
I once asked a lady who was enquiring about my paintings: do you know anybody who would work for about two months, every day, about 6-8 hours a day and then receive for all this work 200 bucks minus materials? It isn’t that I tried to get her to pay more or whatever, it’s just the reality.
She was a nice lady, and she honestly said she didn’t know anybody who would work on such terms. I could add to this that I don’t know either, except fellow artists who for different reasons are in the same boat.
A brief list of these who benefit not only from  full-time artists, but anybody who creates art and tries to sell their art:
companies that make pencils, papers, tracing papers, graphite papers, drawing sketching, watercolor and all kinds of art papers,
companies that manufacture canvas, canvas panels, canvas boards, stretcher bars and canvas fabric,
companies that make paints, pigments, mediums for paints, solvents, vanishes, and all kinds of chemicals that are necessary for putting paint on canvas or paper at different stages or preserving the ready art,
companies that make easels, supports and all kinds of frame manufacturers, framing places and manufacturers of framing supplies, that includes mats, matting paper, glass, Plexiglas and similar materials;
every artists needs a website or blog, as well as social media presentation, so there are lots of platforms and hosting companies which sell everything from security certificates, to software for managing website, hosting, themes, plugins and many tools in order the website stayed functional;
companies that manufacture computers, tablets, ipads, cameras, video cameras and phones since we need to get the image somewhat captured and transferred to online space;
any landlord who leases studio or showroom space;
any utility provider who sells power, gas and water to the studio;
any show, gallery, exhibition, fair, including juried shows, online competitions and online shows which charge a fee for putting the artwork out there;
any online sales or art print sales provider which charges membership fee and commission;
money collecting and payment processing companies, i. e. Paypal, banks, etc.
That is not the entire list, and to some extent it is similar to expenses that are inevitable for any freelance or self-employed person, but the creation of art is definitely at the higher end of expenses, costs of materials and time consumption.
Artist obviously pays for paints, paper, canvasses, frames and framing, fees for shows and gallery representation and any utilities, as well as monthly payment for studio regardless of whether there is going to be some profit or not. Even when the art ends up in the waste basket, it still involves cost.
I know one would say: anybody who creates a product must create it first and there is never a guarantee of selling it. True, however, most products which are 100% unique, handmade and original sell for much more than the materials and labor that goes into them.
So, we have arrived at the most crucial question: who enables the artist to benefit? Who makes it possible for the artist to profit from their talent, work and efforts?
The artist can only profit from his or her clients who purchase the work whether as a product with art image on or in it, or as an original painting and drawing.
That is you. Somebody who loves and appreciates art. Somebody who has some money and is willing to spend it not on food, not on outfit, not on make-up or furniture, but art. Art is not a medication and it won’t cover you as a blanket, but it can feel that way, too. I know people who can stand for half an hour at some of my paintings and they feel exactly that: warmth and energy, and healing power.
I hope when you go to an art show next time and when you look at some painting, you will be aware that along with artist’s efforts, talent, time and soul there goes in a lot of other expense. That is an expense which is not covered quite frequently.
Being a freelance writer and artist is not easy by any means. There is a lot of insecurity: I do not know when some new work request arrives, I cannot ever guess with certainty when some painting will sell. I obviously cannot work when I’m not well, and that causes other problems. The domino effect.
Why to do this? At the present moment, this is the only option I have.
I am not sure if I will have to post something else before I fly to Latvia next Monday, yes, I unintentionally have chosen the full solar eclipse day, but whatever; I am presenting a few paintings which come as result of giving the flower painting class.

Lovely pinks

I compared also Arches 300 paper with Saunders Waterford 300.

Saturday rose is available at $150 plus shipping Saturday rose

Sunday rose is available at $150 plus shipping, Daily Paintworks, Sunday rose

Unfortunately, both papers were not bright white. If you have enough time to dry paper decently between layers, Arches is better. It is very easy to paint on it. However, I did not have time to dry paper, so Saunders Waterford was better because it does not keep flowing that much.


I do appreciate any sale through this site, at studio or through any other site because that allows me to benefit small bit from my creations.

Illustration or sketch: one, two, three: ready! How to start sketching

Illustration or sketch can be simplified in order to get it done outdoors or to complete indoors because sometimes the weather can be quite bothersome and not cooperating with our intentions.

I have had a chance to watch numerous people when they first learn painting or drawing.

I would love to share some observations because they might inspire somebody to just get a pencil, a brush and paper and go ahead.

Do we need rules in art?

It might sound strange, but most people believe there are many strict rules when we draw or paint. Maybe the instruction on some sites makes one feel that if you do not follow these rules you cannot paint or draw. That is not true. That is actually completely wrong.

While there are lots of tricks, shortcuts and favorite ways to get things done faster and better, one should not try to stick to something which we call strict rules. Not with creativity. Not in art.

That would mean the small kid who does not have an idea of rules and instructions should not be able to draw. But the small kid is able to draw. Every kid is able to draw and paint.

As people grow up they find out that life wants us to comply with requirements, regulations, rules and certain instructions. It’s no surprise they want to apply rules to everything what we do. I know artists who would call the way of paint application a rule, or the way of drawing something on paper a rule.

No rules, just do your best!

I would love to encourage these who want to try art, to just go with their intention.

I hear quite frequently: I don’t know anything about painting or drawing. Well, you don’t have to. You just have to start trusting your eyes and trying to draw or paint whatever you intend to.

What to use for watercolor sketching?

Everything you can afford or like. If you do not know whether you will continue or not, why would you buy $75 watercolor brush? We always use the largest watercolor brush that still allows achieving what we want. It’s pretty much common sense. You could survive with just one number 10 watercolor brush if it has a good fine tip. 20-brush sets from Dollarstore won’t do anything, don’t go for these.

If you are applying wet paint on your sketch, traditional sketching paper won’t allow that. It is too thin. That’s pretty much common sense, as well; it could tolerate dry pencil or some pen, but not washes, especially repeated washes or paint lifting.

I would advise to always use watercolor paper for drawing, sketch, illustration, practise, color or flow practise because that is thicker and can be made wet.

If you are a beginner, you can live with just beginner’s watercolor paint set.

You can do illustration or sketch any way you like

If you are afraid to draw right away with pen, do the initial drawing in pencil and go over with pen afterwards. Keep the best lines and erase everything else, and here you have a nice, clean, attractive drawing. Why to use pen? It is simply easier. Pen makes the outline clearly visible, all image looks finished and elaborated even when the drawing is far from perfect and watercolor washes will bring your artistic attempt to life.

There is no wrong or right way to sketch, to draw or to paint

All artists develop their own style over time. Should you expect the first attempts to be perfect? No, don’t do that. Always tell yourself: Let us see what happens. Treat all of your first year’s art as a practise, as an experiment. Some will be god, some will fly into the waste basket, and that is absolutely fine.

People call everything which did not come out perfect: a mistake. That does not always apply to art either.

Some artistic mistakes and flaws can become the foundation of your personal style. Some experiments can set the tone for anything you do in the future. Therefore: experiment, experiment and experiment!

I am attaching some works from previous sketching session.

Illustration or sketch can be carried out in any style you prefer

Illustration can be done easily.  I am advising to use pen just for simplicity and speed. It really helps. I also love the accomplished look of such sketches which can be definitely used as completely finished art on the wall or for any other purpose.

Illustration example: pen outline

First we draw with pencil the main lines. We draw lightly without using pressure. After that we repeat the best lines in pen.

Illustration: first washes applied over pen lines

Choose whatever colors you love and would want in your sketch. Activate with water. Test on testing paper how transparent the watered down mix is. Apply small amount of water onto the main image area. You can use spray bottle if it creates mist. Check against light: if the shine is about to disappear, that’s the best time for first washes.

Illustration is ready: more washes or less diluted paint, and we are done.

If you allow first layers to dry and then make your paper wet again, nothing will happen to the dried out first layers. It is safe to go over with water. Don’t rub or scratch with the brush; that will definitely take some paint of.

Corrections are done with paper towel when the painting is wet: pressing paper towel onto paper will take off most of wet paint. When the paper is completely dry, apply washes and use damp brush or paper towel to lift color or paint you don’t want. Repeat until you like it.

The thicker the watercolor paper, the more things you can do with it.

Cheap watercolor paper is for tests and some practice only. It is simply too thin to do something more.

You can choose any pen you can afford or like. Your pen can be different color, too. Black simply fits any other color and makes it stand out more.

Large sketch using much wider pen

All watercolor illustrations and sketches look great. If you want them to be better: practice more and don’t expect immediate perfection.

Watercolor mania? Yes, incurable

Watercolor, watercolor and ink, as well as pastels are my favorite mediums to use because I am very good at drawing, I would say I was born being able to draw.  It isn’t so that I am completely obsessed with painting, but I have given thousands of workshops and classes just within the last 4 years. There were moments when I had 5 or 4 painting workshops and classes every week. Every class or workshop required some reference painting, plus, I certainly wanted to paint something on my own, as well. My problem is that preparation for any class and workshop and my own paintings always take so much time that I never really get to selling anything seriously. I would put on the “Open” sign, and that is pretty much it. I am realizing now that I have so many paintings which would easily fill up the largest gallery.

Watercolors up to 11 x 14 in (28 x 36 cm)

Some are framed, some matted 

Most of them make great greeting cards, as well, and look fantastic in white or light grey frames

Most of these paintings are in piles and wrapped up because classes involve a lot of splashing, so nobody actually gets to see them. That includes me, as well, because I rarely have time to sort things out. These are just some of small size (7 x 10 and up to 11 x 14) and medium size (12 x 16 to 22 x 18) watercolors.

Flower power

I did not even realize that, but the number of paintings has reached sort of tipping point. I would need at least 3-4 times larger space to either hang it all or display in any other way. It is time to reconsider everything and become more serious about doing something with all this art which, quite honestly, has taken numerous hours of drawing and painting. I always enjoyed that, but I am short for storage and space. What good do these paintings if nobody ever can see them? Therefore, I would be very happy some of them found new walls and homes.

Anyway, most likely I will have to repeat this before Christmas and holidays, but still, I believe, these are very attractive paintings which would look great in any place, especially in a proper frame.

All details and separate images are on  Fine Art America.

You can view all images and then let me know if you would like to see if original is still available. Shipping will be extra.

Everything $100 to $350. Shipping extra. Thanks if you decided to check out my paintings and possibly get some art product, print or original painting.

If you ever doubted whether to start drawing and painting, just go for it. Being addicted to painting is not the worst that can happen. It is an entirely distinctive new world which never stops surprising.

Your support would be much appreciated

Support is such a critically important thing for an artist, especially, after some time off. If you read this post, not only clicked on like, that is wonderful.

I am finally returning to life and life is returning to me, however, the long time period of not being able to do much has its sequences.

I asked before the readers and people who wouldn’t be hurt by spending something on any painting for help and possibly support. It was fantastic how one lady bought a painting which should arrive at her place in the USA tomorrow, and I hope she will be happy with that painting. I hope there is somebody else among you who would not mind to support me after these terrible health struggles for quite a while.

After giving so many workshops and classes and since I’m always painting along with my students, I have very many 16 x 20 in paintings.  We never repeat any single painting, so to speak to keep the inspiration flowing and our artistic juices fresh.

Not all of my 16 x 20 inch paintings are finished. I sometimes change my mind; I sometimes have moved forward and have no interest in subject any longer, and therefore quite often additional work or reworking are required. Whenever I feel like doing so, I keep working on these paintings, however, I would like to discontinue small size landscapes, and return to large and very large paintings. Even many years ago, I loved painting large art. Not only I find it more expressive and more impressive, it is easier for me to paint in that scale because eyesight does not get any better, but I hate wearing glasses when painting because they destroy the correct proportions and mislead in interpretation of a subject. That’s my intention: to return to large pieces and especially to still life because that was always my most favorite subject. Still life which consists of something man-made, live flowers and leaves which symbolizes life and either food, vegetables and fruits, or subjects like glasses, books, candles, watches and similar. I still love birds, and I am watching them; and I can say I do not need any more references to paint birds which are in my backyard. About 40 bird paintings are available at my gallery.

I have paintings which even I haven’t seen for a while; these are large watercolors which took me up to half a year to paint. I couldn’t frame all very large paintings, therefore, nobody gets to see them because watercolor is sensitive without glass. Full size watercolors are not included in sales, but everything else is. I need to make space and invest in new paints and canvasses, as well as watercolor and pastel paper. As you know, good paper is expensive, but it’s worth it. Those of you who paint probably have experienced that difference between good and bad watercolor paper is insane. It’s possible to say right away on what paper some painting has been painted. Paint and water sit and float on the top of a cheap paper and they never act as on thick and multi-layer paper. That explains why some watercolor just do not look right.

A few small studies in watercolor

Art for sale: small watercolor of sky reflection, $80.00, watercolor on paper, ships in envelope 


Art for sale: small spring watercolor: $85, watercolor on paper, ships in envelope


Not all paintings have pictures and some of them are visible only in group photos. I make also extremely textured paintings, and it is sort of impossible to get a good picture of a highly textured painting. Light is reflected brighter from higher spots and shadows also disturb to have the right balance which exists in reality, but not on a photo. Well, there might be even people who can come to the gallery in person; that certainly is the best because no photo can replace the impression of an artwork. Any painting up to 20 x 24 inches without frame ships anywhere.

I have uploaded quite a lot of art on Fine Art America; they have so many products with images that I have lost count. I get from any purchase $2 to $10, except greeting cards in which case it is $0.50 to $1.

My art and artsy products on Fine Art America

I hope at least a few of you like something that much that they would not mind to own it. I mean especially originals. Please ask me about extremely good deals on 12 x 16 and 8 x 10 in watercolor paintings. I just learned my lesson that shipping with UPS was more expensive than painting, so any shipping will be extra. Thanks in advance!

Lifeschool blog talks about dreams that do not always come true, but hope is never given up:  Castles of sand, writing

Please accept these unpretentious flowers

Flowers: the nature’s mysterious beauty that is so easy to reach, to enjoy and to give as a gift.

Where do flowers come from?

From happiness.

How did they get their fragrance?

From love.

How can they be so beautiful?

God allowed them to use any color and any shape to remind us

Beauty is timeless but lasts for a short while.

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.

 

Please accept these unpretentious flowers as a small thank you for everything you are to my every single day!

Beauty never ends, flowers will live as long as we do and they will keep inspiring us. Always.

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.

Try something different: painting with sponge

I decided that adding some new technique wouldn’t disturb. Why not to give it a try?

This time it was application of watercolor using a sea grass sponge. It worked well with acrylic (I will post these pictures separately), it seemed it could work nicely with watercolor, as well.

I could see after the first attempts that it is advisable to test colors first. There are lots of brands, many types of paints, it’s hard to know whether the chosen colors will or won’t mix well. The big fear was not to overdo right at the beginning. Sponging sort of takes away easily, and it takes no time to lose focus and to forget where exactly was I intending to place any particular paint. I did not plan for these paintings, I just got straight to sponging. I would advise anybody who is trying this technique to plan a small bit ahead. Sponge allows to create beautiful watercolor backgrounds, like distant trees or forests, it is amazing how quickly some spots get textures, and it is a fantastic for layering watercolor paints. Simply don’t forget to test your colors.

It seemed that Hooker’s green light and dark in combination with French ultramarine, Cobalt blue, Payne’s grey, Lemon yellow and Burnt sienna or Burnt umber worked better than Sap green in any combination unless I mixed only 2 or 3 colors in all layers.

Sea grass sponges are inexpensive and available at any art store, that’s at least where I got them. Every sponge is slightly different, so will be textures created using these sponges. I cut my sponge in smaller parts, and used every time that part which seemed to be the most fitting. Sponge has to be made wet at first, and we should squeeze out all excess water before picking up the paint with it.

Sponging works on wet paper (wet in wet application), and we can paint nice distant backgrounds this way. It creates thicker layers and attractive irregular shapes when applied on dry paper. It is possible to create the entire painting this way, and it looks especially great when we combine different techniques.

Generally speaking, application of a sponge helps loosen up, and sponge is a good tool to vary paint application techniques.

These paintings look somehow better not photographed. The light hasn’t been too suitable recently, but regardless of how hard I tried, I did not get the balance on photos which is present on paper. This might be due to the distinctive number of layers at each part since camera sees everything not in the same way as the human eye sees. These things were tough to photograph, it was almost as bad as taking pictures of pastel drawings.

 

First layers of watercolor using a sea grass sponge

Different colors and textures: watercolor forest painting with sponge

Layering quite a few colors with sponge is interesting: we never know how it will look at the end!

Spring forest painting: watercolor

Simple sponge painting exercise

The distant forest is painted using sponge: the darks in the background look much darker than on paper, like I said before, camera picks out some spots and reflects colors differently from the human eye.

Sponge painting with watercolor

Sponge applied for background and some spots in the front

sponge work and winter csene 012

Spring forest: watercolor painting using sponge