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Friday, September 25, 2015

Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian Watercolor

Dmitry Zhizhin

Denis Petrulenkov

Alexander Karpan

Igor Moseichuk

Sergey Kurbatov

Leo Kaplan (Germany)

Olga Litvinenko

Olga Shakleina

Sergey Temerev

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Farewell Nick Simmons

It is the saddest news that we got yesterday. Great artist and our friend passed away. He was only 47. I don`t have any details but the thing is - he is no more! Farewell Nicholas Simmons. You will be loved and remembered by many friends and art lovers!

Her is my old interview with him from 2011... Sad, so sad...

Nicholas Simmons

Nicholas Simmons

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Coincidental V

My series Coincidental emerged after my annual trip to The Medieval Fest in Turku, Finland. Some years ago I was sitting at the CafeArt at the river Aura bank. I was sitting with my Capuccino watching the other side of the river and people sitting in a summer cafe. I was facsinated by the effect of stable groups of people at the middle ground and an effect of moving forground when people passing by. Usually it happen the other way round when we have stable objects in front and something blured in the back. I though of it as a good way to break this conditioning and to shift the focus from front to the back. Also I thought that I should cut the front figures to show that they are coincidentally in the frame of the viewer, next moment they would be out of sight...

Konstantin Sterkhov. Coincidental V. 43x74 cm

I used the paper Saunders Waterford, 425 g rough by St.Cuthberts Mill (UK), paints Daniel Smith - my signature palette and my signature brushes Roubloff.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Master Z in St. Petersburg

Was great to meet master Z in our city this summer. Master made a beautiful and exclusive sketch in my Album Of Masters (I promis to tell more about it later when the collection is richer). It was fascinating to see how the master whose paintings of other parts of the world are so famouse is depicting my own city`s sights! Sharing for you here...

 Joseph Z at the river Neva.

 Joseph has just painted Kazanskiy Cathedral in St. Petersburg

Z with my book featuring him (out of stock now)

Visit Joseph Zbukvic web site

Lian Gang Interview

Some extracts from interview of Lian Gang (China) for my new book "Masters Of Watercolor. From East To West"

Do you consider your painting style western or traditional Chinese?
First, watercolor derived from England. Watercolor paintings tools, materials, and its aesthetic value are quite different from traditional Chinese painting media.
My watercolor paintings are Western style with its Oriental art flavor. Since I grow up with Chinese cultural influence, my paintings contain a lots of elements reflect Chinese aesthetic value. This cultural background affects my watercolor.
I also emphasize Contemporary looks in my watercolor paintings. I try to find harmony between my paintings and modern space and environment. This is quite consistent with Western aesthetic trend. That is why my watercolor is Western style with Chinese elements.

Lian Gang

What is the difference between traditional Gohua and Western watercolor?
This second question is a very interesting question. Traditional Chinese ink painting(Guohua) and Western watercolor are all belong to water medium art. Other than all water based, these two painting methods are very different.
First of all, materials are completely different. Chinese painting employs very permeable rice paper while Western watercolor paper is non permeable. Brushes are different, too. Moreover, Chinese ink is obviously different from watercolor paints.
Second, Chinese ink painting emphasize on various drawing lines and ink infiltrating looks on rice paper. However, there is little concern in theories on perspective, color, or light and shade in Chinese ink painting. In watercolor, there are lots of rules and theory in terms of realistically depicting objects and color. Artists need to find consistency between painting and objects.

Lian Gang

Is it possible to be a full time artist in China?
Do you ask whether a Chinese painter can be a full-time artist? I do not know about Russian artists. I know in general, an influential artist naturally sells well and lives a comfortable life. However, most Chinese artists teach at schools or universities. Teaching jobs are their stable income source. Schools also provide them with art supply. They have some advantage. Other average artists in China paint full-time is not easy.

Lian Gang

Is there a strong competition between artists in China? Does it help to improve to every artist?
Competition exists naturally everywhere. Artistic innovation and development of the world all derive from great effort and competition. Any positive competition within artists is beneficial to the diversity of the art world. There is a tremendous painting community in China. There are hundreds of art exhibitions on various types. Government sponsored art awards also stimulate artists to create their works of art. Thus, competition is inevitable.

Full version of the interview will be available in my upcoming book (this year)... 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Step-By-Step. Coincidental IV. Shades of Blue.

My series Coincidental emerged after my annual trip to The Medieval Fest in Turku, Finland. Some years ago I was sitting in a summer cafe at the river Aura bank. I was sitting with my Capuccino watching the other side of the river and people sitting in a summer cafe. People seamed to be fully into short Finnish summer enjoyment. I picked a figure of a lady sitting along comletely self content in her bright red clothes. I purposely put her in the middle with almost empty forground and cut figures in the background. This made on my opinion the composition more coinsidental as it is the idea of the series. I used mainly shades of blue and indigo for all cool shades of the painting. It gave me an idea to call the painting "Shades Of Blue" that also corresponds with the absent expression of the lady in red.
I used the paper Saunders Waterford, 425 g rough by St.Cuthberts Mill (UK), paints Daniel Smith - my signature palette and my signature brushes Roubloff.... Enjoy!

K. Sterkhov. Coincidental IV. Shades Of Blue. 54x59 cm

Step 1. After applying masking fluid at the high lights I am wetting the sheet from both sides and painting mid tones on wet. Then I am letting it dry and removing the masking.

Step 2. I am choosing a focal point in my painting and starting defining details in full strength of color and tone.

Step 3. I am moving from a focal point to a side working continously without gaps. If my eye goes from the main figure to the far left corner I am going with my defining brush the same way.

Step 4. I am coming back to the main figure.

Step 5. I am strengthen the tone of the foreground.

Step 6. I am defining some constractional details and assessories.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Yesterday Workshop Seascapes

Yesterday workshop in studio Mad Hare (St.Petersburg) was very fruitful. We painted 5 half-sheet works with participants. The topic was Seascapes. We took such subjects as yachts, piers, seagulls, sunsets, water reflections... Here are 3 of my demo works...

You can purchase my DVD with seascape demonstrations here:

1 DVD includes 5 subjects demos about 2 hours.

 Konstantin Sterkhov. Seagulls In Twilight. 36x54 cm

 Konstantin Sterkhov. Chasing The Wind. 36x54 cm

Konstantin Sterkhov. Low Sun. 36x54 cm

Hope For Tomorrow - Demo Step By Step

Hello guys, havn`t been here for ages! Here I am sharing my latest painting step-by-step. I was attracted by magic light effect that picked a young girl from the darkness of a room. The paper was Saunders Waterford, 425 rough hight white, paints by Daniel Smith as followers:
Raw Sienna, 
Quinacridone Gold,
Pyrrol Scarlet,
Pyrrol Orange,
Yellow Ochre,
Sedona Genuine,
Burnt Umber,
Tiger`s Eye Gen.,
French Ultramarine,
Verditer Blue,
Rose Of Ultramarine,

 1. Masking Fluid and light underpainting.

2. Adding darker ton to have full range of tonal values.

 3. Removing masking fluid after drying. Working on focus area.

4. Defining darker darks and details.

There is another step-by-step demo posted on the site of Daniel Smith:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cheng Khee Chee In Tweed Museum

Tweed Museum of Art
1201 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812
Events & Exhibition Contact: Christine Strom
Tweed Museum of Art 218-726-7823

The Way of Cheng-Khee Chee: Paintings 1974-2014 

Where: Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth
When:  May 12 - September 20, 2015

(Duluth, MN - March 16, 2015) The Tweed Museum of Art (TMA) at the University of Minnesota Duluth will feature the art of internationally celebrated watercolorist Cheng-Khee Chee from May 12 through September 20, 2015. The solo exhibition brings together 40 watercolor paintings created over the past 40 years (1974 - 2014), including Duluth Depotof 1974, the first painting Chee exhibited with the American Watercolor Society, as well as the monumental 100 Koi that the artist completed in late 2014.
Experiences and influences of both Eastern and Western art and culture have shaped the six decade artistic career of Cheng-Khee Chee. Born in 1934 in Fengting, southeastern China, the artist emigrated to British colonized Malaysia at age 14. As a self-taught artist, with both Eastern and Western mentors, Cheng-Khee Chee has developed a combined vision that incorporates the processes of Chinese brushwork with Western painting styles. Over the years, Chee has developed and adapted a repertoire of techniques from both East and West that clearly identify his work and have influenced countless students. For the philosophical underpinnings of his creative practice, the artist cites Confucianism and Buddhism as powerful influences. 

Cheng-Khee Chee, (American, born China 1934), Koi 1990 No. 2. Watercolor on D'arches Paper, 25 x 40". Collection of Cheng-Khee and Sing-Bee Chee

"After many years of practice, I have concluded that the watercolor medium is closer to Tao than any other medium. The very flowing movement of washes has a strong evocative power. The interpenetration of colors creates mysterious precipitations and nuance. In watercolor, the artist can let the medium obey its own laws and create wonders in the same way that nature creates her own works."
- Cheng-Khee Chee, Interview with Betsy Dillard-Stroud
In addition to the artist's aesthetic concerns, Cheng-Khee Chee has demonstrated a passionate commitment to the medium of watercolor by working tirelessly to engage new audiences through teaching workshops, leading cultural tours and organizing international exhibitions.
"In Chee's art the interplay between Taoist philosophy, Chinese brush painting and Western art forms - from realism to complete abstraction - offers us an expanded way to look at watercolor painting. He offers viewers multiple ways to approach his art. Each path yields an enriching opportunity to perceive the world through his eyes. A focus on technique is one path; attention to spiritual influences is another. This exhibition gives everyone - local fans, watercolor aficionados and students alike - several means to appreciate his work," states Peter Spooner, the exhibition's guest curator.

The Way of Cheng-Khee Chee: Paintings 1974-2014 is the first exhibition by the artist at the Tweed Museum of Art since 1992, and will be accompanied by a publication with essays by artist and writer Ann Klefstad and guest curator Peter Spooner. A variety of public programs are planned, including receptions, gallery talks, and a rare three-day workshop for practitioners and novices alike, led by Cheng-Khee Chee himself.

Watercolor Workshop led by Cheng-Khee Chee       June 12-14, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 
with lunch break from 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Workshop half day audit option (lecture)                   June 12-14, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Registration and fee information, visit:

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Art Of Watercolour`s article

Proud to share my articles in the last issue of the magazine The Art Of Watercolor.

The very first event of 2015 took place in cold St.Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. It has showcased 92 International artists from 26 countries who exhibited about 400 works.
Exactly 1 year ago four leading watercolor artists from St.Petersburg gathered together, united by the idea of putting watercolor in Russia in spotlight. The coordinated role in organizing the event took young couple that run a studio “Prostranstvo Perspektiva” and had already an experience of arranging workshops with invited artists.

The venue of the Artists` Assosiation

The concept of the show was to make it truly International. We decided to name it TOP 200, means to invite 200 top watercolor artists from  the world for participation. After a few brainstorms we found out that the time was too short for fund rising. It was quite risky to start the project if we wanted it happen in 2014/2015. Also there were difficulties like Russian customs regulations. So we decided to make a smaller exhibition in the beginning of 2015 and The TOP 200 - in 2017.

Alvaro Castagnet. La Havana, Cuba, 35x55 cm. 2014

We found an Organizing Committee (E. Bazanova, K. Sterkhov, K. Kuzema, S. Temerev and studio Perspektiva) that also was selecting the artists from Russia, Ukrain, Belorussia and Moldova. I was in charge of International selection. Although I had a short list of artists I had a serious problem to get paintings through the customs. Also the time was very short. I took a decision to invite art connoseurs to share their collections with a wider audience. That was the major part of the International section. Some artists, mainly from US agreed to participate with giclees to introduce themselves to Russian art lovers. I thought that I also had to introduce the today Asian watercolor that was absolutely unknown in Russia. I contacted some watercolorists from China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and India.

The Organizing Committee

The venue was chosen from the very beginning. We considered that the Grand Exhibition Hall of the Artists` Union would be the most spectacular. It is situated in the very heart of the city in a beautiful historical building that would make the whole show so special! The Russian participants shared the rent of the venue. The organizers invested into the catalogue, frames and other costs. It was a risky but very inspiring experience to make a big show without a sponsor.

Samir Mondal. Banalata. 75x55 cm. 2014

Another idea realized in our project was a contest for young artists studying or graduated from Art schools. It was in 3 categories – for children, for art students and for young artists before 35 years old. Also we announced a contest for art critic on watercolor theme. The exhibition of the finalists of the young artists contest was expressing. Such an inspiring push for their creative life!

Round table discussions on art materials.

Almost every day of the show we had master classes and round table discussions on Art materials, teaching watercolor and art market problems. We had many guest from all over Russia and neibough countries. The exhibition visitors could see the impressing demonstration by Eugen Kisnisean (Moldova), Igor Sava (Italy), Ilya Ibryaev, Sergey Kurbatov and organizers Elena Bazanova, Konstantin Sterkhov, Konstantin Kuzema and Sergey Temerev, who besides their single demos made a joint demo of 2 meter painting with a St. Petersburg scenery.
Even for that respected exhibition hall the show was a success. We were told that almost 8000 people visited the exhibition within the first 9 days. We were asked to prolong for another 2 weeks free of charge for the venue (that never happened before). I believe it was a new breakthrough for watercolor in Russia that shows a growing interest for our beloved medium.

 Big Picture for 4 artists - 2m70 cm

List of participated artists:
Russian part: Oktai Alirzayev, Tatiana Anisimova, Evgeny Antonenkov, Elena Bazanova, Alexander Vyazmenskiy, Igor Glazov, Galina Gomzina, Dmitriy Dergounov, Eugeny Doubitskiy, Nina Diakova, Anatoliy Zasidkevitch, Ekaterina Ziuzina, Ilya Ibryaev, Anna Ivanova, Lattif Kazbekov, Alexander Karpan, Anna Kozhina, Konstantin Kuzema, Ekaterina Kuznetsova, Maria Kourbatova, Sergey Kourbatov, Alina Lesova, Anna Mikhailova, Igor Mosiychuck, Nadezhda Nickolayeva, Viktor Novotny, Sabit Nourimov, Oleg Pomerantsev, Vladimir Proshkin, Konstantin Sterkhov,  Vladimir Roumyantsev, Neena Ryzhykova, Alexander Saikov, Andrey Sklyarenko, Aleksey Talashiuk, Sergey Temerev, Anna Tereshenkova, Olga Shakleina, Olga Shayunova, Oleg Shirinkin, Alexander Votsmoush, Oleg Yakhnin

 Joseph Zbukvic. Coffee Time. 35x55 cm 2013

 International part: Linda Baker, Janine Gallizia, Ginzburg Maria, Eugen Gorean, Jayson Yeoh, Joe Dowden F., Zhou Tianya, Jozeph Zbukvic, Stanislaw Zoladz, Liu Yi, Amit Kapoor, Alvaro Castagnet, LOK Kerk Hwang, Direk Kingnok, Eugen Chisnicean, Kathleen Conover, Marja Koskiniemi, La Fe, Piet Lap, EGLE LIPEIKAITE, Laurin McCracken, Angus McEvan, Milind Mulick, Atanas Matsoureff, Samir Mondal, Yuko Nagayama, Barbara Nechis, Ted Nuttal, Valentina Nasi, Tansu Ozmen, Ong Kim Seng, David Poxon, George Politis, Victoria Prischedko, Prafull Sawant, Igor Sava, John Salminen, Xavier Swolfs, Nicholas Simmons, Tan Suz Chiang, Keiko Tanabe, Alexander Talalim, David Taylor, Robert Wade, Maikki Haappala, Chien Chung-Wei, Thomas Schaller, John Yardley


I am honored to send 3 of my paintings to Invitational exhibition Re-Interpretation 2015 in China where I will again share the walls with great contemporary artists from around the world.

 Just opened...

 Liu Yi, Xidan Chen, Direk Kingnok, Prafull Sawant, David Poxon,
Atanas Matsoureff, Atanour Dougan, George Politis, Fabio Cembranelli,
Keiko Tanabe, Victoria Pricshedko, Stanislaw Zoladz, Samir Mondal,
Pablo Ruben, Chin Li, Mika Toronen, Michal Jascevic, and many more...

 Konstantin Sterkhov. Off The Office, Dubai. 55x75 cm. 2013

  Konstantin Sterkhov. The Time Is Now, London. 55x75 cm. 2015

 Konstantin Sterkhov. Let the World Wait... and I Will Keep Reading. 55x75 cm. 2014

Friday, March 13, 2015

My New Demo Works

Salutating to Spring... All paintings half-Imperial size 35x55 cm. All demos have been painted in 2015

K. Sterkhov. White On White, 55x35 cm

 K. Sterkhov. White Rose, 35x55 cm

 K. Sterkhov. Summer Window, 35x55 cm

 K. Sterkhov. In The Wind, 35x55 cm

K. Sterkhov. Touch Of Pink, 35x55 cm