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Thursday, February 14, 2019

International Watercolour Masters 2020 in England

Second time we are going to join together for the exhibition at Lilleshall Hall organized by David Poxon. This time it will show even more top artists works! Stay turned...

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Andrey Zadorin - Interview

Extracts from the interview with Andrey Zadorin (The Netherlands) that is published in my book "Masters Of Watercolor V. Portrait and Figure"

What place does portraiture take in your Art?
Portraits as such I try not to paint, but sometimes I'm asked, and then I take them as portraits and do not like the interweaving of additional stories in them.

Andrey Zadorin

Do you limit your palette when you paint portraits?
For the last fifteen years I have been working with a complete palette. It is similar in both oil and watercolors.

What plays a more important role in your portraits - color or tone?A difficult question, but looking as if from the outside, I see that for me the color goes through tone, but the very first sketches I do are generally only tonal.

Andrey Zadorin

Is the light on the model important when you set your portraits?
From the previous answer it is obvious that the lighting is very important - shaping the form, the relation with the background, the color, and just the feeling of air for me goes through the light. As for the model sitting, before the arrival of the model I make many sketches, but always during the work there are surprises, and they are very valuable. As for lighting, sometimes it's natural light, sometimes a short fortune and a lucky ray of sun... Either artificial light, and then the lights aresoffit, but in such cases I do not like complex alignments with different screens, reflectors, in general, the simpler the better.

Andrey Zadorin

How do you find an object for your portraits?
If there is an order, then the question is only how to do it better, and so that the work does not end up falling out of the context of what I'm doing, and so far I have been doing such orders only in oil. As for the painting as such and those works that can be attributed to a portrait, there is no difference in approach in comparison with my other paintings, well, the main thing in this is the mood, the feeling of some detachment, an attempt to achieve the infinity of the moment being portrayed.

Andrey Zadorin

Is it important to know the object personally?
Undoubtedly, unless you take works based on old photos. When I paint whose characters, I can invent life stories, how to empathize and guess their future destiny, but I have done such work only with oil and technologically at the moment I can not imagine how to perform this in watercolors. As for watercolors, even when working after my reference photos, I constantly compare the result with my feelings from the depicted characters, and in this the unquestionable assistant and critic for me is my wife who has her own view of the people I paint, her feelings in relation to them... It happened so that she knows them not worse than I do. Often her small note is enough to send the work back to the very beginning, and for me it is very important.

Andrey Zadorin

Do you rely on your first impression or do you have to examine your model thoroughly?In different ways, there is no recipe here. Sometimes a momentary glance captures the whole atmosphere in your memory and you save within yourself that experienced feeling... It happens sometimes the other way round - an infinite spinning in an attempt to find the necessary solution.

Andrey Zadorin

What helps you to capture the character?
Here you can smile at my arrogance, but it seems to me just a skill. I do not know how to name it differently.

Do you prefer to work with different models every time or can one model inspire you for several paintings?
I did not have many models for every time and, if possible, I keep to them. It is important for me that they understand what I'm doing, their kind of attitude to my painting. If I feel it, I treasure it.

Andrey Zadorin

Do you believe that the likeness is not the only thing thatmakesa portrait successful?
Of course, you need something more. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Konstantin Kuzema - a story

Here is an unusual post. It is a story by renoun Russian watercolor artist that is included into my upcoming book "Masters Of Watercolor. All About Plein Air"

Butterflies and environmental awareness

(a story by Konstantin Kuzema with his paintings that has nothing to do with the subject of his story)

Unlike other stories here you dont smell spirit. Only white spirit, and only in the very end.

I was strolling around Konevets island (quite a small island in Ladoga lake where Orthodox monastery is based) looking for a place to do some watercolouring. The island is not so big and after fifty painters had landed here it became really crowded.
You cound run into a painting-box or easel everywhere - some of us did not bother to take them under roof at night, planning to contunue the neхt day. We could afford to be so light-hearted because of the special attitide that one feels in the monastery: nobody touch the thing that belongs to other person… 

Konstantin Kuzema

I came to sand spit in the southern part of the island. A hare jumped out of nowhere and run towdars old wide-branching pine. I saw sparkling expance of the lake, Pater Gedeon on the boat far away, and several seals near the shore. Pater Gedeon and seals were doing their job - fishing, as usual.

Konstantin Kuzema

When a seal jumped out of the water with a catch, it throwed it up in such a way that the fish flipped over and fell down headlong. Seals opened their mouth wide and the fish fell right in the throat.A seagull flew up and found a part for itself: when a seal threw a fish up the shrewed bird picked the fish before it fell down in the seal’s throat. The seals took this into account eventually and before throwing the fish looked up to check whether the seagull is flying around. The bird also updated its method and tried to keep away of the seal’s sight, staying behind the rocks. 

Konstantin Kuzema

After looking at the seals I came back to my painting and realized that wildlife is getting closer: moths were flying around my head, bees buzzing near the watercolour box, red soldier bugs shuttling around my feet, and a ladybird walking along the haft of the brush I was using. A bug landed on the edge of my watrcolour pad. It moved its whiskers and examined my painting. The hare sitting under the pines was also interested in what I was doing - I could feel it from slight movements of his long grey ears. As if to complete the idyll a big beautiful batterfly landed on my palette. It was sitting, quivering its wings - and her colourful pattern emphasized the harmony of random watercolour stains. 

Konstantin Kuzema

It was going like this until dinner time when we had to go to the refectory. The moths accompanied me for a while.
On the way I run into the easel left by one of us. Next to the unfinished etude was a palette and the butterfly - it had stuck to a clot of oil, that was cut from the pallete with a palette knife. 

Konstantin Kuzema

Again, the batterfly and the paints were in deep harmony - the only difference being that the batterfly had died.

See his paintings here:

Geoffrey Wynne

I am working on my new book in series "Masters of Watercolor". This one will be about plein air painting. One of my personal descoveries was this wonderful artist from UK living and painting in Spain for many years. I am happy to share some extracts from his interview he gave for my new book!

What is your Art background?

I was born in Stoke - on Trent, also called the Potteries. At the age of 13 i was selected to attend the small prestigious art school Portland House From 15 years of age i attended Burslem School of Art, to further my training in the arts and crafts.

For as long as i can remember painting and drawing have been an important part of my life and my passion was always for the Fine Arts.At 19 years of age i applied and was accepted at West Surrey College of Art and Design to study painting. I did experiment with watercolors in my last year, working in the style of Emile Nolde` s forbidden watercolors. The first painting i sold was a watercolour.
Later i worked as a designer for Coalport China a member of the Wedgwood Group. In these years I only painted spasmodically. The frustration that i was not fulfilling my passion to paint became to much and at 32 I decided to take the definitive step in my life and dedicate it to painting.To give myself courage I enrolled on the Fine Art Course at North Staffordshire University and for the next three years i threw myself frenetically into trying to find myself as an artist. My true art education did not start until 1987 when i moved to Granada and started to paint watercolors.

This old moorish town with the Alhambra Palace dominating its sky line has held a strong fascination for artists poets writers and musicians. John Singer Sergeant, Joaquin Sorolla, Mariano Fortuny,Arthur Melville, David Roberts, George Owen, Wynne Apperley RI and many more painted here. My first year in Granada i spent most of my days filling sketch books with observations of the daily life, the people in the squares and markets going about their activities.
After a year living in Granada my circumstances changed and it became a necessity to make a regular living. My paintings sold but not sufficient to maintain my new responsibilities. I tried making caricatures in the streets and seaside with some success but the winter months proved difficult. Portraits in pastel was a short lived idea as well.The only thing i hadn’t tried my hand at was painting watercolours. I decided to have a go so i bought some cheap paints paper and brushes and started painting plein air.
So was watercolor painting my choice or did the medium choose me, i would say yes to both, my destiny.

Geoffrey Wynne

Geoffrey Wynne

I decided to sit in Bibrambla, the main square with flower stalls a beautiful fountain, bars, cafes and the cathedral as its backdrop, a daunting theme for my first attempt. After about three hours i felt a little pleased with my results, to my dismay, i didn’t realize I was being observed by a distinguished gentleman. He was a discreet admirer and only after i had finished did he approach me. His first words where that my painting for him was ,love at first sight,or better said in spanish (un flechazo).

Geoffrey Wynne

He asked to buy the painting and invited me to his office when i had more. This gentleman was to become not only a collector for years of my watercolours but a friend, also introducing me to many other collectors.
My first watercolor on the spot opened changed my future destiny as a painter.

Was watercolor your choice or it is the watercolor medium choosed you?

In my case the choice of painting in watercolors was a mixture of destiny, necessity and a certain impulsive trait in my character. For academic reasons in 1985 i visited Granada Spain. I became fascinated with the city and revisited again in 1986.In 1987 i sold up and moved to Granada.

Geoffrey Wynne

Do you remember your first experience of painting on spot?

I bought my paints, paper and brushes and two camping stools, one to sit and the other to rest my palette and water.What i didn’t realize at the time that my future as an oil painter in the studio was finished and i was launching into becoming a plien air watercolour artist.

Geoffrey Wynne

I decided to sit in Bibrambla, the main square with flower stalls a beautiful fountain, bars, cafes and the cathedral as its backdrop, a daunting theme for my first attempt. After about three hours i felt a little pleased with my results, to my dismay, i didn’t realize I was being observed by a distinguished gentleman. He was a discreet admirer and only after i had finished did he approach me. His first words where that my painting for him was ,love at first sight,or better said in spanish (un flechazo).
He asked to buy the painting and invited me to his office when i had more. This gentleman was to become not only a collector for years of my watercolours but a friend, also introducing me to many other collectors.
My first watercolor on the spot opened changed my future destiny as a painter...

Stay turned, my new book is coming this June...
Visit Geoffrey Wynne`s blog

Coming Back

I haven`t been posting for ages. Let`s do it again! Some of my marines exhibited in Hong Kong 2 years ago...

 Konstantin Sterkhov, Regatta, 35x53. 2017

 Konstantin Sterkhov, Regatta, 35x53. 2017

 Konstantin Sterkhov, Regatta, 35x53. 2017

 Konstantin Sterkhov, Noise Of Surf, 35x53. 2017

 Konstantin Sterkhov, Tall Ships, Turku, 35x53. 2016

Konstantin Sterkhov, Yachts Sleeping, 35x53. 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

First Russian Watercolor Class in Hong Kong

This is going to be something new. My first and generally the first Russian watercolor workshop and solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Welcome, my friends!

Watercolor workshop in Italy

Hi guys! There are still a couple of sits for my workshop in Italy in beautiful Fabriano!
The topics are extremely spectacular - CATS, ROSES and PORTRAITS.
3 days of getting to know ALL effective aproaches in painting these themes.
Contact Anna Massinissa

 K.Sterkhov. Duo. 35x53 cm, 2017

K. Sterkhov. After breakfast. 35x53 cm. 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Seamless Expression - super blog!

Its a wonderful resourse for those who wants to learn more about watercolor painting. Stephen Berry who runs the blog is doing very detailed reviews on various watercolor lessons with deep understanding of difficulties of mastering watercolor technique.

Just now he made a review on my relatively new video that is available on demand on Vimeo. Enjoy reading and watching!
Read here:

Watch here:

Konstantin Sterkhov. Noon Nap. 27x37 cm. 2016

Also available the following tutorials: Reflections

Konstantin Sterkhov. Quiet Dusk. 27x37 cm. 2016 Cool Summer

Konstantin Sterkhov. Cool Summer. 27x37 cm. 2016

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Andrey Esionov - Interview

How did you come to watercolors?   
Six years of study in Republican specialized music and art boarding school, specialty graphic artist, six years of study in Tashkent Ostrovsky `s State Theatre and Art Institute on poster department, at both Alma Mater the subject of the painting at the department of graphic was taught only in watercolor. So this is how I came, but first not to the watercolors, but via watercolor to oil. At the end of training I shifted to easel painting. I returned to watercolors 5 years ago.

Andrey Esionov

How do you select a subject?
The plot is built according to requirements of a classical composition, ie, I select a theme and I work through searches, sketches, sometimes trial washes. The work includes preliminary sketches without fail, if we talk about watercolors based on complex composition.

Andrey Esionov

Which colors in the palette are necessary for you?
Currently, no more than 12 colors: cadmium red, kraplak, ocher, iron oxide, Naples yellow, cadmium yellow, umber, blue, ultramarine, indigo, yellow-green and black.

Andrey Esionov

Is there a preference in the choice of paper, paints, brushes?
Paper by any manufacturer of 600 g. rough. Paints "White Nights" (Russia) in pans and any paints by European production in tubes. Squirrel brushes by any known manufacturer.

How do your individual features are manifested in your watercolors?
If you do not copy off from other artists' works, and stay yourself, your personality manifests as your personal painting style.

Do you think that the easy "incompleteness" only benefit watercolor work?
I do not like the word "incompleteness". If you mean, conscious use of paper white, untouched by paint, why not? If - it does not interfere with the integrity of the picture, or the composition solution, or just intuitively "delicious." If we go on the impressionistic style of writing, so watercolor in my opinion is very thereto.

Andrey Esionov

Full version of the interview read in my new book in series "Masters Of Watercolor" - "On Both Sides of the Great Wall".

Workshop in Finland

31, July - 4, August, Ita-hameen opisto, Hartola. 
5 days workshop on varity of subjects such as landscape, cityscape, animals, flowers and portrait. Nice area for walking, swimming, exelent cusine, sauna and opportunity to paint 12 hours a day. Contact Arja 

 Constractive critiques, relatively small group of students

 Demo of various approaches and subjects in watercolor

 Nace and convenient historical location

 Consultation on painting materials

Up to 3 step-by-step demos daily

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Intensive Workshop in US - Book Now!

Intensive workshop with me at MISA (Madeline Island School Of Art), USA
19, June - 23, June, 2017

Class #: SPKS061917
Dates: 06/19/17 to 06/23/17
Level: All Levels 
Instructor: Konstantin Sterkhov

Class Description:

During this five day workshop, you will learn how to use the Alla Prima approach to create expressive works in watercolor.  Konstantin will share his knowledge of this classic approach while utilizing contemporary techniques including wet-on-wet, dry brush, glazing, splashing, masking, and many others. Students will also learn how to create convincing works without needing advanced drawing skills.

The class schedule will include 2-3 painting demonstrations per day and opportunities to paint a variety of subjects. Students will learn distinct approaches for still lifes including florals, landscapes, seascapes, interiors and portraits. This class will be mainly studio based with some opportunities to paint en Plein Air throughout the week, using Madeline Island’s amazing landscapes and seascapes as inspiration.

Students can choose to bring two or three of their own paintings for personal critique, or specific objects of interest to receive feedback on the right approach to use, and mistakes to avoid when painting the chosen subject matter. Class will conclude with a critique exhibition of student and teacher’s works at week’s end.

Enroll here:

New workshop with David Poxon