Search This Blog

Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Create Transparency

Here are some of my old paintings. I`d like to share some tricks of technique.

K. Sterkhov. Fog. 20x30cm. 2006

First I have painted the entire background. It all had been painted in wet. Then I dryed it up. The foreground boat had been painted all at once on a dry surface. When the boat was still wet I droped some water into it. The water pushed the pigment to the sides and made it look transparent.

Never Too Late

For those who`ve ever thought it was too late to pursue a dream, meat H.C. Dodd. The Huston watercolorist didn`t start painting in earliest until she was 67. Fifteen years later, her dramatic abstract paintings have been shown in almost 400 national and international juried exhibitions, and she`s won more than 200 awards for her work.

H.C.Dodd. Encore. 22x30` (56x76cm)

One of the most difficult aspects of her work comes when she`s done with the painting: deciding which end is up. "I just put the painting on the floor and walk around it untill I decide," she laughs.

John Singer Sargent

The greatest impact of impressionism on Sargent’s art was his use of color. He experimented with brighter, less black infected palettes and developed a special interest in the effects of light on color, and especially how various surfaces reflected and absorbed light. His interest in capturing the color of highlights, shadows, and reflections would be of paramount importance in his watercolors. Sometimes, the challenge of capturing a particular optical effect would be the only reason for doing a painting.

J.S. Sargent. Miss Eden.

From 1887 to the end of the century, Sargent established his reputation as a portraitist first in the United States and then England. He became the most sought after portrait painter by aristocrats and would-be-aristocrats on both sides of the Atlantic. To have your portrait done by Sargent meant you had arrived. By 1900, Sargent had become very wealthy and was overwhelmed with portrait work.
From the article by Jim Salchak

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Snow / winter landscape 1

The main points of the lesson:
  1. We are starting from the background, moving to forground.
  2. We are keeping white paper in the highlights.
  3. We are painting all at once, don`t repeat your brush stokes twice at the same place.
  4. We are using the variety of brushes - from broad flat bristle brush to very thin  round sable brush.

So, lets start…

Looking back in China

I was in China 4 years ago. Time has passed, but I feel it like an incurable disease. China keeps pulling my attention, as a great sourse of beauty it keeps giving me ideas and inspiration.

K. Sterkhov. Morning. 53x73. 2006

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Millind Mulick. Interview.

When I first have seen the painting by Millind Mulick I have not realized it had been done by a master from Pune, India. I always thought of Indian Art as something decorative.

Mr. Mulick, does your art come out of Indian tradition or it has more western influence? 
India has of course tradition of folk and decorative art. My art is essentially European,Western tradition and to be more specific British watercolor painters.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Portrait In Watercolor

A short demonstraition of a portrait painting from a photo. The model is my Holy Guru, my Spiritual Mother Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Learn more about yourself and about yoga here. Also here is a good chance to get your self-realization

There`s gonna be a new course in DVD next month. The entire video is included in the course as a bonus. I am planning a serie of portrait video courses. First DVD contains a young lady portrait with hands + bonus. I will annonce it later on.


Painting in red is always a chalange for me.

Poppy. 15x20. 2007

Some trick about this painting. If you need to refresh the painting you can make some spots with required color (red) and drop water into them. The pigment will be pushed to the borders. Then let it dry up. The result will look fresh and transparent though strong enough.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two Points Of View

Here are 2 portraits of Aku, a singer and an English teacher. They had been painted when I was teaching Art in Chendu, Sichuan, China.

 Aku 1. 38x56. 2006

The portraits are not very saturated, but I was merely interested in play of light and shadow. I found that the contrast of dark skinned and black dressed model against the white wall is extreemly interesting for painting.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Foggy Morning. 38x56. 2010.
Last year I had a 1 Day painting demonstration called "How to paint with watercolor in big size". These 2 paintings I have done for that course, but the top one happened to be painted without audience.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AKVART Gallery, Helsinki, 30.11, 4.12 и 5.12.2010

Looking back in 2010.

I admire the Finns` enthusiasm to Arts and all kinds of activities after they retire. In Russia when people grow old they are sitting home, watching TV or, when they are active enough, working in their summer houses planting something. In Finland they all seem to cannot wait to retire from their jobs to devote themselves to art, sport or some other interests. Most of the art courses` and exhibitions` visitors are quite matured people.

I had a chance to demonstrate during exhibition in watercolor gallery AKVART. I have been a member of Finnish Watercolor society for 2 years. The Society has this gallery to exhibit the watercolor painting.
I suggested that a master-class during the exhibition might be an additional atraction.

Fabio Cembranelli - interview

Fabio, how you got your personal style of painting?

It’s hard to define your own style, but I’d say that it’s a loose style, with a figurative and representational approach, where my main concern is how to see beyond the obvious and take care of the main shapes, creating a sensation of illusion between the focal point and the background of the composition. It’s somewhat impressionistic, but still far from gestural abstraction.

Do you always paint live or you use your imagination, photo, something else?

Most of the time I use a photo of mine, just as a starting point, that’s my studio day by day practice. Painting an impression of what I see, that’s quite important in my work. I try to mix the background from one photograph with details from another to create new compositions or I just look at some photos to get the initial inspiration.

Teaching Art In China

I was very surprised to find out that not every Art student in China learned traditional Ink Painting Style. There is a strong interest to everything that is coming from the Western culture. Art students in china would rather learn how to paint with oil than their own traditional painting. Very sad!

...but from the other point of view the same tendency in opposite direction takes place in the West looking to the East. Lets say it is a balance:)

Welcoming The Cat

I have started my blog in 2011 which is a Cat`s or a Rabbit`s Year according to the Chinese calendar. So I got a picture to welcome the Cat. See my <a href=>gallery</a> for more works.