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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.