Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Dear friends, today I was thinking how blessed I am having the opportunity to express myself in art and to share my work with you. Whatever sources of inspiration I've ever had, the truth is: it's your kind words that inspire me most and keep me going. And your attention is the biggest reward for my efforts. When I see your visits on my blog from all over the world, it brightens up my day and fills my heart with warmth. Also, glad to have you following me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I'm amazed at how much credit you give me, and that's what motivates me to improve my skills.

So I'm saying a huge thanks to each of you, and wishing you always be happy and healthy. Have a very joyful holiday season!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Craving for snow

Unbelievable how fast time is flying by! It's winter already and I'm trying my best to feel the holiday season vibe (which personally is so not easy to do when living in a snowless place). Having been raised in the continental part of Russia, I crave for snow every year when the jingle bells start to ring. That being said, here's my top three to boost the holiday mood:

1. Watch "snowy" movies.
2. Go to Pinterest - an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
3. Last, but not least: if you can't have it, paint it!

When I was little, my grandfather would hang self-made bird feeders in front of the kitchen window. The winters were cold so those feeders would get pretty busy. Watching birds kept me entertained for hours, especially when beautiful bullfinches were coming over. They were my very favorite.

Another cute bird that reminds me of snow is Cardinal, which is more common in the US.

Both of these paintings are available on my Etsy shop. It's time to stock up on Christmas gifts! Consider giving original bird art this holiday season!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Big Fall Post

Each year, as sweet autumn days go by, I feel like capturing all their beautiful moments in painting. As usual, most of my inspiration comes from what is around me, especially when the weather is so nice for hanging outside and collecting ideas.

The autumn sun bathes everything with a golden glow, and every single blade of grass seems a perfect creature. Take a look at this dog rose, for example. Don't you think it's begging to be painted?

Of course it is! I painted this 10''x8'' watercolor on Arches paper, using my special fall collection of colors. Although I usually prefer a limited palette, this time I couldn't help but use all 18 of them:) The painting was started wet on wet, in order for colors to blend, then some details were added as the paper was drying out.

My autumn palette includes warm reds, deep blues and natural, earthy browns. In case you wonder, here's the list:

Speaking of colors, here is another thing that brightens the season. Everything gets a cute pumpkin makeover this time of year:) What else pops into my head when I think about fall, is cinnamon gingerbread latte, woolen sweaters, warm apple cider, the aroma of freshly baked goodies, morning mists, rustling of leaves under the feet, dining with candles... Wouldn't it be wonderful to paint all of these and convey all those feelings?

And what are your favorite little things to enjoy in fall?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cake, anyone?

Painting desserts can be as much fun as eating them:)
7 4/5''x7 4/5'' on Sennelier watercolor paper

PS This watercolor is available on my Etsy shop. Welcome to have a visit!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Here is the fifth painting from Mendocino series. I don't know about you,
but I'm still living in the summer:) 9''x12'' on Arches watercolor paper

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Favorite Art Materials: Watercolor Brushes.

My lovely readers often ask me what materials I use, so I figured it was about time I made a series of posts on this topic. I do not claim to be the final authority on the subject of art supplies, and none of the companies mentioned have endorsed me. My sole intent is sharing some experience and knowledge, hope you find it useful:)

This very first post is all about brushes I use most. Let me start with a quote of renowned master watercolorist Charles Reid. In his book "Painting Flowers in Watercolor" he says:

Hard to disagree, isn't it? I only would like to mention that good brush can be a very broad definition, and it doesn't necessarily have to be super expensive. Even the old rough looking brush can sometimes do a wonderful job on certain objects, and feel just right in your hand.

1. Silver Brush Black Velvet Oval Wash, Size 1'' is a blend of squirrel hair and synthetic filament. It's my "work horse" brush. What I like most about oval brush is that it provides a variety of strokes and somewhat combines features of two shapes: round and flat, depending on how much pressure I apply to it. I use this brush for both broad washes and some detail work.

2. Da Vinci Quill, Size 6, is just a big bold watercolor brush that holds an incredible amount of paint and water. Perfect for washes, as well as getting around details. I find this brush to be lacking of spring a little bit, but other than that, It works great for loose painting and gets used very often.

3. Silver Brush Black Velvet Wash, Size 1-1/2'' is another combination of squirrel hair and synthetic fibers. This flat brush is ideal for large washes and laying in water.

4. Silver Brush Black Velvet Square Wash, Size 3/4''. This medium-sized, squirrel blend flat brush doesn't get used very often, comparing to others, but comes in handy when I need to paint straight lines for example.

5. Silver Brush Black Velvet Round, Size 16. A full bodied, medium-sized round brush like this one is a must have for me, since it is very versatile and can do the trick for everything.

6. Winsor & Newton Artist Pointed Round, Size 8. I love this Kolinsky sable brush for its excellent carrying capacity and beautifully pointed tip, which makes it perfect for long, continuous strokes, some washes and detail work.

7. Winsor & Newton Artist Pointed Round, Size 7. Being just a little bit thinner, this brush does essentially the same as Size 8 version.

8. Winsor & Newton Artist Pointed Round, Size 4. I use this brush for painting smaller objects, fine detail and lines.

9. Roubloff (Russian brand), Size 1. My oldest and tiniest sable brush. No painting is done without its participation, since I use it for signing my watercolors.

In the comments section, I'd love you to share your thoughts and preferences regarding watercolor brushes. What are your "must haves"?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Little Bird

A new watercolor birdie in my Etsy shop
Inspired by cute Lazuli Bunting - a North American song bird.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nevada Landscape

My watercolor tribute to the beautiful state of Nevada
9''x12'' on Arches watercolor paper

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Floral Fusion

Update in my Etsy shop! This floral watercolor painting fits perfectly in standard mat with 8''x10'' opening. And yes, the gorgeous bouquet on photos is from the farmers' market:)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Another painting of California Coast from Mendocino series.
9''x12'' on Arches watercolor paper.

And the whole Mendocino set so far:

To be continued...

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Girl From The Past

Why is painting faces from imagination fun? Because you never know what kind of person is about to appear on that blank sheet of paper. And then, step by step, he or she is showing up. It's a kind of magic for me, and I feel like a wizard:)

Personally, the most exciting part of painting a portrait is working on eyes and lips. It's amazing to see how every single tiny brushstroke makes a difference in expression and personality. Isn't it what we call breathing life into a painting?

This watercolor is one of those I painted without a preliminary drawing. I worked quickly and freely from big to small, while the paper was still wet, trying to find the right balance of spontaneity and control (that's actually the way I do most of my watercolors). And this is who has arrived today, all the way from the past. Meet this young lady with a dreamy gaze and porcelain skin, wearing a flower wreath on her head. Now it's time to make a story up...

12''x9''on Arches watercolor paper

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sunny Day

A brand new watercolor painting inspired by the wonderful summer weather I'm having at the moment. Btw, this artwork is available for purchase on my Etsy shop, which you are always welcome to visit:) Have a great rest of the week!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Love the Farmers' Market!

Once our local Farmers' Market starts, the summer season is officially open for me. Walking in the realm of fresh produce and dazzling flowers, carrying my favorite straw bag - that's what makes my summer Saturdays truly enjoyable!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Watercolor Prints For Sale

The prints of my watercolors "Apple Season" and "Summer Flowers", are now available for purchase on my Etsy shop.
Both artworks were professionally scanned and printed on a high quality, beautifully textured (like watercolor paper) 300g Arches acid free archival fine art paper, using the latest generation Epson Stylus Pro 9900 with UltraChrome HDR archival inks.
Apple Season print comes in two sizes: 12 x 9 inches (like the original) and 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches.
Summer Flowers print is 12 x 9 inches, like the original.

You are more than welcome to check them out: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CMwatercolors

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Italian Cafe

A warm sunny afternoon is a perfect time to sit in a little cafe,
enjoying a pleasant talk and a cup of cappuccino.
12''x9'' on Arches watercolor paper

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Old Chapel

You might think this is an Italian scenery, but it's not:) Actually, I saw this cute chapel on the road leading to the winery in California. The place was surrounded by grape vineyard with blue hills on the background, and everything was bathing in the sunlight.

9''x12'' on Arches watercolor paper.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Here is another painting from Mendocino set. Cute and cozy white cottages like this one are very common in that region, as well as wooden water towers next to them. Imagine sitting on the ocean view porch, drink in hand, and enjoying the delicate scent of flowers... Wish I was there again:) BTW, did you know that Mendocino is the place where TV series "Murder, She Wrote" were being filmed?