Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Best Christmas Story Contest

holiday story

As an artist and illustrator I paint artworks that usually tell a story. 

In the month of November I am running a contest for the Best Christmas Story that would apply to the above painting.

Three winners will be selected:
1st Prize
Quality Print of this Christmas painting 10"x8" on watercolor paper (signed by the artist, front and back)
2nd Prize
A dozen of cards from the Artist's collection that includes one hand-painted card.
3rd Prize
Half of a dozen greeting cards selected by the Artist.

Just e-mail me the story. 
It doesn't have to be too long (a half of printed page or a page will do good). Look at the painting of this Christmas Scene, imagine, create your own Christmas story

Please indicate if you want your name published when I place the story online between the 1st of December 1st and the 10th. The winner story will be next to the painting on my website; and, who knows maybe some day it will be in a book.
:0)
Live To Create!! 
Cheers from Irina Sztukowski


Friday, October 24, 2014

Gooseberry Goosebumps - Jam Labels Project

watercolor jam labels project

When I was looking at variety of gooseberries for my Jam Labels Project, I got some goosebumps realizing how many different kinds of those berries are in the world. They can be green, they can be red, they can be kind of green but with red spots. They also have many different sizes: round, oval; and, tastes: sweet, sour, sweet-n-sour. 

So my decision was to paint them all.
The green and round gooseberries above are composed in a compact still life, more suitable for labels with central composition.

Red gooseberries here, represent more botanical style.
The berries are hanging from a branch, heavy from the ripe fruit:
labels for jam

On another hand, I wanted to design Green Gooseberries (which by the way are Sunkissed with Alizarin Crimson Red watercolor here) in a little different, upright way. I imagined them being very happy, reaching to the Sun, ready to be picked and placed in the gooseberry jam:

jam labels project

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blackcurrant Redcurrant - My Current Jam Labels

jam labels project

Painting blackcurrant and redcurrant was fun. Those closely related berries brought some challenge for me as an artist. I had to juggle between botanical approach (e.g. realistic painting) yet still keep in mind that those tiny berries will be even tinier on the jam labels. So, in spite of my love to realism in watercolor, I had to simplify a little. 
I still wanted some details on the blackcurrant and redcurrant berries, so I painted them doubling the real size on paper. And when I painted, I had to step aside quite a bit in order to see the "whole picture" and not to get lost in the berry maze. 

It is interesting to note that when I painted blackcurrant, I had to apply red (Alizarin Crimson) as the first wash, in order for the black to have rather warm tint.
On another hand, when painting redcurrant, I used black and purple while red was still wet. That helped me to indicate transparency of the redcurrant berries, kind of see-through berry seeds feeling:

jam labels project

The jam labels project continues. I am not only eating lots of good fruits and berries, but definitely "killing" many birds with one stone: researching botanical structure of the fruits and berries, having good time painting with watercolors, and accomplishing a big important project.

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