30 days of June - 30 mini direct gouaches - they all are scanned and you can view them in one folder here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/23173190@N07/albums/72157668966517847

you can read more about this challenge in my previous post here:
https://blog.apple-pine.com/2018/07/30x30-direct-watercolor-challenge-at.html

So - 20 Brushstrokes or less!
My rules (for myself) were:
1. No drawing under the paint;
2. One brushstroke continues as long as brush does not leave paper.

Things that helped me make this happen:
1. Having a list of things I want to paint (for the days when I was not sure).
2. Having all tools packed and ready to paint (which means clean and replenish them after each painting session).

3. Having a border around the image (made with artist's tape) and using it to move around the painting without lifting the brush.
4. Loading brush with several colors to create special color effects or just paint with both colors on a same brushstroke;
5. Planning my colors to have certain colors showing through the cracks in others.

Things I learned:
1. I love using wet gouache to start the painting and should do it more often.
2. Limiting myself so much made me think about technicalities more and I lost some of the freshness at some point because I was more concerned about the number of brushstrokes - so having some constraint is great but leaving room to wiggle is important too.
3. I am now better at looking for and painting negative shapes.
4. Mixing enough paint is important (I knew it before but now it's a MUST :)
5. After a month of this game I missed most a chance to place separate, singular brushstrokes!
6. Apparently there are way fewer opportunities to paint landscapes in my life without special planning - so I should get out more (I thought that I would be mostly painting landscapes all month but it was a rather crazy time and I ended up mostly with stuff on my table :)

Will I do it again? DEFINITELY!

Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water and some notes on underwater tools.

I drew some of my underwater subjects above water and just drew somethings around me too. The thing I always wanted to do and that did not work (again) is collecting all the colors I see on the island - it's an overwhelming task- and when you add it to the overwhelming of drawing everything I see underwater - one of them falls off the drawing board :)
As for the tools: I used the rite-in-the-rain paper and amazingly sleek and indestructible expedition sketchbooks from Field Notes.
Little PVC board for the support was very useful as it allowed me to pack my fish ID cards, sketching tools and magnifying glass all in one place - which is critical for descend and ascend as well as any situations when you need all your attention not on sketching but on your scuba diving skills or buddies. Having everything attached to the support board allowed me to stove it away in my pocket quickly.
I used all sorts of pencils, tried regular wax crayons (not happy with the results) and still believe that plain mechanical pencil is the best. But I lost my favorite one during one of the dives :( After that, I sewed a little wristband which helped me to hold my pencils in one place and was large enough to see if/when it started to float away from me. (I saw my mechanical pencil floating on the surface from the depth of 70 feet but it was just the beginning of the dive and it did not make any sense to drag my buddies up to catch it.

Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire -  Underwater Sketching Tools / Scuba Diving and Drawing Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water7 Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water9 Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Sketching above water

30x30 direct watercolor challenge - at a glance!

In the month of June I participated in a The Thirty by Thirty (30×30) Direct Watercolor Marathon. It was organized by Montreal artist, Marc Taro Holmes and the goal was to do more painting and use daily practice to get better at something. As I am working hard on my gouache skills I decided to adjust rules and did a month of direct gouache paintings and I wanted to try and use minimum number of brushstrokes (twenty or less). It was an interesting month and I am scanning all the images and will write more about things that challenged me, things I failed at, and things I learned (actually it's more or less the same list ;) But for now - here is a glance at my instagram feed with a #20brushstrokes hashtag.


Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook

Last monster-post with the underwater sketches from my Bonaire trip: another turtle, all kinds of crabs, Scorpion fish, an unexpected peacock flounder, lion fish, trumpet fish, grouper hunting... eels and more!

Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbookhchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbookhchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook

Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook

I scanned the rest of the underwater sketches! This is part one (with more manta rays, sea turtle, porcupine fish, french angel fish, groupers and spotted eels).
I will post part two tomorrow :)

Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook8_216 Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Nina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook

More pictures from the June Gouache Workshop

More pictures from the June Trio workshop - these are all from my session (gouache) and I hope to get some more photos from Suhita and Gay to show here as well!





100 Views of Silicon Valley: Cupertino, California

I like the top two way better than the bottom two paintings and might go there again to paint other views of Cupertino. After that painting session I started carrying earplugs - too many cars rushing by!
100 Views of Silicon Valley: Cupertino, California

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Downtown San Jose State - University Campus and Art Museum

San Jose is a lovely city - constantly changing and evolving - at least that's how I feel. Every time I visit it I am a little lost and frustrated about something not being "as it was last time" but by the end of the visit there is usually something new I love. This time I was painting with Suhita and we saw that city was flooded with scooters to ease traffic in the downtown and people were really having fun riding them :)
100 Views of Silicon Valley: Downtown San Jose State - University Campus and Art Museum

100 Views of Silicon Valley: San Jose / Mustard Fields

Mustard Fields in spring are all over the valley and San Jose has an amazing contrast of the urban and developing landscaped with these bright yellow flowers all over the place!


100 Views of Silicon Valley: San Jose / Mustard Fields

Today’s direct gouache

Posted: Jun 23, 2018 | | Labels: , ,

a slice of watermelon painted withpainted with 20 brushstrokes
 

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Los Altos and San Francisco

Top: Chamber os Commerce, Los Altos.
I've learned about this super cool corner of Los Altos through instagram's comments and went to paint it as soon as I could - it's a really neat park tucked between two roads and a standalone mostly-glass building looks very cozy between large trees.

Bottom: San Francisco.
I did not paint enough of San Francisco for this project - but I will! This is a very colorful part close to the Bernal Heights Library.

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Los Altos and San Francisco

Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook

Next part of my underwater sketches if scanned! You can see how jellyfish occupied a lot of my attention on some dives, my attempts at drawing spotted cow fish and a sketch of the largest spotter drum fish I've even encountered in my scuba diving adventures. And more eagle rays!


Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a SketchbookSketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a SketchbookSketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a SketchbookSketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook
Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a SketchbookNina Khashchina Sketchbook #113: Trip to Bonaire - Underwater Sketching / Scuba Diving with a Sketchbook

100 Views of Silicon Valley: Redwood City

Redwood City has a sign at its entrance "climate best by government test" - and I just had to paint that as it was one of the first things I saw when I visited the city for the first time.
Downtown is filled with people at all times of the year and I loved painting it in early spring as I was able to see more of the buildings against the signature color of the sky in California. 
  100viewsofsiliconvalley_11_s