Jun 30, 2020

In Review June 15-26, 2020

I continued painting gardens in gouache (without any underdrawing or lines over the painting - for 30x30directwatercolor challenge). I used photos by 
And I've been mixing greens a lot. I keep some notes but they are not organized. I think it would be a good idea to make them into a small workshop/handout thing for future classes. Greens are hard in any medium but some simple ideas help with the overall strategy for making them work for you. 

I went on a virtual sketch trip with Suhita Shirodkar to India and Ukraine and then we actually met in real life and visited Gay Kraeger in her magical garden. It was our first outing since the beginning of isolation and felt wonderful to be with friends and painting outdoors.


I went for a few bike rides and drew on the way too. 

And more agapanthuses made it to my sketchbook, together with sketches of everyday life, family members, and video chats. 

Jun 19, 2020

Week in review (June 8-14, 2020)

Last week I virtually traveled to Toronto, Canada (from my friend's photo); Kharkiv, Ukraine (from my own photo); Sheffield, UK (from the photo by hilaryandflo via indoorplantsdecor); Baltimore, USA (from a photo from an amazing garden feed of of Hilton Carter) and painted all these places without any underdrawing to plan and without any lines to add details or fix things. 
Also - I went to a real location - in the hills not too far from my home and painted this after I got home. 
This all continues to be a part of June experiment of 30x30DirectWatercolor - I just do it with gouache.

I also drew myself,  my family and friends in person and over the video calls and even got out to paint agapanthuses in my yard - - and here is what I shared:

Jun 12, 2020

On my table and a new solution for the old problem

I took this picture this afternoon to tell you that I am almost done with the LARGE sketchbook (the one I keep promising to write about). I rushed to finish it but now I am stretching the last couple of pages. Is it because I will have to scan or photograph it all and this seems like a lot of work? Or did I finally made peace with this paper? I will think about it a bit more this weekend. In any case - I went to paint outside today and it was amazing! Of course, I painted on separate pieces of paper as carrying this monster around is impossible.

But there is one interesting thing that I added to my table this week. It's a cloth rag that now hangs on the side of the table - like a towel. I use a lot of rags and usually, there is a whole lot of mess around them: finding clean one is impossible, there is never one close by when you need it and there is a dozen of them taking space on the table surface if you need to do something or take a photo. 
Last week I was admiring a new series of works amazing Luis Mendo is making: The Home Stayer covers. And I saw this idea and it became my solution. Do you see it here? 

(I had to make a screenshot to share the image here and the link to the instagram post is:

Jun 9, 2020

Week in Review

This week I went on to paint my morning cup of tea and people around me going about their lives. And I went on drawing news and protests, hands and faces. 
I worked on making images without putting any lines, on seeing shapes and painting whole picture - filling the page with. I painted more than I shared online but here is what I did share:
Flowers that I found on my walk - I made theese for my friends and family:

Book that I read:

Places around the world where I've been and where other people took me with their stories and photos. 

I went for a first real walk in the woods in over three month and came home filled with colors that I saw:

Jun 4, 2020


I enjoy growing things. It brings me a lot of pleasure to see how they change. I've been thinking a lot about the idea of a garden as an artwork and as a way to make art and a way of looking at life in general. 
I planted a lot of things recently - one of them was a stalk of celery that I put in a jar of water. And watched it grow from a pale clamp into a miniature lush green forest. I drew it in the morning before emails and news and it was great! Here are some of the images:

I gave it a new life and moved it into a real pot with other herbs. 
Somehow I stopped drawing it then, but at least I am watering it.

May 29, 2020

Milestones of quarantine

I measure these times in many different ways, most of which are not that different from how I measure time in non-quarantine times. One of them is by drawing myself.
As we come up to the day 80 of quarantine (in our household) I decided to look back at some of the milestone self-portraits I drew (actually I drew many more - especially blind contours - but these are are the most telling I think). I will start with the most recent one and then move back to March:
Day 80:
Day 70:
Day 60:

Day 50:

Day 46:

Day 25:

May 19, 2020

Making Zines

Another sketching game I play is making little zines and filling them. Now - Zines are small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images. I've learned about them from the art of Kate Bingaman-Burt (she has a class about zines on skillshare) and then fell in love with the Malaka Gharib's amazing little zines and then Austin Kleon made a flock of zines during the quarantine - so I ended up following my heroes and started making zines and filling them with things like "what I saw on my walk" (see video below) etc.
I usually make a bunch of empty zines and then use them during the week.

This is my favorite spread from this zine.

May 15, 2020

Sketching Game I play

I am playing a sketching game almost every day these days. 

I found it on Louise Gouët's instagram and loved her work and the idea so much it became a little present I give myself. Giving yourself little presents is one of the things that I recently added to my repertoire of survival skills and now I recommend it to everyone. Especially now. But that is a reason for a whole separate post.

About this game: I go to the mapcrunch website which gives me a random street view from Google maps. And then draw stuff that I see! Granted some adjustments are needed often - but it's a great start! And if I wanted an urban scene - I just go to google maps and do a street view of a city I want to visit one day. These are mostly super-quick 2x4 inches sketches on whatever paper I have in my pockets (which is a story for another post!)

And then I post it with the #locationdrawathome tag on Instagram.
Try it out and send me a link / tag me on Instagram to see!

May 11, 2020

Alstroemeria and other things on my table

I am working in this giant sketchbook (the kind that does not fit in any backpack - but more about it in another post). And there is a lot of things going on in this book - in particular - I am on a quest to learn to spell alstroemeria. I draw it every day and write it too. I think I am almost there (I had to correct it only twice during the preparation of this post - which is much better than before).