10-14, June, 2019 Hartola, Finland at Ita-Hameen opisto a KONSTANTIN STERKHOV`s 5 days watercolor workshop on landscapes, seascapes, flowers, animals, figure and cityscapes. Everyday 2-3 demos by the instuctor followed by guided practice. Suitable for any level and skill. Nice food, 4 meals a day, green and picturesc surroundings. Contact the office Kirsi, email - Kurssit at ihop.fi Welcome!
All kinds of subjects to practice...
2-3 demos by the master Konstantin Sterkhov per day
Lots of space for each participated artist
The master`s guidence and a possibility to paint from 9 am till 10 pm
It`s a flash back. Last year we organized the second exhibition Masters Of Watercolor in the exhibition hall of the Artists` Union in Saint-Petersburg. There were over 500 artists participating in that show. We had lots of demos and wotkshops and conferences on art topics. People who wanted to attend were quequeing outdoors to get in. Here are some works and some photos from that event.
Venue of the Artists` Union
Some guests and organizers: Sergey Temerev, Keith Hornblower (UK),
Dmitry Volopyansky, Vikrant Shitole (India), a translator, Konstantin Sterkhov
Large scale painting by organizers in four hands:
Elena Bazanova, Konstantin Sterkhov, Sergey Temerev, Konstantin Kuzema
John Yardley is included as one of the perles in my new book "Masters of Watercolor. All about Plein Air". His article on tonal painting will discover secrets of tonal vision that artist has to have when painting outdoors.
A part of an interview with Taiwanese artists Liu Mu Lin for my new book "Masters of Watercolor. All About Plein Air"
Have you always been painting with watercolor? Yes,most of the time. Sometimes I also do oil painting, pencil drawing, pastel and Chinese ink wash painting.
What was your first experience of sketching outdoors? At the student age I always went outdoors with friends using pencil, charoal pencil, color pencil and watercolor for plein air sketch. I practiced hard in the basic to build up good foundation. Now I can finish a 540x788mm watercolor painting outdoor easily.
Do you work more in studio or outdoors? Mostly indoor. I like to paint in large size but it is not easy to carry large size for outdoor.
Do you paint full size paintings outdoors? Depends on the subject. Small size for buildings, large size for landscape.
What colors do you use for your plein air palette? 11 colors by Winsor and Newton: Sepia, ultramarine, lamp black, emerald, Light red, cadmiumred pale hue, permanent rose, scarlet lake, Juane brilliant light, Chinese white, leaf green And one Holbein W304 horizon blue. Read full interview when the book is released this summer...
High time you considered to attend my workshop in Shropshire, UK, 12-14, May 2020. Sign up now! Subjects - portraits, cats and a lot more! It`s my first time in UK, so I am going to introduce a lot of my watercolour approaches!
Extracts from the interview with Andrey Zadorin (The Netherlands) that is published in my book "Masters Of Watercolor V. Portrait and Figure"
What place does portraiture take in your Art? Portraits as such I try not to paint, but sometimes I'm asked, and then I take them as portraits and do not like the interweaving of additional stories in them.
Do you limit your palette when you paint portraits? For the last fifteen years I have been working with a complete palette. It is similar in both oil and watercolors.
What plays a more important role in your portraits - color or tone?A difficult question, but looking as if from the outside, I see that for me the color goes through tone, but the very first sketches I do are generally only tonal.
Is the light on the model important when you set your portraits? From the previous answer it is obvious that the lighting is very important - shaping the form, the relation with the background, the color, and just the feeling of air for me goes through the light. As for the model sitting, before the arrival of the model I make many sketches, but always during the work there are surprises, and they are very valuable. As for lighting, sometimes it's natural light, sometimes a short fortune and a lucky ray of sun... Either artificial light, and then the lights aresoffit, but in such cases I do not like complex alignments with different screens, reflectors, in general, the simpler the better.
How do you find an object for your portraits? If there is an order, then the question is only how to do it better, and so that the work does not end up falling out of the context of what I'm doing, and so far I have been doing such orders only in oil. As for the painting as such and those works that can be attributed to a portrait, there is no difference in approach in comparison with my other paintings, well, the main thing in this is the mood, the feeling of some detachment, an attempt to achieve the infinity of the moment being portrayed.
Is it important to know the object personally? Undoubtedly, unless you take works based on old photos. When I paint whose characters, I can invent life stories, how to empathize and guess their future destiny, but I have done such work only with oil and technologically at the moment I can not imagine how to perform this in watercolors. As for watercolors, even when working after my reference photos, I constantly compare the result with my feelings from the depicted characters, and in this the unquestionable assistant and critic for me is my wife who has her own view of the people I paint, her feelings in relation to them... It happened so that she knows them not worse than I do. Often her small note is enough to send the work back to the very beginning, and for me it is very important.
Do you rely on your first impression or do you have to examine your model thoroughly?In different ways, there is no recipe here. Sometimes a momentary glance captures the whole atmosphere in your memory and you save within yourself that experienced feeling... It happens sometimes the other way round - an infinite spinning in an attempt to find the necessary solution.
What helps you to capture the character? Here you can smile at my arrogance, but it seems to me just a skill. I do not know how to name it differently.
Do you prefer to work with different models every time or can one model inspire you for several paintings? I did not have many models for every time and, if possible, I keep to them. It is important for me that they understand what I'm doing, their kind of attitude to my painting. If I feel it, I treasure it.
Do you believe that the likeness is not the only thing thatmakesa portrait successful? Of course, you need something more.
Here is an unusual post. It is a story by renoun Russian watercolor artist that is included into my upcoming book "Masters Of Watercolor. All About Plein Air"
Butterflies and environmental awareness
(a story by Konstantin Kuzema with his paintings that has nothing to do with the subject of his story)
Unlike other stories here you dont smell spirit. Only white spirit, and only in the very end.
I was strolling around Konevets island (quite a small island in Ladoga lake where Orthodox monastery is based) looking for a place to do some watercolouring. The island is not so big and after fifty painters had landed here it became really crowded. You cound run into a painting-box or easel everywhere - some of us did not bother to take them under roof at night, planning to contunue the neхt day. We could afford to be so light-hearted because of the special attitide that one feels in the monastery: nobody touch the thing that belongs to other person…
I came to sand spit in the southern part of the island. A hare jumped out of nowhere and run towdars old wide-branching pine. I saw sparkling expance of the lake, Pater Gedeon on the boat far away, and several seals near the shore. Pater Gedeon and seals were doing their job - fishing, as usual.
When a seal jumped out of the water with a catch, it throwed it up in such a way that the fish flipped over and fell down headlong. Seals opened their mouth wide and the fish fell right in the throat.A seagull flew up and found a part for itself: when a seal threw a fish up the shrewed bird picked the fish before it fell down in the seal’s throat. The seals took this into account eventually and before throwing the fish looked up to check whether the seagull is flying around. The bird also updated its method and tried to keep away of the seal’s sight, staying behind the rocks.
After looking at the seals I came back to my painting and realized that wildlife is getting closer: moths were flying around my head, bees buzzing near the watercolour box, red soldier bugs shuttling around my feet, and a ladybird walking along the haft of the brush I was using. A bug landed on the edge of my watrcolour pad. It moved its whiskers and examined my painting. The hare sitting under the pines was also interested in what I was doing - I could feel it from slight movements of his long grey ears. As if to complete the idyll a big beautiful batterfly landed on my palette. It was sitting, quivering its wings - and her colourful pattern emphasized the harmony of random watercolour stains.
It was going like this until dinner time when we had to go to the refectory. The moths accompanied me for a while. On the way I run into the easel left by one of us. Next to the unfinished etude was a palette and the butterfly - it had stuck to a clot of oil, that was cut from the pallete with a palette knife.
Again, the batterfly and the paints were in deep harmony - the only difference being that the batterfly had died.