November 2, 2010

Step-by-steps from the Manual

These two pieces are my attempts to follow the instructions of Barry Herniman (link) in the watercolor manual.

What did I learn?

First, he puts the layer of washes all over the paper. He uses very strong colors and mixes them on paper. Somehow (this is secret for me) he avoids mud. He adds colors to select objects as the second layer (barns, wooden or stone structures of the buildings). And he outlines the details as the third layer. So simple and so beautiful. As it turns in his paintings, at least)).

Second, I need to start the notepad, where to write about the color mixes and little secrets (which are obvious, but very easy to forget). For example do you know that sky between the branches of the trees should be done in darker color then the sky above the trees? Now I know.

My next book waiting is J.Dobbie's "Making Color Sing" and and I am anticipating the pleasure))


  1. I think you've done a beautiful job on these two :) I had been told but forgot about the sky between branches! So many little things to remember...

  2. I have been reading your blog for almost one hour. The pieces you've made are beautiful!
    I have started with watercolor painting four weeks ago. The book I use is written by Wendy Jelbert as well - Aquarelleren (written in Dutch) also a very good book!

  3. These colors are very strong and very difficult designs!
    Precisely for this reason I must tell you, congratulations!



  4. Rhonda, thank you. I forget them very quickly too. Need to write everything, as a lot of info around.
    Mirjam, I am so glad you are in watercolor thing! Thank you and now I go to visit your blog.
    Francesco, thank you. I love colors of Barry Hernimann, feel freedom in every color choice.

  5. I think you reached a new height with these works Irina, they look so beautiful.. hope to see more with this technique and thanks for the link!

  6. Very nice work on both of these. I particularly like the 2nd one. As far as the sky color between branches, much of it depends on whether there are leaves on the trees. The eye is actually seeing "shade" between the branches and leaves. This "darkens" the blue of the sky (or whatever color it is). The more objects to cast the shade, the darker the shade is. So the more leaves on the tree the more cast of a "shadow" than bare trees of just branches. My observations, at least.

  7. Thank you, Padmaja!
    Nancie, thank you! Now it is easy to remember, when I have in my head not only the rule, but the explanation how this rule happens.

  8. Nothing more beautiful in life than the learning process! These two works are a great and joyful example of it!

  9. Dear Irina,
    Your works are lovely and you're a very hard worker, which impresses me so much. Let us learn together and enjoy art fully.
    Kind regards, Sadami

  10. I wish I could come up with the right word or words to describe how I see your watercolor paintings. I found you via Barry Hernimann's blog and his paintings lovely and I loved them too.

    I used to paint, in oils, but quit a long time ago. I don't miss it because photography took over as I am into photographing birds that come into my backyard. My photography has no bounds, really, but I am not able to come up with a photo as strikingly beautiful as your paintings.

    You are really an intense person and I admire that in an artist.

  11. I was so stunned by your work on these paintings that I went to Barry's blog and was shocked to see such beautiful watercolors. So I bought two of his books via

  12. Hi Irinia, beautiful paintings - both of them! I "disremember" most of what I read so I don't write anything down as I forget where I wrote it! :-) I have four reference books within arms reach of my easel/palette. And they are well smudged with paint!

    That you continue to improve so much so quickly is very impressive! Brava to you.

    Ken B.

  13. love the one below irina ...beautiful rich colours

  14. To me, both are really beautiful, two step by step very well painted. Congratulations Irina. Ciao.

  15. Carraol, you are so right, I love to learn. And thank you!
    Sadami, thank you!
    Abe, Thank you! There are 4 authors in that book. But Barry is the only one who do the color and shape things as I would do when learn smth)
    Ken, Thank you! I am still laughing at your writing_notes process).
    Thank you Jane!
    Tito, thank you!


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