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Friday, May 20, 2011

Master-class Sea Splashes

Some of my art-friend arranged a graphic exhibition in their gallery in the historic part of Saint-Petersburg. The good thing about it was that they arranged also master-classes with artists who were exposed. Most of my works there were seascapes, so it was the theme of my master-class.

Master-class "Seascapes"

The audience was of all ages - from 12 to 70 y.o. Within 2 hours I had demonstration of 5-6 works about seascapes - just some techniques of watercolor. I had a little problem for I forgot my hairdryer to dry up the painting, but it was solved very fast. I got one when painting the second work, so it went even faster when I got it.
Here I would like to show some cloudy seascape - simply the stages how to do it.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Sea Splashes. 35x45 cm, 2008

1. I partly wash the sky and water with ochre with some red, I keep some white areas untouched.

2. I add some cool tints mixing preussean blue and black, also cobalt blue and black. It`s important to move your brush according to the cloud movement.

  3. Then I add the next darker wash in wet. It can be the same colors mixture but darker. It`s creating some dramatic effect.
4. Then I come up to the water surface. I do it in partly wet paper. I reserve some white sparkling water with white crayon with a few horizontal strokes.
5. When I start the foreground I do first the light washes of cool basis with warm influence.

 6. So the paper is partly wet now. I can start the rocks. They are much darker and they should be painted on moist paper so that they look softer.

7. Now I can unite the foreground - water and rockes together. I am trying to keep the work freshh all the time.

8. I often use some splashing to enreach the texture of the painting.
Here we are - the work is ready.


  1. the two photos of the finished painting are very different; the one in a mat is much lighter. Which is the more accurate photo?
    Thanks for the lesson.

  2. Actually all of the process shots are too saturated and overcontrasted. The finnished one in frame is more like the original painting. Also the watercolors are fading after drying.