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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Polina Egorushkina - Interview

Artist and illustrator.
Lives and works in Moscow.
Winner of the Prize Excellence Award ( "For excellence") at the International Biennial of watercolor in Shenzhen (China) and Redfern Gallery Prize at the competition of the Royal Society of watercolor (London). Grand Prix "The prospect of watercolors" at the international exhibition "Masters of watercolors - 2015".
The diploma of the first degree at the All-Russian contest "Book Art. Traditions and search" for the artistic design of the book by Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

Polina Egorushkina

Has watercolor always been your technique?
Yes, I always used watercolor, but a long time, the process was different. I worked on the book illustrations. It was a very painstaking graphic sheets. Now I paint completely free of meticulous detail things.

How did you switch to a large format?
I didn`t. Even my original illustrations were always several times larger than in the a book.

Polina Egorushkina. Sleep! 80x100 cm 2015

Are your paintings united in series by some idea?
Yes. There is an idea that emerges and that just does not fit in one painting work, this is how a series emerges.

What appears at first - an idea or a formal desision? Does it happen that some abstract design idea gives a theme and a name to a series?
No, it does not happen, the idea always in mind before you start. For me, all attempts to act in reverse order look like something artificial.

Polina Egorushkina. Boulevards. 80x100 cm 2014

What is the percentage of spontaneity and planning when working on the painting?
A huge percentage of spontaneity. That's all that brings joy! I always work on wet paper without a pencil draft, so that nothing paralyzed the process. A thought can always wag and the whole idea can change, at this point you do not want to see on paper any limiting sketch.

How do you feel about the finished work? Do you feel any connection with them?
Of course. They are all very dear to me. I remember what mood I had in each work, what were troubles at work. And I like to see how it all came together in the end.

Polina Egorushkina. Empty. 80x100 cm 2015

Do you have limits or regulations in working with watercolors?
Definitely no prohibitions. No regulations, too... The only thing - I usually make no amendments, when a layer of paint has dried. I proceed quickly.

On what paper do you work?
Arches, Canson

Do you use flat or round brushes?
Any brushes.

Polina Egorushkina. The Grey Skyscrapper. 80x100 cm 2014

Do you see the works of other artists?

What did you give the reward in the Shenzhen Biennale?
Great joy and a trip to China.

Your advice for beginners watercolors.
Be brave and sincere in your work.

Liu Xide - Interview

Liu Xide is a young Chinese artists working in watercolor. He lives in Guanxi provance that is said to be a place of watercolor in China. I represent an interview with this master that is included in my new book "Masters Of Watercolor. Both Sides Of The Great Wall"

Do you consider your painting style western or traditional?
My painting style is more traditional.

Do you follow certain aesthetic cannons when you paint?
Of course. And I also follow my intuition, inner voice and feelings.

Liu Xide. Hmong Girl. 76x56 cm. 2015

How many colors do you have on your palette?
There are 18 colors on my palette. But actually only 6 or 8 color or even less I would use often.

Do you plan your work before you start?
Yes. I will always plan my work before I start, which means a lot to me. I need to make an overall plan according to the subject or my inner feelings. This step can help me to avoid some problems.

Do you always complete your painting in one go?
In most cases, I finish my painting at one time, because in this way I can fully focus on it and keep a coherent thoughit. Besides, the characteristics of water-colour painting need me to finish it at one time.

Liu Xide. Affectionate Song. 73x53 cm. 2015

How many different brushes do you need for one painting?
You know, Chinese brush is very expressive. It can be used in many different ways. So basically, it is enough for me to use 3 brushes - one big brush, one Chinese brush and one small brush for painting details.

Is it important to paint in plain air?
I think it is fairly important. From the view of learning, plain air is the best lesson for color training. It provides us with rich color changing and splendid scenery. By out-door painting, we can earn exquisite skills and color language.

Liu Xide. Asking. 56x76 cm. 2014

Is it possible to be a full time artist in China?
This is an interesting question. In China, nothing is impossible. Though full-time artist is an ideal job, it is hard for us to earn our living by painting only. 

What is more important for an artist - successful students or personal achievements?
It is hard to answer this question as to answer the meaning of life. But it is quite meaningful. First of all, teaching successful students is important, which helps them to make their own achievements in art and also proves that the teacher is successful. But if I have to choose one from the two, I have to say that, for an artist, personal achievement is more important . As an old Chinese saying goes: An accomplished teacher has skilled students. One have to be a successful artist before he has the ability to teach others.

Liu Xide

Is there a strong competition between artists in China? Does it help to improve to every artist?
In China, there are many excellent artists. It is very very difficult for many to have the ability to have his paintings shown in a national level exhibition. I have no idea whether it will encourage every artist. But for most of them, I think the answer would be yes. Every artist should have a positive and innovative spirit of practice.

Have you ever been fully satisfied with your work?
Besides work, drawing is my hobby. It is a happy thing to be able to draw. I am quite happy with my job now.

Liu Xide. Hmong Girl-2. 56x76 cm. 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Workshop in MISA, USA

Welcome to my workshop in USA! 
It is taking place in MISA - Madeline Island School of Art 18-22, June 2017. 

During this five day workshop, you will learn how to use the Alla Prima approach to create expressive works in watercolor.  I will share my knowledge of this classic approach while utilizing contemporary techniques including wet-on-wet, dry brush, glazing, splashing, masking, and many others. You will also learn how to create convincing works without needing advanced drawing skills.
The class schedule will include 2-3 painting demonstrations per day and opportunities to paint a variety of subjects. You will learn distinct approaches for florals, landscapes, seascapes, interiors and portraits. This class will be mainly studio based with some opportunities to paint en Plein Air throughout the week, using Madeline Island’s amazing landscapes and seascapes as inspiration.

You can choose to bring two or three of your own paintings for personal critique, or specific objects of interest to receive feedback on the right approach to use, and mistakes to avoid when painting the chosen subject matter. Class will conclude with a critique exhibition of student and teacher’s works at week’s end.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My New Video On Demand "Cool Summer"

Dear reader,
you can examine all stages of my new landscape study "Cool Summer".

I have shot 3 videos based on my impressions from the distant island in Finland called Tammio. This is the first one. I will show how to make an illusion of distance, how to mix complicated and balanced greens and how to use various textures with your tools.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Cool Summer. Tammio Island. 26x36 cm (15"x22") 2016

Preview of my new video available on Vimeo now.
First 18 downloads of full version (31 minutes) will get 30 % off with promo code "18colors". See the preview, For the full video go to Vimeo on demand.
I am sure you will learn new tricks and approaches! Enjoy!)

Friday, June 3, 2016


Recording about Cheng-Khee Chee
You can see it now here: 

Duluth, MN - June 2, 2016. The Tweed Museum of Art (TMA) at the University of Minnesota Duluth would like to share with you that The Playlist will feature a recording of master watercolor artist, Cheng-Khee Chee, tonight. 
This footage was recorded last summer when the works of Mr. Chee were on exhibit at the Tweed Museum of Art. This is the opportunity to meet artist Cheng-Khee Chee in his element, and explore pieces from his private collection at the museum with art experts. Tune in and enjoy a delightful, surprising look at one of the region's most beloved watercolorists. Full episode Thursday, June 2 at 9 PM on PBS North.

Events Contact:
Christine Strom
Tweed Museum of Art

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Interview for St Cuthberts Mill
"Painting for me is like a meditation in sense that I am enjoying the process but I am fully detached. Somehow I am not identifying myself as a doer, more as an instrument. There is so much beauty in the world. I believe it is a gift to see it and to be capable of reflecting even a part of it in my works. I love to paint in oil and water-color but I always come back to water-color. What is a magnetic attraction of it? Water is the source of everything. There is no life without water. It has been 25 years since I first discovered watercolors and they keep on surprising me." Konstantin Sterkhov

Interview with Konstantin Sterkhov 2016

Tell me about when you decided to go “pro”. When did you decide to dedicate yourself to your art. Give us an example of what that meant to you. (What pushed your artwork from amateur level to professional?)
To be honest I have never been at amateur level. Straight after school I have enrolled first to University graphic department, then to The Repin Academy of Fine Arts. So I skipped that phase of being amateur artists. I was very well trained. After the Academy talking about skills. I just had to find my own face in Art. Though there was a period when l was earning my living in adverts and design but it was only for 7 years and I kept teaching art courses the same time.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Helsinki Harbor. 27x37 cm. 2016

Please state which St Cuthberts Mill papers you use and why?
I use mainly Saunders Waterford CP and rough white 300, 425 and 638 gm.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Low Sunlight in Helsinki. 27x37 cm. 2016

How does the use of these papers enhance your work?  
I tried many different types and brands. About 5 years ago I bought in an art supplies shop in Finland Saunders Waterford that was on sale. First thing that attracted me was the price then. I tried the paper at my workshop the same day. It was marvellous. Since then l am merely use only that paper. I was experimenting with thickness but as an artist who often had to send his work to international shows l found that it is more practical to paint even large size on 300 gm as you can easily roll and send it in a tube. I also use the roll paper. It seems to me very flexible to cut in different sizes and also seems to have a nice surface. And yes, I like when the colour is a bit yellowish, so I prefer white to high white.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Tammio Island. Cool Summer. 27x37 cm. 2016

Is there an artist you admire, did they inspire you to be an artist yourself?
They are many. Besides Sargent, Zorn and Wyeth I picked many artists that I admire for my interview book series "Masters Of Watercolor”. So far I have published more than 60 interviews with international artists including Robert Wade, John Yardley, David Poxon, Shirley Trevena, Tony Smibert, Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet, Joe Dowden, Angus McEwan, etc. I can‘t say they inspired me to be an artist as I was an artist already when I made my series. Nevertheless other excellent artists‘ works always inspire me and I try to share it with my fans and readers.

Konstantin Sterkhov. In Himalayas. 20x36 cm. 2016

Do you remember the first painting you did that you were really proud of?
There were some but i forgot them. I have been painting for over 30 years since I was 14. Anyway after every new achievement old works seem to step behind. it you want to grow as an artist you need to look more forward than behind.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Sunset in Savonlinna. 27x37 cm. 2016

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I am proud of having a special award in Marine painting by independent jury group from The Hetmitage at the Art Bridge Biennial in St. Petersburg. I am honoured to have my paintings juried to several exhibitions in International juried shows in USA. I am honoured to be invited to curate and judge several international exhibitions during last few years. And certainly it is extremely nice to receive warm words of appreciation from my fellow artists on Facebook and on my blog.

 Konstantin Sterkhov. Quite Evening in Tammio. 27x37 cm. 2016

What are you working on right now?
I am writing a new book in my series Masters Of Watercolor. It is themed as Both Sides Of The Great Wall and representing both Chinese and Russian artists. Also I have a lot of materials after my trip to China last November and a few other ideas that I don‘t want to share right now.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Night is Falling. Helsinki Harbor. 27x37 cm. 2016

What’s the one painting you’ve painted that you will always keep?
Those are mainly the paintings featured my family. Those paintings might be exposed at some shows but I keep them for myself.

Konstantin Sterkhov. Sunny Face. 27x37 cm. 2013

What advice would you give to yourself, the artist you were 10 years ago?
Stop doing work for others, work on your own projects.

Anything else you'd like to mention that I didn't ask?
I would like to praise your paper more... Really the best one!

For more info about Saunders Waterford paper:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Re-Interpretation Exhibition, China

One more moving exhibition has been showing International watercolor painting in many Chinese cities for the last 2 years.
Recently it launched the first "Re-Interpretation 2016: International Contemporary Watercolor Exhibition Tour in China" show recently at Taicang Museum, the upcoming exhibitions will be at Suzhou Ming Gallery of Art from 12th March till 10th April 2016, where they invited 10 foreign artists to attend the opening ceremony with a 5-days watercolor workshop activities, and then the "Re-Interpretation 2016" show will keep going at Bingzhou Art Museum in Shandong province in June 2016, Hai-Shang Art and Cultural Center in Shanghai in August 2016 and so on.

Enclosed are some photos of the opening at Taicang Museum, as well as other exhibitions in the year 2015.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Introducing an Artist - Wang Chao (China)

I met this artist in Nanning last November. He seem to invent a new visual language in watercolor. Let us see his innovative works.

 Wang Chao (China)

 Wang Chao (China)

 Wang Chao (China)

 Wang Chao (China)

 Wang Chao (China)
Wang Chao (China)
 Wang Chao (China)

 Wang Chao (China)

Wang Chao (China)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Workshop with Sterkhov In Helsinki

Painting aquarelles of THE BEAUTIFUL HELSINKI with Konstantin Sterkhov April, 21st and 25th

 K. Sterkhov. Helsinki.

 K. Sterkhov. Helsinki.

K. Sterkhov. Helsinki.

Konstantin will have a demo in aquarel painting in Galleri AKVART, Humalistonkau 1, Helsinki, Finland on Thurday the 21st April, 2016 at 5.30 p.m. ( about 2 hours) Please sign for the course by e-mail to, because of limited participating. Konstantin Sterkhov pitää demon AKVART Galleriassa, Humalistonkatu 1, Helsinki torstaina 21. huhtikuuta klo 17.30. Ilmoittautuminen Osallistujamäärä rajoitettu.
You can also join the Master Class on Monday 25th April starting at 10 a.m. at Galleri AKVART. We finish at abt 3 p.m. A coffebreak abt noon. The fee is 25 e. Please sign for the class by e-mail to The painting theme is THE BEAUTIFUL HELSINKI. Teemana KAUNIS HELSINKI, Konstantin pitää galleria AKVARTISSA laajemman maalauskurssin maanantaina 25. huhtikuuta klo 10 - 15, (kahvitauko). Kurssimaksu 25 e, maksetaan paikan päällä. Ota maalaustarvikkeet mukaan. Ilmoittautuminen

You can buy Daniel Smith watercolors and Roubloff brushes on both events at galleri AKVART.
Daniel Smith akvarellivärejä ja siveltimiä voit ostaa AKVART galleriasta molemmilla kursseilla.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sterkhov Interview on Chinese TV

Hello my friends,

here is my interview on Guangxi TV in China. I am sorry for all kind of inperfections in my English that is not my native language.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nanning Painting Trip

What a shame I am only now going to share my impressions of the trip to Nanning, China last November! It was a great exhibition Happy Melody held already 4th time with different artists. We had a most remarcable painting trip after the show.

No words, only photos! Sorry that I post them too randomly:)

 Liu Yi, Konstantin Sterkhov and Loh Kong Yaw (Re-Interpretation)

 Openning of the exhibition

 On the way to a distant village

 Alvaro Castagnet, Joseph Zbukvic and John Salminen

 Konstantin Sterkhov, Andy and Laura Evansen

 Too Slavs bored at the conference - Konstantin Sterkhov and Joseph Zbukvic

 Artists` meeting - some words to young generation

 Painting from the balcony K.Sterkhov

 Painting on location - K.Sterkhov

 Joseph Zbukvic on location

 Traditional village food including grass hoppers

 Karaoke for watercolorists for audience about 300 people

 Z on location sorrounded by Chinese students

 Alvaro painting live at the hotel lobby

 K.Sterkhov on location

 From A to Z. Two great watercolorists on the way to a new location.

 Alvaro art supplies shopping

 Zbukvic and Castagnet

Watercolor team - Zhan Xiaoshang, Stanislaw Zoladz, Andy Evansen, 
Joseph Zbukvic, Alvaro Castagnet, Konstantin Sterkhov

 Rick Huang and Konstantin Sterkhov

 After the openning

 Stanislaw and Elisabeth Zoladz
 View from the window

 In the village
 Rural scenary

Buddist temple
 John Salminen

 John Salminen and Alvaro Castagnet