Peony and Parakeet

Intuitive Painting in 60 Colors of Arteza Gouache Set

"Refresh", a gouache painting using all 60 colors of Arteza gouache paint set. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Paint with me! This week, I have a video tutorial of making an intuitive gouache painting with Arteza Gouache set.

Arteza gouache paints, Arteza water brushes, Arteza watercolor paper.

In addition to the gouache paints, I also use Arteza water brushes, Arteza watercolor paper (mine is A4 from Arteza’s UK store, but here’s the link to the similar paper in the US store), and Arteza Fineliner. These supplies are all donated to me by Arteza (US Store, UK store). You can get 10% off with coupon code peonyandparakeet1. This coupon is valid till Oct 25th, 2019.

Intuitive Gouache Painting – Watch the Video!

Gouache Comparison – Arteza vs. Schminke

Arteza’s gouache paints are very affordable compared to artist quality paints. I have few tubes of Schminke Horadam Gouache paints, and with the price of 60 colors of Arteza, you can only get a few tubes of Schminke!

But of course, there are differences too. Schminke, manufactured in Germany, has a higher pigment level than Arteza, manufactured in China. These tubes are both Burnt Sienna, but Arteza’s color is much more pastel and creamy.

Comparison of Arteza gouache and Schminke Horadam gouache paints.

Most of Arteza’s colors have names that are not pigment names. They describe the tone very well and sound tempting, like “Blush Pink.” But if you have used to dealing with pigments and their individual qualities in transparency and archival quality, it can feel frustrating. If pigments are individual spices, Arteza’s gouache paints like spice mixes – easy to use for beginners, but a bit joyless for professional cooks.

Comparison of Arteza gouache and Schminke Horadam gouache paints.

The differences between these paints are small, and it requires an eye for nuances and experience on pigments to notice them.

Comparison of Arteza gouache and Schminke Horadam gouache paints.

When painting, Arteza’s creamy paints are like family vehicles, easy to maneuver. Schminke’s gouache paints are more like sports cars, quick to react with water and more suitable for fine brushwork.

Traditional vs. Acryl Gouache – Reacting to Water

Some gouache paints are marked as acryl gouaches. It means that they are not opaque watercolors as gouaches normally are, but translucent acrylic paints. I had some Turner acryl gouaches (made in Japan), and you can see the difference below. Unfortunately, I didn’t have similar magenta tone, but the color doesn’t matter when testing how the dried layer reacts to water. Both Arteza gouache and Schminke Horadam bleed, Arteza a little more than Schminke. But acryl gouache doesn’t bleed at all!

Comparing traditional gouache to acryl gouache. Arteza, Schminke, Turner.

Bleeding is not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, I prefer paints that bleed because I often like to remove color in later stages.

A detail of Paivi Eerola's gouache painting. Painted with Arteza gouache paint in 60 colors.

Bleeding wasn’t any problem when making this painting either. I used both thin and thick paint quite effortlessly.

Finnish artist Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I hope you enjoyed the video, and let’s keep creating!

Let’s share the passion of creating art!
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Flower Gardener’s Diary – Welcome to My Art Exhibition!

Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet in a group exhibition Flower Gardener's Diary in Helsinki, FInland. Watch her video about this art exhibition.

I currently attend a group exhibition in Helsinki, Finland. The place is called “Hietsun paviljonki”, and it’s located on a beautiful beach quite near the center of the city. The art exhibition is open from 11th to 22nd September, so if you are in Helsinki during that time, welcome!

See the Exhibition – Watch the Video!

For those who can’t come, I have made a video of all the 11 pieces that I have there.

The Art of Framing

As you see on the video, I got several pieces framed for the show. My artist friend Eeva Nikunen has gorgeous frames in her paintings, so I used the same framer than she usually does. I am really happy with these frames!

For a drawing, that already had a hand-drawn decorative border, I chose a narrow frame that goes well with the fantasy theme too.

Framing art. A drawing by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

This frame also had a purple version, and I chose it for the houseplant-inspired piece. The purple frame highlights the green leaves beautifully. Originally, I hadn’t planned to frame this piece so I didn’t leave any blank space around the paper when creating it. The framer attached the drawing on the green cardboard first. I like this solution.

Framing art. A drawing by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I wanted something silvery for the madonna painting and chose a broad white frame that also has real silver! It wasn’t the cheapest option …

Framing art. A painting by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I was a bit doubtful if I could find a perfect frame for my big yellow drawing but this one really hit home.

Framing art. A drawing by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I hope this inspired you to frame some of your pieces!

Paintings ready for an art exhibition. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Coming Up!

I have another group exhibition coming up soon (Sept 20 to Oct 8). It’s in Gallery K in Vantaa, Finland. The show is called “Raffia ja smoothia”Rough and Smooth, and it’s organized by the local professional artist association.

Enjoyable Floral Watercolor – Paint with Me!

Flowers with watercolors by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watch the video to paint with Paivi.

To celebrate the upcoming class Floral Fantasies in Three Styles, I have made a new free video. It is a tutorial for painting a layered floral watercolor painting. I love to paint this way – freely without reference photos and hope that you will enjoy this method too. It’s based on a negative painting technique where you paint more the areas around the flowers than the actual flowers.

Enjoyable Floral Watercolor – Watch the Video!

You only need a couple of brushes, watercolors, and watercolor paper. A spraying bottle is helpful also. Watch the video tutorial below!

More Floral Watercolor Projects

Here are some of the pieces from my floral watercolor series which I haven’t published in my blog before and which were showcased in the video. I link the title to my art shop where they are available with more descriptions. The first one is “Aamu – Morning”.

"Morning" - a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This one is called “Tahtoisin jäädä” – Would Like to Stay“.

"Would Like to Stay" - a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This painting is one of my favorite florals that I have painted so far. I saw the color scheme in an old painting and wanted to use it. This one is called “Saan elämältä paljon – Life Gives Me Plenty

"Life Gives Me Plenty" - a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

A lovely birthday bouquet that I received this year was an inspiration to “Syntymäpäivä – Birthday” I will show how this was made more in detail in Week 2 of Floral Fantasies.

"Birthday" - a flower watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

My favorite detail:

A detail of a floral watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

All the bigger paintings shown in the video are available in my art store too. See all the paintings here!

Floral Fantasies in Three Styles – Sign Up Now!

My comprehensive flower painting class Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles will begin on Monday, April 29! Don’t miss this!

From the Garden, a watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. A class project for her class Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles.

Come to draw and paint flowers with me – Sign up for Floral Fantasies in 3 Styles!

Watercolor Inspiration – 5 Ideas and Techniques

Watercolor inspiration from Paivi Eerola. Watch her video about painting a watercolor bookmark.

Watercolor is a medium where I really want to grow my skills this spring. It’s so versatile and much quicker than oil painting, for example. It can be easily combined with drawings and and … Well, I think if you follow this blog, you also love watercolors! Here’s some watercolor inspiration!

1) Watercolor Bookmarks – A Small and Fun Project

Who wouldn’t like to get a hand-painted bookmark? Watch the video with practical tips for watercolor painting!

2) Illustration in Watercolor – Use a Drawing as a Starting Point

If you like to draw, pick one of your sketches and use that as a starting point. My drawing from last Inktober is very detailed, but I enjoyed painting it!

Ink pen drawing by Paivi Eerola.

Here’s my setting. I kept the sketch visible most of the time but allowed my painting to evolve too. I didn’t use any pencil to copy the drawing, I just started painting with pale colors and made adjustments layer by layer.

Creating a watercolor painting from an ink drawing. Using a sketchbook as an inspiration for watercolors. Watercolor painting in progress. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Here’s the finished painting. When I drew the sketch, I wanted the person to look like she’s contemplating, and wasn’t quite happy with the face. But here, I was more successful the facial features. Colors also add to the expression.

Watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her blog for more watercolor inspiration.

What I really liked in this project, was the lack of too many decisions at the same time. When I followed the composition and the elements of the drawing, I was able to focus more on the atmosphere.

3) Watercolor Sceneries – Play with the Level of Abstraction

Mastering watercolors is impossible without making most of the happy accidents and allowing abstract elements build the image. Try how abstract you can and want to go!

These images are from my class Watercolor Journey. The first landscape is quite realistic and representational. It’s easy to see that there are trees and the sun.

Watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watercolor inspiration from her class Watercolor Journey.

Here’s a more abstract version of the same project. Trees are not so clear anymore and the sun is more vague too, but on the other hand, it’s not as static as the previous one.

Abstract watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Watercolor inspiration from her class Watercolor Journey.

Which of the two do you like more? How far do you want to go in your paintings?

4) Intuitive Painting – Loosen Up by Starting with Three Photos

If you like to solve mysteries, here’s a project for you! Pick three photos and use one for each of the three first layers. Watch the video for more detailed tips and instructions!

I definitely did not see that there would be a fish in my piece when I started!

Watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her video of how she made this using three inspiration photos for the first layers. Lots of tips included too.

With watercolors, the art of seeing can be sometimes more important as the art of painting!

5) Watercolor Collage – Join my Class Animal Inkdom!

I have also used watercolors several times in my class Animal Inkdom. In Module 3 where we explore the underwater world, watercolors are a natural choice. For example, in this collage project watercolors have a central role. You will learn ways to draw fun and unique sea life animals, and make a playful underwater scene.

Watercolor collage art by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. A sample project from her class Animal Inkdom.

Come to draw and paint with us in Animal Inkdom! You will get the published lessons (including Module 3) immediately after the registration, and you can start drawing and painting right away. Sign up for Animal Inkdom here!

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