Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What are my goals for a new year

I hope that you all had an amazing year. At first I would like to tell you what were my goals for this year.

At the beginning of 2014 I made a list of all the things that I wanted to happen and what I would do to achieve those things. Looking back at those goals, I can say that I accomplished almost all of them.

One of the goals was to study how to paint fur. In the beginning of the year I was drawing wildlife animals with pencils to learn how to make the proportions and the second part of the year I spent on learning and trying to figure out the techniques.

I even purchased an e-book from Jason Morgan. So if any of you are facing the same problem: how to paint animal fur, then I highly recommend this book. I found this e-book very helpful. I can't tell you how happy I was that I found that e-book!

Another goal was to start my own art blog. Actually I already had a blog, since 2011 but back then I didn't know how to use blogger. But in autumn I found some really good courses on how to make a blog. Such a great site! After a lot of research and watching videos on udemy, I got my blog going.

I also wanted to educate myself and learn everything about business because I want to make my own art company. So I spent a lot of time reading different business books and there were also some great blogs that taught me what I need to know to make my own company.

And of course practising. I also started to paint with watercolors because I hadn't done that since I was a little girl and I wanted to remind myself how to do that.

The hardest part of the work was theme setting for the year but I finally did that after realizing how much I'm in love with African music and culture. So this is where most of my inspiration came from. I started painting African animals. At first I painted many animals with African landscape but then I wanted to make something different and started to make another backgrounds too.

For 2015..

First of all I will focus more on business. I'm going to perform my own company. And I will start selling my artwork online.

I also want to make a website for my artwork because every artist needs a website to show her artwork and get more exposure.

I am going to focus on learning more painting and drawing techniques. Because I still have so much to learn and I want to get better and better every day. So growth is very important!

"Growth isn't something that happens to you, you produce it"- Rachel Wolchin

I will finish the challenge that I started. 50 paintings in 1 year.

That's all I've got so far ( I'm sure I will come up with some new goals on the way) And I still need to sit down and set out some specific action plans.
I'm really excited already how the next year will turn out.

What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations for the year of 2015?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Painting #19

Oil on canvas paper
Reference: kridah-stock on

Maybe some of you have noticed that I haven't posted much on my blog lately. The thing is, last week I caught a cold and had a high fever. I felt really weak and couldn't paint anything. 
So today I finally had a chance to finish my Cheetah painting. I found the reference photo from and decided to paint them. Aren't they lovely?

I really enjoyed painting cheetahs. I will paint more cheetahs in the future.

And here are some work in progress shots:

Painting the background

Painting the first layer of the fur

Painting the black fur

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What I like about Christmas

I like to decorate the Christmas tree. This year the tree shines in shade of gold. I realised that we haven't had the Christmas tree for a long time. You can see that my cat also loves this Christmas tree.

And of course all kinds of candles shining in the dark. This really brings up some good memories from my childhood.

I really love family get-togethers. This is the time when all your loved ones come together and have a good family time. I think the best gifts in life will never be found under a Christmas tree, those gifts are friends, family, kids and the ones you love.

Fairy lights and  pretty decorations. I love to decorate all the house. This gives the feeling that Christmas is near.

Another thing that I like, is Christmas landscape. Here you can see the view from my living room window.

Poinsettia is really beautiful Christmas flower. This year we got a really huge Poinsettia. I wasn't aware that there even exists so big Poinsettias.

What do you like about the Christmas?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lessons I've learned as an artist

Today I thought that I will share some lessons that I've learned during the past 4 years.

  1. If you get artist block, then don't get frustrated. Take some time off, do something else, go for a walk, meditate, listen to music or read a book. Anything which would take your thoughts off from the fact that you can't create at the moment.
  2. Don't compare your artwork with other artist's artwork. I know that its so good to view artwork that other artists have created but sometimes we tend to forget ourselves and start seeing all these artists who are better than we are. The truth is, there will always be better artists. That doesn't mean that you aren't good enough. You are good in your own unique way. By constantly drawing and painting you will get better and better every day. You just have to be patient.
  3. Don't be a copycat. Don't try to be somebody else. Don't try to copy some other artist's style. Be patient. In time you will develop your own style and this will be something how people will  remember you, this will make you special.
  4. Take some courses or buy some new e-books. Try to learn some new things and develop your  art skills.
  5. Try to be open minded to all the ideas that you get. It's good to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. This way you can grow as an artist.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 ways how I cope with artist block

As many of you might know and maybe have experienced, artist block is a worst nightmare for an artist, isn't it?
It usually comes when its least expected. Feels like you have lost all your inspiration but there are some ways to overcome it. I'm sure you have thought to yourself  "This is driving me crazy"
Over the time I have found some effective ways which have helped me to overcome it. And I would like to share them with you.

  1. 1.Often times I have started to listen to music and sing. Singing is something that I love and it really helps me to get the attention off the fact that I can't create anything at the moment. And it always makes me so so happy!
  2. The other thing that I like to do is yoga.  Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice or discipline that aims to transform body and mind. And after yoga I always feel less stressed and more relaxed.
    Sometimes I have got some good ideas during the yoga and sometimes after I have finished doing the yoga.
  3. Meditation is something that has helped me most of the time. Because during the meditation I quiet my mind, eventually reach a higher level of  awareness and calm. And after that I might also get some new good ideas and inspiration.
  4. Something that I have also found effective, is going for a walk or meeting a friend. Just to have a quality time with my friends. It makes me feel good and it might inspire me to create something.
  5. Challenging myself. In the summer there was a period of time when I didn't have inspiration at all. I was struggling a lot. So I came up with an idea to make 50 paintings in 1 year. This challenge has hold my mind busy most of the time. And I have more ideas.

I hope that you found something which could help you. Or if you have some great tips how you overcame artist block, then I would like to hear about them. Let me know in the comments section.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Painting #18

Oil on canvas paper
Reference photo: Chris Allsebrook

After I finished my last painting I was planning to start painting 2 cheetahs but then I came across 1 really lovely picture on Facebook group:  Reference photos for artists 2. If you are an artist and are looking for reference photos for your artwork, then I recommend this group.
So I took my oil colors and started to paint. I was really excited because I hadn't  painted 2 tigers before.
As always, I started from the background. I painted the first layer with aqrylic color. I used Burnt Sienna to do  that.. Then I let the painting dry.
After that I started painting the tigers. Layers by layers I painted the tiger's fur. I started with the darkest  colors and with each layer I added more white to the colors. I wanted the fur to look as realistic as possible.
I also spent a lot of time painting the tigers eyes. I had watched many tiger eye painting tutorials and now I was trying to apply all the knowledge.

And here are some work in progress shots:

Painting the background

Painting the tigers fur with Burnt Sienna aqrylic color

Painting the first layer of the fur

Painting the second layer of the fur

Friday, December 12, 2014

Evolution of my art

Today doing a huge cleaning in my room I found some really old drawings and paintings that I made in my childhood. I really got in the nostalgic mood as I was watching every drawing and painting that I had done. Why does it still feel like it was all yesterday? Time does indeed fly.

I thought that it would be a great idea to share them with you. So I invite you to take a trip with me on a memory lane.

These are the oldest drawings that I have from my childhood. I was 6 years old when I made these drawings and paintings. As you can see I loved horses a lot, I still do. In fact, back then I was kind of obsessed. My biggest dream was to have my own horse. I didn't realise how much time and money they would require. I told my granny that we can keep my horse in the garage. She just looked at me and laughed.
And I also liked to paint flowers. Most of the times the flowers were from our own garden.

At the age of 7 I still drew horses but I also explored other things and I also started to draw more houses and there was one cartoon that I really liked called:  Muumilaakson tarinoida. Please tell me that you enjoyed that cartoon as much as I did when I was kid. It was Japanese- Finland cartoon. So the red creature that I drew, he is from this cartoon.

At the age of 8 I drew all kinds of things but I found only one drawing from that time of period. I guess I was trying to draw some kind of village. Oh yes, I loved to draw dogs. When I was 8 years old then I had a dog called Bianca ( the name is from the Italian word bianco, which means white) and this dog on the picture is probably Bianca.

At the age of 9 you can see another drawing of the cartoon: Muumilaakson tarinoida. This time you can see more cast members. I guess I was kind of obsessed with this cartoon. And I drew a bear with an honey.

At the age of 10-13 I made all those drawings and paintings. Some of them I made in the art classes where I used to go. And after that there was a long period of time when I didn't draw at all because I had to concentrate on my school studies.

So these are some of the drawings that I made many years ago. Do you have some old drawings from your childhood? I would like to see them. Post them in the comments section.

Stay joyful and inspired!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How I get ideas for my artwork

As an artist I have heard many people asking that where do I get ideas for my artwork. So I will tell you some of the ways that I've discovered along the way.

  1. Lot of my artwork comes from everything that I see around me.
  2. Since I love music very much then music has a huge part in my creativity. Sometimes I can get ideas by playing the piano and the other times I can get ideas by singing or listening some songs. I have noticed that violin music does the miracles for me. Especially Lindsey Stirling's music. She has some really good songs. And of course Enigma. My favorite Enigma's song is Return to the innocence.
  3. I get ideas when I'm in the bed and ready to fall asleep. There have been so many days when during the days I have thought long and hard about all the possible ways and techniques how to make my art better. And finally when I go to bed, then sometimes I might get about 15 ideas. So I keep my pen and notebook close.
  4. Lately I started to do yoga. There have been moments when some ideas have popped in my mind.
  5. And there have been times when I've seen the image in my mind and then I've started to put this image on the canvas.

So these are some ways how to get some ideas for my paintings. If you have some good ways, then I would like to hear about them. Post them in the comments selection.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Painting #17

Snow Leopard
Reference photo: Kaz Turner
Oil on canvas paper

Wow, I cant believe that its December already. Time is moving by so fast. I have been working on the Snow Leopard painting over the past week.
I have been wanting to painting a snow leopard for many months, since I started painting big cats. And I was so happy when I saw a great reference photo in the Artist Reference photos group.
Since the reference photo was made in the nature or probably in the zoo, I decided to make winter landscape background. I thought that it would be a great way to paint something new. At first I thought that this would be really difficult, but then I browsed some winter landscape photos on Google to see how to paint the trees.
For me, doing this painting was humbling, I love those beautiful animals.

And here are some work in progress shots:

Let me know in the comments what you think of this painting. This was the first time I painted the winter landscape. So let me know if I should do more winter landscape paintings in the future.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Artist spotlight interview with Inaa Häggström Foose

The other day I got an idea that it would be nice to do something new and different and I decided to interview one talented artist: Inaa Häggström Foose.
The purpose of the interview is to get more exposure to an artist and that people could get to know her better.
Hope you enjoy!

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. What got you interested in art? Did you take any classes?
    My name is Lina, but my artist- and nickname name is Inaa and I'm currently 22 years old. I'm originally from Sweden but now live in Florida, USA with my husband.

    I first got interested in art when I was 15 years old. But after being put down by my own High School art- teacher once at a project I was working on I quit drawing completely. It wasn't until I was 17 years old that I said to myself that I needed a hobby, so I started painting on my spare time after school hours.
    And no I haven't taken any art-classes, but I would love to honestly.
  2. What is your preferred medium and why?
    I prefer mixed media. I often mix charcoal, chalk and soft pastel to get what desirable result I want. Sometimes it takes me minutes, or even hours to get the shades or blended colors I want. I like mixing because black charcoal gives me the dark depth I am looking for, and white chalk gives me the light tones.
  3. Do you have a blog or website where it would be possible to see your artwork?
    You can find me on:
  4. Where do you get most of the inspiration for your artwork?
    I can get inspired by photographs, a specific feeling I have, music and even other artworks from other artists online. I try to have a very open mind and look around so I don't get stuck or get sidetracked ( Which happens more often than it should in my opinion)
  5. What else do you like to do besides art?
    I really enjoy crafting, DIY's ( do it yourself) and photography. I wish I can get more materials for crafting and also save up for a better camera than the one I currently have- an advanced digital camera from the brand Olympus.
  6. Do you listen to music while creating art? If yes, then what kind of music?
    My music taste varies so often, it really depends on what kind of mood I am at the time. But mostly I like to listen to  Lindsey Stirling, Nightcore, Chillstep, and other melodic sounds when I am " in the zone". However it really depends on my mood haha.
  7. Where can people reach you if they are interested in commissioning work? And where else can people find you in social media?
    People can email me at, or visit my other Social-Media- pages.
    Twitter and instagram- @InaaHart
  8. What are those things you have learned as an artist?
    Be open minded to new ideas.
    Try look at different angles, so you won't get stuck.
    I've taken time to study paintings I've come across and tried to see how artists mixed colors or stroke with their paintbrush.
  9. What are you working on at the moment?
    I am trying to create a piece for an art-swap with a friend in England. But sadly I cannot share what it's I am having in the making in my drawing pad.
  10. What are your goals for the future?
    Try creating more art; I've been slacking for months lately due to private life. But I also want to be able to future my work at art-shows and galleries maybe. So I will continue to work my way until that happens. I want everyone from everywhere to be able see what I can do.
  11. Do you have any good ideas for emerging artists?
    I have three tips:
    1. Stay strong and do YOUR thing, don't let anyone else say what you can do and cannot do.
    2. Study techniques and ways to improve yourself as an artist. Books, videos or online articles are great ways to learn more.
    3. Have fun and stay open-minded.

    You can read Inaa's interview with me on her blog:
    Interview with Estonian-artist: Liisi Gordejev

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Painting #16

Photo by: Kaz Turner
Oil on canvas paper

Maybe some of you have been thinking why I haven't posted anything new lately. The truth is that I purchased an e-book so that I could learn how to paint animal fur. So most of the time I have been doing some research.
Today I finished my first painting where I applied all those methods that I learned. First of all I painted the background. After that I made the ground and then I started painting the tiger.
I like the way this painting turned out. I really enjoyed this one.

Here are some work in progress shots:

And a close up of a tiger

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Painting #15

Oil on canvas

Painting a lion has been a longtime dream of mine. So finally I decided to give it a try.
I started my painting by making the background. And then I continued my painting by painting lion. I began with lion's head. I really enjoyed painting lion's eyes.  I love the intensity of this lion's eyes.
I'm planning on painting some more lions in the future because I discovered that I really enjoy painting this beautiful big cat.
Also in the future I'm planning to improve my animal painting skills by taking some painting classes or by purchasing some e-books which would help me to learn how to paint the fur. Because I want to get better and better every day.
There is one quote that I really like:
" I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel"- Maya Angelou

So with this painting I tried to paint with colors which would inspire happiness in people.
Here are some work in progress shots:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Painting #14

Oil on canvas

 I seem to get more and more african theme painting ideas these days. I think African theme paintings are my new favourite.
This is actually the first time I painted the zebras. At first I was thinking about painting only one zebra but then I thought that it would look so much better if I paint a family. I like the grass that I made. I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

And here are some work in progress shots:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Painting #13

Oil on canvas

Painting elephants I figured that I should paint something new. This time I decided to paint giraffes. I had to study their bodies before I started to paint them. This took me a while.
I started with sky and then I painted the sand. I wanted to make more trees than on the previous paintings. And in the end I painted the giraffes. I spent many hours working on this, and am really pleased with the outcome.
This painting makes me happy. The way they are walking there, enjoying their freedom.

Here are some work in progress shots:

Sometimes I like to paint on the floor.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Painting #12

Happy elephant
Oil on canvas

This time I wanted to paint just one elephant and concentrate more on details. I started with the background. I wanted it to look warm and positive and I used really warm colors to create it.
It took me hours to finish the elephant's ears. I guess this was actually the most complicated part of the elephant.
I spent 3 days working on this. I love this piece!

Here are some work in progress shots.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Work in progress video of painting #11

Painting #11

African landscape
Oil on Canson paper

African music, African culture, arts and crafts fascinates me. I've wanted to paint African themed painting for a while. I guess the time just wasn't right.
One day while I was in my room listening some African songs, the light pulb went on and the African landscape painting was born.  I guess the right music plays a big part in my painting progress. I have had many times when music made me feel really good and inspired.
So the first thing that came to my mind, was beautiful African landscape, with warm colors and with 2 elephants. I started to paint. I was in a really good mood and excited about my painting. It took me few days to finish the painting.
One of my goal is to learn to paint elephants because I will certainly do some more African paintings in the future. So far this is my favorite painting.

Here are few work in progress shots.

Painting #10

The secret waterfall
Oil on canvas

On 2011 I painted my first waterfall. It didn't quite turned out the way I expected. So now I wanted to paint a new waterfall and give it another try. Also decided to paint mysterious trees to the background. It took me many hours to paint those trees.
I learned that little touches can make a big difference- adding light spots on the water made it look more real and added to the feeling of the movement.

Painting #9

Autumn trees
Oil on canvas

Here in Estonia its autumn and I decided to make an autumn painting. While I was walking outside, I saw so many beautiful colored trees which inspired me a lot. It has been really warm and sunshine autumn here in Estonia. In my opinion it's one of the warmest autumns in years.
 I guess I should have used red color to make the leaves, not purple.My favourite part of the painting is the river.  Also enjoyed painting the grass and rocks. Hope you like it.
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