GUEST ARTIST: “The Art Of Abstracting And Balancing In Watercolor” by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt - Doodlewash

Hello watercolor art lovers, artists and art muses! It has been always a  huge pleasure for me to share my painting technique and very personal perception of beauty and balance.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt - Doodlewash

Flamenco Fire, painted on Arches 300 gsm, cold press, 36 x 51 cm, July 2014

The diversity of watercolor techniques and styles tolerates many ways of expressing that perception. What matters to me is to have it expressed with confidence and individuality: confidence in abstracting beauty from everyday observations and individuality in balancing realism and fantasy in watercolors.

Short Art Bio

My name is Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt. I was born in Serbia, where my family and some of my friends are still living.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt - Doodlewash

Flamingo Night, 110 x 145 cm (43.3’’ x 57.1’’), painted in May 2015

I moved to beautiful Austria in 2006, where I have today my own family and more friends. I am holding a PhD in Information Technologies, which allows me to work as a full-time Senior Researcher in the area of cybersecurity. I am also a full-time mom of a boy who is a talented explorer of life. And I love tending to our garden and, of course, being creative in my painting studio.

I studied art at the private fine arts school of distinguished Serbian painter Sergej Jovanovic in Belgrade, and had various art life periods: from not touching brushes at all, to enjoying seven years of painting Byzantine Icons in the ancient egg tempera technique, occasionally painting in oil and experimenting with glass and silk painting.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt - Doodlewash

Tomato Red, Arches 300 gsm, cold press, 25 x 25 cm (August 2015)

My artworks were exhibited at the Palace of Princess Ljubica in Belgrade (2000, 2003), the Greeley Square Gallery in Manhattan, NYC (2002), the Epiphany Lutheran Church and the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Richmond, VA (2003), the Consulate General of Serbia in Salzburg, Austria (2010) and in a previous painting studio in Hallwang, Austria (2011).

Watercolors

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt - Doodlewash

Flamenco Rhythms, painted on Arches 300 gsm, cold press, 80 x 110 cm (31.5” x 43”), January 2015.

In 2012, I shifted to watercolors! It felt like being a new born in the world of painting and I learnt how to play with water and pigments, how dilution affects chroma and lightness, vibrancy and color intensity, how to make paintings survive the paper’s wobbling motions, absorptions, cohesion, adhesion, etc. all in order to express things the way I wanted them. I tend to be rather on the side of allowing for painting surprises to happen and for this reason, I tend to start without sketching.

Watercolor Material

I like painting portraits on Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm, dancing and motion on Arches Rough 300 gsm, while for painting of still life compositions and animals I prefer Hahnemühle 425 gsm. For the colors, I’m using Schmincke Horadam, Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, and the French brand Sennelier.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt - Doodlewash

Ladybird #1, Hahnemühle 425 gsm, 9.5 x 9.5 cm (February 2017).

While good quality watercolor paints and professional acid-free paper are a must in my technique, my selection of painting brushes is more relaxed.

It includes traditional Chinese ink brushes that can carry loads of water and pigments, plus some Da Vinci Kolinsky brushes, e.g. Harbin-Kolinsky 36Y and Maestro Kolinsky special inlaid liner brushes. I also like flat brushes, especially for the large format paintings that I cannot imagine without soaking the wide brushes in jars filled with diluted pigments.

Watercolor Paintings

The size of my paintings varies from small experimentations to large formats. Nature features highly for the subjects of my paintings, varying from animals and birds, to plants, portraits and motion. Cityscapes and landscapes are not my strong points, while abstract painting could occasionally pop up.

Sometimes I’m trying to classify my artworks according to the most dominant color in the painting. For this post, I decided to show you the use of reds.

My Online Presence

I have published one online tutorial on YouTube, which demonstrates my wet-on-wet watercolor approach.

A free preview of “Paws and Claws”, my self-published watercolor book from January 2014 is available here. I’m currently selling my artwork on Artfinder and SaatchiArt. You can get to know me better by following me at the links below! Wishing you a good time painting – enjoy!

Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt
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Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

Recommended8 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists, Tutorials
24 Comments
  1. Thomas Blanchard 7 months ago

    Your work is truly inspirational! Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Thomas. It has been a big pleasure to have been able to share my artwork with all of you on Doodlewash 🙂
      Cheers!

  2. Posey Gaines 7 months ago

    Wonderful article and story Violeta. Love your video…you need to do more!

    • Thank you Posey 🙂 I actually plan to film the next painting video around this coming Christmas. I’ll let you know via Doodlewash as soon as the video is running online.
      Thank you for your kind comment – it always pushes me to do more, to share more!
      Cheers!

  3. Jean Marmo 7 months ago

    A wonderful read and works!

  4. Sandra Strait 7 months ago

    Your work is so beautiful and your video is inspiring! Thank you for including it.

  5. Mary Roff 7 months ago

    Beautiful work, Violeta! Thanks for the video..it is awesome!!!

    • Thank you very much, Mary 🙂
      The video was filmed in 2014 and it is probably the right moment to come out with the next one soon.
      I feel so blessed that I found Doodlewash and all of you enjoying watching my painting demo on YouTube. Sharing my painting skills and struggles is a source of inspiration and a huge motivation to do more. Thank you!

  6. Rod Fletcher 7 months ago

    What wonderful work. Thank you for sharing. Your dogs in your book are tremendous.

    • Rod, thank you for your comment and for watching the free demo of the book “Paws and Claws” (2012).
      If you remember the “Chinese Vase with the Poodle” painting from the beginning of the book, that is exactly the one of the very first and very important watercolor paintings I did so far 🙂 I’m explaining that moment in the book: I lost one big drop of water from my brush, which consequently created a spot on the paper, just before a beautiful white poodle appeared sitting between the vases. Of course, it was a pure mistake that created a magic in the painting. Needless to say I fall in love with the watercolor technique 🙂

      I’ve just had a look at your landscapes: fantastic work there, in your gallery 🙂 Congratulations!

  7. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 months ago

    Violeta, your watercolor technique is original and lets your colors roar. I’ve never seen anyone do red like this. Your paintings are gorgeous.

    • Wow! Thank you Sharon. I used to say that “I’m in a relationship with the red (color)”. Particularly with W&N’s Winsor Red 🙂

  8. Pamela Smith 7 months ago

    I love red,and really like your use of it in your stunning watercolors…thank you for including the video,I enjoyed watching it and the music is my favorite..

  9. Susan Cuss 7 months ago

    I loved watching your video–it left me wanting more. Such beautiful, rich paintings!

    • Thank you very much, dear Susan. I hope to do more filming next month, in December. I’ll keep you informed via Doodlewash. Cheers!

  10. Jennifer McLean 7 months ago

    I absolutely love your vibrant and saturated use of color.

  11. Nay Aung 7 months ago

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge,story and of course amazing artworks!!!Always love the way figures came out of the abstract.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Nay. I’m glad that you like my painting style, and hope we’ll have plenty of opportunities to collaborate in the future via Doodlewash. Cheers!

  12. Sharon Nolfi 7 months ago

    I love your work, especially the tomatoes.

    • Oh Sharon! Thank you for your kind comment! I’m very glad you like the use of red in my tomatoes 🙂 Thank you!

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