My name is Tihomir Cirkvencic and I am from Zagreb, Croatia, where I grew up, studied and got my Master of Engineering in Computer Science degree (follow me on Facebook, Instagram, ArtFinder and visit my blog!). I have been actively painting for the last 15 years, discovering and enjoying various painting mediums and techniques, mainly oils, acrylic, pastels and watercolours.
In the recent years, I have devoted my efforts to watercolour, finding my inspiration in landscapes and urban subjects, both people and surroundings. I paint in the tradition of Impressionists, putting the sensation of colour, light and atmosphere in the spotlight of all my paintings. At the moment my paintings are featured in private collections around the world, in the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and are represented by galleries in Spain, France and UK.
My painting process starts way before approaching the whiteness and emptiness of the paper. For me, painting process starts from the very moment I see the subject, absorbing not just the visual outlines of the subject, its colours and lines, but also the whole atmosphere, its aura, the feelings and emotions that the subject projects onto me.
Proceeding with the mental drafting of the painting and visualizing the whole process of painting prior to physically approaching the future artwork, allows me to be emerged mentally and emotionally into the subject that will, once materialized in the finished painting, tell the story with the maximal impact on the spectator.
Mental drafting and painting moves next to the work on the artwork itself doing a solid drawing in graphite, outlining and positioning all main composition elements of the future painting. I believe in good drawing skills and in its importance in a figurative art. I am trying to balance the level of details I’ll put in the initial drawing and trying to avoid going into the too much detail in this early phase. Avoiding detailing at this point will give me more freedom and choices in the later stages of painting.
Continuing with layering the watercolours my focus is on tones and from the beginning to finalising the painting I am striving to make a tonally correct painting. Colours are important to me because colours give emotional “voice” to the painting but in my approach, I can really say that colour comes just after the shapes and tones.
I find watercolours as a medium are beautiful for tonal working. One small tip: an easy way to check if your painting is tonally correct is to take a photo of the painting, convert it to B&W (on your computer or on smartphone), and check if the painting looks correct to you and if you still like it (sometimes I even like it more when in B&W J). I take it always as a good sign that painting will look good to many people.
For my paintings I use Arches Rough 300gsm cotton paper, Schmincke Horadam professional watercolours and Escoda brushes. Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre are colours I could not live without and they are present in all my paintings.
…and there is one special ingredient that I use dealing with watercolours. It is: TIME!
Over the years of painting, I learned that for watercolours like in no other medium, one of the most important ingredients is TIME – letting something dry for a few seconds before applying a new stroke, letting something dry completely before applying a new layer, or on the other hand, painting something with speed – it’s all something that really makes a difference.
My paintings are my love
and just my humble way to try
to make this world more beautiful.
Best regards from Zagreb,
(my nickname, constructed from the first letters of my complicated name and surname)
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!