My name is Jitka Zajíčková, I live and create in Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve been painting since my childhood and it was always something that made me happy. When choosing my profession I had to choose something more sensible than art, thanks to the time period I grew up in nothing was sure (1980s, big changes in Europe – end of Communism, etc). I never gave up painting though.
I started learning aquarelle myself in 2000, back then there were only two books about aquarelle available in Czech Republic, no tutorials online, nothing. I have found my way of painting that I’m now even teaching. For me, aquarelle is the prettiest painting technique. Aquarelle can be dreamy and gentle but also exact and describing. I really love the diversity you can achieve.
A big inspiration for me is nature. I paint flowers, birds and animals. I love free painting, loose aquarelle, but also exact botanical painting. I often switch aquarelle for drawing ink or gouache. I also like to combine the eastern technique of sumi-e with our European kind of aquarelle. I paint with coffee, it is really easy to do and it also smells great.
A big part in making aquarelle such pleasure takes the correct selection of art supplies. You don’t need many, but you need to choose carefully. I usually use products made locally. For example papers form Czech paper manufacturer (hand papermill) Velke Losiny, where they make paper by hand since 1596.
For years, I have been using their cotton and flax handmade paper. I make my own watercolors from pigments and gum arabic but I also like the Czech manufacturer UMTON (manufacturing since 1919) and some international manufacturers like Renesans, Sennelier, Schmincke or Roman Szmal Aquarius. I prefer watercolour with honey in their formulae.
I sometimes use natural pigments from plants and spices for painting. I like to experiment. For me, flowers are the ideal subject to paint with aquarelle. I have a dedicated sketchbook just for flowers. I also have my own personal illustrated herbarium. I find the simple flowers the most beautiful (meadow flowers, grass, lichen etc.)
I enjoy both aquarelle techniques – wet in wet and wet in dry. I combine them as I need. I paint with a sketch or without it. It is interesting to see how both approaches have different outcomes.
I’m really happy that I have a school of aquarelle in famous Czech magazine “Kreativ”. I love cooperation with different brands for which I create illustrations. I also do my own author’s work. I had the honor of being invited by our national TV channel to present aquarelle and some other techniques I do (painting with coffe and with natural pigments).
I would love for my website to become a kind of guidepost for people interested in aquarelle. I have a lot of interesting tutorials, guides and helpful information there. I’m also starting to review supplies that are available here in Czech Republic.
During the COVID quarantine, I have started my own YouTube channel where I uploaded some simple tutorials and ideas for creating with children. As a mother of two, I know how difficult it can be to find ideas for what to do.Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in