Grey Heron Watercolour Painting by Swetlana Fink

“Find Joy In What You Do” by Swetlana Fink

Being creative was always a part of my life. The first time someone gave me watercolours to play with was in kindergarten and I remember learning to paint a rose back then. This was some decades ago and I think my art has improved a little since then. My name is Lana and I live in Germany. My mother played a huge role in discovering different media and improvement of my art. Back in Soviet Russia, where I was born, she would let me use her artist quality supplies when I could barely walk, gave me her inks and dip pens to try and gave me tons of great advice. She pushed me to become better and learn techniques, but was also my biggest critic.

After going through a pencil and charcoal phase in my teens, I used acrylics and oils a lot. Then, during university, I was so busy with studying, that I barely found time for creative adventures. The more I rushed into art after having my degree in history, philosophy and psychology. Watercolour and inks were my mediums of choice, while I still explore and try other mediums from time to time. Watercolour is what brings me the most joy. I love how expressive it can be and how exact at the same time. It‘s a joy to experience how the pigments flow in water, separate and behave.

Bird Of Paradise Plant Watercolour Painting

The curiosity lead me to exploring watercolours more and trying different brands, papers and combinations. So my journey began. I created a YouTube channel and shared reviews of the paints I tried there as well as on my blog, which I already had. Sharing my experience, process and results is very important for me, as gathering and sharing of knowledge was one of my goals in anything I’ve ever attempted.

Tarsier Watercolour Painting

A new project was created when I started a database of the paints I purchased and tried, to share the knowledge with others. Also it‘s the place where I share the results of a lightfastness test I do with basically every tube of paint that I can put my hands on. Thus, Sun & Colors was born.

Bonobos Monochrome Watercolour Painting

When it comes to paper, I tend to be picky. My favourite is the Fabriano Artistico cold press. It‘s thirsty, but feels smooth when touched by the brush. When it comes to brushes, I try to choose them depending on what I want to achieve. The Da Vinci Casaneo brushes are great when I attempt to paint loosely and without a sketch. The Silver Black Velvet brushes hold a perfect point and are great for exact and detailed work. Both hold lots of water, which is important for me.

Golden Molly Fish Watercolour Painting

The Da Vinci Nova series turned out to be great for gouache as well as details in the tiny sizes.
Having tried out some brands of watercolours, my favourite is still my custom Schmincke Horadam palette, with some pans of Daniel Smith scattered here and there. The set of White Nights is a close second. The colours seem intensely bright, both brands rewet easily and are just fun to use. Most of all, I like how vivid they are and how much they flow once I touch the brush to the paper.​

My creative process often starts by being inspired by random things. Sometimes it‘s people, situations, things, colours, but most often nature and animals. Endangered species are a recurrent topic in my paintings. So far I‘m not sure if I have a consistent “style”, because it‘s so much fun trying something new and including new techniques into the painting process. In 2018, I attempted Inktober creating 31 ink paintings of endangered species without sketching first. Trying new techniques gives me a feedback about my abilities but also about my process. I was given the advice to stay consistent, it‘s just not what I want to be.

Spider Watercolour Painting

Consistency when it comes to a style feels very limiting to me as it doesn‘t give enough room to experiment. My process is lead by excitement for the medium, curiosity and a little of the feeling of a challenge. “Can I do that?” is a question I ask myself often and it‘s fun to explore whether I really can. Wood turned out to be a fun surface to be painted on using watercolours, of course it needs to be covered with watercolour ground before being worked on. Gouache is another medium that found its way into my collection as well as black watercolour paper.

Garlic Watercolour Painting

The creative process is a meditative phase, where I get to relax and experience the world and subject I paint in a way that is unique for me. My full-time job is not very creative and I need the time that I spend with art to ground myself. Right now I‘m staying home due to the corona crisis and lock down so there is plenty of time to paint and go on adventures I don‘t have in real life. Art is a journey full of fun new things and techniques to try out.

My goal is not only to share my passion for art with the world, but also to encourage others to do so no matter if they are beginners or not. The art community I found online is a very passionate, kind and understanding one. The pressure many experience with following a style or using supplies in a certain way seems not as important as finding joy in what you do, express yourself and just have fun in being creative.

Lana (Swetlana Fink)
Sun & Colors 

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15 thoughts on ““Find Joy In What You Do” by Swetlana Fink

  1. Having someone who can encourage while wisely critiquing is a wonderful thing. You were lucky to have a mother who knew how to do both, and it shows in the beauty of your work! Thank you for sharing your artistic journey with us.

    1. Hi Sandra, I agree! Without my mother, I would probably have never picked up a brush. But she lead me wisely and encouraged me to become better and improve my techniques. Thank you so much. It means a lot to be able to share my story and art. 🙂

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