Inspiration: New Materials

What inspires you? It's such a hard question! And sometimes I am justifying buying new art supplies and art materials by saying that they will inspire me to create something new and different. And it is true! Trying new materials (or starting a new sketchbook) is fun and makes you think differently and be more playful with the process.

I love using gouache in my work (I wrote a long post about it) and Holbein gouache is one of my favourites to use. They manufacture two types: traditional gouache and acryla gouache.  And before last week you could only buy the traditional one only at Jackson's Art. And acryla gouache was available from sellers in Japan and as of last week you can buy it in the UK! From Jackson's Art.  I was so so curious about acryla gouache for a long time and so happy it's finally available in the UK!

So what are the differences? The main difference is that traditional gouache can be reworked once wet, which means if you have gouache which dried on your palette, adding a little bit of water will re activate it. And that you can work with it on the actual painting, like blending colours together. When acryla gouache dries and can not be re activated. Which gives it a beautiful matt finish, opaque coverage and beautiful colours. Both qualities have pluses and minuses while working and it really depends how you prefer to work. But both are equally fun to use. Oh, and you can use them together of course!

I bought 5 colours (all very cool tones). I decided to go for very bright pastel colours which are hard to mix and some dark green and magenta.


I played around a bit doodling and here are the things I loved and which are quite different from gouache. It dries pretty fast on paper, when just a bit of water is added it looks very matt and even once dry. As acrylic paint it can be applied in thick layers which adds more texture (gouache can be too but a little bit less) and a painterly feel to the painting. It is very opaque and light colours completely cover the dark colours. They mix well into beautiful shades and have so much pigment in them. Colours are very clear and bright, absolutely beautiful. Because colours dry very fast it means going over in 2-3 minutes is not  a problem (if you don't like smudging). They are very fun to use and come in super cute plastic tubes. 

gouache illustration by andsmilestudio viktorija

I will not swich from gouache to acryla gouache but so excited to encorporate acryla gouache to my paintings and illustrations. Especially for flat chalky backgrounds and vibrant details.

Have you tried gouache or acryla gouache? What are your thoughts?


Illustrated Wish list: Jumpsuits

Happyyyy 1st of June! Sun is shining, it's warm outside, peonies are in full bloom and it's time to take out all the cute summer outfits and maybe add new ones to the warderobe?! I'm a huge fan of jumpsuits, they look gorgeous, you can cycle and run and jump in them and.. did I say they look gorgeous? I am on a hunt for an ultimate summer jumpsuit and here are some of my picks.

I love this jumpsuit because of the massive ruffle (I'm really into this ruffle trend, so cute!) and incredibly fun to draw. And the pattern is just adorable, colour is practical for all the running around, lying on the grass and spilling a bit of iced coffee.

While we are on the subject of ruffles, this one shoulder piece looks amazing and it seems to be so comfortable and perfect for summer days. The ruffle is so big that even ladies with big breasts can pull it off without a bra and feel comfy (I'm gonna be real here, I am not a big fan of summer outfits which can't be worn with bras, however I'm totally into this idea if I can go without a bra but my chest will be covered with a faaabulous ruffle and I won't feel uncomfortable). 

I adore this little jumpsuit with sleeves (mini ruffles, I AM SO SORRY I REALLY LIKE THEM). The length is short and cute and the pattern is flowery but without being too busy.

Ok, I promise it's the last ruffle. They are wayyy too fun to draw. This jumpsuit looks just sooo comfy, casual and cute.

Last but not least! Super beautiful jumpsuit with polka dot overload and straps on the back so you can wear a bra under it, yayyy! If I had this jumpsuit all I would do is eat cherries, run in the fields with my imaginary dog, doodle by the river bank and cycle to the local shop to buy baguettes and wine. 

What's on your wish list?

Hope you all are enjoying sunny summer days! 

Adventures in Ghent!

Couple of weeks ago we went to visit Ghent in Belgium to listen to my little sister play at her violin exam (she played with so much passion, love and skill our bias hearts exploded :)).

I've visited Ghent twice before and was so happy to be back. To see my lovely sister & to spend time walking around tiny streets and soaking in the beauty of this ridiculously gorgeous city.

I stayed in a tiny airbnb 5 minutes away from the city center, it was full of character (and I think ghosts). The house we were staying in was built around 16th century and there are lots of older houses in central town, some were built in 17th century some later but they all have one thing in common they are all soooo beautiful and colourful!

Another thing I love about Ghent is abundance of coffee shops! There are a lot of adorable tiny caffe's to drink some really good coffee, enjoy life, look at passers by.. So purely as a research we tried quite a few coffees. :)

And of course because we were in Belgium we had to try some fabulous Belgian beer. And again we were spoiled for choice both of beer & places to try it at. My favourite of course were the ones by the canals, where you can sit down, sip delicious beer and look at tourist boats looking at you looking at them. :)

This time we visited Het Huis val Alijn which is a folk museum, telling a story of Ghent and it's inhabitants. And of course all the amazing indie shops& places to eat. It's my second holiday since becoming a vegetarian so I wasn't quite sure what kind of food will be there to eat. I had problems in Prague (way too much tempting herring and all kinds of sausage). But Ghent was a delight! Every single place we went to had a fab vegetarian & vegan options, which were actually super delicious and well cooked (no massive cheese blobs or mushroom risottos).

There are always so many beautiful dogs there too! I can't believe just HOW many dogs there are in Ghent. But we were told that apparently Belgians tend to have more pets than any other nation in Europe, so that explains everything.

Of course if you venture outside the old town and into the suburbs you can encounter many of the wonderfully ugly belgian houses. I'm absolutely in love with them! And been a fan of the book & twitter account for Ugly Belgian Houses for ages, so my sister gave me the book as a present.. awwww, we had something to read on the way back.. :))

Bedankt, Gent!

You were wonderful as always. I hope we can see each other soon?