Speed painting video – tulips on blue, oil on canvas

posted in: Creative process | 0

Speed painting video

Speed painting video is finally OIL ON CANVAS! This technique is my absolute favorite!  This is what I do, this is what I teach and this is what I sell the most of.

This technique of “Liquid oil” allowed me to finish a painting in one sitting and be happy with the result – something I was working on about 4 years.

It looks so easy and after you develop the skill, of course, everything is easy :) It only took me about 10 years to get here :)


This particular piece is quite simple and small size, I specifically chose an image like this to make a video that I would be able to record and process. I will slowly go to more complex paintings and will try to show you how I paint them as well.

Thanks for watching! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!



There is so much I want to tell you, so much is going on in my art business, but I’m just so exhausted today, it has been a busy week. I will wait for inspiration and get in touch later!


Portrait painting video – Halle Berry

posted in: Creative process | 0

Portrait painting process start to finish in under 2 minutes.

This is another recent portrait painting video I made of my process.

I cut out the talking part altogether. See if you like it better this way :) Feel free to tell me what would you like to see from me (more talking, less talking, oil painting, portrait painting, etc.) I will be happy to improve. Its been a pleasure filming (basically I just paint with a camera behind), but I still have to get better at editing and especially promoting them on social media.

Honestly, when I don’t feel like doing anything else I usually can still paint. I hope you find something that makes your heart sing. I have done all kinds of subjects and techniques and this new dry brush technique I discovered is definitely one of my absolute favorites! It makes portrait painting fun and fast! (it always used to be a pain for me, UNTIL NOW!!) if I had to do the same with a pencil, it would have taken me at least 3 times longer.



You can buy this painting here

And! you can order your custom portrait from photo here

Daily drawing – How I develop good habits and make more art

posted in: How to | 0

How did it start.

I’m an artist. I love to paint. The thing is to be a truly good painter you need drawing skills. And those are like muscles – if you don’t train them, you loose them. Period. I wanted to draw better for a while now. I made 3 resolutions to draw daily and the longest I lasted was 20 days… not long enough to become awesome. That is when I decided to make it a public challenge. I announced my plan to draw daily and made it interesting for my friends to watch me – if I skip a day and you catch me (of not posting a drawing of Facebook), you get a free drawing. The thing is – I hate to loose to other people. Don’t you? I’m so happy if you don’t care about that, but I do and I decided to use it to my advantage!

This was the first drawing of this challenge:

still life drawing bananas

Developing a habit.

Developing a good habit is painful. There are always tons of reasons and excuses not to do it, to skip a day, because you are already so busy and working so hard… Yes, yes, that’s why a little extra motivation provided by public is required (thank you all who is watching me!!!). For the first 30 days together with my drawing I have been posting complaints of how hard it was that day to make time to draw. Now I’m on day 51!  It’s still hard to find time, but I have given up on complaining, I just do it! Like Nike. Not only my mind got used to the idea, but it’s actually easier and faster to make a drawing and they look better. Of course, after 50 tries, they better be good! That makes me feel good about myself!

I proud of this one and you can win it if you catch me skip a day!

tiger drawing pencil paper art

Becoming more creative.

I started drawing fruit and vegetables from my fridge, but that got boring really fast. Then animals, horses, cats – familiar subjects. Later moved on to unfamiliar subjects – elephants, butterflies.. Some days I feel sick of everything I drew before, that day I make pen ornament drawing. I draw things I wouldn’t even consider drawing before. I broadened my choice of mediums – pencils, pens, pastels… who know what else is to come! Most importantly I feel more professional being able to handle all the different mediums as an artist.

pen drawing flowers

Getting priceless feedback on my work!

This one is a really exciting one. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t want to post a drawing because I though it’s no good and then got such amazing feedback on it! This cat wouldn’t get posted if it wasn’t for the challenge.  it really makes me look at my art differently and get to know what YOU like! If you want to keep and eye on my challenge like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NadiaGurkovaArt  

black cat drawing pastels painting toronto

How changing my instruction style helped me teach oil painting for beginners better. WAAAAY better!

posted in: Painting workshops | 2

First things first. Let me give you a little history. I started my workshops in the following format: 4 students, each choses their own picture, I give personal instruction and show what to do using their canvas. It’s pretty unique concept for an art class and it worked because:

  • It’s pretty cool to be able to choose your own picture THE FIRST time you are painting. Usually art schools start you off with tons of theory, drawing, colour mixing exercises and you need a lot of time, patience and money to get to the point where you can actually paint a painting.
  • You are able to start with what you like and what you want on your wall – waves, trees, fall trees etc.
  • You WOW all you friends and family coming out of your first art class with a good looking painting (yes, good looking, like art. Seriously)

As great as it sounds, there is a downside:

  • Since you are the only one in the class painting that subject, I have to show you stuff on your canvas. That means I actually paint parts of your painting. That means it’s not 100% your painting.
  • Since it’s your first (or second or third) experience painting I have to explain A LOT to every student individually trying to cover the basics like colour mixing, cleaning the palette. It can get overwhelming at times for both of us.

Why I still want to keep teaching painting workshops where you go home with a painting even the first time around? Because IT’S FUN!! It’s rewarding, good for self-esteem, creative spirit and more. And because I was bored out of my mind during 80% of art classes I took. Painting 23 colour charts, grey scales, drawing 50 boxes – can anyone survive this? What if art is a hobby? Do I really have to draw 50 boxes (it is an actual assignment – I’m not kidding you!)? My answer is NO! The only thing you really have to do is to love your life when you are painting. That’s all.

So I tried a different format trying to keep the fun, but reduce the amount of new material you have to battle with and my involvement in your painting.

This is how it goes: we collectively select a theme and I select a painting for each class. Last class students wanted to paint sunset and water, I found a picture of a beautiful beach sunset. I paint the same picture on my canvas and you repeat after me. So we gather around I start the painting and do a few first steps. Then you go and recreate it on your canvas, while I’m walking around and helping you, addressing individual needs that arise. Then we go back to my canvas and take it to the next step. Here is what we manage to improve doing the new way:

  • Instructions first shown and repeated when you do it were clearer and taken in faster
  • My hands on involvement in your painting reduced A LOT. I will still show you, if the concept doesn’t want to sink in, but it’s a lot less than before
  • The quality of students paintings went up – my opinion
  • Overall atmosphere is more relaxed, because nobody is overwhelmed (or almost nobody)

Here is the paintings from last class. One of them is mine, but not everybody can correctly guess which one. Can you? Put your guess in the comment!

photo photo 5 photo 4


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