Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Post

Well, there we go!
Welcome to all of you who are so kind to spare some of your precious time and visit this tiny particle of the vast Virtual Universe, and  to share with me some thoughts on Art, my approach to it and everything else that is connected to it. This is the first post of my first Blog and I will try to come with new posts as often as possible. I am a busy person who spends much of his life with a painting brush in his hand, and has trouble finding time for other things. So, please be patient with me and my blog, because after all “Patience is a virtue”.
First of all, I want to thank Dragan Bibin and Vanja Todoric for convincing me to start with this blog and for their generous offer to help me create and maintain it.

Giants - The Bull Fight

This painting was created for a book on Serbian mythology called “Banished Demons” ("Prognana bića"). It deals with a group of giants who  are amusing themselves by watching a bull fight. The painting is inspired by one of the most celebrated paintings from the history of Serbian art named “The Cock Fight”, and as such it is an homage to its creator Paja Jovanovic, who is one of the greatest Serbian masters from the 19th and 20th century. 

This is a preliminary drawing done with graphite pencils. I started sketching on a relatively small piece of paper without a conscious intention of making the drawing of the whole composition.  But the sketch progressed well and soon, crossing the invisible line between Sketch and Drawing, it grew into a proper preliminary drawing. Hence the vertical line across the drawing which is a consequence of me adding a new sheet of paper to accommodate the needs of the growing composition. What else could you expect from drawing the giants, who somehow always tend to be bigger in size than my drawing paper. This preliminary drawing consists of three separate sheets of paper.

This is the underpainting done on Masonite board. I usually mix several of different colors on my palette  in order to get a kind of reddish ochre,  which I use to do the underpainting. I paint in oils.

After the underpainting was sufficiently dry I proceeded by painting the background, mixing the paint with enough painting medium. The applied paint is transparent and permits the reddish underpainting to come through and enrich and infuse the painted shadows with a certain glow. I often try to keep the shadows transparent because mighty  Rembrandt “told” me to do so (more about that in a future post).

More giants are starting to appear making their way through the brush strokes.

People say “Less is more” and it is often true, but of course not always. Anyway, it works well  for me and my painting technique and therefore I try to paint, or better say to suggest the form  through  the expressive brush strokes  (more about that  in a future post, as well).

This is the finished painting. The size of it is  90 x 55 cm, or 35 1/2 x 21 1/2 inch. 

A detail from the finished painting showing  the faces of a few giants. As you can see, beside enjoying an exciting bull fight,  the giants also love to smoke pipe and to drink a proper size glass (at least a few of them) of strong ale or brandy, especially the famous plum-brandy named Sljivovitsa. No wonder they often could be seen dancing as crazy through the countryside, as the image from below clearly shows.


  1. Wow Petar, if this is where you are starting from, I am REALLY excited to see where you grow to from here! The drawings are absolutely luscious, and I really like how you've paid attention to the silhouettes of each element in the painting.

    Looking forward to reading more about your process,
    Best Wishes,
    Brian Bowes

  2. Petar,
    I'm actually rather at a loss for words but I felt compelled to thank you for starting this blog. Your expressive brush strokes are nothing short of immaculate. I look forward to future posts (especially on keeping those shadows transparent)

    Thanks so much Petar.


  3. Wonderful post. Your painting retains the beautiful quality of your initial sketch. So I'm wondering: How do you transfer your drawing to your oil surface? Thank you for this WIP. Looking forward to more in the future and more of those little tidbits from Rembrandt.

  4. Thank you Bill, Brian, Nicholas and Kim, for making this first post complete!

    Kim, in addition to your question about how I transfer the drawing to the painting surface – please go to the Flesk Publications website and read the Interview. There you can find more about my working method, including the transfer of the drawings .

  5. great post Petar, your paint handling is a joy to observe, and incredibly refreshing. so descriptive of form and so expressive all at once. looking forward to more. thanks.

  6. Thank you for sharing your work, and techniques. Inspiring to say the least!

  7. Thanks for doing a blog. James Gurney has introduced your work to me through his blog and I must say, I enjoy your work and look forward to more of it. Thanks Petar.
    Sean Hornof

  8. Thanks for doing a blog and creating all these progress shots, they are very beautiful and insightful.

  9. Thanks for starting a blog Petar! Your work is amazing! It was truly a pleasure meeting you at Illuxcon! Looking forward to more posts. Take care!

  10. Petar, it was great too meet you this year, i hope we can have a sit down next year , and talk some art , and philosophy , because as we know , those two come closer and closer to each other as the years go by. this wonderful read and fantastic art work , looking forward to seeing more. all my best to you and your wife.

  11. Petar, amazing beautiful work! thanks for sharing your studio and experience here and welcome to the bogging community!

  12. Super job Petar ! What a fabulous group of characters.
    By the way - What does Rembrandt have to say about giants that need to see a dentist ?

  13. Seeing your work at Illuxcon this year was truly an inspiration. So happy you’ve started this blog. I will be following it regularly and recommending it to my students. You’re an amazing talent and possess a enviable spirit. My best to your lovely wife as well.

  14. Thank you all for your encouraging comments! It inspires me to keep on writing the new posts.

    Soutchay; it was a pleasure meeting you at Illuxcon and seeing your well-crafted paintings.

    Marc; you are absolutely right, as we grow older the emphasis shifts from the external to the internal, and we tend to become more contemplative… if not wiser. Looking forward to seeing you next year at Illuxcon.

    Larry; although it seems like my giants are in need of a good dentist, it all in fact has to do with their fashion. Giants like to have their teeth arranged in the form of a bicycle rack…

    Mike, you are most kind. Thank you! Hope to see you next year.

  15. Hello Petar,
    I can't add much to what everyone else has posted as I feel exactly the same way. Very informative in your process and elegantly spoken. I was so happy to have met you at Illuxcon as well. Your art has a magic to it that is wonderful to behold. I am also thankful for the opportunity to add your "Merlin" piece to my collection. It has received many compliments from friends, artists and collectors alike to which it deserves. I so look forward to seeing more of the magic that has captivated my senses and hopefully add another masterpiece to my collection. Much respect and wishes for your continued success.
    Kind regards, Dan Fowlkes

  16. Hello Dan,

    Because of people like you my Illuxcon adventure has been an absolute success. I am very grateful for that and I am pleased that “Merlin” became a part of your collection. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words about my work. I really appreciate that!
    I am looking forward to seeing you next year at IlluXcon. Thank you, Dan!

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