What's your name and where do you live?
Anna Zadorozhnaya, Moscow (Russia) & Kassel (Germany).
In which techniques do you mainly work?
Watercolour is my passion and love. 95% of my paintings are done in pure technique: watercolour on paper without any other medium. Besides this, for value studies and quick sketching I use charcoal and water-soluble graphite.
Do you have favourite themes? What inspires you?
The theme that inspires me endlessly is mountains: their strength, power and majestic beauty are fully expressed on paper with light, fresh and transparent watercolours. This perfect combination allows you to share the emotions that people could feel while being in mountains - the freedom from conventionalities, the opportunity of being yourself, conscious loneliness and the immutable passage of time. Besides this, I'm always inspired with nature (and especially with bright sunny light) and travelling - so I love to paint airplanes as a symbol of new places and the freedom of movement.
And where do you paint preferably?
I prefer to paint in the studio: plain air sketches are done with the aim to capture the atmosphere of the place, and they are used afterwards for painting in the studio. But there are many distractions, weather predictability. And all the needed materials are right here.
Do you still remember your first Schmincke colour?
Yes. It was a Schmincke HORADAM® watercolour Indigo 15 ml-tube, and I bought it during my first travel through Germany.
When you started painting, how old were you?
That was six years ago, I was 27.
What are your favourite colours?
I'm painting only with HORADAM® watercolours, and among the most favourite colours, that are in my core palette and also in my Schmincke dot card, are:
- 494 Ultramarine finest
- 228 Cadmium orange deep
- 655 Yellow ochre
- 482 Delft Blue
- 487 Cobalt Blue Light
- 346 Ruby Red Deep
- 782 Neutral Tint
- 519 Phtalo Green
- 648 Transparent Brown
- 662 Sepia Brown Reddish
- 479 Helio Cerulean
- 668 Burnt Umber
And what is special about them?
Schmincke makes very clean, strong, vivid colours, they are stable in terms of lightfastness (which is very important for artist), they are very thinly grinded and give even layers, and they also make perfect mixes. Finest Ultramarine gives a little granulation (as opposed to usual Ultramarines behavior), Yellow Ochre is a very beautiful colour itself and because of thin grind it shines on the paper, Neutral Tint is a gorgeous browny-violet gray, that is perfect for dark places and creating tone contrast, Transparent Brown is an unbelievable beautiful brown with red hue, very transparent and often used either in pure form or in mixtures.
Are there any other colours you love to use?
Yes, I'm very fond of the Special Edition of the supergranulating watercolours from the HORADAM® series and the effects they create. My favourite are Galaxy Violet, Galaxy Pink, Deep Sea Blue, Glacier Green and Glacier Black. (Available in sets from January 2021.)
How can one learn from you?
I have online tutorials in Russian, English & German, available on platforms like ArtHustle and Udemy. I also conduct offline workshops, mostly in Moscow, and have individual students, both offline and online, in format of teaching and mentoring.
Art Hustle: https://arthustle.org/course/watercolor-snowy-mountains
And where can one look at your work?
My main source of exhibiting paintings is now Instagram: @draw_better