Sketchbook Journey 01: Observing nature and the ways of recording observations

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Sketching with watercolour pencils and using the camera on your phone to record your observations.

This vlog is about my artistic endeavours.

I called it ‘Sketchbook Journey’ because my sketchbook would always accompany me when going out, whether out with the dogs in a park, waiting for son at the school or generally going somewhere – you never know what would you observe, in my case, I would always notice something amazing out there…

I’m writing this blog and recording this vlog so to help you understand the ways to perceive the nature and importance of such observations.

I am pointing at the challenges which you may encounter when creating a piece of art and the ways of recording observations of the world using different media such as watercolour pencils or photo editing apps on your phone.


What I saw when observing trees in the park.

I was observing the trees in the park and this is what I saw:

this is what I saw

The light from the setting sun illuminated the tree trunks, tinted them yellow. The branches were bright like neons, contrasting with the grey-blue sky. In the background, everything became red, pink and orange.

Learn from observing nature.

We can really learn from observing nature. Observing and sketching it live, rushing, as it changes so quickly. This forces us to make quick, bold decisions, focus only on important aspects of your drawing such as the appearance of light and how does it affect the colour.

Stage 2: Recording observations

Watercolour pencils

The watercolour pencils are great for sketches. They can be used like ordinary pencils with a bonus that gives us a quick colour reference.

This is a perfect opportunity to practice mark-making. You can smoodge and overlap strokes, blend colours together. And with a sharp pencil tip, we can use them to define fine lines, details and shapes. Add a bit of water, your drawing will transform into a watercolour painting right before your eyes!

The page in my sketchbook was tinted light blue and coated with Liquitex gesso. The gesso gives the surface a bit of a rough, grainy texture, making the watercolour pencil’s inner lead to rub away and leaving on the paper vibrant, smooth marks

The aim of my sketch

The aim of my sketch was to register the contrast in the sky – reversed light and order of colours. Normally, we see the sky brighter than the rest of the world. Here, the trunks of the trees shine yellow light like neons on a murky blue sky. The branches shine red, like firey tongs, exploding in different directions.

Taking photos and editing them on your phone

I would mostly take a photo rather than a sketch. The good thing about technology is that we can enhance our photos on our phones with a variety of photo apps.

photoshop sketch

Here, on my iPhone, I was playing with the camera’s setting for:

  • colour saturation
  • brightness & contrast,
  • colour filters,
  • and markup drawing.

The markup drawing function is so useful because you can draw over your photograph, easily changing the colours as you wish, trying various colour schemes.
However, be careful and make sure you save it! It happened to me a few times that I spent an hour drawing on a photo but didn’t save the photo and after all everything was lost.


Complementary colours

The yellow and blue, orange and blue, purple and yellow – these are complementary colours, they sit opposite each other on a colour wheel.

The colour theory states that the more different two colours are, the more contrast they produce. Complementary colours offer the greatest contrast.

Just like on this sketch: here the branches are orange which contrasts against the very blue sky. Orange colour is, in fact, a half red colour. It derives from red and yellow… So the stomp branches are red, dark red and contrast with its complementary green. My sky transforms from light-blueish green, well – turquoise (…can you imagine such colour?! :D), into light cyan blue.


I would like you to take a few sketches using watercolour pencils or just standard pencils if you cannot get hold of them.

Your sketch should show:
– Various mark making – showing the texture or nature of objects.
– Complementary colour palette:
For the main body of your drawing choose only the colours between two complementary colours, including them eg:
Say you chose red and yellow so choose also their secondary colour – orange and the variety of their tertiary colours and their different hues (yellow-orange, reddish orange, orangy yellow – which is an orange colour more yellow than orange…)
Choose a complementary to this range of colours for the background so, in this case: blue, bluish green and green.

Post your results on to my Facebook page or email me with a subject: ‘My sketches of nature’. I will talk and post your achievement on my social media accounts.

Want to see more?

So, this was the first of my many sketchbook journeys.

I would like to know what you think?
Whether you have any questions or would like to give feedback, please, leave a comment below.

I would also appreciate if you can subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Thank you for watching and thank you for reading. See you on my next sketchbook journey…

bike drawn over two point perspective grid

What can be seen in perspective?


Perspective is about how we see things in space. It can be difficult to understand at first.

However, having the ability to see in perspective is the key to capture something intangible such as the space around us, and enclose this 3D form in a flat, white piece of paper!

Done it right, it can show us the world from an angle beyond ordinary human observation.

One point, two point, three, four points of perspective! – How many points of perspective can we have?

What a variety of unusual angles we can project by connecting just the dots…!

This game is challenging yet, extremely fascinating…



Working on my latest commission, I’ve encountered this problem:

I needed to find the best point of perspective, which in this case would unable the rider to ‘visually’ jump out of the picture.

What would be the best solution?

2point-perspective grid-with a bike

Bike drawn over two point perspective grid.

I have used two point perspective: Two point perspective uses two vanishing points placed on the horizon line. Receding lines are drawn from each one of the vanishing points.

The eye of the viewer will follow along these lines to one of the vanishing points.

Parallel, vertical lines are drawn to indicate where the biker ends and his height. The closer that these lines are placed in space to the vanishing points on either side, the longer the form appears.


Once we know how to place an object on the perspective grid, we can play with a variety of arrangements of vanishing points and angles.




Here the vertical parallel lines are angled hence making an illusion of the biker tilting to the right… 😉


I have to admit that when I am painting I can see the objects I paint perfectly arranged on a grid which I mentally draw in my head; and see those objects on the paper before they are being even drawn.



Commission me to create for you a personalised piece that captures you or someone you love in a favourite sporting activity.

It’s a perfect present, so personal and thoughtful, when you give it to that special person in your life: the athlete who you admire and of whom you’re really proud…

On my customized pictures I capture:

– any sport activity

– the colours of your team/gear – so you know where you belong…

– anywhere you want – you can have any landmark in the background to show off your most memorable adventures and achievements.


If you have any photos, one is all I need, however, even if you haven’t got a photo, description works fine.


Try to order two weeks before the birthday or anniversary.

Prices start from £90 but contact me so we can discuss your best option.

Cycling Love Story

And off they went on their bikes…

Having someone to understand your passion is nice, having someone to share the same passion with you – that must feel like being in heaven! A perfect match, the One, maybe even the One to spend the life time with… (ohh… please! Don’t spoil it anyone!)

So, there were two people, a girl and a boy… They went out on their bikes, separately as they didn’t know each other at that time…

They have been seeing each other passing by every day as they were choosing this route for their daily cycling workout:

From Clitheroe to Waddington, then over Waddy Fell, through Dunsop Bridge, then White Well, over Hall Hill and back to Clitheroe… Pretty though ride, good workout, 2 hours, two big hills to climb…

So they have seen each other passing by, every day. Sometimes they were heading in the same direction, (he overtaking her really, only because she allowed him though! :D) sometimes they came from the opposite directions, passing by, sending a fleeting smile, a wave of the hand…

One day, they finally met, they finally stopped and talked to each other… It was only because:
She got flat tyre… He stopped and helped, because he was a gentleman (like all the cyclists are!)

She tanked him, embarrassed, she knew how to change the tyre really, she just wanted him to stop, to talk, to meet…

Lovers in White Well, available at the Mancheck exhibition: The Inn At White Well Hall 29th June – 9th July
Platform Gallery Clitheroe: 10th July – 22nd July 2018

It worked! – From that moment onwards they have been cycling together side by side…

And every year, at the same time, they cycle to the very place she got her tyre flat… At the bridge in White Well…

The moral of this story is: WE GIRLS DON’T NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CHANGE THE TYRE, because the cyclists men are real gentlemen and would always help on the road.

Sometimes, you never know, it may lead to finding the One (if you’re a cyclist and find a cyclist then it surely would be just perfect match! :D)

The kissing cyclists – the original is still available from my Etsy shop.


Marcus the World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher

This is Marcus (@themarathonmarcus)
He is the focus of my latest commission and he is also a World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher…

Who is a World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher?

Those are runners who successfully complete all six of the marathon races: in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

Wow! To run a marathon is a pretty amazing achievement. To run six of them – that’s a challenge only a few can undertake.

What does it take to become such a person? Do you need to be self-disciplined, determined, focused?

Marcus, who is the focus of my latest commission, talks a lot about achieving your goals and better yourself.

I’ve chosen a couple of his posts which have really inspired me:

Remember in chasing the goal KNOW that you’re good enough as you are now. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
External targets are outside your control, but the one thing you control is how you react to them. Whatever step your on, do your best in that moment.”

You can’t change people’s opinions. So instead just aim to prove people right, by being the best version of yourself.”


Being the best version of oneself… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Primarily, I have committed to create 5 different images, I should have done 6 for every one marathon Marcus run…

I might not be the best version of myself… yet,

I am really working on it: to become the best version of Gosha I can be… But life throws at us many obstacles and temptations which we need to fight with every day. Not everyone has enough will power and energy to fight.

However, your journey is really inspiring, keeps me thinking…

Chicago Marathon

This is the very first image of Marcus before adding colours. My technique involves using an ordinary, household gloss paint, which I am dripping freely from a palette knife…

Sometimes the paint splashes accidentally, not all the lines are perfect, however, that imperfection and accidents create great sense of movement.


Running with Mo Farah

This is Marcus running with Mo Farah! (and winning ;D)

I have to admit the dynamics between body movement of the runners are not equal in this artwork and it is something that annoys me…

This is the reason why I have never finished the picture. Maybe if I did add colours the runners would have come to life.

Tokyo Marathon


Finally, Marcus running Tokyo Marathon. With other participants behind, the picture becomes rather lively and has a potential to become interesting.

Even though there’s too much paint on the runner’s face, it could be easily fixed by overpainting with acrylic paints which I am using to finish the artwork.

A portrait of you?

I may not be running a marathon but my goal is to create art for all of you amazing people. To capture your achievements and keep the world inspired.

So, I am looking for you but you can find me first!

Have a look at many other portraits portraits I’ve done for amazing, inspiring, sports people:


Get in touch if you’d like me to create a portrait similar to the one I’ve done for Marcus. 



First Rays Of Sunshine

Into the forest, I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.

I know how it is like: January, days look grim, it is cold, dark and rain is pouring down the sky.

On the days like this, we miss the sunshine, the warmth and the fresh breeze of air: those prompts which easily motivate us to go outside and enjoy life.

Like many others on New Year’s Eve, I longed to start something new. I wanted to capture the essence of new beginnings, one that comes with the new year and the beginning of spring, the feeling of fresh, warm air blowing for the first time after months of bitter cold.

This piece is called “The First Rays of Sunshine.” and it has been created to bring you closer to spring, fast-forward those juvenile days we are longing for on cold January days. 

Imagine this:

It’s the early morning. The air is cool and smells of fresh pine, while the sun shines, warming your skin. Riding slowly through the woods, you hear the “tweet, tweet, tweeeet” of the birds above you. You take a deep breath of crisp air, looking at the clear, blue sky.

Ah. Spring has come…

Here, I’ve used my signature medium – a mixture of gloss paints for the subjects and oil paints for the background.

Oil paints can often be difficult to use, as they tend to dry very slowly, but the patience is promptly rewarded with a lovely texture I frequently incorporate into my artworks, such as this one.



I usually reproduce my imagery on a card. I feel that doing so I am giving you the best opportunity to enjoy my art and wider spread my desire to inspire and motivate you to go outside and enjoy life.

Now, you can download a FREE PDF of this card.
The file is all set up to print on a card or to use as a screensaver on your device.

That’s not all – when you download the PDF you are being automatically entered into a prize draw. The main prize:
A4 mounted print of this picture
and further 4 x A5 cards. 



The draw closes on 31st February 2018, the winners will be announced on 2nd February.




I strongly believe in the law of attraction and the power of our minds. Our inner monologues and inner beliefs shape our reality more than we think. Words do indeed change the world.

These cards were created inspired by my own experiences: Joining the cycling club has opened up the door to so many great adventures, exhilarating experiences, and harsh challenges that truly pushed me to my limits. Some other cyclists tended to push themselves to the extremes!

Having rather a slim figure myself that was “great for climbing,” as my companions reckoned, many of them often thought I’d be the quickest of the pack.

Sadly, that wasn’t always true – training felt so painful at times. On a cold, rainy day, the thought of giving up became very tempting.


The desire to go on pushed me forward to the end. It didn’t matter how I placed; there wasn’t any shame in coming last, but giving up before the end? Now that would be something to be ashamed of. Whenever that harsh inner critic in my head starts to make me think I can’t, I immediately start a mantra to force that negativity away and embrace the belief that I can.


I can. I can. I can!

I know what it’s like to lack motivation. That’s why I’m sharing these short quotes with you, to give you a dash of encouragement on a little greeting card, so you can pass it on to others and help them find the right spark, too.



A6 card (small) – £2

3 x small (A6) card – £5

Cycling Art – how it started

I was always very envious seeing people on bikes and wanted to join this great activity. After buying my first road bike I have joined the local Clitheroe Bike Club. It was the start a great period in my life, full of adventures, challenges and a connection with great people.


Every Saturday the club meets at 9am to go for a ride. Split into groups, varied according to our abilities and skills, I found my love in climbing hills: The hilly billies was the name of my group as we were deliberately choosing difficult routes, full of challenging uphills.

A Christmas party took place in my Cycling club and it impressed me to prepare some gifts for the raffle. That was the first time when I used my special technique and made a few cards. I had lots of fun creating and the feedback was so positive… I got loads of orders, people wanted my pictures and cards for presents!

Few years after and I have created an elaborate collection.

You can view available originals, cards and prints in the SHOP area

Glossy painting

I would like to tell you something about my technique. It is particular.

I simply use an ordinary non-drip gloss paint which I pour freely from a pallet knife. The tool never touches the paper to allow the image to have its own life.

The effect is great – even when the paint is dry it looks glossy, it keeps shining, and because I never sketch what I am painting as I totally rely on accidental splashes in order to capture the movement.

When the paint is dry I can cover certain slip-ups with an acrylic paint and add a little wash of ink in the background. With a splash of the colour, the picture takes a different life.


Paul Kenton – Bus Stop Blues painting

I don’t remember how I got about using the gloss paint – and it needs to be a particular gloss paint, non-drip, so the flow of the paint is not too quick and runny

I encountered an artist in one of the London Galleries, Paul Kenton – he was using something similar to create his cityscape. I thought I would like to try this technique, however, struggled with finding appropriate paint. Acrylics were too runny or too thick, I wanted nice, gluey consistency. I think that’s how I thought about the gloss paint – having found a tin at home.


My technique developed a lot since the first time I had used it and you can view available originals, prints and cards in my SHOP area.

Clitheroe – oil painting of the town

This is my new picture which I am currently working on. I managed to record its beginnings.

In this short video see how my town is emerging from nothingness of the canvas. Through lines and shapes, strokes of a brush, splashes of ink; I am forming, creating and bringing to life a town, my town, formed from a white cloud and confusion of my thoughts and ideas.

I really felt like GOD, having total control over this scene, left purely to my imagination. It is so empowering and scary – I can do anything with this picture and my intentions are good – I want the summer, the sunshine, energy and buzz. But it is easy to turn the image into a gloomy, terrible world, and then these buildings, bushes, trees and people will be locked forever in the hell of my mistake.

STAGE 1: Oil painting, establishing colour scheme.

Clihteroe - oil Painting, establishing colours.

Clitheroe – oil painting, establishing colours.

I’ve spent hours painstakingly mixing paints, trying to find the right colour. My aim was to leave an impression of summer afternoon with its strong sun lights and contrasting shadows.

The colour was really important but I couldn’t decide on a colour scheme. Because I wanted the feeling of  summer with plenty of sunshine, going into a yellowpink scheme felt like the most suitable direction.  But the nuances are so difficult – too much yellow, makes it too fresh for a summer, adding too much orange will make it look tired and dark! I used vibrantly deep Ultramarine Blue for the shadows which colour, derived from purple seemed the most appropriate. However, red and orange hues would give a feeling of an evening. I also thought about green but I don’t really like green after all, not in its pure form as such colour would remind me of a Spring. Yet, I wanted to show summer with its hot, bright colours based on yellow and ochre, pink and peach.

STAGE 2: Enamel

 Adding enamel highlights.

Adding enamel highlights.

Now it’s finally time for fun!: enamel. This is the time when my hand goes free, it has a chance to improvise and relax. This is a time of FREEDOM. This is also a time to make quick decisions when the enamel runs down from my palette knife.

I have settled to leave the surface of the buildings in a pink, peach kind of colour. I have then added bright, light blue and pink lines, highlighting the tops of the roofs and edges of walls. Blue and pink are contrasting, nearly complementing themselves so the combination should create a contrast I desire. However, those bright lines weren’t that visible, they blended with the light colour of the buildings. I’ve added medium blue (Cerulean)  and it started showing some visible changes.

Adding yellow only on the buildings’ side and white on the top of the roofs would show highlights on those shapes. The navy blue is going to go in the shadowy places, tracing the outlines of buildings and windows.

Not too much, it could be easy overworked!

Clitheroe, Oil and enamel on canvas. 100cm/80cm

Clitheroe, Oil and enamel on canvas. 100cm/80cm

The enamel work was fun! But I needed to be quick, the paint is running off my tool uncontrollably.

This painting is being painted for an open exhibition at Stewards Gallery in Clitheroe Castle, titled ‘Town v Country’.

It’s nearly finished. I am going to wait for it all to dry and using some dry brush technique – layer of rubbed paint on the top of existing image – I want to leave the town in the sunny mist.

What do you think? I would really appreciate and welcome your constructive feedback. Please subscribe to my blog to learn about my art techniques and colour.

Details of the exhibition to follow.


What do we like about landscape painting?

Living in a beautiful countryside is a source of inspiration to many artist and many indeed find joy and passion in recreating the scenery on their canvas. There is so much enjoyment out there, in constantly changing light affecting the clouds and the sky, the texture of grass, the pattern of fields which spread before the eyes like a patchwork, the lines of dry stone walls, the reflection in water, shadows of trees and bushes as they move gently in the air.

Despite all that stimulus, I find that approaching a blank canvas and simply beginning sketching the fields, the hill, the dry stone wall, creates a problem, the image on the canvas does not appear that exciting as it excited me out there. I want to know what it takes to create a stunning piece, grabbing hearts of people. I want to be the one who shows the world from an angle beyond an ordinary human perception, surprises.

I’ve done a little survey asking my viewers to give their suggestions and here I’m presenting my results.

Which style attracts you most?Which style attracts you most?

I have showed them 5 different styles of landscape painting

  1. Traditional – realistic style, a bit figurative.
    2. Natural – Colours are as they appear to you in nature – so green grass, blue sky
    3. Colourful – The one where colours are abstract, unreal like in Fauvism.
    4. Naïve style – where objects are depicted in simple forms.
    5. Abstract landscape – objects are losing their forms, it’s a composition (a set up) of colours and shapes, nothing appear to look real.

Person 1: ‘ I like them all, but number three is my favourite. My reason is because i feel that this style is what i see throughout most of your paintings, and that’s simply what makes your work so unique from everyone elses’ – Oh, Thank you Laura x,

Person 2: […I like] number 1. This feels as though I could actually be there. Or 2, for the same reason. (Number 2 makes me want to see what’s on the other side of the hill!)

  • So you are intrigued Maureen, that’s a fantastic answer. I also know that you see  seaside – which is a place you want to be.

Person 3: [the abstract painting which is number 3, is] the most unique and expressive and colourful.

Person 4: I’d probably go for 1and 3 out of this selection because I like bold strong art but with content.

Person 5:  I like no 1 best though very much appreciate the modernistic view of no 3.

Person 6:  Its 1 and 2 for me because I find peace when walking in fields.

Person 7: Number 4 and 3. Simplicity, and brightness.

  • At least for once the naïve style gets the votes.

Person 8: 2 so beautiful & also 4

Person 9: Number 1 and number 5. Just love the poppies. The pictures draw you in to make you want to be there.

Many discover a familiar place, some place from their memories or dreams. Place they have been to, which they recognize, or a place where they would like to be, place where they would feel comfortable and happy. Such place they see is intriguing, inviting, alluring… and such place is real, easily recognizable. There might be some elements in this landscape art, that they like the most, such as poppies or simple the sea side J.

Some of you appreciate and notice the artist’s unique expression, a technical innovation such as: interesting brush strokes, bold colours, texture. Those are affecting the mood and the mood of the painted landscape is also important, frozen from ever so changing weather condition. The weather on the painting affects our mood and the overall mood of the painting.

Whatever you like about the painting what’s most important is to feel the connection with the image on emotional or spiritual level. It is that feeling of nostalgia which the painting evokes, that makes people like it and want it..

So: memory of place, place you want to be, interesting technique, and the feeling of connection – these elements all together are ingredients for a perfect masterpiece. Thank you for your survey.


Starry Night by Van Gogh. He painted it towards the end of his life, the mood expresses sadness and loneliness.

I very often look at famous artists to learn how they have approached the subject. This is a great way to learn. For those who learn art such process of looking at famous paintings is comparable to a relay race: we take the baton from our preceding artists and run with it our own way…

One of my favourite landscape artists is Vincent Van Gogh. He was certainly a master of colour and mood. Notice how his countryside paintings are rich in a variety of yellows and how they shine like gold when juxtaposition with dark blue or green. His thick layers of paint, with brush strokes so expressive, seem to be dancing, creating a sense of movement. By highlighting elements such as stars – they appear to have a powerful influence, or birds in his famous painting ‘Wheatfield with Crows’ , he brings anxiety and gloom.


I have seen the masterpieces of Van Gogh in Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and it was an experience comparable to seeing your favourite band live, so emotional and enriching. All the ingredients mentioned by you are contained in those paintings:  reality yet in an unusual way. The golden wheat fields remind me about Poland, hot Polish summer which I really miss.

What would I like to achieve as a landscape painter? I have asked the question to meet your needs – you as a viewer, receiver of my imaginary and hopefully a collector…  I have to admit, I do not seek realism as this job is reserved for cameras. Painting a landscape is ever such a challenging task as the scenery I see and get excited about is unreachable, so fleeting, at that moment at that time when I look, it looks different and I know it won’t last, time changes the image at every moment of the day and night. My desire is to stop it, frame in my memories.

Magnificent Pendle Hill

‘Magnificent Pendle Hill’ – Gosha Gibek, A5 card -£3.5 including postage Fine art giclee prints, numbered and signed: A4 – £10, A3 – £20

Magnificent Pendle Hill

Those fields and hills

‘Those fields and hills’ – Gosha Gibek, A5 card -£3.5 including postage Fine art giclee prints, numbered and signed: A4 – £10, A3 – £20

My latest search for the perfect landscape paintings,
I would appreciate to know your thoughts.
Each of this images can be bought as limited edition A5 card for the price of £3.50 – postage included.
Just send me your address.
I have also a very fine quality art giclee prints at the price of £10 for A4 or £20 for A3.