Meet the Artist: Kristina Granberg

“I don’t think that watercolor actually suits my personality that well,” artist Kristina Granberg admits as we sit in her living room sipping hot tea, the wind howling across a gray sky outside.

It’s February in Sweden, and the waves are crashing on the beach a mere 100 yards from our cozy vantage point. A few steps in the other direction is Kristina’s home studio, where her gorgeous watercolor art fills her bookshelves, walls, and desk.

It’s hard to see how she’s NOT suited for watercolor when you see the amazing work she creates (she’s @granberg_art on Instagram)… but after getting to know Kristina more and filming her “Realistic Watercolor Animals” class, it’s clear that she uses watercolors differently than many artists. For Kristina, watercolor is simply a means of applying color to a drawing in a very controlled manner.

While this style is more detailed and time consuming, it’s appealing to those who are more logical and “left-brain dominant” — and terrified at the prospect of letting watercolor paints spread around a page uncontrollably.

In a way, Kristina’s style is actually similar to using colored pencils — and in fact, she sketches many of her paintings in colored pencil first, to make sure she has the colors, composition, and values correct.

Only then does she jump into painting the detailed and whimsically-realistic animals, birds, and butterflies that she’s known for.

In her Art Summits® class, Kristina takes us inside her step-by-step process for painting realistic animals in watercolor — from practicing with little samples of animal spots and stripes, to painting a large-scale giraffe.

Though Kristina’s project (and her process) may seem daunting at first, her calm demeanor and logical teaching style will build your confidence and your skills so that you’re ready to try your hand at realistic work — and be surprised at what you can accomplish with the right expertise and guidance.

Despite the blustery weather, we had a blast hanging out with Kristina, meeting her family, roaming around the picturesque cobblestone streets of her town, and trying to keep her playful and fluffy cats away from our camera gear….

Luna, Kristina’s Norwegian Forest Cat, appraises our filming gear.

Watch Kristina’s “Meet the Artist” interview below to catch a glimpse of her watercolor-filled world:

Kristina’s in-depth, professionally-filmed class on painting realistic animals is available here.

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