Hello and welcome to the 17th post in the category: TRAVEL WITH MY ART.  This is a regular feature on my blog where I share my paintings and illustrations of different destinations and locations. I tend to illustrate and paint places I visited and photographed myself, but sometimes they are exceptions, for example when I paint those places I want to visit. Generally speaking, I illustrate places I know well and I use my own photographs as a reference for these paintings. As the title TRAVEL WITH MY ART would imply, I started this series on my blog in order to share places I love with all of you. It's basically a way to take you places with the help of my art (paintings and photographs). Sharing photographs is a wonderful thing, but since I'm now kind of a painter as well, it makes sense to create and share more art.  So, what will I be sharing today?

If you guessed another seascape, you're right. I simply love painting the sea and the coast. Croatian seaside is a great inspiration for me. My last post was inspired by island Hvar but today I painted another Croatian island. Today I'm taking you to island Brač and more precisely to- Bol. Being a popular tourist destination, Bol is quite well known. Its famous beach Zlatni rat (Golden Horn) is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, sometimes nicknamed 'Symbol of Adriatic'. What makes this sand beach so special is that it changes its shape depending on the wind and the waves. The tip of this sand beach often changes the direction in which it is tipped. Isn't that fabulous? There are quite a few stunning beaches in Bol. However, even if you're not a beach person, Bol itself is worth a visit. It's the oldest settlement on the island, lying bellow the highest mountain top of any Croatian island.  Its picturesque stone houses are so inviting and from what I heard, there are some great restaurants there. Scroll down and let's talk about Bol and my painting some more. 

I finished and framed this painting two days ago. I selected one of the wooden picture frames I bought in the store a couple of days ago. I think it's better to frame my acrylic paintings that were painted on paper in the same kind of frames I use for watercolours. So, basically I opted for your typical wooden picture frame.  A wooden frame is always a good choice. I bought quite a few of them. When it comes to canvas paintings, I normally take them to an art gallery to be framed, but with paper ones I can do it myself. I might change the frame for this one. Moreover, I might sell of gift it. At the moment this frame will do. I do have some canvas paintings I'm working on, but sketchbooks are often my choice as well. I sometimes paint directly in the sketchbook and sometimes I take the paper out and secure it on a work surface while I'm painting (and frame it afterwards).


So, I actually wanted to paint Bol for quite some time. Every time that I take the catamaran from Split to Jelsa on island Hvar, the catamaran docks in Bol (it's a regular route) and there is a little pause so you could say that I had plenty of opportunities to admire its pretty historical port. You know that I love historical buildings, right? This building you can see on my illustration is historical as well. There are a number of interesting sights to see in Bol including a baroque summer resistance, a Renaissance palace and so on. You can visit the official site here for more info (link neither sponsored nor affiliated). 

I visited Bol in the past, I didn't just admire it from catamaran. Many years ago, I spend a whole day there with my cousin and we had a blast. I remember the famous Gold Horn beach quite vividly, it truly is one of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen. I also enjoyed strolling the Bol and admiring its stone houses. The whole area is so green and relaxing. I'd love to visit it again. 

I took these photographs earlier this summer. I haven't been to Croatia in a while and I'm not sure when I will be able to travel again as both me and my husband are experiencing health problems. Anyhow, on the day I took these photographs, the weather was odd. One second it was cloudy, the other the sun would come out but there seemed to be some kind of shadow over things. It made for interesting light effect in the photographs. Had sun been as direct as usual, I doubt the photographs would have been as interesting. I remember coming out and looking at Bol as the clouds started to clear. I couldn't resist snapping a few photographs. I wasn't necessarily planning on using them as reference, but the thought was probably at the back of my head since I've been wanting to paint Bol for such a long time. The sea was this gorgeous mix of green, blue and grey that really drew me in and the reflections were so pretty. So, no wonder I couldn't resist painting this scene. The wooden boats are another motif I love. I liked the idea of this composition with the sea taking such a big part of the painting and then the sky and the mountain the background setting it in balance. 


I didn't really make a detailed sketch before I started applying colour. Sometimes I do make a pretty accurate sketch, sometimes I work with paints directly. It all depends on what I'm trying to do and achieve. At times, I also go with the flow. If you scroll bellow, you'll see the different stages of this painting, from the initial few acrylic layers that just determine the general outline to more and more details. 
Honestly, it took me a while to finish this painting. I have spent hours doing the sea, trying to get the tonalities of the green and blue right. I'm still not sure I succeeded, but I definitely put it effort. On the other hand, Bol itself (a part of the port that is visible that is) wasn't hard to paint. I added a bit more acrylic colour to the historical houses than I originally planned, but I liked the result. Trying to find the right colours for the mountain the background was the only tricky part about the upper part of the painting. I didn't struggle with boats even if they are quite small (this is an A4 format so the boats are only a few centimetres big). I've had enough practice with painting boats in all shapes and sizes that I don't really need to struggle or be very careful, or so it seems. The sea always remains a challenge, though.

The finished painting is alright by me. It looks like the place it's supposed to be and the sea looks interesting. I think the reason why I struggled with the sea was the reference itself. The colours of the sea were a bit peculiar on the photo reference- and they were the same in real life. I explained it was a cloudy day and that effected the colours. The peculiarity of the colours drew me to this painting but it is also what made me struggle.The final painting isn't perfect but it is interesting enough.  I do like this motif, I might give it another go, maybe try a bigger frame and go for more details.


That would be all for today. If you have any inquiries about my art, you may send me an email. Thank you for reading, visiting and/or commenting. Take care.


  1. Hello dear Ivana, I hope you're having a nice week :)

    First of all I am happy to see another "travel with my art" story, these are so refreshing and interesting for people like me that can't go out for a holiday. Sad to hear that you won't be able to come back to Croatia in a while for healthy problem, hope you guys get well soon. Sadly I can't go out due to money but luckily in autumn I could explore some places out of Spain.

    I loved to discover a little bit about Bol, the place seems so interesting and calm, wouldn't mind to be in summer there one day! On the other hand you nailed it with the paint, as usual the texture of the water is magnificent but the little houses / buildings are also marvelous!


    1. thank you so much for your support and comments Pablo!

  2. Another pretty dress, Ivana!

    I could just fall into that water - so gorgeous. What a beautiful place - why aren't you physically closer?? I really hate traveling so it's likely I'll never make it there, so much appreciation to you for sharing this with us.

    I think I would add a mat to this picture to hide the edges of the picture/paper.

    1. I hear you. I'm not one for long distance travel either.
      I should add something but I haven't figured it out yet. It is a shame that the sketchbook isn't exactly A4 so there's always that weird few centimetres I don't know how to cover.

  3. Prije svega, svaki od tvojih radova je besprijekoran. Oduševljena sam kako na realističan način prikažeš određeno mjesto. Tvoje slikarsko umijeće je vrhunsko. Bravo!

  4. Wonderful art, you really are talented and have an eye for it. I am not good at art at all but like taking photos, some people say I have a good eye for that!

  5. You mentioned you struggle with the water but I really do think you capture it so well consistently! the colours in this photo are wonderful and it looks like a nice spot to paint! :)

    Hope you are having a good week :)

    Away From The Blue

  6. Sabes cuando vi tu cuadro el mar fue lo primero que capto mi atención . El agua se ve genial. Te mando un beso . Hermoso cuadro.

  7. I always like how you make the water more vibrant and colorful Ivana!!

  8. I can see why you're inspired by that view, it's sensational! xxx

  9. I have heard about Brač island and the beach Zlatni rat but unfortunately I haven't been there. Bol is so gorgeous and your painting is absolutely beautiful, you are so talented my dear!
    Also love your dress in which you look so lovely!

  10. Beautiful take on the sea. Very tranquil! Lovely floral dress too! Wonderful post!

  11. Thanks for taking us on this artistic journey! A very enchanting island indeed. Awesome summer floral dress, too. Have a wonderful creative weekend!

  12. Dear Ivana, I think you succeeded in the colors of the sea and I like the painting and the frame! If you paint the picture again, it could be a good idea if you also try to recreate the clouds as they are in the reference photo. Because they create the special atmosphere on the water and they are generally very interesting. What you say about Bol sounds tempting - especially that the beach is changing its shape! :-) I am sorry to read that both you and your husband are not in very good health - I wish you both that you will feel better soon!
    Hugs, best wishes and happy weekend,

  13. I'm sorry to hear that you still have health issues and that your husband has some problems too. I hope it will be better soon. Your art is gorgeous, as always. xx

  14. I'm loving your seascapes, Ivana, and this one is no exception.
    You are really accomplished in recreating the movement of the water, and the gently lapping waves. I can almost feel the sensation of dipping my toes into that water by just looking at your painting.
    I'm sorry to hear you and your husband are experiencing health issues, which I hope will be resolved soon so that you can travel to your favourite places again! Sending hugs xxx

  15. Praying for you both. Hugs my friend

  16. Draga Ivana, hvala ti sto si svratila na moj blog, uvijek mi je drago vidjeti tvoj komentar! Ova slika je prekrasna, nisam nikada imala prilike biti na Bolu na Bracu, ali sigurna sam da je prelijepo mjesto, a bas si ga tako i docarala :-) Nadam se da si dobro!
    Saljem puno pusa iz Italije!

  17. Vorrei avere il tuo talento Ivana, sei davvero brava!
    Kisses, Paola.


    My Instagram

  18. Great review and beautiful photos! :)

  19. Beautiful! I am instantly transported from a cold and mizzly (rainy) Cornwall, UK . Lulu x

  20. I can't help but admire your painting. Not to mention that, your travel and painting idea is awesome. I like travel and I can paint also.But not like you :D . I think it's a creative blog. keep it up....


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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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