Svetlana Orinko

Svetlana Orinko is a leading master of watercolor and oil mediums. She has been at the forefront of the New Zealand Art scene for over twenty-five years. As a young woman, she has received a Classical Art Education in Ukraine before immigrating to New Zealand in 1992.

Since that time she has enjoyed an amazing success and a growing reputation as one of the country’s top artists and tutor. She has won numerous Art Awards and has a strong national and international following.

Her impressive paintings are due to her ability to transform any chosen subject into visual poetic language. Covering an infinite variety of subjects, her sensitive, lyrical and atmospheric paintings have captured people and galleries from around the world.
She feels strongly that an artist must have good academic training, master art of drawing and understand form, composition and color to express well their passion for the subject matter.

Over the years her work has changed greatly and continues to evolve with each painting. “I never want to be stuck” painting only one way or the other. “Variety is the spice of life and is especially that way for me with painting.”

Abstract Realism is an artistic philosophy behind Svetlana’s approach to painting. The language of paint, edges, value and color. It’s a visual point of view in which the subject matter is a vehicle, not the reason to paint beauty in today’s world.

Free tutorial: How to paint Dew Drops in watercolour


Latest 5 years Art Awards & Achievements:

(there are too many to mention)

In 2016 -2021

Watercolour Award & People Choice Award Ashburton 2021

Gordon Harris Watercolour Award 2021

Distinction Award Artarama 2020

People Choice, Ashburton 2019

Darfield Artweek Dental Award & People Choice Award Winner 2018

Artist Residence in Venice, Italy April 2018

Published in magazine “Pratique des Arts” HS Aquarelle (special watercolour issue) France Oct/November
Published in International Artist Magazine issue 109 June/July Artsy Shark Featured Artist article April
Featured Colour in Your Life Artist April

In 2015 - 2014

Kath von Tunzelman Memorial Watercolour Award 2015,
Lysaght Watt People Choice Award 2015 “Self-portrait”
Most Innovative Painting Award, Splash 2015,
Watercolour NZ Winner of Peter Yealands Wine People Choice Award Chch Art Show 2014
Finalist World Watercolour Competition, France 2014
Finalist Salon International 2014 Art Award San Antonio, USA

In 2013 -2009

Watercolour NZ Supreme Award 2013
Art2die4 Award Ashburton 2013
Second Award West Melton Art Exhibition 2013 NZ
Watercolour 2012 Art Award,
Second People Choice 2012 Art in a Garden,
Flaxmere West Melton Annual Art Exhibition,
Second Award 2010
Finalist North Shore City Art Award 2010
North Otago Art Society Merit Award 2009

Weekly Classes

I will be offering weekly art classes in 2020, (looking for venue)

It is open to adults of all abilities and levels of experience at both professional and hobby levels for those who would like to learn how to paint properly.

In today’s world of modern art education you may be taught what to paint (its all about concept and idea),the problem is that no one teaches you How to Paint.

In my class I will teach you some visual literacy ( understanding form, light and colour and how to make a 3D illusion on a flat surface ). Also you will learn about composition and how to make it work. I will show you many ways how to apply paint beautifully to paper or canvas (techniques). How to create a visual harmony, that is engaging and pleasing to the viewer.

I will teach in blocks of 4 school terms and you can continue as long as you like.

Next block start date and price: TBA

One on One

I am happy to offer for those out of town One on One Tuition for 1, 2 or 3 days.

I can try my best to fit in with the dates you are going to travel to New Zealand and Christchurch, no need to bring your art supplies in your baggage.

I will teach you at my own studio with art materials, food and drinks provided. It works out $100 per hour. For example:

Half-Day – $400

One Day – $800NZ

Two Days – $1500

Three Days – $2100


I am open to the invitation to teach your group. Please contact me to discuss the details.

Materials for Svetlana’s Watercolour class

Paper:  Archers Cold Press 300gm or 640gm Hot Press.

Watercolor Artist quality tube paints:

Aurelion, Indian Yellow  Schmincke, Naples Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Perinone Orange Daniele Smith, Rose Madder Genuine Windsor& Newton, Organic Vermilion, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridine Burnt Orange or Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber Schmincke, Cobalt Blue Light Windson&Newton, French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Violet, Windsor Violet, Sap Green, Viridian, Pthalo Green YS, I often use other colours as well.

Pallet: plastic with the lid. My favourite pallet supplier link: https://seniorart.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12_299&products_id=4689

Brushes Large and small watercolour brushes with a good point

I suggest: NEEF 4600S squirrel mix, size 12,8 and 4 (Drawing room)

Da Vinchi Filbert (cosmotop) size 12, 16 & 24 (Gordon Harris)

And absolute luxury (but not necessary): Alvaro Castagnet Wash Brush NEEF 4880 size 1,1/2” and 2” (Drawing room)

Lifting brushes: NEEF 95, Bright, size 1 and Galleria Filbert, size 8 (Drawing Room)

Miscellaneous: Masking Fluid, Spraying bottle, paper tissues, pencil and eraser,