22 Results

10 Tips for Underwater Seascape Paintings

Posted Oct 08, 2017
Tags: Painting Tips

Creating an underwater seascape painting has it’s own set of challenges. Before you get started, here are some of our top tips for achieving the right perspective, composition and effects.1. Build Your BackgroundEven though it’s not at the forefront, it’s important to get the background of your seascape painting right. Give your background depth and sparkle by first tinting the canvas with a pearl or silver, waiting for it to dry, and then glazing a translucent colour on top of it.2. Paint Underwater PerspectiveWater acts like a filter and effects the way colours look. To get your underwater perspective right, remember that the closer the element is to the viewer, the clearer it is. Use softer tones for elements that are in the distance. You can achieve this effect by tinting the col...

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Top Tips for Realistic Flower Painting with Acrylics

Posted Sep 08, 2017
Tags: Painting Tips

Realism is recognised as the first modern movement in art, a style where imagined ideations were rejected in favour of a more accurate depiction of nature, contemporary life and still life paintings.For a work to look realistic, elements need to be rendered in a particular way, and that is achieved with soft transitions between colours, the depiction of shadows and reflected light. In painting terms, these effects are suggested by the blending of colours into one another.To suggest the effects with acrylic paint that have been outlined above, we need to exploit its benefits. Here are our top tips for painting realistic flowers in acrylic paint:1)      Paint the background in one application and paint flowers onto the background. This has to be done so that you don’t create a mess ...

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Glazing Tips for Beginners

Posted Aug 07, 2017
Tags: Painting Tips

Creating luminous effects is something most artists aspire to. Glazing can take your painting’s finish from flat to multi-dimensional, and your work from good to great. Here we explore some of the basics of glazing - including what it is, how to glaze properly, and a basic formula to get you started. Image Source: Just PaintWhat is Glazing? Put simply, glazing is the technique where a painter lays a transparent layer of paint over an already dry layer of paint. This dry coat of paint is referred to as the underpainting. When the second colour is laid over the underpainting, a new colour is created through the colours optically mixing, but the colour created is more intense, vibrant and deep, due to the unique ‘shine through’ effect. This effect is not obtainable by an application o...

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Why Using Colour Theory In Art Works

Sir Isaac Newton invented the original colour wheel by splitting white sunlight into red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, and blue beams. Colour wheels have been consulted by many artists as to the best colour composition for their artwork, depending on the feel, mood and look they wanted to achieve. We’ve listed further down all the colours and their uses in art, branding, technology as well as their effects - from making you feel hungry to calm - so you can arm yourself with this knowledge the next time you’re planning your painting’s composition and scheme.We’ve listed further down all the colours and their uses in art, branding, technology as well as their effects - from making you feel hungry to calm - so you can arm yourself with this knowledge the next time you’re planning yo...

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Practical Ways to Improve Your Artistic Work Flow

Posted Jun 13, 2017
Tags: General Art Tips

It's not always easy to 'just do art', so we need to be proactive about making time for it. Here are some tips to help you with your workflow and hopefully enable you to become creatively fertile. 1. Allocate an Area for YourselfIf you haven’t got an area in which to do your artwork you will need something like this. In a past blog we wrote about some options for creating an art studio to suit your specific needs. But it will really cut into your workflow if you have to spend half an hour setting up an area, and after your session, spending more time in cleaning it up. You really want to step in to your area and start working straight away to maximise your limited time. 2. Don't Wait for InspirationIf you can only do your artwork when you are inspired, your output is going to suffer. ...

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Understanding Composition

Posted May 08, 2017
Tags: Painting Tips

Have you ever created a project, yet on viewing the work you felt there was something not quite right with it?  You rendered it well, the colours chosen all complement each other, and the perspective looks right...so why hasn’t it worked?  Despite the subject matter being good, in most cases this is due to the compositional side of the work not being successful. What is Composition? Why is it Important?Composition is basically the term used to describe how one arranges the visual elements in an artwork.  Design elements such as line, shape, colour, value, texture and negative areas are all organised to best bring a harmonious vibe to the work.  If all these elements are composed according to the principles of art and design, it can impart contrast, movement, rhythm and guide the vie...

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How Best to Display Your Work

Posted Apr 07, 2017
Tags: General Art Tips

There is no better feeling than hanging a painting that you are proud of, whether you decide to hang it in your own house or apartment, somebody else’s, or even in a public place. As well as adding vitality and a burst of colour to your chosen spot (and a way of getting kudos from family and friends), it’s also a brilliant way to inspire yourself every time you look at it. You pat yourself on the back and ruminate “I did that! I should do another one!’’. It also has the positive benefit of working to keep your inner creative self alive. Displaying your work can be a very rewarding endeavour, so here are a few little things that might help you if you are thinking of hanging some of your art. Framing SolutionsOnce upon a time all paintings were framed. Somewhere in the 1960’s ar...

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Tips for Transferring Line Work (Drawing) onto Canvas

Posted Mar 13, 2017
Tags: Drawing Tips

Without a doubt one of the most important keys to creating successful art is ensuring that the initial line work on the canvas prior to painting is accurate.  It doesn’t matter how well you paint the work, if the line work is wrong, the painting will look wrong.  This line work transferal is sometimes a lot easier said than done.  A lot of the time you will be transferring an image onto a large canvas from a drawing that was originally drawn quite small, so scaling it up can be confusing.  The image then has to be marked up onto a rough bumpy canvas. These steps can be quite daunting or just plain frustrating for some, so here are a couple of techniques you may like to use to make the transfer easier. DirectlyThe natural and most conventional way to transfer a drawing to a surface i...

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Mixed Media

Posted Feb 13, 2017
Tags: Mixed Media

Mixed media is a fun way to experiment with a variety of different artistic media in one composition. Due to its experimental and playful nature, mixed media can be a wonderfully creative cure for the uninspired artist.  Most artists suffer from creative block or simply become uninspired and disinterested at various stages in their artistic journey. If this happens to be you… please don’t worry! Take a breath and know that it’s perfectly normal; after all, one can't be constantly creative all the time. So whether you’re feeling a little lost for artistic ideas, or are just generally interested but maybe a little unfamiliar about where to start, here are a few handy tips to get you on your way. So What is Mixed Media?Although the term mixed media is very broad, in simple terms it ...

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Drawing with Graphite

Posted Jan 06, 2017
Tags: Drawing Tips

Graphite pencils would have to be the most easily accessible and economical art material that one can use, and are generally the first art material that children are introduced to.  As such, they are considered a fantastic gateway art material.   Graphite pencils are beautiful in their simplicity and depending on the skill of the user, really beautiful work can be created.  So here are a few tips that you might like to use to make the most of your graphite pencils. Understanding the differing weights of the strip [lead] in each graphite pencilGraphite pencils are numbered according to the intensity of the mark that is created by them, and it is helpful to appreciate why and how they differ from one another.  Graphite pencils all contain the same type of graphite, but the strips also ...

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Using Special Effects Paints

Posted Dec 12, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

What is a special effect paint? And why use this type of paint in art?  If you have been painting for a while you will have realised that most effects and textures can be achieved with standard paint and a little technique in suggesting how the light plays on a surface.  But, some effects are impossible to convey with standard paint alone, for example suggesting a pearl finish or a glittery surface are almost impossible, and there are times when a coat of a special effect paint such as these can really make a painting ‘pop’. So, here is some information on the three main types that you may like to experiment with if you haven’t already!Glitter Paint - This emulsion can be thought of as a water based glue with glitter suspended in it.  When it dries, the carrier seemingly disappea...

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Tips for Trouble-free Polymer Clay Baking

Posted Nov 04, 2016
Tags: Polymer Clay Tips

Polymer clay is a fantastic medium that is very versatile and can be used to create jewellery, charms and sculptures.  Complaints of cracking and air bubbles where polymer clay has been adversely affected, especially in the baking stage, are generally due to the project being improperly built. If the characteristics of the polymer clay used are properly appreciated, even large pieces can be cured with no problems.  We’ve put together a few tips to create trouble-free polymer clay art.  Although baking times and temperatures can vary between clay manufacturers, in most cases they are still relatively similar.  We will concentrate on Mont Marte Make N Bake Polymer Clay specifically, but the guidelines on building with clay are relevant to most brands and types.Condition Your Clay: Unc...

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Tips for Mastering Brushstrokes and Paint Application

Posted Oct 12, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

Have you ever looked at a painting you have just completed with a little disappointment?  You got the composition right, your colour scheme works and the techniques are tried and tested, but…it looks less than perfect, and you just can’t put your finger on why.  In a lot of cases this ‘unsatisfactory result’ can be as simple as a flawed brush stroke technique.  Below we outline some key brushstrokes and how best to use them.Drybrushing: When paint is applied to a canvas or work surface using a brush charged with very little undiluted paint you’ll create a strong current of colour.  Your lines will be uneven as they won’t have medium to soften the edges, but this can result in a purposeful painterly effect.  Dry brush application lends texture and movement to lines.  It is...

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Tips for Painting Sculptural Work

Posted Sep 09, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

With the advent of modern sculptural mediums such as polymer clay and air drying clay, the popularity of sculpture has really grown.  Although these particular materials in their finished/cured form possess a certain intrinsic beauty, they can gain even more appeal when painted.  The methods used in painting sculpture are similar to the methods used in general painting, but there are a few unique techniques you can use to really capitalise on the three-dimensional nature of sculptural work.A Good Undercoat:  Most sculptures require a good base on which to apply subsequent layers of paint.  The key thing to bear in mind is to make the first layer as thin as possible.  If it is thin, it is a lot less likely to crack.  The other reason to apply the paint thinly is that it won’t be as ...

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Abstract Art Essentials

Posted Aug 05, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

Abstract art is a relatively new genre.  Without going into historical specifics, one could say it is roughly 100 years old.  Regardless of whether you like abstract art or not, it can be really fun to create.  You’ll find when you create your own artwork you’ll come to appreciate the genre more.  Here are a few hints to follow to achieve professional abstract art results.Keep it Simple.  If you are just starting out, remember to take baby steps.  Don’t try to work too large at first – try a medium size canvas such as a 60cm x 90cm and use limited colours.  In fact, a good first piece can be black on white. This might not look too exciting, but the compositional lessons you learn will put you in good stead for future projects.Colour Theory.  Colour theory is of the utmost i...

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How to Create Amazing Effects with Oil Pastels

Posted Jul 13, 2016
Tags: Pastel Techniques

Oil pastels are well-known for their combined characteristics of pastels and wax crayons.  However, you may not know that just about any technique you can utilise with oil paints can also be employed with oil pastels.  Here are a few techniques that you might like to explore to create some truly amazing effects:General Use.  Scumbling, hatching, drawing, pointillism, expressive strokes or carefully blended passages are all possible using dry oil pastels. Sketching Under Oil Pastels.  Start out with sketching a contour drawing on watercolour paper, sanded pastel paper or your choice of surface. Underpainting.  Underpainting is another useful technique to master.  By adding a wash or a flat underpainting under different areas in your project, you can eliminate the white flecks from whi...

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Acrylic Tricks, Techniques, Mediums and Additives

Posted Jun 02, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

As versatile as acrylic paint is, its versatility can be greatly enhanced with the use of various exciting ‘additives’ and handling techniques.  Here are a few you may not know about: Retarders.  The addition of retarders to acrylic paint essentially slows the drying time down to facilitate blending and subtle transitions. This enables use in a similar way to oil paint. Flow Mediums.  Flow medium is a wetting agent that is designed to enhance the flow of an acrylic colour without reducing colour strength.  One can then create smoother lines without the paint congealing. Gloss and Matt Mediums.  Gloss and matt mediums come in 2 main types – in gel form and in a low viscosity form, or liquid.  When added, they alter the gloss level of the paint.  Mediums in gel form don’t alt...

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Hot Tips for H2O Water Mixable Oil Paint

Posted May 05, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

There is a lot of buzz about the H2O range of paints at the moment.  If you don’t know about this fantastic paint, it is a true oil paint, but the linseed oil carrier film differs, due to it being molecularly altered so that it dissolves in water.  This change means the paint has those qualities that make oils so nice to use, without the need for turpentine and other solvents for wash-up and dilution.  As a result, the process of painting with H2O Oil Paints is clean, convenient, and also makes for a healthy and environmentally sound work space.Although Water Mixable Oils are essentially the same as traditional oil paints, there are some very subtle differences.  We have put together a list of Hot Tips so you can make the most out of this fantastic medium.Tips:When diluting with wate...

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How to Make the Most Out of Your Pencils

Posted Apr 06, 2016
Tags: Pencil Care

Ever wondered why your pencils are breaking when you sharpen them, how you can’t get a nice sharp point without the sharpener eating up your pencil or how you can sharpen your pencils when you don't have a sharpener?   If you want to avoid breakage and fracture, preserve the integrity and maximise the life of your pencils, practice the following tips:Avoid breakage through use:Don’t press too hard when using the pencil. Keep pencil as vertical as possible when colouring.  The colour strip is more inclined to break when pencil is used at a very acute (small) angle. When colouring a large surface area with the side of the colour strip, support the pencil with your hand in order to brace the pencil. Avoid breakage when sharpening:Ensure the sharpener is not blunt.  If the sharpener is...

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Colour Theory and Mixing Tips

Posted Mar 14, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

Next to composition, colour theory is one of the most important fundamental elements in painting.  Not only do well selected colours create harmony in a painting, they can also evoke certain psychological effects on the viewer.  Colour mixing clean, vibrant hues is a skill that should be followed.  Creating authentic colours can give a painting real credibility.  So, a little colour theory really can take your art to new heights. Here are the basics… Complimentary ColoursComplimentary colours are directly opposite on the Octo-Colour Wheel, for example, red and green or Blue and Orange. The complimentary colour phenomenon is a fantastic trick to use with your art work, when the two colours are used together they look incredibly vibrant and really pop. Another way complimentary colour...

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Top Tips & Techniques - Watercolour

Posted Feb 24, 2016
Tags: Painting Tips

The fundamental mysteries of using watercolour paint successfully have been unraveled in the following 7 tips and techniques.  Whether you’re an experienced dabbler or are using this medium for the very first time you will find these tips and techniques will give you direction, greater confidence, and inspiration.DON’T USE TOO MUCH WATER - Too much water will flood your painting and may cause your paper to buckle. To create a washed-out look rather than just watering down a bunch of paint and sloshing it over the paper, it is best to paint the paper with a coat of water, and then work in some watered down paint. It is very important when doing fine details to make sure the paper is dry and there is very little water mixed in with the paint, otherwise you might get a bleeding effect. U...

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