If you are considering a dive into the wonderful world of painting as a hobby, consider trying watercolors in your initial artistic endeavors. Although watercolor painting has received a bit of a bad rap as far as level of difficulty and frustration, it can actually be a wonderful way for a budding artist to create beautiful masterpieces.There are many advantages to selecting watercolor over other mediums, but one of the best is that watercolor tends to be a fairly forgiving type of paint to try. In fact, many beautiful images have been created in watercolor painting by making the most of a happy accident. Through blending and washing, you can find many striking effects for in watercolor.Reasons to Consider Giving Watercolor Painting a tryAnother big advantage to watercolor painting is that it is quick. A painting can be completed in an hour in some cases. For the hobbyist with limited time, watercolor painting can be found to be quite satisfying, since projects can be completed in a short time frame. It does not require many supplies, which keeps the cost down when you are just beginning your hobby.This type of painting is also very portable, making it easy for travel. Watercolor dries quickly, and you don’t have to worry about smudging or smearing like you do with pastels or charcoal sketches. The strokes and washes required to create a final product are much simpler to learn than one might think, and allow a new artist plenty of freedom to experiment and add a personal touch to pieces.Techniques of Watercolor PaintingThere are many different techniques that you can incorporate into your watercolor paintings. One of the more basic techniques is called a flat wash, and is used to cover large areas of your painting. It is done by dampening your canvas, and spreading your paint from the top to the bottom using a large brush to move the color quickly and in broad strokes. Another good technique is called the wet in wet, and requires wetting your canvas with a spray bottle before applying your watercolor.You can achieve the opposite effect with a dry brush technique that uses a dry surface and a pigment. This technique can actually add texture to your watercolor painting. For best results, it is a good idea to combine a number of techniques into each watercolor painting to add focal points and create maximum impact.If you are thinking that watercolor painting might be a fun hobby for you to try, your next step should be into your local art or craft store to find supplies and perhaps get advice from a professional as to how to get started. There are classes, books and instructional videos that can teach you the basics of watercolor painting. Unleash your artistic ability by creating a watercolor masterpiece today!
Posted by jt

Are you looking for a new arts and crafts idea for your kids? Or maybe you are a recreation director at a senior centre or nursing home and could use a new project. Either way, this arts and crafts idea will be interesting and fun for all. This glass case can be used, given as a gift, or converted into a necklace purse.

To make the glasses case, you will need the following simple materials: a square of craft foam, plastic or large blunt needles, lanyard lace or thick yarn. Cut two rectangles from the foam, each 3-1/2 inches (9 cm.) by 6 inches (15 cm.). With a hole punch, make holes on three sides of each rectangle, leaving one short side unpunched. Make the holes 1/2 inch apart and allow at least 1/4 inch between the hole and the edge of the craft foam. The holes need to line up so that the two pieces can be laced together. If you are preparing the craft for small children, you should make the holes yourself. Otherwise, the crafters can do this step if you have enough pairs of hole punches.

At this point the crafters can cut decorative shapes from other colours of craft foam, or you can buy sets of ready-cut foam shapes. If you are doing the craft at a special event, like vacation Bible school, choose shapes that echo the theme of the event. For instance, if the Bible school or camp has a cowboy theme, find shapes that fit well, such as boots, cowboy hats, and stars. Let the kids choose the shapes they like and glue on as desired. You might also like to provide beads or sequins to glue on as well, especially if the crafters are a little older.

The next step in this arts and crafts idea is to thread the plastic needle with the yarn or lanyard lace. Yarn might be a little easier to handle, but lanyard lace is shiny and attractive. In a pinch, some teachers of small children use a bobby pin as a needle. It is certainly a safe alternative. Simply loop the yarn through the opening and use the open end of the bobby pin as if it were the point of the needle. The children can now begin to lace the front and back of the glasses case together.

To turn this arts and crafts idea into a necklace purse, simply attach a piece of lanyard lace to each corner making a long handle. Kids will enjoy using this case as a place to store secret notes and small objects. If they'd rather, they can give the glasses case to a parent, grandparent, or friend who wears glasses. Either way, this arts and crafts idea will be interesting for all.

Posted by jt

Martial Arts is one of the contributions of Asia to the world. Who can forget Bruce Lee and the fact that he was first and foremost a martial arts athlete before being a movie star? Even until now martial arts is still a big hit with the increasing popularity of Asian movies like crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and more recently the House of the Flying Daggers.

The Chinese are the first people that come to mind when it comes to these things but the Japanese are just as athletic with a rich heritage of body contact sports that can be found in their history. The modern Japan still gives honor to these things by holding tournaments and promoting such sports abroad,

One of these is Aikido. It is interesting to note that the word comes from three Japanese words from which one can derive the meaning of the one word. Ai means joining, Ki means spirit and Do means way. From this we can understand why Aikido is beyond just the physical skills of it students especially sin its proponent Ueshiba focused more on the spiritual and philosophical development of his students.

In Aikido, one is not taught violence instead one is taught to be in harmony with the opponent to be able to defeat. This might seem odd but it actually works. In approaching an opponent, the aim of the Aikido practitioner is to be one with the opponent to be able to attack him where he is weakest and in doing so diver or immobilize him but never to kill.

This is where Aikido becomes an art. Art is something beautiful to watch and something positive and Aikido is all that. At least one of the people involved in the fighting strives for harmony and harmony can only be achieved if there is grace in the movements. The moves maybe calculated but there is an air of finesse in doing these movements, not a womanly finesse but just a finesse that emanates peace. The art of peace as what they call in Aikido is one of the most positive influences of Aikido to its students and to everyone who choose to know about this Japanese martial art.

Some of the techniques in Aikido include the following. Ikkyo is the first technique. Using this technique you control an opponent by using one hand in holding the elbow and one near the wrist, this action is supposed to make you pin your opponent down in the ground. Nikyo the second technique is when you do an adductive wristlock that enables you to twist the arm of your opponent that will in turn cause enough nerve pressure.

The third technique is Sankyo which is a pronating technique that directs upward-spiraling tension throughout the arm, elbow and shoulder. There are many other techniques but the first three should get you started.

In studying Aikido, it is important to remember that along with building physical strength to be able to defeat your opponent the mental capacity should also be developed. Just like in any art, it takes a lot of practice and discipline to perfect the art of Aikido. The important thing is the one who wants to get into the art should have determination to give honor to the art by performing it in the best way possible.

Posted by jt

What is aikido?

Aikido is one of the oldest form of martial arts. Founded by Morihei Ueshiba, aikido came about through the studies of many different kinds of traditional martial arts. In fact, is often perceived as a form of exercise or a dance because of some of its forms. It is also viewed by some quarters as some form of martial mesmerism.

Aikido is even confused with Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, it is different in its essence. Still, its founder attributed his creation of aikido to the way, his master Sokaku Takeda, grandmaster of Daito Ryu, opened his eyes to the nature of Budo.

Despite its many perceived forms, aikido is a Budo or martial arts. It is the refinement of the techniques that are being taught in traditional martial arts and is combined with a philosophy that calls on for the power of the spirit. In its essence, it is a blending of the body and the mind.

Its philosophy is basically derived from the belief that deceptions and trickery or brute force will not make us defeat our opponents. Instead, concentration that involves the spirit will be enough to strengthen us.

Aikido is also used as a way to discover our true paths so that we can develop our individuality. It also teaches its practitioners to unify their body and their mind so that they will become in harmony with the “universe” and with nature. Their power and their strength will come from this balance and harmony.

The word “universe” in aikido is not some obscure concept that one cannot achieve. It is actually quite concrete and is even within the grasp of the person. In aikido, “universe” can be achieved through actual experiences and everyday life.

Aikido’s movements and techniques are circular. When a circle is created in aikido, the person is said to be protected from a collision from an opposing force. A firm center, however, is needed to create this circle. An example of a firm circle is a spinning top that turns at fast speed. Without a firm center, the speed of movement will only create imbalance. The stillness of the spinning top while in speeding motion is what is called sumikiri in Aikido language. This is achieved only by what Aikido founder calls “total clarity of mind and body.” However, this is not so easily achieved. It takes a long time of study and practice in order to find this intense concentration and centeredness.

Training is important in aikido as well as concentration because while it may be easy to create a centered being when inside a martial arts gym, the same cannot be said of situations and circumstances outside. It will not be easy to keep one’s composure when faced with extraordinary circumstances. This is actually one of the goals of Aikido training. It aims to teach its practitioners to maintain their composure and their centeredness even in panic situations such as danger and calamities.

One method taught in aikido is to breathe with what is called the seika tanden point. This is the part of the body that can be found two inches below the navel. Controlled breathing is one key to being one with the universe and to center oneself with nature. When a person learns to do this, he or she will feel extraordinary calmness that they can use in the practice of aikido.
Posted by jt
This article will introduce beginners to some of the more popular and basic watercolor painting techniques.
This article will provide you with a general understanding of some of the more basic watercolor painting techniques.

Flat Wash Technique - The flat wash technique is one of the more basic and common of the various techniques. The flat wash technique is usually used when large areas of the canvas need to be covered. You will want to lay out the watercolor wash evenly and uniformly. First you will need to dampen the area of your canvas where you will be applying the watercolor wash. Make certain to have an adequate amount of water and pigment available before your start.

If you should have to stop for any reason, it will be difficult to match your layers.. It is better to have more than less available. The angle at which you apply the watercolor wash is important. If the angle is too steep your wash will run down the paper. If the angle is too level, then you won't have enough movement. Use a large brush for this technique and start your first stroke at the top of the paper. Continue applying the watercolor wash going down the paper, but alternate sides as you move down.

Glazing Technique - The glazing technique is when you apply a thin transparent color over a completed dry layer of color. This technique creates some very interesting blends of new color. You will need to use a non-staining, transparent color for this watercolor technique. You should use a soft brush and don't apply that much pressure.

Wet In Wet Technique - Wet in wet is simply applying a wet wash over a wet surface. You start by evenly wetting the paper with a brush or spray bottle. Have a sponge handy to absorb any excess water. You want your paper to be evenly saturated. Then apply your watercolor.

Dry Brush Technique - With the dry brush technique, your paper is completely dry. You then apply a fairly dry pigment with very little water to the paper.

The dry brush technique should only be used where you want to draw focus or create texture in your painting. It's always a good idea to use various watercolor brush techniques in a single painting. This results in a more interesting painting.

Lifting Off Technique - Artists use this technique when they want to remove watercolor from a certain area of the panting. It is usually done by first wetting the area that needs to be removed with a clean sponge and then absorbing the color with a tissue. If you find that the color does not come off right away, then let the water soak in a bit longer and try again. If you still are unable to remove the color, then dampen a bristle brush and gently scrub the area. You should use extreme care with this watercolor technique, as there is a risk you can damage the paper.

I hope this article on watercolor techniques has helped. Happy Painting!

For more great watercolor techniques, head over to http://www.creativespotlite.com/watercolor-techniques.htm. Another site you may find of interest is http://www.artsymmetry.com where you will find more great art articles.
By Ralph Serpe
Published: 4/8/2006
Posted by jt
If you are new to watercolor painting and not sure what supplies to buy or how to setup your studio, this article will give you a great head start.
Like any new form of art, watercolor painting can be difficult at first. It is only with time and practice that one becomes a better painter. Never become discouraged by your mistakes or lack of progress.

To start watercolor painting you will obviously need to purchase supplies. Purchase the best possible materials that you can afford. We all want to save as much money as possible, but if you work with cheap materials, you are not going to be happy with the end result, especially if you spend days or even months on a particular painting.

This does not mean you should go out and spend hundreds of dollars on top of the line supplies right away. Start off buying a small amount of good quality supplies until you become more experienced.


The quality and texture of the watercolor paper you choose will have a dramatic effect on the final outcome of your painting. Watercolor paper comes in several different categories: cold pressed, hot pressed, and rough. Rough paper has the highest tooth of all watercolor papers, giving you the most texture. Hot pressed paper has the smoothest surface available. Cold pressed paper has a slight texture to it and is more versatile. Cold pressed paper is the most popular paper amongst watercolor artists.

Two other things to be aware of when purchasing your watercolor paper are sizing and weight. Sizing is when the fibers of the paper are treated to make them less absorbent. The weight of the paper is the weight measured in pounds of one ream (approximately 500 Sheets). A heavier paper would have a weight of 300lbs or more, while a lighter paper would have a weight of 90 or 140lbs for example. The lighter the paper, the more likely it will wrinkle when wet. Lighter paper should be stretched to avoid this.

You will have to experiment with the different papers to find the one you like most.


Watercolor paints come in both Student and Artist quality. Artist quality paint has a more intense vibrant color. Student grade paints have more fillers in them rather than pigment, which is why they are less expensive. Many artists recommend only using artist quality paints, but it really is a matter of taste. Experiment on your own with both grades to form your own opinion.

Watercolor paint is available in tubes and pans. With watercolor pans, you have to add water to the dry cake in order for it to be workable. With pans, make sure your brush is clean before picking up a new color; otherwise you will dirty your colors. With a tube, the paint is more workable, but be careful not to squeeze out more paint then you need.

Purchase only a few primary colors and learn how to mix your own colors rather than purchasing premixed colors.

When you become more experienced, you can then start incorporating more colors into your palette.


Brushes are probably the most important part of an artist's supplies. The watercolor brush should be of good quality, with the ability to perform well under most conditions.

Brushes come in an assortment of sizes and shapes. There are both natural hair brushes and synthetic brushes. Natural hair brushes are more expensive, while synthetic brushes may not perform as well as natural brushes. It is therefore recommended that you purchase a blended brush that is made with both natural and synthetic hairs.

You do not need a ton of brushes to get started in watercolor painting. In the beginning, a few good brushes should do the trick.

You should at least purchase a round brush, a flat wash brush, an oval wash or mop brush, and a rigger or liner brush for fine details.


You will need a palette for mixing your watercolor paint. The best kind of palette for mixing watercolor paints is a white palette. Since watercolor paint is transparent, a white surface seems to be the best color for clearly seeing your mixtures.


Now that you have a basic of idea of the watercolor supplies you need, it's time to find a place to setup your studio. You will want a location in your home or elsewhere that is quiet and where you will not be interrupted.

Next you will need a painting table. If you can, invest in a drafting table. If not, you can use a regular table. Whatever kind of table you use to paint on, it is important that your painting surface is inclined to a 15 or so degree angle.

Next you want to make sure you have an organized and clean painting area before you begin. Make certain that you have all the materials you will need within reach for that particular painting session.

Here are some things you should consider having in your watercolor studio:

- A large see through plastic jug to hold water.
- A clean absorbent cotton rag for drying your brushes
- A spray bottle filled with water to keep your paint wet and your palette clean
- Pencils for sketching
- Erasers
- A sketchpad for doing preliminary sketches.
- Container for your brushes


Many painters often struggle with this question. If you find yourself feeling uninspired or confused about what to paint, simply remember what subject in life that you feel an emotional or deep connection with. When you have this type of connection to a subject, your painting will reflect that passion and you will not lose interest.

You can develop great ideas for subjects in a variety of different ways. If you are a lover of the outdoors and nature, simply taking a trip with a camera can do wonders. If you love animals, you could take a trip to the zoo and snap off some shots or head to an aquarium and do the same. Take your photos back to your studio and find the most desirable subject for your painting.

By Ralph Serpe
Published: 3/16/2007
Posted by jt

How to do glass-painting and prepare a unique gift to commemorate a special occasion in a special person's life? Hand-made gifts are always treasured.

There are a wide variety of paints manufactured especially for painting on glass. These can be water-based or oil-based. While the oil-based paints are more glossy and iridescent, a beginner would do well to start off with a water-based paint as they are easier to handle.

The paints may be opaque or translucent. While the former is better suited for conventional patterns like figures and still-life, the later gives an enchanting, shimmering quality to the paintings, particularly used for making sun-catchers. Any one might be chosen, but it is advisable not to use both varieties in the same painting. Each has its own texture and these do not gel.

Glass liners are available, conveniently packaged into tubes. These are again of myriad hues, but a black liner is recommended. It gives a clear definition to the outlines making the paintings stand out.


  • A clean piece of glass, of the desired size. For a first-timer, a square piece of size 8X8”
  • Glass liners
  • Glass paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Nail-polish remover
  • A soft piece of cloth


1. Choose a pattern. For a glass painting, a pattern must be clean lined, with minimum intricate curving and pointed corners. Here is a website that offers excellent patterns for free.

2. Once a pattern is selected, copy it on to a piece of paper of the same size as the piece of glass. The pattern must be drawn exactly on the center of the sheet. A margin of at least one-and-a-half inches must be left out on every side of the page.

3. Place the sheet on a flat surface and the glass on top of it, in perfect alignment with the piece of paper.

4. Trace out the outline carefully on the glass with the glass-liner, squeezing the tube from the bottom.

5. Take care not to smudge any part of the the traced pattern while working upon another part of the drawing. If this happens accidentally, swab the smudged portion with cotton-wool dipped in a little nail polish remover, then wipe out the surface with a clean dry piece of cloth.

6. Once the whole pattern has been traced, leave it to dry for about 3-4 hours. It may also be blow-dried with hot air to hasten up the drying process.

7. After the glass painting pattern has dried completely, start filling it in with glass colors of your choice. Use one-directional strokes to fill in the paint. Avoid spilling, do not take two much paint.

8. Use fine-tipped brushes to fill out the corners and areas near the outlines. From time to time, lift up the glass and look at the painting from underneath, any unfilled portion will be visible and can be filled out.

9. Pierce with a fine needle any bubbles that may appear, or gently brush them on to the glass painting outlines and out of the painting. Then wipe off the extra color outside the outlines with nail-polish remover.

10. Never put two coats of paint on any one portion. It will stand out and give a very shabby appearance to the finished painting. If you have to apply two coats, go over the entire area to blend the coats properly.

11. Take care not to lift the painting up vertically while paints are still wet, in order to prevent the glass paints from dripping.

Voila! A delicate, gorgeous glass painting is created, a perfect gift for that special occasion, or for adding charm to one's own residence.

Sebanti Ghosh

Posted by jt
This article will provide beginner oil painters with an introduction to the basic fundamentals of oil painting.
To accurately convey your feelings about the subject you are painting, you should learn and understand the fundamentals of oil painting like drawing, color theory, value and composition. I hope to give you a better understanding of these fundamentals in this article. This article is meant to be an introduction. You should study these topics further on your own when you have time.


Learning to draw, as a foundation for oil painting, is one of the most valuable skills a beginner oil painter can have. Many new artists usually frown upon the idea of drawing first. They would rather jump right into painting, as most beginners do. Nothing is more rewarding for a painter, than working with color, but if you want to gain experience working with values, form, and space, then drawing is something you should consider learning. This is not to say that you should master drawing, as it is an art form all in itself, but do spend time drawing and sketching your subjects before you work with color. Did you know that in art schools, many years ago, students were not permitted to work with paint until they successfully spent at least a few years drawing first? They must have been very restless, but imagine how skilled they became before they ever lifted a brush. You should at the very least have a basic understanding of drawing techniques before you begin. Check out Amazon.com for some great beginner drawing books that will give you a well rounded introduction to drawing and techniques. A book that is highly recommended by artists is: "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards".


Color is probably the single most exciting part of oil painting. It is truly amazing how an artist can take a two dimensional surface and create the illusion of depth and distance using color. To accurately depict a three dimensional scene using color requires much practice and an understanding of color theory and how to mix colors. The basics of color are value, hue, saturation and temperature. The value of a color is how light or dark it is. The hue refers to the color itself as it appears on the spectrum of colors. The saturation is the strength or purity of the color. The temperature of a color is how cool or warm a color is. For instance a cool color is blue and a warm is red. Artists can use temperature to give the illusion of distance. Cooler colors tend to recede into the distance, as in a distant mountain range, and warmer colors tend to advance closer toward the front of a picture. Color theory is a very broad topic, one that deserves more thorough attention. A great book on color theory and mixing is "Color Mixing the Van Wyk Way: A Manual for Oil Painters".


Have you ever visited an art museum and a particular painting just grabbed your attention and drew you in? Something in that painting kept you there looking and studying it. One element the artist successfully used in that painting was composition. The artist laid out the shapes and divided the space in the painting in such away that appealed to your senses. Here are some points to consider when developing your composition:

1) Avoid putting the main focus of interest in the center of your painting. 2) The areas of your canvas should be divided into parts of different sizes. For instance, if you are creating a landscape painting, do not put the horizon right in the center of your painting. 3) Do not place all the interesting parts of your composition on the left side of your painting. People read from left to right so they will have no reason to continue viewing the rest of your painting. 4) Avoid placing an interesting or important element of the painting too close to the edge of the canvas.

There are other elements that contribute to good design in an oil painting. Here is another good book to study if you would like to learn more about this fascinating aspect of painting: "The Simple Secret to Better Painting: How to Immediately Improve Your Work with the One Rule of Composition by Greg Albert"

I know all this information seems overwhelming at first. Oil painting can be very challenging in the beginning, but don't let that intimidate you. The most important thing to remember is to never give up and keep painting. You will learn from your mistakes and grow as a painter. Everything will come together in time. Happy Painting!
By Ralph Serpe
Published: 4/5/2007
Posted by jt
There are times when we find ourselves without the ambition to paint. This article will help you find new ways to draw inspiration.
The next time you find yourself staring at a blank canvas, don't get discouraged. Sometimes our minds need a little break from painting. I would like to share how I find inspiration for those unproductive moments.

Take a walk or drive to the country - Step outside and take a long walk. Get your blood circulating and energize your mind. Exercise and fresh air can do wonders when you are feeling down. I also like to hop in the car and take a drive out to the countryside. I always bring a sketchpad or notebook along with me. I find so much beauty and inspiration from nature.

Visit a museum or gallery - Just looking at other artwork is enough to get your creative juices flowing. I will map out a few local galleries and head out with a friend to see what beautiful art I can discover. If they allow you take photographs, take a few shots of any works that catch your eye and bring them back to your studio for inspiration.

Go to a bookstore - Visit your local bookstore, grab a cup of coffee, and browse through the art section. See what new information sparks your interest. I pick up anything from magazines to art history books.

Listen to some music - Grab a few of your favorite CD's, a blank canvas, some of your favorite colors, and do some spontaneous painting. Don't think but instead let the rhythm of the music lead your brush. You will be pleasantly surprised at what comes out.

Don't be afraid to try different things - Oil paint is an incredibly versatile medium. Experiment with different oil painting techniques. Oil paint can be thinned to a watery consistency or brushed on with thick luscious strokes. Don't limit yourself to only one style. Don't worry about being wrong or following any rules. This is the perfect time to make mistakes as you are only experimenting and having fun.

When all else fails, say a prayer! Ask God, the one who blessed you with your creative gift, to lead your brush. He is the ultimate source of creativity. I bet he has some good ideas up his sleeve.

Ralph Serpe is Webmaster and Cofounder of Creative Spotlite - http://www.creativespotlite.com a free educational art and craft community. Visit Creative Spotlite today for more free art lessons.
By Ralph Serpe
Published: 12/23/2005
Posted by jt
This article discusses some of the more frequently asked questions about oil painting.
Oil painting is probably one of the more challenging mediums to master. There are many aspects of oil painting that often confuse and intimidate beginners. Many questions arise and this article will cover some frequently asked questions that beginners have.

What is "Fat Over Lean?"
Fat over lean is one of the most fundamental approaches to oil painting and when followed will reduce the risk of your paint cracking as it dries. An oil paint is "Fat" when it comes right from the tube. If you wanted to make it fatter, you would add more oil. To make your paint "Lean" your mixture would contain more of a thinner like turpentine. Begin your painting with a "Lean" mixture. As you add more layers, you would make the mixture fatter. This will help reduce the risk of cracking.
Should I Varnish My Finished Painting?
If you want to protect your painting from dust, smoke, and other pollutants, you should varnish your painting. If not, these pollutants will accumulate on your painting and eventually darken or yellow the surface. When you apply a varnish, you are creating a layer that will protect your painting underneath. The layer of varnish can be cleaned periodically and eventually removed. A fresh layer of varnish can then be re-applied. You should wait 6 months to a year, depending on how thick your paint was applied, before varnishing. Varnishing a painting can be tricky especially if you have no experience. You should definitely do more research on varnishing before you attempt to do this yourself. You may even need to contact a professional.

Can I save the oil paint I do not use for a later time?
There are apparently ways to keep oil paint fresh until you are ready to use them again altough I have never actually tried either of these techniques. Proceed with caution. Some artists actually put plastic wrap over the paint and freeze it. You can also try and put your unused paint onto a piece of glass and then keep it submerged in water.

What kind of support should I use with my oil paint?
There are a variety of different surfaces that oil paint can be applied to. Stretched cotton canvas is one of the most popular supports used by oil painters today. Linen canvas is also used but tends to be fairly expensive. Other supports that can be used with oil paints are masonite and even certain types of wood panel.

What kind of paint should a beginner purchase?
This is a tough question to answer, as every artist is different and will more than likely have a different recommendation. There are a few different grades of oil paint on the market today. You have "Artist Quality", "Student Quality", and "Economical" grades. Stay away from the economical paints as these have more fillers in them than actual pigment and do not cover very well. There are some very descent student quality paints on the market, which work well if you are just starting out and for experimentation. Once you get your hands on artist quality paint however, you may never buy anything else.
There are some very popular brands to consider as a staring point. Winsor & Newton, Grumbacher and Gamblin are popular choices amongst artists.

What kind of brushes should a beginner choose?
This is also a difficult question to answer exactly. Brushes come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and brands. Every artist is different and will have different preferences when it comes to brushes. Ideally, you should have a variety of different shapes and sizes on hand to start with. Over time, you will develop a preference for certain types of brushes. Never buy cheap brushes, as they will shed their hairs and fall apart a lot quicker than a good quality brush. There is a good introductory set of 11 oil brushes made by "Silver Brush" that you may be interested in checking out. Do a search online or visit your local art store for more information.

How do I come up with ideas for my paintings?
Don't throw your paintbrush down in a fit of rage if you aren't able to come up with an idea for your next painting. There are a number of ways you can find inspiration and ideas. Sometimes the mind just needs a break. Take a walk outside or a long drive and just observe nature. Take a ride to an art museum with a friend and spend the day observing other artwork. Look around your home for everyday objects and setup a still life. Look to yourself for ideas. Do you have a passion for any particular subject? Do you love wildlife and nature? Perhaps you are a music lover? I absolutely love nature and wildlife. When I am searching for ideas for my next painting, I will usually take an outdoor trip with a friend. I will bring a camera of course and just take shots of whatever inspires me. Then when I get back to my studio I will take bits and pieces from each photograph and create my own composition.

I hope this article on oil painting has answered some or all of your questions. Best of luck and happy painting!

For more free art lessons head over to http://www.creativespotlite.com today!
By Ralph Serpe
Published: 5/31/2006
Posted by jt
Discover tips and tricks directly from professional artists related to handling and taking care of oil painting.
Buying a genuine oil painting for display in your home or office is a cause for celebration. Whether you purchased an old oil painting or commissioned a brand new oil portrait, you probably realized as soon as you removed the wrappings that you don’t have ‘just another picture’ to hang on the wall.

Oil paintings, which are not mounted behind glass (except in some museum circumstances for preservation), require special consideration regarding handling and maintenance.

A few tips will help you avoid making mistakes that might damage your oil painting and help you preserve it for many years as a keepsake or family heirloom.

Handling and Storage

Oil painting is a sturdy, long-lasting, and durable art form, and with proper care and handling will last for generations. A visit to any good museum will confirm this, but keep in mind that museums go to great lengths to safeguard their masterpieces.

1 Always handle an oil painting by the frame without touching the painted surface.

2 Never let any object press again either the front or back of an oil painting canvas, as it pliable and will cause a dent or hole. If an accident occurs, have an expert repair the damage. An amateur repair job may look okay at first but given time will inevitably show.

3 For temporary storage or transporting an oil painting, place cardboard or plywood on both front and back (slightly larger than the outside dimensions of the framed oil painting) and then wrap in ‘bubble wrap’ and tape or tie securely.

4 Permanent storage should be in a custom-sized plywood container with the painting braced to allow air flow on all sides without shifting.

5 Never expose an oil painting to extremes of heat, cold, or humidity, whether hanging on your wall or in storage. Neither basements nor attics are good storage locations. The best place to store an oil painting is on the wall for all to enjoy.

6 Occasional dusting with a clean, soft-bristled brush is recommended. A very old or dirty oil painting should be taken to a professional restorer.

Hanging Your Oil Painting

Here’s the fun part. Oil paintings, especially portrait oil paintings, demand pride of place in your home. Involve your spouse or family in deciding the perfect location.

Hang your oil painting on two picture hooks which are appropriate to the wall (wood, plaster, drywall) and strong enough to secure the weight of the picture. Two hooks, rather than one, will allow the picture to maintain a horizontal position.

1 Choose a place for your painting that does not get direct sunlight or is subject to hot or cold drafts.

2 Hang high enough to be able to see the painting clearly from anywhere in the room. A spot over a mantelpiece or over a sofa (above head height of anyone sitting on the sofa) is usually ideal.

3 Avoid hanging oil paintings in hallways or on walls where there is frequent family movement or furniture may be brushed against the wall.

4 If you have central heat or air conditioning, that’s great. If not, a rule of thumb is, if people are comfortable in the room your oil painting occupies, chances are your oil painting will be comfortable too.

If you don’t own a genuine oil painting yet, you can turn a favorite family photograph into an oil portrait as a way of displaying it and preserving it forever.

An inexpensive way to acquire an oil painting or oil painting portrait of any photograph is to commission one from oil painting website.
By Assaf Kostiner
Published: 9/6/2007
Posted by jt
This article will talk about some of the many ways you can work with oil paint.
Oil paint is one of the most versatile and adaptable painting mediums in existence today. There are many techniques and effects possible with oil paint. Oil paint can be applied in thin transparent glazes or washes, or the paint can be mixed to a thick buttery consistency and applied using a painting knife. There really appears to be no end to the wonderful ways you can create art with this amazing painting medium. This article will talk about some of the many ways you can use oil paint.

Dry brush

The dry brush technique involves using a small amount of oil paint straight from the tube. It is then brushed thinly onto your support with a bristle brush. This technique works particularly well with a rough surface. The raised parts of your surface pick up the paint, while the dips or valleys in your support do not. This creates a broken color effect where the color of your canvas shows through.

Painting On A Toned Ground

The white of a canvas can sometimes be too bright or have too much contrast which makes starting a painting a bit difficult. When you cover your support with a uniform toned ground, it makes it much easier to judge the values in your painting. You can use any color you like to tone your ground really, but the more popular approach is to use warm tones of red, yellows and browns, which provide a wonderful richness to the finished work.

Here is an example of how to paint on a toned ground using Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre. First you create the wash by mixing the Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre together with a paint thinner (use turpentine, or if you are like me, and are allergic to turpentine, use a water soluble oil paint). Apply the mixture generously to your support and completely cover it with a large bristle brush. Let this mixture stand for a couple of minutes and then wipe off the excess wash with a cloth.

Alla Prima Painting

Alla Prima painting , also known as "direct painting", is a technique of oil painting where the work is usually finished in just one sitting. You are probably familiar with the artist Bob Ross, who made this painting method quite popular on his TV Show. I am sure like me, you watched Bob paint in amazement as he completed a beautiful painting in under 30 mintues.

The paint is applied wet onto wet directly onto the canvas usually with no underpainting or sketches. It might be a good idea in the beginning to lay down a sketch with some thinned down oil paint. This way you will have a general idea where your colors will be placed. You must be careful using this technique as your painting can become quite muddy if you do not apply the colors correctly on your canvas. It takes practice, so don't be discouraged if your first, second or even third painting does not come out the way you anticipated. Keep practicing and let your imagination run wild. As Bob used to say, "It's Your World".

Working With Painting Knives

If you have never worked with painting knives, then it is highly recommended that you give them a try. This type of painting method is very different from traditional brush painting and when you lay down your first stroke of paint with a painting knife, you will immediately see why. Painting with a knife can be best described as spreading butter on a piece of bread and you should keep your painting at a butter or cream like consistency when using painting knives. Do not use your palette knives to paint with. They have a different construction and are not made for painting. Painting knives have more flexibility to them and come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. You can manipulate paint in a variety of different ways with a knife just by changing your hand position on the handle. You can hold your hand down low on the handle to smear the paint over your support. Move your hand up to the top of the handle and you can use your finger to gently push the blade into the paint to create small dabs of color. You can also turn your knife blade on its side for scraping away paint or for creating hard lines.


If you never produced a painting using the glazing technique, then you should definitely give this a try as well. Your painting will have a different appearance then if you were to complete a painting using traditional color mixing techniques. Glazing tends to give colors more luminescence. The colors are not mixed together first before applying, rather, they are mixed optically using single transparent layers of color. For instance, if you wanted to create the color green using glazes, you would not mix yellow and blue together on your palette first. You would first apply a thin glaze of blue, wait until it dries, then apply a thin glaze of yellow, which would then create your green. Each layer must be completely dry before applying subsequent layers. Usually, the first step in using the glazing technique is to create a monochromatic (different values of the same color) underpainting of the subject. Using only one color will help you to focus on form and tone first, rather than being too preoccupied with color at this stage. Wait until your under painting is dry to begin applying your first layer of color. This technique is tricky and does require practice, but it is not as difficult as some may lead you to believe.

For more oil painting lessons and techniques be sure to visit Creative Spotlite today, a free online community for artists and crafters. It is also recommended that you visit the Creative Spotlite Art Instruction Blog, where you will find more painting lessons including step by step painting videos.
By Ralph Serpe
Published: 7/30/2007
Posted by jt

I firmly believe that all people are born artists. Everyone can
remember how, as children, we all loved drawing,
finger-painting, etc. The wonderful thing was, we didn't care
what others thought of our efforts, we were just having fun!

Somehow, as we age, we often lose that creative innocence and
exuberance, and in the process, lose a very gratifying part of
our lives. I see people every day that are unhappy and don't
know why. I believe that if they could "rediscover" a creative
outlet of some form, it would so enrich their lives that they
would return to it again and again. Often I hear adults say, "I
can't do that! I can't even draw a straight line!". Well, the
straight lines don't matter; it's the curved and crooked ones
that are more interesting!

I personally have never had any formal art training. Neither has
my husband, Kris, or our daughter-in-law, April. We all three
just need a creative outlet to help us stay sane, and now here
we are! When you browse through the Artisan Shops on Ruby Lane,
you will see many very talented Artisans with different forms of
artistic _expression. Each and every one of them is exquisitely
beautiful in their own way, and all are uniquely different. That
is the wonderful thing about art. What you create is a very
personal part of you, and that carries over to your work. There
are three of us that contribute to our shop.

I started painting fifteen years ago. I had always wanted to
paint, had never pursued it, and literally just woke up one day
and said, "Today I start painting!" I did, and two months later
sold my first piece. Next thing I knew, I had a custom artwork
shop going out of my home, and later, opened a brick and mortar
store that I had for over a year, until my mother became ill, so
I went back to painting from home. Kris started out designing
book covers in elementary school for extra money. April started
out scrap-booking about two years ago, and has taken off with
her own designs and techniques. I also work in ceramics, clay,
and jewelry, and have sold items through wholesalers in Texas
and Colorado. All because I decided I wanted to paint! Go ahead,
give something a try! "If you can dream it, you can do it"!

About the Author
Laura is the owner of Ice Originals II ~ Collectibles, Jewelry and Artistic Designs . She is a practicing Artist and collector. View her items at http://www.tias.com/stores/iceorig

View her personal webpage - "Ice Originals - Inside Out" at http://www.iceoriginals.faithweb.com for detailed insight into the artists and collectors behind Ice Originals II! "An Artist's Dream"

Art Articles brings you the finest and most up-to-date information concerning art on the Web. If you have an art related article that you would like to submit for possible publication, then send it in. We are always on the lookout for new and innovative pieces concerning the world of art.

Posted by jt

The Street Painting Artist

Artists from the different part of the globe go to street painting festivals - to paint it red. With chalks, pastels and paints in their hand, artists transform the street into a palate for all.

Jay Schwartz during an interview said that "Street painting is an extension of my fine art background. My initial exposure to the medium was as a student at UCSB. I stumbled into the role of street painter by accident. The purity, tradition, and inspirational qualities are my main attractions to the medium. My approach to the street as canvas is much like any other visual communication problem: start with a strategy (subject matter, diagrams, keylines, etc.) and infuse my style into the project, all the while trying to maintain an overall view of the big picture. For the most part street painting is unique, mainly because of the physicality of the medium. I make a lot of my own chalks, so I can use colors that can't be reproduced through any other medium."

One of the best among street painters is Manfred Stader who specialized himself in pastel. It is with self-manufactured pastel chalks that he paints copies of masters like Corregio, Bronzino, Bouguereau and many others.

Edgar Mueller, also a renowned street painter, has been in the craft for more than 15 years. During this time he created a lot of paintings. A collection of his paintings gives a view of his most beautiful ideas as an artist. Street painting 3D

Wenner, a master street painter, uses anamorphic principle in his paintings. Anamorphism is the style used in the seventeenth century which combines architectural elements with illusionistic painting forming an extraordinary combined image. Wenner's unique and innovative use of this creates unforgettable images that combine the painted surface with its surroundings into a single composition.

How do you treat the street as a "canvas"? Well, it depends on what approach you will use. Those who are aspiring to become a popular street painter you can have the aforementioned artists as your inspiration or you can create your own style for that matter.

About the Author
For comments and questions about the article you may contact The Printing Shoppers Moderator at 1-888-888-4211 or visit http://www.printingshoppers.com

Art Articles brings you the finest and most up-to-date information concerning art on the Web. If you have an art related article that you would like to submit for possible publication, then send it in. We are always on the lookout for new and innovative pieces concerning the world of art.

Posted by jt
Discover what are frames and different types of frames. These are technical details about painting, explained in easy way.
Everyone loves to have their own paintings. A painting is more than just a decorative item in our home, it is also symbolise our freedom of choice. We choose a painting according to a special feeling which it gives us.

A painting is like music, it creates atmosphere, it adds colours to our daily lives, it is a way for us to chose our own unique life style and to express ourselves.

To enhance the beauty of a painting we use framing as integral part of the painting. A frame must carefully chosen, it is as important as the painting. It may affect the overall feeling in a dramatic way, sometimes for good and sometimes for worse.

In general we can classify the frames to two categories. The first is a contrasted style and the second is a blended style. When choosing a contrasted frame, we try to achieve a dominant combination between the painting and the frame. The frame is playing a significant role in the overall outcome of painting while in the blended style, we chose a frame which have similar color to the dominant colours of the painting. In this case the observer will focus more on the painting and less on the frame.

In recent years a new style is developing and becoming more popular than the classical frames. The new style is called Gallery wrap. In this style the canvas is stretched and wrapped around a simple wood wooden frame. The canvas actually covers all areas of the wooden frame and it looks as the painting is 3 dimensional. The thickness of the wood will change the ‘feeling’ of the painting. It makes a big difference if we choose a thick frame or a thin frame. Although it may sound strange, researches have shown that a thicker wooden frame brings a more expensive look to the painting.

A classical frame is actually made by two separate frames. An inner frame, which the canvas will be stretched on and an outer frame for decoration. The 2 frames are connected by screws or pins and forms together a strong structure for the painting. The stretching quality is highly important, if it isn’t done properly ,the canvas will be loose and the painting will lose some of its effect.

A gallery wrap is usually chosen by young people and it is often use for modern paintings rather than classic style painting. There are 2 major benefits for using a gallery wrap, the first is the price which is much cheaper than a classical frame. The second is the weight which is much lighter in compare to any other frame style. The downside of a gallery wrap is that it can be used only for oil paintings and for acrylic paintings. These are the two major mediums that are painting on canvases which can be stretched on wooden bars. Watercolour paintings, Charcoal paintings, pencil paintings and pastel paintings are usually are being painted on different kinds of papers.

All those four mediums: Watercolour paintings, Charcoal paintings, pencil paintings and pastel paintings have one major difference if comparing them to oil paintings or acrylic paintings. They all need to be framed with a protecting glass. Those four mediums are more sensitive to sunlight, oxygen and human touch. Even though that some painters spray the painting with a sealing layer for protection, those medium are still need to be handled with more care than other mediums.

Thanks to technology, now we can the frame the paintings with a glass imitation rather than actual glass. The benefits of using such material are lower prices and also avoiding the danger of a glass breaking and damaging the painting. Another benefit is that a glass imitation is its weights which is less than a real glass. Another benefit is that it has almost no reflection when looking at the painting while in real glass we sometimes see more reflection than a painting.

However, there are two downsides of a glass imitation. The first is that it can be easily scratched, the second is that for large paintings (over 24"x36") the surface will not be as flat as glass which may cause a wavy look to the surface.

In the last few years, there are few companies in the market who offer custom made paintings. This unique service enables us to create our own original masterpieces by choosing any subject we like to paint. The process is very simple, you just need to send a digital photos to one of the companies who offers such service. They will pass it to an artist who will paint it according to your requirements. Once the painting is done you will get it by post (with or without a frame). This service is called "painting from photo". this new service has enabled us to easily design our lifestyle in any way we choose, however, it demands to play a major role in choosing the subject, the medium and the frame.

Final words: paintings and frames brings colours and joy to our life, sometime we choose a portrait of our family, some times of our pets, sometimes of a beautiful landscape and sometimes an abstract. But whatever we choose, we must choose carefully. We need to consider the overall outcome of the combination of the frame and the painting. A successful framed painting let us enjoy it for many years and therefore we should choose the right one for ourselves.

Remember, real art is not only for rich people. It belongs to each and every one of us.

Buy oil painting from the experts. Discover how to paint like professional artists for free from the PaintYourLife forum.
By Assaf Kostiner
Published: 8/18/2007
Posted by jt
Glass painting is currently one of the fastest growing crafts in UK. The subject glass painting is so vast that one can just go on writing about it...

Have you ever heard about glass painting? Glass painting is currently one of the fastest growing crafts in UK. The subject glass painting is so vast that one can just go on writing about it.

Painting on glass is different from painting on a book. They are different ways to paint on glass, ranging from using traditional oil paints to specialized glass paints. Traditional glass painting is painting done on the surface of a glass sheet. This type of method was followed to add minute details to faces and fold of clothing which couldn’t be added with the lead lines. Traditional glass painting is actually more of drawing than painting.
Types of Traditional Glass Paints are:

• Vinegar Trace Paint
• Matt Paint
• Silver Paint
• Oil based stained glass paints

Glass Painting can also be done with paints that used to paint other surfaces. Some of the best examples would be oil paints, acrylic paints, model paints or automobile paints. Glass painting can be brushed by hand but air brushing can help you with better results.

Glass Paint Instructions:

• Select the right glass
• Clean the glass dry and place it over the top of pattern. Trace the pattern with a pencil with firm pressure.
• Apply liquid lead following the lines of the pattern under the glass. It would always be advisable to apply the lead from the center and work to outside.
• Mix stains and colors well. Always add dark colors to light colors
• Blend and shade with glass stain

How to clean up Glass Paints?
• Use a thinner or a cleaner to clean brushes, eyedroppers or airbrushes.
• Use Lacquer base glass paint or Lacquer based crystal paint to clean off your hands.
• Lacquer Paints are the best option to pat dry your hands than a cleaner.

Isabella Rodrigues writes for painting-books.info, offering the latest information on painting books, visit them today and get the latest information on painting.
By Isabel Rodrigues
Published: 5/25/2006
Posted by jt

The first work I encountered of Jaeda DeWalt was one of her self-portraits with mannequin figures. The plastic look of the figures is softened by the usage of light and shades of grey. In this black & white photo the human body is almost equal to the mannequins surrounding it. It's the same with the pose of Jaeda, it makes the human and plastic body's blend together as a group of equals.

The main difference is the anonymity of the mannequins and the individuality of the central character. You could say that she reveals her individuality this way. Does she express her sexuality as a female here as well? In a way there is a sexual aspect in this picture. The nakedness, the sensual lines of the body's against each other, even if most of them are not for real. But on the opposite there is the non-interaction and the static poses. This duality makes this image intriguing to me.

What I also experience in her work is what's best to describe as visual silence. It is one of the things that gives the work of Jeada DeWalt the serene intrinsic beauty. The images in this gallery are almost all self-portraits of the artist. She describes it as a way of seeking answers to who she is and what se will become, a personal journey we can witness.

The Artist statement:
The body is perhaps the most beautiful canvas of expression. The camera can provide a location of where we're at on this road map of life. Nudity in itself is not sexual, but rather, it is sensual. I feel sensuality is a state of mind that walks hand in hand with spirituality. In my photography I seek to express the sensual and spiritual in all of its magnificent colors, textures and feelings, as well as exposing the darkness that lingers within us all.

About the Author
Hans is the author of The Art of Love. He writes about erotic art , photography and modern culture. The Erotic art and modern culture on The Art of Love

Posted by jt
As I was riding a bus to Fernie, British Columbia, listening to Tool's album "Lateralus", I pondered life, creation and similar matters of uncertainty. I pondered the things that we understand, or think we understand, and the things that we don't. I questioned whether there was a finite body of knowledge out there so that one day, the human race, more likely factions of the human race, would know everything there is to know. I wondered whether by aggressively working towards "more knowledge" we were moving in the wrong direction.

We passed a tree alongside the highway and I thought about how it had come from a seed that was fertilized at some point in the past. I then tried to think of where the seed that created the tree had come from and reasoned that it likely came from another tree. That was the easy answer. I realized that the things we think we know or understand are created from an imagination so great we can't begin to understand it.

My friend Jeff owns these really interesting photographs of smoke rings by an artist named Donald Sultan. I have always found them visually intriguing and likened the respect I feel for the photographs to that which I feel for my favorite painting called "Hint" by a Russian artist named Vladan Ignatovic and to that which I feel for Mark Rothko's work. Unable to explain the source of that feeling, I recalled the countless times that I'd heard someone say "why is that so expensive? I could do that." I recalled the times that I had said similar things. The easy answer, "would you have thought of it?"

Then it hit me. Wondering what artists, entrepreneurs and other creators were thinking when they came up with all of the wonderful things that society can't live without I realized that the source of life was imagination and imagination is so great that we can't begin to understand it.

Hence the painting that you see at the top of this page. Simple, one sentence, black and white. I thought of doing this because most people would look at it and say, "I could do that" or "it's just a sentence", on and on. And I hope that a few people will understand the meaning of the sentence and the irony of the portrayal and realize that the painting is very interesting and a little funny. Would you have thought of it?! If no one feels the way I do about this painting, it doesn't really matter.

I feel that I've thought of something original and extremely meaningful and for once that thought materialized into something I feel is creative and that I am very proud of. I felt a sense of exhilaration which heightened my spirits for the entire day and continues to linger today. I realized how healthy and important it was to sit back once in a while and think about nothing. Because for now, it seems imagination comes from nothing, at least nothing we understand, and to create something from nothing causes exhilaration beyond explanation.

About the Author
Mr. Dan Pichette is a freelance writer from Alberta, Canada.

Posted by jt
Do you want to paint your life? If the answer is a positive one, you must be an art lover. The Internet offers artistic natures the possibility to transform their own memorable moments into real art. This is no programming trick we are talking about, but real portraits made by talented people. Forget artificial art and photography! The website we are talking about involves persons who enjoy creating beautiful memories by using their abilities, photos sent by you and several painting techniques like oil, watercolor, charcoal, pencil, pastel and acrylic. With some effort and creativity, they manage to create wonderful works of art that can be given to friends and family on special occasions as exceptional gifts.Even if an oil painting may seem as the best idea you ever had, a pencil sketch or a watercolor painting can be just as striking and surprising when received as a gift. The graphite portraits drawn from the clients’ family photos or from a favorite baby, pet or landscape are realistic interpretations of the subject, which portray with accuracy the real image. To convince yourself, please visit paintyourlife.com, a site full of beautiful paintings made for several of their clients. Moreover, the special effect of the pencil brings a sort of magic to the paintings, making them particularly charming and attractive. Buying a pencil sketch is less costly than other mediums because its creation is much faster. The oil takes some time to dry, while the pencil is ready to ship out just as soon as the drawing is finished. The making of a pencil sketch involves just pencils and paper. In addition, the ordering of such a gift is quite easy and involves only sending a photo of the person(s) you would like to be drawn. When you place your order, you only have to pay 20% of the pencil sketch’s value; the rest is paid when you see the painting online and approve it. You can also require changes if you like, but we recommend leaving the art to the professionals who know exactly what they are doing. Please also consider that erasing some of the lines from the already made drawing might create an unpleasant result in that area. Leaving this aside, because we think you will not need any changes made, you have many advantages from ordering online. The best one is that you can obtain a very elegant, personalized gift by simply staying in front of the computer, without wasting time for shopping. Clean and expressive, a pencil sketch can be a proof of great sensitivity and of thoughtfulness – something that impresses almost anyone.Graphite pencils are recent. Therefore, in the past, artists often resorted to charcoal portraits or to special paper and a silver stylus. Even if pencils are now available, the special effect given by charcoal is still used and many people buy charcoal portraits from paintyourlife.com preferring them to other techniques. Strong and suggestive, charcoal portraits can depict the most memorable moments from the client’s life: wedding, anniversaries, romantic holidays with the loved ones, adorable hugs of one’s children, happy days spent with friends and many more. They are also appropriate for family portraits that capture the soul and spirit of the family to remind future generations of the loved ones. Of course, a pencil sketch can be just as interesting as charcoal portrait and you can choose the one technique you like most. There are no rules when it comes to taste and the skills of the artists make all the paintings attractive.So, stop wasting time on endless online searches for special gifts because paintyourlife.com is a fantastic resource to buy something extraordinary. Customers benefit from the best work using any technique of choice in a masterful way. On this website, clients receive complete satisfaction and can benefit from many advantages. By: David Yuri
Posted by jt

Organizing Your Palette

Here are some general tips for having a clean and organized palette for the best possible success with your oil paintings.
Having a clean organized palette is an essential part of good painting. If you are just starting out with oil painting, these tips will help you get a good start.

You should have the right kind of palette to start off with. Your palette should be non-porous to prevent absorption of oil from the paint. Palettes come in a variety of different materials from glass to wood. My personal preference is the BOB ROSS Clear Palette. I have found this palette the easiest to clean and best for mixing colors.

When you are first starting out, it may be a good idea to start with a fairly limited palette of colors. If you purchase every color under the sun, you may find yourself mixing too many different colors, which will result in a muddy painting. Start off slow in the beginning, then add more colors as you become more experienced. Color choices for a limited palette vary from artist to artist. Here are the colors of my palette: Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange, Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Medium, Phthalo Green, Titanium White, Ivory Black. I recommend purchasing 1.25 oz tubes of all colors except Titanium White. Purchase a larger tube of Titanium White, as you will be using more of this color.
First, you should get into the habit of laying out your colors the same way every time you paint. This is just good practice and keeps the painting process flowing nicely. Arrange your colors along the edges of your palette leaving a lot of room in the center for mixing.

Don't be afraid to squeeze out a good amount of paint, especially your whites. You will be more productive if you aren't continuously stopping to squeeze out more paint.

Make certain to include all of the colors you think you will need to complete that session of painting as well. Again, this will make you more productive.

When adding paint to the palette, I have found that squeezing the paint out in long lines, as opposed to puddles, keeps my colors cleaner. When you have puddles of paint, they tend to get soiled by other colors when mixing. With a long line of paint, you can just take paint from the end as needed and not dirty the rest. Keep some rags or paper towels handy for wiping your palette knife clean.

It's a good idea to continuously wipe your palette clean during the painting process. There is nothing more frustrating then trying to remove dried up oil paint. Keep some alcohol handy so that you can keep the mixing area of your palette clean.
By Ralph Serpe
Published: 2/25/2006
Posted by jt

By Simon GoodwinPublished: 11/8/2007

How to Oil Paint - Oil Painting Supplies
When you start oil painting it is incredibly difficult to know what equipment you should buy. We all walk into our local art shop and spend a fortune on new paints, brushes and canvas. This quick article was written to give my view on what you need as a hobby artist
When you are learning how to oil paint, it can be easy to spend a fortune on equipment. This really is not necessary. Most magazines, books and videos I have read or seen always say that you should buy the best equipment you can. Which is fine if you can afford it, personally I am a working man with a mortgage and bills to pay. Most people have a budget and I would like to share with you how I managed to balance the bills and my hobby.
Canvas: Canvases can be bought obviously at art and craft shops, but have a look around, I recently bought some smaller canvases at the local pound shop (small shop where all items cost one pound sterling in the UK). Oh and if you do use an art shop on a regular basis ask them if they will give you some Student discount, I asked and they gave me 20% on everything I purchase. You can also paint on plywood, MDF board, and even hardboard. If you buy from a large DIY store they even have the facilities to cut it to size for you. All of these surfaces must be prepared properly, you will need to rub them down with fine sandpaper and then apply the base coats.
Basecoats: A lot of artists use Gesso which is a chalk based white liquid. Gesso has been used for centuries by painters. The downside is it's quite expensive! Personally I use Acrylic primer/undercoat. Available from decorators stores, it's water-based and dries very quickly. I usually put six coats on, gently rubbing down with sandpaper to remove any nibs in between coats. When you go to your local shop simply ask for acrylic white undercoat, and you should find it costs around $5 for a largish pot.
Oil Paints The oil paints I use are sold in 38ml , and I generally buy student's quality paint. They are about £3.00 a tube sometimes a little bit more depending on the color. I have found Daler-Rowney to be quite a good compromise in terms of pigment and price. Artists quality oil paint can reach as high as £12.00 a tube. This is because the pigments they use are purer. However for hobby purposes you would not really notice the difference. I have only ever bought the top quality paints for specific jobs or for comissions.
If I was buying a set of paints from scratch the ones I would be looking for initially are:
Lamp Black
Titanium White
Flake Yellow (or Cadmium Yellow)
Ultramarine Blue
Alizarin Crimson
Burnt Umber
Raw Sienna
Yellow Ochre
These would probably be sufficient for most painting you will need to do.
I have purchased expensive brushes and middle price ranged brushes and to be quite honest have found no difference in use. Over the years I have collected dozens of brushes but at best only ever use about six to complete a painting, and one of those is a fan brush used for softening edges. Where possible buy student or midpriced brushes they will be more than sufficient in quality terms.
Pallets are sold in varies shapes and sizes oblong, round, and kidney shaped, in numerous materials plastic, wood etc, I've tried them all and while the kidney shaped ones do look very arty, in daily use I find them heavy and cumbersome. The problem with proper palletes is you also have to spend half an hour cleaning them. Now I don't know about you but I cant be bothered, I have a life and a limited amount of time to spend painting. I don't want to spend my time cleaning and scraping. So my personal choice is to use plastic throwaway white plates, the type used at parties. The white helps me to see the exact colour I'm mixing and when I have finished I throw them away, easy huh?
Pure Artist Turpentine is made from pine trees and is sold in small bottles in art shops. It's roughly £3.00 for a small bottle. In the past thinners was used for thinning out your paint, and to make it dry quicker. However nowadays there are better substances for this job. I will discuss these below. Instead I buy turps substitute for a £1 a bottle, I mostly use this to clean my brushes not to thin my paint. You can buy turps substitute from your local DIY or hobby shop
Mediums - And I'm not talking Doris Stokes
Mediums are used to thin oil paint and make some lovely glazes, the medium I use is Liquin Original, it's great in use and also helps the paint to dry quicker. Available from art shops in small and large bottles (brilliant stuff), and much less expensive than buying pure turps. This should get you started on your first paintings, always remember to clean your brushes properly, and take your time, it doesn't matter if it takes six months to do your first picture!
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By Assaf Kostiner

Discover different methods to create oil paintings, directly from expert artists. Descriptions of the tools required to do oil painting and their importance.

In recent years many people like to have their own oil paintings. There are few companies in the market who offers 'a painting from photo' services. The whole process is done online when the customer sends his digital image directly to a studio who paints it. Once the artist finishes the painting, he will send it to the customer. A painting from photo is highly complicated it is one of the most difficult style of painting. An artist who paints according to a given photo should be highly skillful and must have a long experience in paintings. There is no other style that requires such high level of technique. Any mistake in the painting may cause the customer to reject the painting. If a customer sends a photo of his daughter, hoping to have an oil portrait of her, he expects that all his daughter's details will be capture carefully in the painting. If the artist makes a slight change in the facial details, it may change the whole appearance of the child. Therefore, the artist must have tools to help him to make the right proportions of the subject. When we talk about paintings from photos, we must remember that proportions are the basics to a successful painting. The artist has various tools that he can use in order to start a painting according to a given photo. If the artist doesn't use any tool and paints only according to his intuition, the painting will have a more artistic feeling but on the other hand it will be less accurate and may show the subject in the wrong proportions. Listed below are some of the most popular tools an artist can use while making a portrait from a photo: Roller: a roller is a special tool designed for artists to enable them to draw the outer lines of the subject to the canvas according to the proportions in the original photo. This special roller is placed on the photo and on the canvas at the same time, when the artist moves the roller on the subject in the photo, it moves in bigger proportion on the canvas. The side of the roller that moves on the canvas has a pencil attached to it so when it moves, it draws lines on the canvas. This is an accurate tool, it is cheap and it is easy to use. Copy paper: some artists will print the photo on a paper which is in the same size as the canvas. They put a copy paper between the canvas and the printed image so when they move a pencil on the printed image, it is transferred lines of ink to the canvas. This is an accurate tool, it is relatively expensive but once you have the printed image it is fast to paint the proportions. Printed canvases: in the last few years a new technique has developed to help the artists to capture the fine details and colours in the painting. This new method is very simple, The artist prints the image directly on the canvas. After the photo the artist will paint over the print. The quality of the painting is related to the number of layer that the artist uses to cover the print. The print is a tool that shows the artist the correct proportions and colors of the original photo. however, if the artist use only one ore two layers to cover the print, the painting may lack the artistic feeling because it will be very similar to the photo. Another disadvantage of the print is that if there are not enough layers to cover it, the oil paints might fade or break after few years. The reason is that the ink layer doesn't have good reaction with the oil paint. The longevity of an oil painting is determined by the quality of the canvas, the oil paints, the print thickness and the numbers of layers. (which should be 3-4 layers for an oil painting). To solve the problem cause by the ink, there are new printers which produce prints based on watercolours. Projector: this tool is preferred by many artists. The artist puts inside a special projector which projects the photo directly on the canvas. The image is shown on the canvas in full colours and the artist uses a pencil to mark important details on the canvas. This method allows the artist to see and draw the correct proportions of the photo directly on the canvas. Discover the perfect gift for a wedding, anniversary or any other occasion.
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By JoAnne WestcottPublished: 9/6/2007

Follow A Child For Free Face Painting Ideas
Children are the best guides to help you find free face painting ideas. Here are some ways they'll lead you to the most popular ones.
Just follow a child around for a while and they'll lead you to dozens of Free Face Painting Ideas.
Favorite animated television programs, popular movies, even children's books, coloring books and arts and crafts books can be inspiration for face painting designs. One of the best places to find free face painting ideas is in preschool coloring books. The bold and simple line art make these designs easy to duplicate in a cheek art design. Popular designs that almost anyone can paint with little research include hearts, smiley faces, sunshines and rainbows. By using only FDA compliant, water-based face paints, painting simple face painting designs will be easier for you, the painter, and safer for the child. Avoid using craft paints, acrylic paints, homemade paints or any other type of paint not specifically for use on skin. Once you discover the designs you want to learn, practice them on paper by placing a piece of acetate over the design. Simply "paint by numbers." The acetate will allow you to wipe the design clean with a damp paper towel and allow you to reuse the acetate over and over again until you are comfortable with the design. Limit the number of colors used and then begin practicing on skin. Even your own arm, hand or cheek will do. Begin with the lighter colors first, then let dry for a few seconds before painting additional colors. Let your child take the lead. By watching them, they will help you find free face painting ideas that are sure to be popular with other kids. You can find more Free Face Painting Ideas at EasyFacePainting.
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There was once a very famous Aikido player in Japan who spent
his whole life studying Usheba's legendary art. Although he had
dedicated his whole existence to this beautiful art he had never
actually had occasion to test it in a real life situation against a
determined attacker, someone intent on hurting him. Being a
moralistic kind of person he realised that it would be very bad
karma to actually go out and pick a fight just to test his art so he
was forced to wait until a suitable occasion presented itself.
Naively, he longed for the day when he was attacked so that he
could prove to himself that Aikido was powerful outside of the
controlled walls of the dojo.
The more he trained, the more his obsession for validation grew
until one day, travelling home from work on a local commuter
train, a potential situation did present itself -an overtly drunk and
aggressive man boarded his train and almost immediately started
verbally abusing the other passengers.
'This is it,' the Aikido man thought to himself, 'this is my chance
to test my art.'
He sat waiting for the abusive passenger to reach him. It was
inevitable that he would: he was making his way down the
carriage abusing everyone in his path. The drunk got closer and
closer to the Aikido man, and the closer he got the louder and
more aggressive he became. Most of the other passengers
recoiled in fear of being attacked by the drunk. However, the
Aikido man couldn't wait for his turn, so that he could prove to
himself and everyone else, the effectiveness of his art. The drunk
got closer and louder. The Aikido man made ready for the
seemingly inevitable assault -he readied himself for a bloody
As the drunk was almost upon him he prepared to demonstrate
his art in the ultimate arena, but before he could rise from his
seat the passenger in front of him stood up and engaged the
drunk jovially. 'Hey man, what's up with you? I bet you've
been drinking in the bar all day, haven't you? You look like a
man with problems. Here, come and sit down with me, there's
no need to be abusive. No one on this train wants to fight with
The Aikido man watched in awe as the passenger skillfully
talked the drunken man down from his rage. Within minutes
the drunk was pouring his heart out to the passenger about how
his life had taken a downward turn and how he had fallen on
hard times. It wasn't long before the drunk had tears streaming
down his face. The Aikido man, somewhat ashamed thought to
himself 'That's Aikido!'. He realised in that instant that the
passenger with a comforting arm around the sobbing drunk was
demonstrating Aikido, and all martial art, in it highest form.
Posted by jt
This paper has presented a number of anatomy-based muscle modelsappropriate for simulating the behavior of skeletal muscles inhumans. Each muscle model allows the extremities of muscles tobe specified relative to different underlying bones, whether adjacentor not, and automatically adjusts the dimensions of the musclewhen the extremities are moved closer together or further apart.The models are implemented in classes with consistent interfaces,thereby creating reusable components which may be used in contexts other than in human figure modeling, such as in 3D characteranimation and the animation of other animals with endoskeletons.The muscle models manage the deformation of muscles due toisotonic contraction. These deformations are inherent in the models,completely automatic, and functionally dependent on the configuration(or pose) of the underlying articulated skeleton. To allowfor isometric muscle contraction, we introduced a tension parameterto control the ratio of a muscle’s height to its width, independentof the current pose. The muscle models take the muscle’s tension asan instance parameter and deform the muscle accordingly. By bindingthe tension of individual muscles to articulation variables, usershave complete control over the deformations of individual muscles.We used a procedural modeling language to describe all ouranatomy-based models. A language-based definition of complexhierarchical models is elegant and intuitive, and affords the creationof functional dependencies between different components. Interactivecontrol is supported through the use of articulation variables,which may be used either directly, or in expressions, to modifycomponents of the hierarchical model. Cooperating tools can bemade available to give nontechnical users interactive control overthe complex models.We adopted an approach to modeling which parallels the onetaken in the discipline of artistic anatomy. By analyzing the relationshipbetween exterior form and the structures responsible forcreating it, surface form and shape change may be understood best.We identified three general anatomical structures responsible forcreating surface form and described one of these, the musculature,in some detail. Application of knowledge of the human anatomy tothe development of human figure models is necessary if we hope toachieve a high degree of realism.We are currently investigating anatomy-based models for generatingskin surfaces based on the influence of underlying deformablestructures. The capability of implicit functions to blend individualprimitives together is exploited in the generation of surfaces torepresent the skin. Initial results look promising.Implicit versions of the simple geometric modeling primitives areused to adjust the control points of bicubic patch meshes representingthe skin. This technique also allows us to model fatty tissuebetween the muscles and the skin—adjusting the radius of influenceof the implicit functions allows different thicknesses of fattytissue deposits to be modeled.Future research could analyze the structure and function of musclesfurther to enable a more automated approach to their creationthan the one used here. If the origin, insertion, volume, and generalshape of a muscle could be determined heuristically, perhapsbased on the type of joint(s) being acted upon, or the desired actionof the muscle, the creation of human figure models may be greatlysimplified. Used in conjunction with a method for generating articulatedskeletons automatically, this approach has great potential increating new or fictional articulated figures for 3D animation applications.
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