Category: Artists

Franz Kline: Master of Black and White

“I paint the white as well as the black, and the white is just as important.” – Franz Kline

When we talk about paintings, we visualize canvases filled with several colors portraying an extensive array of subjects. However, one artist became popular during the Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1940s to 1950s because of his black and white paintings.

Franz Kline is an American Abstract Expressionist is widely known for his large-scale black and white abstract paintings. In his early years as a painter, he started as a realist and primarily influenced by Old Masters. When he stayed in New York during the 1940s, he became friends with abstract expressionists including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock which helped him develop another style and he was influenced to work with abstractions.

Kline’s abstract paintings are described as “dynamic,” “spontaneous,” and “intense” earning him the label as an “action painter.” He only used black and white paints on most of his works but nonetheless, they still show his intense style and less focus or no focus at all on the actual imagery. His works have been interpreted as landscapes, cityscapes, bridges, buildings, railroads and other industrial subjects. Some also likened his style to Japanese calligraphy. Kline denied any hidden message behind his paintings which interested a later generation of Minimalist artists.

Here are some of his celebrated works:

Painting Number 2

Painting Number 2 (1954)
Painting Number 2 is an oil on canvas measuring 6′ 8 1/2″ x 8′ 9″. It is displayed at The Museum of Modern Art.

Painting Number 7

Painting Number 7 (1952)
Painting Number 7 is one of Kline’s best examples of black and white artworks. It shows broad, geometric black lines.


Untitled (1952)
This oil painting is done on paper which is mounted on canvas. It shows Kline’s signature strong, block lines.

Unfortunately, Kline has no catalogue raisonné or an official listing of his artworks. Many forgeries of his works have been traded and it is difficult to prove the authenticity of the paintings being offered in art auction houses. An article revealed that at least nine Kline paintings which have been traded in Christie’s (London and New York), Koller (Zurich), and Tajan (Paris) may have been fakes. There lack of catalogue raisonné risks private collectors and major auction houses in buying a seemingly original Kline painting which in the end would turn out to be just a forgery.

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Learn the Oil Painting Technique: Underpainting and Glazing


It is an initial layer of paint that will serve as a foundation and help define subsequent layers of paint for your painting. Underpaintings are usually monochromatic which reflects light through the over-painting layers and gives a painting the luminosity. There are several different methods of underpainting were used by the old masters.



underpainting effect

· Grisaille
Pronounced as “griz-eye” this is a method of underpainting with different gray paints.

· Verdaccio
It is a method of underpainting with colors of olive or green gray paint in the light areas. It often resembles a moonlight effect.

· Imprimatura
This underpainting method usually uses transparent layers of earth colors (ra umber or burnt umber). It is used as first stain to tone the canvas.

· Wash-in Underpainting
A variation of the Imprimatura underpainting. The subject or composition can be drawn into a thin semi-transparent layer of raw umber or burnt umber. Rags, paper towels and paint brushes are used to lift out the paint exposing the lights to illuminate the subject.


Glazes can change the hue and texture of a surface. Drying time will depend on the amount and type of paint medium used in the glaze. Different media can increase or decrease the rate at which oil paints dry. Oil paits usually takes longer to dry. If a paint is too opaque, painters will add special media or a lot of medium to the paint making them more transparent for the purposes of glazing. Glazing has the strongest impact on showing middle tones and dark colours.

Reproduction of Girl with a Red Hat by Jan Vermeer
Glazed reproduction of “Girl with a Red Hat” original by Jan Vermeer

Here are some tips on how to glaze oil paintings.

· Begin the oil painting as usual by sketching and putting visual resources as necessary, but do so as though the painting were going to be complete in one layer.

· Once completely dry, after a week or so, begin the next layer of paint. The glazes will soften the colours and deepen the tones. Each “glaze” slightly modifies the colour of what has already been painted on the canvas. When you look at it the colours are automatically mixed optically giving a rich deep colour.

· Putting a little linseed oil into the oil paint will create a translucent colour. Oil paint comes in transparent, semi-transparent, and opaque and you will learn which is which the longer you paint with oils. All paint colours can be used as glazes, even opaque paints, used as glaze to paint mist or fog.

· Apply the oil paint glaze onto selected areas. A second layer of slightly darker colour will deepen the colour without changing it completely.

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Most Famous Women in Paintings in the World Part 2

NPG 2082; Queen Elizabeth I by Unknown artist
The Darnley Portrait

Yesterday, I listed the women who were immortalized through paintings by famous artists. Now is the second half of this list.

6. The Darnley Portrait (circa 1575) by Unknown Netherlandish artist
The Darnley Portrait became the official template or face pattern of England’s Queen Elizabeth I in the 1590s. This portrait was constantly reused for all of the Queen’s official paintings in the said period. It shows the Queen with her crown and scepter, the symbols of sovereignty.

7. Girl with a Pearl Earring (circa 1665) by Johannes Vermeer
The Girl with a Pearl Earring is an oil on canvas masterpiece by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is considered the “Mona Lisa of the North” and the “Dutch Mona Lisa.” As with Vermeer’s other works, the true subject of this painting is unknown. There are several theories as who is the girl in the painting and many say that it is Vermeer’s eldest daughter Maria Magdalena.

8. Fritza von Riedler (1906) by Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt mainly painted with women as subjects and one of his paintings is Fritza von Riedler. It is one of the first portraits that Klimt created which shows a woman who is sitting and is adorned with frothy lace in her gown and satin ribbons on her head. The painter filled the canvas with decorative elements, similar to the Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer. Not much is known about the woman behind the painting but it is one of his most famous paintings.

9. L’Arlésienne: Madame Joseph-Michel Ginoux (1888-89) by Vincent van Gogh
The subject of Vincent van Gogh’s L’Arlésienne painting was Marie Ginoux, the owner of the Café de la Gare in Arles, France where the painter lived for a few months. Van Gogh created several versions of the painting which depicts Marie seated at a table with books. The first version was painted on burlap and the second version was on a pre-primed canvas and instead of books, Van Gogh put a parasol and gloves in the painting.

10.Portrait of Madame X (1884) by John Singer Sargent
The Portrait of Madame X, also known as Madame X, is a portrait of a young socialite Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, wife of Pierre Gautreau. The subject was in a standing pose with her head turned to the left, creating a profile. The painting created a scandal among the Parisian elites as it showed the socialite in a low-cut black satin dress, unflattering white make-up, and one dress strap hanging off one shoulder.
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How to Price for Your Artwork

There are different factors that you have to consider when pricing your artwork. If you’re just starting out and have not sold very much, pricing your work based on time, labor, and cost of materials is often the best way to go. Aside from explaining why your art is priced as much from a personal standpoint, you also have to explain equally from a financial standpoint and give reasons why it is a good buy most especially when your buyers are not familiar with you and your work. Here are some tips on how to fairly price your artwork.


1. How much did you spend?
You can start pricing your artwork by computing the quality and cost of art materials you’ve used. Then put into consideration the time and effort you spent in making these masterpieces. Price it at cost of materials plus hours spent creating the art. You can also do it by size. Large artworks usually are more expensive than the smaller ones.

2. Start with the lowest possible price that you can offer
It’s best to start low and raise your prices than it is to lower your prices later. But make sure that you have to gain a significant profit from your artwork to sustain your art business. You might want to price the work a few hundred dollars over the set price so you have space to negotiate just in case a buyer ask for a discount. Don’t undervalue your work. Selling your art too cheaply reflects your confidence as an artist.

3. Compare prices with other artists
Research and see what’s being charged by other artists that are at your level of work. Use that information as a guideline then set your price similar to other artists with similar experiences and work in similar mediums.


4. Price based on your status as an artist
Price your work based on your achievements, documented accomplishments, successful exhibits and number of sales. The more popular you are as an artist the more you should be confident with your pricing.

5. Be consistent with your pricing
Keep a pricelist of your paintings. Consistent pricing means that you’re consistent with the quality of your artwork. It is a cornerstone of a sound practice and eventually leads to successful sales. You can increase your pricing when you are experiencing a consistent degree of success and have established a proven track record of sales that has lasted for at least six months and preferably longer.

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Most Famous Women Paintings in the World Part 1

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

With unlimited subjects and inspiration in the world, famous artists at some point in their careers have created paintings of women. Here’s a list of the most famous of them all:

1. Mona Lisa (1503-1519) by Leonardo da Vinci
Who doesn’t know the Mona Lisa? The woman’s identity is still a mystery and there are different speculations made about the painting’s subject, including that it’s Leonardo da Vinci in female form. But the most accepted and highly plausible explanation is that the Mona Lisa is the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo who may have commissioned the art. Many are fascinated with this masterpiece because of the subject’s ambiguous expression, subtle forms, and illusionism. Also, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, emphasizing the piece’s value and its importance in art history.

2. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) by Gustav Klimt
The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is oil, silver, and gold on canvas. It is one of the most expensive paintings sold in 2006. The portrait depicts Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a wealthy industrialist, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer who commissioned the art. Klimt used the Jugendstil style, also known as the Art Nouveau, in creating the portrait.

3. Dora Maar au Chat (1941) by Pablo Picasso
This painting depicts Pablo Picasso’s lover, Henriette Theodora Markovitch, also known as Dora Maar. It shows the subject sitting on a chair with a small cat on her shoulders. It is one of the world’s most expensive paintings, being  sold at $95.2 million and currently valued at $109.5 million.

4. Whistler’s Mother (1871) by James McNeill Whistler
The original name of Whistler’s Mother is Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 and it is displayed at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It is one of the most famous works of an American artist outside the US and is considered an American icon. The woman in the oil painting is of the painter’s mother sitting since she got uncomfortable posing while standing for long periods.

5. Portrait of Gala (1931) by Salvador Dalí
The Portrait of Gala depicts Salvador Dalí’s wife, Gala Dalí. The painter adored his wife who acted as his business manager and he said that she saved him from madness and untimely deaths. Unlike the previous paintings of Gala, this portrait lacks the usual sympathetic and adoring images of his wife due to Gala’s extramarital affairs which left him insecure.

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Checklist For a Plein Air Art Trip

Packing for a Plein Air art trip varies depending on where you’re going and the elements that you will be dealing with. There are variety of things that you must consider since you will be working outdoors. Here’s a list of the basic things you need to have on your trip.


Since you’re going to travel, take note to have your art materials complete. It’s better if you keep things compact and organized to avoid confusion and you might forget some of your essential materials. A good idea is to invest a good art traveling bag which has multiple pockets and organizers to keep your materials intact while you’re traveling.

Support is needed for any surface you plan to work on. And since you are traveling, a portable easel is a very good choice. Special easels comes with storage such as drawers and compartments for carrying paints and brushes within the easel. Table easels are also available if you prefer to sit while painting.

You can always find a shady area to paint but sometimes you’ll have to set up in the sun. The hat is for your protection but the umbrella is to keep the sun off your canvas and palette. A white or gray umbrella so the reflection doesn’t affect your color judgement. Try to keep both palate and canvas in the shade.

You can capture the initial scene with a camera. Positions of clouds and direction of the wind can constantly change outdoors so you can use this trick to make your artwork more consistent. Another advantage of the still shot is that you can use it just in case the weather turns bad and you have to finish your painting indoors.

Bring extra clothes just in case you so you can change just in case things get messy. Or you can dress in layers that you can easily take off as you get hot and put on when it gets colder. Wear neutral colored clothing to avoid too much light reflections onto your painting. Bright colors can also reflect some of their color onto your painting so stick with beige and khakis.


Now that you have your basics, here are some of the things you might want to have with you on your trip to make it more comfortable.
• Water to drink
• Light snacks
• Paper towels
• Insect repellent
• Garbage bags
• Soap and water to clean your brushes

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Top 10 Art Critics to Follow on Twitter

As an artist, opinions and observations of other people regarding your artwork is very important. To be noticed by an art critic is a privilege rather than a threat. A written critiques or review of your work will convey a perspective that a reader who doesn’t go to your gallery or online gallery may not be able to see. Art critics’ serves as consultants of art collectors and enthusiast offering a thoughtful take of the art work that they are eying to buy.
Here are the top 10 art critics that you can follow on twitter where you can have your daily dose of enhanced appreciation of the art they are viewing wherein you can pick up some tips and might eventually catch their attention to review your artwork.


1. @BrianSherwinArt Brian Sherwin
Art critic, curator, and mastermind. Former Senior Editor for the social art site Myartspace and regular Contributing Writer for FineArtViews.

2. @HalFoster1 Hal Foster
Former Los Angeles Times journalist, professor, journalism consultant in the U.S., Japan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan.

3. @polarworld Dr Huw Lewis-Jones
Authors and nice folks. We are Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert of indie publisher Polarworld, down in Cornwall creating photography and exploration books.

4. @Daichendt G. James Daichendt
Author of the books: Artist-Teacher, Artist Scholar and Stay Up! Los Angeles Street Art.

5. @cmonstah Carolina A. Miranda
She’s smart, she’s funny, and she manages to take the piss out of art world pomp-and-circumstance while maintaining her enthusiasm for art and artists.


6. @lindsaypollock Lindsay Pollock
Arts market journalist who reports for Bloomberg, The Art Newspaper, and others. She’s got the inside track not just on the art market, but the media covering the market. Her recent live-Tweet of the Ai Weiwei panel at the Paley Center on digital activism is topical and dishy.

7. @artfagcity Paddy Johnson
founder and writer of Art Fag City. Johnson’s an instigator, which makes for entertaining reading. Snark aside, she’s ever-present and well informed, mixing in art reviews from her blog and The L magazine with gossipy asides and up-to-the-minute reporting.

8. @TylerGreenDC Tyler Green
Writer and critic on Modern Art Notes. Based in DC, manages to be almost omniscient in the sphere of art media, mired in everything from reporting on endangered land art to scrapping with Jerry Saltz to creating a bracket for The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter.

9. @ARTnewsmag Robin Cembalest
Executive editor at ARTNews. Tweets are a good indicator of where the magazine’s interests lie.

10. @escapeintolife Lethe Bashar
Editor of Escape into Life online journal. Incorporates poetry, essays, and video into the publication’s visually compelling portfolios. For the most part, Bashar keeps his Twitter feed simple and to the point, with a host of links to featured artists.



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Top 8 Most Famous Paintings of Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), a Dutch post-impressionist painter, produced hundreds of paintings of a variety of subjects: self-portraits, portraits, cypresses, flower orchards, flowers, and wheat fields. Van Gogh is considered as one of the greatest painter in history. With many paintings under his belt, I’ve listed some of the famous pieces Van Gogh did in his lifetime.

Starry Night (1889)

1. Starry Night (1889). This is an oil on canvas painting portraying the night scene of the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence outside his sanitarium room. Probably the most iconic among all Van Gogh’s works, a song was even composed in reference to the painter and this painting.

2. Bedroom in Arles (1888). Also known as The Bedroom, this painting depicts Van Gogh’s bedroom while he was in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. There are three authentic versions of this painting which he began in 1888 and the third version was finished in 1889. He used bold colors in yellow, blue, and brown, the painting shows his trapezoid room, including the furniture and painting inside the room.

3. Sunflowers (1888). One of Van Gogh’s subjects in painting is flowers, including sunflowers. He may have painted several sunflowers but no two paintings are the same. Bright colors are used in these paintings, contrasted by the colors of wilted or dying sunflowers.

4. Cafe Terrace at Night (1888). This is an oil painting on an industrially-primed canvas done in Arles, France. It depicts a popular cafe in Arles at night. Van Gogh used colors for the cafe and contrasted it by blue and black colors to portray the rue du Palais. This painting is displayed at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands.

5. Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1890). One of the most expensive paintings in the world, and the highest price paid at a public auction, Portrait of Dr. Gachet protrays the doctor who took care of Van Gogh during the final months of his life. It shows Dr. Gachet sitting at a table while his head is resting on his right hand.

6. Almond Blossoms (1890). This is a series of several paintings on blossoming almond trees. Van Gogh enjoyed painting flowering trees as it symbolizes hope. This painting is located at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

7. Irises (1889). Van Gogh painted Irises when he was living at an asylum in France, before he experienced his first attack. He used unusual angles and strong outlines which is typical of a Japanese called ukiyo-e woodblock prints to depict the blooming irises.

The Mulberry Tree (1889)

8. The Mulberry Tree (1889).  The Mulberry Tree was painted a year before Van Gogh’s death. It depicts a tree growing out of a rocky land. His inspiration was the mulberry tree outside the asylum.

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Top 25 Inspiring Artists to Follow on Twitter

gemstars1. Gemstars : @gemstars
An artist from Canada who enjoys painting, weaver of ideas, and more. Check out her paintings on her twitter profile.

2. Dianne Hendrix : @AlaskaArtist
This artist and photographer is based in Alaska. Lists include art, writing, travel, and more.

3. Rob Sheridan : @rob_sheridan
He is an artist, designer, and photographer from Los Angeles. He is also the Creative Director for alternative band Nine Inch Nails.

4. Tenacious Artist : @tenaciousartist
Artist, music lover, teacher, Cesar Millan Fan, Polio survivor. Cathy F. is from Texas and runs Deutsch Friesenhahn Fin Art. Check in to hear her inspiring words on life, art, and more.

5. Lissa Rankin : @Lissarankin
This artist is an OBGYN and NY Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute.

6. Labedzki Art : @Labedzki_Art
This Canadian artist focuses on the abstract. Get links to work, auctions, and more. Canadian abstract artist specializing in figurative painting.

7. Natasha : @natasha
She is a painter of whimsical landscapes from Los Angeles. Responses and tips are found on this Twitter stream. Award-winning Artist & Illustrator, writer, speaker and entrepreneur.


8. Matthew Tubbesing : @matubbesing
Everything from abstract to the Blues are discussed in his twitter account.

9. Adelaide Damoah : @Adelaidedamoah
From the U.K., she is an oil painter and a self-described “hermit and social butterfly.” See what she is up to from her tweets.

10. Dan Byl : @danbyl
This painter actually uses eBay to sell his art. Latest works are often featured on twitter. Paints huge colorful fun paintings.

11. Estria : @estria
He strives to have graffiti recognized as a legitimate art form. See his work, along with the works of others by following. USA’s leading promoter of Graffiti ART FORM. Head of national Estria Battle. Art & inspiration from the streets.

12. Mark E. Wade : @MarkEWade
He is a creative thinker form Connecticut. Get inspired by random thought and musings through tweets.

13. Adrianasimo : @Adrianasimo
This Twitter user’s son has autism and doesn’t let it stop him from creating art. See what they are both up to by following tweets.

14. Dr. Paula Hudson : @DrPaulaHudson
Are you an artist who wants to get in touch with the art loving community? Then follow Paula who specifically began the Twitter account to meet artists.

15. Jaime Lyerly : @jaimelyerly
Tweets are often art focused. Visionary Artist, Shamanic Reiki Energy Healer & Play leader @ Expressive Goddess. Tips for Inspired Living.

16. Annie Strack : @AnnieStrack
In addition to being a writer for “Art Calendar Magazine,” she is also a professional maritime artist. Tweets are often on daily life. Artist Workshops Instructor, Official Authorized USCG Artist, Author, Art Business Consultant

17. Arthur Rau : @arthurra
From Dublin, Ohio. He tweets on modern and contemporary art, theory, design, and more. Tweets are usually on random items.

18. Donna Bernstein : @DonnaB_Art
This artist enjoys using horses as her subjects. She also works in paintings, sculptures, and more.

19. BJ Katz : @BJKatzART
This artist has a wide variety of interests including healthcare, hospitality, spirit, and others.

20. Swarez Art : @SwarezArt
This contemporary artist paints abstract and modern works of art. Tweets are often on random thoughts.


21. Alison Jardine: @alisonjardine
A professional artist in Dallas, originally from England. Currently in a project with Sony & Flavorpill to photograph life in the Dallas arts.

22. Carmen Renieri: @RenieriArts
Freelance visual artist, art collector & entrepreneur. Always looking for new ventures and opportunities.

23. KathyOstman-Magnusen: @KathysArt
Painting, Poetry, Sculpture, Figurative Artist, Goddess, Erotica, Fairies, Mermaids, Politics, Obama fan.

24. Stacy Alexander: @ARTISTstacy P
Professional writer/Visual Artist

25. Teresa Freed: @TeresaFreed
Artist, Website Designer and Marketing Coach. I work in Pastels, primarily landscapes and some portraits.

5 Distinguished Women in Contemporary Art

Men dominated the art world especially during the early years and women artists found it hard to infiltrate this gender-biased world. Women found it hard to get training, education, travel, and exposure for their art works until the creation of the Feminist art movement in the 1960s. This movement encouraged women to participate in creating art which reflects the lives and experiences of women. It allowed women to express themselves through painting, sculptures, photography, and other art forms.

Painting: Matrix — Family Album series n.3 by Bracha Ettinger

1. Bracha L. Ettinger. Bracha Ettinger is an international artist based in Paris and Tel Aviv. She is considered to be one of the most celebrated artists in the French and Israeli art scenes. She had several series of oil paintings such as “Matrix — Family Album,” “Autistwork,” and “Eurydice.” These paintings reflect Ettinger’s questions on personal trauma, womanhood, World Wars, and beauty. Since 2001, she became one of the most influential painters in the movement called New European Painting.

2. Marlene Dumas. Marlene Dumas is a South African born painter now based in The Netherlands. The subject of most of her paintings is of the human body, used to challenge ideas of racial, sexual, and social identity. Her artworks have been showcased in different prominent museums and galleries in European cities including in London, Berlin, Basel, and Amsterdam. In 2011, she received the Rolf Schock Prize in the Visual Arts award.

3. Chantal Joffe. Chantal Joffe is an English artist known for her large-scale paintings portraying women and children. Her works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Paris, New York, London, and Milan. She is the recipient of many awards including the illustrious Charles Wollaston Award in 2006.

4. Yayoi Kusama. Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese avant-garde artist. She uses different art forms including painting, drawing, sculpture, and installations. She started to paint using polka dots and nets when she was young. Kusama created series of paintings, including large-scale ones, with canvases measuring more than 30 ft. long. She was the first Japanese woman to receive the Praemium Imperiale, one of Japan’s most distinguished prizes given to highly esteemed artists.

Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills by Georgia O’Keeffe

5. Georgia O’Keeffe. Georgia O’Keeffe was a famous American Painter known for her large-format paintings of natural forms at close range. She created several paintings of New York City buildings including the “City Night,” and “Radiator Bldg.”  In 1928, a potential sale of six of her calla lily paintings grabbed the attention of the media but the sale did not push through.

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