Category: Resources

Oil Painting Terms: Part Three

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Oiling out – The application of an oil medium to a painting that has sunk (become dull) or lost its oil to the layer underneath. Artist’s painting medium should be rubbed sparingly into any sunken areas with a clean cloth, wiping off any residue, allowing to dry for a few days and repeating as necessary until an even sheen is obtained throughout.
Optical Colour Mixture – The tendency of the eyes to blend patches of individual colours placed near one another so as to perceive a different, combined colour. Also, any art style that exploits this tendency, especially the pointillism of Georges Seurat.
Organic – An image that shows a relationship to nature as opposed to man-made images. Any shape that resembles a naturally occurring form or that suggests a natural growing or expanding process.
Painted Edges – Not all canvasses are framed. Instead, some are intended to be hung without frames. If this is the artist’s intention, the artist will often paint over the edges of the canvas onto the sides. This not only allows the painting to be hung unframed, but also creates the interesting effect of extending the painting into three dimensions.
Pastel – A colored crayon that consists of pigment mixed with just enough of an aqueous binder to hold it together; a work of art produced by pastel crayons; the technique itself. Pastels vary according to the volume of chalk contained and the deepest in tone are pure pigment. Pastel is the simplest and purest method of painting, since pure colour is used without a fluid medium and the crayons are applied directly to the pastel paper or card.
Pentimento – A condition of old paintings where lead-containing pigments have become more transparent over time, revealing earlier layers.
Perspective – The representation of three-dimensional objects on a flat surface so as to produce the same impression of distance and relative size as that received by the human eye. In one-point linear perspective, developed during the fifteenth century, all parallel lines in a given visual field converge at a single vanishing point on the horizon. In aerial or atmospheric perspective, the relative distance of objects is indicated by gradations of tone and color and by variations in the clarity of outlines.
Pictorial Space – The illusory space in a painting or other work of two-dimensional art that seems to recede backward into depth from the picture plane, giving the illusion of distance.

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Picture Plane – An imaginary flat surface that is assumed to be identical to the surface of a painting. Forms in a painting meant to be perceived in deep three-dimensional space are said to be “behind” the picture plane. The picture plane is commonly associated with the foreground of a painting.
Pigment – Dry coloring matter, usually an insoluble powder to be mixed with a liquid to produce paint.
Pochoir – A stencil and stencil-brush process for making muticoloured prints, and for tinting black-and-white prints, and for coloring reproductions and book illustrations, especially fine and limited editions. Pochoir, which is the French word for stencil, is sometimes called hand-coloring or hand-illustration. Pochoir, as distinguished from ordinary stencil work, is a highly refined technique, skillfully executed in a specialized workshop.
Positive Space – The space in a painting occupied by the object depicted (not the spaces in-between objects).
Provenance – The record of ownership for a work of art, ideally from the time it left the artists studio to its present location. French for source or origin.
Replica – An exact copy of an original work of art that is made by, or under the supervision of, the original artist.
Repoussoire – From the French verb meaning to push back. A means of achieving perspective or spacial contrasts by the use of illusionistic devices such as the placement of a large figure or object i the immediate foreground of a painting to increase the illusion of depth in the rest of the picture.
Reproduction – A mechanically produced copy of an original work of art (as distinct from replicas which are one-offs).
Semblance – A picture consisting of a graphic image of a person or thing.
Shading – Showing change from light to dark or dark to light in a picture by darkening areas that would be shadowed and leaving other areas light. Shading is often used to produce illusions of dimension and depth.
Signature – An artists name physically signed (or carved) on a work of art usually providing evidence that the work is entirely by the hand of the artist who signs the work. The Signing of prints is usually done using a soft base pencil in order that it’s dark, clearly visible and does not fade over time.
Silhouette – The outer shape of an object. An outline, often filled in with color.
Simultaneous Contrast – The tendency of complementary colors to seem brighter and more intense when placed side by side.
Study – A detailed drawing or painting made of one or more parts of a final composition, but not the whole work.
Style – A characteristic or a number of characteristics that can be identified as being embodied in a work of art. Typically associated with a specific artist, group of artists, culture, or a specific artists work during a particular time period. “In the style of …. ” means that the work resembles a particular artists style but is not actually created by that artist. “In the studio of …. ” means that the work was created by a student, apprentice or colleague of a particular artist whose style it resembles and possibly supervised by that artist.

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Support – The surface, or material, on which an artist creates two-dimensional art. Can be canvas, paper, cardboard or wood panel. The surface often has to be treated before the paint is applied so as to neutralize any natural acidities and protect the work from discolouration or deterioration.
Tempera – Medium, typically egg yolk which was used in the Renaissance prior to the advent of oil and has benefited from a recent revival.
Tonality – The overall color effect in terms of hue and value. Often one dominating hue is employed in various shades and values.
Triptych – A painting or carving consisting of three panels.
Underpainting – The traditional stage in oil painting of using a monochrome or dead color as a base for composition. Also known as laying in.
Vanishing Point – In linear perspective, the point on the horizon line where parallel lines appear to converge.
Vignette – A small illustrative sketch or painting that appears to float suspended on a surface.
Wash – Used in watercolor painting, brush drawing, and occasionally in oil painting and sculpture to describe a broad thin layer of diluted pigment, ink, glaze or patina. Also refers to a drawing made in this technique.
Yellowing – This effect on oil paintings is usually caused by one of three reasons: excessive use of linseed oil medium; applying any of the varnishes that are prone to yellow with age; or most often – an accumulation of dirt embedded into the varnish.

Image source: www.wikihow.com

Oil Painting Terms: Part Two

Diptych – A painting or carving consisting of two panels.
Enamel – When painting, used upon a ground of metal, porcelain, the colours afterward being fixed by fire.
Fine Art – Generally used to describe art that has been created purely as an aesthetic expression to be enjoyed for its own sake (as opposed to applied arts or decorative arts or design). The viewer must first search for the intent of the artist in order to fully appreciate, identify or relate to the artwork.
Fixative – A solution, usually of shellac and alcohol, sprayed onto drawings of pencil, chalk and pastels, to prevent their smudging or crumbling off the support.

fels-naptha-clean-upForeshortening – The diminishing of certain dimensions of an object or figure in order to depict it in a correct spatial relationship. In realistic depiction, foreshortening is necessary because although lines and planes that are perpendicular to the observer’s line of vision (central visual ray), and the extremities of which are equidistant from the eye, will be seen at their full size, when they are revolved away from the observer they will seem increasingly shorter. Thus for example, a figure’s arm outstretched toward the observer must be foreshortened–the dimension of lines, contours and angles adjusted–in order that it not appear hugely out of proportion. The term foreshortening is applied to the depiction of a single object, figure or part of an object or figure, whereas the term perspective refers to the depiction of an entire scene.

Fresco – The art of painting on freshly spread plaster before it dries, or in any manner.
Gesso – A white ground material for preparing rigid supports for painting. made of a mixture of chalk, white pigment, and glue. Same name applied to acrylic bound chalk and pigment used on flexible supports as well as rigid.
Glaze – A very thin, transparent coloured paint or glossy finish applied over a previously painted surface to alter the appearance and colour of the surface.
Gold leaf – Very thin leaves of real gold that are burnished onto an object such as a wooden frame that has been coated with several layers of other material in preparation. The process is expensive because of the use of precious metal.
Gouache – A watercolour executed by using opaque watercolours mainly for illustrations.
Grisaille – Chiaroscuro painting in shades of gray imitating the effect of relief.
Gum Arabic – The binder used in watercolor and which is made from the gum of the Acacia tree (in the past commonly associated with Arabia, in recent decades also found in the West).
Harmony – The unity of all the visual elements of a composition achieved by repetition of the same characteristics.
Hatching – A technique of modeling, indicating tone and suggesting light and shade in drawing or tempera painting, using closely set parallel lines.
Iconography – Loosely, the “story” depicted in a work of art; people, places, events, and other images in a work, as well as the symbolism and conventions attached to those images by a particular religion or culture.
Idiom – The style of a particular artist, school or movement.
Illustration – A general term used for a drawing or an original work of art.
Knife – A painting knife may be utilized for the application of paint, whereas a palette knife is primarily utilized for mixing and blending the paint on the palette.
Lacquer – A varnish consisting of a solution of shella in alcohol, often used for varnishing metals.retouch-
Licensing – The act of selling a license to reproduce an artist’s work for a specific purpose. There are licensing agents who specialize in negotiating deals with makers of porcelain, giftware, stationery etc. Artists should be aware of the difference between selling a license and selling their copyright in a work.
Linear Perspective – A method of depicting three-dimensional depth on a flat or two-dimensional surface. Linear perspective has two main precepts: 1. Forms that are meant to be perceived as far away from the viewer are made smaller than those meant to be seen as close 2. Parallel lines receding into the distance converge at a point on the horizon line known as the vanishing point.
Mannerism – A deliberate simulation or exaggerated display.
Medium – Used to describe either the material used to create a work of art (such as oil, acrylic, pencil, water-colour, charcoal, stone, cloth or other material); the liquid with which pigment or an existing oil paint is mixed to create or modify the paint, or an expressive art form.
Mixed Media – Used to describe art that uses more than one medium (such as a work that combines paint, natural materials and man-made materials) to create a single work of art.
Monochrome – Painting done in a range of tints and tones of a single colour.
Montage (Collage) – An artwork comprising portions of various existing images such as photographs or prints and arranged so that they join, overlap or blend together to create a new image or artwork in its own right.
Mural – A painting that is applied to a wall surface.
Neutral – Having no hue – black, white, or gray; sometimes a tannish colour achieved by mixing two complementary colours.
Numbered – A numbered print is designed to show the limit or size of a print edition. The number is generally placed over the size of the edition. For example 12/500 indicates that the print is number twelve out of an edition of 500.

…to be continued

Image source: www.guidetooilpainting.com

Oil Painting Terms: Part One

Oil Painting Terms
Oil painting has several words that ought to be learned prior to obtaining a brush. Many oil painting terms origin from Latin roots so mispronunciations are very common. Please bear in mind that there may be some variation between the various professionals, organizations and especially between different languages following translation to English. Here are some of the common terms that a new artist should be familiar with.

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Abstraction – The process of leaving out of consideration one or more properties of a complex object so as to attend to others.
Acrylic – A type of rapid drying and versatile synthetic paint that is an especially popular with artists working today. The term is also used as a generic term for any synthetic paint medium. Acrylics have good adhesive and elastic properties, they resist ultraviolet light and chemical degradation and are easy to remove with mineral spirits. They are often used in the restoration of damaged oil paintings.
Adumbration – A sketchy, imperfect or faint representation.
Altarpiece – A painted or carved screen placed above and behind an altar or communion table.
Alkyd – Synthetic resin used in paints and mediums to work as a binder that encapsulates the pigment and speeds the drying time.
Alla Prima – Technique in which the final surface of a painting is completed in one sitting, without underpainting. Italian for “at the first”.
Analogous Colours – Colours that are closely related, or near each other on the colour spectrum. Especially those in which we can see common hues.
Applied Art – As distinct from fine art, refers to the application of decoration to useful objects (such as ceramics, furniture, jewelry, etc.)
Aquatint – A method of etching that imitates the broad washes of a watercolour.
Artists’ Agent – A third party who handles the business and promotional aspects of an artist’s career. Many artists’ agents are also gallery owners. Sales agents sell a completed product, whereas artists’ agents tend to also negotiate licensing and publishing deals, organize exhibitions, handle PR and promotion and have some influence on the direction in which an artist’s career develops.
Batik – A painting or design that is applied to cotton using wax and dye. It often comes from the Far East or Africa. It is important to identify the correct way round for the image since the back is very similar to the front. Before stretching, batik should generally be placed between two sheets of brown paper or tissue and ironed; the heat will release any excess wax which will be absorbed by the paper. Batiks do not normally require squaring, as the weave is too close for this to be a problem.
Binder – The ingredient (such as oil, acrylic, egg tempera or gum arabic) in paints that causes the particles of pigment to adhere to one another and to a support.
Brushwork – The characteristic way an artist applies (brushes) paint onto a support producing an individualistic texture as well as aesthetic appeal and value. One of any artists most powerful attributes.

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Canvas – Closely woven cloth usually of cotton or linen that is used as a support (surface) for paintings.
Catalogue – A list of works of art often associated with an exhibition or auction that provides information on the works themselves, the artist, the materials and provenance.
Certificate of Authenticity – Certifies the authenticity of an individual piece in an edition and can also state the current market value.
Charcoal – Pure carbon prepared from vegetable or animal substances. Finely prepared charcoal in small sticks used as a drawing implement.
Chiaroscuro – In drawing, painting, and the graphic arts, chiaroscuro (ke-ära-skooro) refers to the rendering of forms through a balanced contrast between light and dark areas. The technique that was introduced during the Renaissance, is effective in creating an illusion of depth and space around the principal figures in a composition. Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt were painters who excelled in the use of this technique.
Commission – To order an original, usually customized work of art from the artist.
Consignment Note – Signed agreements between artists and galleries to confirm that a gallery has taken possession of a painting, but that it the artist’s property until paid for in full. A consignment note represents proof of ownership in the event of an insurance claim, so it should always make clear that the work is insured the gallery while in its possession, whether in transit, at a fair, at a client’s house etc.
Copperplate – An engraving consisting of a smooth plate of copper that has been etched or engraved.
Copyright – The artist retains the copyright in a work regardless of whether the original has been sold. Copyright is separate from the painting itself, and the artist has the right to sell it. Legally, transfer of copyright has to be in writing. Within the EU copyright extends for 70 years after the artist’s death.
Crosshatching – Shading consisting of multiple crossing lines, typically usually used in pencil and ink drawings.

…to be continued

Image source: www.webartacademy.com

How to Photograph Your Artwork for Online Display

Online art galleries and portfolios are the thing of today in terms of getting the word out about your art. Showcasing your artwork online needs to approximate the real thing and having good quality images of your artwork is a must. As an artist, you also need to keep visual records of your work—and whether you plan on selling your art right away or keeping it for years, you should always have up-to-date images ready to share.

Position your artwork almost perfectly upright
Put your artwork against a wall where it can stand on its own. It is not recommended that you lay your painting on the floor because it will be difficult for you to take a steady shot and you’ll block your light source that will create a shadow on your picture. When you take the photo, remember to tilt the camera slightly down to match the angle that the artwork is leaning – this will help minimize distortion of the original image.

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Make sure that you have a sufficient, indirect natural light
Bring your artwork and your camera to a spot that’s full of bright light. Natural light is best. If the sun is too bright directly, bring your piece to a slightly shady area that’s still quite bright. If you’re forced to use artificial lights, get them as bright as possible, and reflect the light off of a white wall, poster board or another light surface to avoid over exposed parts in your photo. Look out for shadows, as well. If you use a flash, try taping a single sheet of toilet paper over it so it’s not so harsh.

Take a picture of your artwork
When you’re taking your photo, look at it directly from the front, so that the edges of the piece are parallel with the edges of the viewfinder. This keeps everything correctly proportioned.
Use a tripod so you won’t have to worry about hand shake or instability, and you can take time to frame your shot perfectly. If you don’t have a tripod, you can use anything that can hold your camera and your hands in place like a table or a box.

Avoid too much post processing
I f you think that your photo needs editing, then, you may do so. You may bring them up in Photoshop or whichever photo-editing software you use. You can remove some imperfections like cropping out the background and adjusting the contrast to approximate the real image. Do not overdo your editing. Remember that you want to post an image of your actual artwork not an edited version of it.

Image source: www.adcfineart.com

The Wonderful World of Finger Painting by Iris Scott

Professional Finger Painter Iris Scott
Professional Finger Painter Iris Scott

Finger painting is an art activity usually associated with children. Kids love to play with paint, mix different colors, and put them on paper. You’ll get messy art, filled with an assortment of colors, which ends up on the refrigerator door. It may seem a childish endeavor but there is an artist who is creating a buzz in the art world for her beautiful finger paintings.

Iris Scott is an American professional painter who, by chance, realized the wonders of using fingers in applying paint on canvas. In 2009, after college, Iris decided to have a sabbatical to paint without distractions, without any worries. She rented a small studio apartment in Taiwan with a great view of the ocean. Taiwan, being a tropical country, experiences hot, humid weather. The communal sink of the building was located in an area where there was no air conditioning. She had to go out of her air conditioned room to be able to clean her paint brushes. It was such an inconvenience, having to leave her work in a cool place just to wash her brushes under the heat. Then, a serendipitous moment happened. Iris thought she could just use her fingertips to apply paints, without needing her brushes. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Colleen - Single Ladies Collection
Colleen – Single Ladies Collection

Iris admits that washing paint brushes has never been her strong point, so finger painting definitely is perfect for her. She uses surgical gloves when painting, achieving the correct color quickly. Instead of going out of her room to wash her brushes, she just wipes her gloved hands with paper towels and she can use another paint color in an instant. Once she starts painting, her fingers flawlessly dance across the canvas, like a pianist’s hands.

When she has inspiration to paint, she quickly sketches it out and paints immediately. Wearing her purple latex gloves, Iris applies paint directly from the tube. She keeps the paints thick and raw, preferring to use several shades and colors instead of mixing paints together.

Iris’ oeuvre is categorized as Post-Impressionist, with life as the main theme. She says that her paintings are similar to those of Edvard Munch, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet.

For new artists, Iris advises that they should save enough money to take a year or two just painting everyday. Like her, leaving your comfort zone and living out of the country to focus on painting is best. Improve your skills and techniques, targeting to paint on a daily basis. This year-off is not for sight-seeing and pleasure only.

Image source: www.irisscottprints.com

Top 7 Art Destinations Around the World

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The Louvre, Paris

Artists can get inspiration from everywhere. But, if you want to see magnificent artworks from celebrated artists to inspire you in your next art on canvas, here is a list of art destinations that you can include in your bucket list.

Goreme Open Air Museum, Turkey. The Goreme Open Air Museum can be compared to a compound of monasteries. Visitors will be amazed at the chapels and churches carved into the rock formations with beautiful wall paintings (frescoes). Since 1984, the Goreme Open Air Museum has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as the “Met,” is the largest museum in the United States. Established in 1870 in New York City, the Met houses over 2 million objects, and only tens of thousands are available for public viewing. Its permanent collection includes artworks from Ancient Egypt; pieces from almost all of the European masters such as Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, and Johannes Vermeer; and collections from American artists.

Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Museo Reina Sofia is Spain’s national museum dedicated to 20th century art. The museum houses an immense collection of artworks from Spain’s greatest masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso’s “Guernica,” a painting created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village, in 1937.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum which exhibits art works from The Netherlands. Its collections consist of 1 million objects, 8,000 of which are displayed for the public. Visitors can see paintings done during the Dutch Golden Age, from famous painters which include Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, and Rembrandt.

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church and a Dominacan convent that also houses priceless masterpieces, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” During World War II, aerial attacks hit the church which destroyed almost all of the walls containing precious artworks. Fortunately, The Last Supper was spared and protected.

The Louvre, Paris. The Louvre is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” It is one of the world’s largest museums, occupying an area of more than 60,000 sq.m. It exhibits an extensive collection of about 35,000 artifact and artworks from prehistory until the 21st century. More than 8 million people visit the Louvre each year, making it the world’s most visited museum.

Vatican Museums, Vatican City. The Vatican Museums showcase art pieces from the extensive collection of the Roman Catholic Church. Most of its artworks are from the Renaissance period, including Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling, Leonardo da Vinci’s “St. Jerome in the Wilderness,” and Raphael’s “The School of Athens.”

To get the whole list of these art destinations, you can read here.

Image source: www.travelchannel.com

Best Restaurants for Art Lovers

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Dining establishments are now incorporating art in their décor to showcase their collections and to also entice customers. Aside from offering delicious food, these restaurants and cafés also serve as art galleries, displaying paintings on canvas, sculptures, and other artworks. If you’re an artist, or an art lover, check out these restaurants:

Casa Lever, New York. Casa Lever is a fine dining restaurant in Manhattan which displays modern art. Several portraits of celebrities created by Andy Warhol grace the walls of this restaurant. The portraits include Sylvester Stallone, Aretha Franklin, and Giorgio Armani.

Four Seasons Restaurant, New York. Four Seasons Restaurant displays changing galleries of Modern Art, including artworks from Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Helen Frankenthaler. There’s an interesting story about American artist Mark Rothko. Rothko was commissioned to create a series paintings for the dining rooms. He created the paintings with “malicious intentions” but then decided to return the advance payment and kept his paintings for himself.

The Leopard at des Artistes, New York. The Leopard is an Italian fine dining restaurant in New York. The dining area displays the six panels of wood nypmhs and paintings by American artist Howard Chandler Christy which includes The Parrot Girl, The Swing Girl, and  Fountain of Youth.

Tru, Chicago. The interiors of Tru looks like an art gallery, with its high ceilings, pin-spot lights, and white walls. It displays pieces from some of the best 20th century artists such as the King of the Pop Artists Andy Warhol, American geometric painter Peter Halley, and German abstract painter Gerhard Richter.

L’Escargot, London. Opened in 1927, L’Escargot houses an extensive collection of original artworks by some of the famous artists in the 20th century such as French painter Henri Matisse, English painter David Hockney, Spanish painter & sculptor Joan Miró, and Russian artist Marc Chagall.

Maxim’s, Paris. Maxim’s is famous for its Art Nouveau interior decor. It displays an extensive collection of illustrious masterpieces from the Belle Epoch. Maxim’s display more than 500 original, signed pieces from all over the world.

La Colombe d’Or, St. Paul de Vence, France. La Colombe d’Or is a hotel and restaurant located in an old medieval town in France. Paul Roux started it as a café bar in 1920 and then later opened an inn which attracted artists from neighbor towns. Many paintings now grace the walls of the restaurant since artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse who were frequent customers exchanged their works as payment for meals or their stay.

Image source: www.casalever.com

Stuck in a Rut? 5 Ways to Get Inspired to Paint

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There are times in an artist’s life when he feels uninspired, unmotivated, and uncreative. It’s like there’s a creative lull, especially after finishing a major artwork. You feel like you’ll never be able to create another beautiful painting again, you’re tired of picking up your paintbrush and starting your first stroke on the canvas, you have no inspiration to work on. If you are in this phase, here are some ways which can help you get out of the creative block you’re experiencing.

1. Look around you to get inspiration. Get out of your studio and take a walk. Be conscious of your surroundings. Notice the things around you. Look with a fresh new perspective of your environment. Sometimes, because an object, a person, or an event is ordinary to you, you may not take notice of it. You’ll be surprised how simple, ordinary things around you can give you inspiration on your next painting. You’ll be able to express yourself more accurately if your subject is something which you can relate to, or something that you are familiar with.

2. Work on more than one painting at a time. This technique seems absurd. You are uncreative yet I’m suggesting you to work on two paintings. A painting, especially if it’s big-scale, can drain your creative juices in the long run. Working on the same project everyday can be a bit tiresome and tedious. To sort of “spice up” your painting sessions, try doing two paintings. If you’re finished with an area or element in the first painting and you’re feeling tired, you can then switch to the second painting. This allows you to rest your mind from the first painting and when you come back to it, you will see areas which you can improve and enhance.

3. Experiment with a different painting technique or medium. Humans are creatures of habit. We want to do the same things in the same way. If you’re feeling uninspired, try to create a new habit in painting. Learn a new painting style and start using it. This may be a trial and error exercise for you but as you go along, you’ll improve and hopefully, master this new painting style. It can even be your new signature style in your paintings. If you’re always working with oil paints, try using watercolors or pastels. Different media require different treatments, brush strokes, and handling. You may have to learn more about a new medium that you want to work on and studying about it may give you the motivation to start painting again.

4. Look at the artworks of other painters. Art galleries, museums, and art exhibitions showcase numerous paintings and other artworks. Seeing the creativity of other artists can also inspire you to do your own masterpiece. Look at the Internet for paintings done by famous artists and see if you can learn a thing or two about how use the same painting technique or materials in your own project. Check out art magazines to see what subjects are popular nowadays, who are the upcoming artists, or where you can get art lessons.

5. Meet with other artists. Get together with your art friends. If all of you are busy, schedule an appointment that all of you will keep. This is when you can share your ideas, frustrations, tips, problems, etc. Discussing with your art buddies can help you get fresh ideas, be motivated and refreshed. After a lunch or coffee with friends, you may find yourself filled with enthusiasm and eagerness to create another beautiful artwork.

Image source: www.thecreativecomplex.com

Beautiful Paintings Using Painting Knives

Tired of using paintbrushes? Want to experiment on using other tools in painting? You can try using a painting knife. People confuse a painting knife with a palette knife, the terms are used interchangeably, but when applying paint on a canvas, painting knife is used. Palette knife is used to mix and blend paint colors.

Using a painting knife produces thick, textured art work which is great for creating impasto. Impasto is a painting technique, using a thick application of paint that makes no attempt to look smooth. Most of the times, oil paint is the medium used in knife painting because of its think consistency but acrylics can also be used.

Knife painting can be a liberating technique. It lets you play with paint using the knife to create different depth and texture to the canvas. You need to load more paint that you normally need to the painting knife. You can then rub, squish, scrape, whip, slice, dab, mix the paint and let it sit there on the canvas. Many abstract and impressionist painters use painting knives in painting such as Vincent van Gogh, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, and contemporary artists Frank Auerbach and Leonid Afremov. Most common subjects in knife painting include architectural structures, landscapes, and man-made objects.

If you’re looking at a painting and you’re not sure whether the impasto technique was used, look at the painting from the side. If you see lumps of paint on the canvas, you’ll be sure that impasto was used.

Here are some beautiful paintings which used painting knives:

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Wheat Field with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh, 1889.

Vincent van Gogh created several paintings in his Wheat Fields series. In the painting above, notice the movements of the clouds, trees, and the wheat field. Van Gogh used the impasto technique in this painting, and all the paintings in the series. He used bright, vivid paint colors to convey energy and movement.

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Farewell to Anger by Leonid Afremov

Leonid Afremov is a Russian-Israeli modern impressionistic artist known for his use of painting knives in his artworks. He is also known as a self-promoting artist, using the Internet to promote and sell his paintings and not much relying on art galleries and exhibitions. In his paintings, you will see how he effectively used the knife in applying, mixing, and creating images. He was able to develop a painting style distinctly his own.

Image sources:
www.metmuseum.org
www.afremov.com

Painting Knife vs. Palette Knife: What’s the Difference?

Many people are confused between a painting knife and a palette knife. They look similar and are used in painting on canvas. So, what’s the difference between these two painting tools?

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Different shapes of painting knives

Painting Knife
About.com defines a painting knife as “a springy, shaped, metal spatula used for painting instead of a brush.” A painting knife is a tool used to apply paint which is made of metal with a wooden handle. It has a  crank or a bend on the handle, similar to the shape of a trowel, that helps keep your knuckles from touching the paint you’re applying. Eventhough it’s called a knife, a painting knife has blunt edges and is not used for cutting or slicing. Painting knives are available in different sizes and angular shapes: triangular, pear-shaped, rectangular, or diamond-like.

How to buy a painting knife
When buying a painting knife, choose the one with a flexible blade, one which has a good spring to it. The handle should be smooth, has a nice grip, and comfortable to hold. Make sure that the handle and the blade are firmly attached to avoid wasting paint or accidents.

How to use a painting knife
Using a painting knife is easy, just like spreading butter on sliced bread. Get some paint from your palette and spread the paint on the canvas. You can use both sides of the painting knife.

How to clean a painting knife
After using a painting knife, use a clean cloth to wipe off the paint. Use another cloth to completely clean the tool. If the paint has already dried, scrape off the paint using a blunt knife and a damp cloth. A painting knife with a stainless steel blade is more forgiving if you forgot to clean it immediately after painting. However, if the blade is made of steel, it is prone to rust if neglected.

Palette_knife
Palette knife

Palette Knife
A palette knife is a blunt tool shaped like a spatula which is used in mixing paint colors, mediums, additives, etc. and scraping paint off the palette. It has a longer, straight blade with a rounded tip, unlike a painting knife which has angular shapes. A palette knife is made of metal, plastic, or wood.

How to buy a palette knife
Choose a palette knife with a metal blade and wood handle. As much as possible, avoid a plastic palette knife since it breaks easily. It may be inexpensive than a professional palette knife, but if you are planning to use this tool for a long time, go with the metal one which is sturdier and can effectively do the work.

How to use a palette knife
Put the paint colors or pigments on your palette. With a palette knife, get a little paint from the colors that you want to blend. Dab, flatten, and mix the colors together. If you are adding another color to the blended paints, clean the palette knife first using a cloth before getting the third paint color.

How to clean a palette knife
Cleaning a palette knife is similar to a painting knife. Use a damp cloth to remove the paint from the palette knife.

Image sources:
www.about.com
www.wikipedia.org