• Art

    People Love Art Canvas Prints

    While you can still some of these original works of art to this day, they have somehow undergone a major transformation – one that promises to keep their timeless appeal for many generations to see and feel the messages that they want to express. These days, if you want to own original art masterpieces but don’t want to spend too much for it, you get art canvas prints.

    A canvas print is the result of an image printed onto canvas which is stretched or gallery-wrapped onto a frame and displayed. They are often used as interior design staples, often featuring stock images or as many people prefer it, customized with personal photos to make them look like original art paintings.

    To make your own canvas print, you will need to cut or trim the canvas and glue or staple it to stretcher bars and display it in a frame made from solid pine and underpinned for additional strength or as a gallery-wrap. These prints are designed to continue around the edges of the frame to enhance the three-dimensional look of the mounted print.

    While most people take digital photos, print them on glossy paper and frame them for posterity, there are those who believe that turning them into art canvas prints will make them last longer, in addition to making your memories seem more real and lifelike. They also give your home a more polished look and unlike glass frames, you won’t experience any high gloss or sheen that will distract from the photo itself.

    Also, with art canvas prints, every detail in the photo stands out brilliantly and creates a texture that is quite unlike a traditional photo and draws the eye to the print and gives your photos more depth. Add to that the fact that traditional photo paper has the tendency to fade and crack after some time unlike canvas that preserves the image longer because it doesn’t absorb the oils from fingerprints, thereby allowing generations of people to enjoy the photos for years to come.

    The fact that canvas prints can be made into larger sizes without affecting the quality of the image is also another reason why people prefer to have their photos transferred onto canvas rather than photo paper. This offers much more decorating options – imagine being able to have a floor-to-ceiling self portrait in your home for your friends and family to admire and if you are using your own original artworks, it would present a better opportunity for you to showcase your work.

    Our memories are often the most important things in our lives, something we turn to when we feel down and something that encourages us and gives us hope. It is only fitting therefore that they be showcased and displayed in the best way possible, preserved perfectly and hung where we can easily see them so we will always remember who we are and be proud of what we have become.

  • Art

    Belgian Linen

    Bed linen

    Because it is a natural fiber, Belgian linen keeps you cool in the summer and warm in winters. In that sense, it is much like cotton. It absorbs well and feels comfortable to the skin. Linen also adapts to different styles and weaves and tends to look good in almost any design.

    Items such as pillow cases and duvet covers can also be made out of linen and used for the warmth and feeling of comfort they provide.

    Table linen

    By its nature, table linen needs to be absorbent and stain resistant. Table linen, whether it is Belgian or not, needs to be able to withstand frequent washing and heavier usage than other cloth such as a framed tapestry, etc.

    Table linen can come in different finishes, including stone washed sheets, napkins, placemats, etc. Aesthetically, these can impart a distinct personality to a home. Belgian linen, when used in a stonewashed finish, can provide an understated elegance to the dining area. It is an ideal fabric for both, formal and informal use.

    Linen in different weaves

    Interested buyers may commission special weaves out of linen. Belgian linen is a natural fiber and is naturally grey or beige. Dyeing and other color treatments can give it the desired finish. The look of woven linen can also be changed by the weave that is used. Weaves can give a dense or light look, change the way the finished fabric reflects light, and also affect its surface considerably. Linen fabric that is not dyed and is finished in a natural weave, can be later utilized for multiple purposes. It can be used in combination with other fabrics and colors to achieve an aesthetically pleasing effect. Linen in natural finish is also adaptable to other changes and can be cut and stitched in a number of different ways.

    Linen and artwork

    Because of its versatility, Belgian linen is favored as a yarn to create artwork on. It is mostly made of flax and can be given an even and flat surface so that the finished fabric texture does not interfere with the artwork.

    It can lend itself to a smooth finish that is favored by those looking to paint a detailed tapestry. Details need smooth surfaces to stand out. This is particularly true of miniature paintings or artwork which includes miniature detailing, fine brushwork or embroidery, etc.

    Fine grained linen is used for creating paintings using human subjects and the even surface of this linen is ideal to reflect nuances of painting such as fine facial features.

  • Painting

    Underpainting Practices for Oil Painting

    An underpainting allows you to envision the totality of the pictorial idea. In addition to correcting drawing errors the underpainting’s primary purpose is to fix the all important Notan, which is the Japanese term for light/dark harmony.

    Generally speaking, there are three types of underpainting: there is the fully worked up monochromatic grisaille. This is the academic approach where little is left to chance. However, the classical grisaille of mixed white and black possesses an Achilles Heel. As the white paint ages it becomes more translucent and the black paint in the grey mix will dominate. Hence the overall picture will darken significantly, especially if there was extensive correcting of the grisaille.

    If a basic oil/turpentine medium is employed this darkening is all but guaranteed. The solution is to use a thixotropic resin based medium — such as Venice Turpentine — which suspends the pigment and nullifies the oil’s interminable darkening. Despite its name Venice Turpentine is a resin not a solvent. A confusing but important distinction.

    The Renaissance approach often employed the verdaccio which is a green-hued underpainting. Michelangelo’s unfinished Entombment exhibits his painting process from beginning to finish. The central Christ figure is a wholly resolved verdaccio underpainting.

    The optical grisaille resolves many of the problems of the grey mixes of the classical grisaille. The imprimatura holds the light middle tones; raw umber and charcoal gray produces the darker values; and concludes with a select impasto of white lead paint that supports the highest values of the overpainting as the oil paint grows more translucent over time.

    The final appearance of an optical grisaille is a painting that exhibits a higher key of color than what can be achieved by an academic grisaille or even direct alla prima.

    The key for achieving a translucent grisaille is the thixotropic medium of stand oil, Venice turpentine and Damar varnish diluted with turpentine.

    In oil painting your medium is to painting what sauces are to French cuisine. The all-too-common medium of linseed oil and turpentine actually degrades the paints robbing them of their lustre. You can buy ready-made painting mediums in the art store, but in my opinion this is like pouring Kraft Thousand Island dressing onto an exquisitely prepared gourmet meal.

  • Art

    Art of Shading

    Shading is what makes a subject look real and brings it to life. It provides depth and roundness to any piece of art. The dark to light shading forces the eye to points of origins, which is what provides that third dimension of depth to the landscape. Shading is effective in all types of paintings and drawings, but is most commonly needed for three-dimensional subject matter. Contemporary landscape paintings, for example, can be highly realistic or highly stylized and NOT based in strict reality, but the modern trends usually call for clarity of depth, which shading provides.

    Whatever the destination is for the piece, shading should be considered during the layout process. While a one shade work of art can be intriguing, the effects of different shades of light and dark cause a certain kind of contrast to art. The contrast is determined by the depth and shades of darkness gradually leading to lighter points.

    Some quick tips for practicing shading:

    • Define where your light source is before you start shading, and then stay with it.
    • Keep in mind that light can shine through every tiny hole, so consider the structures and shapes of the objects and how they block the light.
    • Try experimenting with pressure levels. Start off with light drawing first and put down darker and darker lines where you feel they’re needed.
    • When creating darker lines, still keep in mind where the light source is coming from and let that determine where and how dark lines should be.
    • Increase the darkness level where lines meet.
    • Use your fingers or a smudging tool to smudge some light shading over open white spaces. By smudging a blank white background, it adds a deeper level so that the object is not floating on a blank piece of paper.
    • If drawing in pencil, use the eraser to create reflections from the light sources. It’s kind of the opposite of shading, elevating your shading to a whole new dimension.
  • Painting

    Artistic Painting Ideas

    Have you ever watched children at play? A broom becomes a horse, a stick transforms into the most magnificent magical wand, the trees in the field are seen as massive giants threatening the stalwart defenders and a blanket thrown over the picnic table makes a safe cave for adventurous heroes and heroines. Give these same children some art materials and they are all likely to dive right in.

    Their play-filled approach and unhindered curiosity allows them to create with apparent abandon. Life becomes more complicated as we enter adulthood and this easy creativity sometimes gives way to a world filled with should do this and shouldn’t do that. We sometimes find ourselves bound up and unable to take action when we enter the studio. No matter how much one may want to take a playful approach to that threatening white expanse the moments between intending to start and actually starting begin to pile up.

    Time to clean the studio
    When the artistic painting ideas aren’t flowing it’s definitely time for an artist to step away from the canvas. But don’t leave the studio entirely; stick around and focus on getting some chores done. You would be surprised at how many artists use cleaning up their studio as a way to get themselves going when the muse doesn’t visit right away.

    • Sort through and organize tubes and pots of paint
    • make a list of what needs replacing the next time you make an art supplies order
    • Do the same with brushes, mediums, gesso, etc.

    De-cluttering the workspace and swishing things up in general can work to clear up that foggy mind. Also you are still in the studio, actively handling your art materials and logging the time so you won’t be as caught up in those feelings of failure as an artist. Besides, painting is way more fun than cleaning and it usually isn’t long before an idea appears out of nowhere that urges you back to the easel.

    A few more tricks to get your artistic painting ideas flowing

    If your studio is all tidied up and the artistic painting ideas or inspiration is still yet to strike, here are a few more ideas to consider:

    • Get out stretcher bars and pliers and stretch some canvas
    • Gesso the newly stretched canvases
    • Read art books and magazines
    • Visit the library and check-out a new art book
    • Go online and peruse other artists websites
    • Take your camera for a walk
    • Check out a new show at your local art gallery
    • Make a collage using materials that are easily at hand – magazine clippings, scraps of material, wall-paper, sections of old paintings and drawings, etc.
    • Paint on top of your collage work
    • Listen to music and paint what you hear

  • Art

    Elements Of Character

    After developing a solid technique you will have to learn how to break down a script. The writer provides the actor with a road map and it is the job of the actor to navigate the twists and turns of the writers vision. Actors approach their roles differently. Brando was an actor who relied heavily on his instincts and intuition to gain an understanding and feel for the character’s point of view. He was a keen observer of human nature who spent hours watching people in a variety of situations. In the latest Brando bio by Susan Mizruchi (“Brando’s Smile”) Ms. Mizruchi writes that Brando was an avid reader/researcher that would read voraciously to gain information on all aspects of the character’s nature. Annotating every script he worked on was part of an insatiable curiosity that was an integral part of his process. To gain an understanding of character he had to know why his characters were motivated to do the things they did.

    Intuition is another tool that is an integral part of the process. Getting a “feeling” for what is happening “moment-to-moment” and “impulse-to-impulse” is a non-intellectual way of dealing with the written word. The actor cannot impose himself/herself on the script. In other words you don’t do the script, the script does you.

    “Imagination”, said teacher/director Robert Lewis, “is the most powerful tool the actor has at their disposal.” For any artist imagination is not a luxury. It is a necessity; the fuel that ignites creativity. The actor’s choices are directly influenced by the imagination. Vivid visual images have a major impact on the actor’s choices.

    Time and place cannot be ignored. Stella Adler said, “Where you are is who you are.” This not only refers to the immediate place but the economic, political, social climate of the time. Dress codes, morality, protocols, etiquette, must be addressed.

    It is your job to inhabit the world of the character that you play. Their voice, walk, speech patterns, mannerisms are all part of creating the role. You must express yourself emotionally and physically as the character does. You cannot ignore the essential elements of character. It is your job to bring the character to life.

    Develop your technique, respect the process, and bring all of who you are to each and every role that you play. Do not compromise any aspect of preparation. And learn how to play. It is the child in each and every one of us that gives birth to creativity.

  • Painting

    Professional Canvas Side Finish

    • Fastest method:
      This fastest method is also one of the easiest methods that you can use for more of a casual painting that can be used at homes or for study purpose. The fastest method is by making use of a black duct tape to cover the sides. But you need to remember that making use of a black tape requires certain amount of care and caution while you attach them to the sides. Never try to cover the side of the canvas with more than a single black tape coating and lesser the seams, better the finishing. Also, remember not to cover the front area of the canvas with the tape as this may hinder with the painting and when removing them it will cause damage to the painting by leaving white jarred surface. The extras of the tape can be stuck carefully at the back surface, while you seal the corners carefully and neatly.
    • Cost effective method:
      The cost effective method is just other alternative to cover the side by coating it with a black paint rather than by making use of a duct tape. For this purpose you can make use of an acrylic black paint to coat the sides of the canvas, even if you’ve used a watercolor, or an oil paint as a medium on the front face. Acrylic paint dries easily and this thick, which will leave a neat finish. If the canvas is stapled at the sides, make use of a gesso before you start painting on the sides to avoid it getting rusted in future.
    • Artistic method:
      This method is quiet time consuming but will look very artistic and interesting too. All you need to do is to continue painting the sides with the same type of painting that you will be doing on the front area. Instead of stopping at the borders continue them to the sides. This will ensure you a beautiful looking painting. Also, remember to cover the top and bottom area of the canvas.
  • Painting

    Ways To Improve Your Painting Skills

    Get Better Supplies

    When it comes to art supplies, it can definitely be worth investing in more expensive supplies. Not only do they last a lot longer, they’re also of a higher quality. Take colours, for example. If you buy student grade colours, which are the cheaper ones, there isn’t as much variety as there is with artist grade colours, which are the more expensive of the two. Spending a bit extra on supplies can open up a lot more opportunities for how you approach your paintings; it can also give you more freedom to explore your ideas.

    Use All Of Your Supplies To Their Full Potential

    You’ve probably got lots of supplies lying about that never get used. You never know, they may well come in handy, so see if you can use them. A ruler, for example, can help you create a grid that can help you place everything in your painting more accurately. Do some research on how different supplies can help with painting and you’ll be surprised to learn how many different items artists use to help them.

    Get Critiques From Others

    It always helps to get a second opinion. In fact, the more opinions you can get, the better. Even if you try to critique your own work, you’re not completely unbiased because it’s your own work. Get outside opinions: people will tell you what you could be doing better and they will encourage you to keep trying. It’s best to get critiques from artists who are more experienced than you; the opinions they have may seem overly critical, but all criticism helps because it alerts you to things you could be doing better.

    Plan Ahead

    Doing paintings spontaneously is great, but a great way to improve your painting skills is to plan ahead. By doing this, you’re giving yourself a chance to think about how you’re going to approach your painting. You can work out what styles and techniques you’re going to use to create the effects you want. You can even do rough sketches to give yourself an idea of how to scale everything. Planning ahead gives you the advantage of time: with more time to work on a painting, you can afford to consider and explore more ideas.

  • Painting

    About Sgraffito

    The sgraffito technique is quite simple to do. All you have to do is to paint one layer of paint on to a canvas, let it dry, then paint another layer of a different colour on top of it. The top layer that you’re scratching through should still be wet. You can use any sort of object for sgraffito so long as it’s capable of scratching through the paint: the ‘wrong end’ of a paintbrush is quite good for this technique, for example. Artists also use palette knives or even their fingernails to do the scratching.

    You don’t have to use two layers of paint with this technique. You could simply apply one layer of paint to the canvas, then scratch through that to reveal the canvas beneath it. Some artists even apply three layers of paint – each a different colour – then scratch through to reveal the colour of the middle and bottom layers.

    With sgraffito you need to have good hand-eye coordination so you don’t make mistakes. The good thing is that there is a way you can practice to build up your skills. Use oil pastels for the first layer, then for the top layer use black ink. Scratch away at the black ink to reveal the colours of the oil pastel layer beneath. Art school teaches often use oil pastels and black ink to teach this technique to students.

    You can use the sgraffito technique to create areas of contrast or to highlight particular parts of your painting. Sgraffito can also give paintings a sense of texture and depth. It’s really useful if you’re doing an intricate pattern – simply scratching away here and there can sometimes be easier than painting in tiny details. The layer you’re going to show doesn’t have to be a single colour; you can have as many colours as you want.

    The tool you use to scratch the paint shouldn’t be too sharp – this is so you don’t tear the canvas or scratch the layer of paint you’re only meant to be revealing. Make sure the layer of paint you’re going to reveal by scratching is completely dry before you paint over it. If you don’t let it dry, it’ll be harder to keep the two layers from mixing and you’ll end up scratching through both layers instead of just one. Make sure the paint on the top layer isn’t runny, so it doesn’t end up running into the grooves when you start scratching.

  • Art

    Masterpiece by Banksy

    Banksy’s Graffiti professional career started in 1989 in Bristol and his first ever painting gallery was held in 2001 in London Gallery Cargo. His work was also acknowledged in the US in 2006 through an exhibition held in Los Angeles. Banksy Graffiti artworks are present in the UK and US and mostly represent politics, ethics and pop culture.

    A lot of Banksy Graffiti work is also available in modern galleries as well as in many books. Many op art sellers attempt to sell Banksy’s work (The wall art present in the streets) to the highest bidder. The removing of the art from the walls is however the winning bidder’s area of concern.

    One of the masterpieces of Banksy is the monkey who wears a board on his shoulders with the warning words written on it “Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge.” This artwork was created almost a decade ago and originally was not painted in the trademark stencil manner rather the painting was painted on paper and then pasted on the wall.

    The poster of the painting is four feet tall originally, however later on, the painting stenciled on the walls. The original paper made art piece is available for sale and is considered a ‘long lost modern masterpiece’ by art lovers.

    Considering the price art lovers are ready to pay for the work of the internationally renowned Graffiti artist, this masterpiece is capable of earning much higher than its present estimation of £125,000. Earlier on other art pieces of Banksy were also brought up for auction and while some were sold within the set estimated price, some art pieces marveled rather surprised the sellers and the buyers as they gathered an amount that doubled even tripled the estimated selling price.