• Art

    Secret Of Mona Lisa’s Smile Revealed

    How Leonardo created the masterpiece? Was the woman really an existing human being or just his imagination? As it is known, Mona Lisa really existed. One beautiful day Leonardo was wandering aimlessly in the streets and he heard very joyful ringing laughter from one balcony just above him. He looked up and saw a young woman, so pleasant-looking, barely 30 years-old. She had all her hair down. She was Mona Lisa, the wife of a wealthy Florentine businessperson, Francesco del Giocondo. Leonardo started painting her and it took him several months to finish the painting, one of the most expensive masterpieces afterwards. It is known that in order to amuse her he was singing and reading verses himself. The portrait took Leonardo four years to finish.

    The result of the hard work was just unimaginable – a masterpiece constantly gaining more and more popularity and appreciation day by day. As even the critics mention Leonardo managed to represent so amazing vividness that we all think we are watching an alive person while looking at the portrait of Mona Lisa.

    The main reason of this is her eyes. Leonardo has represented the eyes full of light and water on the picture and this makes it more alive. Subtle pink nose and scarlet lips look real as well. Leonardo da Vinci’s biographer, Giorgio Vasari shows that if you keep your eyes attentively on Mona Lisa’s throat, you just feel the pulse beating.

    Giorgio Vasari also speaks metaphorically about the secret of her smile. He mentions that Leonardo invited musicians and joke-men to cheer up her boredom by posing.

    Mona Lisa’s strange smile has been the main issue of debates for centuries. Sometimes she smiles very subtly and attractively, but sometimes-as a vamp. This is achieved by ‘sfumato’, which a method is created by Leonardo himself. ‘Sfumato’ is where there are no harsh outlines. More exactly it means lightening of dark tones and colors, blurring them. So together with other works the strange smile of Mona Lisa appeared such way. ‘Sfumato’ is the only reason of her ambiguous smile.

  • Art

    Types of Illustrations

    • Woodcut illustration – woodcut, sometimes also known as xylography is a technique in which an image is engraved or imprinted into the surface of the wooden block. Then this wooden block is dipped into an ink or colour and is pressed onto the pages of the book to print the illustrations. The technique of woodcut was developed in somewhere in Europe in the 15th century.
    • Engraving illustration – engraving is the technique of incising (carving) an illustration or design onto a hard flat surface such as stone or a metal plate. Although this technique is as old as middle stone age, it is still in use today. During stone age there were stone engraving in the caves, but today goldsmith uses this technique to engrave illustration on jewellery and other precious artefact.
    • Etching – etching is the late 15th or early 16th century technique used in illustration. It is a process where strong acid is used to cut unshielded parts of the metal surface to create illustration in the metal. Although, nowadays this technique is not only limited to metals but also glass surfaces and is used widely.
    • Pen / brush and ink illustration – it is the widely used technique where an illustrator uses pen and ink or brush and colours to create a visual representation or an illustration of any writing. With this technique the illustrator clarifies the objects or concepts that are difficult to explain or describe textually.

    These were the types of illustration which were discovered way back in time. The techniques of illustration are always getting better and better. Now, illustrations are created with the help of computer software applications. They too have evolved into two dimensional (2d) and three dimensional (3d) illustrations. These CGI (computer generated imagery) illustrations then can be used TV advertisement, video games, movies and even to highlight company’s services and products that are otherwise difficult to describe with texts.

  • Art

    Autistic Artists

    My daughter has high functioning autism and a lot of her behaviour is similar to mine, so maybe I’m a high functioning autistic person, maybe not, maybe I’m just crap as talking the talk and being around new people. The problem however is that in the art world there is an expectation that you socialise, you attend art previews, you get to know people, you network and approach galleries and people in the business in order to sell yourself. What if you don’t have those skills due to autism? Is the art business missing out of a huge chunk of untapped creativity because that creativity isn’t good at marketing itself? This is a question that a lot of shy or introverted people have to deal with, but what about the autistic artist? If I’m at a social gathering with lots of new people I find that I have to go for a ‘time out’ walk or sit in a quiet corner after an hour (sometimes earlier). Sensory overload I suppose. The art helps because it ‘gets it out’ as I like to say. It provides hours and hours of focus alone where I can think and become lost in the action of making my picture. It would be nice if others appreciate my work but if they don’t, fine it’s for me primarily anyway. This leads me to another question or problem with the autistic artist making it in the art business. Often artists receive commissions or alter the style of work that they submit to an open exhibition or prize so that they appeal to the judges’ taste. The autistic artist has no concept of pleasing the tastes of another, the art is about what is in their mind and expressing it. That isn’t to say that artists who are not autistic don’t produce art that comes as a true expression of themselves (that is what art is about), it’s that some artists know how to please the audience.

    Another difficulty for the aspiring autistic artist is that they often have a favourite tool to express what is in their mind (although other artists have favourite tools they do seem to mix in other media). My favourite tool is charcoal pencil. I realise that I will have to expand on that so I’ll stretch it to some paintings later this year, however I’m not massively experimental in terms of materials and techniques used such as fabrics, printing etc. Many well known artists seem to have quite a wide repertoire of techniques which I would feel overwhelmed by if I were to incorporate it suddenly in my work. It makes my head spin thinking about it. I attended art college for a year and for the most part hated it because the pressure was on to play around with various media. That isn’t to say it is wrong, of course not, art college is about experimentation. I could probably manage an introduction to printing, learn everything about it, spend hours with it and perfect it and then move on to another technique (but leave the printing out). Lots of techniques introduced in a short space of time is very worrying for myself. I love working out of my comfort zone (that’s where you learn) but I can’t handle lots of new materials being introduced in a short period of time and being expected to work with them. I’m unsure if this is an autistic artist problem or not but I do notice that many autistic artists out there seem to have a favourite form of expression that persists more with their work than I see with other artists.

    I think that maybe the expectation of the art business for artists is sometimes very difficult for those with any form of autism (or learning disability). The expectation of networking, socialising, presenting art to galleries, pleasing the audience with commissions may seem easy or even fun to many aspiring artists (or for introverted people they can learn skills to overcome their problems), however the autistic artist will struggle with the ‘small talk’ needed in networking, they will struggle with gauging what people are looking for and they will be oblivious in many instances of art fashions. Are these good or bad things? Maybe bad if you are autistic and trying to make a career in the art business however very good for producing original art (but you might have to accept that you won’t get much notice off the public). There is a significant area of art that has identified the difficulties that I have highlighted above. This is outsider art. Some dislike the term, however it is for ease of simplicity a way of describing the many artists who have a need or necessity to make their art outside the mainstream art business. Some artists have profound learning disabilities, some have mental illness, some just don’t like the mainstream art world, some just want to create their art individually without influence from what is fashionable or what is popular.

  • Painting

    Digital Graffiti Wall

    What exactly is a digital graffiti wall and how does it work? Digital graffiti wall is an interactive tool for creating digital graffiti on a large screen, using digital spray paint cans. These are specially adapted to emit IR (infrared) light when the cap is pressed – instead of regular paint. As it moves across the screen, the light is tracked by a computer vision system to recreate the “sprayed” images onto the wall using a projector.

    Just like with the traditional graffiti, your art will appear on the wall wherever the can is prayed. You can choose between a wide palette of paint colors. There are also different spray patterns, such as animated stars or swirls, paint effects, and custom stencils available. They will make your creations look like authentic graffiti art. You can also have your guests stand in front of a screen projector in order to have their picture taken, and then projected onto the digital graffiti wall – where they can “artistically” enhance the photograph.

    Interface graphics and backgrounds are fully customizable: you can, for example, add your logo and product images to the wall, or make the photo of your company headquarters the background. Designs can be saved in a standard jpeg format and uploaded to social media, emailed, or used in digital printing. The event can be a part of your social media campaign: during the event, you can upload pictures to your Facebook page, and ask your guests to “like” them.

    You can even give your guests souvenirs such as t-shirts, mugs, stickers or postcards with their artwork printed on them. A digital graffiti wall will surely turn any event into an experience, and this will additionally prompt your guest not to forget your event.

    Sounds fun and intriguing? Digital graffiti walls can be bought or hired for the event. What a great way to entertain – and engage – your guests at your next corporate event or a party! You can have an authentic graffiti experience with a digital twist: all this without the mess and toxic fumes.

  • Visual Graphic Arts

    Resize Photos in Photoshop

    Assume that it has 2602 pixels wide and 1852 pixels high. However, I need a smaller version to print it perfectly. What I will do is I will change the numbers in the width and height boxes. You can change it to whatever size you want. To change the values double-click on any of the boxes. Whether width or, height, and type a new value. Click OK to save. Your photo will come out with a new dimension. You can also resize your photos by changing the pixel value. Look at the width and height number boxes; you will see that the measurement value is given in pixels. Click on the pixels and change it to percent.

    Now the width and height check box will prove the percentage value. Double click on the box and change the value to any percent. Click OK to save. One thing you will notice that if you change the width value, the height value will change automatically or, if you change the height value, the width value will change. Resizing photos in Photoshop is a very simple and easy process. Nevertheless, always try to keep up the quality. It is okay to make it smaller, but it is a bit risky to make it large.

    If you want to enlarge a small photograph into a larger one, it will appear stretchy and fake. It will ruin the photo quality. When we cut the image resolution, it also reduces the pixel value. In the same way, when we increase the resolution, it increases the pixel value also. Moreover, here lies the problem. Since, it adds pixels that were not there before. As a result, it makes the photo look weird and unreal. So, always be very careful when resizing your photograph and stick with good quality.

  • Painting

    Landscape Painting

    Get the area imprinted in your mind and heart by spending some time doing sketches on the area. This helps a lot in observing the location for your landscape painting.

    Watercolor landscape paintings are one of the most revered paintings for both their beauty and challenges a painter has to go through in painting one. Beginners have to be more careful as outdoor scene is subject to continuous change.

    Some tips and techniques can come in handy when you have to paint a watercolor landscape painting. These techniques tell you the way the paper angles, saturation of the paper and many such nuances. Bringing a camera to capture the scene could be a good idea as anything could happen outdoors unexpectedly. This technique could also help a lot when you do a horse painting. The photos can help you analyze the location in its best composition from different angles and distances. They also serve as reference sketches back in your studio. Adding details to every little thing could distract the view from the point of interest and make your work more complex. So it is better to avoid complex compositions.

    Some of the ways in which you can develop your watercolor landscape painting skills is to share and receive experiences from people like you. Connecting to same minded people via websites or any other means could greatly improve your ideas for painting.

    • Remember to bring only necessary supplies to the location as more supplies could be an annoyance rather than a help.
    • Avoid giving too much detail to objects in foreground. This could, as said earlier, shift the focus from the essential part. Paint in a way to show the world your impression of the scene.
    • Imagination is the key to a great artwork and don’t hesitate to add in a tree or bush that you feel good for your painting.

  • Visual Graphic Arts

    Graphic Art With Writing and Drawing Skills

    In more recent years as a writer this skill has paid off when choosing as few words as possible to describe something. Generally, authors waft on trying to paint a picture that their audience will pick up on. The same goes for the Internet.

    Web pages and articles have about six seconds of viewing time to catch their audience before the page is clicked over. Unless there is a catchy title or a word that grabs their interest they are gone, and they rarely return.

    While the viewing audience of this latest media format amounts to many millions or more there is no guarantee that a web page will be seen. Instead of word many will be drawn in by a great image. Over time a logo or comedy picture will instantly connect if they know that there is a benefit to be had by sticking around.

    Logo’s are great draw cards and teaching people to respond to them is best done through the graphics rather than words. That is because many are not fast readers and some can barely read at all. But everyone responds to a picture.

    If, on the other hand, one is appealing to a more intellectually aware audience it is the words rather than the image they respond to. It’s important to know, therefore, who your audience will be and how to best present your material so the balance is right. That is where graphic art, writing, and drawing skills all come into play.

  • Art

    Coloring With Copic Markers

    Copic markers work best on paper, wood and leather, but they can also be used on metal, fabrics and other surfaces. They will lose color over time, especially if exposed to severe conditions like UV rays from extended direct sunlight or vivid synthetic lights. There are more than 200 colors available right now in market for these markers. Artists, whether amateur or professional, can decide from a variety of these colors to draw and sketch whatsoever they want on any surface.

    How to Use:

    1. Select colors of same color family while blending, like a light or dark blue. Always start with lightest color as the foundation, and include layers of darker color.
    2. Every single of them is made with a letter as code. This code explains its color family. For instance, codes that start with a “B” belong to family of blue color.
    3. If you planned to use colored pencils to put in detail to an image, apply them as last layer. The alcohol-based ink cannot soak up into paper over the pencil layer.
    4. Copic markers have a 2-digit code that symbolizes saturation. The first digit symbolizes vibrancy and other one signifies lightness. Lower the number is, lower will be color and vice versa.
    5. Check cap of Copic marker to find out its color name along with its code. This will be helpful at time you are going to refill it.
    6. Mixing two or more colors with these allows the artist to shade, blend and create professional, smooth-looking work.

    How to Refill:

    1. Refill its ink by removing cap from broad end and take off ink refill.
    2. The ink refill has a plastic pipe which drops one drop of ink out at a time.
    3. Bend pointer at an angle of 45-degree to let ink refill to drop ink on to the big nib.
    4. Doing this, ink will run back with nib into marker. Put as many drops as you feel at ease in it. Dont forget to cover the nib area.

  • Visual Graphic Arts

    Draw Simple Cartoon People

    Understanding the Concepts of Drawing a Cartoon Person

    That is why the most successful cartoon characters are the simplest ones. They are very beautiful to look at but when you come down to it they only require three or four basic shapes. Just look at Mickey Mouse: his entire silhouette can be done with three circles. Just look at SpongeBob SquarePants, Mickey Mouse, Aang, and other famous cartoon character – they all share the same traits.

    When drawing a cartoon person the best idea is to start with circles. Use a circle for the head, the eyes, the ears, hands, and feet. Edit your circles and turn them into oblongs or bean-shapes if you want to draw a cartoonish body and lips.
    If you were going for a more serious type of cartoon person then you have to focus on two aspects of drawing: simplicity and emphasis.

    Simplicity and Emphasis

    A very common cartoon style of drawing people is the Japanese anime or Japanese manga style of art. This is also a good style that utilizes simplicity and emphasis to great degree. Just look at any Japanese anime show and the way people are designed. They use simple lines for the noses, lips, and the lines in their clothes but there is a lot of emphasis on the large eyes, breasts, and hair.

    Steps to Draw a Basic Cartoon Person

    1. Start with the basic outline using simple shapes. A cartoon head is often made with two circles – one circle for the upper half of the head (hair and forehead) while the smaller, lower circle is to emphasize the mouth and cheeks.
    2. Use a bean shape for the body. You don’t have to draw the arms or legs yet, just simple eggs or circles for the hands and feet. Connect these to the body using lines depicting their pose.
    3. Again, use basic shapes for the features. Cartoon people tend to have large eyes so use circles for the eyes instead of small almond shapes. For the nose and mouth, sometimes all you need to do is draw a small arrow for the nose and a line for the lips.
    4. The rest is all about decorating the skeleton outline that you have. If you used an HB pencil for the basic outline it is time to whip out the 2B and 4B pencils to add layers. Erase the original outline as you go. This is the most elaborate step because this is where you add all the little details like the pupils in the eyes or the shirt and gloves over the hands you shaped with a circle.
    5. Adding colors is optional. The simplest way is to scan your drawing and use Adobe Photoshop to add colors. Others like to keep it traditional and use ink pens to manually add colors. This is how it used to be done for comic strips in the newspaper. Remember to use simple colors.


  • Art

    Create a Portrait Studio Background

    At this step, set the opacity level of the cloud layer to 40%. Point your cursor on palate, select the opacity option, and set it to 40%. Press Control + E to merge the layers. Apply a brush filter to make the background look more interesting. Point your cursor on Photoshop brush strokes and choose spatter. A dialogue box will come out. Select 10 for spray mode and 5 for smoothness. Click OK to save. A fade filer option may pop up this time. If it pops up then set the value to 50%. It will lessen the photo intensity and its effect.

    Now again choose brush strokes from the palate and select sprayed strokes. Set the value to 12 and 7. Click OK to apply. Set the photo resolution to 300 pixels for professional quality image. Go to the menu and select image size. Set the value to 300. Click on the new adjustment layer and select hue/saturation. Click OK and save the Photoshop document. Name the document and save it in your hard drive as a PSD file for further editing. Your background is ready. Now you can place any object in front of the background.

    Thus, drag the object in the background file and select pen tool or, extract filter. Move the object into the original background. You can add some color to the background if you want. Select the colorize option and set the color as per the theme of the photo. Here is your final output. A simple studio background is ready. Remember you can reset the color level as per your need. The process I have mentioned in this article is for the basic users only. It takes a lot of experience as well as practice to get the desired result. Since, we have saved the file in PSD format. We can re-edit it for further changes.