10 Fast Facts About Watercolour Paint

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1. It is made from pigments that are ground together and held together with a gum binder that’s water-soluble, of course. The pigments used in watercolour paint can be either natural or synthetic.

2. It dries a lot lighter than when it is applied. In other words, the colour you apply to the canvas won’t be the same colour you’ll get once the paint has dried out. The final, dried colour is about two times lighter than the original colour applied to the canvas.

3. It is very safe and practically non-toxic. However, you should still avoid getting it on your hands, just to be on the safe side.

4. It has been used for many millennia – cave paintings done in paleolithic Europe were done in watercolour. It gained a surge of popularity during the Renaissance when it became appreciated is a proper art medium.

5. It can be transparent or opaque. Transparent watercolours let the light into the canvas and reflect it back, creating a sort of glowing effect. Opaque watercolours, on the other hand, don’t let the light in as much and instead make it bounce off the pigment, which creates a sort of dull and weathered effect.

6. It comes in tubes or pans. With tubes, you just squirt the paint out and go from there. Pans are basically square blocks of paint put together in a plastic or metal box. Generally speaking, tube paints are much easier to mix; they’re also cheaper and are better for creating large washes. Most artists prefer to use tube paints.

7. Fugitive watercolours fade very quickly. Most of the watercolour paints available now are non-fugitive, meaning the colour won’t fade as quickly and will therefore last a lot longer.

8. The same colour by different manufacturers may not look the same. If you want to use a particular colour, make sure to buy your paints from a single manufacturer so you get a consistent colour.

9. As it is water-based, watercolour paint can be quite unpredictable. When painting with watercolours, you have to learn how to control the paint. Of course, you could let the paint do its own thing and incorporate this into your painting.

10. Staining refers to how easy it is to remove watercolour paint from a support once it’s been applied or has completely dried. A staining paint is one that’s hard to remove, while a less-staining paint ca easily be wetted and lifted. The make of paint and the make of the support can both affect a paint’s staining.

Joanne Perkins is a Berkshire-based artist with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. She specialises in painting Berkshire landscapes and loves capturing the natural beauty of her local countryside. She is happy to accept all queries and questions. For more information about Joanne, her work and her current projects visit: http://joannesberkshirescenes.com/default.aspx Joanne can be found on Facebook

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The Majestic Wall That Says It All

The affinity of mankind towards art has always existed since time immemorial. As man evolved, his bond with art also grew and in fact, laid the seed for the first form of expressive language – Pictography – a form of writing which uses representational and pictorial drawings. But before expressing himself through written or spoken language, man took to the walls to ‘speak’ his mind through distinct and elaborate strokes of daily life. Thus was born the prominent art form – Murals.

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These large scale paintings applied directly to walls, ceilings, and other large flat surfaces are probably the oldest human art form. Cave paintings at Harappa, Mohenjo Daro and many other ancient human settlements stand proof of that. Since then it never saw a downside. During the Renaissance Era various art forms flourished mainly by the legendary works created by the likes of Michelangelo, Vasari and Leonardo Da Vinci. Most muralists produced artwork in multiple media, demonstrating a remarkable range of skills. The murals by Michelangelo adorning the interiors of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City depicting momentous events from the Christian Bible, never fail to strike people with awe.

The trend slowly shifted during the early 20th century as murals were often associated with political expression, one main example being the murals of Berlin Wall. Works during that period were focused on labourers, lives of the poor, and other daily life musings, a stark deviation from the highly religious murals of the Middle Ages. Many modern muralists follow the tradition of political expression and produce works on social issues. But the recent growing trend is on producing beautiful murals enhancing board rooms, corporate spaces, along with public buildings.

Murals are becoming a vital part of interior decoration. People in the fashion industry are considering painting their own portrait murals in their studios which make a bold statement about their persona and create a greater impact on their profession. There are professional muralists and illustrators one can hire to produce impactful paintings. In addition to art, murals can also be used to create a faux finish. Walls painted to resemble worn-out brick wall, or a statue with climbing plants, and a scenic sea view. These days many restaurants use indoor murals projecting a theme – an age-old historic festival, a rain forest and much more.

Murals are not just majestic artworks on walls. They are the voice of an entire community at large. They facilitate the inclusion of a broader point of view that previously couldn’t find their audience. They are stories that are part of our rich history and means of growing our cultural consciousness, building stronger connections between our past and present.

Apple Illustration Agency is a digital illustration agency in UK with the best illustrators. We provide all kinds of art services with our network of talented illustrators, who would exactly serve what’s on your mind.

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The Difference Between Contemporary And Modern Paintings

DawgsLRGRYou may hear some individuals use the terms “contemporary” and “modern” interchangeably. In some cases, this use of the words is perfectly acceptable. In art, however, contemporary and modern works mean two separate things. If you’ve ever been confused about the differentiation, here is a good way to look at the two painting concepts:

Contemporary Paintings

Contemporary art is used to describe works made recently. Some art historians will define contemporary paintings as works that extend back to World War II, while others believe it includes works created or accepted within the last ten years. The artists may still be producing artwork today, using the latest trends and techniques for painting. Generally, the classification is a catchall term for art that is current. In the future, people may look back on paintings produced today and give them a new name, but contemporary art serves as a placeholder for anything that has been recently produced.

Artists defined in this category are known for exploring with a variety of mediums, even on canvas. They may choose interesting color palettes, subjects, and depart from convention with their techniques. Some may even include other mediums like bits of paper, handmade dyes, or tape. Contemporary art has also seen a rise in politically charged subject matter. Artists make social statements on global issues including racism, religion, human trafficking, feminism, and environmentalism through their works.

Modern Paintings

Even though a museum of modern art includes truly modern art, it also often features contemporary displays, making the differentiation between the two very confusing. Modern paintings are defined in the art world as paintings produced between 1890 and 1965. Artists include Picasso, Renoir, Kandinsky and Matisse.

The era of modern art overlapped with impressionism, when artists started to throw traditions aside in favor of radical experimentation in their representations. History books often define the modern art era as starting when the last impressionist artists stopped producing. The artists from this time period redefined the art world and paved the way for the contemporary artists producing works today. Many modern painters were heavily involved in abstract and expressive pieces that may or may not represent a likeness to the piece’s subject matter.

Commonalities Between Modern and Contemporary Art

Art enthusiasts may look disparagingly on those who use the terms modern and contemporary art interchangeably, but you will always hear some people do so. Since the modern art era, every painting classification has been fairly broad in scope. They all use real life, social issues and emotionally charged subjects to create a statement in their art. They also rely heavily on their mind’s eye to provide inspiration for completely original and inspired pieces. Finally, they all include artists interested in experimenting with new and exciting mediums and techniques.

Many art eras overlap, making them seem confusing, but movements in art history have been fluid. They bleed into one another rather than having defined beginnings and ends. In all likelihood, the label on contemporary art may change once again, giving rise to a new movement in painting.

You can own modern artwork from artists such as Norman Rockwell, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many more by purchasing them online at http://www.minimasters.biz.

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Watercolour Paper: 4 Things To Know

water colour paper

1. Weight

You’ll find that watercolour paper comes in different weights. Generally speaking, the heavier the paper, the thicker it is. So if you see some watercolour paper that’s referred to as being quite thick, this also means it’s quite heavy. The weight of watercolour paper is measured in pounds per ream (lbs) or grams per square metre (gsm). There are lots of different weights available, though the standard ones you’ll most commonly find are: 90lbs (190gsm), 140lbs (300gsm), 260lbs (356gsm) and 300lbs (638gsm). Heavier paper, usually paper that’s above 260lbs (356gsm) in weight, will probably require stretching in order for you to paint on it without any problems arising.

2. Colour

Most watercolour paper isn’t actually white. You’ll find lots of basic watercolour paper types come in variations of white and light, creamy colours. The colour of the paper does tend to vary from brand to brand; even a single manufacturer can offer several different colours in their line. The colour of the paper can affect how your painting turns out, though it’s not something to worry about too much. The best thing to do is to just go for watercolour paper of any colour of your choice and to see how the painting goes. If you’re happy with the finished product, you know what colour to work with next time; if not, there are plenty of other colours for you to try.

3. Sides

You can actually paint on both sides of watercolour paper. You will notice, however, that there is a difference between each of the two sides. One of the sides is usually a bit smoother, while the other is usually a bit rougher and has more hair to it. There’s no right or wrong side to use, however you should probably use the smoother side if you’re doing a painting that has a lot of detail to it; use the hairier side if you want to use glazes to build up your colours.

4. Surfaces

There are three types of watercolour paper surface: rough, cold-pressed and hot-pressed. Rough paper produces a sort of grainy effect and has the most texture of the three types of surface; it is not recommended for paintings with fine detail because it has ridges, grooves and indentations. Cold-pressed paper has less of a textured surface than rough paper; using this type of paper gives paintings a level of texture, but it also allows for a good amount of detail. Finally, hot-pressed paper is the smoothest of the three and is the best for detail, though it has the less texture of the three. Because of its lack of texture, you may find the paint is harder to control with hot-pressed paper, though you’ll soon get used to it.

Joanne Perkins is a Berkshire-based artist with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. She specialises in painting Berkshire landscapes and loves capturing the natural beauty of her local countryside. She is happy to accept all queries and questions. For more information about Joanne, her work and her current projects visit: http://joannesberkshirescenes.com/default.aspx Joanne can be found on Facebook

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Still Life Paintings Still Enrapture

There is no real requirement for subject matter when it comes to still life painting. The only two things you really need are stillness and life… and really, you (the artist) are the one who creates the life within the painting. The real challenge arises in creating something beautiful and interesting to look at from commonplace objects.

still life painting

The Dutch and Flemish painters really took off with the genre during the 17th century, creating meaning out of seemingly simple, everyday objects. With the spread of new religions, symbolism and still lifes took on more meaning. The genre was not given as much respect as other creative passions, but through history it has grown on the art community.

Still lifes have never required some larger symbolic meaning. The form is respected as a difficult endeavor taken on by contemporary still life artists. Creating beautiful composition out of a commonplace item takes high level of artistic passion and skill. The genre has evolved over time, but several parts of still life remain the same.

The biggest similarity from century to century — and the biggest difference — is subject. The subject is the life. Over the hundreds of years, flowers, fruits, architecture, and more common elements have appeared over and over. Times change and objects change, but stillness and beauty don’t.

Fruit and flowers are always a good place to start, and a good way to learn how to create or observe great still life. Something about the vivacity and freshness of fruit and flowers keeps bringing artists back.

As the subject is the most important part of a still life, picking the right subject for you is the best way to put the life into a still life. There’s no such thing as a boring subject — there are always a few ways to add some interest to the imagery.

As with any other painting, thematically beautiful colors, dramatic lighting, and an eye for composition will make any everyday object fascinating.

Another artistic trick is to create a border around the still life. Focus the eyes into the object and allow the viewer to spend more time looking closer.

The magic of a still life is that they give people the chance to look at objects that anyone would normally look past. An artist has the opportunity to make any regular object into a beautiful point of interest. There is something powerful in that, and something that demands respect. If you feel that certain paintings are lacking life, maybe look into adding some still life!

Nicole Alger is a contemporary artist living in New York City. Samples of her work (including still life paintings) can be seen at her website: http://nicolealger.com

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