3 Common Mistakes to Avoid to Increase the Longevity of Your Original Painting

paintingAn original oil painting can be very nice wall d├ęcor as well as a valued family heirloom. Usually, after you purchased your oil painting, you’ll display it in a very special place around the house or office so that you can enjoy it. Unfortunately, as everything else in this world; a painting also ages. With that being said; a painting will need caring and maintenance so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.

1st Mistake: Constantly cleaning the painting. You don’t want to constantly be wiping the surface of a painting, as this can (in time) also wipe the paint off. If the painting must be dusted, use a gentle feather duster or a clean (dry) cotton cloth. You can also lightly brush the dust away using a clean, soft bristled soft bristle watercolor brush, or an inexpensive hog-hair brush. An alternative way of dusting a canvas is to remove it from the wall, turn it over, and gently shake the dust off (this is especially helpful if the painting has built excessive dust). If the painting gets a drinking beverage stain, such as coffee, soda, wine, etc.; you may clean it with a clean water-damped cotton cloth. Gently rub off the stain, without creating too much pressure on the surface of the painting. If the painting has a wood frame, try not to use a wet/damped cloth; as this might ruin the finish. However, if the canvas is stained with other type of paint/stain for whatever reason, its cleaning is a job best left to a professional conservator who has both the skills and the equipment needed to clean and repair your painting.

2nd Mistake: Displaying it unsafely. When looking to display your painting; make sure you place it out of harm’s way. Preferably, the paintings should not be displayed where it can run the risk of being leaned against, constantly touched with the fingers, and avoid areas with extreme temperature (like an air vent or a functioning fireplace) as these can create premature cracking of the painting; due to the expansion and contraction caused by extreme temperatures. Also, if possible display it away from direct sunlight, as this will cause an oil painting to fade. A rule of thumb for this is to hang you oil paintings in rooms with low levels of direct or artificial lighting.

3rd Mistake: Improper Storage. If for any reason you decide to store/ship the painting; make sure that you use the correct materials. If you’re shipping or storing the painting for a short period of time; wrap it in craft/butcher paper and cushion it by using cardboard slats or bubble wrap on each side. If the painting is framed; make sure to create cushion for the corners (as this are the areas were the painting usually receives most of the damage) and place it in a cardboard box for storing mirrors/art. If the painting is being stored for a long period of time; follow the instructions above with the exception of butcher/craft paper, in this case use acid-free paper, as this will help prevent the painting from acid deterioration. Also, if possible store the oil painting in a room with dry temperature

My name is Jose Trujillo and I’m a professional fine art landscape painter with over 16 years of experience. My artwork sits in private and corporate collections around the world. I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

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Cotton Canvas VS Linen Canvas

What are canvases?

Canvases are supports that are traditionally used by painters. The term ‘canvas’ is generally used to refer to the fabric that paint is applied to. Canvases have been used for many centuries by top painters and remain just as popular today. They’re light, easy to transport and last a long while. One of the best things about canvases is that they can be used to create very large paintings. To make canvases, fibres are woven together and then either glued to a panel or stretched over a frame. There are lots of different types of canvas and each type has different properties.

cotton vs linen

Cotton canvases

Cotton is usually the cheaper of the two. It’s able to be stretched very easily, though it’s seen as too flexible to cope with larger paintings. Many students and beginner painters choose to go for cotton as it’s easier to get used to and it’s less costly. Cotton can actually be stretched tighter than linen, though it doesn’t tend to have as much permanence as linen; it also doesn’t tend to be as strong or as heavy as linen. Cotton canvases are usually primed with an acrylic-based gesso, making it a better option for acrylic and watercolour paintings. However, cotton canvases are also very popular for oil paintings.

Linen canvases

Linen is usually more expensive than cotton because the material it’s made of is of a higher quality. It’s also more expensive because it tends to be more durable and stronger, providing painters with a painting surface that will have permanence and will therefore last. The reason why linen is longer-lasting is because the threads it’s made of weigh the same, so the chance of them expanding and contrasting because of moisture is very slim. This also means that linen is very tough and will not become slack as quickly as cotton does. One of the reasons why artists use linen so much is because there are lots of varieties of it: you can get lots of different textures and weights of this type of canvas available in both smooth and rough finishes. Linen canvases are usually primed with an oil-based gesso, making it a better option for oil paintings.

Which one should I go for?

Both types of canvas have their advantages, so really it’s all about budget. If you can afford to pay a bit more for your canvas, you should go for linen, as it will offer you a very good investment. However, if your budget isn’t that high, cotton will still serve you very well.

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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How To Get Over Your Fear Of A Blank Canvas

Do artists really get scared of blank canvases?

Yes – many artists do feel a sort of fear when they begin a new project and find themselves facing a blank canvas. Of course, this doesn’t happen to every artist; even the ones who feel afraid of blank canvases might not feel afraid every time they face one.

What is blank canvas paralysis?

Blank canvas paralysis is a great way of describing the fear that some artists can feel when looking at a blank canvas. The word ‘paralysis’ is very apt, because artists very often feel physically unable to get to work; many often find themselves unable to pick up a paintbrush or mix colours. If this paralysis gets hold of you, it can make you feel frustrated – you want to get to work and have set aside time for it, but something beyond your control makes you unable to actually get to work.

Why do artists get blank canvas paralysis?

There are quite a few reasons why artists look at the blank canvas before them and feel afraid. A blank canvas represents infinite possibilities and infinite choice; sometimes this is too much for artists to handle. How do you decide what to paint when there are so many options? There’s also the problem of not knowing exactly where to start on your painting, even if you have a clear vision of what your finished painting’s going to look like. Finally, there’s the fear that you will fail, that you won’t produce the painting you’ve been imagining and developing in your mind.

How to get over your fear of blank canvases

If you ever find yourself paralysed with fear at the start of a painting project, reassure yourself that there are ways to get over this. The three causes of blank canvas paralysis mentioned above each have simple solutions. If you’re stuck because you have too many options, simply consider which options are the better ones and make a quick decision about which one to go for. If you’re stuck because you don’t know where to start, do some pre-planning, but not too much, as this can make you less likely to come up with new ideas once you’ve started working. Finally, if you’re stuck because you’re scared of failing, don’t ask so much of yourself and have a realistic and humble approach to your work; in other words, the less important you make your painting out to be, the less intimidating it will be.

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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What Makes Paintings Good?

They provoke thought

A good painting should be able to get you thinking. Paintings are an artist’s way of conveying their thoughts, opinions and ideas to the world. The artist should be able to effectively convey their message through the painting to the viewer. A good painting should therefore be able to tell the viewer what the artist was thinking and feeling when they created it. Painting should leave lasting impressions on you; they should get you asking questions and thinking about things you might otherwise have not asked or thought about.

good paintingThey draw you in

A good painting should stand out from the rest. It should have something about it that attracts your curiosity and draws you in. It should command your attention and captivate you so that you spend lots of time admiring it and all of its features. Paintings of quality should reach out to you and grab your attention away from any other paintings that might be in the vicinity.

They showcase the artist’s talent

A good painting should be a display of the artist’s technical expertise. The painter should know exactly what they’re doing and should be able to use the tools and tricks at their disposal to successfully create their work. With abstract paintings, there may not be as much skill or technical expertise showcased in the painting, though the artist still knows exactly what they’re doing.

They’re original

A good painting should have some level of originality to it. Of course, it’s incredibly difficult to be truly original these days seeing as so many artists with great idea have passed before us. However, it’s still possible to give your paintings an original touch that will make it stand out from others. A good painting shouldn’t be generic: it should belong to the artist who painted it in the sense that the artist has left their mark on it.

They have a sense of harmony

A good painting should be consistent. The different elements that make up the painting should be of a similar style, nature and tone. These elements should complement one another to create a sense of balance and harmony in the painting. People prefer paintings where there’s a sense of unity and the different elements are part of a single piece. People find balance and harmony more appealing and easy on the eye than chaos and discord. Many paintings that have less balance and more discord can make for good art, though. It’s all subjective, of course.

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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