Tag: Art

Is being an artist just about art techniques or is it something altogether different?

What It Means to Be an Artist

Is It Just About Art Techniques or Something More? I know I don’t have to explain it to all of you, but when I am in situations with people who aren’t as passionate about art I find myself trying to explain and justify my commitment—to painting, drawing, sculpture, and all the art techniques that go…

Plein air art: Depictions of "controlled nature" were a hallmark of Monet's style.

The Romance for Impressionism Is Overrated

Plein Air Art Strategies of Monet & More I used to think so romantically about Monet, Pissarro, and the other Impressionists. Not romantic like Manet is so dreamy; romantic as in idealizing this particular group of painters—thinking they stepped outside of their studios and, snap, Impressionism just happened. Veneration can sometimes blind the mind’s eye…

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The Blind Contour Exercise — Good Drawings Start Here

Beginner Drawings — Start with a Simple Line The Blind Contour drawing exercise is a fundamental tool that can help artists create their first beginner drawings as well as experienced artists learn to reacquaint themselves with the power of observation. Popularized by Kimon Nicolaïdes in his 1941 book The Natural Way to Draw: A Working…

Frank Weitzman, artist

Shrink Your Painting–Does It Still Work?

What Makes Small Canvas Paintings Loom Large? I don’t mean literally shrink it, though small canvas paintings are proving more and more popular these days, but if you take a photo of your painting and reduce it to the size of a thumbnail and it still holds together compositionally, you’ve got a good piece on…

Chiaroscuro, oil on canvas, 30 x 40. All works by John Hulsey.

The Art of Painting Water

Enjoy this article by guest authors and artists John Hulsey and Ann Trusty, discovering the joys of painting water and what to do when challenges present themselves. And don’t forget to sign up for the latest Johannes Vloothuis Paint Along — Professional Insights for Painting Water — an online workshop that streams live but is…

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The Hybrid Method of Painting and Drawing

Pastel Painting Landscapes — Tips for Success When I’m hiking or walking in the woods, my attention span is really short. I flit from activity to activity, sight to sight, just trying to take it all in. That’s why pastel painting is a perfect fit for me when I want to create art outdoors. I…

Cardrew I by Beverly McIver.

How Do You Make Art When You Feel Blocked?

Fight Feeling Blah with This Painting Tool I hit a wall trying to write today. I wanted to write about the importance of expressing strong feelings in your work, but I couldn’t figure out how to tie it all together. It was frustrating, but I knew I could get through it because I’d experienced it…

Composition VII, 1913 by Wassily Kandinsky

Your Painting (and Mine!) Fails Because of THIS

Avoid This Beginner Painting Mistake Since the mid-1800s, numerous artists (and beginner painting students) have stressed color over other elements in painting, mistaking color choice as the root of all success or failure in painting. They cite the Impressionists as examples, but Monet, for instance, explored how to paint light and its effects on the…

Painting by Marc Dalessio.

What Do Painters Really Do?

Mixing Color Like a Master Do you know how frustrating it is to love something, but not necessarily know everything about it? That’s sometimes the way I feel about mixing color. I have such a visual lust for color–learning new colors, discovering new color combinations, figuring out how various light sources effect hue, and how…

Beginning at the Water's Edge by Jovan Karlo Villalba.

Tissues, Sand Paper, and Razor Blades

Attack Your Canvas with More Paint Texture I sometimes put so much emphasis on what I’m painting—thinking about what makes a strong composition and how to lead a viewer through a work—that sometimes I forget or forego the opportunity to explore a purely sensory relationship with the surface and paint texture. Try closing your eyes…

Cheers to the human form, figure painting, and
how it continues to inspire. Water
Serpents II by Gustav Klimt, 1904.

Cheers to Conquering My Fear

A Toast to Quiet Moments, Figure Painting & More   As I am faced with being a little over a month into this “new” year, I wanted to take the opportunity to belatedly craft a toast to 2016 and acknowledge all the great art that has been created in the past and has yet to…

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Do You Want to Paint Like the Old Masters?

What was emulation? The classical formation of artists and architects in the Renaissance and Baroque took the apprentice on a trajectory from imitation to emulation to invention. If imitation was the foundation of an artist’s training–copying a master’s drawings, drawing from casts, eventually drawing from the live model–emulation marked the stage where the apprentices began…