11 Painting Terms Explained

Background – The background of a painting is the area that appears to be the furthest away from the viewer. This part of the painting is not usually the focus of the painting and is there to add more substance to the work. Binder – This reflects to the part of paint that holds the…

Background – The background of a painting is the area that appears to be the furthest away from the viewer. This part of the painting is not usually the focus of the painting and is there to add more substance to the work.

Binder – This reflects to the part of paint that holds the pigment together and helps it stick to the support. The binder helps to add consistency and cohesion to paint.

Drier – A drier is added to slow-drying paints, mainly oils, in order to make them dry more quickly. Many artists use these as oils are particularly slow to dry.

Ground – A ground is a thin layer of paint which can be applied to a support to make it more ready to accept paint. Grounds can be any color, although whites and creamy colors tend to be the most popular colors used in this way.

Medium – A medium is whatever substance you add to paint to change its properties. You can add sources to change paint's consistency, working properties, ability to mix with other paintings, drying time and more. This term can also refer to the substances an artist uses for their painting.

Palette – The word 'palette' can mean two things. Firstly, it can mean the wooden or plastic board that an artist uses to keep paint on and mix it while working on a painting. Secondly, it can refer to the range of colors an artist uses for a painting.

Pigment – The pigment is what produces the color of paint. Pigments are usually ground into a fine powder and mixed with a fluid, such as water or oil, to become paint.

Subject matter – The subject matter of a painting is simply whatever it depicts. It is the focus of the work and the part of the painting that usually has the most meaning and significance.

Support – The support is simply whatever the paint is applied to. Supports are usually canvases, though many artists choose to apply their paint to different surfaces, such as wood panels and paper.

Underpainting – Different from a ground, an underpainting is the first layer of an oil painting. It's used as a sort of base for the painting and is usually done in a single, dull color.

Varnish – A varnish is a substance that is applied to a painting as the final layer once it's complete. The role of varnish is to protect it from dirt and dust.

The Pedestal: A Misunderstood Art Form

A pedestal is just as important as art because it is a continuation of the art itself; a pedestal is considered art. Here are some tips for choosing a pedestal and for understanding the importance of a pedestal.

A pedestal is just as important as art because it is a continuation of the art itself; a pedestal is considered art. Here are some tips for choosing a pedestal and for understanding the importance of a pedestal.

5 Practical Tips For Plein Air Painting

1. Do not take too much Only bring what you know you're going to need. Keep your supplies light. You do not want to be weighed down by things you're not going to use. How many paintbrushes do you really need? Will you definitely need ten, or will you manage with one or two? What…

1. Do not take too much

Only bring what you know you're going to need. Keep your supplies light. You do not want to be weighed down by things you're not going to use. How many paintbrushes do you really need? Will you definitely need ten, or will you manage with one or two? What about colors? Do you have to bring every color under the sun? Surely you will not use them all? Limit your palette and experiment with mixing colors on site – you never know what colors you might end up using.

2. Use a portable case

If you have a portable case, use it. If you do not have one, buy one. Having all your supplies in one case will make things a lot easier. Pochade boxes, which you can carry things in, can also act as easels. Many portable easels are lightweight and even have storage boxes built-in. You do not want to be carrying lots of supplies about. It's much easier having everything easily accessible in one place. Having a case will also encourage you to bring fewer supplies with you.

3. Avoid wearing sunglasses

Even if it's really sunny, you should not wear sunglasses. The reason? Wearing sunglasses gives you an inaccurate impression of light. Sunglasses change color balance, so what you paint will not need to be accurate in terms of color. If you want an accurate and completely realistic painting, complete it without wearing sunglasses. If you want to shield your eyes from the sun while painting, wear a hat instead.

4. Take photos for future reference

Many artists like adding finishing touches to plein air paintings at home. To help with this, take your smartphone or camera with you when you paint outdoors. Photographs capture everything about a landscape, from the smallest to the largest details. Using photographs can help you add finishing touches without compromising on quality and accuracy. They can also help you while you work on your painting on-site.

5. Start small

If you're new to plein air painting, it's worth starting off small. Make your first few paintings on smaller canvases. This way, you get to practice and hone your skills. One of the main aspects of plein air painting is that light changes, so sometimes you might have to work with time against you. Once you've gotten used to changing light and have mastered the skill of making adjustments, then you should be able to complete larger paintings on-site without encountering problems.

Creativity Through Home Art and Camaraderie

Attend a Paint and Sip class soon and then replicate the idea with friends. I recommend that you organize your own painting party soon. While first-time expenses are high because you will need to buy easels, paints, and brushes, the second go-round will only require more canvases. Practice the design first so that you have…

Attend a Paint and Sip class soon and then replicate the idea with friends. I recommend that you organize your own painting party soon. While first-time expenses are high because you will need to buy easels, paints, and brushes, the second go-round will only require more canvases. Practice the design first so that you have a good idea of what to paint and when, and then let the creative juices of others flow.

Accomplished Drawing Skills – Five Great Strategies to Improve Them!

1. Go somewhere nice and quiet, draw your chosen spot of nature and after that draw it again. Repetition! If you want to see improvement you have to put lots of hard work and effort. Nothing comes easy. Do not expect great result from the very first sketch of Art. You will not be a…

1. Go somewhere nice and quiet, draw your chosen spot of nature and after that draw it again. Repetition!

If you want to see improvement you have to put lots of hard work and effort. Nothing comes easy. Do not expect great result from the very first sketch of Art. You will not be a good artist unless you deeply engage with this intimate art activity. The more you observe the better topic you will choose. The better topic you choose the more good results will come soon.

2. Go to exhibition halls regularly! Look at plenty of drawings! Get interested in what other artists do!

Whether in your own town of living or some other city, get every simple chance to have a look at some good pieces of art! If you have the resources, do not miss visits at the best exhibition art halls in the county and abroad. Every art piece of paper, whether only with simple lines or made with exquisite meticulously detailed forms and shades would be a great example of the variety of Art and its lovely reincarnations.

3. Choose some masterpieces and draw from them! Copy art shapes and forms from photographs!

It may seem strange to do such thing but it would be really helpful to draw from other drawings. Observe carefully lines and spots, shades and hatches! What you can learn from such art activity is just priceless. Tons of knowledge for many years of improving your own art in future. Master artists will not mind indeed! How did they use the lines? How did they shade their art forms? It's crucial to achieve some good basics so to be able to go further in the right direction.

4. Draw and paint from life.

Start with something simple and pick ordinary objects or spot of nature. You will work your way up to the complex ones later when you successfully complete your art skills. Draw even your sofa, dining table or a cup of coffee. Just try to free your hand. Do not be afraid of being wrong somewhere. Sketches allow to do many not so precise lines. Just try to feel it right and to enjoy the whole art activity. If you do not like it in the end you'll just throw it out and start again. Remember – nothing comes easy!

5. And last but not least – take your time and try to attend a professional class.

A teacher is very important part of your Art training process. He / She will correct your mistakes and weaknesses. And what is most brutal here – having 'competition' and observing the works of art of other students will definitely increase your own personal benefits. The class sessions would be very helpful if a model actually attends it so you can observe and draw at the same time. You can also receive some personal instructions from your teacher.

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

An original oil painting can be very nice wall décor as well as 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…

An original oil painting can be very nice wall décor as well as 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 do not 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 quickly 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 may 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 contracting 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; Following 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

3 Things To Know About Tempera Painting

1. What is it? Tempera is a type of painting medium that consist of a colored pigment mixed in with a binder, usually an emulsion of water and egg yolk. This type of painting medium is very fast to dry and is very long-lasting. Tempera painting simply refers to paintings done using this sort of…

1. What is it?

Tempera is a type of painting medium that consist of a colored pigment mixed in with a binder, usually an emulsion of water and egg yolk. This type of painting medium is very fast to dry and is very long-lasting. Tempera painting simply refers to paintings done using this sort of medium. The artist will first grind the pigment into a powdered form and will then place a small amount of this on to a palette. Next the artist will add a few drops of distilled water to the pigment. Then the egg yolk binder is added in small amounts until the solution is as transparent as the artist wants it to be. The amount of binder that's required depends on the pigment being used. While painting, the consistency of the paint needs to be preserved and this can be done simply by adding more water to the paint.

2. When was it used?

Tempera paintings appear to have originated in classical times. There are references to this sort of painting through Latin, Greek and ancient Egyptian literature. Numerous important works of art were said to have been made using this medium, so it appears that was quite popular with artists of the time. Some examples of tempera painting from antiquity do survive, such as the 'Severan Tondo,' which is a portrait of Septimus Severus, the Roman emperor. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, tempera gradually overtook encaustic as the main painting medium. Encaustic painting is the technique of adding heated beeswax to colored pigments. Tempera painting became wildly popular through Europe and Asia and was favored by many top artists. However, with the advent of oil painting in the 16th century, tempera painting gradually became less popular, although it is still favored by some and enjoys revisions from time to time.

3. What are some of its properties?

One of the main properties of tempera paint is that it's not a flexible painting medium. What this means is that it needs to be applied to solid surfaces; wood panels were commonly used, for example. If it is applied to a softer surface, such as a canvas, it will end up cracking. This paint medium dries very quickly and the colors stay the same over time. Tempera paint can not be applied in really thick layers, so it can not produce the same richness of color that oil paints can. Artists have to work with tempera paint quite quickly as once it's been prepared, it can not be stored and has to be used up.

6 Types Of Easel Explained

What is an easel? It’s simply a standing support that painters use to support a canvas while they’re painting. Painters can either sit down or stand up while working at an easel. You’ll find that easels usually support the canvas at an angle, making it easier for painters to work. Here’s some useful information about…

What is an easel? It’s simply a standing support that painters use to support a canvas while they’re painting. Painters can either sit down or stand up while working at an easel. You’ll find that easels usually support the canvas at an angle, making it easier for painters to work. Here’s some useful information about 6 different types of easel:

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…

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.

The Dutch and Flemish painters really took off with the genius during the 17th century, creating meaning out of seemingly simple, everyday objects. With the spread of new religions, symbolism and still lifes taken 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 largest similarity from century to century – and the largest difference – is subject. The subject is the life. Over the centuries of years, flowers, fruits, architecture, and more common elements have appeared over and over. Times change and objects change, but stillness and beauty do not.

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!

4 Ways To Get Paintings Done Faster

1. Work on several paintings at a time It goes without saying that the more you have to do, the more you get done. When you have more than one project to finish, you find that you become more productive because there's more pressure on you to get the work done. If you're working on…

1. Work on several paintings at a time

It goes without saying that the more you have to do, the more you get done. When you have more than one project to finish, you find that you become more productive because there's more pressure on you to get the work done. If you're working on just one painting, you do not really feel as much pressure to get it done because there's nothing else vying for your attention and time. While you're waiting for one painting to dry, you can carry on working on another one. It's easy to have several paintings on the go at once, especially if you are using similar colors and techniques for more than one painting.

2. Make a plan and stick to it

It's very easy to get started on a painting and to come up with new ideas along the way. The only bad thing about coming up with ideas along the way and incorporating them into your painting is that this takes up extra time. If you come up with a fixed plan of what your painting's going to be like and run with that plan without letting yourself getting distracted by new ideas, you're going to get the painting finished a lot faster. Sure, this does mean compromising on creativity and spontaneity a bit, but if you want to get a painting done quickly, you have to be prepared to compromise on something. If you're more organized with your approach to painting and can get your ideas together before you start work, you should be able to finish your painting a lot sooner than usual.

3. Use a larger brush

Using a larger brush is a great way to save on time when working on a painting. Use a larger brush for areas of your painting where there is not much in the way of finer details. Even if you just use a larger brush for creating washes and background layers, this can still save a lot of time if you're used to doing this with a smaller brush. Do not think that using a larger brush will compromise on the quality of your painting: you can still create a wonderful, immersive and beautiful painting regardless of the size of the brush you use. It's all about how you use the brush, not what size it is.

4. Get rid of distractions

Even though many painters like to get in the zone when working, all it takes is a phone going off for that concentration to be broken. When painting, make sure there's nothing around you that can distract you. By all means, have breaks every so often when you can go on your phone and do whatever you want to take your mind off painting. The trick to being more productive is separating your time into work and play. Distractions blend the two together and make it harder for you to focus and be productive. If you regularly get messages on your phone, turn it off for an hour or two. If you get distracted by what's on TV, turn it off. Place that book you can not stop reading in another room. Once you've got rid of distractions, you'll be able to work on your painting more productively and you should be able to get it finished sooner.

Don’t Just Wear Jewelry, Wear Art!

As a culture and species, humans have always been interested in expressing themselves through the adornments of jewelry. But no longer are we just simply wearing jewelry – we’re wearing art!

As a culture and species, humans have always been interested in expressing themselves through the adornments of jewelry. But no longer are we just simply wearing jewelry – we’re wearing art!

Watercolour Paper: 4 Things To Know

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…

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 meter (gsm). There are lots of different weights available, although the standard ones you'll most commonly find are: 90lbs (190gsm), 140lbs (300gsm), 260lbs (356gsm) and 300lbs (638gsm). Heavy 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. Color

Most watercolour paper is not actually white. You'll find lots of basic watercolour paper types come in variations of white and light, creamy colors. The color of the paper does tend to vary from brand to brand; even a single manufacturer can offer several different colors in their line. The color 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 color of your choice and to see how the painting goes. If you're happy with the finished product, you know what color to work with next time; if not, there are plenty of other colors 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 colors.

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.

Artist Grade Paint: 4 Reasons Why You Should Choose It

1. A good investment Artist grade paint is more expensive than student grade paint. However, one way to get over the price is to see artist paint as a good investment. Use it to make your work of art special and mean more to you. A painting's going to be all the more important to…

1. A good investment

Artist grade paint is more expensive than student grade paint. However, one way to get over the price is to see artist paint as a good investment. Use it to make your work of art special and mean more to you. A painting's going to be all the more important to you if you invest money into it, as well as time, of course. With this more expensive grade of paint, you know you're getting your money's worth. Investing in it for your painting means that you painting's going to be more treasured and appreciated. Note that with this grade of paint, the higher the series number of letter, the more the cost will be. The greater the cost, the greater the quality of the paint.

2. Huge choice of high-quality colors

With artist paint you get practically the full complement of colors to choose from. If you've used student paints in the past then switch to artist paint, you'll appreciate the huge variety of colors that this type of paint offers. instead of your choice of colors being limited, you can take time to explore lots of exciting and vibrant colors to use in your works. The colors themselves are of a higher quality because they contain more expensive pigments. If you want to do a painting that is vivid and rich, with lots of colors that are less commonly seen, artist paint is the one for you.

3. Less color shift

Artist paint is made of more expensive materials that are of a better quality than those that are used in student paint. One of the key properties that separate the two grades of paint is that artist paint has a lot less color shift. This is especially noticeable when painting with acrylics and watercolours, both of which tend to change color as they dry; acrylics usually go darker as they dry, while watercolours go lighter. The change in color, the color shift, can be quite dramatic. With artist paint, the color shift is far less pronounced. Some brands will claim that their paint has barely any color shift at all, meaning the color that comes out of the tube will be practically identical to the color that you finish your painting with.

4. More mixing

Artist paint can be combined together a lot more easily than student paint. In fact, you can very easily mix different brands of this grade of paint together without any problems arising. Mixing student paints together can be a bit more problematic; again it comes down to the fact that the ingredients in artist paint are of a much higher quality than those found in student paint. The main advantage of this property is that it allows you to mix colors a lot more. With student paint, you can not mix colors that well or effectively; the opposite is true for artist paint and this lets you produce lots of exciting and vivid colors.

Student Quality Paint: 4 Reasons To Choose It

1. It's cheap Of the two, student grade paint is by far the cheaper option. If you're on a budget, this is the one to go for. The pigments that are used in paintings can vary hugely in price, with some paintings costing a whole lot more than others because they contain pigments that are…

1. It's cheap

Of the two, student grade paint is by far the cheaper option. If you're on a budget, this is the one to go for. The pigments that are used in paintings can vary hugely in price, with some paintings costing a whole lot more than others because they contain pigments that are more expensive; paint manufacturers usually group paints in series. Most series are numeric: the higher the number, the rarer the materials used in the paint are and, therefore, the higher the price will be. Student paint usually comes in only a few series, whereas with artist grade paint, there are lots more expensive series to choose from. You may even find that some student paint comes in just one series, with every color available for the same price.

2. Color range

As mentioned above, with student paints, you do not actually get as much of a choice of color as you do with artist paints. Why is this a reason to choose student paint? Simply because a limited choice is far less overwhelming than a practically unlimited choice. Many people find it hard to purchase art products because there's so many different types of each product to choose from; with fewer colors available, some of the hard work is done for you. Instead of being faced with a seemingly endless list of colors to choose from, the list is a lot shorter, meaning you can decide which ones to get a lot more easily. Plus, the colors available tend to be the more popular ones anyway.

3. Large paintings

Another reason to choose student paint is if you're going to do a large-scale painting. The thinking behind this is that by using student paint instead of artist paint, you'll be saving yourself a lot of money. Many artists do this, but use artist paint on areas where they want to show more detail. It may surprise you to know that you can actually use both grades of paint in the same painting, though you may have to use mediums or varnishes to give the finished painting a feeling of consistency.

4. Practicing and experimenting

Again with student paints being the cheaper option, this allows for you to practice and experiment a lot more. This is why this grade of paint is aimed at students, because it gives you much more scope to practice and experiment than the more expensive artist grade paint. Most artists will begin with student paint and will use this to hone their skills and learn new techniques, then once they're confident enough, they will switch to artist paint.

Mural Painting Advice

This article describes the tasks involved in designing and creating a wall mural painting for your client which is all based on my own personal experiences. This article just brushes the surface on the complicated world of a muralist.

This article describes the tasks involved in designing and creating a wall mural painting for your client which is all based on my own personal experiences. This article just brushes the surface on the complicated world of a muralist.