Lettering with a brush is very forgiving. I’m currently editing a book by Jen Wagner titled Happy Hand Lettering (due out this summer). I love her use of watercolor for lettering and I felt inspired to give it a try—albeit with a twist—using a water brush. Water-based markers such as Tombow dual tip brush pens are a perfect and playful companion to water brushes.
Technique 1: Loopy Lettering
This first technique simply requires writing in cursive with large loops to make widening lines easier. Going back over the marker with a small amount of water from a water brush gives the lettering a lovely painterly look.
Using the fine-tip end of a Tombow dual tip pen (or a similar water-based pen), letter a word, keeping things “loopy” when you can.
A water brush with a fine point is best for adding a small amount of water to the marker lines. You just want to activate the color, not have it bleed too far out.
Master drawing: Learn to put aside assumed ideas of what you are looking at, and educate your eyes enough to see what is actually in front of you. The maxim is “Draw what you know rather than what you think you see.”
To begin the drawing, think in two dimensions: Flatten the portrait as if looking at it through a window (the picture plane) and tracing on the surface of the glass.
1. Point relationships: Analyze where one landmark is relative to many others—the tear duct to the edge of the nostril, for instance. You may use two established points to locate a third in what is often known as “triangulation.”
2. Tilts: Think carefully about the angles of relationships. Are the eyes perfectly horizontal or tilted slightly one way? The nose and mouth should also be at the same tilt as the eyes.
3. Shapes: Attempt to see the shapes that make up
One of the most important regional galleries in England is to reopen on Friday after a £5.2m refurbishment, paid for in part by a cash-strapped local council that said cuts to culture funding were a “false economy”.
The Ferens in Hull has been closed for the last 16 months while it underwent an essential revamp to fix the gallery’s temperature, humidity and lighting systems. The work was deemed necessary if it was to be trusted to care for world-class art.
The investment, £3.7m of which came from the local council, is already paying dividends as Hull begins its UK City of Culture celebrations. On Thursday, 100 years after local industrialist TR Ferens purchased the plot of land on which the museum stands, its new star attraction was revealed: a restored 14th-century gold panel painting, Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter, by Italian Pietro Lorenzetti, saved for the nation after the government placed an export bar to stop it being snapped up by a foreign buyer.
Unveiling the painting on Thursday, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, the director of the
Rembrandt van Rijn
“Portrait of Jan Six”, 1654
oil on canvas, 112 x 102 cm.
Six Foundation, Amsterdam
Not only the most important work by Rembrandt still in private hands, but also one of the best portraits from the Dutch Golden Era. In the 1650s Rembrandt created some of his most accomplished masterpieces, such as “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” (1653, Metropolitan Museum) or “A Woman Bathing in a Stream” (1654, National Gallery).
“Conversion of Saint Paul”, 1600
oil on cypress wood, 237 x 189 cm.
Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome
This work is one of two paintings by Caravaggio of the same subject, commissioned by Cardinal Cerasi. The large painting was created in 1600, the same year in which Caravaggio completed one of his undisputed masterpieces, “The Calling of Saint Matthew”. Impressive in size and quality of painting, this work ranks among the most important religious scenes by Caravaggio.
Hans Holbein the Younger
“The Madonna With the Family of Mayor Meyer (The Darmstadt Madonna)”, c.1525-8
Oil on panel, 146.5 x 102 cm.
Reinhold Würth collection, Germany
This monumental painted is arguably the most important religious scene ever created
The most famous painting saved for the UK in recent years is Raphael’s “Madonna of the Pinks”. In 2003, shortly after failing to acquire Rubens’ “Massacre of the innocents”, the Getty Museum offered the Duke of Northumberland an impressive £35 million for the small -29 x 23 cm.- but masterful painting, believed to be one of the finest old master paintings in private hands.
In early 2004, the National Gallery released a public statement declaring that the sale of the Raphael would be a “serious loss” for the nation. And after numerous donations, including an impressive £11.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Duke accepted to sell the masterpiece to the National Gallery for £22 million, 13 million less than the sum offered by the Getty Museum. Saved.
5 years before the Raphael’s acquisition, Sotheby’s announced the auction of the rediscovered Cimabue’s “Madonna and child enthroned (The Benacre Hall Madonna)” (c.1285-90), the only one Cimabue in private hands, and one of the less than a dozen works that can be attributed to this early master. Of course, the tiny panel (described as the most important early panel to be offered for sale in a generation) draws
For an idea that came to undermine the set relationship between art and its audience in 1963, Ed Ruscha’s lightbulb moment was alarmingly simple. “I had this notion to make a book and I had been photographing gasoline stations across America,” he said. Ruscha’s resulting title visually recorded 26 of the stations he had passed on Route 66 on his journeys between his home in Los Angeles and his parents’ home in Oklahoma throughout the early 1960s. The print run initially ran to 400 copies and, by circumventing the usual display of artists’ work and attempting to belittle the value of a mass-produced product, the photographic artist book became a pioneering moment in 20th Century art.
It also presented an obvious challenge to his contemporaries’ photography. Ruscha’s book arrived four years after American road photography was shaken up by Robert Frank’s seminal photo record of his and his family’s trips across the country, titled The Americans. Beat author Jack Kerouac, in the foreword to Frank’s now-iconic set of black and white images, said the Swiss photographer had “sucked a sad poem right out of America”. Another quote by a contemporary art critic said: “The pictures
1. Mandy Russell discovered a great way to repurpose plastic switch plates–she turned them into felted book covers. In the Winter 2015 issue of Pages magazine, she explains that the plates’ firmness makes them perfect for wet felting, and the openings can become little windows. To wet felt a plate, Mandy begins by wrapping 3′ lengths of wool top fibers both horizontally and vertically around the plate, until the entire plate is covered. The wet felting process involves adding dish soap and hot water to the wool and gently rubbing it, rinsing it with hot water, and repeating those steps 5-8 times until the wool is well felted and tight around the plate. See the rest of the article to see how the covers and pages are sewn together, creating a uniquely bound—and very cozy—book.
2. Artist Rae Missigman found creative inspiration in the unlikeliest of places—the laundry room. She discovered that after going through a wash cycle, dye-trapping sheets are perfect for mixed-media recycled art: “Once I realized they could trap large amounts of dye,” she says, “I began to experiment with using them in my art.” Not only did they show off deep, vibrant color when
While theorist Francis Fukuyama was infamously projecting “Western liberal democracy” as a political supremacy to conquer all others leading into the 21st century, a less determinate declaration of a new dawn was occurring in the art world with the proclaimed end of modernism. This reach for a creative closure was an attempt to mark an end to a sense of eternal artistic progress to accompany the parallel advances within technology. In fact, it had begun a few decades prior to the Millennium and even given a date, place and time within the field of architecture as a resurfacing of old aesthetic habits and classical themes helped to render the dominant language of “the new” a thing of the past.
This heresy on the part of artists sought to unequivocally contradict the rules and beliefs of modernism that had developed over the previous century and explore the areas of inquiry that the avant-garde art establishment had attempted to consign to history. Appropriately, this signalled the return of history painting itself with artists like Anselm Kiefer restoring figuration in giant-scale landscapes that carried a clear narrative connection to his nation’s (Germany’s) actions in the Second World War,
Inspiration and the Artistic Journey
From 2007 to 2009, while pursuing a painting series on ballet dancers at Florence Dance Center in Italy, I frequently flew to Florence at different times of the year. On clear-sky days, the aerial view of the Alps was mesmerizing. If the landscape was so beautiful from above it should be, I was certain, equally spectacular at ground level. I first traveled to the Swiss Alps in 2013 and, over the course of the next two years, I painted in different regions across Swiss, French, Italian, Austrian and German Alps at different times of the year.
I was equally fascinated with the world’s youngest mountain range: the Himalayas. The two mountain ranges have different flora, fauna and also diverse cultures. Just as I painted in the Alps, I then trekked across the Himalayas painting in different regions around Himalayan terrain; this journey of mine is still ongoing.
With vast areas devoid of human presence, serenity rules in both the Alps and the Himalaya. In both places, however, the impression of the landscape always seems to be fleeting. My aim was to try to capture the ephemeral moods of the Alps and
The sea and its pictorial representation have been one of the most developed art genres since many centuries ago. From the classical, serene seascapes by Fitz Hugh Lane to the contemporary visions of Richard Diebenkorn, the audacious Japanese Painting or -of course- the incomparable Joseph Turner, theArtWolf has proudly showcased 10 of the most beautiful, intrepid, important seascapes in the world.
This list, of course, is absolutely subjective, but some of the names in it are unquestionable.
10- FITZ HUGH LANE
“Becalmed off Halfway Rock”, 1869 (Washington, National Gallery)
Oil on canvas, 70.4- 120.5 cm .
Considered one of the greatest all-time marine painters, Lane is arguably more a “naval portraitist” than a traditional seascape painter. In this highly appealing canvas, the artist brilliantly portraits two large ships, accompanied by three support boats, surrounding a little rock that, although small in size, earns a fundamental importance in the composition.
9. IVAN AIVAZOVSKY
“The ninth wave”, 1850 (St. Petersburg, State Museum)
Oil on canvas, 221- 332 cm .
A seascape devoted painter, Aivazovsky reaches in this painting an absolute technical perfection, representing a group of unlucky castaways trying to survive to the merciless
Which are the best museums of the Western World? While such list is entirely subjective, we have tried to be as objective as I can be, taking in consideration its collections and history. So here is a guide to the premier Museums of the Western World and a link to its websites.
1- The Louvre in Paris is arguably the world’s most famous Museum. Take an online tour through its wonderful collection of antiquities and painting, including -of course- Leonardo’s Gioconda
2- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is arguably America’s greatest museum. Its spectacular collection is especially strong in American painting and Egyptian Antiquities.
3- The British Museum is England’s greatest museum -and one of the best in the world- of Ancient Arts and antiquities, with an excellent collection of Art from Ancient Egypt to the Middle Ages.
4- The Vatican Museums houses the inmense and outstanding Art collection of the Catholic Church, including the Sistine Chapel or Raphael’s The School of Athens
5- The Hermitage Museum (or Ermitage)
Rightly or wrongly, all the studies on the life and art of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) tend to divide it into stages or periods, perhaps in an attempt to make more understandable and accessible his vast career. So much has been written about his origins in Malaga, on his training as an artist in the same city, his hard beginnings in Montmartre, Paris, and his later success as a famous artist in the French capital. However, there is a stage in the life of Pablo Picasso that remains, at least for the general public, as unknown, a sort of loophole in the popular career of the great genius of the visual arts of the twentieth century: his brief but decisive period in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain (1891-1895), a key time in the artist’s formation
We have defined this period in A Coruña as “almost unknown”, although this is a definition that is certainly risky to be offensive for many experts in the artist’s life and oeuvre, and so we apologize in advance. But it’s true that this stage remains a bit “anonymous”, at least for the general public. Therefore, we are going to approach the readers to this
It’s almost a cliché to say that art should make us think, but if we stop to consider graffiti as an art form, there’s plenty to think about. Maybe there’s a required shift in our thinking in order to call graffiti art? This street art, made by artists who may not be known to us, is often in fact well known in the artist’s inner circles on the streets. Can we say that we don’t see it as art when it’s on a train or the side of a building, but if that same design is put on canvas it then becomes art? Can we say the murals adorning city walls across the city are art because they were commissioned or sponsored, critiqued and vetted by a committee, but the designs that have been thrown up on a wall at night are not?
Recently I headed out with my camera along a nearby trail, the Valley View, and I passed a handful of runners, some kids and people out walking their dogs. I continued on, heading to a spot known as a teenagers’ hangout and a popular destination for photographers looking for that model-on-the-railroad-tracks
Q. I’ve heard people say that painting with traditional and water-soluble oils poses health hazards for the painter. Some say even people with whom the painter comes in close contact, such as family members, are at risk. Just how safe or unsafe are oil paints?
A. Traditional oil paints are basically a drying oil and pigment. Manufactures also add stabilizers because modern paints need to be stored for a considerable length of time before use. Stabilizers keep the oil from separating from the pigment. Let’s consider the safety of each of these components:
1. Drying Oils
Drying oils used in artists’ paints are mainly linseed, safflower, poppy or walnut. We know that linseed oil is safe to work with because we can buy specially processed food-grade quality linseed oils in health food stores as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. The health food industry uses the term flaxseed oil in reference to the plant from which we derive linseed. We use both safflower oil and walnut oil in cooking. Poppy oil doesn’t appear to be popular in the health food realm, and references point only to its use in paints; however, manufacturers do use
1. Small image
Often, the photos people send are candid shots, taken just for fun. While these photos have a lot of sentimental value, rarely are they large enough to do a quality rendition, particularly if you’re painting a person’s or pet’s portrait. (I often say, “I’m an artist, not a magician!”) You simply cannot draw what you cannot see. Being able to see all of the small details is what makes you able to accurately obtain a great likeness. If you cannot see the small things that make up the individual, you then have to fake it. This makes it “close” to the person, but that is not good enough. A good portrait must be spot on!
2. Blurry image
Even though someone may give you a photo reference that’s large enough, sometimes the photo is a bit blurred or out of focus. Again, you can’t see the details well enough to capture the likeness, and you cannot draw what you cannot see.
Free Download! How to Draw a Picture from a Photo: A Free Portrait Tutorial
3. Poor lighting
Having a large, clear photo is not all that matters. I’ve received reference photos
This is a time when we all declare to make some changes with New Year’s Resolutions. The turning of the calendar page to whole new year signifies a beginning and a clean slate to play with. An artist, however, may have a different looking list of resolutions than the average individual. Usually, it contains goals for creating more art!
I’m a firm believer of resolutions and goals. There’s something very creative about them, with thepossibility of recreating yourself in the process. We all are works in progress after all, and life is about change. Even as artists, we grow and change, and our artwork reflects our journeys.
If you’re a creative individual, here are some artistic New Year’s resolutions that you can use to become a better artist. Even after a 40-year career, I still strive to be better! An artist never quits learning or growing as long as we are alive.
New Year’s Resolutions for Artists
1. Commit to learning a new medium. There are endless drawing and painting techniques and always new products to play with. Is there something you think is interesting, but have never tried? Now is the time. Dive in! I’m
If you’ve never carved stamps before, rest assured you don’t need any special skills—you don’t even have to know how to draw. The carving part takes a little practice, but a few helpful tips will shortcut your path to success.
The tools and supplies needed are minimal and fairly inexpensive: a carving block (I like the Speedball Speedy-Carve blocks), a linoleum cutter handle with a chuck, a set of linoleum cutter blades, a craft knife, cutting mat, scrap paper, ink pads or water-based markers, and some baby wipes. Having two cutter handles allows you to switch between different blades quickly, instead of having to switch out blades in one handle. Cutter handles with a simple chuck system are easy to use–simply insert a blade and tighten it down.
Any type of design will work for stamp carving, but if you’re just beginning, I recommend starting with a simple shape, like a solid heart, leaf, or flower. The three-layer technique I’ll show you isn’t difficult, but practice first with some basic
Let’s start with the metal itself. I used a sheet of medium-weight copper metal from Amaco ArtEmboss, which has a thickness of 5 mil, about 10 times thicker than the tin foil you have in your kitchen. It’s sturdy stuff, but also nicely malleable. You can cut it with scissors, but I wouldn’t use good fabric scissors (the ones your mom always yelled at you for using); any decent pair of scissors will work. You’ll need a paper stump and a couple of styluses, with tips in different sizes. I used a set meant for shaping paper, but there are also specific metal embossing tools available. You should also have two surfaces to work on, one hard and one soft; I used a glass cutting mat, and also a piece of thin craft foam. And you’ll need a plastic stencil, (preferably one that’s not too detailed), and some low-tack tape (I used washi tape). Optional and not pictured here are modeling paste and a palette knife.
Decide what size piece you want to make, and cut the metal about 1″ larger in
Artists find inspiration in a variety of things: music, food, memories, and in their surroundings. But nature is unquestionably one of the more popular sources of inspiration for many artists. Whether it’s using found bits in artwork, being inspired by what is seen in nature, or using natural elements to create media to make art, artists continue to show us how nature fits into their art-making processes. See how some of our contributors incorporate nature in mixed-media art, and share some expert ideas, tips, and suggestions.
1. For artist, author, and instructor Nick Neddo, nature is more than a source of inspiration. Neddo looks to nature for art tools and media as well, making everything from paintbrushes and pens, to inks, crayons, and more. In his article “Charcoal Drawing Sticks” May/June 2016 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, he shares how to make your own charcoal sticks, using a backyard fire, an old tin, and narrow sticks from your surroundings. After scraping the bark from the sticks (he includes tips for the best types of wood to use), they are packed tightly in the tin, and the tin is set in a hot fire for at least an hour.
Think back to when you were in elementary school. In between doing all the dittos and spelling tests and times tables, there were specials (and aptly named, too). Nothing was quite as exciting as the gleeful anticipation of putting on your smock for art class or pulling out the wooden recorders for music. And when it was time for the class play, just forget it. Whether you starred as Snow White or donned a furry costume as Woodland Creature #7, school couldn’t get much better. And that was the whole point.
These days, however, not only are many kids lucky if they have art-on-a-cart, but when they do, proponents often have to justify the programs in relation to students’ performance on standardized reading and math tests. Because in the age of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), few things matter more than test scores (read our report on NCLB at Parenting.com/nclb). Well, the bad news first: Although kids who are involved in the arts do tend to test better, there’s no direct cause-and-effect evidence that participation actually helps raise scores.
This sounds like awful news and justification to slash school arts programs even further, right? But “dismissing