Visual Arts

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Drawing Light and Shadows

Light and shadows visually define objects. Before you can draw the light and shadows you see, you need to train your eyes to see like an artist.

Values are the different shades of gray between white and [more…]

Drawing Geometric Perspective

Geometric perspective (sometimes called linearperspective) makes subjects in a drawing look like they recede into distant space, appearing smaller the farther they are away from you. [more…]

Greek Architecture: Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian?

For the Greeks, temples were not only places to worship the gods but also impressive symbols of their society and culture. They were built as focal points on the highest ground of every city in Greece [more…]

Drawing the Furry, Fluffy, and Feathered

Drawing animals brings with it its own set of artistic difficulties. Most animals are always fully dressed. Their fashion statements vary from critter to critter, come in a variety of fashionable patterns [more…]

The Design Elements of Composing a Drawing

Composition refers to the organization, arrangement, and combination of objects within the borders of a drawing space. For a great drawing, you want to bring the eyes of the viewer toward your center of [more…]

Understanding Installation Art

Installation art is difficult to describe. In principal, it means taking a large interior (the exterior can be part of an installation, too) and loading it with disparate items that evoke complex and multiple [more…]

Creating Flesh Tones for Oil Painting

Because human flesh runs the color gamut from light to dark and pale to brilliant, re-creating flesh tones for your oil paintings can be one of the most difficult things to do. Many recipes for flesh tones [more…]

Watercolor Painting Technique: Creating Texture with Salt and Plastic

One of the endearing qualities of watercolor paint is that you can use a number of deceptively easy tricks to create some unexpected textures in your watercolor paintings. Not knowing the secrets, your [more…]

Choosing Brushes for Oil Painting

The best brushes for beginning oil painters are probably china bristle brushes, which are made from natural pig hair. They're tough and durable enough to stand up to the oil paint and still clean up nicely [more…]

Discovering the Joys of Drawing

Drawing can bring extraordinary and unexpected dimensions to your life. By adding drawing to your everyday experiences, you can change how you, and others, see the world. It's a powerful tool, one that [more…]

Creating Common Manga Characters

When you know how to draw a manga figure, you're ready to turn your attention to creating your own characters. A number of common archetypes appear often in manga. In this case, [more…]

Ten Ways to Improve Your Painting Skills

As you grow in your art, you may hit a plateau. You may need a kick-start for inspiration or wonder how to improve your art skills. The good news is that there are lots of ideas to push you to the next [more…]

Exploring the Ancient Pyramids

From the ancient civilizations of the Near East to the native peoples of Central America, pyramid building has been a common architectural design for thousands of years. [more…]

The Basics of Oil Paints

Oil paint developed in the early 15th century in northern Europe. Until that time, artists primarily used tempera, an egg-yolk-based paint. Artists "discovered [more…]

Exploring Glazing in Oil Paintings

One of the advantages of painting in oil is that you can work in layers of color. The big overall term for this technique is glazing, in which you can see two distinct colors at the same time. [more…]

Spotting Good Architecture

Ancient Roman architect Vitruvius insisted that three fundamental principles are essential to architecture. His formula still holds true. A building must balance all three to be considered architecture [more…]

Discovering Italian High Renaissance Artists

If you are familiar with any Renaissance, it is with the Italian High Renaissance. In this article, you encounter names of master artists that have become household words. Now you can put those names in [more…]

Watercolor Painting Technique: Using Wax to Preserve White

Typically, you paint on white watercolor paper. And ideally, you save the white of the paper to serve as the white in the painting. That is, you paint around the white areas, leaving the white paper to [more…]

The Birth of Impressionism: Manet and Monet

Impressionism began to take shape in the 1860s on the canvases of Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. But the actual birth of Impressionism was probably the summer of 1869, when Monet [more…]

Discovering the Baroque Masters: Caravaggio and His Followers

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, known more simply as Caravaggio (1571–1610), was the greatest and most influential painter of the Baroque style. He was also a quick-tempered Bohemian who was often jailed [more…]

Four Painters You Can Learn From

You already know famous painters like Leonardo da Vinci, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Claude Monet; well, here are four well-known artists that you may not be so familiar with. Look them all up and don't pass [more…]

Constructing Your Manga Plot

Following are the basic stages that a manga-ka (a manga artist) uses to create an original plot. The basic stages are widely embraced by the manga-ka community today, and they originate from classical [more…]

Becoming an Art Connoisseur

There have been many gifted and sharp-eyed curators (keepers and protectors) in the 129-year history of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art — hundreds of them, expert in fields as diverse as ancient [more…]

Picking Watercolor Paper: Weight and Texture

There are many characteristics of watercolor paper to consider when you're shopping for paper for your watercolor painting. Two important characteristics are [more…]

Defining Romanticism in the Arts

Many art historians will tell you that Romanticism slips through your fingers when you try to define it. That's partly because Romantic artists didn't have one style like the Impressionists or Expressionists [more…]

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