Visual Arts

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The Art of American Realism

Some American artists followed traditions developed in Europe; others preferred homegrown styles. Realism — painting that is grounded in the ordinary and captures day-to-day life — was a natural for pragmatic [more…]

The Rococo Influence in British Art

Although the Rococo movement never got a foothold on British soil, English artists still felt its influence like a fresh breeze from across the English Channel. Without becoming flamboyant, a new, lighter [more…]

Recognizing the Many Faces of Art Forgeries

Art forgeries come in three general categories. One is the straight copy. The straight copy is just that — the forger copies exactly an existing artwork without making changes. The second is called a [more…]

Tracing the Rise of Manga's Popularity

Although manga (pronounced MAHN-gah or MANG-ah) may seem like a fairly new art form, humorous and satirical illustrations trace back to 12th-century Japan. Although now understood to mean [more…]

Watercolor Painting Paper: Sheets, Blocks, or Pads

When you're buying paper for your watercolor creation, you don't want to skimp on paper quality. Cheap paper can't take the abuse required of watercolor. Good watercolor paper is made of 100 percent cotton [more…]

Tracking the "Noble Savage": Paul Gauguin

The bright colors and shocking contrasts of Paul Gauguin's paintings have amazed and perplexed artists and art lovers for over a century, and the story behind Gauguin's life and style is as interesting [more…]

Discovering the Gold Standards of Architectural Rescue

Today, American architects follow standards established by the Secretary of the Interior when preserving architecture. The following definitions for preservation, restoration, reconstruction and replication [more…]

How to Darken Acrylic Paint Colors by Shading

Adding black paint to an a lighter acrylic paint color makes it turn darker. This is called shading. Below is an assortment of colors that have been gradually darkened by adding touches of black paint. [more…]

How to Get More Natural Blacks with Acrylic Paints

In an artpiece, black can be over-powering and too dark. It may look like a hole in your painting. A good alternative to using true black paint is to create a color that’s near black by mixing complementary [more…]

Checklist for Painting with Acrylics

Look over this handy list of supplies before you start an acrylic painting. Whether you're taking your first art class or painting a masterpiece at home, this checklist gets you prepared. [more…]

Quick Tips for Using Acrylic Paints

Painting with acrylics is different from other mediums because of the paint's density (thickness) and acrylic drying patterns. Artists of all levels will appreciate these tips about the properties of acrylic [more…]

Using a Color Wheel When Mixing Acrylic Paints

Using a color wheel will help you learn to mix acrylic paints to get the colors you want. Color mixing adds detail and excitement to your artwork.

The primary [more…]

Tinting Acrylic Paint Colors

Lightening your acrylic paint colors with white paint is called tinting. Each color has a limit on just how much lighter you can make it. This is called tinting strength. Dark colors have a higher tinting [more…]

Acrylic Painting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Many artists prefer using acrylic paint more than oils or watercolors. Enjoy painting your first artpiece in acrylics with know how about art supplies, color mixing, and acrylic paint characteristics. [more…]

Graphite Drawing Pencil Grades

Graphite drawing pencils are essential drawing tools because they have a variety of grades and work well in all styles of drawing. This handy chart is a guide for the range of values of 16 popular graphite [more…]

Choosing Pastel Colors with the Color Wheel

When working with pastel (or any art medium), a color wheel is a tool you should be familiar with because it helps you understand hue relationships and choose colors for pastel compositions. The following [more…]

Making and Using a Viewfinder to Set Pastel Compositions

A viewfinder helps you focus your scene and determine your pastel work’s orientation. You can buy various adjustable and window viewfinders, but you can easily make your own as well. Your pastel composition [more…]

Coming Up with Fresh Ideas to Draw with Your Pastels

Whether you’re new to drawing with pastels or have drawn hundreds of pastel works, you may find yourself in need of fresh subject ideas. When the idea tank is dry, fill it up with the following drawing [more…]

Pastels For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Drawing with pastels can be both fun and intimidating, but a few tips and tools can help you set pastel compositions and choose colors like a pro. With your sketchbook, viewfinder, and color wheel in hand [more…]

Common Manga Archetypes

The type of Japanese comics or cartoons called manga has its archetypes — classic examples of the art — just like every other art form. The archetypal characters and plots you encounter in manga generally [more…]

Basic Manga Genres

Manga cartoons and comics come in several different styles, geared toward different audiences that range from young children to older readers interested in topical issues. The following list describes [more…]

Manga Materials to Bring to a Convention

If you’re promoting your manga or manga-inspired work in an exhibit or at a manga convention, you need to have a balance of freebies and money-makers to hand out as well as equipment for your display. [more…]

Manga For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Japanese comics and cartoons known as manga bring a unique style to age-old art forms. Like the art forms that precede it, manga works within specific archetypes and genres. However, the manga conventions [more…]

Art History Timeline

The history of art is immense, the earliest cave paintings pre-date writing by almost 27,000 years! If you're interested in art history, the first thing you should do is take a look at this table which [more…]

Art History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Studying art history starts with taking a look at the timeline of major art periods, including the artists and events that defined these movements and the evolution of art over time. [more…]

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