Visual Arts - Painting

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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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Circling the Color Wheel for Watercolor Painting

Watercolor painting is a little about water and a little about color. You can get the water many places, but becoming familiar with the color wheel may take a bit more time. The color wheel shows the primary [more…]

Evaluating Color Value for Watercolor Painting

A color’s value measures where it falls on a range between dark and light. Value is an important aspect of watercolor painting. You may want to determine the value of a color to create strong value patterns [more…]

Picking Paint Pigments for Watercolor Painting

Choosing the paints you’ll use in creating watercolors is a major necessity and a major treat. When you buy watercolor paints for the first time, print out the following pigment chart and take it with [more…]

Choosing Watercolor Pigments According to Color Bias

Each one of the primary colors — red, yellow, and blue — is biased, meaning that it leans toward one of the other two primary colors. When mixing watercolor paints to get a secondary color — orange, green [more…]

Watercolor Painting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Watercolor painting lets you explore the world of color from a uniquely wet perspective, but, in the end, it’s mostly about the color. You have to become familiar with the color wheel and its primary and [more…]

Oil Painting Supplies

Before you begin an oil painting project, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and get organized to avoid disruptions. Use this list as a guide for assembling the most useful oil painting materials [more…]

Using the Color Wheel for Oil Painting

Keep this wheel handy when you’re working on your oil painting to remind you which colors mix to make other colors and which hues are complementary. Mix the two colors on either side of the color you want [more…]

Making and Using a Viewfinder for Oil Painting

Once your oil painting work area is prepared and you’ve selected an area of your still life to paint, a viewfinder is a useful tool for composing a strong picture. A viewfinder crops out the areas of your [more…]

Caring for Your Oil Painting Brushes

When you’re ready to call it a day learn how to properly clean your oil painting brushes so they stay in good shape and can be used over and over: [more…]

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