Paul Gauguin

Vincent Van Gogh is easily among the best known and most beloved artists in art history. However, it is worth remembering that while Van Gogh went to Arles to start his utopian artistic colony, he was desperate for one particular artist to come see him and share in his dream. That artist was French painter Paul Gauguin, whose approval was highly sought by Van Gogh. Indeed, artists like Picasso and Matisse were highly inspired by the works of Gauguin and his legacy also lives in their works.

Gauguin started his artistic career painting in his free time. He liked to go to art exhibits and bough paintings of contemporary artists. He also befriended Camille Pissarro who in turn introduced him to a number of other artists, including Paul Cezanne with whom he has in later times often been compared. However, the most famous works of Gauguin came about not through his connections with other artists but through his travel to the Caribbean. Here, his art developed past the norms of impressionism as local symbolism and pure saturated colors entered his paintings. He produced a number of paintings depicting the natives of these exotic lands including "Tahitian Women on the Beach", "Woman with a Flower" and many more. These paintings are all characterized by the same constant pure colors with the colors themselves being more important than the lines in the paintings. This resulted in some very powerful paintings, in which the saturated colors themselves are at least as influential as the motive in telling us the mood of the painting. This use of saturated colors in a subjective fashion along with the very basic shapes used to depict people inspired later movements like Fauvism, cubism and the Synthetist style in modern arts. As Europe was at the time fascinated by the arts of other cultures, especially the Japanese arts who counted artists like Monet among its followers, the exotic nature of the subjects and the inspiration from native arts also added to the appeal of the art of Gauguin.

However, like many an artist, Gauguin would never see such recognition while he was himself alive. He lead an unhealthy life with plenty of alcohol, compensated for a lack of income with manual labor like on the Panama canal and even got sentenced to 3 months in prison due to problems with both church and state. He never did serve this sentence however, as he died of syphilis in 1903 before the sentence could be carried out. He was 54 years old. The interest in his work took off soon after his death, with post-humorous exhibitions at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1903 and 1906 drawing large crowds. Among the spectators was Pablo Picasso who was immensely inspired by the works he saw there. The price of the works of Gauguin has followed the same trajectory as the artists fame and importance. Though they are rarely traded, works have been known to fetch prices of up to $39.2 million. The inspiration of Gauguin also extends beyond the painted canvas. Somerset Maugham's book "The Moon and Sixpence" is thus based on the life of Gauguin, just like both operas and piano concerts have been composed in his memory.

Today, most major works by Gauguin can be found at museums in the US, including at the Boston "Museum of Fine Arts", the New York "Museum of Modern Arts" and the Albright-Know Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

To see a large selection of hand painted oil painting reproductions from all the great artists including Paul Gauguin please check out art reproductions.

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Pet Portrait Pointers - Learn The Subtle Tricks Of Oil Painting

I have learned, when doing my pet portraits, that oil paintings have a luster and glow that cannot be matched by other works of art. Place an oil painting next to, for instance, a painting done with something like acrylics, and this will become plain to see. Here are some things you should remember when using oil in paintings.

When creating an oil painting one should increase the amount of oil for each overlapping layer of paint. This is important because the lower layers of paint tend to 'suck' at the high layers of oil. Proper layering will decrease the chances of the oil cracking on the top layers of paint.

The drying time of oil is can be highly variable from one color to another color. Using a color like ivory black, for instance, will result in that particular oil drying slower than other colors. As silly as it sounds, one needs to actually 'watch the paint dry' to get an idea for this.

Linseed oil is a very valuable material if you want your painting to dry evenly. It is especially useful in the underlying layers of oil in your painting. Linseed oil has a tendency to to dry at the same, even rate.

You should know, however, that linseed oil is not good for all colors. It can cause certain lighter types of colors to 'yellow.' So you should avoid the use of linseed oil whenever you are using lighter colors.

You can hurry up the dry time of your creation by mixing in the proper 'ingredients.' Paints having such elements as lead, cobalt and manganese, for instance, will speed up drying time considerably. You can also mix these pigments with other types of colors if you need a particular oil to dry faster.

And here's a funny one that won't occur to many people, if you dry your painting in the dark, a thin sheen of oil may rise to the surface. This will cause your painting to take on a yellowish tint. So you must leave the lights on when the oil in your painting is drying.

There are other things you should be careful of when working with oil, so the beginning artist must do is 9or her) research before starting work. Is your painting wrinkly, yellowed, sticky after a week, or even two, or (horrors) even three? Simply do a little research, and then, like I do with my pet portraits, start work on another painting.

Want to know more about Oil? Want to have your pet portrait done? Head over on over to

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What Are The Advantages of Selling Art Online?

Web-based artist networks, art marketplaces, and online art galleries are helping artists who are selling art online, a more and more common practice as time goes by. More often than not, selling your art online on your own can be an experience that disenchants many artists with the prospect of selling art online using any tool; even a personal website can be difficult to manage in comparison to an online gallery account.

The online art market is growing considerably, and with online art sales on the rise, it is proving to be an increasingly fruitful avenue for artists, even compared to traditional methods for selling art as an artist. Previously established networks like those used by online art marketplaces and gallery settings have many things going for them that personal websites do not, namely the ability to draw on greater authority rankings that help them appear higher on search engine results. Larger sites draw a large portion of the market of online art buyers looking for artists who are selling art online. These buyers are already seeking art to buy online, and are open to the prospect of purchasing directly from the artist. Selling your art online can be difficult if you are only selling from your own personal website. Increase the scope of the audience who can potentially see your work by including your pieces in an online art gallery or marketplace!

Traditional galleries have the problem that they are highly localized in their traffic, whereas with the online revolution, someone in England can buy a painting or sculpture piece from an artist in Hawaii, arrange for shipping, and pay the artist directly. Galleries also have limited wall space, which is not an issue when you're selling your art online.

Many websites have sprung up to help artists with the task of selling art online; they often charge a nominal fee, some one time, some annual, and some taking a commission of each sale an artist makes, but no matter the payment model being used this is often much less than an artist would pay to display their work in a traditional brick and mortar venue. A virtual listing for a piece of art allows the artist who is selling art online to display at least one image, often more, of their work as well as a description of the piece that can be key word optimized for better search engine exposure, and contact information for interested buyers. The advantages of selling your art works online are numerous, and center around the several ways that you can save both money and time. Your worries over maintaining a physical gallery space are over if you decide to work on selling your art online! No more rent and maintenance worries, no more adjusting your schedule to fit that of the gallery, with online art sales it is all between you as the artist and your buyer, and that is as it should be.

Compared to selling art pieces online, gallery sales are a lot harder to come by. But just because there is greater potential for an artist selling art online to make more sales does not mean that these sales will come without a little effort on the part of the artist. The way the internet works for someone selling art online it is all about your 'findability'. So when someone searches for something using a specific word or phrase, the websites which are ranked best for those terms come up in order of relevance and importance. The better you describe your work when creating a listing on an art sales website, the better chance you have of making a sale. Now this does not mean that you should find a list of popular search terms for selling art online and cram as many of them into your description box as possible, but rather select a few that are most closely associated with your piece or gallery as a while, and work those into your description text.

Making a sale using your new online gallery pages can be fun if you want it to be. This does not mean that marketing yourself effectively will not require a little effort on your part, but if you let yourself enjoy the challenge, it can be a very rewarding way to see the fruits of your labor ripening on the vine. Promote yourself and your work through social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ with links to your gallery and pictures of your work (make sure to use watermarks to protect your unsold pieces) and encourage your friends and contacts to share these with their contacts as well. Selling art online doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming if done correctly, so stay tuned for more information how to sell your art online and all the benefits you can expect to enjoy!

Are you considering selling art online? If so, check out, one of the best online art marketplaces on the internet. Buying and selling art online has never been easier!

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Vanity and Arts

You know when someone is happy within, she is blooming. Whatever that really means we can just tell that there is a glow in her skin, there is a positive change in her aura, or simply put she is beautiful when compared before. Being previously ugly is not insinuated here, anyway. But she is just like an art retouched or better yet an affordable art that recently has appraised its price.

Vanity is seasonal. And a person who is vain is a person who is happy within. This only connotes of love for herself. Hypocrisy aside, a person not loving oneself is depressed. Love of self is different from selfishness as how vanity as a sin quoting the Bible is different from vanity every girl loves to be accused of. It simply means, she is happy to wake up in the morning looking at oneself and being cautious of how much water she has drunk which is good enough for the day to flush out toxins from her body. It is health, wellness, neatness, hygiene, and beauty. Then what could be wrong of being vain when this is much better than waking up one day and the least thing you want to see is your reflection in the morning which for you is extremely unsightly. No matter how other things may seem okay, this only denotes one thing. And that is depression. Beauty is an art. When one looks dull, then you can tell that there is no art in her life because a simple song or poetry or a relaxing wall painting can make the heart grow ponder already and appreciating not a single art form is a life on the verge of ending because there is no appreciation anymore of the pleasures around us.

Vanity for woman can be about art she puts on her body like some accessories or by trendy clothes that will make her look stylish. But the best vanity of all is an affordable art that every woman can have. It is health and wellness. This is being fit with glowing skin, knowing what hair style and what clothes suit you, and realizing that overdressing and over styling can overshadow your own self. A woman needs to carry her dress, her style, and her art and not the other way around.

The bottomline of this is a woman who is loving herself is happy. A woman who is not interested to look at herself in the mirror is not happy at all but may appear as disguised by achievement, power, money, and worst the happiness of someone.

Original article

Painting a Beach Scene - Some Very Helpful Tips

One of the most popular subjects at art classes are beach scenes to paint. Learning how to paint a beach scene can be done in several ways. The easiest of course is painting a calm day at the beach. For the more adventurous artist, a rough storm beach may be the task at hand. Here are some basic tips to help you learn how to paint a beach scene.

Painting the Sky

In general, you should start any landscape or seascape painting with the sky. Examine various pictures or other paintings to determine how you would like your sky to appear. The sky and water can meet anywhere on the canvas. If the horizon line is lower on the canvas, the sky will be the emphasis, likewise, if the horizon line is high on the canvas, there will be more water, and this will be the emphasis. I like to keep the top portion of the sky the darkest and lighten as I worked downward. As you paint, bring the sky colors down beneath where the horizon line or ocean will start. And tiny touches of reds, yellows, dark blues, or oranges to add interest and drama to the sky. Sometimes simply allowing streaks of color to show will appear as if they are the distant clouds. If you don't know how to paint white fluffy clouds than just let the sky remain plain. Many people try to blend their colors so that no lines or variation shows. This is a mistake. A viewer will look at the painting because it interests them. So be aware that you should not try to blend and smooth your sky colors too much. Remember that the more colors and "movement" in the sky, the more turbulent the weather will appear.

Painting the Water

Now it is time to paint the water in your beach scene. Always use the same colors in the water as you used in the sky. You will want to darken the colors however. Starting at the horizon line, paint in a straight horizontal horizon. The straighter this top edge of water, the more distant it will appear. Now work your water forward, adding and varying the colors. Mix in some greens, browns and even touches of reds. Use the same combination of sky colors, just use more of them. Remember not to over blend the colors. Also for the perception of depth, remember that objects, even waves, will appear smaller and more horizontal in the distance. Therefore any roughness or waves will be smaller in the background and enlarge as you work forward. For the appearance of shallow water lighten the colors by adding yellows.

Painting the Beach

The easiest way to begin a beach is to add browns to the water area as you approach where the land begins. Remember that water is transparent so begin to add the sand color while decreasing the blue water color. Now you should be almost to the bottom or front of the canvas. If you start adding white to the sand color it will appear that the sand is moist. I like to use loose long vertical "z" strokes with some white as I complete my final areas of the beach. Work this beach color right to the bottom of the canvas.

Waves, Rocks and Final Touches

Waves can be indicated by adding small choppy strokes of dark and or light colors. Variety is the key when it comes to indicating that water is in motion. If you want to create some dramatic movement of waves, you might want to add some white wave tops by dabbing spots of white in wave shapes near the front of the painting where the water would be hitting land or rocks. To add rocks, paint some dark "rock" forms near the front of the canvas. Keep the bottom of the rocks nice and horizontal. Lighten the dark rock color and highlight each rock, but be careful not to paint over all of the base color. If you need to highlight that color even more, touch on some final bright highlights wherever the light might be the brightest on the rock. Gently dab white here and there around the rock bases or where water would be splashing. Straight lines of white at the base of the rocks give the indication of water and help to "set" the rock nicely into the painting.

If you keep practicing using these tips you are sure to be able to paint a beach scene in no time. In the beginning, keep it simple and paint a calm day beach scene. As you become more experienced, add drama by using more color and stroke variety. Have fun practicing these beach scenes to paint.

If you want to see exactly how to paint people and landscapes in step-by-step lessons, follow the link here. Painting People and landscapes with oil, acrylic or watercolor paint. The best way to begin painting is to follow prescribed instruction and get your feet wet. With a little practice, you will be well on your way to a rewarding hobby of painting. Let show you how!

Original article

Corporate Art Collections: A Very Large Market for Artists

In the business world, art is not a basic necessity. In fact, in North America, it has been viewed as an unnecessary luxury or a distracting frivolity. Often businessmen do not even notice the absence of art or good design. Clients come through the door because they already know that the company is offering what they need and want, and as soon as they are no longer satisfied with either the goods, services, or prices, they will leave - no matter what kind of art is on the walls. The art might enhance their experience or underline a certain theme, but in corporate life there is no substitute for the direct experience of a satisfactory business transaction. But companies continue to buy art and the amount of corporate art acquisitions yearly are greater than art purchased by museums or private collectors.

After over 30 years of documenting and working in the artworld, I have learned some basic truths that demonstrate that corporate art collecting is a very important part of the artworld, but it still has unique characteristics that you need to understand to successfully sell your art. One of the myths about corporate art is that businesses buy art as an investment. If the corporate art collection appreciates in value, that fact might be satisfying to corporate executives, and it is true that art purchased wisely will probably have a much better return when it is sold later -- but there is a much stronger desire to buy art rather than trying to sell it at the top of the market. Corporations already have many other profit-making skills, so they leave the "buying and selling art for profit" to others.

Corporations are more interested in enhancing their corporate image by developing and maintaining art collections - the collections are often considered to be a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility program. Often considered to be the new patrons of art - and many journalists have referred to them as the modern equivalent of the Medici -- many corporations are shouldering the responsibility in promoting art and culture within the society they belong to.

But a fundamental reason that encourages corporate art collecting is the fact that there have been several studies that have demonstrated that employee and corporate efficiency, productivity, and creativity increase when art is placed in the work place.

And it's not just employees who see the benefit of art in the workplace, it also has a positive effect with visitors and customers. Well positioned artwork often becomes a talking point for visitors, and it helps promote the company's image as it provides evidence of the company's interest in improving the working environment for their employees.

Art in the workplace is really a part of a larger trend. It is a part of the trend towards humanizing the work place. It's all part of the environment and its part of the desire to make the office a better place to work..... And improving the quality of life for everyone.

So how can an artist or art advisor promote and sell their art to corporations? Realize that art is not only purchased by the big corporations such as Citibank, Bank of America and Microsoft, but also smaller companies, law firms, accounting companies, hotels, and even restaurants. These may also be more accessible and less competitive, and may be especially interested in working with regional and local art galleries and artists.

Most companies that have smaller collections also tend to be more interested in artworks by artists from the region in which the company operates. And even large multi-national companies tend to acquire artworks from artists in the different countries where they have branches.

Companies are often concerned with being good corporate citizens. They view their art collections as a way to support the local fine arts community. Putting money - and in this case, art - into the community, while improving that community and creating goodwill, is in the best interest of the company

In addition to the traditional media of paintings, original prints, and sculpture, one of the interesting recent phenomena is the growing number of companies now collecting crafts and folk art. Today, crafts are a totally accepted medium and are very easy to acquire. Craft art is everywhere, and is easier often than sculpture because crafts are less expensive and the imagery is usually more accessible.

Corporate art collecting is now an established segment of the art world, with its own corps of professionals and specialists, and its own philosophy and standards of ethics. The more you know about the corporate arr world, the better chance you have to sell your art.

A useful tool that is available today is the "International Directory of Corporate Art Collections." This directory, available in an digital downloadable form, has been in publication since 1983 and has basic information on nearly 1000 collections around the world.

Shirley Reiff Howarth, an art historian and former museum director and curator, is founder and editor of the "International Directory of Corporate Art Collections." In publication since 1983, this directory provides information on about 1000 corporate collections and is available in an online download format at International Art Alliance. You can also find continuing news about the corporate artworld at her website at Corporate Art World that features current news about corporate art.

Original article

How to Paint Eyes - Easy Tips For Painting Realistic Eyes

When learning how to paint eyes and portraits, it's pretty important to learn how to paint them realistically. Like all facial features, if the eyes aren't correct, the likeness of the subject will be lost. If the subject is far away, you can get away with less detail, but if the subject is close, you will need to pay attention to details. Follow these guidelines and you should see improvements in your painting efforts.


There are quite a few steps in accurately painting the facial features of the human eye. When you paint eyes, remember to include the upper and lower eyelids, the white and colored parts, the iris and pupil, the eyelashes, the membrane in the corner and the highlights. It is including each of these components that gives the eye depth and realism.


Whenever I paint portraits, I like to make the task as easy as possible. I like to paint, not draw. For this reason, I almost always use tracing paper, the grid method or the carbon tracing method to get a most accurate sketch on the canvas. My favorite method is the carbon tracing method. You will need a printed black and white copy of the subject to be painted. This copy needs to be the exact size that you are painting. Take some soft charcoal and darken the back of the copy. Now place the paper on the canvas with the carbon side down. With a sharp pencil, trace the entire eye (and the rest of the photo too). Your drawing should be exactly in correct placement because you have followed the lines on the photo.

If you do this, then you should not have too much difficulty with the placement of the eyes. With whichever method you use for getting the sketch on the canvas, and if your reference photo is the same size as the painting, you could also use a ruler to make sure that your drawing is accurate. Sometimes the smallest mistake can make your eyes seem out of place. It's worth the time it takes to get the drawing correct.

Applying Color

For this example I will start with the outside and work inward. Assuming that you have your skin color mixed and on the palette, apply a thin coat of color to the entire area. Be careful not to cover up or hide your pencil/charcoal drawing however. Now lighten that color and apply a light coat to the upper lid for highlight. To emphasizes the creases, add some dark lines back in. Continue adding layers of skin color until your drawing is covered by paint. Now add white paint to the "white" portion of the eye. This white is usually grayed down. Look closely and you will see that the white of an eye is not pure white. Next, add a tiny bit of pink in the corner or the membrane. Now with what ever color the iris is, paint in a circular shape in the colored area or iris. Brown eyes typically have a "wagon wheel" spoke look to them. Use varying shade of browns to mimic the correct color. Blue eyes tend to have more of a circular shape. Darken the iris color on the palette and paint in each pupil, then outline each iris. The final white highlight is the finishing touch for the completed eyeball. Add a tiny bright white highlight in each pupil. The highlight gives the indication of moisture and reflection. To create the eyelids, a very light skin color usually works best to re-define the top and lower lids.

Adding Eyelashes and Eyebrows

When adding eyelashes, care needs to be taken so that you don't ruin them by adding too many! Less is sometimes more when it comes to adding eyelashes and eyebrows. Follow the exact shape of the eyelashes with a fine tipped brush and quick small strokes paint in a few of the eyelashes. Note that in general, eyelashes go outward not straight up! The more you paint in, the more prominent they will be on the painting, especially on the bottom lid. I suggest to paint in a few, step back and look before painting any more. For the eyebrows, the same is true, small quick strokes, step back and view often so that you don't overdo them.

Now you have all the components of the eye in place. A little fine tuning and highlights and or shadows and your portrait efforts should be fantastic! This is truly learning how to paint eyes the easy way.

If you want to see exactly how to paint people and landscapes in step-by-step lessons, follow the link here. Painting People and landscapes with oil, acrylic or watercolor paint. The best way to begin painting is to follow prescribed instruction and get your feet wet. With a little practice, you will be well on your way to a rewarding hobby of painting. Let show you how!

Original article

Claude Monet's Poplars

Among the most famous works by Claude Monet are his series of paintings. In these, he dedicated himself to a single subject and portrays it through the different seasons, weather and times of day. These different times among other offers vastly different light and it is this effect of light that lay at the heart of Monet's painting series. The light thus determined how parliament in London could look both red-orange in the early morning and blue and white in the mist of the Thames. It was similar effects that Monet explored in his paintings of Rouen Cathedral, of Haystacks and grain stacks in the French countryside and even of the water lilies in his own back yard. It is the comparability of the motives that enabled Monet to bring out the effects of the light and how it contrasted with the effects at different times of the day and year. These effects made the same motive evolve into very different paintings, though everything but the conditions in which it was depicted was the same.

The paintings of the series were made where the river makes an S-curve, thus making allowing poplar trees to constitute both the main subject and the background of the painting. While Monet painted three different Poplar motives, this is the main one of the series.

In order to paint the trees, Monet had to setup a floating studio in the River Epte. This studio was moored in the river. Monet would then go to the studio by a small boat and work on the paintings. However, further complications arose. The trees themselves were the property of the commune of Limetz, and the commune offered them up for auction to timber merchants before Monet could finish his whole series. This forced Monet himself to actually buy the trees so that he could finish his paintings. Once the series was complete, he then sold the trees back to the timber merchant who had originally expressed interest in them. Perhaps such minor problems can have helped Monet's move to more fixed subjects for his series of paintings, like Parliament and Rouen Cathedral and such. At least, there was less of a chance that he would be forced into buying any of those in order to finish his series of paintings.

While being an early series of paintings by Monet, Poplars also exhibit the idea of the Monet painting series as well as any. The way the different conditions create different light which in turn affects the palette used to depict the trees is beautiful and expertly executed. The sense of nature in the paintings also adds to their appeal.

The different Poplar paintings can today be found at leading art museums across the world, including The Tate, The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo and the National Gallery of Scotland.

To see a online gallery of hand painted oil painting reproductions from all the great artists please check out the site which has a wide selection of Claude Monet Reproductions.

Original article

Fluidism Art - From Traditional To Transcendental Action Painting

New Category Of Art

The word, "fluidism", can be used to label a distinctive category of fine art painting where both the substrate and the subject are the same. "Substrate" means the actual material from which a painting is constructed (i.e., the paint). "Subject" means the intellectual motivation from which a painting grows(i.e., the meaning, representation, or purpose).

In fluidism art, the substrate (i.e., what the painting is made of) and the subject (i.e., what the painting is about) are inseparable. The substrate IS the subject, and the subject IS the substrate. The visual and verbal appeal of fluids extends directly from physical properties, chemical characteristics, and dynamical patterns of fluids in motion. In fluidism art, both the perceptual and the conceptual appeal of fluids interact to produce deep enlightenment.

Fluidism paintng, thus, is the activity of mixing and manipulating real fluids, in order to discover, to experience, and to present fluid dynamic patterns as ephemeral forms of art.

Primal Source Of Inspiration and Intelligence

Throughout history, various artists have engaged in creative activities that fit the label, "fluidism". More than 2000 years ago, Shinto priests of ancient China, for example, created sacred art by dropping ink into ponds and transferring the resulting concentric patterns to rice paper. Ancient Japanese artists, during the twelfth century, refined this ink-dropping style into what later came to be classified formally as suminagashi, which means "floating ink ". Craftspeople in the Ottoman Empire, during the fifteenth century, developed a closely related painting style called "ebru", which roughly means "cloud art."

In modern times, a technique known as "marbling" came into fashion in the West, subsequently falling out and into fashion periodically. Closer to the present-day, as the physics of fluid dynamics progressed, various science students discovered the beauty of this physics, which resulted in some scientific-minded people turning their primary interests towards the art of fluid dynamics. One such scientist-turned-artist, for example, is Chris Parks, who originally studied engineering at the Imperial College, London.

Most of the world's religions appear to have always had a close connection to fluids that ran parallel to artistic and scientific interests. The idea that life and reality arose from fluids, in fact, seems widespread in the world's various beliefs, from Ancient Egyptian myths to modern Judeo-Christian stories of creation.

While select artists throughout history have found great inspiration in fluids, and while modern science has made extensive use of fluid dynamical ideas, almost all religions have revered fluid as the origin and foundation of reality, as we know it.

Modern astronauts have played with fluid water in the weightlessness of outer space. Contemporary painters have played with fluid paints in the minimal-gravity conditions of parabolic airplane flights. Don Petit is one such astronaut, and Frank Pietronigro is one such painter. Both metaphysics and physics now revere fluid in each field's own special way.

Consequently, a special word, "fluidism", seems justified to help unify this widespread, human creative interest.

Transcendental Action Painting

American painter, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) might best be regarded as the premier fluidism artist. Art critics of his day referred to him as an "abstract expressionist" or, more specifically, as a "drip painter" or "action painter." Pollock, however, probably understood fully that he was not intentionally expressing anything. Rather, he was the expression itself--both the substance and the action of the expression, without any formal intentions to be either. Pollock realized that spontaneous actions could result in pleasing patterns. His dried painted patterns were frozen echoes of his once liquid actions. Pollock, thus, was an extension of the active flow of his chosen substrate (i.e., paint). He could register residual patterns of his actions in the original paint medium, because these patterns were stable while still wet. Pollock's fluid patterns dried in almost the exact same appearances as their wet counterparts.

The advent and advancement of photography has shown clearly that some fluid patterns cannot dry in their original substrates. These fluid patterns either are too transient, or they are destroyed by drying. In other words, some visually appealing moments of wet flow cannot be preserved in the original substrates where they emerge. A bubble, for example, pops. A splashing sheet of liquid quickly moves from the air back into the mass from which it splashed. A particular collision or striation of liquid layers dissipates, before the mechanics of drying can even take hold to contain those patterns. Clearly, the idea of "painting" extends beyond the substrate of the dry painted artifact.

Photography has shown that painting is, or can be, an action where certain patterns cannot be captured, unless an artist transcends the medium in which those patterns originate. A photographic artist, thus, can capture an impression of a bubble before the bubble pops. A photographic artist can virtually freeze a flying sheet of liquid before the sheet crashes back into its mother pool. A photographic artist can immobilize a particularly appealing color collision or a particular striation of colored liquid bands, before they dissipate into homogeneous solution. Patterns once invisible because of the speed of particular actions now can be made visible by the stop-action capability of the photographic artist's camera. Photography makes possible a class of action paintings that defy the traditional static definition of the word, "painting".

Fluidism, then, has evolved from various traditions that involve manipulating wet liquids and allowing these liquids to dry. Fluidism has evolved into the modern pursuit of photographing manipulated liquids while they are still wet. Traditionally, only dried remnants of stable wet patterns were possible artifacts. Now virtual dried remnants (i.e., photographs) of ephemeral, impossible-to-dry patterns are possible. These are "transcendental action paintings"--profound extensions of the basic idea of "painting."

Copyright (c) 2011 Robert G. Kernodle

Robert G. Kernodle lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he spends time making and writing about fluidism art. A portfolio of his favorite fluidism images is presented at:

Original article

Jack Shadbolt: Vancouver, War, and Scavenger Dogs

When months ago I visited the Shadbolt Art Centre for the first time- an Art facility nestled in the scenic Deer Lake Park in Burnaby- I had no idea that the centre was named after two very influential Burnaby artists and art lovers: Jack Shadbolt and his wife, Doris Shadbolt.

So, when on a recent trip to the library I saw a book on Jack Shadbolt by Scott Watson, I didn't think twice before picking it up.

Born to English parents on the 4th of February 1909 in Shoeburyness- an Essex county village in England- Jack Shadbolt was the second of five children. He moved to Canada with his family in 1912. The idea of immigrating to Canada was his mother's; a dress maker, a strong, religious Christian woman and the dominant figure in his family whose strict work ethics and perfectionist and religious views would haunt and repress Jack and create in him a restlessness that would drive him to "create" at all times.

He created in order to escape the rigidness of his household and the feeling of inadequacy his mother's dominant and demanding personality instilled in him. As a child Jack often escaped into nature and the outdoors, he also fled into a world of imagination and fantasy, enjoying exotic, fantastical and oriental tales. He was drawn to the dark and the cruel, and this would later show in his paintings.

Jack's father was a sign painter and a paper hanger, and Jack often helped him with his work. Between his mother's dressmaking, his father's painting, and his sisters' fondness of playing the piano, Shadbolt grew up in an artistic home. The Shadbolts first lived in Nelson British Columbia for two years, before moving to Victoria.

In addition to commercial art, as a teenager Jack loved sports and even had Olympic aspirations in track and field. In 1927, he enrolled in Victoria College and met Max Maynard. Maynard would become his good friend and first mentor on modern art. His ideas and passion would inspire Jack's decision to becoming an artist himself. With Maynard, he met Emily Carr and would later write a critique on her work.

The book, A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven by F. B. Housser's had a very strong impact on both Jack and Maynard, as the arguments in the book made art seem masculine and heroic at a time when in Victoria, art was in the hands of society women.

In 1931, Jack moved to Vancouver to work as a teacher for one year. During that time he took courses with one of his idols, Fred Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven. Unfortunately, this would turn out to be a humiliating and depressing experience for him as Varley continued to ignore him, refusing to critique his work until finally at the end of the course he simply ripped Jack's drawings and tossed them to the ground. Shadbolt would later have the habit of destroying his own paintings.

Jack Shadbolt would continue to move around and travel, teaching, visiting exhibitions, taking courses, all in order to mature as an artist. He studied in New York, Paris and London, and even contemplated traveling to Mexico to study under Diego Rivera whose mural Man at the Crossroads of Civilization was removed from the Rockefeller Centre during Jack's stay in New York.

Shadbolt experimented with various styles and techniques. However, he remained restless about his art and as his role as an artist, feeling very strongly that art must address universal issues, express the human condition and be veered toward social engagement.

He is quoted in Scott Waston's book to say:

"I think of painting as something essentially noble and dignified- of necessity cold and aloof in its essence yet animated by passionate human motives- something where color and form and the inevitable 'architectural' elements take control... There is no softness in art. There is tenderness. There is voluptuousness... there is sometimes the greatness and severity of the controlling impulse- the tremendous charge of the spirit that rules with titanic majesty and sweeps all the resources of the painter into a unity and its ultimate dignity."

Jack enlisted in the army as a signalman in 1942. In May 1944 instead of getting a job as an official war artist, he landed the position of a narrator. He would later eventually get the job of a war artist. The war in 1945 deeply troubled him, and when he was transferred overseas to London, he assisted with administration duties and witnessed the ruins that were the result of the war.

He documented his impressions by sketching the destruction that bombs left behind. His job as a war artist meant that he had to look at photographs from concentration camps that were sent to him daily as the army documented its advance. The images were violent, cruel and devastating, and his job was to catalogue and sort them.

He painted the local scene in Vancouver in a series he called The Canadian Scene.

In 1947 he moved away from the social realism of pictures in The Canadian Scene and returned to the theme of war. He painted a mural for The United Service Recreation Centre called About Town with the United Services. The mural which no longer exists took six months to finish. During this period, he would combine the destruction he saw in London with scenes and buildings in Vancouver. Some of my personal favorite works of his include his drawings of dogs among ruins; the accidental survivors of the war and the symbolic representations of the aggressive forces that controlled the world at the time.

Jack often drew from Medieval, Oceanic, Native and African sources. He would later engage in drawing masks and bird skeletons. This came after a period in which Jack had spent time sketching driftwood on the beach, stumps and tangled branches at Buccaneer Bay. These images were figurative abstractions of the bones and skeletons of a mutilated man.

In 1948, his exhibition in the Art Gallery of Toronto revealed his stylistic transition from realism to expressionism while employing symbolism in his art. This shift put him in the public eye as one of Canada's important modern painters and a national and international contributor to abstraction and Canadian art.

Jack Shadbolt passed away at the age of 89, on November 22, 1998. His development as an artist and his motifs can be traced by looking at his paintings. Scott Watson's book includes a wealth of information on the artist and some of his most beautiful work.

Art for art lovers, here be thy supply!


Original article

Rene Magritte: Raining Men and Apples

Everything is more memorable when it's connected to a song or a piece of music. A distant dwindling emotion is instantly heightened, an old love we'd done our best to mentally burn to ashes and scatter into the abyss of oblivion is immediately resurrected, a place is recalled, an incident is brought forth or we ourselves are jolted back if any of those things were accompanied by music when we experienced them.

I chanced upon the work of René Magritte a few years ago when I was watching television at a friend's house. After a succession of alarmingly talentless pop stars, a song came on by a classical Arab singer I absolutely adore, an icon and one of the very few I follow. I sat up attentively and increased the volume.

Julia Boutrous is the epitome of class, talent, patriotism and femininity in the Middle-East. Her voice is soft and pure and she represents a period in the evolution of Arabic music when more value was placed on substance, depth and talent. She also happens to be extremely beautiful.

The name of the song was "Shi ghareeb" which in Arabic translates to "Something strange". What I foundstrange, in the most positive way, was the video for this song.

Blue and white were the dominant colors in the video; Julia is seen in an empty room with a window, a mirror and a framed canvas. When she's not looking at her own reflection in those objects, she's watching clocks dropping from the white clouds, or a rain of green apples and suited clock-faced bowler-hat-wearing men. It made absolutely no sense.

I learnt later from my friend, an interior designer, that the video was inspired by several René Magritte paintings. Mainly Golconde and The Listening Room.

René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist and writer. Prior to adopting a Surrealist style Magritte's art was initially impressionistic. His first surrealist painting was The Lost Jockey.

He held his first exhibition in Brussels in 1927 to scathing reviews from critics. He left to Paris following this failure and that's where he got even more involved with the Surrealist movement when he met André Breton, the French poet, writer and the founder of Surrealism.

What I enjoy about Magritte's paintings is that he never tried to tell us what he meant with his art. Like all Surrealists, Magritte aimed to reveal the unconscious mind. However, he did that by juxtaposing his seemingly unrelated symbols and offered your unconsciousness the pleasure of making a connection itself. His paintings often included the 'man-made' side by side with the 'natural', perhaps in a way indicating a rivalry or a struggle. For example, a brick wall and a clear sky, an apple and a man with a bowler's hat, a naked woman with a mirror, trees growing out of a table, and so on. Was he alluding to us consciously (man-made) restraining our unconscious minds (which are natural and limitless)? I am no art critic, but I'd like to think that in some of his paintings, Magritte does exactly that. The titles of his paintings are more hints about their meanings than they are descriptions about what we are looking at.

At the age of thirteen, Magritte's mother committed suicide by drowning herself in a river. She was found dead with her dress over her face. Her suicide had a big impact on Magritte's art and the many paintings of his of people with concealed faces are thought to be the result of that experience.

The Vancouver Art gallery is hosting a Surrealism exhibition (The Color of my Dream; the Surrealist Revolution in Art), and Magritte's paintings are among those on display. I intend on going there before the exhibition ends in September. I'll be thinking of Julia Boutrous when I do.

I am the founder of, and am also an art agent of Vancouver artists including Raymond Chow, Ron Sombilon and Rob Daly. I got into this business through meeting a famous Vancouver artist by the name of Raymond Chow, by chance, at a bus stop in Richmond, BC in 2007. Two days later, we met again at Raymond's gallery warehouse. When I entered his gallery, I was in awe and admiration at Raymond Chow's art that I decided to pursue a life in the arts as an artist agent under Chow's training.

*note: my path in life was towards Chinese medicine prior to the "bus-stop"


Original article

The Gallery Contract - What's in It for the Artist?

Some galleries insist upon your signing an exclusive contract with them. I suggest you, in turn, politely insist on taking a copy of the document home to mull over. Any legitimate gallery will not refuse this. You must be sure of the terms you'd be accepting.

What is an exclusive contract?

This means you will not consign works to any other commercial gallery within a stated radius. Even if there is no written contract, you must be sure of the terms you'd be accepting. Most important are:

The percentage of Commission the gallery will take from your sales. Today, inner city galleries demand up to 60 percent. Some will charge a 'hanging fee' on top of this. When you are given a solo exhibition, the gallery may hold back a percentage of the sales revenue as your share in the expenses of mounting the show. Because your work's appeal to buyers is an unknown quantity until the first few sales are made, you need to take advice from the gallery on pricing your pieces. The gallery will take these costs into account when deciding the initial prices. Be aware they come under two headings:

(a.) The List price.

This is the price posted on the catalogue. It represents the price you and the gallery hope to achieve for that piece.

(b.) The Reserve price.

This is the lowest amount both artist and gallery have agreed to accept from a buyer.

TIP. Don't let your ego stand in the way of getting your work onto the market. Collectors talk to each other about their purchases and are a huge factor in boosting awareness of a new artist on the scene.

The contract must state a minimum Duration and a Termination clause, whereby either partner may dissolve the Agreement. You should photocopy this document and keep it safe for future reference.

What's next?

Buy a regular Invoice/Statement book with carbon copies. (There is no substitute for good old hard copy - paper and pen.) From day one, when you hand over your artwork for the gallery to sell, get a responsible staffer sign for it on your itemised and dated Consignment Note. Never leave work at any gallery without this.

TIP. Get a printing shop to print your name or studio name on the pages with your contact numbers - a really professional look. At the least, get a rubber stamp made or use a labelling machine to personalise the pages.

Finding out what the gallery expects of you.

Understood, even if not set out in writing, is that you will not sell directly from your studio, unless you pay the gallery some portion of its regular commission.

No matter how shy you are, you will be expected to take part in media promotions the gallery undertakes from time to time. These will be for the benefit of all the existing 'stable' of artists, or of a group category. So, until you reach 'star' status, just pitch in and be a willing participant.

You should never be pressured by the gallery to accommodate any client in ways you aren't comfortable with, e.g. to make a portrait if you only do landscape subjects. Or any other unacceptable request.

TIP. Settling in your mind, right now, the 'Line in the Sand' you will not cross, will make it easy to give a graceful but utterly firm refusal should the time ever come.

To sum up:

Just be sure you understand what you're signing up for, be content to wait for sales and recognition, be courteous and co-operative with the gallery staff and you will reap the rewards, without the angst of trying to do all the promotion and marketing alone.

Dorothy Gauvin is an internationally acclaimed Australian painter in oils who specialises in an epic theme of Australia's pioneers. See images of her 'Life-Story' portraits, an ABC of homemade tools for painters with arthritis, plus tips and advice for aspiring artists and collectors on her website at

Original article

Post Impressionist Painting - Analysis of Van Gogh's Night Cafe

Van Gogh Café Terrace at Night, also known as the Place du Forum, it is a coloured oil painting produced by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh in Arles, France, mid-September 1888. The painting was not signed, but described and mentioned by the artist in his letters on various occasions. There is also a large pen drawing of the composition which originates from the artist's estate.

In a letter Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, the artist said Ginoux had taken so much of his money that he'd told the cafe owner it was time to take his revenge by painting the place.

In August 1888 the artist told his brother in a letter:

Today I am probably going to begin on the interior of the café where I have a room, by gas light, in the evening. It is what they call here a "café de nuit" (they are fairly frequent here), staying open all night. "Night prowlers" can take refuge there when they have no money to pay for a lodging, or are too drunk to be taken in.

In the middle of September 1888, Van Gogh sat up for three consecutive nights to paint the picture, sleeping during the day. Little later, he sent the water-colour, copying the composition and again simplyfing the colour scheme on order to meet the simplicity of Japanese woodblock prints.

Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night, showing outdoor tables, a street scene and the night sky, was painted in Arles at about the same time. It depicts a different cafe, a larger establishment on the Place du Forum

Van Gogh wrote many letters to his brother Theo van Gogh, and often included details of his latest work. The artist wrote his brother more than once about The Night Café. According to Meyer Schapiro "there are few works on which [Van Gogh] has written with more conviction."

In one of the letters he describes this painting:

I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green. The room is blood red and dark yellow with a green billiard table in the middle; there are four lemon-yellow lamps with a glow of orange and green. Everywhere there is a clash and contrast of the most alien reds and greens, in the figures of little sleeping hooligans, in the empty dreary room, in violet and blue. The blood-red and the yellow-green of the billiard table, for instance, contrast with the soft tender Louis XV green of the counter, on which there is a rose nosegay. The white clothes of the landlord, watchful in a corner of that furnace, turn lemon-yellow, or pale luminous green. "

The next day (September 9), he wrote Theo: "In my picture of the Night Café I have tried to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime. So I have tried to express, as it were, the powers of darkness in a low public house, by soft Louis XV green and malachite, contrasting with yellow-green and harsh blue-greens, and all this in an atmosphere like a devil's furnace, of pale sulphur. And all with an appearance of Japanese gaiety, and the good nature of Tartarin.

He also wrote: "It is color not locally true from the point of view of the stereoscopic realist, but color to suggest the emotion of an ardent temperament."

The violent exaggeration of the colours and the thick texture of the paint made the picture "one of the ugliest pictures I have done", Van Gogh wrote at one point. He also called it "the equivalent though different, of The Potato Eaters", which it resembles somewhat in its use of lamplight and concerns for the condition of people in need.

Soon after its execution, Van Gogh incorporated this painting into his Décoration for the Yellow House.

Oil paintings reproduction of masterpieces to modern art Please visit my site

Original article

The Increasing Popularity of Modern Ketubah

A document called a Ketubah is a traditional and an integral part of the Jewish wedding ceremony. This modern ketubah has also become an increasingly popular custom for non-traditional weddings as well. A Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract that will be written by the couple, approved by their rabbi and signed in front of 2 witnesses. This Ketubah often created with original fine art next to the text will later be framed and be displayed in the home of the married couple. Written in the modern Ketubah is the promise of the husband to take care his wife and their future children in all aspects, emotionally and financially. It is also a place where the couple can articulate their vows of love and devotion to each other. Many couples today like to write their own wedding vows to each other and the Ketubah is a great place to record those so you will always have a beautiful reminder of your deep feelings of love and respect for each other.

Today a modern Ketubah can be made for any couple who are marrying. You don't need to be Jewish or traditional in any way. A modern Ketubah can serve a couple of any faith, background, and sexual orientation. In fact anyone can shop for a custom Ketubah online. Finding the perfect Ketubah design and text can be one of the most enjoyable preparations of the bride and groom as they lead up to their big special day.

The popularity of the modern Ketubah has increased tremendously as more and more creative artists and non-traditional people are actually choosing to apply their own talent and creativity in creation of a unique and modern Ketubah. You can find their artwork in different gift shops, websites and even in artists' studios. Not only in Jewish communities can you see Ketubah artists, but now many artists of different backgrounds are using the Ketubah as a creative medium.

Another reason why the modern Ketubah has become more popular is the through advertising and media. You probably have seen a movie with a scene of a couple getting married and having to sign their Ketubah. This may be the first time you've seen this coupling of marriage traditions and fine art. After the signing of the Ketubah, and later after the ceremony the Ketubah will be given to the bride or bride's mother for safekeeping. Usually it is hung on the wall of the newlywed's house to hang on their wall throughout the rest of their married life.

Tom Budko is a fan of Custom Ketubah, New World Wedding and Ketubahs Custom Ketubah Text and Wedding Art by Rachel Deitsch

Original article

Painting Portraits - Choosing the Painting Surface

The first step in portrait painting is choosing what surface you will paint your picture on. There are several painting surfaces on the market today. If you are painting a watercolor picture for example, there are several varieties of thicknesses or weights of watercolor paper to choose from. There are several types of painting surfaces for the acrylic and oil artists as well. Following is an overview of the most popular painting surfaces.

Preparing The Canvas

Of canvas products, canvas paper is the least expensive surface for painting on. Canvas paper is appropriate for watercolor, oil and acrylic painting. Canvas paper comes in large pads and is easily ripped off just like a pad of paper. Also available are rolls of canvas paper. This paper won't tear or buckle like ordinary paper. You can mount, matte, put it under glass or even staple it to a frame. Use canvas paper when you want to experiment, practice or use for your finished work. The best thing about canvas paper is that when framed or matted, it is hard to tell that you didn't paint on stretched canvas. The quality of canvas paper is very good. I suggest using canvas paper when beginning or practicing but realize that for lasting quality features, you might want to advance to stretch canvas.

Canvas boards or panels. Canvas boards are usually very sturdy and relatively inexpensive. They are made from a stiff cellulose product, lined with a cotton canvas and primed with gesso. They are suitable for all types of media, including acrylics, watercolor and oils. Some advantages to using canvas boards are cost and the fact that they are thin. It's very easy to find mattes and frames when the painting or work is on a thin surface. Some disadvantages are that if cheaply made, these boards can and do warp over time. This can be especially aggravating if you have spent a lot of time on a piece.

Stretched canvas. Most professional oil or acrylic work is done on stretched canvas. Stretched cotton canvas is stapled on wooden strips or frames. The staples are either on the sides of the frame or the back depending on the company that made them. The canvas is usually primed with a couple coats of gesso and is ready to be painted on. There are a variety of stretched canvases so be sure that you are buying the correct one for the medium that you are using. There are also different textures from rough grade to portrait grade. Some canvases come painted around the deep edge for a frame less, contemporary look.
It is important to choose an appropriate painting surface for your best portrait. After all, the painting may grace the walls of you or your loved ones home for many happy years.

If you want to see exactly how to paint people and landscapes in step-by-step lessons, follow the link here. Painting People and landscapes with oil, acrylic or watercolor paint. The best way to begin painting is to follow prescribed instruction and get your feet wet. With a little practice, you will be well on your way to a rewarding hobby of painting. Let show you how!

Original article

Selling Your Art Online - Can You Do It?

The World Wide Web is a wondrous technological advance in how we humans interact with each other. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Tim Berners-Lees for inventing it, back in 1980. The basic thing for artists to understand about the Web: it is all about Communication.

The Web is the most cost-effective way to advertise your active presence in the art world. On the Web, you have a vast choice of venues on which to promote your art. But it is not primarily the place to try selling your artwork.

Back in 1985, when the Web was barely known outside of the scientific community, I was just starting out as a gallery owner-director. Some of you will remember the 'Eighties as the era of the 'Gordon Gecko' figure with his motto of 'Greed is good.' I soon found that the motto applied not only to Wall Street.

Disgusted and astonished was my reaction to news that private galleries in New York, in London and even in Sydney had begun taking commissions of fifty percent and higher. Some were also demanding a 'hanging fee' - in effect, artists had to pay rental on the gallery's wall space.

Disgusted - because I already knew from my own experience that if your business could not survive on the traditional commission - one-third of the selling price achieved - then you were doing something wrong. Though regulation is still voluntary, the Australian Commercial Galleries Association has now set the bar for ethical practice in Australia.
Astonished - because, as an artist, I wondered why other artists were accepting such terms.There is always the choice to get a job that pays a decent wage, and make art in your own time. That's what principled artists have always done.

Even the greatest names in Art history had to train in their craft and develop their style in obscurity while they waited for the longed-for attention from a patron. If the work was good enough, that attention always did come, sooner or later. Here, you might be thinking along the lines of 'What about Vincent Van Gogh, then?' Van Gogh is the stand-out exception that proves the rule. I don't intend to debate the merits of his artistic output, but a brief perusal of his life story will show you that he did very little to advance himself on the business side of the art scene.

Today, you have an unprecedented opportunity to build recognition. Uploading images of your art to the Web attracts the attention of collectors and galleries at little cost or effort to yourself. But you will be setting yourself up for disappointment if you fail to understand a basic truth about the Web.
There is a certain price level beyond which online art buyers will not go. Currently, this level seems set at a few hundred dollars. Shipping costs for sculpture, pottery, even a low-priced painting, if it is framed or under glass, will deter many online shoppers. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes and you'll soon understand this reluctance.

After all, the people who are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a painting still want various assurances from a creditable expert in the field. The assurances they seek include a guarantee that the work they're buying is neither stolen nor a forgery. They want to know that the gallery will undertake to re-sell the work should they need to put it back on the market. Some dear souls even need re-assurance on their choice. They need the gallery nod that their selection is 'in good taste' and accords with the prevailing Establishment fashion.

What's the solution? Some people resign themselves to churning out pieces priced to sell on the online market. At this soul-destroying rate of through-put, such people can never develop in a way that would satisfy the true artist.

There is a far better alternative.

Personally, I have never tried selling originals online and among the professional artists I know, not one has reported having sales by this method. However, like many others, I have had success in selling reasonably priced prints online, via a personal website.

The Web holds a treasure trove of information to educate the beginner on building and maintaining a website. I would just add this piece of advice:

Avoid those big, free, catch-all sites whether they are general retailers or specialised art sites. You will be easily lost among the endless lists of other artists. Patience and perseverance with a well-designed personal website will get you the contacts you need. May I wish you success in the venture and lifelong joy in making your art.

(c) Dorothy Gauvin

Dorothy Gauvin's oil paintings have been reproduced as high-quality, affordable, limited edition art prints. Four prints comprise the Waltzing Matilda series. Five prints comprise the Great Australian Horsemen series. See them at

Original article

How to Paint People - The Easy Way

How to paint people is a common question that many beginning portrait artist search for on the Internet or in bookstores. Chances are that they have attempted to paint a persons' portrait and were not pleased with the results. There are a few tricks and painting techniques that can be used so that an achievable portrait can be produced. I will explain a few of the easiest ways that I've found to learn how to paint people.

Get An Accurate Drawing On Your Canvas

If your drawing is to capture the likeness of a certain individual, you will want to sketch the portrait in pencil prior to painting. You can free hand this if you are not good at drawing. A couple of easier methods however are to use a grid and duplicate the photo to the canvas by drawing or replicating the individual grid squares. Another and my favorite method, is to print a paper black and white copy of the photo, then completely darken the back of the paper with soft charcoal. Next place the paper on your canvas and with a sharp pencil, simply draw over the printed photo. You're sketch will appear on the canvas like magic!

Paint The Indication Of People

One of the easiest ways to paint people is to keep things simple and paint just the indication of people. If you're confused than don't be. The easiest way to explain what I mean is for me to describe this with an example. Imagine a beach scene with a couple strolling hand in hand far in the distance. If you were to examine the people closely, you would probably see that they are merely shapes. Each head would simply be a round shape on top of a triangle shaped body, on top of two rectangular shaped legs. Two quick rectangular shaped arms connect the bodies. Add some highlights and you have simple people!

Paint Only Part Of The Person

Many artists struggle with accuracy when painting people. It's true that a person's features must be accurate in order for a portrait to be successful. If you choose poses that depict side views or partial views you can cut your work in half and create interesting portraits by only painting the half of the face that you actually see. For example, try painting a child's profile at the beach vs. the child facing straight on.

Paint Unknown People Or Strangers

Another fun and easy way to paint people is to paint strangers. The reason for this is that you are not trying to get an exact likeness. If you've made their nose too large or too small, no one is going to know the difference! You can use magazines, books or other paintings to get some ideas. Let's say that you took a photo while at the park of an elderly lady sitting on a park bench and reading a book. You decide to turn the photo in a painting. The painting would still be interesting even if the lady didn't resemble the actual photo at all, because no one knows her anyways.

Don't Paint What You Can't Paint

A great technique for painting humans is to choose poses that don't require a lot of detail. One way to do this is by painting subjects who are wearing sunglasses, if you are timid about painting eyes. If you're uncomfortable painting teeth then paint closed mouths or drape a scarf across the face. A very cute pose for a child's portrait is to have them peek from behind something. You will only see part of the face and it is an adorable scene with only part of the face showing.

By following these easy tricks and techniques, painting people should become easier and more enjoyable with every painting you attempt. How to paint people the easy way can be made simple by keeping the task simple!

If you want to see exactly how to paint people and landscapes in step-by-step lessons, follow the link here. Painting People and landscapes with oil, acrylic or watercolor paint. The best way to begin painting is to follow prescribed instruction and get your feet wet. With a little practice, you will be well on your way to a rewarding hobby of painting. Let show you how!

Original article

How to Paint Shrubbery Using Acrylic Paints

I am an artist, and my speciality is painting trees, shrubbery and flora. But my real passion is painting trees! Tress are an everyday sight, but are often overlooked as a source of inspiration for artists and photographers. But when painted, they can portray many different feelings. Depending on the composition, painting technique, texture, colour etc, the painting can render feelings from strength and energy to calm and peaceful.

One of the key elements when painting trees is to capture the strength and structure of the trunk and the irregularity of the branches. This is done by really working on the composition of the tree- exaggerating the contours of the branches in order to accentuate the overall shape. Play with the branches overlapping each other. Don't worry about drawing any leaves, shrubbery or flowers yet- the overall 'shapes' of the tree is so important. If your primary intention is to portray the strength of the tree, then make the out-line as angular as you dare. If you are wanting to create a more calm painting, then it is important to focus on the flora/fauna.

Once you have arranged and line drawn (in pencil) the overall composition of the trunk and branches, the next step is the paint the background- which usually in the case of painting trees will be the sky. This shouldn't be as textured as you will be painting the branch and leaves, as it is obviously in the background and should just be a subtle build-up of colour. Maybe a lovely blue, with white gently swirled in. Or a more dramatic blue/grey. The next step is to start layering your trunk and branches with paint. Go for the darkest brown that you want in your picture, and then you will build up with the lighter colours until you finish with streaks of silver and gold. The key factor here is TEXTURE!!!! Look closely at a tree trunk- it is all about texture and subtle colours. Trees are never just brown like you might think- there is often a subtle array of colours ranging from browns (obviously!), creams, moss green, bottle green, grey, lilac, white, black, silver, copper, gold.

So gradually build up the texture. I like to slap on the paint thickly, and then drag a comb that I have cut small, through the paint to create ridges. Experiment with this, you want to create as much texture as possible- think of the bark of a tree. And build it up slowly. If you know there are parts of the trunk/branches that will be covered with foliage or flowers, then don't build the texture up too much here otherwise it will be difficult to paint over.

Once you are happy with the above, move on to the flowers/leaves/foliage. Again, this is all about texture as well. But it is more haphazard than the trunk and branches. Paint with passion and don't worry about where you are necessarily putting the flowers or leaves. Nature is itself haphazard! I use a couple of paintbrushes here. A fan shaped one for the foliage background, then I build it up using a smaller rounded brush that I use to really 'splodge' the paint on thickly. Keep going till you are happy. Stand back and look long and hard at your painting. Look where, if any, you have painted the clouds in the background. Is there anywhere you think the sun should be shining on the trunk or foliage? If so, add specks of light to the foliage, and streaks of light to the trunk and branches. Finish off by adding a few streaks of silver and gold to the trunk and branches. Create as much depth to the painting as possible, by emphasizing the highlights and shadows.

Finally, always, always varnish. I like a satin finish, but the choice is yours. Above all else, don't be too rigid when painting trees and shrubbery- remember you are painting nature, and nature is unpredictable!

Original article

Tips for Painting Eyes Using Acrylics

The eyes are the window to the soul. In a painting of a human being, the look in the eyes can make a great impact to the message in the composition.

Artists are often occupied with just getting the eyes "right". Their main concerns are getting the features balanced and the painting as "realistic" as possible. In order to create really earth-shattering art with expressions that creeps up at the viewer, realism is not enough.

I am offering some tips for painting eyes with acrylic paints that would change the focus of the artist while he renders the eyes of his subjects in paint and canvas.

Rendering Realistic Eye Shapes

Unless the painting is stylistic, there are several 'rules' to understand in the structure of the eye.
The eyeball is a sphere. Always sketch the entire eyeball in the eye socket first, then enclose the eyeball in eyelid and lashes. This is an important step in ensuring that the shape of the eye is round and not the shape of an elliptical "fish".The iris is overlapped by the eyelids. If the iris is too small, the eyes will give the face a "shocked" open-eyed look.The right and left eye moves in tandem. It is important to get the balance right unless one is painting a cross-eyed monster or some species of frog.The eyelashes radiate outwards first then upwards. This is tricky when painting eyes that look straight into the viewer. Don't paint large eyelashes pointing just upwards like a child's painting of a blazing sun.

Painting Realistic Eye Colors
The eyeball is white, but not pure white. One can add a slight tinge of grey, blue, pink, brown to the white to make the eye white more believable.The iris can be any color, but not a solid color. Paint the irises by dappling 2 or 3 colors. Let the brushstrokes radiate from the pupil.The pupil is black, but is often interrupted by reflections to the eye.The eyelids and lashes cast shadows on the eyeball. Add a thin wash of grey on the eye near the lids.

Positioning of the Eyes and Center of Focus of the Painting

Eyes, unless in a surrealistic painting like that of Salvatore Dali, are found in paintings of living figure - be it animal or human. In most compositions, the eye takes the central position. If the eye is not the main focus, the direction at which the eyes look is the point of focus.

In a portrait, for example, there are 3 ways in which the eyes on a figure can be positioned:
Eyes looking straight at the viewer. This kind of painting makes the viewer part of the painting. Like speaking in the first person.Eyes looking away from the viewer. This composition puts the viewer as second person looking on. The viewer is directed to view another spot on the painting because the eyes of the subject directs to that location.Eyes not visible because the subject has head looking back or the eyes are covered. This painting leaves the viewer completely detached from the painting altogether.

It would be necessary to decide the message of the painting before deciding on which of the above eye positioning to adopt. There is, in every portrait relevance, of eye position to the position of the viewer.

Finishing Touches

Observe the eye. Its surface liquid and shiny. Add white highlights for the reflections made on the cornea and the tears.

The best way to fully understand the relevance of the eyes in a painting to observe paintings of the human figure. It will ultimately engage the viewer with appreciation of this subject.

Windows of the soul they are. Eyes are small areas in a figure, but they create and thus need the most attention.

Nik Helbig is an artist and art blogger living in Austria. She specializes in figurative paintings on canvas.

Original article