10 Tips To Creating Large Canvas Paintings

10 Tips To Creating Large Canvas Paintings

One of the biggest rewards of blogging is that it has introduced me to many fellow artists from around the world. I often receive requests for help and advice from talented artists from other countries where it is very challenging, if not impossible, to be an artist. Large canvas painter, Tamara Vogrin is one such example. Tamara is a self-taught artist and a Bachelor of Textile Engineer from Slovenia, Europe. Like many aspiring artists, … [Read more...]

The Importance Of Using Neutrals In Art

Screen shot 2013-11-03 at 4.51.36 PM

Neutrals are any set of tones created when mixing two complementary colors and any amount of white. In the beginning, I failed to realize the connection between using both neutrals and saturated colors in my paintings, and ultimately my work suffered. But, when I started thinking in terms of neutrality and saturation my work dramatically began to improve. Over time I became more sensitive to subtleties and shifts in color temperature. In the … [Read more...]

Six Creative Drawing Exercises

Six Creative Drawing Exercises

Drawing is one of the central elements of visual arts, along playing a crucial role in a multitude of other creative and technical fields, and is one that improves with practice and helps develop other types of visual communication. (Betty Edwards is a pioneer in this area, and inspired this post with her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Check out her site.) Artist and master draughtsman David Hockney has stated that: Being … [Read more...]

How To Transfer A Charcoal Drawing In Encaustic

owl charcoal

Lately, I have been busy painting a bird series in encaustic wax.  Along the way I have been posting examples of my work in progress on Facebook. Quit a few of my followers have asked me how to make a charcoal transfer onto the encaustic wax. It is very simple... Here's what you will need: A photograph or drawing of the subject you wish to transfer. A 'primed' encaustic board. The board must be primed with a layer of wax medium … [Read more...]

Handy Artist Palettes by New Wave

grey pad

My friends at New Wave Fine Art Products, makers of handcrafted artist palettes, have sent me new products to review. Two different shapes of the Grey Pad disposable palettes, and the handy Easy Lift peelable palette. Last year, I tested out the New Wave Highland plein air, and Grand View Confidant studio palettes. I am still so impressed with these beautiful, functional palettes and I use them all the time. You can read my review here > … [Read more...]

How to Steal A Van Gogh Idea For Your Own Portrait Painting

Portrait of Eugène Boch

When it comes to color, we can certainly learn, or even better, steal from the masters. My all time favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, who is my inspiration, mentor, and I dare tell you, my dream-lover! Here is how I used the great artist's idea in two of my own paintings, one a self portrait and the other a portrait of my 1-year-old daughter. The Inspiration "Portrait of Eugène Boch" may not be the most famous Van Gogh but it is one of … [Read more...]

Tips For Drawing Realistic Pet Portraits

pet portraits, dog, drawing,

Knowledge of animal anatomy is the key to drawing realistic pet portraits. It is what makes a drawing come alive, as opposed to being just a likeness. As a former zookeeper and veterinary technician, I am fortunate to have come face-to-face with many different animals – wild, exotic and domestic. Seeing them up close, and getting to touch and hold them, has served to be an invaluable reference for my pet portraits. Here are a few considerations … [Read more...]

Glazing Tips For Solvent Free Oil Painting

oil painting glazing tips

For over 10 years, I have been enjoying the benefits of solvent free oil painting. I often get asked technical questions on how to use these solvent free oils - also known as 'water mixable' or 'water soluble' oil paints. Recently, I received a question on my Fine Art Tips Facebook Page about glazing tips. In this video below, Cobra demonstrates how to properly use their glazing medium. I hope it helps!  For those of you who have tried … [Read more...]

Setting Up A Small Encaustic Wax Studio

encaustic wax painting tips

Lately, I have been experimenting with encaustic wax painting. For those of you who don't know, encaustic painting is an ancient art form of 'hot wax painting' that dates back thousands of years. In Greek, the term “encaustic” means to "burn in" and is used to describe both the paint itself, and the method for using it. But because of this 'burning in' technique, special studio precautions must be taken to ensure the artist's safety. Proper … [Read more...]

Color Mixing: Don’t Always Stick to the Rules

color mixing rules

On color mixing, there are two rules I don't agree with. Don't mix more than three colors together at a time. Don't use black in your painting. Mixing "Mud"/Grays: Muddy colors. We all hear about them, but what are they really? Do they look muddy because they're gray. Or, are they just misused colors? Some artists say if you mix more than three colors you will get mud. I've heard this many times and I disagree. At the … [Read more...]


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