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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Patterns for Canvas Painting

Nature
Once you think of nature, you can get several ideas to fill up your canvas with. Flowers, leaves, branches, roots, landscape, roads, waterfalls, sun and many more such ideas would come to your mind. You can think of painting a specific season. Also, painting a scene in three different frames, as it would appear during early morning, day time and nighttime is a great idea. Various painting techniques can be used for making each artwork.

Human Figures
Human faces are the most common canvas art ideas. Painting a scene where a few people are involved in a task is another painting idea. Why not try something unique? Consider painting a task that is not commonly painted. How about a painting showing a hand holding a canvas and another hand working on it with a paint bush and colors? How about painting just the feet of a dancer which are graced with musical anklets? Try it sometime!

Objects and Instruments
Apart from the aforementioned ideas, you can paint objects and instruments as well. A set of pillows placed over each other on a decorative bed sheet can create a colorful painting. How about drawing a set of musical instruments together? Believe me, this makes a classic painting ready to be framed to enhance your wall decor!

Ready-made Patterns

Beginners can replicate a ready-made pattern and then compare their artwork with the original piece. Also, some of you might be searching for ready-made patterns which can be ordered and then framed as desired and hung on walls. So, here are some places which you can check out to buy such patterns.

You can find amazing patterns in almost all categories when it comes to online shopping, like at ‘alibaba’. Order the desired size and number of pieces of the pattern you like. You can also checkout ‘indiamart’ which has a number of unique patterns. At ‘thefind’ you will find some of the best patterns in various design categories like nature, still life abstract print, etc. Some classic patterns are also being sold at ‘ebay’ at low prices, which can be a good deal. You can also search for more websites selling such patterns and if you are lucky, you might also find some of them selling patterns free of cost. Make sure you check the right category of pattern as most of the websites have separate category of oil paints, acrylic paints, etc.

Painting a classic pattern on canvas with those artistic strokes is not an easy task for all. So, with these ideas, you are sure to have an artwork ready to beautify your interiors. Explore your creativity, look around and you are sure to find some unique ideas to be brushed down on a piece of canvas!

Steps to use oil pastel techniques in painting

Step One: Choosing Pastels
The first thing that needs to be done is choosing the pastels. There are several brands in the market that offer these pastels in different sizes. Some going even up to 120 shades or more in a set. However, if you are just starting out, opt for a set of 24. These will be sufficient, because they provide all the shades necessary for experimenting and yet there aren’t too many to confuse you. After considerable practice, however, one can move on to a more wider range of pastels.

When choosing these pastels, always look for their appearance. Pastels which are broken or have small craters and holes in them are of poor quality. Always choose a set that is even and shiny. Opt for artist quality pastels, as opposed to student grade ones. Student grade pastels tend to be extremely waxy and make it harder for blending. In spite of all this, it is mainly through experimentation that one can determine the type of pastels that interpret their style best.

Step Two: Choosing a Canvas
A canvas is the surface on which one will sketch their paintings. Choosing a surface that will best portray the artist’s skill is therefore very important. There are several varieties of paper available in the market. Different artists choose different types of paper, according to their needs. Many artists prefer using pastel paper that is of heavy grade. The reason being that it has a scratchy surface that holds the pigments of oil pastels. Some others choose the ordinary oil painting canvas because of its raised grain―this makes it perfect for grabbing the layers of oil pastel. Some other choices of canvas paper are sanded paper, archival paper, hot pressed paper, and cold pressed paper.

Step Three: Sketching the Painting
Once your paper and pastels are in place, you can start sketching the painting. The pressure of your strokes and the roughness of your canvas are the two most important things to keep in mind when starting to sketch. The pressure you use will decide the intensity of colors. The more the pressure employed, the more intense the colors and vice versa. Similarly, a smooth surface of the canvas will result in a less broken look as opposed to a rough surface.

To start with, sketch your drawing on the canvas paper with a lead pencil. Let your drawing be in gentle strokes and not with pressure, so that it does not cause indents on the page. If indents are formed, then that portion of the paper gets a depression and when you paint, the indented part won’t catch the color, thus giving your entire painting an uneven look.

Next, identify the color that you want to use in a particular area and sketch over the penciled lines with it. Then, fill in the color in the entire area. The first layer of color needs to be laid down on the canvas thereafter. Since this layer is light, it might lead to a transparent appearance and you might be able to see the canvas through it. However, this ‘transparent’ area on the canvas will be covered by consecutive layers of colors.

Step Four: Layering
Always have a clear idea of what your final product will be before you start painting. There are several techniques using oil pastels that can create a work of art.

Different Tones
Layers can be added in different ways, either by adding light colors over dark, or dark over light. However, it has been noticed that it is easier to turn dark colors into light rather than the other way round. It is simpler to keep the white areas in the painting free of any pastels to lend that whitest white feel.

Using the Side
Using the side of a pastel crayon will allow one to cover a broader area of the canvas, thereby retaining an amalgamated feel to it without causing a disjointed effect.

Using Linear Strokes
Linear strokes (lines) can be used for drawing outlines, adding details, hatching (drawing lines, especially parallel lines for engraving and marking), and cross hatching. This allows one to control the shapes and saturation of the colors better.

Even Tone
It is necessary to maintain an even tone if one wants to keep a particular area dark or extremely light. In this case, darker colors should not be tinted with lighter ones or vice versa. They should be colors of a like tone.

Using Turpentine
Turpentine is used to soften or flatten a painting. So, when one needs to blend pastels together on paper, oil pastels become very soft and start to dissolve when you dip them in turpentine. Thus, they can be manipulated according to the desired density. Alternatively, the tip of a brush can be dipped in turpentine and then used to drag the pigments across the canvas―this will form washes. Similarly, several layers of washes can be created this way. The intensity of the colors can be varied by varying the amount of turpentine used.

‘Sgraffito’ Effect
The ‘sgraffito’ effect is a method, whereby the color beneath is revealed by scratching the top layer of the color. It plainly means ‘to scratch’. To do this, a razor, a knife or the other end of a paint brush can be used.

Ghostlike Effect
Using a razor to scrape areas in a painting will lead to a ghostlike or fuzzy look. Sometimes, the addition of too many layers can lend the painting a very heavy look; this can be resolved by using this technique.

Cotton Swab
When one adds layer upon layer, it might lead to a very disjointed look. To solve this, one can use a cotton swab or your fingers to blend the different layers. This will then give the painting a very wholesome feel.

Correcting Too Many Layers
Adding too many layers in the painting can render the canvas unable to grab any more pastels (muddying the surface). In case this happens, one can use a dry cloth, wrap it around a finger and then wipe out the affected area.

After one has finished painting, it should be allowed to harden. The time taken for the painting to harden will depend on the number of layers that are used in it. The life of the painting can be extended by adding a fixative to it. Also, a mat spacer can be added, so that you can frame the painting with glass, without it affecting the pastel.

Basic Techniques of Oil Painting

There are different oil painting techniques without which one cannot paint to one’s potential. However, grasping these techniques will take a considerable amount of study. Some of the basics pertaining to these techniques are as follows:

Dagger Stroke : This stroke is not about trying to capture any sort of image on the canvas, but is about empowering the canvas with one’s creative energy. To comprehend the pros of this stroke, one needs to realize how a subject or image is molded. In oil painting, one is actually molding the image, similar to what a sculptor would do with clay. The strokes require energy and involve dagger shapes brought onto the canvas surface by the brush. The most interesting aspect about this stroke is that the end result can be so crude and raw, that nobody except the artist knows what has been painted. However, the subject in question will be hidden in the foundation. According to the artist’s desire, the subject can be subtly or boldly revealed to the viewers. The subtleness of these strokes can keep viewers mesmerized for years together.

Painting Knife Technique : This stroke helps create fantastic effects using just one stroke. For example, one can create the tail feathers of a parrot using this technique. This technique involves the use of a painting knife, wherein one can thrust all the creative energy onto the canvas just like the dagger stroke, but quicker. The paint is spread onto the canvas using the knife. However, the results of both, the dagger stroke and the painting knife stroke are very different.

Blending Technique : Once the creative energy has been brought onto the canvas, it’s time to refine the painting. Refining helps remove raw paint, which could otherwise cause problems in the future. Moreover, refining assists in the commencement of the subject’s molding process. Blending should be used as technique engaged in empowering and refining raw paint. This technique should be used as sparingly as possible, so as to enable the vast multitude of other paint effects. Oft, it is observed that too much blending results in the reduction of visual energy in the painting. For subjects embedded with softness and several light effects such as fog, mist, spray, etc., the blending technique is not a good idea.

Caress Stroke : What makes oil paints all the more gorgeous is its butterfly silk texture. This stroke is applied with the brush in a flat position onto the canvas. One can even change the color of the underpaint by this technique. Besides altering the color, this stroke also enhances the texture of the painting. For these strokes, the paint is loaded into the brush such that it lightly touches the painting surface, so as to attain a sensitive approach.

Cleaning Oil Paintings Tips

Oil paintings are sturdy and durable, which when managed with proper care can last for many generations. Unfortunately, not all people who possess them are aware of the processes needed for their maintenance. Considering this, it is not uncommon to damage such priceless possessions. An understanding of the basic tips to clean such pieces of art will help in preserving their pristine beauty. The instructions are discussed as follows.

Step #1
First, gather all the items required like a brush with soft bristles, a cotton cloth, and vacuum cleaner (with micro attachment kit). If you are planning to clean both the back and front of the painting, then carefully remove the painting and place it on a plain surface. You can cover the back with a clean paper so as to prevent dirt accumulation.

Step #2
Fix the micro nozzle in the vacuum and gently remove the dust and dirt from the surface of the painting. Clean the corners with a soft bristle brush. If it is hard to reach the corners with the vacuum or the brush, you can wipe out the dust by using a soft cloth.

Step #3
In case the varnish (outer protective surface) of the painting turns yellowish or dull, you can check for a conservation liquid to clean the varnish. Check for the reliability of the product while purchasing it. You can apply the conservation liquid in one corner of the painting to test its reactions or after application effects.

Step #4
If you find the conservation solution good to the varnish, then continue applying the product all over the painting surface by using a cotton swab. For better results, carry out this step in a room with proper ventilation.

Step #5
Use a dampened cotton swab dip in distilled water to remove dirt from the surface. For an oily or sticky surface, you can prepare a solution by mixing a mild detergent in lukewarm water. Dampen a cotton cloth with the solution and clean the surface.

Step #6
If there are any cracks or fissures on the surface, gentle cleaning with a soft cloth is preferable. In case you are planning to do a painting on canvas, make sure you do a spot test in one corner prior to cleaning the whole canvas.