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Introduction to Oil Painting Techniques

Oil paint is an amazing versatile medium. It can be applied in a thick buttery fashion or thinned down to a watery consistency. This versatility opens the door to a number of different painting techniques.

My personal preference is to begin my oil paintings by first sketching out the composition using acrylic paint or with water-soluble oil paints. The popular approach to oil painting is to thin the paint with turpentine to apply your initial layers. Turpentine is quite toxic and I prefer not to work with it. Acrylic or water-soluble oil paints can be thinned down with plain old water and are more pleasant to work with in my opinion.

You can also begin your oil painting by first drawing out your composition. There are a few drawing mediums that work quite nicely with oil paints. My two favorites are vine charcoal and water-soluble pencils. I prefer vine charcoal because it doesn't smudge like other charcoals and it can be erased easier. Water-soluble pencils are wonderful because they can be applied like ordinary pencils and can be spread around like paint with a damp brush.

If you are the impatient type, you may want to try your hand at the Alla Prima oil painting technique. The Alla Prima method is when you complete the painting in one sitting rather than paint in layers and wait for the paint to dry. Although I usually prefer to work out my paintings in layers, I occasionally enjoy this exciting and spontaneous approach to oil painting.

If you are the careful, patient type of painter, you may be interested in working with the glazing technique. Glazing has lost popularity these days, partly because of the time needed to complete such a painting and it's difficulty, but the results are something truly unique to any other type of oil painting technique. The composition is first painted with an opaque monochrome underpainting, usually in shades of gray. After this initial underpainting is thoroughly dry, thin layers of transparent oil glazes are applied. Colors are not mixed directly but added in separate layers to get the desired color.

If you are the adventurous type, put the brushes aside and try a set of painting or palette knives. You can achieve some very interesting results with knives that aren't possible with brushes. The oil paint can be spread on thickly and scraped off with ease. What I enjoy most about using knives is the tendency to not focus on the small details. I am forced to paint in a more relaxed fashion that creates an impressionist style painting. Get yourself a set of painting knives and try to complete an entire painting with just the knives. It's challenging at first if you are used to brushes, but it's an enjoyable exercise.

Perhaps you would like your painting to have more body and texture. You could try the impasto painting technique and apply your paint in thick heavy strokes, leaving evidence of all those wonderfully artistic brush strokes. Take a look at a Van Gogh painting and you will see this technique in action.

It's really no wonder why oil painting is such a popular choice for painters. There is so much to discover in oil painting. You will never get bored trying out all the wonderful tools, mediums and techniques.

 


How to Sell Your Art - Making The Most Out Of Art Shows

One of the quickest and more effective ways to expose your art or crafts to the public is by opening a booth at an art or craft show. Thousands of people come to these art shows each year with the intention of buying something, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.

Before you pack your bags and head out to the next show, you should definitely learn as much as you can about art shows. This type of work requires planning, research and various expenses, and may not be for everyone.

A great starting point is to check out the magazine Sunshine Artist. Sunshine Artist is a great magazine that covers art shows in detail. They provide listings of upcoming art shows and information on how you can participate. They also evaluate art shows and provide reports on sales, attendance, and other important details.

It may be a good idea to head out to your first art show as a visitor before actually setting up shop. Once you arrive, walk around and just observe how everything works. Observe the booths that have the most traffic and see what they are doing right. Introduce yourself to the booth owner and see if they are open to talking about their success with you. As long as they are not in direct competition with you, they should be happy to give you some pointers.

When you sell your work at an art show you are selling directly to the public. You make all of the profit. There is no need to share a huge percentage with an agent or gallery owner.

It is probably best to sell items at various prices to accommodate the different buyers that come to your booth. If you typically sell paintings for thousands of dollars, offer smaller, more affordable prints as well. This way, your art can be available to everyone.

Make sure you can accept credit cards. Many people who visit art shows pay by credit card. If you aren't set up to accept credit cards, then you will more than likely lose sales.

Setting up and running a booth at an art show can be challenging. Bring a family member or friend along to help you set up and help customers. It's also nice to have someone to keep you company and provide support and encouragement.

Art and Craft shows are a great way to build a customer mailing list. Set up a little section at your booth inviting customers and browsers to provide you with their name, address, and email address. Next time you attend an art show, you can send out a mailer to your list. You can also let your mailing list know about any new art or crafts you have for sale. It may not be easy to build a mailing list, as people are a bit hesitant when it comes to parting with personal information. To entice people to join, you can offer something for free. You could create small color postcard prints of your work and put them in inexpensive frames and give those away to each subscriber.

Make sure you keep track of your expenses and sales. You want to determine if you actually made a profit, otherwise you may have to make adjustments or possibly not attend the same art show again.

Don't get discouraged if you don't make a huge profit your first time out. Like I said in the beginning, art shows may not be for every artist. Many artists sell at art shows exclusively, while others only use art shows once in a while for marketing purposes.

 


Easy to Draw Animals for the Young or Old

It is said that 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Indeed research has proven that people respond to learning through pictures much better than with words or text. A picture can be a simple drawing which even children can do.

Types of drawings

Children love to draw; it is an innate ability or desire to see their expressions on canvas or paper. There can be many types of pictures which children can draw to express their feelings or tap on their innate ability.

Children can easily draw animals, flowers, clouds, skies and family. Young children may find it hard to draw complex stuff like people. It would usually be a stick figure drawing which progresses to 3-D images with more shape and form.

Adults and children alike can pick up drawing skills. There is a myriad of drawing resources in the market as well as on the Internet today. One can learn through private tutors or online from various drawing resource sites.

Process

Drawing is quite an easy process to walk through as it can be therapeutic. Many adults and children learn to draw step by step with excellent guidebooks and online sites. They would find it easy to draw animals from these easy guides which are available across the globe.

There are free drawing lessons which can be tapped on whether for children or adults. Whoever wants to learn to draw animals, plants, sceneries and humans can find the right drawing tutorial online anytime as long as they have access to the Internet.

Drawing animals is fun and easy to children. They can express their feelings and desires through drawing. Children can draw animals easily and well because there is an innate ability and desire to express their emotions through animal pictures. Children can be taught at a young age to draw before they even learn to read and write. Drawing actually prepares the child to be more expressive, creative and open to learning and living. Children can draw anywhere at any time given a piece of paper and pencil.

Expression

Drawing animals can be a good time-filler as it uses the time well to release negative feelings within. A person learns to release emotional hurts through drawing and animals are a special form of expression. Animal drawings are easy with only a few steps which would not take up much time.

Some animal drawings are inspirational as different animals can represent certain characteristics to help understand the artist.

 




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