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Paint Brushes – Cleaning and Caring Tips

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Author:

Paint brush is more like a weapon in the hands of an artist. Like a warrior who cannot do much without his arms, similarly an artist will be rendered helpless without a paint brush. It is a must-have item for any painting project. If we further elaborate the range and scope of brushes, it can be used in painting your home or can be useful for a simple wood working project. A brush has several uses and in different categories. Having said that, no matter where you are going to use your paint brush, you must invest in good quality brushes. Like everything else, brushes also demand care.


If you want to make your brush last longer, you need to care for it and clean it properly. While you go to buy a brush you need to take into consideration certain factors. First of all, check the length of the brush as that decides the elasticity of it. So while you hold the bristles slightly bent and if they manage to hang together, it means the brush is sufficiently elastic. But if the bristles are flaring out, you should rather avoid it.  The brush should feel full of bristles while you compress it. One more sign of a good brush is presence of split ends.


Before using brush for the first time, you should rub the ends of the bristles on a rough surface and leave it in linseed oil for 24 hours. This will help it in softening up. The process is also known as preconditioning of the brush which proves crucial in its ability to accept paint and a longer life. Use scraper or a knife to get rid of stray bristles. One should ideally use dip and slab method for painting. Once the painting is done, use thinner or turpentine to clean away the excess paint. Implementing all these tips will help in improving the lifespan of brushes.

Henna Body Painting

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Author:

henna-body-paintingThe use of henna or mehndi is very popular in the Indian subcontinent. Young brides get their hands and other body parts painted with paste of powdered henna. If we talk about India, applying mehndi is a common practice in almost every household. Women just love to apply henna during social occasions. Whether it is marriage, engagement, festivals or social function, women just need to have henna on their hands. It adds a certain charm to the overall beauty of the women. It is a type of body art practiced by Indian women since centuries. Artists trained in henna painting draw those intricate and beautiful lines on the palms. Traditional motifs are drawn on the hands of young brides. There are plenty of traditional motifs but the most popular one is the paisley motif.


Henna body painting is considered to be auspicious. According to existing beliefs, shade of the henna color decides the fate of the bride. In other words, the husband will love the wife more if she has darker shades of mehndi. Yes, that’s a belief which may be right or wrong but it shows the importance of the tradition of henna body painting.


Henna is basically a flowering shrub that has fragrant flowers. Leaves are dried and crushed into powder to create the dye. As far as the technique of Applying Mehndi is concerned, a paint brush or a plastic cone is used to apply the blend of lemon juice, henna powder and henna. Once the paint is applied, it is left as it is for few hours. This way, it dries up which helps it in getting a firm color. However, at some places, to create a more intense and dark color on the skin, plastic sheet or tissue paper or medical tape is used to wrap the painted area.  Reddish brown is the final color and can last from few weeks to few months depending upon the quality of the paste.

Acrylic Paintbrush

Monday, March 29th, 2010 | Author:

A portrait artist has an array of paintbrushes to choose from. Talking about acrylic paintbrush technique, it’s up to the artist what brush he chooses for his paintings. Among the quality brushes, cryla and synthetic brushes are known for their quality. A serious portrait artist must invest on quality brushes instead of going for cheap brushes. Poor quality brushes can affect the overall effect of the artwork. However, many artists prefer to choose hog hair brushes for applying texture paste and scumbling. Acrylic painters do not allow the paint to dry on the brushes. Once it dries, it becomes solid and starts losing its shape. However, there is an option of using methylated spirit but then you run the risk of losing its texture and subsequently overall appeal.


There are some essential tools for portrait artists like water container and a rag. The former one allows them to keep the brushes on a ledge so that bristles remain submerged in the water. Rag will help in taking away any excess water that the brush might have soaked. Paintbrush needs to be just damp and not wet. In case, you are using watercolor technique to paint then obviously, you will need plenty of water.


Ideally, two brushes should be used for paintings. A large brush for big areas and a thinner brush for finer works. Different artists have different styles of paintings. Some like to have more freedom in their art and for that they hold brush further away from the bristles. But if you are looking for accuracy, try holding the brush nearer to the bristles. Portrait artists prefer to use Payne’s Gray to fill in the shadows on the face. Thereafter, they can apply opaque background of flesh tint. Using different glazes and colored washes will perfectly build up the skin tone. Focusing on minor details will make your portrait a complete artwork.

Art Mediums

Saturday, March 27th, 2010 | Author:

If you are an art lover or have just started to venture into the fascinating world of Indian art, you should be aware of different mediums of art. Many artists prefer to express themselves in one particular medium and because of that or call it comfort zone; they are slightly tentative to start in another medium. Not every artist is familiar with other mediums as they have made themselves comfortable with one particular medium. But to truly expand your talent and range of work, one needs to have a fair bit of idea about other mediums as well.


Watercolor is one of the most common mediums used by artists. If, by any chance you have not tried your hands at watercolor you must give it a try. It will surely fascinate you. Watercolor painting is reasonably quick and you will be able to create subtle colors and beautiful washes. If you are planning to paint a landscape, you must use watercolor. Quite popular amongst artists, watercolor paintings of outdoors or sceneries can be great attractions.


Drawing is often bypassed by the artists who are proficient in watercolor paintings or oil paintings. Drawing stage is quite important to your basic knowledge of art. It is a fundamental necessity. If you are planning to draw, you can choose among many mediums including charcoal, pastels or pen and ink. Working in these mediums can be total fun and relaxing. It will also give a new dimension to your artworks. It also helps in making you aware of new perspectives.


Every artist is familiar with concept of oil painting. If you have a desire of producing wonderful rich colors and blending the paints then go for oil painting medium. Initially, it can be tough but sooner than later it will mesmerize you. You can always take a lesson or buy a book on oil painting to learn the basics. The last medium in this article is Acrylic painting. Perfect for abstract art, acrylic painting holds all the possibility of creating a new artist in you. Some of the other painting and drawing mediums are encaustic, airbrushing and mixed media.


Pastels Painting

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 | Author:

Pastel is an art medium used for drawing. Pastel drawing and painting offers several advantages. Pastel is a rich and versatile medium and that’s why artists can use it for painting as well as drawing. Let me try to define pastels. When sticks of pigment of powdered color are held together with a binding medium, the resultant effect is sticks of color which is known as pastels. Pastels are available in different range and different grades. The most common type of pastel is dry pastel which can be hard as well as soft. Most of the expert artists prefer to use hard pastels whereas beginners often go for soft pastel because it allows drawing flexibility.


For a beginner, he should begin with wide range of colors. The range should include basic colors like black, white, red, blue etc. Having different shades will add to your repertoire. Many renowned companies offer huge range of pastel colors and shade along with pastel paper that is used for painting. The paper comes up with a slight texture which is so very crucial in holding the pastel powder to the surface. You can use watercolor paper also along with making your own paper. However, if you are a beginner go with a readymade paper.


In the dry method of drawing, paper is placed on the board with a clip. You do have the choice of using wet paper but more on that in later articles. The basic method requires one to sketch the subject with the black. Thereafter, other pastels are used on it. The painting will formally begin on the paper when you apply brush and water to it. Some artists like to use other mediums of painting like watercolor and acrylic. Once you start feeling comfortable with your work, you will be able to appreciate the true versatility and beauty of pastels. A pastel painting has rich depth and that’s why it is so very popular among the artists.

Pencil drawings

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 | Author:

Pencil art is an artistic form of visual art. There are so many applications of pencil art and this can also form the base of a charcoal painting. From sketches, landscapes and portraits pencil drawings have many variations. The approach towards pencil drawings may be many but the final art form is simply majestic. A novice version of pencil art can be simple sketching or drawing of a caricature. Look-and-draw pencil sketches are very interesting for children.


Plain graphite pencils come with various standards and specifics for the pencil art forms. The interesting range in color pencil art is again splendid. Bird drawings especially the drawings of multi colored feathered birds like a macaw are interesting when done with strokes of a colored pencil. Water soluble colored pencils are again a novel way to capture the magic of sketching using a pencil. The simple dip-in-water idea is also an easy solution to use the kit in a portable form.


Pencil drawings referring to portrait can be seen in real life paintings or sketches of face of the elderly, baby or a village belle. The variations in each pencil sketch are unique and list several techniques to capture the expression of eyes, eyebrows, laugh lines, crow’s feet and a toothless smile. More sketching accentuation is done with hair or forehead lines, the twinkle in the eye, a void expression or other important features of the face like jaw muscle or the ear or nose.


Pencil drawings of a dinosaur, bird, Santa or a park scene are very interesting for a child. Summer classes for pencil sketches teach the child to actually hold the pencil accurately and do the deft strokes under the able guidance of a senior artist. There are books available too that guide you on a step wise procedure to master the techniques of pencil art. Shadings are also a major chapter to be learnt in pencil drawings.


The spectacular representation of a scenery or landscape in black is another skill of an artist. There are double vision portrait styles and other arts related to weather and people as a crowd. Black and white pencil art is amazing and the surreal effect of mystic or spiritual painting with color pencil is quite an experience. Still life color pencil sketches also cultivate more platforms for artists who believe in expressing their feelings. There are more ideas like depiction of dreams in pencil art which make it a mystic understanding.

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Purpose of Art

Sunday, March 21st, 2010 | Author:

Does art serve any purpose or is it just a tool in the hands of wandering minds? The answer is definitely affirmative in favor of the first possibility. Art is a medium through which one indulges in free expression of endless ideas and concepts. The beauty of art manifests itself in several forms like paintings, sculpture, music and literature. The combined power of these forms can alter beliefs, bring about a revolutionary change in behaviors, and fashion collective experiences. Art is something that always draws us towards itself and becomes an integral part of us. Art touches every facet of our lives in countless ways.


So, now we know that apart from providing awareness, joy and pleasure, art also serves many other functions. Talking about its functions, religion will definitely be on the top of the list. You must have visited temples and Sistine chapels and do you remember what do you see there? Prehistoric paintings and sculptures acting as vehicle for religious rituals! Yes, art has always been an integral element of religions. Art is a wonderful tool for expressing different shades of emotions.  Art is a wonderful way to explore formal as well as informal elements of human life.


Art is also a way to communicate with others. It helps in capturing historical moments, events and other crucial events. When it comes to social commentary, there is no powerful medium than art. It can be used to present different viewpoints or even acts a platform for propaganda. Art is useful in making us aware of world scenario and human conditions. One of the best features of artwork is its ability to present a prevalent condition in an entirely different light. That way, one develops different but innovative perspectives about existing situations. The functions of art are truly unlimited.

The Impact of Art

Tuesday, March 02nd, 2010 | Author:

So you think art is a luxury and it has no purpose to serve in society? I would rather differ here. Art is not just a mode of creativity and expression. It performs various functions in both negative as well as positive sense of the word. Great many artworks have contributed to the evolution of human civilization. Apart from depicting the unique culture of every era since ancient ages, art has also been influential in shaping up the course of the history. Art brings awareness to the people.


Art scores greatly, in its ability to present untold truths about humans in a very effective and unique way. Perhaps, these truths cannot be said in any other way. Art also proves instrumental in connecting people. Just go to an exhibition and you will find many people being able to relate to your thought about a particular artwork. That almost makes it a universal connection. If the idea conveyed by an artwork makes you take action, then the purpose of art is achieved. Now, would you agree to the potentially huge impact of art on humans? But before that, art must reach the public. The connoisseurs of art must be able to understand the true value of the art and get a drift of the idea contained by it.


One of the most beautiful things about art is that it can depict positive emotions like love, beauty, honor, and devotion as wonderfully as it can express fear, hatred, poverty and injustice. Both sides of the coin are equally meaningful. Both can have a profound impact on people. The viewers will always have a strong emotional response to the works of art. There have been countless instances of artworks helping in abolition of existing malice of society. Hope, this trend continues.

Folk art painting on Furniture

Wednesday, February 03rd, 2010 | Author:

Almost every country in the world boasts of a proud tradition of folk art paintings so how could India remain an exception. Folk painting tradition in India goes a long way to the roots of Indian civilization. Like India, Europe has a highly valued and well respected folk painting culture. In fact, folk painting has its origins in 13th Century Europe. This was the time when folk paintings were used to decorate furniture that commanded huge premium in the market. As we are living in an era of retro-fashion, folk paintings have also re-emerged strongly. People with an eye on aesthetics are willing to pay good prices for painted wooden objects like plates, cabinets and decorative cutting boards. Antique art objects are being redecorated with folk paintings and sold at commendable prices.


The redecoration of wooden objects starts with restoring process where original varnish is first stripped off and then painted with a solution. Some of the rich traditional colors used for folk paintings are yellow, green, red and brown. Blue and some shades of white are also used to get the required effect. Folk paintings look best on dark wooden objects. Artists use quick drying wood stain for bringing dark wood effects.


The painting process can be completed with either water based works or oil based paint. Folk art paintings thrive on blending of colors. Pattern is another important factor in these paintings. There are plenty of reading materials available on folk art painting techniques on furniture. These paintings are a wonderful way to decorate your house or even to be used as a gift for special occasions. This art can be learned by anyone who is interested in paintings. This is a highly appreciated skill that will do great favors to your reputations.

Stained Glass Art

Friday, December 18th, 2009 | Author:

Those deeply interested in art and crafts must have heard of Stained glass art. It is a very colorful medium of expression for amateurs as well as professional artists. Many people are indulged in stained glass art as a serious hobby. This art from has several interesting aspects. One needs to be aware of those aspects that open a completely new dimension of stained glass art. Elements like how to cut the glass, foiling heavily textured glass, grinding, soldering (flux application and filling gaps, burnishing, etc.), and finishing (application of patina) etc very rudimentary to the whole craft form. One will also need to be aware of zinc farming and lamp photography to understand the true significance of this unique art. Many artists have reached to the level where they can decide the price of the finished works.

Large sheets of glasses are cut in the beginning steps. Curves are made with tapping techniques and serious practitioners of the craft even learn to cut inside a deep curve. This is a thorough process and takes discipline and patience. Grinding glass is another useful thing to learn here. One also needs to smooth up the rough edges of the glass. Then, there is soldering process that is actually very brief in nature. Then glass is centered where spaces are created between the glass pieces.

One of the crucial steps is Patina application that is relatively easy. One can witness stained glass art in products such as boxes, lamps, and other decorative objects. When it comes of lamps, one can see beautiful pieces of Panel lamps, Styrofoam mold lamps; fiberglass mold lamps etc. stained glass art is a process where one needs to be very patient. Things might not turn out as expected initially but sooner than later, with due practice, artist will surely master it.