This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Drawing Graffiti on Paper

The following instructions should guide you through the process of drawing graffiti names on paper.

  • Start drawing graffiti by selecting a word, preferably your name.
  • Draw the letters with enough spacing between each of them. Maintaining proper spacing helps in their decoration.
  • Make use of capital letters for graffiti drawing. There are many different styles and fonts you can choose from for this activity.
  • Never try to copy the art work created by other artists; you can however, always use their style.
  • It is possible to develop your own style of graffiti. However, it is requires a lot of practice and experimentation.
  • Decide on the type of edges you are going to use in the graffiti. Bubble edges are commonly used. Use of sharp edges also gives the drawing a nice look.
  • It is recommended to draw lightly in the beginning. Erasing and changing the design becomes easier with this approach.
  • Don’t create an outline that is too big in size.
  • Start the activity of decorating and embellishing the graffiti after you have completed their basic outline.
  • Try to vary the thickness of letters to give them an artistic look. A 3D-effect can also be added to these letters by shading the outline in varying proportions.
  • There are many additional details you can make use of in graffiti drawing. Drawing bolts of lightning and blaze of fire around the words are some of the additional details. You can also create your own designs. One thing to be kept in mind here is that these embellishments should enhance the appearance of your drawing. Overdoing it would make the drawing appear tacky.
  • As far as possible, make use of crayons. Coloring with these oil-based colors is easier in comparison to that with water colors (at least for beginners). Color pencils and markers also are suited for graffiti drawing.

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.

Pop Culture and Artifacts

When you think about objects that define pop culture, what are the things that you first think of? Well, chances are that more often than not all those images are pop culture items (including Kermit the frog, Archie Bunker’s chair, and even Hannah Montana ). The effect of the phenomenon is such that it permeates and captures the imagination of the masses. While not many of us may be familiar with the works of Caravaggio or the theories of Nietzsche, most of us would have devoured Archie comics and read every Dan Brown book. That is the power of pop culture. These cannot be restricted to literal objects, as ideas, images, attitudes, people, phenomena, are all a part and parcel of world and American popular culture.

There are many experts who have spent a lot of their time studying one or the other artifact in popular culture. Most people while analyzing these artifacts use two forms of analysis – an interpretive textual analysis and content analysis. The former helps in examining the literal and social meanings of the object at hand and how they are linked to larger subjects prevalent in society. The latter studies it in quantitative terms. Studies help determine the mood of the country as a whole and reflect their mindset and options. An object is defined as a pop culture artifact when you observe widespread popularity of the object and different mediums including references to the artifact. They are sourcing pop culture in an Internet culture to create new idols. From kitschy items of the ’60s and the ’70s to the quirkiness of music and television today, the very definition is evolving on a daily basis.

So what are the different American artifacts that has captured the imagination of different generations? From the popularity of the icon that is Mickey Mouse and the logo that has a direct association to the Jonas Brothers today, pop culture icons and artifacts are many. Some notable icons of pop culture are The Beatles, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Madonna. Andy Warhol’s painting of Marilyn Monroe cemented her position as one of the everlasting icons of popular culture. Icons may not be necessarily human; superheroes like Batman, Superman, X-men, and movie franchises like the Star Wars have created their own little kingdoms in the pop culture space. These artifacts include any piece of clothing or object associated with these icons.

Most of these artifacts have an association with celebrities or cultural icons. In some cases it is with a television show or a movie franchise. While pop culture may often be faced with the accusation of being trivial and responsible for the intellectual degradation of the audience, the acceptance that pop culture finds remains unmatched. This can be observed in the anime boom in America with manga and anime both becoming huge in the country. Pop culture artifacts with their enduring popularity will remain embedded in the psyche of the people forever. While other high culture artifacts may stand the acid test of time, their popularity will never be as all-encompassing or widespread.

The Magical World of Surrealist Paintings

Towards the end of the First World War, many artists who had moved to different parts of the world from Paris became proponents of the Dadaism movement which held the belief that the war was a result of excessive rationalization, and an increase in bourgeois living. The way in which Dadaists protested the war was with anti-art movements, different performances, art works, and literary works. History tells us that the first seeds of thought regarding the Surrealist movement were conceptualized from the remnants of the Dadaism movement. The person who can be called the founder of the Surrealism movement was Andre Breton who regarded the movement a form of revolution. The definition as given by him says that it is a “pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.”

Extremely influenced by Freudian theories, Surrealism is in a manner the expression of imagination as seen in one’s dreams. The entire gamut of Freud’s theories that dealt with free association, analysis of dreams, and of the unconscious, were extremely important to the artists who were a part of this movement. Most artists of the movement laid their claim on eccentricity without an acceptance of being mad. As can be figured out from what Salvador Dali very famously said, “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”

Another important characteristic of the movement was the juxtaposition of elements that were rarely ever actually featured together. The aim behind combining two disparate elements was to create something that shocked and startled. Most artists of the movement aimed at breaking the shackles that bound people to conventional, rational behavior, and customs and traditions.

One of the most famous painters on a Surrealist canvas was very obviously Salvador Dali, who helped popularizing this art movement. A lot has been said and written about the relation between the art movement and Dali and the effect that the artist had on the way people perceived this artistic movement. If you study the art form in detail, you will see that there is a lot of technique involved, as well as focus on content. But despite this, there was an attempt to appreciate what an untrained artist would see as art. This stemmed from the belief that free from rules, a mind tends to be more imaginative in the ideas it generates.

Most artists who painted in the Surrealist form, used free association and one of two methods of expression; Absolute Surrealism and Veristic Surrealism. While the former believed in the expression of ideas of the subconscious, the latter focused on creating a connection between the abstract and the real. Salvador Dali worked in the Veristic school, often juxtaposing images from the real world with imaginary situations. It is believed that movements of the art world like Abstract Expressionism and Magic Realism were born from this movement. Lowbrow art is also a throwback from this art movement.

It is difficult to understand this movement completely without maybe taking a lesson. Paintings like Elle Loge La Folie, Indefinite Divisibility, or Woman with Her Throat Cut, are works that just give you an insight into the shock and awe that Surrealism art inspires.

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.

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.