Watercolorpainting.com has some nice step-by-step processes on how to paint specific paintings. I chose this Mediterranean Beach Scene by Allan Kirk to post here. He has a nice way of building up the painting. Although while I use much lighter washes than he does in the beginning, the technique is the same. I hope you enjoy this step-by-step watercolor lesson.
This is the first post of what I hope to be will be a "Material of the Month" string of posts. I'm a painter, and I'm also self-taught, so I see this series as a sort of informal education for me as well.
This month's material is watercolor paint, which is something I've been getting into more this year. I began my career as an oil painter, and I still consider oil to be my main focus. However, I really enjoy working with watercolor because of its transparency. This is one of the themes of my work, but I don't work much with it with oil, instead leaving it to watercolor and oil pastels.
As one might guess, watercolor paint is water-based. It is made up of pigments (color), gum arabic (binder), additives (to improve the quality), and solvent (dilutant). It's the binder that makes it watercolor.
To read more, click the link above.
In preparing a recent presentation on why art adds value to people's lives, I came across an article published by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse by Amy Kelly that suggests that art and science have developed together over time, even though they have opposite functions.
The article essentially suggests that art and sciences have long been linked, even in the 20th century where it is rare to fine people participating wholly in both areas. After all, art is supposedly more emotional while science is supposedly more logical. This is in spite of the fact that there are many artists who create logic-based art (M.C. Escher, for example) and many scientists who made discoveries based on intuition (such as Newton).
Kelly found that artists and scientists both described working best when in a mental state as opposed to working in a particular location or during specific times. She was also able to connect that both believe that the other needs to continually work on the same processes every day even when there are no "positive" results. There was also the similarity in that both believed the other needed to think differently in order to be great at what they do. Her final conclusion, however, was that art is what happens after science is learned. In other words, science is about learning rules and adapting them, and art is about breaking these rules and forging into unknown lands.
The point for art-lovers? That art and science are not only linked in some very key ways, but also that one leads to the other. Art has value because it takes science to the next level.
Click here to see how art can motivate you to make better decisions.
So I recently finished a successful Kickstarter campaing (see here). It was a small project to help raise money to buy frames for an exhibit, and it was my first ever fundraising campaign. Below are some lessons that I learned, and I hope that they help you in your Kickstarter, or other crowdfunding, campaign. Best of luck to you, and I hope that you more than exceed my success rate.
Please note that these tips are only based on my experience, and that others may have better advice. I always feel that I can learn something new, so these tips may change over time. Having said that, here's what I learned:
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I ran across this Dupont-Corian whitepaper on how art can help to cure us, and I became excited to share this with you.
According to the research published here, one study pitted a Van Gogh painting, A Pollock painting, and a landscape photo. According to the article, "When the patient's medication use was charted, it was found that in contrast to the control group, the patients consumed slightly more medication while looking at Pollock's abstract work, suggesting that the art had made them anxious."
The article goes on to suggest that the cost difference in medicine between the three paintings was about $30,000 per year. Maybe this means one of an artist's targeted audience could be medical centers. A different audience for sure, but one just as worthy in the end.
I live in Brasil and recently had to do a presentation in my Portuguese class. The assignment was to create an argument that would convince the rest of the class that my side was best. Since I'm an artist, I chose a topic regarding why art adds value to your life.
There is a lot of research out there that shows why art is good for you, and it isn't just because it's beautiful or anything like that. It's because art sends messages to our subconscious that cause us to react.
But it isn't just prints or photos either. According to a study by the Emory University School of Medicine in 2010 in an article by psychcentral.com, when people see original art they are more likely to activate the brain's "reward system" than if they looked at photos of similar objects in the paintings.
The subjects in the study were shown paintings and then shown photos of similar objects that the paintings had. It was found that more parts of the brain were activated when the subjects viewed the original art than when the subjects viewed photos, particularly that part of the brain that works with rewards, financial decision-making, your appetite, and impulses.
So what's the benefit here? Buy original art maybe you'll be thinner, make more money, be better motivated, and make fewer impulsive decisions.
Ever had a bad day as an artist? Ever wondered where the next commission will come from? The next sale? The next print sale? Ever wonder if it's worth sticking with it and heading back out to the "real" world? I've been on both sides, and being an artist is easily the best thing for me. I know this in my heart. But here's the thing, it's not always easy to do it. One needs to remember why one is doing it, and sometimes it's easy to forget. I had one of those days recently, and I was thankful to receive this cartoon by Bill Watterson as a reminder to keep forging ahead.
Greg Mason Burns is an American-born contemporary visual artist. These are his thoughts on life as an artist.