Monthly Archives: October 2014

Art basics – Color: Transparent or not?

Color pigments are transparent, semi-transparent, or opaque. Opaque paint will cover up another color. Transparent barely shows on top of another color. Semi-transparent is in between. When an artist wants light an airy, they may use transparent paint. To make an object look solid more opaque paint may be used. Paint isn’t divided up so...
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Art basics – Color: Categories and Harmonies

Categories of Color I remember in grade school learning about primary colors (red, yellow, blue), secondary colors (orange, violet, green) and complementary colors (colors opposite each other on a color wheel). I don’t remember these details however: Intermediate colors (red orange, yellow green, blue violet, etc.) are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. Complementary...
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Art basics – Space

Space is the distance or area around, between, above, below or within places. It can be two dimensional or three dimensional. In two dimensional work artists often use techniques that create the illusion of depth or distance. Some of these techniques are: Linear perspective – distant objects are proportionally smaller than close objects Atmospheric perspective – distant objects...
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Art basics – Texture and Light

Texture is the surface quality of the object. In two dimensional art it is implied texture—how objects look like they would feel if you could touch them. Textured items reflect light differently. The more texture the less reflection of light. Light in a painting can be dramatic, mysterious, cold, hot, dappled, rainy, and can make patterns, shapes,...
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Drying Oils or Mediums

Drying oils or mediums are added to oil paint to modify the way the paint handles or to change the characteristics of the paint—make it glossy or matt, transparent or opaque. Linseed oil is used to add gloss and transparency to paint, although it has a tendency to yellow. A thicker processed form of linseed oil...
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Fat over lean

This is an oil painting concept that basically prescribes slower drying paints (fat) over quicker drying paints (lean). This is not about thick paint versus thin paint. Lean oil paint is paint mixed with fast-drying oil and/or turpentine. Fat oil paint comes straight out of the tube or has additional oil added. Upper layers of...
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Blocking in

One technique some artists use is to “block in” the colors of their painting. This can be a loose painting of the dominant colors in the areas of the canvas where those colors will be. Or it may be the background colors in each appropriate section for a painting. Here are several examples of what it...
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Glazes

A technique some artists use is glazing. It can be done with oil, acrylic, or watercolor paints. The basic of glazing is painting a very thin layer of paint on top of a dry painting, letting the glaze dry, then painting another layer, adding as many layers until the desired result is reached. Glazing can provide...
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Impasto

The term, impasto, is borrowed from the Italian. It commonly refers to the oil painting technique where paint is thickly laid on the canvas. Brush strokes or painting knife strokes are often visible when this technique is used. Impasto painting provides texture. Impasto gives the artist more control over the way light will reflect on the...
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More on Acrylics

Acrylic paints can basically go on any surface. Traditionally, wood, canvas, and masonite are used. Some artists might use illustration board or paper, however if too lightweight of paper is used it can buckle from the liquid in the paint. Acrylic mediums can alter the appearance, hardness, flexibility, texture, and other characteristics of acrylic paint. If...
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