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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Techniques to Make Oil Paintings

Oil painting is one of those timeless possessions of arts that depicts the visual documentation of the lifestyle and history culture. As the time passed by, there are new styles and techniques have made their way into the painting, making them more versatile and enriched. Even today in this modern times, oil painting is very popular and people still love to learn this form of art. The connoisseurs and modern artists esteem them and innovate new ideas from them.

Oil paint is generally different from gouache, acrylics or watercolors because it is not a water-soluble, but requires a solvent like paint thinner, oil or turpentine to dilute or clean it. Instead of water evaporation, it dries by a process of oxidization and takes a considerably longer time to dry than any other types of paints. In addition to this, it has a buttery and lovely consistency that can’t get from any other paint. Though, there is a little bit of waiting for the layers to dry, but they remain manipulable for a while so that you can make any changes and work into them.

For bringing glossiness and splendor to the painting, linseed oil is being used along with varnishes. Other than this, different types of oils are occasionally used in oil painting that includes walnut oil, safflower oil, and poppy seed oil. By using these oils, a variety of properties can be given to the oil paint such as less staining or various drying times. Moreover, depending on specific pigments and desired effects, painters often use contrasting types of oils in the same painting, traditionally, painting was performed by using different paint brushes, but there have been other methods introduced, including the rag, the palette knife, and even directly from the paint tube.

To learn oil painting in Melbourne, you can take painting classes from the reputed centers. If you are a beginner, then you can learn in a more relaxed fashion that creates an impressionistic style painting. Let’s not focus into small details, you just have to do free hand. First, do practice, to use the brushes and practice more and more. There is always so much to discover in oil painting. You will never get the bore to try out all the wonderful mediums, tools, and techniques. You can take oil painting classes in Melbourne to learn step by step demonstrations from experienced oil painters.

Ways to Sunrise Paintings

Here you will find some useful tips on how to create beautiful sunrise paintings.

  • Remember that it’s not always certain whether the canvas you are looking at represents sunrise or sunset. It can be confusing for many people. Since you can’t see how the sun moves, the only way you can actually tell what time of the day is depicted in the painting is by its palette. If you are used to the idea that colors are brighter in the morning and darker in the evening, forget about it. In most cases, it is true, but there are many exceptions, and you should be aware of it.
  • Build your palette around yellow, orange, pink and blue; these hues are typical for a sunrise. If you want your landscape to be accurate, you should mind the place of the sun. At sunrise, it will generally be higher than at sunset.
  • Don’t plan your picture in detail beforehand, just let the shades merge right as you paint and keep working on them until you achieve a perfect view. Keep in mind that the area around the sun should be lighter while the rest of the sky should be darker.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Start by making a set of small paintings depicting sunrise. That will help you to establish an appropriate palette and decide which of the hues work for you.
  • And lastly, if you feel that you can do better and some parts of the sky need to be improved, don’t be upset. You can easily fix everything by adding more details to your painting, like rocks and cliffs, flying birds and other interesting elements.

The Minimalist Art

Minimalism – The Masters of Less

Black Square
One of the earliest art that came to be defined as ‘minimal’ came from Kazimir Malevich, known as the Black Square. The painting describes just that – a black square on a white canvas. Originally derived as a concept in Russian Suprematism, the oil on canvas, as described by Kazimir, depicts the purity of an emotion. The black square represents the feeling, while the white background is the void that lies beyond this feeling, waiting for the feeling to end, to take hold of you once it does.

The Movement
In the words of one of the greatest in the Minimalist Movement, Frank Stella’s, “What you see is what you see” quote can be considered as the way to look at minimalist artworks. Of course, what you deduce from what you see is the result of opinions. His work, “The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II”(1959) hinted at his commercial influence. Ad Reinhardt explains the Minimalism as, “The more stuff in it, the busier the work of art, the worse it is. More is less. Less is more. The eye is a menace to clear sight. The laying bare of oneself is obscene. Art begins with the getting rid of nature”. David Burliuk, a Russian Avant-Garde artist, wrote: ‘Minimalism derives its name from the minimum of operating means. Minimalist painting is purely realistic – the subject being the painting itself.’

A View of the Minimalist Movement, 1960

The real Minimalist Art Movement can be believed to have originated around the late 60’s in New York City. This can also be considered around the same time as the beginning of Literary Minimalism. The art depicted an extreme form of simplicity, often coming with a bare-all-without-baring-much attitude, giving minimalist artworks the hard-edge look that defines them. The main characteristics of minimalist art are what separate them from expressionist art – no form of cultural gestures, no representation of any strong public opinion, and absolutely no point of self-explanation of the artist through the painting or the sculpture.

The Names
Through time, the art came to be known as “ABC art”, “literalism” and “Reductive art”, with “Minimalistic” as the most prominent. The word was, however, rejected by most artists in the Movement. One of these was Donald Judd, the man famous for his ‘box art’ structures and installations. One of the people on the forefront of the Minimalist Movement of the 1960s, his work featured at “Primary Structures”, a historic group exhibit held at the Jewish Museum in New York, 1966. Alongside him were Carl Andre, Dan Flavin and Sol Lewitt, other important names of the Movement.

Other Art Forms
Although minimalism can be related to other art forms like Pop art or Land art (it may be debated on which is a derivative of which), minimalism holds its own style of headstrong artwork that is simple to see, yet provides a view into the human minds as heavy as (maybe even heavier than) the others. It still adheres to the concept of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, but it does so in such a simple manner that we can discuss the effect of the work for hours.

The Passing of a Movement
It was at the end of the 1960s that the Minimalist Movement came to a slow and steady pace, if not been disbanded altogether. Artists moved on, critics fangs bared, attacked all minimalism, calling it frugal, confused and sometimes, ‘minimal’ in the derogatory sense. The most noteworthy critical remarks about the Minimalistic Movement can be found in an essay written by Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood” (1967).

Towards the end of the 60’s, minimalist artists ended up redefining the concept of minimalism, using sculptures and Land art to almost eliminate the difference between object and the art of that object. This includes the “Light and Space” movement influenced by John McLaughlin. The works often included installations with materials like glass and resin. All works that pertained to the idea of minimalism, created after the Movement came to be known as “Post-Minimalism”.

To a minimalistic artist, less will always be more. They would refrain from an object having to share space, along with the viewers interest, with another object in the same canvas. They believe this to be a cause for unwanted confusion. It was, is, and hopefully will still continue to be, the belief that changed Modern Art.

Renaissance Art

The Renaissance period was a time of great cultural upheaval which had a profound effect on European intellectual development. Having its beginnings in Italy; by the 16th century, it had spread to the rest of Europe. Its influence was felt in various aspects of intellectual pursuits such as philosophy, literature, religion, science, politics, and, of course, art. The scholars of this period applied the humanist method in every field of study, and sought human emotion and realism in art.

Renaissance scholars studied the ancient Latin and Greek texts, scouring the monastic libraries of Europe for works of antiquity that had become obscure, in their quest for improving and perfecting their worldly knowledge. This was in complete contrast to the transcendental spirituality that medieval Christianity stressed. However, that does not mean that they rejected Christianity. On the contrary, much of the greatest works of this era was devoted to it, with the Church patronizing a lot of the works of art. However, there were subtle changes in the manner in which they began to approach religion. This affected the cultural life of the society, which, in turn, influenced the artists of that period, and was hence reflected in their art.

In Raphael’s School of Athens, for example, illustrious contemporaries are depicted as classical scholars, with Leonardo da Vinci being given as much importance as Plato had in his time. The development of highly realistic linear perspective was one of the distinctive aspects of art. Giotto di Bondone (1267 – 1337) a Florentine, was regarded as the greatest Italian painter just prior to the Renaissance period. He is thought to be the first artist who treated a painting as a window into space. He abandoned the rigid Byzantine style, and developed a more naturalistic style of painting.

Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 – 1446), is considered the first great architect of the Italian Renaissance, and Leon Battista Alberti, was another pioneering theorist of Renaissance architecture. It was only after their writings were published, that perspective was formally accepted as an artistic technique. The development of perspective characterized a wider movement of incorporating realism into the arts. With that objective in mind, artists of this era also developed other techniques, such as examining light, shadow, and, as was made famous by Leonardo da Vinci, studying the human anatomy.

The inherent reason for the changes incorporated in artistic technique was a renewed interest in depicting nature in its natural beauty, as well as to resolve the fundamentals of aesthetics. The pinnacles of this can be seen in the works of Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), regarded as the most versatile of geniuses; Michelangelo (1475 – 1564), a Florentine sculptor, painter, and architect; and Raphael (1483 – 1520) whose works embody the ideals of High Renaissance. The techniques that they pioneered have always been imitated a great deal by other artists.

Italian Renaissance art can be described as the artworks that were created during the early 15th century to about the middle of the 16th century. Even though the artists of that period were usually attached to particular courts, and had allegiance to particular towns; nevertheless, they traveled all across Italy, often holding a diplomatic status, and propagating philosophical and artistic ideas.

Renaissance art is usually split up into four periods:

  • Proto-Renaissance, which lasted from 1290 to 1400. This period has its beginnings from the paintings of Giotto, as mentioned above, and includes the works of Taddeo Gaddi, Altichiero, and Orcagna.
  • Early Renaissance, which existed during 1400 to 1475. This period is embodied by the works of Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Piero Della Francesca, Verrocchio, and Uccello.
  • High Renaissance period, from 1475 to 1525, belonged to the great triad, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
  • Mannerism period, from 1525 to 1600, is represented by Andrea del Sarto, Tintoretto, and Pontormo.
  • Florence is the city that is credited as being the cradle of Renaissance art. Some other great artists of this era include Titian, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Bellini.

All told, Italian Renaissance can be seen as an effort by the intellectuals of that era to learn about and improve the worldly and secular. This was done, both, by reviving the ideas of antiquity as well as through innovative approaches to thinking, which is reflected very well in the art of the period.