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Category Archives: Art

Modern art paintings

First modern styles appeared in 1860s as refusal from past traditions. They are characterized by freshness, ideological content, unusual techniques and even simplified forms of displayed composition. Modern oil pictures are painted with vibrant colors and surreal shapes to portray deep emotions.

Here are some of the most influential styles that mostly reflect the spirit of modern art schools and movements.

  • Abstract art is a nonrepresentational style that departs from reality replacing it with associative and symbolic elements. Rather than depicting real objects, artists try to evoke the viewer’s feelings through the use of colors and shapes.
  • Surrealist paintings are a free combination of bright and vivid images in a fantastic, unconventional way. Surrealists are dreamers without boundaries who emphasize the meaning of the subconscious and try to paint a “flow of imagination.”
  • Pop art reflects subjects and scenes from casual life. It is a certain kind of realism in contemporary art, only defined by modern realia.
  • Representatives of conceptual art believe that the conceptual side of art dominates over the technical one. This style is mostly reflected in a combination of different elements: sculpture, installation and painting.
  • Futurists depict the triumph of technologies and the evolution of the world in the future. They believe that the mankind will take the lead over nature.
  • Impressionism is considered one of the earliest modern styles that appeared in France. Artworks of this style thrill the viewer with a play of color and light in a patchwork of radical brushstrokes.

One of the most famous contemporary impressionists, Leonid Afremov, creates a wide range of thought-provoking oil paintings using an uncommon Impasto technique and vibrant positive colors. Like every Impressionist, he tries to capture the beauty of the moment and perpetuate fleeting emotions in a way that best describes its meaning. Bright and inspiring paintings by Leonid Afremov will make a fine addition to your room decor and create a warm, cozy atmosphere in your home.

Way be a Freelance Illustrator

Some of the duties you would expect to perform as an illustrator include:

Understanding client needs and developing artwork from their concepts Creating storyboards that depict the script and narrative Drawing in 2D to create sketches, artwork or illustrations Designing models, backgrounds, characters, objects and environment Using clay, plaster, oil paints, watercolours and acrylics Working to deadlines and meet client’s expectations Using technical software packages, such as Adobe suite and other tools used by illustrators


Illustrators must develop certain skills to make a decent living. There are many websites and forums and blog posts that can help you develop and hone these skills. However, before you do find out where it is important to know what these skills are. Without ado, let us look at these skills in question:

As an illustrator, you should:

Be creative and artistic Possess drawing skills (sculpting skills aren’t needed)Have good concentration Have an eye for detail Observe and understand body language and expressions Be a good communicator and negotiator Be organised Be innovative and resourceful Be able to work well as a team player and take direction from senior editors, illustrators, directors and clients Be interested in art & design, film and television

You can develop and hone these skills needed online, or through courses. Many platforms and websites can help you ‘sketch’ a brilliant career, as an illustrator.

Illustration Class, Colossal, Lynda, Skillshare and Folio Academy offer both paid and free options, where you can learn illustration online.

Being Successful as a Freelance illustrator:

Maybe you will create the next Uncle Sam, or the next Syd, Milly and Olly. Who knows? However, what is apparent is that with the skills and talent this field will give you many opportunities to create memorable characters and illustrations. So, how can you become a successful illustrator?

There are many bumps along the way to becoming successful freelancers: no colleagues to moan to, no shared lunches, along with the instability of the absence of a weekly cheque. However, you can become successful, or indeed set off down the path to success, by following certain tips, as;

Being adept at drawing Being a keen observer Referring to and studying the works of better artists Learning continuously Networking Be able to sketch social views of an incident Be able to draw on people’s expression.

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.

Psychedelic Art

Only a true artist would know the importance of art and how it can be a great form of self-expression. In all forms of art, be it music, paintings, or dance, one can witness the changing trends that have occurred since ancient times. Each of these trends are unique in their own way. While some are subtle, others tend to be rebellious. The 1960s was one such period that witnessed many trends from the hippy culture to people who would love to rebel and be seen and heard. Psychedelic art was one such trend that raised quite a few eyebrows!

Background of Psychedelic Art
The term psychedelic can be defined as ‘Pertaining to or characterized by hallucinations, distortions of perception and awareness, and sometimes psychotic-like behavior’. The distinctive characteristic of psychedelic art is the beautiful, colorful images that have a surreal feel to it. Such paintings were influenced by hallucinatory drugs such as LSD, Psilocybin, and Mescaline. Surrealistic drawings, brightly colored abstract patterns, detailing, and even morphing using curvilinear calligraphy are used to depict various scenes.

Psychedelic Art in the 1960s
The 1960s’ saw the beginning of the psychedelic movement, which included not only paintings, but also music, fashion, literature, and philosophy. There were many poster artists who used this style of art to create posters for rock groups, to visually display the feeling of getting high. These artists used the basics of psychedelic art – the contrasting colors, illegible hand drawings, and strong optical illusions to produce some incredible artwork. This movement soon became a part of the counterculture of the 1960s. This counterculture was all about people that defied the traditional norms of the society. Psychedelia soon became a common feature in the youth of this period. This term was used to describe not only the art, but also music and fashion. One can also see this term being associated with the hippy culture of the 1960s.

This art soon was used for murals, as designs for album covers, etc. These fantasy forms gained popularity by the end of the 1960s. Advertisers caught on to this movement and used the basics of psychedelic art to promote their products. These bright colors and swirling forms were considered appropriate for packaging various products.

Prominent Psychedelic Designers
Wes Wilson was one of the most famous psychedelic artists of the time. His work is symbolic of the peace movement and the 60s. He is prominently known for creating a psychedelic font which made the letters look like they are swirling or melting.

Another great artist called Victor Moscoso, used the concept of vibrating colors for his psychedelic artwork. The effect was achieved by taking colors from opposite sides of the color wheel and using them in equal brightness and intensity.

Several artists such as Bridget Riley used geometrical shapes to create optical illusions. Such designs widely used grids and patterns of curves and objects that were decreasing in size for maximum effect.

Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol used this kind of art to glamorize common objects, making art more meaningful to the common man, and making art a subject of interest for everybody and not just the elite.

Today, psychedelic art is witnessing many changes. Specific software has made it possible to experiment in this direction. Psychedelic designs are used as album covers for trance music. There are many outlets that cater to specific group of consumers who love to wear T-shirts with such prints. Graphic designers use this as a basis to create beautiful 2 and 3-dimensional forms without the use of drugs. Psychedelic art has created a niche for itself amongst admirers of various styles of art. Well, it surely goes without saying, this art has its own beauty, which transports one to a fantasy land.

Tips to Fabric Painting

Fabric paints can be best used on old clothes that you are about to discard from your wardrobe. In case your interest lies in painting, then take out the stack of old clothes and turn them into wacky and trendy clothing. Pick some fabric painting pens to create detailed pictures or use a fabric spray to color your t-shirt with different colors. Here are few ideas to help you with painting.

Basic Methods of Fabric Painting

  • Fabrics tend to shrink after a wash. Therefore, before painting on it, wash it thoroughly, so that it settles to a certain size.
  • According to the fabric texture, select the appropriate fabric paints. Fabric pens, sprays, tubes make a great choice for making detailed pictures. Even stencils are a great way to get easy and quick designs.
  • Once you have sorted out the designs and paints, arrange the cloth on a hard surface, to assure stability while painting.
  • Once the painting is over, allow the cloth to dry at least for 24 hours.
  • Make sure it still rests on the hard surface, to avoid the paint from smudging.
  • In case the paint is wet even after 24 hours, allow it some more time to dry.
  • Once the paint has completely dried, wash the cloth and allow the left over color to wash out.
  • After thoroughly washing it, iron the cloth, leaving the painted portion.
  • Once the cloth is well ironed it is ready to be worn.

These are the basic methods of painting to help you create some fabric paint designs. In case you have already tried your hand at such an art of painting, then take a look at some more kinds of fabric paintings and learn the tips to experiment with them.

Techniques and Tips for Fabric Painting

Stamp Painting
Stamp painting is very easy way of fabric painting. Ready-made stamps of different patterns and pictures on them make the process quick and easy. These stamps are good for children and for beginners. In order to stamp paint, take a plain cloth and place a cardboard from the inside to keep the surface of the t-shirt wrinkle free and stable. Take the paint of your choice and dip the stamp into the paint and apply on the t-shirt. In case you don’t want to spoil your hands, take a brush, dip it into the paint and apply a thin layer of the paint on the stamp.

Stencils are among the easiest way of creating designs on any fabric. To start with, select the fabric on which you want to paint. Always wash the fabric before painting to keep the surface free from dirt and dust. There are many stencils available in the market especially made for the purpose of fabric painting. You can even create your own unique stencils to make your designs more customized. Stencils should be cut out from a hard surface as they remain stable during the process of painting. Place the stencil on the cloth and begin to fill in the gaps by fabric paints. Keep the paint moderately thick, so that it doesn’t flow from beneath the stencil. Fabric paints take time to dry. Therefore, allow the paint to dry for 24 hours and then slowly remove the stencil.

The Psychology of Painting

Van den Steinen is mentioned by Henri Delacroix in his essay entitled “The Psychology of Art” (“Psychologie de l’art”), when referring to the study of some Brazilian tribes and how they envisioned the whole process of painting. Den Steinen expressed the idea, the genius of visual arts resides in the gesture of imitating. This is most obviously noticeable, in his opinion, in the primitive man’s act of quickly drawing the sketch of an animal in motion or expressing a certain attitude. This sketch is almost the continuation of a gesture, and the gesture is almost the continuation of the perception’s constitutive movements.

There are two types of languages within this process of imitation: an abstract language and the vivid, concrete language of art itself. An artist’s writing actually originates in the child’s or the primitive man’s way of drawing. According to Delacroix, childhood age analysts have noticed some specific things. Thus, when observing a child who draws, there are certain elements that may be taken into account. A child who draws has two tendencies: a descriptive tendency and an indicative tendency. In most circumstances, a child uses drawing as a means of indicating a certain place or thing that has made an impression on him. As Rouma once put it, a child’s act of drawing could be considered similar to producing a sort of graphic language. As they grow up, many children develop some other tendencies which are usually typical of drawing beginners, such as the tendency to describe. This may result from the child’s effort to dominate his intellectual scheme and to reach the object’s concrete reality. Then the child can launch onto the synthetic representation of the whole, upon the exact pointing out of the details, or upon the attempt to create the perfect construction. Of course, there are many imperfections at first.

Primitive art also oscillates between schemes and imageries. The concrete realism and the vivid expression of reality sometimes make their way through the abstract conventionalism, by defying the abusive stylization which tends to turn art into a rather intellectual combination of elements. The primitive artist actually discovered colors and landscapes at the exact time he discovered lines and contours. There was no psychological or chronological priority in this respect. In those ancient times, decorative arts implied a certain sense of regularity and proportion. Among the most frequent forms of decorative art of the primitive age, one could definitely mention face painting. Delacroix says that even the incisions made during the process of creating a visual art piece had a certain rhythm for the primitive man.

Imitation, pointing out, self-exposure were all combined at the very beginnings of visual arts. It’s most obvious that visual arts developed its techniques and conquered its means of expression only gradually. We most certainly can feel the difference between Greek primitive sculpture and that of the great epochs, between a primitive and a modern painting. But no matter what the differences in the techniques used and especially in their improvements, visual arts operate upon certain basic data, and their relation to the artist’s intention can help create the aesthetic and artistic pleasure.

The components of painting are on one hand, drawing and shape, and on the other hand, light and colors. The shape of things can very much influence our practical behavior and our calculating intelligence. Philosophers have clearly expressed the connection between geometry and practical, day-to-day life. The same as colors, shapes also can influence our state of mind and way of thinking. For instance, a round room can create a sensation of space and freedom of spirit that a right-angled room may lack, and so on.

Greek painters were very much relying on beautiful shapes. Their painting style resembled sculpting. Words like: contour, line, feature, plan, elevation, section, weight, caliber, profile, silhouette, scheme, and so on, served to designate a shape, when this shape was effectively limited by a certain trajectory. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, a neoclassical French painter, said that painting makes up three quarters and a half of what the actual paining supposes. Drawing is more than merely representing contours. The line, which helps represent certain shapes, is an abstraction of the model.

Ways Spray Paint Art

A Step-by-step Guide for Beginners

Step 1
To begin with, you need a proper ventilated place to practice. You can choose the wall of your compound, a garage, or a driveway for this. Once you have finalized the location, gather all the materials you will need, lay out newspapers or an old cloth at the place, and take out anything you don’t wish to get the paint on.

Step 2
Take the wooden piece or poster board to the place, and tape it onto the wall on the edges, with the help of masking tape or painter’s tape. This will make it easier for you to remove the board or the piece of wood, once you are done with. Before you start working, wear all protective gear to prevent any paint from falling on your body parts. Gloves and face masks are a must, to protect your hands from the paint and also to prevent intake of any hazardous paint fumes.

Step 3
Since you are a beginner, use spray paint cans for your work. Apply pressure with the help of your fingers on the nozzle of the can to control the rate at which paint flows out from it. You can adjust as much as you want, and see the effect it has on the texture and shading of the paint. Apply a coat of paint on the poster board or wooden piece, and cover it with a glossy magazine page on top. When you take off the magazine page, you will have a different texture of paint at the particular spot. In the same manner, make different layers on the painting surface.

Step 4
To incorporate shapes in your art, use normal household materials. You can form circles using cups and glasses; squares and rectangles can be created using small boxes and so on. Try looking for varied shapes from various daily use items found in your house to create unique and innovative shapes. You can also make use of a stencil.

Step 5
For making straight lines, try using clay-modeling tools. This will also be useful in providing additional texture to your paint. Wood or metal scrapers are useful for making buildings in the painting. You can experiment with these tools by applying many layers of paint on them, and keep learning new ways to make your art more creative.

Points to Consider

  • While purchasing cans, ensure that you purchase ones of the similar brand. Also, pick up as many colors as possible to make your artwork more lively.
  • When you set out for doing your artwork, wear old clothes, or clothes used often so that you don’t feel bad, even though they get dirty.
  • Make sure you wear rubber gloves and a face mask to prevent hands from getting wet in paint and also to avoid inhaling any toxic fumes.
  • It is advised that pregnant women and people suffering from respiratory disorders keep away from doing any spray paint art.
  • While you are still a beginner, don’t rush into practicing all possible techniques. Take it slowly, and gradually move on to complex methods, once you are comfortable with the basic stuff.