How to Choose a Creative Medium Based on Your Personality

Or … How to Choose a Creative Medium Without Freaking Out! So you've put the creativity block monster back in the closet (or maybe you've kicked him out for good!) And you're itching to get started. Good for you! You're all fired up and ready … then out of no where – a percussion bomb…

Or … How to Choose a Creative Medium Without Freaking Out!

So you've put the creativity block monster back in the closet (or maybe you've kicked him out for good!) And you're itching to get started. Good for you! You're all fired up and ready … then out of no where – a percussion bomb goes off …

“How do I get started? What method do I choose – And when I choose one, How do I do it? What if I choose it and I suck at it!”

Before your world imploses again and you allow your creativity to sit on the shelf for another, oh I do not know – 10 years! – take a deep breath and flick that little monster off your shoulder and put him in the same place you put the other one and say these words …

“It does not matter. What matters is to begin.”

I'm certain if you're reading this, that you've heard that one before – maybe applied to a different subject. You've heard it before, because it's true. Knowing this, does not always help and if you have any pinch of perfectionism in you, you may need a little push – so here's a shortcut:

Choose a medium based on your personality.

Huh? Give a go! Here, let's try … do you like things to happen fast, get impatient and just want to get it done? You're a shoe-in for acrylic or encaustic painting. Do you like to work carefully and blend colors together? You may discover oil painting as your favorite.

There are lots more examples and certainly not only one medium to choose, but if you allow yourself to start there, you will definitely give yourself a big leg-up for continuing to explore ways to express your creativity because you will not be fighting the nature of the medium itself and chance becoming discouraged and quit alike, the medium will more likely flow with you and you with it.

A medium is simply your tool to express the uniqueness that is within you and allows you to get it outside of yourself to share – so the world can be a better place.

Your first choice may not be a medium you end up with and you may find that you like and continue to use several different ones – there are an infinite number of tools to create with, from pencils and pens to resins, clay, salt, wax , plaster – keep it up and you may even discover another one!

Here's an insider secret, most artists work with more than one medium ! Sure, to create professionally, you will likely choose a focus, but that is not what we are talking about here.

So, back to the shortcut I promised earlier. A short list on matching your personality – or way you might like to express – with a medium:

  • If you do not like fuss with lots of supplies, travel a lot, have mini-moments to create try: Pencils, Pens, Charcoal, Conte, Ink Wash, Watercolors
  • If you like to work carefully, are patient, like to think about your mark-making, do not want the paint to dry too fast try: Oil Paints, Pencils, Pens, Charcoal, Conte, Watercolors, Oil or Chalk Pastels
  • If like to work fast, are impatient for the next step, like lots of color choices try: Oil or Chalk Pastels, Acrylic, Encaustic
  • If you like a smooth look, blended colors, realistic images – start with any in the first list but next try: Oil Paints
  • If like texture, like to try putting objects or different things together, try: Acrylic, Encaustic
  • Are you interested in exploring the foundation of the medium, the alchemy of the paint you work with? Read up on pigments and artist materials safety then try: Encaustic or Oil Paints
  • If you find yourself interested in 3 – dimensional art, sculpture, carving, pottery try: Modeling Clay, Sculpting Wax

Did you see anything you liked? As you read over the list, did you find yourself nodding your head or were you surprised and any matchings? I'd love to hear your findings on this!

If you still find yourself unsure or drawn to more than one medium and still can not choose, that's okay. You simply have a little more exploring to do – so get into your local arts shop and look at what's available. There are good online stores too, but you really want to get your hands on the product, read the labels and suggestions provided by the manufacturers and even smell it! Also look at the various forms available. For example, oil paints can be used straight from the tube, thinned with oil, come in stick or pan form and even oil that is mixed with water.

Local art shops are a great resource also. Most often, the staff are artists or even art students who are actively working and many times, are the first to hear about new products from a manufacturer or can share interesting uses for traditional ones that they learn about or hear from customers. Chances are they have tried most mediums and a good number of tools in the store. They may have good tips companion products, such as subsidies, primers, glazes, thinners and cleaners appropriate for your medium and should also be able to steer you to local groups or classes in the area of ​​your interest or even offer classes on site.

Often these steps can lead you in an unexpected and interesting direction. Try not to be overwhelmed by the information. Instead, pay attention to what you perk up to, what gets you to listen a little more and trust that.

Remember the important thing is to begin.

12 Ways to Care for Your Pop Art

Once you have purchased pop art, you can display it anywhere you like at your home or office. Securedly stretched on to frames or on any other mediums, this usually does not require any special cleaning or care. However, in order to ensure that the piece of art you have purchased lives a long, healthy…

Once you have purchased pop art, you can display it anywhere you like at your home or office. Securedly stretched on to frames or on any other mediums, this usually does not require any special cleaning or care. However, in order to ensure that the piece of art you have purchased lives a long, healthy and happy life, here we provide 12 tips of caring for the piece.

1. Do not keep the piece of art in direct sunlight. The sun has a tendency of making objects crack and fade over time. So even if your piece has a protective layer of varnish on it, over time the sun can cause it to fade, break up or spoil.

2. Store artworks carefully. When you are planning to keep art away for storage, ensure that each piece of art is stored separately and is cushioned from accidents. Do not lean paintings on each other as something can break or tear them.

3. Use a clean soft cloth while cleaning your pop art. This protects the buildup of heavy dust on the portrait over time. Also, soft cloths ensure that the portrait is safe and undamaged.

4. Never use cleaning products or water on your ports. These can damage the portrait beyond repair and also reduce its lifespan.

5. Be careful while transporting it. If you plan to take your artwork from one town to another, pack them safely and securely. It is recommended to use bubble-wrap or similar material that cushions it against damage.

6. Avoid extreme changes of temperature and climate. Just like changing seasons can affect our health, this can get affected too. Avoid extreme changes of temperature, humidity and dryness, as this can damage the portrait. Avoid displaying portraits on areas immediately around vents, radiators, fireplaces, kitchens and bathrooms.

7. If your artwork is displayed on canvas, do not get it covered with a sheet of glass. Many people make the mistake of doing this. Canvas requires space to breathe, and covering it with glass constructs that space. This in turn will lead to the buildup of fungus and molds.

8. Avoid covering your portraits with a sheet of plastic. If you do so while landing portraits, use a layer of absorbent paper and only then cover it with plastic. Leaving portraits simply with a plastic covering can cause moisture to build up and lead to fungus formations, spoiling the portrait.

9. Do not repair portraits yourself. Damaged pop art portraits will need to be handled by an expert who will use the right products and techniques to minimize damage. Instead of trying to repair portraits yourself, take the help of experts.

10. When displaying portraits on outer walls, use tougher mediums like ceramic tiles. Outer walls are more subject to changes of temperature and humidity and canvas / wood portraits can spoil faster.

11. Do not overuse picture lights. While they draw special attention to portraits, over a period of time, they can cause light damage to the portrait.

12. Protect ports from natural enemies of water, heat, pollution and insects. Some insects can damage artwork and get your home regularly checked for such bugs.

Caring for art is not a difficult process and with a little information and regular care, your portraits will last for very long. Keeping the do's and don'ts in mind will help ensure that your portraits look good over the many years of their lifespan.

Concepts Of 3D Article

Modeling: Modeling is the essential part of 3D. You'll always need to create geometry for your scenes. Even if you are re-using or purchasing a model you might need to make changes on that model to adapt to your scene. The following methods I'm going to explain based on polygonal modeling. Some 3D applications using…

Modeling: Modeling is the essential part of 3D. You'll always need to create geometry for your scenes. Even if you are re-using or purchasing a model you might need to make changes on that model to adapt to your scene. The following methods I'm going to explain based on polygonal modeling. Some 3D applications using a mixture of creation methods such as NURBS. NURBS = Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines and uses curves instead of polygons to define surfaces. NURBS can be used to create soft organic surfaces. But but the CG world moved to polygonal and sub-division model rather than NURBS to create organic models such as characters and creatures. Here I only mention about the methods I've experienced with.

– Subdivision Modeling: Sub-D (in short) is all about creating a polygonal cage around a smoothed poly surface in order to manipulate that high resolution geometry. When you convert your object from poly to sub-d you'll have this process automatically done then you can switch to poly editing mode to use poly tools on a sub-d object (Maya). Or you can put your poly object into a Hypernurbs modifier and make it editable to start using polygonal modeling tools on it (Cinema 4D) or hit tab to switch to sub-d modeling mode (Modo). The tools and names changes, workflows are different from software to software but the techniques are the same. When you learn the logic, reason and idea behind a modeling method you can do the same things in many different software.

– Box Method: With utilizing sub-d you can start with a simple box and add details later increasing the sub-d level and transform the polygons to bring out the shape you want from the box. The point is; that you start with a simple box and make it more complex as you go along. Also the base shape does not have to be a box, could be a sphere or cylinder. When you get more experience on modeling you'll understand at a glance which primitive base object you need to start with.

UV Mapping: Second step after modeling an object is creating the coordinates to apply texture maps to it.

The process of UV Mapping transforms the texture map onto the 3D object. In contrast to “X”, “Y” and “Z” Cartesian Coordinates, which are the coordinates for the original 3D object in the modeling space, another set of coordinates is required to describe the surface of the mesh, so the letters “U “and” V “are used.

UV texturing permits polygons that make up a 3D object to be painted with color from an image. The image is called a UV texture map, but it's just an ordinary image. The UV mapping process involves assigning pixels in the image to surface mappings on the polygon, usually done by “programmatically” copying a triangle shaped piece of the image map and pasting it onto a triangle on the object. UV is the alternative to XY, it only maps into a texture space from the geometric space of the object. But the rendering computation uses the UV texture coordinates to determine how to paint the three dimensional surface.

– Resource: Wikipedia

Till the days of powerful alternative UV tools such as Headus UV Layout, UV mapping was a tedious and long process. All the 3D artists know that it can be a nightmare. Especially on complex surfaces or scenes with LOTS of objects. Most of the programmers, MEL Script experts (Maya's scripting language) and software houses like Maxon and Luxology (makers of Bodypaint and Modo) worked hard to make that process easy. Now it is. You do not have to think about how you'll handle the UVs. On Cinema 4D or 3ds Max you can use the uv map modifiers to define the coordinates of the surfaces for simple geometries like boxes or tubes / cables.

A plugin named UV Master for Zbrush (a free plugin) designed and created by Pixologic is able to create usable UVs for organic objects almost instantly. One of the greatest UV solution out there. My other personal favorites are of course, Headus UV, Bodypaint UV Editor and Modo's UV Tools.

Remember that all those software teams working to make things more easy to let you focus on your art instead of technical details. Which is great. 3D is not like as it is used to be. On late 80s it was just a dream to make an entire short movie or game all by yourself. Now it is getting more easy and fun everyday.

An Alternative Modeling Method: 3D Sculpting

Sculpting tools almost removed the border between 3D and traditional art, which is in this case sculpting. If you have a powerful system – you can work with billions of polygons and sculpt your character or environment with using many great sculpting tools in the market. Zbrush, Mudbox, Sculptris (free), Blender's sculpting tools (free), Modo'd vector and poly sculpting tools are the most famous ones.

Next On Project Educate: Texture Mapping, Lighting And Rendering. This article was for the Project Educate on deviantart

Fashion Tumblrs

Are you in need of some fashion inspiration? With the change in seasons comes a change in wardrobe, and if you're wondering how to style yourself this fall, Tumblr may just be the place to look. Whatever you would like to become a fashion blogger yourself; and share your passion for style with others, or…

Are you in need of some fashion inspiration? With the change in seasons comes a change in wardrobe, and if you're wondering how to style yourself this fall, Tumblr may just be the place to look. Whatever you would like to become a fashion blogger yourself; and share your passion for style with others, or just soak up the millions of trend worthy photographs being reblogged over and over, Tumblr is an easy and addictive way to get your fashion fix.

New fashion Tumblr blogs pop up daily, and many designers and boutiques, including Kate Spade and Elle Magazine, use Tumblr as a platform to reach their fans on a personal level, sharing behind the scene photos and inspirations in a casual blog. Lady Gaga even joined in on the fun, creating her own Tumblr to show off some of her favorite costumes, AMENFASHION.Tumblr.com has thousands of avid followers. Even if that sort of thing is not your style, once you login to Tumblr you literally have millions of pictures at your fingertips, and who says you have to be inspired by fashion only? You will find a spectrum of categories where people like you (and people not like you!) Share pictures of food, flowers, buildings, cartoons … Anything you can think of! Tumblr allows you to be a part of a world of inspiration you may have never known exhausted. You will find new obsessions and muses, as well as inspire others all over the world.

Once you create a Tumblr blog, you can host your own photos publicly or privately, as well as search and browse through thousands of other blogs or posts so fast you will have to “like” everything you see so you can remember it. Anything you “like” will be put in a link for you to return to, kind of like a whole other blog in itself! Otherwise, you can reblog people's photos, and share links directly from many websites or mobile devices! Tumblr has a strongly linked system of tags, or descriptive phrases or words, which help you find the images, videos, audio and text you are looking for. When you tag your own photos it helps you keep track of them for reference, as well as helping other people find them, and your blog! You can even ask questions to your followers, and receive messages and even reader submissions! Tumblr's fashion world is always growing, become a part of it!

In Love With ‘Love’

Rumi, the celebrated Persian philosopher and poet said, “Listen to the flute (ney), how it tells a tale complaining of separation! Saying, “Ever since I was separated from the reed bed my lament has caused man and woman to moan.” This axiom exemplifies the pathos of real love, the tradition of Ishq (True Love) that…

Rumi, the celebrated Persian philosopher and poet said,

“Listen to the flute (ney), how it tells a tale complaining of separation!
Saying, “Ever since I was separated from the reed bed my lament has caused man and woman to moan.”

This axiom exemplifies the pathos of real love, the tradition of Ishq (True Love) that encompasses human being in the corporeal world and throws it a way beyond the limit of mortality and transience; thus Ishq is considered, by the mystics, the only way of attaining immortality and fervency.

Renowned Urdu poets carried this thought and concept of frequently in their poetry, if Meer found Ishq as the mannerism of life, Ghalib labeled it as the ultimate incarnation of the romance that we had been obsessed with, concerning God and nature.

Iqbal's point of view regarding Ishq was nothing else but the real force and power of knowing one's self-esteem (Khudi) that could make him as vast and deep as oceans may be, and as infinite and unfathomable as the universe could be.

Persian tradition of exploring Ishq has been a vital urge behind its art and literature, apart from Rumi, Jami, Hafiz and Saa'di, all have been crafting their thoughts into the lyricism of mystic or Sufi poetry while, the same beliefs got their way out of the diminutive frames of Persian Miniature Painting.

Rahat Naveed Masud is the daughter of this soil that has absorbed the nectar of Sufism and Bhakti (the Hindu path of achieving salvation) since ages. She is inspired by the Persian Muslim tradition of expression through illuminated manuscripts personifying minority sentiments with innocent symbols and blameless details. She might have run her fingers along the free-flowing lines of the miniatures of Shahnama, Hamzanama, Kalila-o Dimna or Sherin Farhad to immerse her paintings in the same rhythm and surge in the form. While the themes of Rahat's painting suggest that she may well have listened to the anecdotal aspect of these mentioned manuscripts as well. However, she has her own voice and own lines.

Rahat is not a miniature painter as far as her technique goes, but thematically, she can be found as mystic, as paradoxical and as inxicated as the Persian or Mughal miniature painters were in their own times.

She is an artist of the contemporary epoch, an artist with a unique and précised approach towards life. She has gotten a scientific doctrine to focus on life to extract passionate truth and rational spirituality out of it, and then converting it into a visual experience through her art that can touch viewers' wisdom and emotions at the same time.

Keeping in view Rahat's earlier work of art, one can find the murmurs and peeps of fragility, often associated with women of this part of the world. She has always looked upon a woman's physical and emotional world with an eye of a woman, which a man could have been deprived of because of gender sensitization or gender itself.

In the recent show however, under the title of 'ISHQ Series' the painter has groped the physical and metaphysical world with an inner eye mostly associated with mystic school of thought and spirituality.

Aside from the figurative work, Rahat also put on display, few frames of abstract or conceptual nature. A large painting with blue paint applied vigorously in a circular movement around a very delicately rendered golden square, could lead a viewer to the quadrangle balance that the Muslim ideology expresses in the concept of the paradise (Jannah) or in the concrete appearance of the Ka 'aba. The gyrating brushstrokes, in blue, may also be linked to the circular movement of Tawaf (an essential practice of Hajj) in relation with the black cube; Ka'aba.

Along with the abstract frames, the figurative canvases were in the company of the symbols and objects, you may find traditionally in the Persian Literature and Art. A painting titled as' The Burning Moth 'seems as a true expression of the centuries' old concept of the love of a moth for the burning candle, which is actually a symbolic reference of a human as a moth for the ultimate love of his Lord (Allah), for Whom the adjective of light (Noor) is vastly acceptable.

Another painting of this show, named as 'The Light and the Moth-2', is found bridging the worldly and perishable life of human beings with the eternity and holiness that have always been longed for by the mortal man. The beauty of this painting is the style and interpretation of many unspoken feelings normally associated with the woman of the East, who prefers to be burnt to ashes in love, emotions and wait, over expressing her true miseries of loneliness and disappointment. Here in this frame, the combination of a juvenile and emotionally vulnerable woman and a fragile moth is quite remarkable. The sprawling posture of the young lady is not familiar with the western portraits of the reclining woman; this painting clearly shows the true attitude and position of the woman of India or Pakistan, or in a broader sense, of the South-Asian woman as she lies on her belly with her hair locks going across her back over the scapulas while dreams, tightly captured in fists letting ajar eyes remain empty.

The barrenness of the eyes again visits the onlooker's eye in 'the Deluge' where the same South-Asian young and a fragile woman is painted sitting in a balcony or a window. In this painting, her dreams are shown, in a very artistic and conceptual deception, sunk in deep waters of the flooded terrain in the background where only minarets of a mosque and tops of the sunken trees are obvious. In this painting, the artist has expressed, very skillfully, the sense of being deluged emotionally after the torrent around. The golden lining on the rear silhouette of the woman causes the luminosity that adds a devout touch to this frame.

The use of gold in Rahat's paintings is not only suggestive of a relationship of these frames with the traditional Muslim Miniatures, but it also advocates the gleam which is directly associated with holiness and purity; light contrast to the darkness.

In this show, the artist also presented a video in connection with the title 'ISHQ'. That video featured the life and activities of Malangs and Darvishes at various shrines of Lahore. It was an interesting clip relating to life-style of these self-indulged Malangs who claimed to be burning in the fire of true love or ISHQ. Interestingly, the video did not feature any woman contradictory to the series of paintings where image and imagery of the woman seemed pivotal.

In 2007 at the annual show of Artists' Association of Punjab (AAP), Rahat Naveed showed a painting of abstract nature, which was different from the signature figurative work, she was well-known for. That was a nonfigurative frame with a golden square in the center of a well painted crimson canvas titled as 'the Square'. It was quite a big transformation of style, keeping in view the usual style of Rahat; though, she had been inserting few geometric and floral elements and objects, which absolutely served a sense of spiral-continuity through her entire work.

The ISHQ series, if seen in its own capacity, can make a viewer go astray with the force of emotional discharge the painter has exercised in few of her frames. However, if you would look on this display as the continuation of the previously conceived ideology and thoughts, you may find yourself, accompanying the artist, revolving around the centripetal idea of ​​human yearning for eternal love and eternity. The paintings of Rahat Naveed, show a revolving journey from figures to portraits, from portraits to objects, from objects to metaphor, and from metaphor to forceful strokes of abstract renderings.

Mexican Art at Auction Reaches Beyond State and National Borders to Attract Charitable Donations

CORAL (Centro Oaxaqueño de Rehabilitationación de Audición y Lenguaje) is a non-profit organization providing assistance to the deaf and hearing impaired and their families in Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in Mexico. While most of its funding comes from private donors and local charitable foundations, over the past couple of years CORAL has held…

CORAL (Centro Oaxaqueño de Rehabilitationación de Audición y Lenguaje) is a non-profit organization providing assistance to the deaf and hearing impaired and their families in Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in Mexico. While most of its funding comes from private donors and local charitable foundations, over the past couple of years CORAL has held benefit auctions of Mexican fine art in order to maintain and expand operations.

The auctions have been held in Mexico City, touting works by predominately Oaxacan artists. In 2012 the charity will be casting the net even further, bringing the auction to San Francisco. CORAL recognizes that art, as an important component of material Mexican culture, holds a strong allure for collectors.

Fundraising in the US for worthy Oaxacan causes is nothing new. In fact most charities (CORAL included) are associated with American charitable organizations or are otherwise registered so as to enable donors to obtain the benefit of a tax deduction. FOFA (Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art) holds an annual sale in New York to raise funds for young, promising Oaxacan folk artists.

Reaching beyond the borders of the state of Oaxaca to auction its fine art is not difficult to understand. Megan Glore, in charge of auction fundraising for CORAL, clarifies:

“For decades Oaxacan art has had only a national reputation for quality, but many Oaxacan artists have garnered international acclaim; take for example the late grand masters of Mexican art Rufino Tamayo and Rodolfo Morales, and of course Francisco Toledo.

“For next month's auction in Mexico City (November 9, 2011, at the Hotel Radisson Paraíso) we've hired one of Mexico's top auctioneers, Paco de la Peña from Guadalajara, to auction off works of strictly Oaxacan artists. 'll have works by prominent artists including Demián Flores, Rubén Leyva, Sergio Hernández, Dr. Lakra, Enrique Flores, Guillermo Olguín, Arnulfo Mendoza, Shinzaburo Takeda, and yes, even Maestro Toledo.We're continuing to put the works up for auction on our auction webpage. ”

Glore's belief is no doubt nurtured by the fact that Mexico City is home to some of the wealthiest Mexicans, many of whom are patrons of the arts, and in fact aware of the work of the charity. CORAL's four-pronged program has grown steadily since 1988 when the seeds for the present organization were first planed with the pioneering work of Oregonians Dr. Richard Carroll and Dr. Nancy Press.

CORAL now boasts one of the most impressive multi-facet and comprehensive outreach programs of its type in all Mexico:

• An audiology clinic for testing and diagnosis, repairs and maintenance to hearing aids and hearing-related accessories, and ongoing support.

• A children's therapy center (with parental intervention a prerequisite) with group sessions as well as individualized treatment.

• An early detection program designed to single out and treat children as early as infancy. CORAL educates public health doctors to recognize and screen for hearing loss behaviors; the doctors are then able to help parents to identify normal childhood development.

• A social work component whereby staff travel through the state capital and into the smallest of rural communities to serve deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals through educating, monitoring and providing resources.

But can the auction now being organized for San Francisco in May, 2012, even come close to matching the proceeds it anticipates generating from the Mexico City fundraiser? In Glore's mind there's little if any doubt. “San Francisco has a reputation for having a robust art market,” she explains. “Just as important,” she continues, “the people of northern California have a particularly strong and longstanding connection with Oaxaca, as well as an appreciation for the art of Mexico.”

Mexican art, and indeed Oaxacan art, has been exhibited over the years much further abroad than the nation's capital and in the US – throughout Europe and the Middle East, Australia, South American and even Japan. It should not take a leap of faith to be confident that a Mexican charitable organization with a mission as worthy as that of CORAL, will succeed in its foray into fundraising through fine art auctions, in Mexico, and internationally.

Gecko Carving

I did a carving of a leopard in Leopardskin Jasper back about 1991. In our travels with our gem business, the carving created a bit of a stir wherever we went. Because of it, a lady commissioned me to carve a gecko from Leopardskin Jasper. This is how it went: The leopard required a piece…

I did a carving of a leopard in Leopardskin Jasper back about 1991. In our travels with our gem business, the carving created a bit of a stir wherever we went. Because of it, a lady commissioned me to carve a gecko from Leopardskin Jasper. This is how it went:

The leopard required a piece without any of the occasional lines or sheets of black and tan that are characteristic in Leopardskin Jasper. The gecko carving found those features to be a big advantage. The rough piece I chose was quite flat, and had been discarded from the piece I used for the leopard. The base was already determined by the saw blade. I drew the gecko outline in permanent marker on the top of the piece and began the shaping by grinding on a 100 grit 8 “diamond wheel.

This cave me the back, head, and tail contour. I now knew the piece would be about 5 inches long. After this, I had to redraw the gecko, because the image had been ground away. The shape around the figure was done with successful cuts with a diamond cut off blade and coarse diamond burrs of different shapes clamped in a # 30 Foredom hand piece with a water drip. I would repeatly sink the blade into an area marked for removal, then take a small screwdriver and break out what was left standing, then grind it smooth. That goes pretty fast. Then, with diamond blades and burrs comes some fairly meticulous looking around arms, toes, chin, neck, etc. Geckos and their toes have many angles, curves, nooks, and crannies.

Now, the strips and sheets of black and gold worked out perfectly in the piece, and I can not take any credit for it. These features just happened to be in exactly the right places for me. There was a neat and perfect little black line exactly where the mouth was to be. I just incised it a little. Under the chin it was all gold, just the way one would expect in a live gecko; and on the side, just a line of gold was visible at the belly.

The base of the carving was rough ground enough to look like rough ground. The stone was ground down to the black sheet just to separate it that much more from the gecko, which was polished. The idea was to illustrate a creature camouflaged to its' native habitat.

The eyes were a special feature. A gecko has huge eyes, and gaping holes were ground to accommodate them. I used yellow Apatite from Durango, Mexico for the eyes. I cabbed the gems on one side, and I faced them on the other side just using a simple 16 facets at 42 degrees reaching from girdle to point with only a semipolish. I wanted the viewer to see movement, but not brilliance. Now, here's the problem. How to attach them into their sockets without using glue on the facets? The glue would destroy any effect the semipolished facets would have. The eyes needed pupils, but the dome shape would magnify, so what had to be done for the pupil had to be very small and black. A small, thin cut was made, taking away the faceted points at the backs of the Apatites, and a very thin sliver of Wyoming black jade was cut. The length of the sliver had to be just right. The eye sockets were drilled through the head. The sliver of black jade was epoxied into the slit of one Apatite. When cured, it was inserted through the head to be epoxied into the other Apatite. The slit had to be vertical, and the eyes could not wobble around. The arrangement was held in place with masking tape until cured. When the tape was taken off, the effect was pretty good. As the piece was slowly rotated, the eye did indeed appear to move.

It was a very nice challenge, and the lady liked it!

Happy Trails!

Color Harmony Paintings Achieved Through a Split Complimentary Color Scheme

Do you wish you could paint more color harmony paintings? Have you tried using the color wheel to achieve your color harmony paintings? Color Harmony Paintings Believe it or not learning to paint color harmony paintings is not as hard as it may seem at first. Many find that after using the techniques I give…

Do you wish you could paint more color harmony paintings?

Have you tried using the color wheel to achieve your color harmony paintings?

Color Harmony Paintings

Believe it or not learning to paint color harmony paintings is not as hard as it may seem at first. Many find that after using the techniques I give you here, they are able to see the world in a totally new way as they learn about color. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Once you have the basics down it will be easier to use these instructions to fit your needs, paint distinct, and stimulating paintings. Today we learn to tell the story of color as we make harmonious paintings.

Using the artist color wheel is the place to start with your color harmony paintings. From here we learn to create a pleasant arrangement of color, producing rich, vibrant paintings.

I want to make a painting using the primary color of blue. There are many different pigments of blue to make as you will see on the wheel. As you turn the wheel many different combinations will be seen. So, let's make a tint, tone and shade of blue. Choose Cobalt Blue for this exercise.

First make a puddle with blue adding just enough water to be fluid enough to drip off the end of your brush.

From this puddle make another puddle use enough water to make it very soupy and it creates a tint.

From the original puddle make another puddle and take enough to mix with gray making a tone of blue.

And, third, again from the original puddle make another puddle and take enough to mix with Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber to make a vivid black or dark color creating shade.

As we continue to learn to make color harmony paintings, decide what colors to use with blue. Turn your wheel to the Illustration of Color Relationships or Harmonies side, decide if you want to paint a complimentary, split complete, triad or tetrad color scheme.

For the sake of simplicity choose the split-complementary color scheme and find the triangle in the center, turn the dial to blue and notice that the complementary colors are yellow-orange and red-orange. These are tertiary colors, in other words one primary color and one secondary color combined together.

As you see, choosing harmonious colors is the first step to color harmony paintings.

Why Choosing the Right Font for Your Work Is Important!

Okay, so being a graphic and web designer in Manchester, has been an experience. From going to and from Manchester and Preston I have seen a number of big NO NOs! Not from the companies I have worked for, but from some promotional items I have seen flitting around – and some things in the…

Okay, so being a graphic and web designer in Manchester, has been an experience. From going to and from Manchester and Preston I have seen a number of big NO NOs! Not from the companies I have worked for, but from some promotional items I have seen flitting around – and some things in the post.

I am going to offer you some basic information on fonts. A lot of you may wonder, what is the difference between a serif and a san serif font style. If you can remember “san” means without. So a San Serif font style is without the small appendixes and curly tails etc. A Serif font style contains no flicks, curls or appendixes.

There are thousands of fonts available to download from your desktop PC or MAC and some can be purchased if they are extra special. However, considering the thousands of font styles available within a click of a button – people still fail to use the correct ones. I'm not sure if it is laziness or people genuinely do not know? I'd love some feedback on this.

There are many good websites you can use such as Dafont – this is a great site. Be sure to check the rights you have over the fonts. You may however, be more familiar with the standard fonts you receive when you buy a new computer. We have all heard of Times New Roman and Helvetica …. step outside the box and explore what fonts there are …. come on, you only live once!

I found a very intriguing article, which stemmed off this article about the misuse and overdone Comic Sans. Never, ever, ever will I ever use this font. It is not unique and definitely not professional. Have you ever opened a formal letter from the doctors or hospital, stating your next medical appointment for a huge operation …. IN COMIC SANS? I would look twice and wonder if it is a joke. The curviness and bounciness of the font is certainly not for corporate use or an important document …. more for a bouncy castle business or child's birthday invite?

The pitch of this article is to mainly consider the fonts we use. You would never see a DANGER sign in a fun font would you? DANGER screams to me bold, straight, bit and scary …. not fun, floppy and curly. Ask yourself, what are you trying to say? Get this bit right and you are on to a winner!

Everything You Need To Know About Oil Painting Reproductions

You do not have to be an art connoisseur to appreciate oil paintings. They are a thing of beauty that many people appreciate and would love to have them hanging on their walls either in the office or their home. Many original paintings from renowned artists like Pablo Picasso are so treasured that they are…

You do not have to be an art connoisseur to appreciate oil paintings. They are a thing of beauty that many people appreciate and would love to have them hanging on their walls either in the office or their home. Many original paintings from renowned artists like Pablo Picasso are so treasured that they are well-preserved in some of the most famous museums in the world, usually after the museum has paid a huge sum of money to acquire the painting. If you want to have a copy of such a painting, all you have to do is get an oil painting reproduction. In fact, they might look the same to the untrained eye.

Due to their expensive nature, oil paintings were initially a reserve for only the rich. Having an oil painting in your house or office would be enough to have you labeled as rich. This is because the paintings were rare and thought after by some very rich individuals as well as organizations like museums, universities, rich collectors and art schools. However, this is no longer the case. Nowadays, even ordinary people can have these paintings. All this is thanks to the skills of artists. There are many qualified artists who can reproduce specific works of art and make them look as alike as the original.

The first thing you need to know about these paintings is that the paint they use matters a lot. For instance, if you have spotted a particularly popular Da Vinci painting that you want, you should contact an artist who is an expert in this field. The artist will then do the work for you. It is also important to note that what you have in mind is exactly what the artist knows too. There have been cases where such transactions took place over the phone and when the painting was delivered, it was not what the client had ordered.

The other step is to look for a good and qualified artist to do this for you. This is because there are so many artists out there with different qualities that it could be hard to distinguish good ones from the not so good ones. This means that since you are going to be paying money for the services, you should spend some time scouting for the best artist. You can do this by looking at a sample of the works the artist has done before. If you are not pleased with the work he or she has done, do not hesitate to move on to the next one. However, if the samples are good enough and you approve of the quality, go for the artist.

There are also numerous oil painting reproductions that are not made on pre-ordered basis. This means that there are some artists out there who have already done oil painting reproductions and all you have to do is look around and choose which one you want. The best way to identify this is to have an art specialist. This is because if you are untrained in this field, you may end up paying for a poor quality painting. However, an art expert or specialist can help you identify good quality paintings and help you differentiate them from fake ones.

On average, many of these oil painting reproductions start from three hundred dollars and only go upwards. However, you will notice that many times, but not all times, the quality of the painting is directly proportional to the price of the painting. Fundamentally, cheap paintings would cost you less and that would be the reason they are sold for such a low price. The higher price could mean that the artist has put in a lot of time and resources into producing that particular piece. All in all, oil painting reproductions have given everyone an opportunity to own a great work of art.

Multi Canvas Prints

Canvas prints are a nice way of making art works out of your favorite digital images or old photographs. Canvas art involves printing your chosen picture on to a canvas which will then be mounted or stretched over a frame using stretcher bars or a crossbar. The result is a beautiful, custom-made wall décor. Popular…

Canvas prints are a nice way of making art works out of your favorite digital images or old photographs. Canvas art involves printing your chosen picture on to a canvas which will then be mounted or stretched over a frame using stretcher bars or a crossbar. The result is a beautiful, custom-made wall décor. Popular subjects of canvas prints include family pictures or individual pictures of family members. But you can also choose your favorite piece of art and have it printed on canvas.

Canvas artwork is also a great way to express your creativity and individuality. With canvas arts of your favorite pictures, you can be sure that there are no other art works like yours. What's more, you can go for multiple canvas displays to really play up your creative side. Multiple canvas prints involve printing a single image over two or more canvases.

Triptych Canvas Art

One type of multi canvas display is triptych canvas art. Arguable the best known and most widely used form of multi canvas art, triptych involves printing and displaying a single image over three canvases. The style has been around for hundreds of years and is very popular with Christian and Chinese art and pictures. The style remains popular today among artists, photographers and art afficionados as well. The traditional triptych uses a row of three portrait canvases with a small gap between the panels. This type of arrangement is ideal for showing off landscape, scenery and panoramic shots because the natural dimensions of these kinds of images and of the triptych display usually match perfectly. Also, there is very little altering and cropping that needs to be done. Triptych canvas art is a great is a lovely and creative alternative to a lone canvas artwork.

Multi Canvas Prints

Triptych canvas prints may be the most popular type of multi canvas artwork, you can go for several customized canvas display to come up with a really unique design and really show off your individuality. Multi canvas prints cab be created to your specific requirements and have any photo or image printed over any number of canvasses in any shape and style you like. Just be careful with choosing an image for your multi canvas print. Pictures of nature (such as plants), cityscape, landscape or scenery usually work well with multiple canvas prints. It all depends on how it will be cropped when creating the multi canvas display. Pictures of a person or a group of people usually do not work well for multip canvas arts.

Right Image and Right Crop

Canvases that are lined up in a row are typically ideal for horizon shots. Square or rectangular objects are ideally arranged in a grid formation, preferably with two rows of two pictures showing off your favorite plant or flower for instance.

This is what is great about canvas artwork, particularly multi canvas displays. They are very versatile, which means you can play with the design and arrangement to come up with a really unique and personalized wall art.

Cultivation Creativity – Part V

Virginia Woolf wrote of needing “a room of one's own”. This is a universal need of a creative artist, whether a painter, writer, dancer, or sculptor. Art takes space. An artist needs the space for solitude and for the execution of the work of art. Unfortunately, space is sometimes hard to come by. We must…

Virginia Woolf wrote of needing “a room of one's own”. This is a universal need of a creative artist, whether a painter, writer, dancer, or sculptor. Art takes space. An artist needs the space for solitude and for the execution of the work of art. Unfortunately, space is sometimes hard to come by. We must be creative in finding the space we need as artists. It is not acceptable to have a box in a closet that contains the art supplies needed to work with. If that is the case, the artist will not work as consistently as is necessary to grow. I will talk next time about how often you need to work; for now I will address the way to get the space you need.

Sometimes an artist's focus needs to center on creating the right environment conducive to creating. The minimal space would be a corner of a room containing a desk or table, a chair, and access to water. This space needs to be set up and available to work at all the time. That is the bare minimum. It would be much better to have an entitled room to your art. This room need not always be in a house. I have friends who have set up a shed on their property that becomes an art studio. This arrangement is especially good for those who work with clay or glass and have need of a kiln. An artist who lives in New Hampshire was one of my creativity clients. She had a shed that she used for a painting studio during the summer months. It was not heated, so she moved all of her art supplies to a rather dark basement during the winter months. Her creativity was hampered during this time. She was not happy with the work she produced in the winter months. Our coaching sessions began to center on how she could “winterize” her shed and continue working through the cold months. She installed double pane windows and a small space heater and no longer had to pack up for the winter. Her output of high quality work soared year round as a result of this small investment in her environment.

Ten years ago, I had a studio built on to my home. It was the best gift I ever save myself! The space was large with a closet to hold framed paintings, plenty of storage space for supplies, an eight foot table to work on, an easel, and even a small refrigerator for my acrylic palette. Last year, my husband and I moved into a small apartment while we looked for a new home. I was not about to give up my studio space. I moved my work table into a garage, brought in full spectrum lights and a space heater and continued to work. It was not an ideal studio, but sufficient to keep my creativity alive.

Some artists rent studio space away from their homes. Many communities have co-ops where artists share studio space for a small monthly rental fee. There is an advantage to this arrangement in that it allows for community with other artists and sometimes even a place to display and sell work.

I encourage you to think about where you can create a space to pursue your creativity. Get away from the box in the closet and set up “a room of your own”.

Cultivating Creativity – Part IV

In my last article, I emphasized the need for community. I am now going to return to the need for solitude. The solitude this time will take you out of your studio and into the world. At the end of the nineteenth century, Parisian artists originated an activity called “Derive” which means “drift”. At that…

In my last article, I emphasized the need for community. I am now going to return to the need for solitude. The solitude this time will take you out of your studio and into the world.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Parisian artists originated an activity called “Derive” which means “drift”. At that time Paris was becoming a new city of modern (for the time) buildings and wide boulevards. The artists wanted to bring that newness into their art through absorbing the environment. Their approach was to “derive”: take a gentle walk, alone, through the city. The aim was to discover something new about the area, to get to know a place in a different way than they did before, and remember that difference. Through this discipline, they welcomed a freshness to their art that has come to us as the Impressionist Movement.

Walking is an exercise in heightened listening. As we walk, we awaken our neural pathways and make them more sensitive. Walking opens us up. If you are stuck in the mid of a creation, leaving the studio and going for a walk is often the best solution. John Muir said, “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

I suggest that you take one “derive” each week. Each time find a different place to explore. It is important that you do not have a preplanned route. If you live in the country, you may wish to go to the city and walk there. The idea is to stretch your territory. You are using this walk to fill your image trunk because art uses images to build on and grow. Let yourself drift and notice the world around you. Look out for graffiti, words on shop-signs and posters if you are in a city environment. Notice plants, rocks, or the sky like you have never seen them before if you are in a country setting. Talk to local people, take pictures, and absorb the surroundings. You will come back from these trips with a fresh outlook and possibly some new ideas for your artwork.

Another way to explore is to visit a museum, antique store, book store, or second hand store – alone. When you are alone, your thoughts and feelings will come to the surface and react to what you are looking at without the influence of another's perception. You might find some small thing to purchase that inspires you to create in a new way. Or in a museum, you may see a familiar art piece in an entirely new way. I once went to a showing of Audubon's bird lithographs and came away with inspiration for my “Goose with Her Golden Egg” mixed media painting that was hung and won an award at the International Acrylic Painters Exhibit. If I had not spent time alone at the exhibition, that painting would not exist. I often go to a local Dollar Store and come away with a variety of materials to use in my collages. Ideas come to mind as I see these common objects in a new way.

A creative life is grown through process. A common saying is “food for thought” but actually, an artist needs thought for food. Walking, observing, absorbing replenishes our over canned creative well and gives us material to create.

Battle of the Techniques: Raster Vs Vector – Who Wins?

Now that even novices know the power of vector graphics they prefer to use them always. In fact they recommend it to all the regular and potential clients. But a seasoned designer knows that there are areas where the two can be used together. Yet, this is one more area where the basic vs advanced,…

Now that even novices know the power of vector graphics they prefer to use them always. In fact they recommend it to all the regular and potential clients. But a seasoned designer knows that there are areas where the two can be used together. Yet, this is one more area where the basic vs advanced, pros vs amateurs, unsheathe their swords. Even though there are major differences they can be used amicably in churning out some images. The end product can be really unique. The raster images can be drawn from Corel draw. Their pixel stretches when the image is enlarged. The composition looks imperfect. The colors also tend to change. The vector images are actually illustrated in comparison. When they are enlarged the distortion is minimal. While doing photo editing vector images tend to be more flexible in handling. Vector works in a line. These lines can be manipulated in many ways. A designer can mold the image like clay. Since there is no loss of quality it tends to overpower raster images.

The photos that reach the viewer need to have a humane approach. The realism keeps the viewer focused on it. And for the common man it makes no difference if it is raster or vector. The pixilated look of raster images can be unappealing. Here, when they are clicked, care should be taken. Vector images are more calculated and tend to have an aura of perfection around them. With the combination of smart object filter, Illustrator, a raster image can be combined with that of a vector image. There are many examples that can be seen online of such combinations. The best of both the systems are used. Artistic posters can have a combined effect of both Raster and Vector. Ideally a vector image can be put in the background and a raster image can be blended in well. Many new designs are possible with the two being used. Vector images are made of objects of several colors. The color schemes can be changes too. Since there is no question of keeping a track on pixels, the vector image can be cropped or enlarged. It can be used in the following formats-EPS, WMF, AI, CDR, DXF, SVG, or PLT.

The scanned raster images or graphics are used for photos, digital paintings, or even a web design. GIMP and raster based software use RBG or CYMK color mode. The resolution qualities of photos are critical. They can not be enlarged without loss of some value. They can be used within certain limit. To avoid jagged images the editor does not touch it after it has achieved its maximum capacity. Such images can be paired with vector treated ones. Sometimes the printing shapes the ultimate drawing.

There will always be a difference between the two. It is up to an artist or designer to make use of them. Until now, the design element preferred vector graphics. But when there is no limit to creativity and innovation then why not use best of both?

Ultrasound Pop Art

We all thought we knew everything about first portraits. These were most commonly taken as soon as the baby was born. But then, some parents and some artists got together with some science and changed that too. Ultrasound pop art was created out of the science of ultrasound, the creativity of artists and the enthusiasm…

We all thought we knew everything about first portraits. These were most commonly taken as soon as the baby was born. But then, some parents and some artists got together with some science and changed that too. Ultrasound pop art was created out of the science of ultrasound, the creativity of artists and the enthusiasm of parents. Here is more about this form of pop art and how it can be used.

What are ultrasound scans?

Ultrasound machines use the help of sound waves and its echoes to understand the size and structure of internal body organs. In case of sonography during pregnancy, ultrasound is used for understanding the development of the fetus, check for multiple pregnancies and also check for abnormalities.

How does it work?

The equipment for ultrasound scanning resembles a paint roller connected to a larger device with a monitor. The roller is moved over the skin and when this is done, ultrasound waves are transmitted from the roller to inside the body. Reflection rates of these waves are then measured and demonstrated on the screen. The visuals obtained showcase the outline and density of the organs that are scanned. In case of a foetal sonogram, the image shows the placenta and the baby attached to it through the umbilical cord.

What are the important elements of a foetal ultrasound?

An ultrasound scan showcases various dark, white and gray areas. Of these, the white or gray areas show bone and tissue while dark areas show amniotic fluid. Technical experts then use scales to measure the development of the baby and its various organs as clearly as possible.

How can scans be converted to art?

With the help of creative inspiration and digital technologies, it is now possible to convert boring-looking ultrasound scans to inspirational pieces of art. All you need to do is take the e-version of the scan or take a good USG print and scan it. You can then send it across to portrait providers, who will use bright colors and creative techniques to better define the baby in the womb.

What media are good for such reproductions?

While many people prefer digital prints, today a wide range of artistic options are available for ultrasound art. Canvas portraits are an excellent option as the finish of the portrait can look great. Also, cloth, ceramic mugs and tiles, cushions, clocks, bags and watches are good options too. If you are planning for a baby shower, and considering to order personalized return gifts, then ultrasound pop art on mediums of key chains, clocks or tags may be a good idea.

When portraits were created soon after babies were born, this merger of the science and arts changed all that. What resulted was a breathtaking style that could capture a moment in life that we could never have seen otherwise. These portraits are remarkable for they capture the unseen. And they capture a very important moment. If you too are expecting your child, sometimes the best time to start planning for is now. Do not just decide on the baby's name and the room's color, also start planning for a memorable ultra-Orthodox pop art portrait to decorate the room's wall with.