Watercolour Artists – The Most Famous Watercolour Artists

It is thought that people used watercolours to draw images on the walls of caves in Palaeolithic times. The ancient Egyptians created manuscript illustrations with natural pigments dissolved in water. True watercolour artists, however, appeared much later – during the Renaissance in Europe. Now we can enjoy the spectacular masterpieces of many famous artists created…

It is thought that people used watercolours to draw images on the walls of caves in Palaeolithic times. The ancient Egyptians created manuscript illustrations with natural pigments dissolved in water. True watercolour artists, however, appeared much later – during the Renaissance in Europe. Now we can enjoy the spectacular masterpieces of many famous artists created from the 16th century to present times.

Albrecht Dürer is the first well known watercolour artist. He worked in Germany during the Renaissance and created masterpieces such as Young Hare and Castle Segonzano. Another German Renaissance artist, Hans Bol, started an entire watercolour school. One of his most notable works is Landscape with the Fall of Icarus.

The watercolour artists who worked during the Baroque era included were Van Dyck, Claude Lorrain and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. It is important to note that these artists used primarily oil paints to paint on canvas. However, they also created beautiful works on paper using watercolours.

The most notable watercolour school was established in England in the 18th century. Many watercolour artists worked during this time mainly because their professional services were highly attended after various exploration expeditions and the military. Thomas Gainsborough, Francis Towne and William Pars were some of the most distinguished representatives of this school.

Paul Sandby is known as the father of English watercolour. He established this medium of painting as a comprehensive separate discipline. Thomas Girtin is known for his romantic and dreamy landscapes. Joseph Mallord William Turner remains one of the most productive watercolour artists to this day. He created historical, mythological and architectural paintings many of which are preserved to this day.

Notable 19 century English and American watercolour artists include John James Audubon, William Trost Richards, Fidelia Bridges and Thomas Moran. Winslow Homer created true masterpieces of this art medium. His most famous works include After the Hurricane, Bahamas, and Santiago de Cuba: Street Scene, and Perils of the Sea.

Paul Signac and Paul Cezanne created unique watercolour works during the 19th century. Cezanne used a unique technique which involved the overlapping of small glazes of color. One of his most famous watercolour works is a self portrait.

Watercolour artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde, Dong Kingman and Milford Zornes created fascinated works in the first half of the 20th century. Famous modern artists using this medium who worked in and after the 1950's Joseph Raffael, Philip Pearlstein, Eric Fischl, Anselm Kiefer and Ignacio Barrios.

At present, you can find a wide range of superb works from contemporary watercolour artists. You can now own such a work.

Design Trends of 2012

I've recently taken on the role of Design Director for True North Magazine based out of Anchorage, Alaska. This has set me on a journey to discover what is trending in magazine design and as usual there is no solid answer. Magazine design is not that different from other graphic design, especially advertising / promotions.…

I've recently taken on the role of Design Director for True North Magazine based out of Anchorage, Alaska. This has set me on a journey to discover what is trending in magazine design and as usual there is no solid answer.

Magazine design is not that different from other graphic design, especially advertising / promotions. Essentially your magazine is your product that you are trying to sell, which makes the similarities between product promotion design and magazine design very understandable. As we are seeing more and more, advertising is the new art. The creators of the latest Nike campaign are the Da Vinci's of today. Just do not tell the hardcore artists that. So most of these types of design that are programming something or another are moving along general design trends. I sat back and contemplated the trendiest designs of 2012 and have decided that two big trends are fresh typography and simplicity.

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. – Leonardo Da Vinci

Typography, being font style, has become a huge deal the last few years. There are generally whole companies that all do do is design fonts, or consult on what fonts for a business to use. Finding the right font is absolutely critical to good design. The downside of this is that it can be very time consuming and not especially interesting. Recently I had a dream (or more accurately nightmare) that I was choosing fonts all night long. The whole night I just scrolled down a list of fonts! I woke up exhausted and ready to snap. So if you ever see a font you like, write down the name and save it for later so you will not have to track it down again.

Simplicity. Cleanness. Purity. Blank Space.

All these have become more and more trendy over the last few years. Just look at the Pepsi can. Six years ago it was a mess of bubbles and swirls and writing, today it is nothing but a logo on solid blue. Leaving space is absolutely essential for good design.

One final goodie I'll leave you with that is gray and white are the colors of the year, if you can call them color. Apple computers has pushed gray as far as it can be pushed and I love it. Of course you can only keep someone interested in gray and white for so long so a single bright color used sparingly can be very affective and fun.

History of Shona Art

History and revival of Shona sculpture Shona art has been around for centuries and in fact it can be traced as far back as the first settlements from the Bantu diaspora. A more sedentary life encouraged people to keep possessions. Evidence suggests that it flourished like everything else during the Great Zimbabwe era (10-16th centuries)…

History and revival of Shona sculpture

Shona art has been around for centuries and in fact it can be traced as far back as the first settlements from the Bantu diaspora. A more sedentary life encouraged people to keep possessions. Evidence suggests that it flourished like everything else during the Great Zimbabwe era (10-16th centuries) and under the kingship of the Munhumutapas. One only needs to look at the architecture of the Great Zimbabwe ruins to see how artistic these people are. The Zimbabwe bird, which is now the national emblem of Zimbabwe is a soapstone sculpture that was carved between 1100 and 1400.

Shona art came to worldwide attention through the influence of Francis Jack McEwen. McEwen was an artist – painter, more importantly he was an art lover. His introduction and representation of Henry Moore and the Shona art movement are the defining moments in his legacy as a revered purveyor of the fine arts. He accepted role as director of the national gallery of Zimbabwe then Rhodesia which was opened on 16 July 1957 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. As national gallery director Frank wanted to see art from the local artists in the gallery, a concept the white Rhodesian authorities were not at all keen on, for they wanted to house old European master-pieces. He wanted to draw out the art from the individual without much teaching, a teaching of Gustave Moreau who inspired his pupils as professor at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris to be artists by bringing out individual talents as opposed to imposing ideas on them. McEwen encouraged the local artists to work with much harder stone than that which they were acclaimed to as sculpting mediums. He nurtured a few artists who later spread out and thus the rebirth of Shona sculpture.

There are other characters who played pivotal roles in this art movement not least the artists themselves who worked hard to cope with the world wide attention; they reveled in this popularity yet yet unbelievably stayed simple and loyal to their way of work using simple and primitive tools. Missionaries such as father Groeber a Swiss priest of Serima mission in Gutu district of Masvingo province, mentored local people interested in carving stone. Canon Paterson a Scottish born church of England priest established Cyrene mission in Bulawayo and his love for art and craft made him encourage the people around him to paint and sculpt. Paterson also played an influential role in encouraging disabled people to take up art. Tom Bloomfield a farmer at Tengenenge encouraged his labourers to try a hand in sculpting stone. Roy Guthrie who succeeded Frank McEwen as national gallery director and other characters also helped in the growth of Shona art to what it is today.

Sculpture: The Art Of Living Longer

WANT TO EXTEND YOUR LIFE? TAKE UP SCULPTURE! According to Van Gogh, “Drawing is the basis of everything”, and is unquestionably the very foundation of sculpture. Having spent years in life drawing groups studying the naked human form, I have always been amazed by the atmosphere and electricity generated by the group. The loud mouths…

WANT TO EXTEND YOUR LIFE? TAKE UP SCULPTURE!

According to Van Gogh, “Drawing is the basis of everything”, and is unquestionably the very foundation of sculpture.

Having spent years in life drawing groups studying the naked human form, I have always been amazed by the atmosphere and electricity generated by the group. The loud mouths suddenly become calm and reserved, the young, single- minded and purposeful and most fascinating, older people seem to exude an exuberant youthful spirit incongruous to their advanced years.

It seems to me that a relationship exists between art, good health and general well-being. I doubted this can be pinned down by science, its more of a metaphysical principle based on the feeling of being in the zone and tapping into an unfathomable creativity, unavailable through the normal mundane channels of everyday existence.

I believe sculpture is the purest and most expressive of all the visual arts. Being inside a block of stone and allowing the chisel to move intuitively, slowly discovering the form within the block fills the sculptor (or individual individual trying sculpture for the first time) with a sense of wonderment and a feeling of being alive through the physical and emotional connection with the material.

Similarly, the viewing of highly original beautiful sculpture also evokes the same sense of awe-inspiring fascination, excitement and appreciation that naturally engenders a positive emotional response. Renaissance sculpture, especially the work of Michelangelo is so emotionally charged that it seems to lay bare the very soul of the artist for all to see. This great humanity and intelligence empowers the viewer with an unfathomable level of positive energy. I think both the active and passive participation in sculpture are both valid ways of taking the individual to an exalted plane of thought, reducing anxiety and depression, while increasing the feeling of well-being and satisfaction. However, even greater overall health benefits can be gained from the physical creation of sculpture. The longevity of the old master sculptors bears testimony to this, and the facts are positively astonishing –

Andrea Pisano 79

Geovanni Bologna 79

Rustici 80

Donatelo 80

Ammanati 81

Bernini 82

Luca della Robbia 83

Jacopo Sansovino 84

Michelangelo 88

In fact, the divine Michelangelo almost made 89, remarkable! even more noticeable when you consider the average life expectancy in Florence at the time was around 30 years.

So what's going on?

This longevity can be partially attributed to an active creative mind constantly pushing the boundaries of emotional expression, along with an intense desire to live in order to create and add to the sum total of human endeavor. However, many painters of the same period (usually with a similar mindset) died early, most notably, Raphael and caravaggio.

This longevity disparity among artists could well be down to the intense physical exercise required for the creation of sculpture, compared to the relatively sedentary process of painting. Sculptors stand all day whilst painters quite often sit for long periods. Recent research in the field of sedentary physiology suggests that sitting down is not only unnatural but also extremely dangerous. Standing requires the use of muscles designed for support, they produce enzymes (substances within the cells of muscle that work as catalysts allowing them to transform the components of food into energy) that specialize in turning bad cholesterol into energy. When sitting the muscles relax and enzyme activity drops drastically, leaving fat to accumulate in the blood. Without enzyme activity the fat stagnates and clings to the arterial walls leading to heart disease.

Strong physical exercise protects against heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis and best of all gives you a euphoric high from the release of endorphins in the brain. During intense sculpture activity it normally takes about 30 minuets before the endorphins start to minimize the discomfort of the physical toil of sculpting with hammer and chisel and provide the euphoria associated with a feeling of well-being.

Cardiovascular disease is the western worlds largest killer, with stress being one of the main contributing factors. Creativity seems to be the ultimate stress buster, and artists have an ability to move effortlessly from the analytical left brain mode into the sublime right brain creative mindset, dissolving stress in the process. “Being in the zone” refers to that magical state of being completely engaged in something to the point of a near meditative state. This single-minded immersion is like being on autopilot, totally in control without consciously thinking about the process.

Picasso once said, “When I enter the studio, I leave my physical body at the door the way Muslim's leave there shoes when they enter the mosque, and I only allow my spirit to go in their and paint.”

The human mind can only hold one thought at a time, and most of the time artists minds are crammed full of creative positive thoughts. Thinking outside the box and creative problem solving leave little or no room for destructive negative thoughts, resulting in a relatively stress free existence. Sculptors in particular tend to be excited about life, possessing a childlike enthusiasm, seeing the world through rose colored glass with a sense of wonder. Living to create, focuses vital energy on the positive rather than the stressful trivialities of life. Studies show the more you use your mind the sharper and healthier it will be. The complexities involved in sculpture can stretch the mind to breaking point, along with the euphoria associated with the manifestation of the completed work of art, certainly must be the ultimate mind food.

The process of sculpting by hand out of the solid block in stone, marble or wood is a sublime fusion of the intellect and raw physicality in the pursuit of the ultimate form of artistic expression. This must not to be confused with the outrageously pretentious and elitist genre of conceptual sculpture. Real sculpture is available to all, not just the chosen few pompous little puppets, controlled by the chief protagonists in the Emperor's new clothes art scam.

Everyone can get involved, from the young to the old, the artistically inclined and the clueless. The only essential requirement is enthusiasm.

SCULPTURE BELONGS TO THE COMMON MAN NOT THE ESTABLISHMENT.

Picking up a mallet and chisel will give you focus, it will make you smile and it MIGHT JUST EXTEND YOUR LIFE.

How Does a Technical Illustrator Create an Intimate Visual Language Through Drawing?

The visual language of fine art, painting and drawing, has rich and complex message vocabulary that is fast achieving practical importance. One reason it has received so much public attention is its ability to express a whole array of emotions and concepts that any entrepreneur may use to advertise a product specifically in the t-shirt…

The visual language of fine art, painting and drawing, has rich and complex message vocabulary that is fast achieving practical importance. One reason it has received so much public attention is its ability to express a whole array of emotions and concepts that any entrepreneur may use to advertise a product specifically in the t-shirt designing and textile industry. Drawing, at times, competes with photography in terms of importance. This statement based its claim on the ability of the artist to reinvent the forms of language and its meaning in a variety of perspective.

Before you put any gear on production, you need to create a schematic diagram or technical illustration of the gear. A technical illustrator can make a clear diagram or illustration of the product before it gets approved for the production. The possibilities of communicating to your audience using the art as language is quiet appealing and educational in nature largely dependent on the drawing, design, and goals. This expression of the concept is exciting, fascinating, and extremely inspiring. Art and drawing has the power to cross the boundaries of time. The work of an artist or a technical illustrator is the most enduring and powerful legacy that places, transposes, and communicates the intimate visions of the person.

The representation of the product or certain objects known as the visual language of images is the vehicle capable of traveling through the passage of time. One example is the portrait painted by Michael Angelo. His expertise created a new quality of line and quality of mark that shows simple elegance in its execution and design. The high level of realism and economic means can be seen in the accuracy of the lines and the careful depiction of the model. The visual images are the oldest form of communication evidenced by Neolithic artists on caves. If you visit ancient caves, you can witness the fine drawings of the ancient civilization reflecting some forms of Chinese characters or calligraphy with very different aesthetic awareness.

If we look at history, the language has been described in two forms. One is the phonograms and the other is the pictograms. The drawing as alternative means of communication has evolved for many years. Sometimes, the sketches, diagrams, or illustrations best describes certain things than using text or words. They are indeed highly remarkable in certain degree of sophistication. Drawing has evolved into works of arts in today's world of arts and entertainment. The technical illustrator companies drawing with a shared vision of the design. In technical illustration, drawing is the language of design and is quite inseparable from the design that it serves. Drawing used to communicate the shared ideas of the artists and the entrepreneur, which is often used as a tool to instruct others about the details of a specific design. It is seen to be a quasi-linguistic order of communication in visual representations to present some aspects of the design process before it goes to production line.

Clothing and Textile Digital Graphic Designing

Clothing and textile digital graphic design: How to make designs that are trendy and catchy? Artists and digital illustrators are all catching on a new trend, which is to create a fashion trend for the textile and t-shirts in print. The opportunities of selling hand painted textile products are high but may require you to…

Clothing and textile digital graphic design: How to make designs that are trendy and catchy?

Artists and digital illustrators are all catching on a new trend, which is to create a fashion trend for the textile and t-shirts in print. The opportunities of selling hand painted textile products are high but may require you to practice painting fabrics several times before going into the production. Here, experience is always the best teacher. You need to practice every day. Things that you may hand paint are the ties, blouses, handkerchiefs, and skirts. You may print using stencils for a start. Sometimes, you can just paint the name of a brand and these consumers a walking billboard. You earn from the company for advertising their product and from the sale of the shirts. Your textile design will transform the look and feel of the cloth including the appeal of the person wearing it. Get inspiration from the brands, negotiate the advertising strategy, present your digital illustration, and make the sale.

Another trend that is fast emerging is the greeting cards or even the wall decors needing more designs in conjunction with small objects such as paper clips, buttons, bands, laces, and other things you may find in finer gift store at good prices. Most often, they are glued on the greeting card or the wall décor. Personalized greeting cards and stationery may be made out of simple pen and ink drawings. Work from ordinary snapshots and then create your personalized greeting cards.

How do you make a painting vivid? Amaze your viewers and create paintings out of broken rock. No, I do not mean to say you glue big pieces of rocks. That would be quite heavy. Break the rock into a variety of small sizes or pea-sized bits. Make sure that you use natural rocks with different colors. Using a real photo or technical illustration, glue the rocks on a stiff cardboard. The result of this creative idea is incredible and fetches $ 100 or more. You can even organize some keepsakes in a meaningful way to display in homes or offices.

In most textile markets, the aesthetic appearance is more important than the visual appeal. A textile is used to decorate a window, bed, or human figure. The digital graphic designer makes the artwork on paper first before the production of the textile. The results of the artwork may vary depending on the combination of the fabric texture, colors, and the design. It is only by combination of suitable graphic design techniques and sensitive design that one may create a textile production of aesthetically appealing effects.

Make Cartoons: The Easy Way

Drawing cartoons is an amazing art form. As a hobby it can be a source of lots of fun and at the same time as a profession it can be a lucrative career. But getting started is not always easy, because to pick up the skill one needs to put some effort. And as you…

Drawing cartoons is an amazing art form. As a hobby it can be a source of lots of fun and at the same time as a profession it can be a lucrative career. But getting started is not always easy, because to pick up the skill one needs to put some effort. And as you can imagine like every other skill there is a learning curve involved and depending on the method adopted by the beginner the curve can be quite long. Here in this article we will discuss certain things and aspects about this amazing art that will help the beginner to get started and pick up the skill with some ease.

Keep in mind that the whole figure is more important than the face. Many beginners get tripped at this point they by mistake think that creating a pretty face is more important and spend lots of hours to make the face perfect. While the fact is overall structure of a cartoon character is more important and the beginner should concentrate on the figure instead. Because of this my advice to the newbie would be: start drawing stick figures. And start drawing various postures. Do not try something overly complicated. Because if you do that you may get frustrated very soon.

My second suggestion would always keep in mind that drawing is an art where you are creating a representation of 3-D world in a medium that is essentially 2-D. Without you keep this fact in mind your creations will look flat and lifeless.

Probably all of you know that it's a common technique to draw cartoon face using various shapes like circle and oval. You can supercharge this technique by considering the shape as an air-filled balloon. And position the lips, nose and eyes respectively. You will realize the power of this technique while drawing a cartoon character that is looking at something with its head turned in a particular angle.

Pick up your tools wisely. Cartoon drawing is an inexpensive art that you can get started with using a simple pencil and a piece of paper. But if you're really serious and want to make professional quality drawings you to be a bit choosy. Do not use a pencil that is too short or too hard. And the paper being used should be of good quality so that erasing lines does not make it dirty.

As a beginner using a drawing paper with grid-lines is a good idea, because grid-lines could give you the idea of ​​size and proportion which the beginners may find really useful.

CAD Services – Advanced Services in Field of CAD

The transition stage from tedious time consuming 2D traditional drafting to high level of detailed 3D models along with the addition of 4th and 5th dimensional special features to it can be called as Advanced CAD Services. Earlier Computer Aided Design just includes simple basic 2D traditional drawings which were also called electronic drawings and…

The transition stage from tedious time consuming 2D traditional drafting to high level of detailed 3D models along with the addition of 4th and 5th dimensional special features to it can be called as Advanced CAD Services. Earlier Computer Aided Design just includes simple basic 2D traditional drawings which were also called electronic drawings and where created by the drafters on software called AutoCAD. These traditional 2D drawings contain insufficient detailing and clashes between the services which created no. of issues and disputes at the time of actual installation and construction. Thus day by day with the advancement in the technology and understanding the needs of industry there was a tremendous improvement in the field of designing, drafting and modeling world which is still on its way to progress.

Advancing in CAD services started with the advancement and invention of newer technologies in software world as well as up gradation of higher versions of software's. For eg Nowadays to create high level of detailed models, AutoCAD is being replaced by revit. There are advances in CAD based services in all the streams like mechanical, electrical, architectural, structural, plumbing etc. Another main reason for advancement of CAD services also includes clashes between the services for eg HVAC duct clashing with electrical lighting fixture at the time of installation and construction. Such types of clashes are resolved at the time of creation of 3D models by generating electronic crash reports using revit. Addition 4th and 5th dimensional feature to 3D based models are the most unique advances in CAD based services. 4th dimension means addition of timeframes to the 3D models which actually gives the time of completion of the project. 5th dimension is further addition of overall cost analysis of the complete project cycle to 4D models.

Advanced CAD services provided in the different domains like electrical, mechanical, structural and architectural nowdays are as follows:

1. Electrical CAD services:
a. Lighting fixture layouts and models
b. Fire Alarm Layouts
c. Panel Scheduling
d. Public Address layouts
e. Cable routing layouts
f. Single line diagrams and control circuits

2. Mechanical CAD services:
a. New product designing
b. Reverse Engineering
c. FEA Analysis and Stimulation
d. Assembly or part drawings
e. Jigs and Fixture detailed drafting

3. CAD services – Structural and Architectural
a. Detailed Construction Drawings (Plan, sectional as well as elevation views)
b. Rebar Detailing
c. Fabrication Drawings-steel
d. Shop drawings
e. Construction Documents
f. Architectural services include architectural 3D modeling, rendering, and animations, fly and walk through.

In this way the need of detailing in the design field had addressed into new innovations in the CAD based services.

The Woes of Decorating With Your Kid’s Artwork

Let's face it – kids change. Fast. And as a parent you want to display all of their mementos and accomplishments. But there is only so much room on the fridge, and taping drawings, certificates, and photos to the wall can damage your paint and make your stylish living room look like a college dorm…

Let's face it – kids change. Fast. And as a parent you want to display all of their mementos and accomplishments. But there is only so much room on the fridge, and taping drawings, certificates, and photos to the wall can damage your paint and make your stylish living room look like a college dorm room. You could frame some of your kid's memorabilia, but your kid is always going to make a new masterpiece next week that they'll want you to hang up too. Changing what you display in the frame can become a huge hassle, and if you buy a new frame for every memento your kid wants displayed, you will spend a lot of money and end up with more frames full of your child's artwork than you have wall space. What you need is a changeable frame – one that easily allows you to change your kid's artwork, certificates, or portraits with no extra cost or hassle.

What sorts of things might you want to put in this changeable frame?

School Portraits: Your kid gets a new one every year, so unless you want to keep a photo gallery in your dining room of every school portrait your kid has, you probably want to change which portrait you are displaying.

Certificates and accomplishments: So your kid just won the award for selling the most popcorn in his boy scout troop, or won second place at her dance competition. Maybe they made the honor roll at school, or just received their acceptance letter for NASA space camp. You're proud of their achievements and want to showcase them, but not on your shiny stainless steel refrigerator. And by the time you get one framed, they'll have earned another one. You want a frame that will allow you to easily change which award you are highlighting.

Artwork: If your kid takes art at school, chances are they come home every week with a new masterpiece that they want you to frame. You love their art, but by the time they are drawing people, you do not really want the finger painting smudges hanging up anymore. You need a changeable frame that enables you to rotate your kid's art without having to spend the money for that envied Lego set on a new frame instead.

So the next time your kid hands you a new finger painting, report card, or photo, and says “Hang it up!”, Simply swap it out in your changeable frame and never worry about finding wall space or tape again!

Affordable Art – How to Buy Art on a Budget

You can not resist the beauty and dreaminess of art. You can not deny yourself this wonderful journey into a new imaginary world. At the same time, the works are expensive. Is it at all possible to find affordable art? Absolutely, in fact, you can get your hands on superb pieces at a reasonable price…

You can not resist the beauty and dreaminess of art. You can not deny yourself this wonderful journey into a new imaginary world. At the same time, the works are expensive. Is it at all possible to find affordable art? Absolutely, in fact, you can get your hands on superb pieces at a reasonable price in more ways than one.

Attend affordable art fairs to buy original works. These are organized all over the world especially in large cities. There are international fairs that travel to different countries from the United States and Europe to Asia, Australia and New Zealand. You will certainly be able to find plenty of local fairs. These typically exhibit works from local artists. Often, the focus is on art that has been inspired by the traditional local culture and this makes the works particularly interesting.

How affordable are the prices at affordable art fairs? In general, you have extremely high chances of finding pieces that will match your budget as the prices of the works vary greatly depending on their type and size and on the popularity of the artist. Often, the organizers of the fairs set a maximum price limit for the convenience of customers. For instance, all works at a fair can cost less than $ 5,000. If you can afford to pay that much, then you can certainly find something that will match your preferences and pocket.

Buy affordable art online. This is one of the latest crazes at present and not without reason. Typically, galleries will exhibit the works of established artists only. They work with very few new and unknown artists. As a result, numerous unknown but talented people use the web to present their art to the world.

Check out artists' websites, blogs and social network pages to find affordable art works that are 100 per cent original. You can find a huge number of pieces that often cost less than $ 1,000. You can quickly contact the artist and arrange to visit his / her studio if you want to take a closer look at the works. You can also purchase anything you want directly over the internet.

Affordable art prints can be purchased from galleries, studios, shops and online stores. These prints are not reproductions or copies of artwork. They are actually impressions which are typically made on top quality paper with the use of specially designed ink-jet printers. What you will get is a top-quality impression of the original that costs times less. It is common practice for a limited number of prints of a work to be created so that these impressions do not turn into mass-production decorative objects.

Hand-Carved Signs: A Lost Art Re-Discovered

Hand-carved signs, plaques and crests as an art form began to disappear around the turn of the 20th century, particularly after WWII. In North America and the rest of the modern world, by the late 1940's and 1950's, people became obsessed and more fascinated with technology and speed, then ever before: Speed ​​of (mass) production,…

Hand-carved signs, plaques and crests as an art form began to disappear around the turn of the 20th century, particularly after WWII. In North America and the rest of the modern world, by the late 1940's and 1950's, people became obsessed and more fascinated with technology and speed, then ever before: Speed ​​of (mass) production, speed of delivery and speed of consumption. When it came to signals, technology became key to making an effective, attention grabbing sign in the fastest, most efficient time. By the dawn of the 21st century and the time we are now living in today, computers became the main tool of most sign makers. Right from the first stages of designing a sign (Photoshop) to printing a template, and then the full-sized actual sign in plastic or plastic covered paper, computers and computer operated machines took over the whole process. As a result, the art of hand-carved signs has all but vanished.

There are two reasons for this new preference for speed and technology in modern sign making.

The first reason is attitude. People, like children just discovering a new toy, locked onto technology when it became, “the new thing”. If you wanted a good sign, bigger was better. By bigger, not only size was a factor, but how colorful it could be and how well those colors could be seen at night. That's why most signs today are designed on a computer, that prints them out on a cheap plastic sheet. That gaudy colored sheet is placed in an (expensive) aluminum box wired with lights inside, behind the plastic sign sheet, so it lights up and people can see it at night. A lot of businesses try to avoid the expense of the “light box” and just tack the plastic sign on their store fronts. After most businesses in your downtown business strip or halls went with this process, they created the heartless, soulless stream of advertizing we see on the walls of those areas today.

The second reason was human development. Where human development is concerned, people tend to discard old ways when new ways are developed to meet the same ends. As people became fixated on speed and technology as a seemingly better way to produce a brighter sign faster, they lost sight of the whole idea of ​​quality. Quantity, or speed of production, and then cheaper signs took over the modern consciousness.

In contrast, hand-carved signs that are hand-sanded and painted, have a “heart and soul” and vibrant life of their own. Created with personal care, using craft-skills and the artistic vision and talent of the artist, they have a dynamic power, because precisely because they are made by hand. The result is the lasting, positive emotional effect, that make hand-carved signs true works of art. They combine beauty with the direct emotions from the artist building them, to create a sublime emotional reaction. That reaction is the profound uplifting emotional effect in you, the viewer.

Look at it this way: Which sign would have a lasting dramatic, and emotional effect on you, the viewer: the plastic sign, or a dynamic hand-carved sign? The viewer will be captivated by the emotional effect created by a hand-carved sign every time!

When you purchase a hand-carved sign you are paying considerably more than you would to for the same message in a cheap, gaudy piece of plastic, because you are acquiring a work of quality, a work of art. Because it is hand-carved, not only your eyes get a 3 dimensional treatment, the carving and hand painting offers a vibrancy you can touch as you feel the contours of the shapes with your own finger tips. When you choose a hand-carved sign, that the artist designed and creates with his or her own hands, you re-discover the power in the art. You, your family, and everyone who visits you, will enjoy your new hand-carved sign's uplifting power for the rest of their days!

Reading Comics

Some weeks ago I found myself in one of the older malls in the city. I've been going to this mall ever since I count my age in single digits, its been refurbished and rebuilt several times but I can still see the shadow of the old mall when I look at it. My family…

Some weeks ago I found myself in one of the older malls in the city. I've been going to this mall ever since I count my age in single digits, its been refurbished and rebuilt several times but I can still see the shadow of the old mall when I look at it. My family goes to this thrift shop full of a gaggle of things: toys, bags, candy, magazines, gadgets – all sorts of stuff. It used to sell comics. I used to just be able to pick an issue from the stands. These days the stands only has magazines; not a comic book in sight. I remember buying an issue of the Flash (Infantino / Heck issue) here right after watching the movie Flash Gordon. My Mom, seeing me with the comic said: “You know the Flash (Gordon) you saw in the movie is not the same as the Flash in that comic book right?” Of course, Mom. I also remember buying Starlin's Warlock from the racks and, maybe because I was coming down with something to begin with, I remember I felt dizzy and sick looking at the heavily inked panels. The point is, this was one of the stores that filled weaved my comics into my life. I do not go in the thrift shop anymore. There's nothing there for me. I just hand my wife some money and wait for her and the kids to come out. While I'm outside I go around at that part of the mall and reminisce. There used to be a comic specialty shop on the lower level – gone. Another second hand comic shop on the third floor – gone too; the place is packed with toy shops. On the other side of the mall was a place called the Arcade and the first comic shop I know used to stand there. When it closed others took its place. At its height, the Arcade had no less than three comic stores. Now, none. Nada. Nothing. Just eateries and antique furniture shops. The mall where I used to go to get my comics fix had a total of zero stores.

It makes me sad, but not for me, the city still has comic book shops and I know where they are. It makes me sad for all the young people who will miss out on comics, and the magic that reading comics can bring. Getting into those issues and collecting them was a highlight of my young years. The kids of today have what I did not: video games, movies on dvd, some other stuff I do not know about. I'm almost sure that comics will not be a staple, because these days, you really have to get out of your way to grab an issue or two. Maybe the graphic novels and trade paperbacks in the bookstores will keep the hobby alive. I'm talking here about the financial aspect of comics as a business but the pleasure aspect of comics as a hobby. I'm talking about reading comics and getting hooked on something absolutely enjoyable.

Like all comics lovers with access to the Internet I'm an avid reader of comics sites and comics reviews online. There's a lot of good and enjoyable material out there, but there are also a substantial amount of reviews that are puzzling to me. I'm talking about comics reviewers who, I notice, are simply unhappy about anything that they read, or almost everything. These are readers who set the bar so high that only a very select handful of comics make their grade. It's their right to say what they want and I do not begrudge them that. I'm puzzled, because why is it that nearly everything (but not all) of the comics I've read the good reviews of the comics? The answer is, of course, the subjective, deeply personal nature of reviews. But all these points to an even larger truth about reading comics: If you read comics in the spirit of fault-finding and with a mindset deadset on auditing and simply not enjoying the work, then you will not enjoy it. You will find that fault, you will feel derisive of the work, you will think you wasted your money and you will have an equivalent terrible experience. Barring some really terrible comics out there (we all know of a few), you will get into the read what you bring into it. If you are open to having a good time, if you know a bit of the sheer talent and hard work it takes to illustrate, write and edit a comic book; If you look for the strengths of the work rather than the weaknesses, you are very likely to have a wonderful read.

A lot of the enjoyment of comics depends on the mindset of the reader rather than the work itself (although, I repeat, there are some really terrible, gag-worthy comics out there). You have to give the medium a chance. Heck, read like a young kid, and believe, no – know, that you're going to enjoy it. And you will-because you approached the work that way. If you approach it with an eye to doing a negative critique, you'll find what you're looking for, because the flaws are there in all but a very select group of comics.

Right now I'm avidly following an ongoing work, “Demon Knights”, from DC's New 52; I'm also re-reading an old series from the early 80's, Roy Thomas' “All-Star Squadron”. The flaws in both works are very obvious to me and I can choose to have a perfectly horrid time by focusing on those flaws. But a change of approach on my part has me focusing on the strengths of the series; more than that, I find myself looking at what was once a flaw as a wonderful eccentricity or quaint aspect of the work – from this vantage point, comic book reading is pure enjoyment and this hobby is magic. A lot really depends on my approach to it.

When I talk about a series, a story arc, an issue or a graphic novel in Comics Recommended I highlight the aspects of the comic I enjoy the most. I want my readers to feel why this pastime is magic for me and why it can be magic for them as well. I try to pass on the joy; life is too short to be a hater.

How to Print on Ceramics Using Two Ceramic Printing Techniques

Printing your own images, pictures, designs or text onto ceramics is easier than you might believe. This article will demonstrate two popular techniques that you can use at home to transfer images onto ceramic surfaces like plates, mugs and tiles for instance. Method 1 – Using waterslide papers to print designs onto ceramics This is…

Printing your own images, pictures, designs or text onto ceramics is easier than you might believe. This article will demonstrate two popular techniques that you can use at home to transfer images onto ceramic surfaces like plates, mugs and tiles for instance.

Method 1 – Using waterslide papers to print designs onto ceramics

This is one of the easiest craft projects you will ever do and professional looking results can be expected on your first attempt.

1 – Purchase some waterslide decal paper. If your ceramic surface is white or a light color, choose the clear waterslide decal paper. Alternately, if your ceramic surface is dark in color, go for the white waterslide decal paper. Decal papers are available for both inkjet and laser printers and work differently. I shall explain the differences later in this article. A pack of 5 A4 sheets is enough to print pictures onto around 20 ceramic mugs or maybe 10 plates.

2. Open up your picture or type your text into Microsoft Word or your photo editing software like Photoshop. You will need to size your work according to your ceramic surface, so for a mug printing project, you would use the top left quarter of your page and print out a test on a regular piece of paper and maybe even cut that out and place on the mug to ensure that you are happy with the size.

3 – Load your decal paper into your printer so that your print lands onto the papers shiny side. This is the covered side of the paper that is effectively an extremely thin film that slides off the papers backing when water is applied later in the production process.

4 – Take your printed picture or text and either cut it out now or if you have filled your A4 sheet of decal paper with pictures, leave it as one piece as it will make the next stage easier.

5 – If you have purchased inkjet waterslide decal paper, you will also require some clear varnish for the next stage as you will now start to apply the varnish to your image. Ensure that you have either waited at least 30 minutes or have used a hair dryer on your print to ensure that it has been discharged.

6 – Apply 2 to 3 quick, even sprays of varnish over your image, separated by around 10 minutes. Do not use too much as this can harden your decal, making it awkward to apply to a curved surface. Apply to little because and you risk leaving a tiny area or two for water to engage your print, leading to an ink smudge. That said though, do not over concern yourself with applying the varnish as ceramic printing using this technique is very forgiving and following the instructions will provide great results.

7 – Cut your image out close to the edges and place into some water. You can use your fingers to hold the paper under the water and also to keep it flat as it will automatically have a tendency to curl up when it hits the water. Again, do not worry if it does this as you can easily flatten it out again whilst under the water with your fingers.

8 – After around 30 seconds the paper backing will suddenly become loose and easy to slide off. Do not slide it off though yet. Remove the ceramic decal from the water and slide off 1 centimetre. Apply the 1 cm of film that you have slide off directly onto your ceramic surface, then slide the rest of the paper backing away, leaving you with your printed film directly on the ceramic surface. Gently feather away the water under the decal with your fingers taking care at this stage not to tear it.

9 – The decal starts to harden almost immediately and once dry you can place it in an oven for a further 10 minutes at 110c.

10. Applying another coat of clear varnish will add extra protection to your project. Waterslide decal papers provide an excellent finish for decorative purposes. Hand wash any ceramic projects that you complete and avoid placing finished work like ceramic cups and plates into dishwashers.

The difference between inkjet and laser waterslide decal paper

The two decal papers are similar and produce the same desired results, the main difference being that clear acrylic spray / clear varnish is not required when using laser waterslide decal paper. You effectively skip steps 5 and 6 above. After you have completed your ceramic project using laser waterslide paper, you can of course apply some clear varnish for additional protection and durability.

Method 2 – Using ceramic paint to apply your own designs to ceramics

If you have some artistic flair or just want to give ceramic painting a go, start by getting yourself a few basics like some suitable ceramic paint and brushes. Pebeo and Liquitex are the two leading brands for ceramic paint and brush sizes 1 and 2 round and “” flat would be suitable for painting small ceramic tiles for instance.

Start by washing your ceramic surface with soap and water, dry and start drawing your design onto the ceramic in pencil. Unwanted pencil marks can be removed using water or painted over. Choose your colors and squeeze into your palette. Ceramic printing paint goes a long way but can also dry quickly so bear this in mind when starting and have an idea of ​​your color scheme before you begin.

To mix a color, apply the lighter color to the palette first so if you wanted a gray color, you would apply some white into your palette before adding a small amount of dark color until you reach the ideal gray. Keep all of your mixed colors in case you require them later for finishing touches.

Start with your lighter colors first and apply one color at a time. Put a small amount of paint into your palette but take a modest amount on your round brush and paint evenly along the ceramics natural flow. Ceramic paint dries quickly allowing you to add another coat quite quickly if required.

Use a liner brush (thin brush) for detailed edges. Lighter colors can be painted over when you come to painting with the darker colors so do not panic if you go over the edges.

Continue to work with the lighter colors through to the dark colors last and finally any black color last.

Ceramic paint will dry with a slightly raised surface in around 3 hours and completely dry in 48 hours. Your finished work will be scratch resistant and can be gently hand washed in cold water. As with the decal paper, do not place finished ceramic work into the dishwasher.

Touch by an Image: What Do You See Beyond the Mind of a Technical Illustrator?

Being touched with an image collapsed the distance between selling and buying. A technical illustrator has the ability to trick sight in such a way that a viewer experiences pleasure and develops a strong interest towards the representation. Drawing is a form of expression that certainly transforms the visual image into a magical channel that…

Being touched with an image collapsed the distance between selling and buying. A technical illustrator has the ability to trick sight in such a way that a viewer experiences pleasure and develops a strong interest towards the representation. Drawing is a form of expression that certainly transforms the visual image into a magical channel that would attract the attention of its viewers for the purpose of advertising a product or communicating a message. The image actually creates a new environment of sensory articulation with unique meaning.

Fine art and drawing are forms of visual communication that recently are receiving so much public attention especially in the commercial world. If you look everywhere you go, you can see billboards and t-shirts with prints and image advertising about something. Visual art is a passive reflector of great concepts that is fast becoming as the primary channel through which people are gaining first hand perception about a product. The images create a third meaning that might be unique to a certain viewer in his or her own context. As the mental images of the digital illustrator are being transformed into print, they do make perfect sense on some things. Images help readers build meaning as they look at the drawing the same way they read the text.

Visualizing from a drawing is one form of psychology that really works on people. Visual images are narratives taken from their own experiences and based on their identity as a person. They reveal the innermost thoughts and feelings of a digital graphic design artist. Although the meaning of images may differ from person to person, visual images are artworks that are always open to individual interpretation. The images represent the concept of reflection in action that sometimes communicates the experience or an event. The visual art making is a result of a neural processing, which is a kind of a routine of active input, construction, and reconstruction of different images. This complex and creative process runs on a highly efficient brain feedback that turns current perceptions into images in print fast.

The brain of a digital technical illustrator is always in constant search for important qualities of the visual experience to enhance some patterns, which is typically the extension of the visual brain. To gain a window on the basic processes of one's brain, is to see a creative in more than one way. A creative sees something in a white box that an ordinary person may not see.

Anatomy of an Art Quilt

You guys know I love to make fiber art, but I bet some of you do not know how I do it. Here's what's in this article: Prep Work Quilting Blocking and Finishing Hanging Events Prep Work Many people I talk with at art shows are intrigued by fiber art. There are many different kinds,…

You guys know I love to make fiber art, but I bet some of you do not know how I do it. Here's what's in this article:

Prep Work
Quilting
Blocking and Finishing
Hanging
Events
Prep Work

Many people I talk with at art shows are intrigued by fiber art. There are many different kinds, and nowdays artists are really mixing it up with all kinds of techniques. Most of my work is done using 3 layers. The front fabric, the battting, and the backing.

Mostly I use a really fine fusible called Misty Fuse to hold all these layers together nice and flat so I do not get any shifting or puckering. I will iron these together and the heat does all the work. In the old days, I used the traditional method of 18 gazillion safety pins to hold the layers together. But as I told you before, I'm lazy and not very patient. Plus all those pins tore up my hands. So, once I make the top of the quilt, I am ready to fuse baste and quilt.

Quilting

Now if you are a painter you have some prep of the canvas, but once you paint the surface, you are more or less done. But, art quilters add another really cool dimension-TEXTURE. Hours and hours of quilting can go into a single small piece. Every thread choice and line is important in the final look of the piece. In this photo, I used tissue paper to preview and try out some quilting lines and colors.

Blocking and Finishing

Then comes the less fun part, but not less important. The piece must be trimmed, and sprayed with water and lightly steamed and left to dry flat. Edge treatments are very important. To add or not to add a border? I usually do not without the piece is begging for it. Why, you ask? Borders many times can pull the viewers eye away from the main subject matter.

Sometimes I will add a traditional binding around the raw edge, or I will encase the raw edge and use a facing, so I get a clean edge. Lately I have been mounting my smaller works on a canvas.

Hanging

How to hang it? If it is mounted on a canvas, it's all set, but if not, I make a fabric hanging pocket across the back. Then, I cut a hanging rod of flat wood or aluminum, add screw eyes or drill holes and slide it in the pocket. Now it's almost ready. I make a label with the art's name and info and my info, and print it out on fabric, fuse it to the back, and voila! Done. This whole process can take anywhere from a week to 2 months depending on the size and complexity of the piece.