Are you an artist who loves getting some artwork done even while on-the-go? When you travel, you might spot breathtaking views that you would love to sketch and paint but if you are not prepared for it, the moment will just pass.
So, for the travelling artist, here are some useful tips and tricks that will help ensure you get the best art out of every moment you get captivated by!
1. Scaling down your usual tools and supplies
While water colours and pencils might not take much room when you travel, they might still not be the best choice for you if they are not your favoured medium. So, it would make more sense to bring along with you whatever medium you prefer and scale that down. For example, if charcoal is your preferred choice, then by all means, carry it along with a sketchbook as big as you can carry, a paintbrush and gesso. Carry baby wipes and tape to support your work.
2. Immerse fully in the scenery
One of the most delightful things about travelling is that you get to immerse completely in the environment. The art that comes out of such an experience can be magnificent! Whenever you take this journey, be prepared to tell the story of the culture. Take a slice of the varied cultures you come across by painting their exquisite cuisines and festivals! If the beach or a market place is the center of activity for the natives, bring that out in your art.
3. Click pictures of everything that inspires you
Be sure to click pictures so that you can have a backup of the imagery the next time you decide to paint. The weather may not cooperate with your plan to paint on the spot or the place may be too crowded for you. Moreover, not everyone has a good visual memory. Clicking pictures, works especially for artists who like to paint as soon as they can, for the inspiration is fresh and dare we say – animatedly vivid! You can simply take a picture and go indoors to finish your artwork!
4. Making your art in public
Some artists may be able to work even as onlookers watch, while for some artists, having an audience may turn out to be a distraction. If working with an audience watching you doesn’t work for you then find a quieter spot where you can work in your ‘zone’ without interruptions.
5. Take a local art class
Workshops are a great way to constantly update your knowledge and skills. The same counts when it comes to art as well. So, when you are in a new place, explore it and see if you can get enrolled in a local art class to learn something new. You may be surprised at the new techniques you may acquire from such an experience, simply by being open to the culture and art of a new destination!
Did our article help the artist in you to be prepared for your next trip? Do let us know in the comments section!
During the monsoon season, it is as if the sky opens and fills the environment with the vibrant colours of life and you get a readymade beautiful landscape to draw and paint! The thrill of replicating a thunderstorm or freshly bloomed flowers on canvas can be addictive. Water colours are not the only way you can portray this scene! Oil pastels make for just as good a medium as any.
Here are 5 simple steps to learn to get started on using pastels for your painting sessions:
Step 1: Creating a rough sketch of your subject
You can keep a photograph you took as your reference, as shown in the picture above.
Begin by selecting and using the colours you will be majorly using in your painting and colour a rough outline as shown in the image below. In the case of this painting, it was the purple circles (flowers) with a green background.
Step 2: Filling the shapes with a basic colour palette
You can begin creating layers in your colours once you are done adding the basic compositional shapes. While you are at it, you can probably add layers on top of the existing pigments, so you don’t have to worry about being exact. You only require a general idea of where your colour fields lie.
This step is where the work really begins. Start by refining your painting, layer by layer. Add details to your shapes in this step. The more you work on the details, the more you will be able to show the complex hues in the real scene that you are trying to recreate.
Pro tip: Don’t worry about getting your hands dirty!
The good thing about using soft pastels is that you can spread the colours with your fingers. Use your pinkie finger to cover the smaller areas and the index finger to cover the larger ones. Be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid smudging your work.
Step 4: Add the finer details
Using the sharp crayons, create the precise and finer details that will give your painting a visual clarity and a better finish. Pick the areas you want to focus on. In the painting given below, the artist focused on building layers and details for the flower petals and the leaves in the background.
Step 5: Removing the dust
Things will get a bit messy at this step. It is now time to remove the powdered pigments. Be sure to remove them without ruining your painting. Don’t remove them by brushing the pigments off your paper. Instead, pick the paper up and tap it gently on a hard surface. This way, the extra powder will fall off without smudging your painting. After this step, your painting will be ready to hang.
Did this article help you understand how to use oil pastels better? Do share with us in the comments section!
Have you ever tried painting with water colours on a rainy day? If you haven’t, you must try it out right away! Read on to know why…
Water colours and rainy days go hand in hand! What most people don’t know is that a rainy day is the best time to take full advantage of water colours. Not only do you have the perfect landscape to paint, but also the perfect atmosphere to make full use of your water colours. This is because the damp air during the rains helps keep your keep your canvas wet and the colours fluid, thus allowing you to bring about the desired rainy day effect.
To get started with your painting, here’s what you will need:
Start with sketching the basic outline of the scenery. Once that is done, paint an initial soft wash over the paper to create a warm base for the painting. Use shades of grey as your base layer and add shades of green to accentuate the rainy day mood. You can also lightly blend in hues of red to add more warmth to the painting.
After painting your base layer, get started on strengthening the background details to bring about more depth to the painting. You need to move quickly as this step should be done while the first wash is still damp. The rainy day will also help keep the canvas damp, giving you more time to paint in the details.
Once that is done and the first wash finally dries, paint around the vehicles and use hues of green and blue to introduce the hilltop and the sea wall in the painting. Pro Tip – Use warm colours to avoid too much of a cold feel to the painting.
Now that you have your backdrop ready, move on to strengthening the details in the scenery. Build on the vehicles, the figures, the wall and shrubs. Be sure to use soft edges to highlight the rains and the mist.
One of the most important attributes of a rainy day are the reflections that can be seen on the road due to the water. In this picture, the car’s tail lights will have the boldest reflection, while general reflections of the wall, the figures and poles will be relatively softer. Since reflections on the road are never perfect mirror images, keep your strokes light and soft. For more defined reflections, such as the car’s tail light, simply place a spot of colour where you intend to showcase the reflection and use your finger to draw a vertically downward line with it. This will also help give the reflection a slightly smudged look.
For the final touches, introduce horizontal lines on the road and pavement to establish the surface of the road. Pro Tip – Add some perspective lines to give more depth to the painting. Be sure to point all the perspective lines towards one point to establish a perspective view.
Finally, add small spots of colour to add some sparkle. Pro Tip – You can use a combination of Dark Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna to bring about the desired effect.
Now that you know how to make use of a rainy day to bring about the full effect of water colours, all you need to do is get your paint supplies in place and get started on creating your very own masterpiece.
Did you find this rainy day painting technique interesting? Do let us know in the comments section!
Art often has a hidden meaning when it comes to the colours used in the paintings, which can be used as a powerful tool to invoke emotions in the viewer. Once you understand the principles behind using colours in your paintings, you can utilize these to enchant your viewers.
Research has shown that the colours around us have a direct influence on the way we feel and hence can help us relax. Artists often use colours to send out a subliminal message.
Before we dive into what each of the colours could mean, let’s briefly revise on our primary and secondary colours knowledge from elementary school. Red, yellow and blue are considered as the primary colours. The secondary colours are the ones you get on combining any two of the primary colours – mixing the colours red and yellow gives you the colour orange; mixing yellow and blue gives you green; mixing red and blue gives you purple. You will get tertiary colours upon mixing the secondary colours. If you want to darken any colour, you can do so by adding a little black to it. If you want a lighter shade, you can get it by mixing a little white in it.
Let us move on to understand the meaning of colours.
Red is considered the colour of assertion, romance, strength, excitement, vitality, ambition, impulse and physical prowess. It is a colour that can create a beautiful contrast to all skin types and make them look flattering. The pale pinks go well with green and create a peaceful look. Red can mean danger or threat as well and is used symbolically with respect to fire engines, stop signs and traffic lights.
Orange is the shade between red and yellow. It is flamboyant, lively and cheerful. It signifies youth and being fearless, spontaneous, dynamic and assertive. This colour stimulates the brain while also promoting mental activity. Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust while an orange that is closer to a red, can correspond with aggression, domination and the thirst for action.
Yellow is often associated with sunlight. This colour creates a feeling of hope, happiness while also denoting wisdom. It evokes a feeling of optimism and well-being. It is not only a radiant colour but also gives one a feeling of all being ‘okay’ in the world which can be refreshingly peaceful.
The above painting has been carefully painted to give a calm, harmonious feeling. This painting has used yellows and greens, with a dash of complementary colours in a beautiful manner, to reflect a serene feeling.
Green is the colour associated with harmony, security and balance. It creates a sense of peace, gentleness and modesty, especially the pale green shade. Green also symbolizes hope. Sometimes a yellow-green mix is used to indicate sickness, discord or jealousy.
Blue is the colour of the sky and its reflection on water surfaces. Thus, this colour is often used to show a kind of expansiveness, similar to the skies and oceans. Blue is also considered a colour with formal undertones. Blue is not only considered a masculine colour but is also, interestingly, associated with a soft, soothing and compassionate vibe, thereby representing a character with wisdom and steadiness. Blue is also often associated with the feeling of melancholy.
Born from the mixture of blue and red, purple is a regal colour considered to be associated with dignity and hence to be used with discretion. The paler tones of purple are restful and serene but the darker ones can make it harder to focus. Lavender is a lighter shade of purple which signifies the refined things in life that are creative, witty and civilized. On the flip side, purples can also be tiring to the eyes. Sad and gloominess can also be portrayed using this colour.
Brown is the colour of living wood and the earth. Calm and soothing to look at, browns are extraordinarily restful to look at. This is a colour that symbolizes steadiness, dependability, the conservative nature of things and is cool and warm, both, at once. Brown also tends to invoke nostalgia. Using the combination of browns and muted colours, ‘Tonalism’ is often used to paint a rich, earthy and moody landscape.
Gray is considered as the colour of compromise and caution. Gray also gives a sense of peace to the viewer.
White symbolizes safety, cleanliness and purity. It emanates innocence, youth and perfection. It also means simplicity and freshness. Usually, white should be used sparingly in a painting with the other colours to make sure it doesn’t look lifeless and chalky.
“On Edge” by Lori McNee
The intensity and the depth in this painting have been intentionally created using whites and blacks, strategically. The opposite nature of the colours used has a hidden message and creates a sense of restlessness in the viewer.
Black is often used to symbolize mysteries and secrets. But black can also give a morbid feeling so it should be used carefully. In most Western cultures, blacks symbolize grief. However, black can also resonate with someone being dignified with a hint of sophistication.
“A Second Glance” by Lori McNee
The black in this painting has been used beautifully in layers that bring out a feeling of mystery, invoking a sense of curiosity in the viewer.
Did this article help you understand your colours better? Do let us know in the comments section, below.
It is officially back to school time! How about using art to make this year interesting? You might not have the official permission to give a creative twist to your school notebooks. However, there are always the ones you keep for self-study that can be beautified with a bit of creativity!
Here are 3 classy book cover ideas for you to experiment with, this academic year!
You will need:
Washi Tapes Glue
Duct Tape Pencils
Before we get to the funky covers, let us help you get the base for your designs right! Begin by folding the paper you want to use along the width of the book you picked.
Next, fold the edges of the paper over the book and crease.
Place the end of the book inside each folded pocket in the cover.
Now you are ready to decorate!
1. All that glitters!
Cut out small sections of a gold duct tape to secure the flap of the book and overlap the back portion with it. The colours used here are teal and gold which create a visually beautiful contrast, but you can pick any colour you want.
Continue diagonally sticking the tape to your book cover until it looks like the book shown below…
And your glittery gold and blue book design is ready!
2. The DIY Countdown Book Cover!
Are you in your last year of school? Here’s a fun way to keep track of the number of days to go until your last day in class! Start with using the basic cover method as shown above and then simply add cut outs of the letters as shown below!
Now using a fine tip chalk marker, go on and keep a record of days remaining until your big day.
3. The Washi Tape DIY Book Cover
Give your book a vibrant, funky makeover with washi tapes. All you need to do is decide the look you want your book to have and stick the washi tape accordingly!
This is another great way to customize your books. Pick your favourite washi tapes and decorate away!
Liked these fun designs? Let us know on the comments section below!
Another academic year is about to begin, which means you have more chance to flaunt your painting skills! Make your classmates look in awe at your art with this Negative Water Colour Painting idea. It is a fresh and fun experiment where you play around with negative space – a darker background around objects with lighter shades. You can define various objects, the ones that form the center of the painting by showing unimportant ones further away from the center.
Through this method, you can gradually reveal the shapes, while creating more depth and dimension with each layer of colour in the painting.
Start by sketching a rough outline of the painting, for eg: flowers, stems and leaves. You don’t have to draw all of the details, as these can be worked on later, while the painting is in progress.
Set out the selected colours of paint in your palette. Now wet the paper with water using a paint brush, drop in the paint randomly across your sketch. Avoid dropping the paint inside the foremost flowers. Don’t let the brush touch the surface of the painting at this stage. Once this step is done, let it dry.
Use lighter tones to work on the flowers, stems and leaves by creating a mixture of colours so as to add more vibrancy to your painting.
Don’t add the dark shades, yet – keep them aside to paint in layers, to add depth. Now, paint the edges and soften the colours as you move away from the edges.
Keep adding layers in the background, leaving the stems, flowers and leaves in the foreground for the last, as shown in the picture. This way, you can reveal more shapes in the background, gradually.
Once you are done adding various layers throughout the painting, let it dry completely. This step helps you focus on bringing out the beauty of the shapes of the main subject.
In the final stage of the painting, paint the darkest shades first and then proceed to blend them with the lighter shades of the petals and leaves in the center.
Once done, you will notice that the main subject of the painting – the flowers, barely have any colour at all! It is the darker shades of the background that add depth to the painting.
Your Negative Water Colour Painting is ready!
Did you find this technique interesting? Do let us know in the comments section!
If you have already tried this idea, tell us your experience.
Summers have ended and so has the fun, because schools have almost begun. But, hey! You don’t have to feel gloomy like the upcoming weather. You can always help the kids brighten up the day. Well, what use will those pebbles come to that they picked during the vacation, when back on their way? Bring them out and add colour to your surroundings. Let us show you how!
Here are 5 quick and easy cutesy things you can create using rocks.
Decorate your garden, add colour to your potted ferns or simply place these in a plate to beautify the dinner table – these rocky strawberries can pose a pride of place at any of these settings and more. Begin with gathering as many triangular pebbles as you can. Paint a layer of red. Once it dries, give it light green leaves with a dark green border. Add tiny black dots followed by white ones, once dry. Your rocky strawberries are ready.
Paint oval shaped rocks with black paint. Once the paint dries, use the smallest brush and go all out in decorating these black rocks with multi-coloured patterns; the brighter the colours the better. Now paint eyes on one of these black rocks and paste the end of a red gift ribbon to it for the tongue. Arrange these rocks in a way that they look like a coiled snake. Place them in your garden or let the kids use it to scare their siblings.
3. Plant Markers
Do you own a kitchen garden? What better than to use these pebbles in the form of markers! Choose rocks that resemble the vegetable you want to mark. Paint over using the colour of the vegetable. Give it a white outline, once the paint is dry enough. Now write the name of the vegetable on it and place this marker in the pot or the patch the vegetable grows in. Fancy, isn’t it?
4. Tiny Pricklies
If you are bad at keeping plants alive (even cacti), here is a super simple way to keep one without worrying about you forgetting to water it! Find a few flat, curvy rocks (preferable of different sizes), colour them your favourite green. Create crosses, circles and stars, using white, to resemble cacti thorns, once the green dries. Once dry, place these in a plastic pot that you can place at home or your work desk and admire the beauty of nature that you and the kids created with your own hands!
Where there’s such a lovely garden, there ought to be some creepy crawlies too! Pick the curviest, oval-shaped pebbles. Colour them all of your favourite colours. Use black and white to add detailing like spots and eyes. Place these beauties in your garden or use them as paperweight.
Pro tip: Add a sheen to your coloured rocks with a coat of varnish.
Comment below and let us know how you and the kids liked this quick and easy colouring activity.
Artists! Do you find it difficult to bring out the Van Gogh in you when it comes to colours? Worry not, we have got you covered!
Colours bring out the life in an artwork and make it complete. A few artists get the colouring technique right on the first go while a few others struggle throughout their lifetime. Beginners, however, shy away from experimenting with their sources to get the right mix. We are here to help you get over your fear, guide you through the world of colouring and help you get the right shade after mixing.
Simply follow these tips and tricks for your next painting and we’re sure you’ll create nothing less than a masterpiece:
1. The 3 primaries are your best friends
When it comes to mixing and matching, start with the 3 primary colours – Red, Green and Blue. These are the only ones that can’t be created by mixing other colours. However, you can mix them in various ratios to form a new colour. Take the help of white to lighten the value of the mix and create a whole new range of shades. Try creating a palette full of red, green and blue shades mixed with varied amounts of whites and create a painting using just these to understand the application of these shades.
2. Understand colour relationships
A good painting is not defined by the usage of right or wrong colours; it is defined by the usage of colours in relationship to its surrounding colours. The beauty of every colour is affected by the one adjacent to it, which is then affected by the colours surrounding it, and so on. Hence, the harmony of colours thus created, though made using a limited palette, makes a painting look marvelous even if the painting might not resonate with the colours of the real world.
3. Add dark to light
Instead of trying to add white to a shade you want to lighten up, add the colour in question to white. This way, you will need less of white as compared to what you’ll have to if you do it the other way around.
4. Add opaque to transparent
The same rule as above applies when it comes to transparent and opaque colours. Opaque colours have more power over transparent ones so transparent colours go first, followed by opaque, when it comes to mixing.
5. Use single pigments
Mixing two colours? Make sure you use the colours made out of one pigment only. That way you are mixing only two pigments so you end up getting bright, intense colours. Artists’ quality paints usually mention the pigment(s) in a colour on the back label of each paint container.
6. Get the perfect Greys and Browns
The trick to get the right shade of grey or brown to go with your painting lies on your palette. Instead of picking new colours from your paint box, pick the existing red/green, yellow/purple, blue/orange to create a varied range of greys and browns.
7. Overmixing is a big NO-NO!
While you mix two colours, make sure you don’t completely mix the two hues. Stop right when they are about to completely merge into one another. That way you have varied shades of the same colour and you end up enhancing your painting with the different shades thus created.