Painting requires special tools to be completed properly and efficiently. Without the use of a good quality paint brush, the overall quality of your painting will suffer. Of course, there is also a matter of personal tastes, for example, if you feel more comfortable using a short handle brush as opposed to a long handle brush. In addition, depending on the technique you are using or the effect you are going for, you may need to make use of an oval mop brush, or an angled rose petal brush. The possibilities are seemingly endless. It’s important that you have all the necessary styles of brushes before you get started with your project.
There are essentially two types of brush material – natural and synthetic.
Natural paint brushes use real animal hair as their bristles. For those that like to dabble in oils and watercolors, natural paint brushes are more appropriate and useful. They are not usually recommended to be used with acrylic paints since the chemicals in these types of paints ruin the natural oils found in the bristles. Often, these natural bristles are made up of at least a couple of different types of hair, such as camel, soft bristles or hard bristles.
Synthetic paint brushes are made from polyester, often referred to as Taklon. These brushes are more affordable than their natural counterparts, and are most useful with acrylic and watercolors. Oil paints need to be washed off brushes with turpentine, which will ruin the bristles of synthetic brushes. Synthetic brushes tend to be more versatile than natural brushes for a variety of mediums and surfaces because they are less porous than natural brushes. These brushes are generally quite strong and are built to last.
There are few different brush shapes, depending on what you are painting and the precise dimensions and angles required. Depending on the type of painting you are creating, you may only need the use of two or three brush shapes. For a more involved and complex painting, you may need to involve many or most of the brush shapes available. Just make sure to have these on hand before you begin your masterpiece.
Here are a few of the shapes of brushes available on the market:
Round or Pointed Tip: These brush shapes are good for thin to thick lines, where the line begins thin, and then widens as more pressure is applied to the brush. Artists use these round or pointed brushes while doing detailed work, sketching, outlining or washes.
Pointed Round: This brush is narrower that the round/pointed brush, and is used more for fine details due to the ultra fine tip. It’s also used for delicate areas, as well as retouching any particular areas of the painting.
Flat: These brushes have a square end, and are good for creating bold strokes and lines, filling large spaces and washes. In contrast, you can create fine lines with the edges of these brushes, as well as stripes and straight edges.
Bright: These brushes are flat and have curved edges that go inward at the tip. These brushes are used for creating short, controlled strokes using thick color.
Filbert: This shape is oval and flat, and is used for blending and creating soft edges.
Angular: These are flat with angled hairs, and are used for filling in corners and curved strokes.
Fan: These flat, spread out hairs are in the shape of a fan, and are used for a variety of strokes.
Buying the Perfect Paint Brush
Most artists need a wide range of different types of brushes specific to their methods of painting. You’ll want to be able to shop with a retail supplier that will have a wide range of products to choose from, making it a one-stop-shop for all your art supply needs. RexArt.com has been in the art supply business for over 6 decades, and continues to make only the finest quality paint brushes and other art materials available to their customers.
The Loew Cornell Arttec 500 Series Bristle Supreme Brushes come in a variety of different shapes depending on the expression you wish to portray on your canvas. They are made of bleached white Chungking hog bristles, and maintain amazing shape retention. These brushes are available at RexArt.com, and range in price from $3 to $13.
The Robert Simmons Expression Brushes also come in a variety of brush shapes to allow the artist to create the exact lines, washes, fills and highlights you require for your painting. The balanced handle provides a comfortable grip that reduces fatigue in the hand after painting for hours. These are available at RexArt.com, and are priced between $3 to $12.
Selecting the perfect paint brush for your requirements is essential, considering the fact that these brushes really do become an extension of yourself as you put what’s in your mind and heart on canvas. In order to translate what your imagination holds into a physical image, you need to use only the best and most comfortable brushes you can get. RexArt.com offers a wide selection of such paint brushes to help you create a painting that is a realization of your creativity and imagination combined.
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In earlier centuries, wood panels used to be the more common surface for artists to paint on. By the 17th century, canvas became much more popular, and began to overshadow the used of wood panels. As the use of canvas became more popular, artists would coat the canvas boards with white lead paint in order to diminish the texture of the canvas, and get as smooth a finish as possible. Modern artists embrace the texture of the canvas, and purposely allow it to come through in their paintings, within reason.
The Versatility of Canvas For Paintings
Artists use a variety of canvas forms to paint on, depending on their needs and their budget. There are many advantages to painting on canvas. After being stretched on a frame of some sort, the canvas can be painted along the edges, which will not require any framing. Some artists or purchasers of the art may choose to frame the canvas, but it’s not necessary.
How Canvas Can Be Purchased
Artists don’t have to just buy a canvas that has already been stretched over a specific sized-frame. There are a variety of ways which canvas can be purchased:
Artists have the choice of buying the canvas rolled up, ready to prime and stretch over a frame. The decision to go with rolled canvas versus stretched canvas depends on a few things. Rolled canvas tends to be less expensive than canvas that has already been stretched. In addition, using rolled canvas does not make you dependent on the size restrictions that may come with canvas that has already been pre-stretched. The artists simply buys a roll large enough to meet their needs, and cut the size accordingly. Whether the canvas is then stretched over a 1/2″, 1″ or 2″ thick frame is up to the artist.
Artists that choose to use rolled canvas need to have a little know-how in the process of cutting, measuring, and actually stretching the canvas over a frame. It essential for the canvas to be very tight to minimize the risk of loosening as the artist paints over the surface.
You may choose to buy rolled canvas that is already primed and ready to be painted on once stretched. However, it is much easier to stretch unprimed canvas. This can easily be primed after it has been stretched and fastened to the frame.
Stretched canvas is more convenient and easy, considering that the work has already been done for you. It is more expensive for this reason. Although it is convenient to have canvas already stretched and ready to paint on, you are restricted to the sizes available to you. Although many sizes are available, perhaps an artist will have a specific size and shape in mind that they might not be able to track down.
In comparison to wood frames that canvas is wrapped around and then generally staple-gunned to, canvas boards offer a slight variation in that they are pre-made supports that canvas will then be glued to a board backing. This type of surface is wonderful for students or those who paint a great deal and transport them all over, considering their light weight. The one major downfall to canvas boards is that they are not as sturdy or durable as wood frames, though there are some manufacturers that produces high quality boards.
Where to Buy High Quality Canvas
There are a few suppliers of canvas that you can find locally or even online. Finding products online and having them shipped to your door is really the most convenient way to shop, and will allow you to browse tons of different types and varieties of products. MisterArt.com is one supplier in particular that is committed to helping professional and aspiring artists get the products they need at the prices they can afford.
For those who are interested in stretching their own canvas, you may be interested in purchasing rolls of canvas. One brand in particular is Fredrix, who manufactures Acrylic Primed Cotton Duck Canvas that is made of 100% cotton duck and is universally primed. These rolls come in a variety of sizes ranging from 53″ x 6 yd rolls to 53′ x 100 yd. They range in price from $63 to $707. Visit MisterArt.com for more information on these rolls of canvas.
For the artist that appreciates the convenience of having canvas already stretched out for them over a frame, you may be interested in Creative Edge Pre-Stretched Canvas from Fredrix. This staple-free design allows you to paint on every side, allowing the user to hang the painting with or without a picture frame. A strong vinyl spine keeps the canvas in place instead of unsightly staples. there are a variety of sizes and dimensions to choose from, and range in price from $15 to $208. Visit MisterArt.com for more information on stretched canvas.
Types of Canvas Materials Used
Over the centuries, artists used a variety of textiles to create the canvas that artists would paint upon. There are a few different materials that are used to weave the canvas. Types of canvases include linen, cotton, synthetic and burlap. The highest quality canvas is that made of linen, due to its durability and its resistance to expansion and contraction from moisture. Burlap is the cheapest form of canvas materials. It can get quite brittle, and will weaken quite easily, therefore not lasting for very long. Its weave is very course, and the texture is quite noticeable, which many artists may not appreciate.
The kind of canvas you purchase really depends on the type of artist you are and your budget. If you are not very particular about the exact dimensions of your art work and have the money to spend, then perhaps stretched canvas is the way to go, especially if you can’t be bothered to stretch it yourself. On the other hand, if your budget is tight, and you are quite picky about the dimensions of your canvas surface, than buying rolls of canvas might be the right choice for you. Visit MisterArt.com for a wide selection of canvas that will be suitable for your needs.
Abstract Art – Contemporary Art For the Modern World
Abstract art encompasses a variety of colors, forms, lines and shapes in order to develop a composition that may or may not have certain associations with any existing visual references. This type of unique art came about as an alternative way of seeing and visualizing an artist’s concept of reality. Rather than depicting true human forms such as those paintings that were predominant during the time of the Renaissance, abstract art took a different take on art, and how certain objects or ideas are depicted.
Artists who create abstract art are often the type of artists who choose to create things with a unique and individual take on an object or its subject. This type of art encompasses the relationship between colors, shapes and lines, which most often cannot possibly be duplicated. Often, there is deep meaning behind each abstract art piece that an artist creates, which can often be difficult for other people to interpret. Often, deep seeded ideas within the artist are brought about on canvas or other mediums, therefore making it quite challenging to identify its true meaning.
Art With No Definitive Subject
A lot of abstract art is an interpretation of a certain subject, but often it is just a random collection of various shapes and colors blended together. Some different forms of abstract art paintings include:
Expressionism – This type of abstract art is quite impulsive and displays an artist’s brush stroke and color ideas.
Neoplasticism – Artists who engage in neoplasticism tend to use vertical and horizontal primary colors to express their vision of the absolutes in the world.
Cubism – Modern artists enjoy this type of abstract art which emphasizes bright colors and the use of light within the art.
Interpreting Abstract Art
A rather common reaction to abstract art is the idea that a child can create these types of works. Artists of abstract art, in turn, defend their art by saying that it is the lack of mental and emotional abilities within a person that prohibit them from understanding and appreciating abstract art.
Many times the abstract art piece is simply an expression of the artist’s feeling or inner ideas, that may be almost impossible for the average person looking at the painting to understand or figure out. For this reason, it is important for the artist to include attractive and engaging components to the art work in order to keep the viewer interested and attentive.
There are a few things to consider when looking at abstract art paintings. First of all, rather than trying to determine what the painting means or what it is supposed to depict, try allowing something from the painting to emerge in front of you by keeping your eyes fixed on the painting for a certain period of time. Find abstract art paintings that incorporate colors that you love and that keep you intrigued.
Consider how the colors, textures and elements of the art interact with one another, and how or if they arouse some sort of emotional response on your part. Perhaps the name of the painting will have some amount of influence on what you are seeing in the painting. Give yourself enough time to look at the painting before determining what it is that you are interpreting from the artwork.
Using Abstract Art in Your Home
Abstract art paintings are wonderful pieces to use within your home to create a sleek, sophisticated and contemporary look to any space. The dynamic color and shape combinations can really make any wall pop, and will certainly provide a conversational piece for guests.
Since abstract art is created with many different colors and possible geometric shapes, you’ll want to consider the color of your walls, the type of furniture you have, as well as any rugs that are present within the room. It’s best not to hang abstract paintings that are larger than the furniture, as this can create some incohesion between these elements.
Buying Abstract Art Paintings
There are seemingly endless options of abstract art paintings. Many galleries – whether local or online – offer a variety of abstract art to choose from. One such online gallery that you an purchase original art from is GalleryToday.com. Their roster of abstract artists is vast, and as such, their gallery of available paintings is also considerable.
“Abstraction 2″ is a mixed media abstract art painting on cardboard that combines bright and sharp colors. It’s priced at $800, and is available at GalleryToday.com. More information about this painting can be found at their online gallery.
“Pathway” is an oil on canvas abstract art painting that measures 31″ x 24″, and retails at GalleryToday.com for $700. You can find more information about this particular piece at their online gallery as well.
Abstract art is contemporary, modern, bold and colorful, and makes great pieces for any home, office or gallery. Because of the uniqueness of such paintings, it really is up to the viewer to determine what the painting is about, or what it means to the viewer.
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Oil paints are an extremely popular medium used on paintings, and have been used for centuries as the medium of choice for many artists. The Mona Lisa herself was painted using oil paints by the infamous Leonardo Da Vinci. All levels of artists use oils, from the beginner to the elite. Whether you paint for a hobby or as a profession, oils can provide you with the perfect medium that will accentuate detail, light and gleam on any painting.
Buying Oil Paints – Your Shopping Guide
One thing is absolutely certain – it is essential that you only buy oils that are of high quality. Failing to do so can compromise the art you are trying to create. There really are multitudes of paints and supplies that are available for the artist, whether amateur or professional. Here we will guide you though choosing and shopping for the best materials, as well as proper ways of using them.
You need to understand what is available to you at art supply stores – whether local or online. After you’ve come to understand what you need to purchase, you can then dabble in a variety of painting techniques to really make the most of your oils.
Quality Oil Paints From Bob Ross
The Bob Ross line of oil paints are of the highest quality. Especially for those who are rather experienced in oil painting, you’ll want to get your hands on Artists Grade oils.
Using Artists Grade Oils From Bob Ross
Those who paint for a living or simply want only the best quality paints will opt for Artists Grade oils. These paints are much more expensive than the Student Grade oils, but the quality is much more bright and impressive, and will last literally for hundreds of years. The most pure pigments of Bob Ross oils are available, and able to be used on any backdrop, whether it be canvas, board, or any other material you choose to paint on.
The colors of Artists Grade oils are categorized into a series, such as 1,2,3 and 4, or even A,B,C, and so forth. As the number or letter gets higher, so does the quality and the price tag. Despite the much higher price as opposed to Student Grade paint, Artists Grade oils will go a lot further, and will be a lot more rich in pigment. In this sense, the difference in price is much more comparable considering how much more you can get out of a tube of Artists Grade paint from Bob Ross in comparison to Student Grade paints.
Those who are serious about painting in oils and truly have a passion for this type of art and medium will see the cost of the oils they purchase as more of a wise investment rather than an expensive price tag.
The Bob Ross Oil Painting System
The Bob Ross range of paints is very popular and unique, and has been used by serious artists for years. Bob Ross was an avid painter who starred in his own art instruction show entitled, “Joy of Painting”. On this show, he would show his audience how to paint and complete bright and vibrant landscapes with oils in that short half-hour.
From there, he coined the series of artists materials that is now available for purchase at hundreds of art materials retailers, such as BobRoss.com.
The Bob Ross line of artists materials includes all sorts of tools and paints, such as:
- Brush cleaning systems
Serious artists will benefit greatly from the use of Bob Ross paints considering their rich pigments and their thick consistency. Anyone will be able to tell the quality of these paints simply by picking up a tube and feeling how heavy it is. Dark colors tend to be very thick, and get continuously thinner as the colors get lighter. The purpose for this change in thickness is to allow the artist to complete a painting in one session without having to wait for the underlying darker colors to dry. After dark colors are used, the lighter colors used to accent and highlight will adhere to the darker colors.
Purchasing oils in sets can help save some money as opposed to buying each item separately. These kits generally come with everything you need, including a palette, storage case for your paint, and other basic art supplies. Keep in mind, however, that you may not necessarily need or want some of the items contained within the kit. Just make sure that most of the supplies in the kit are items that you need, or else you may as well purchase individual items separately as you need them.
Every artist has his or her particular medium that they enjoy working with. For those who like working with oils, purchasing the best quality oil paints will make a difference on the outcome of your painting. Of course, if you are just starting out and learning, you probably won’t be creating any pieces that will initially be gallery-worthy. In these cases, using Student Grade oils is sufficient as you learn and develop your skills. For those who are creating artwork that needs to be displayed, using top notch oils such as those from the Bob Ross line are your best bet.
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A home is often a personal statement of style for a home owner and it's often a good idea to consider how different design decisions might be able to greatly enhance the overall appearance of a home. Often an Auburn Hills exterior painting crew would be able to improve the look of a home with ease simply through the changing of the colors on the exterior of the home. Instead of paying for a completely new set of siding on a home or engaging in a very costly sort of renovation, a simple coat of paint could work wonders.
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The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, and is probably the most famous piece of painted artwork of all time. The subject of this portrait is a woman by the name of Lisa Gherardini, who’s husband, Fernando Del Giocondo, requested the painting of her. Lisa came from a well-known family in Tuscany, and her husband was a wealthy citizen who wanted a memento created to celebrate their new home and the birth of their son. This art was created in the early 1500′s, and although was painted in Italy, it is now on display at the Louvre museum in Paris, France.
The History and Background of This Mysterious Painting
For centuries, this painting has stirred up a great deal of controversy, and has been the focus of in-depth studies. The facial expression of the subject has been debated by many scholars due to its ambiguity and perplexity. After centuries of debate and studies on this mysterious subject, it was not until the year 2005 that the identity of the subject of this famous painting was entirely understood.
The Artist Himself – Leonardo Da Vinci
Aside from the mystery surrounding the painting’s subject, this artwork is also extremely famous because of its creator – Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo is one of the most famous artists who has ever lived, if not the most famous. He was an incredibly intelligent and talented man, not only as an artist, but also as a scientist, doctor and inventor.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting and sketching techniques have created mystery around not only the Mona Lisa, but another of his hugely famous paintings – The Last Supper. This painting has also been the subject of immense study, mystery and speculation.
Da Vinci was able to paint and draw the human form due to his study of human cadavers. After years of studying the human form, he mastered the ability to put it on canvas. Aside from painting, Da Vinci was also a skilled sketch artist, and had an uncanny ability to draw. Aside from the now infamous Mona Lisa, another immensely popular artwork of Da Vinci’s is the Vitruvian Man, which is known all over the world, particularly in the sciences, due the anatomical and biological aspects of the sketch.
Da Vinci liked to paint on a variety of surfaces, not just canvas. He began painting predominantly biblical paintings, but increasingly painted portraits that were commissioned to him due to his growing popularity and prominence.
Da Vinci’s Painting Techniques
Da Vinci used oils to depict the image of Lisa Gherardini. One of the most unique aspects of the Mona Lisa is the fact that this painting was done on a cottonwood panel. This is highly unusual for a commissioned painting to be created on a surface such as this, rather than on the typical canvas medium. The use of the cottonwood panel is part of the reason why this painting has been so famous and studied. Because of the use of the cottonwood, the painting has been able to maintain a great deal of its luster without having to be restored, which is absolutely amazing.
The Mona Lisa was created during the Renaissance, which was a period when biblical images were painted, and anatomically correct aspects of humans were depicted. In fact, it is the attention to human detail that distinguishes art from this time period. The fantastic use of shadowing at Lisa’s eyes and lips creates a bit of mystery and amusement, as well as the incredible detail in the facial expression and hands. This painting really is one of the absolute greats during this period of art.
The background of the Mona Lisa depicts a lovely landscape and aerial views. As beautiful as this background is, the depiction of the subject tends to mute it, due to the amazing vibrancy of the subject’s hands and face. The fact that Da Vinci was able to complete this painting with no trace of brush marks makes this artwork a true masterpiece.
Theft and Vandalism of the Mona Lisa
Back in 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Lovre museum, and stayed missing for 2 years. It was originally believed that Pablo Picasso was the thief, and was even jailed for the crime. However, he was later released. In 1913, an Italian patriot by the name of Vincenzo Perugia tried to sell the painting to an art gallery in Florence, and was then arrested for the theft of the Mona Lisa. Perugia was an employee at the Louvre, and believed that this painting belonged in Italy. As such, he removed the painting from the museum and hid it in his apartment for 2 years before it was discovered that he was in possession of the infamous painting.
In addition to the theft back in the early 1900′s, attempts at vandalizing this piece of art have also occurred. The bottom portion of the painting was damaged by a vandal throwing acid at it back in 1956. Another attempt to ruin the painting occurred later that same year, after some of the paint near the subject’s elbow chipped off due to a rock being thrown at it. Because of the threat of further vandalism, the painting is now on display behind bullet-proof glass.
Owning a Piece of History
Although the original Mona Lisa is behind bullet proof glass, lovers of art all around the world can still own a print of this masterpiece. Art.com is an online gallery that sells prints of the infamous painting. Depending on what your particular tastes are, you can choose from variations of this painitng, from an exact duplicate, to a close-up of specific parts of the painting.
This Mona Lisa print is available in 20 different sizes at Art.com, and ranges in prices from $43.99 to $337.99.
This print of Mona Lisa’s hands is available in 10 different sizes at Art.com, ranging in price from $49.99 to $249.99.
The Mona Lisa is truly a masterpiece. The artist, the subject, the mystery, the techniques and the materials used for this painting have made it what it is. It represents a time period of amazing art, and incredible attention to human detail. This painting truly changed the style and technique of painting, which is why it is considered the great masterpiece.
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