Art Tips Blog

Lämmchen

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I went to the American Academy of Art in Chicago and I am a portrait artist mainly doing pet portraits. There are a lot of tips I'll be adding to this blog to help others with their art and their tools.

My first tip came to me as I was rinsing out a paint brush (not an art brush, I was painting the front door! LOL).

NEVER rinse your artist brushes in HOT water. Use luke warm or cool water. The reason is because most brushes have a glue holding the bristles in and you don't want the heat to interact with that glue and have bristles begin to fall out.
 

Lämmchen

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When considering your focal point of your 2D piece, that is where you'll place your lightest light and darkest dark to draw the eye to it.
 

Lämmchen

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50 Shades of Grey? The human eye in the right lighting can only detect about 50 shades of grey. Those who aren't used to see many shades and taking note will probably only see about 8 shades. Practice looking at shades of grey. Squint your eyes, it helps.
 

Lämmchen

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Turn your work upside down to get a different perspective and you'll discover what might be throwing the piece off. Looking at it through a mirror will also help in seeing flawed areas.
 

Stravinsk

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IJWTS -

Thanks for contributing this, I'm keeping an eye on it, just because it is one of the interests we share and I could perhaps learn some things from it.
 

Lämmchen

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Use complementary colors in your shadows to add depth.

If you're painting a face where the person has an orange based skin tone, add blue in the shadow. But be careful you don't make it stand out too much. Be especially careful with green shadows or you'll have an alien!

Complementary colors are ones that are opposite of each other on the color wheel.
 

popsthebuilder

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Is paint your primary medium?

I have an interest in art too. Actually portraits are what I specialize in too. But my medium is graphite. Never was too good with a brush or color. Do you use water color or acrylic or what? Good tip on the contrast of the focal point. Generally the focal point for me on a portrait is the eyes. What about you. I've never thought to observe my work in progress from different perspectives in an attempt to catch flaws. I'll have to try that some day.

I wouldn't mind taking it up as a profession. But I think it takes me too long to ever make any real money with it. It is good for stress relief though.

Anyway, topic is a good change of pace from uhm...other ones.

So thanks.

Faith in selfless Unity for Good.
 

Lämmchen

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Thanks for posting :)

I primarily "paint" with pastels (chalk) and still use my box of pastels that I bought for life drawing class back in art school in the late 80s. I've used other mediums as well but always return to my beloved pastels.

Here is an example of something I did for my husband 2 years ago:
cowsmall.jpg

Most times for people the eyes can be the focal point but sometimes you can make a piece more interesting by drawing the eye to something else like a stray curl or the smile. On some animals I love having a shiny nose like for a dog.

I've never had a good enough manager to make a lot of money from my art. Advertising/marketing is what kept me fed! LOL
 

popsthebuilder

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Never really tried animal portraits.

I have to have something to reference usually similar to still life. A picture or pictures, or actual still life is best for me. That is a quality rendition of a calf, or a poor depiction of a dog.

Nah, just kidding. That's good. I couldn't do it with out a pic or with color.

If you would be interested in showing more of your work, I would be delighted to see it. I haven't drawn in a while.

Faith in selfless Unity for Good.
 

Lämmchen

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Here is a portrait of Marilyn Monroe I did for my niece as her Christmas gift one year. It's done in charcoal, white pencil and pastels on the lips. I work from photographs because I do a little bit on the piece at a time and come back to it with fresh eyes.

marilyn2014.JPG
 

popsthebuilder

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Here is a portrait of Marilyn Monroe I did for my niece as her Christmas gift one year. It's done in charcoal, white pencil and pastels on the lips. I work from photographs because I do a little bit on the piece at a time and come back to it with fresh eyes.

View attachment 321
Oh wow!!!

Much more my speed. That is exquisite.

I'm quite a critic too. I doesn't help that I'm a big Marilyn Monroe fan, since I was a kid.

The color in the right places definitely makes it stand out. You captured her persona of sensuality flawlessly from what I can see.

Bravo, really!

Faith in selfless Unity for Good.
 

Lämmchen

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Oh wow!!!

Much more my speed. That is exquisite.

I'm quite a critic too. I doesn't help that I'm a big Marilyn Monroe fan, since I was a kid.

The color in the right places definitely makes it stand out. You captured her persona of sensuality flawlessly from what I can see.

Bravo, really!

Faith in selfless Unity for Good.
Thank you!

I used color in the lips to make them pop. I tried not to overdo the white for highlights which has been known to happen in the past and then I lose the piece to a direction I didn't want to go. But this one of Marilyn my biggest concern was to not make her into a drag queen!
 

Lämmchen

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At work I had to create a really extensive flow chart for a top boss. He thought it would take me about 6 hours or more but I cranked it out in 3 and had cool drop shadows and it was really professional looking. My graphic design background really helped me out with that project and he was so pleased. I still remember that bright smile on his face as I handed him the printout before he was leaving to catch a flight.

The point of bringing this up is that what helped me to create this flowchart so quickly was that I incorporated my method of doing any art piece. I don't work in just one area until it's done and then move on to the next little spot.

With a face I will sketch out the entire thing at once in a quick sketch and mark where all the features are and work out sizing, perspective, etc. Then as I begin my shading, again, I will work on the entire piece instead of remaining in one area.

This method makes the work go faster, helps the piece maintain a consistent style and color, if used, remains consistent. You can tell if someone starts on the eye and then tries to work from there. It sometimes seems...off.
 

Lämmchen

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Warm and cool colors and how I use them on a face.

When doing portraits I tend to make the warm yellows and oranges in the areas where the light hits. As the color moves more into shadow I go into reds and then blues and greens. I am bold with these colors at times so the faces don't look pasty. People of color are more exciting to paint and it's easier to see those vivid colors! :thumbsup:
 

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I used to paint years ago, landscapes. My sister paints a lot. She also learned techniques. She sells those things at the hospital where she works. they can hang their paintings and art there and people buy it. She just does it as a hobby. My kids went to painting lessons, but that was just keeping them busy. They liked it, but they wanted to learn techniques. So now they just draw Donald Ducks.
 

Lämmchen

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Drawing pencils come in hard and soft leads. I prefer woodless drawing pencils because they just have a coating around them to protect the lead.

The H pencils are hard, HB is middle ground and the B pencils are soft. I love my 6B pencil to do my darkest darks and especially the pupils in the eyes.

Don't DROP your pencils or the lead within the wood or casing will break apart and could fall out in bits and pieces whenever you try to sharpen the pencil.
 

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50 Shades of Grey? The human eye in the right lighting can only detect about 50 shades of grey. Those who aren't used to see many shades and taking note will probably only see about 8 shades. Practice looking at shades of grey. Squint your eyes, it helps.
As i pencil sketch...this is a helpful tip indeed ,thanks.
 

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At work I had to create a really extensive flow chart for a top boss. He thought it would take me about 6 hours or more but I cranked it out in 3 and had cool drop shadows and it was really professional looking. My graphic design background really helped me out with that project and he was so pleased. I still remember that bright smile on his face as I handed him the printout before he was leaving to catch a flight.

The point of bringing this up is that what helped me to create this flowchart so quickly was that I incorporated my method of doing any art piece. I don't work in just one area until it's done and then move on to the next little spot.

With a face I will sketch out the entire thing at once in a quick sketch and mark where all the features are and work out sizing, perspective, etc. Then as I begin my shading, again, I will work on the entire piece instead of remaining in one area.

This method makes the work go faster, helps the piece maintain a consistent style and color, if used, remains consistent. You can tell if someone starts on the eye and then tries to work from there. It sometimes seems...off.
Im certainly that some one lol
 

Lämmchen

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When drawing the human figure hands and feet are the toughest!

The hand is roughly the size of the face (this is NOT always a rule but a guideline). The palm to the chin and the fingertips to the hairline (for those who have it).

The foot is roughly the size of the forearm (wrist to inside elbow).
 

Lämmchen

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Using charcoal is messy. You can make it even messier and have your art look amazing by scraping shavings of the charcoal onto your paper and smudging it but not too much because you want to be able to lift it off later with a chamois or eraser. With this method you are creating a grey tone and then adding darks with the charcoal and highlights with the chamois or eraser. Use a kneaded eraser and form it into a nice point for accuracy. For really white highlights use a white pastel pencil sparingly!

catart.jpg
 
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