5 Reasons You’ll Want to Try STABILO Right Now

From brilliant colors to long-lasting cap-off times, there are tons of reasons why we love STABILO’s products, and why you will, too! Check out some of their art-filled tips and tricks below, and get ready to let loose, unleash some creativity and have fun during your next art project. Enjoy!

1. It’s Freeing

STABILO’s campaign for 2017 is “Free Your True Colors.” The campaign’s name is a call out to how can we be the most colorful, best version of ourselves, expressed through creativity and color.

Check out this Flippists video where he animates a colorful transformation in the Free Your True Colors spirit!

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2. It’s Colorful

Their Point 88 Fineliners are available in more than 40 vibrant colors, making them one of the most colorful fineliner brands on the market. Here is a demonstration on how to create a beautiful butterfly using these handy tools!

3. It’s Flexible

Their CarbOthello Pastel pencils are incredibly blendable due to their chalky pigments. They can also be used like watercolor pencils because they respond instantly to a wet brush or predampened paper. Check out the video below for some fun tips and tricks for using CarbOthello.

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4. It’s Creative

If you want another creative art tool to add to your arsenal then you should check out Pen 68, which can also be used as a watercolor. Just grab your waterbrush and give it a try!

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5. It’s Old School (But Up with the New School Styles)

Did you know STABILO was established in 1855? It’s an 162-year-old company! Belows a quick snippet of the company’s interesting history.

Added bonus: Many of STABILO’s products, like the Point 88 Fineliners and Pen 68 Markers, have over a 24-hour cap-off time. Hooray for no more dry pens!

Do you use any STABILO products? Tell us your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below. Happy art-making, artists!

The post 5 Reasons You’ll Want to Try STABILO Right Now appeared first on Artist's Network.

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Don’t Be Rusty | Here’s How to Paint Realistic Textures

Romanced by Rust

Acrylic artist Randy Van Dyck marries old cars—often exhibiting rust and failing paint—with birds. For Van Dyck, the allure of rust is in its character and the challenge it presents to the artist.

“The reason I’m drawn to rusty old relics is multi-layered, much like the items themselves,” say Van Dyck. “They remind us of our past, and as they age they display the ravages of time. Each spot of rust tells a small story all its own that’s ever changing, just like us. Artistically, the colors and textures created when metal ages are amazing and unlike anything else. And, aside from the nostalgia, it’s just plain fun to paint.”

 

How to Paint Rust Textures in Acrylic | Acrylic Artist | ArtistsNetwork

Dear in the Headlight by Randy Van Dyck

5 Tips for Painting Rust Textures

I use different techniques for each situation, but I’ve found that some really great rust is created by simply watering the acrylic down when applying it and letting the paint pool or drip in the desired areas.

Another great trick I used when painting Deer in the Headlight was using rubber cement:

  • First, I primed the entire surface a rusty orange color.
  • Then, I put rubber cement over all the areas where I wanted the rust to be, scumbling the edges slightly to get the random, rough quality.
  • Next, I applied the green paint of the tractor with an airbrush.
  • I easily removed the rubber cement to reveal the orange underneath that forms the base pattern of the rust.
  • Finally, I added other details using ultra round brushes Nos. 2 and 6.

The Allure of the Ancient — Steve Wilda

Drawn to aged things in distress or decline—such as old dolls, broken teacups and abandoned cars—acrylic artist Steve Wilda has painted an impressive catalog of rust over the years. When you’re drawn to what’s old, painting rusted items will be part of your artistic repertoire.

“Mother Nature does a great job of aging metal to give it character,” says Wilda. “We easily recognize rust by its color alone. With additional characteristics of pitting, holes and raised oxidized surfaces, these variations of interest allow us to paint something out of the ordinary. Rust can take over a continuous surface, like an old vehicle’s body, or it can be sculpture-like, appearing in clump formations. The approach to painting rust is no different than any other object.”

Wilda offers these three tips for painting a rusting object:

  • Observe its color(s).
  • Take note of its form—including how light falls on it and how the rust casts shadows.
  • Give yourself time! More effort is required to paint a decayed surface than a smooth, pristine one.

How to Paint Rust Textures in Acrylic | Acrylic Artist | ArtistsNetwork

The Last Supper by Steve Wilda

Tools of the Trade

Ready to get started? Here are four key tools Wilda keeps handy when painting realistic rust textures.

Brushes: Wilda’s subjects are often heavily corroded, so he uses a variety of small, round brushes to build up the raised areas, as well as replicate their shadows.

Colors: Yellow iron oxide, raw and burnt sienna and Sennelier brown are good base colors to mix for rust. Because colors vary between manufacturers, be sure to study the color charts.

Glazing: With thin, final glazes, Wilda use additional earthen colors to give the subject its aged look. When painting a more heavily corroded subject, he will often paint more opaquely to try and replicate its three-dimensional quality.

Mark-Making Items: Colour Shapers or palette knives are great for adding an element of roughness to the canvas that a brush doesn’t provide.

Wilda goes on to explain, “I worked in graphite for years and it was always most pleasurable to draw something of mass, such as an abandoned and rusted train car or vehicle, without the use of color. With pencil, it’s important to observe basic values, and how light and shadow are affected on the object’s surface. Layering in pencil or with paint adds density and represents more clearly that the subject has bulk, that it’s 3D.”

*Artist tips featured in this article first appeared in past issues of Acrylic Artist magazine. 


Want to learn more about texture?

Here’s a quick tip from artist Maureen Killaby on how to draw fur texture with depth and dimension using carbon, graphite and a cut eraser. This tip is great for drawing hair, too!

The post Don’t Be Rusty | Here’s How to Paint Realistic Textures appeared first on Artist's Network.

This is One Summer DIY Project All Creative Makers Will Love

With summer in full swing, now is the perfect time to host dinners, barbeques and cookouts with your family and friends.

Need some personal, art-filled elements to incorporate into your next social gathering? Check out this fun do-it-yourself project from designer and North Light Books author, Jen Wagner.

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Butcher paper is a really flexible medium that comes in a few different colors to suit different occasions. For this classic white menu variation, I combined cursive lettering and lowercase italic serifs to create an elegant and minimalistic menu.

 

In our home, we absolutely love having friends over for dinner. Every week, we have a family dinner at our house where the goal is to make others feel loved and welcome.

Decorative elements like a butcher paper menu can easily add an extra handmade touch to whatever event you’re hosting, making your guests feel that much more special.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Butcher paper or kraft paper roll (and roll holder)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Permanent marker, black
  • Straightedge (optional)

Getting Started

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 1: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Begin creating your butcher paper menu by rolling out your butcher paper to the length you plan to use. Then, create your title “MENU” (or whatever title you desire) on the top in simple, tall sans serif letters. You can enclose the title with a box or other decorative element if you like.

Placing Section Headings

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 2: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Next, write out your section headings in cursive lettering, trying to center it to the best of your ability. I used a varying baseline and standard kerning for my headings.

Creating a ‘Centered’ Illusion

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 3: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

If you’re finding it tricky to center your headings, try creating the illusion of it being centered using your tails. Creating tails on each side of your word that begins and ends in a way that frames the word will help center it. So if your word is a little too far to the right, create a tail at the beginning of the word that is a little bit longer to help visually move the word over to the left.

Listing Menu Items

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 4: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Next, begin listing your menu items in all capital, narrow sans serif letters. Lightly create guides with a straightedge if you need help keeping your words straight on the page. You can also use the blocking technique to guarantee each item will be centered. Then lightly erase your guides after you’ve finished using them.

Using Downstrokes

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 5: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Now, we’ll finish each of our headings by creating downstrokes for each letter. Using techniques explored earlier, create larger downstrokes and fill each with your marker.

Getting Creative

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 6: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Add decorative elements to each heading as you like. I chose to use the underline swirls we learned to do in the lettering with a Nib section.

Applying More Decorative Elements

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 7: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Once your menu is complete, begin adding decorative elements to each side of your menu. To create the olive branches for this menu, draw three lines on each side of the menu in various lengths.

Adding Final Touches

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 8: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Then, use your marker to create leaves going down each branch, from top to bottom. Don’t be afraid to use different sizes and angles to make it look more natural.

Once you’ve finished your decorative elements, either cut your menu from the roll or mount the roll on a wall to display your beautiful menu to the world!

 

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

The final menu on butcher paper

The Endless Possibilities

Butcher paper isn’t just for menus. Use yours to create grocery lists, welcome signs, seating arrangements and more! For the variation, below, I used a chalk marker and spattered the ink a bit to give it some texture. (You can do this by creating a quick motion from about a foot above your paper and quickly stop a few inches where you want the paint to spatter.)

Make sure your marker is primed. You can use a white paint marker, but I’ve found them to be far less opaque than chalk markers as they require you to go over the text several times to get a bright white.

 

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

DIY grocery list

Want More from Jen Wagner?

If you enjoyed this step-by-step DIY guide to creating menus, be sure to check out Jen’s new book, Happy Hand Lettering, which features this project above, as well as a vast array of other fun arts and crafts.

From thoughtful notes and invitations to inspirational signs and home décor, Jen shows you how to incorporate typography, calligraphy, watercolor and more into your next creative project. Enjoy!

The post This is One Summer DIY Project All Creative Makers Will Love appeared first on Artist's Network.

Can’t Draw? Take Your First Steps Right Now!

Beginner Drawings: Your Pencil, Your Paper and Your Stance

Learning how to draw? It is as simple as popping open your sketchbook to the first page and getting started with learning how to hold your pencil, position your paper and stand, as well as discovering things to draw as beginners.

1. Your Pencil Grip

Gripping your pencil for writing allows you to create tight, controlled marks. These are ideal for when you want to add details to a drawing or are working in a small area.

An overhand grip is when the pencil is held between thumb and index finger, with the middle finger supporting and the rest of the fingers resting on your paper. This grip allows for a broader range of strokes, which are lighter and wider if you are using the side of the pencil; and darker and thinner if you are using the tip of the pencil.

You can have your paper on a horizontal surface, ideal for the writer’s grip, or vertical or on a slight incline when using the overhand grip.

Beginner drawings: pencil grip determines the kind of stroke you make.

Beginner Drawings Tip: Your pencil grip determines the kind of stroke you make. Here, an overhand grip toward the end of the pencil assures light strokes that can move easily over the page. (Photo by William Foley)

2. Your Stance

Standing or sitting, you always want to have good posture and your weight evenly distributed on each leg. If you are sitting, have your feet flat on the floor. The one and only rule

The one and only rule: Always try to draw from the shoulder. Isolating the wrist works well for adding detail to a drawing. But for the beginning strokes, you want to lock your wrist and draw with your whole arm–all the way to your shoulder.

3. Things to Draw for Beginners

Start by pantomiming the marks you want to draw on your paper. Then, once you feel the rhythm, apply your pencil to your sketchbook paper and make all kinds of strokes–horizontals, verticals, circles, diagonals, and ovals. Fill several pages with these sketches.

Next, select an object–a flower or a vase or figurine. Don’t think about proportion or accuracy, you just want to look at the big overall shapes. No details!

Instead, try to capture the overall gesture of the object–where its parts are pointing and where the biggest and smallest areas are. Just react and flow.

4. Drawing Blind

Now take your same object from the previous exercise and do a blind contour drawing of it. This means you don’t look at your paper as you draw.

Instead, let your eye guide your hand as you observe the minute details of your object and trace out the contour. This is a great way to let loose and boost your confidence.

Next Steps in Beginner Drawings

Gasp! You’ve done it. Your first drawing session is done and you’ve accomplished a lot! Repeat these exercises until you feel completely comfortable with them. And, when you’re ready, take on more complex objects if you want to challenge yourself.

If you are ready to take the next step now, download our free e-book on Learning How to Draw, which features 26 beginner drawing exercises you can start doing in your sketchbook now. Happy drawing, artists!

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The post Can’t Draw? Take Your First Steps Right Now! appeared first on Artist's Network.

Three-Step Watercolor Value Study

It Can’t Get Much Easier Than This

Lately I’ve been filled with impatience. I’m on a short fuse when dealing with everything from friendships to traffic to stubborn pots of water at dinnertime (can’t you boil any faster?!). One person I am not impatient with is artist Andy Evansen. He’s given me, and therefore you because I share like that, a three-step value study to remove the guesswork—and white outlines—from my watercolor painting process. Finally, someone who understands my need for speed.

Light, Middle, Dark

Through trial and error, you may have already found that the best way to lose detail and paint more loosely is to squint at a scene and view it as three distinct values: light, middle and dark. These three divisions of light are what a value study is all about.

watercolor painting demonstration | watercolor painting value study

Step 1

Drawing from the reference photo, begin by blocking in the larger shapes. Because it’s a study, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I actually recommend doing several block-in sketches to warm up because the three-step value study can go by fast so if you have several sketches, you’ll experience that much more by repeating the process.

 

watercolor painting demo step 2 | watercolor painting value study

Step 2

When you squint at the scene, you see the sky, the light-struck area of the casino and tents, and the rocky shore as light, so they remain the white of the paper. There are many opportunities for lost edges in this large shape. The trap in this first stage of the value study lies in the fact that there’s a white casino, a sunny day and white boats in the water. However, the white boats and half of the white casino building are in shadow, so they need to be included in the first middle-value wash.

 

watercolor painting demo step 3 | watercolor painting value study

Step 3

When it’s time to add the dark values, begin with the boats to make them reappear. Next, separate the pier from the water with the darks underneath it and its reflection. A few windows, palm trees and flags finish off the little details for interest. Look how much can be accomplished in just three steps. And really sit back and consider how compelling light, middle tone, and dark are for a composition. Powerful, right?

 

watercolor landscape | watercolor painting

In the Shadow of the Casino (watercolor on paper, 13×18) by Andy Evansen

Try This at Home

Andy Evansen’s finished painting of the port is lovely but I’m still a big fan of the value study. I urge you to create one based on a photo you’ve taken. If that whets your artistic appetite for more color and value explorations, sign up for Johannes Vloothuis’ Paint Along: Make Color Sing — Color & Value Lessons for Landscape Painting. You get the opportunity to watch this favorite instructor of ours live and the convenience of having all the sessions recorded. That way you can watch them anytime you want. Best of both worlds. It’s how we do. Enjoy, artists!

Courtney 

 

The post Three-Step Watercolor Value Study appeared first on Artist's Network.

Secrets to Painting Convincing Water Reflections

Painting Water with Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork.com

Water is one of the most sought-out subjects in paintings. In this mini-tutorial, you’ll learn valuable pointers on painting water reflections.

Water Type

You can find several conditions of water in nature, which are important to consider when planning a landscape painting:

  • Still water (common in ponds and small lakes when no wind is present)
  • Water moving lazily (the most suitable in paintings when water reflections are desired)
  • Water ripples with more motion (common in river and streams)
  • Water so disturbed you can’t see reflections (large bodies of water such as lakes and seascapes on a windy day)

Unless water is running over a down slope, the wind is what disturbs it, creating the diverse reflections and variances listed above.

 

Advice for painting water, at ArtistsNetwork.com

Left: Wind is not affecting this still water. Right: Water moving in a lazy disturbance.

 

Many professional artists depict water moving lazily (above, right). You will often see this in paintings with lakes. Artists tend to avoid the mirrored effect of still water because it competes too much with other areas of the artwork. Notice the forms are not broken until after about two-thirds of the way down. That breaking-up effect is very pleasing when it is not overdone.

 

How to Paint Water Reflections | Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork

This water is so disturbed you can’t see reflections.

 

The photo reference above would end up being a little dull in a painting because many square inches repeat the same visual information. Painting water in this setting won’t well in most paintings unless special effects are used, such as glistening sunlight hitting a portion of the water surface or the addition of visual interest, like boats.

 

How to Paint Water Reflections | Johannes Vloothuis | ArtistsNetwork

You can see how these principles are applied to this painting of String Lake.

Rules of Thumb for Painting Water Reflections:

  • Whatever is dark on dry land will be lighter in the water.
  • Whatever is light on dry land will be darker in the water.
  • Colors become less saturated in water reflections. Even white will need to be grayed down in the water.
  • Details are left out. Only the basic smudges of color are needed.
  • Avoid all hard edges in water reflections.
  • Because water is denser than air, it will absorb light. Therefore do not repeat the same value of the sky in the water reflections. Water will almost always be darker than the sky it is mirroring.

Want more water painting tips? Check out my video workshop, The Complete Essentials of Painting Water. You can also register for my live online art classes and peruse through past courses here.

The post Secrets to Painting Convincing Water Reflections appeared first on Artist's Network.

5 Selfie Worthy Artist-Built Environments

Picture yourself among the chicken bones, concrete and glitter!

Scholars, artists, preservationists, educators, curators, art historians, collectors and devotees will delve into the complex and fascinating subject of artist-built environments during The Road Less Traveled, a three-day conference, Sept. 27-29, 2017, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Click here for attendee information so you can plan your trip to Sheboygan, WI. #roadlesstraveled2017 

Check out five amazing artist-built environments with ties to JMKAC. Every one of the enviros will make you wish for a teleportation app and a selfie stick. Enjoy!

  1. Embrace the playfulness of Mary Nohl’s cottage

On view through Aug. 20 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Greetings, Salutations and Boo features a reinstallation of Mary Nohl’s living room from her lakeside artist-built environment in Fox Point, Wis. Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

On view through Aug. 20 at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Greetings, Salutations and Boo features a reinstallation of Mary Nohl’s living room from her lakeside artist-built environment in Fox Point, Wis. Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

See yourself amidst the cottage environment created by Mary Nohl on the shore of Lake Michigan. Whimsical concrete statues, wood carvings, paintings and interior furnishings are arranged in the gallery to evoke her charming home. A re-creation of her living room and a panoramic photo of the lake transport exhibition visitors.

2. A machine for healing from Emery Blagdon

Artist built environments. Installation view of the Healing Machine at JMKAC.

Installation view of the Healing Machine at JMKAC.

Over 30 years, Emery Blagdon (1907–1986) built an increasingly dense environment filled with sculptures made of baling wire and aluminum foil, brightly colored paintings, hand-painted lightbulbs, salts, and other organic matter. Blagdon called this constantly changing installation “The Healing Machine.” His intent was to channel the earth’s energies to alleviate pain and illness. Let the healing begin!

3. A room at the Hotel Chelsea

Artist-built environments: Gallery view of Volumes: Stella Waitzkin + Rita Barros at the JKMAC.

Gallery view of Volumes: Stella Waitzkin + Rita Barros at the JMKAC.

Stella Waitzkin, The Wreck of the UPS (installation view), c. 1993–2003. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection, gift of the Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Stella Waitzkin, The Wreck of the UPS (installation view), c. 1993–2003. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection, gift of the Waitzkin Memorial Library Trust and Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Stella Waitzkin (1920–2003) fashioned her own personal vision, composing an art environment in her small fourth floor apartment at the famed Hotel Chelsea in New York City. Artist Rita Barros has documented the vibrant and ever evolving spirit of the hotel, a haven for creatives of all walks including Beat writers, musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists.

 

4. Meet the Original Rhinestone Cowboy and visit the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home

Artist-built environments: Installation view at JMKAC of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home by Loy Bowlin.

Installation view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home at JMKAC.

Living room view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

Living room view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

Living room ceiling view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

Living room ceiling view of the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home.

In 1975, Loy Bowlin reinvented his life and transformed into the “Original Rhinestone Cowboy.” The Beautiful Holy Jewel Home (c.1975–1990), was Bowlin’s small, extravagantly embellished home in McComb, Mississippi. The artist added sparkle galore, adorning much of the exterior and nearly every inch of the interior with cutout paper, paint, glitter, and collaged photographs and magazine illustrations.

After Bowlin’s death in 1995 the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home was on the verge of demolition. A Houston artist and collector stepped in and purchased the home. It was dismantled and later gifted to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center where it has been restored and put on view.

5. Enter the regal realm of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

Installation view of Mythologies: Eugene Von Bruenchenhein at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Installation view of Mythologies: Eugene Von Bruenchenhein at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2017. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Artist-built environments: Chicken-bone towers, miniature thrones and ceramic vessels from the home of artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Chicken-bone towers, miniature thrones and ceramic vessels from the home of artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. Photo by Rich Maciejewski, courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Despite living in abject poverty, Eugene Von Bruechenhein created an incredible universe that told the story of a man who believed he was destined for greatness. In his West Allis, Wis., home, elaborate chicken-bone towers, vibrant paintings of the cosmos, delicate miniature thrones and stunningly composed images of his wife all reference the artist’s passion and larger-than-life sense of self.

 

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