Art Blog

Discover the breathtaking techniques and drawing and painting essentials that will make your artwork stand out from the crowd!

Sketching Pencil Backgrounds: Five Steps to Success

By Paul Heaston
Sketching Pencil BackgroundsOne of the biggest challenges in sketching is tackling background space. A strongly drawn or sketched background can provide necessary context for what’s happening in the foreground, and can add visual interest to keep the viewer’s eye moving and examining the image. Read more »

Alla Prima Oil Painting: Instant Gratification!

By Paul Heaston
Alla PrimaAlla prima painting, or “wet-on-wet” as it is also known, is a technique of painting directly over a previous layer of paint before that layer has dried. It is most commonly practiced in oil painting because wet layers of oil paint can be worked into for quite some time before they dry. Alla prima is a very effective method for working en plein air (outdoor) landscape painting, as a painting can be completed in one sitting, as opposed to several days or weeks. Read more »

Figure Drawing Tips

By Paul Heaston
Figure DrawingFigure drawing offers the chance to sharpen your observational acuity and hone your skills in a variety of media, all while working from a real live person. You can explore line, value, space and anatomy, all in one session. Learning how to draw accurately in a short period of time is an important skill for any observational artist because it opens up a world of sketching opportunities. Read more »
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Hues, Tints, Tones and Shades: What’s the Difference?

By Paul Heaston

A lot of us use the terms hue, tint, tone and shade when referring to color, but did you know each of these terms has a very specific meaning? For a painter, knowing the difference is important when communicating concepts and mixing the right colors.

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Painting a Pine Tree in Acrylics

By Paul Heaston
Painting a Pine Tree in AcrylicsPainting a tree can feel like a daunting task for any landscape painter, from beginner to pro. With all the branches, leaves, and bark, it seems like nothing could be more complicated than a tree. And it is true, you could spend days painting all of that information. But there are ways to conquer painting a tree without obsessing over each and every detail. All you have to do is simplify. And here's a step-by-step tutorial to help you do just that! Read more »

The History of Portraiture

By Paul Heaston
As long as people have made art there have been portraits. Enjoy a trip through history, looking at how portraits began and where the discipline is in the art world today. Read more »