Art Blog

paintbrush

Enhance Your Work With the Right Paintbrushes

By Paul Heaston

With the huge selection of paintbrushes available, picking the perfect one can be challenging. What kind of brush is really best for watercolors? For oils or acrylics? Here’s a quick overview to help you sort through the chaos and find the brush for you.

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venice

Discover The Great Watercolor Artists

By Paul Heaston

Watercolor is one of the simplest forms of painting around. If you find yourself in need of some watercolor inspiration, here’s a look at some of the true masters of watercolor over the years.

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Discover the Secrets to Capturing a Likeness in a Portrait

By Paul Heaston
Capturing a Likeness in a PortraitCapturing the likeness of a person is maybe the most challenging part of drawing or painting a portrait. Even if you’re very skilled, there are many times you’ll create something that looks convincingly like a person, just not the person you’re trying to depict. What’s the secret? Read more »

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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The Elusive Ellipse: Drawing Ellipses in Perspective

By Paul Heaston
Drawing Ellipses in PerspectiveAny artist can tell you how tricky it is to draw ellipses in perspective. The top of the flower pot, the lid on a jar, the base of the barn silo-- whether it’s a still life or a landscape, you’re bound to encounter the challenge of depicting a foreshortened circle, or ellipse, in just about any drawing or painting. Enjoy this step-by-step tutorial for getting your ellipses right! Read more »

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
History of PortraitureAs 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 »