Art Blog

Breaking the Law: Mixed Media Painting Techniques

By Paul Heaston
Mixed Media Painting Techniques“Mixed media” is one of those impressive and intimidating-sounding art techniques that sounds more complicated than it actually is. When a work is “mixed media,” all that really means is more than one form of art media was used. While that could mean something as simple as mixing pencil and watercolor, most people use the term to refer to combining media that are not so closely or commonly associated. There are an infinite number of ways to combine media, but here are a few basic techniques and combinations to help you get started! Read more »

Flower Power: Sketching Flowers

By Paul Heaston
Sketching FlowersSketching flowers remains a quintessential part of drawing a still life. Van Gogh did it, Monet did it, even Warhol did it. Sketching flowers is easy if you follow these simple tips. Plus, a beautiful sketch will last a lot longer than whatever’s in your bud vase right now. Read more »
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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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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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