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Painting a Macaw in Pastels and Acrylic

How did I learn to paint? It is a question I get asked so often. Its simple really. I watched a lot of painting videos. Thanks to the creators who started a long time ago. Well, I feel like contributing the same way.

I made this gorgeous piece of art just to try out my new set of Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencils. I have a set of 60 and those colors are sufficient to create anything. Then I chose a Canson Mi Teintes paper. I chose to create a vintage bokeh background for this piece and I’m glad I did. It adds such a great dimension to the piece. The bokeh background was made by airbrushing Inktense and Createx acrylic colors. I also did a base layer with watercolor before sketching the macaw in Pitt pastels.

Watch the videos to see more in details how I created this piece.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.

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Can you draw on canvas with a pencil?

This is one of the most common questions asked by beginners. Every beginner makes a drawing on the canvas before painting. So, the answer is kinda ‘No’

Well, if you are using graphite, then let me tell you that it shows through your painting after you are done with it. Even three layers of oil paint doesn’t hide it but a thick layer of acrylic paint might hide it. So, why take a risk?

Here are a few options:

  1. Grey charcoal pencil (keep it light, do not make heavy strokes)
  2. White charcoal pencil (use after putting down a base coat of paint)
  3. Watercolor pencils (use the same tone/family of colors)
  4. Colored pencils (use light shades)
  • Do not erase on the canvas, at-least try to avoid erasing too much.

Watch video for more info and a time-lapse watercolor painting video.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

Painting Acrylic on Paper

So, I’ve been wondering what to write about. I then decided that I’ll just write about what I painted in the last couple of weeks.

I have been researching about painting acrylic on paper for a while. I asked around in a few art groups and most of them advised that I should stick to canvas.

Well, I love painting on canvas but being an army wife, it’s getting so hard to store my artwork. It’s much more difficult transporting it every two years.

I’m going to tell you what I did. I took out a watercolor block I had bought a couple of months ago and started painting on it with acrylic. The paper is 440gsm, 100% cotton and acid free. And it is locally made. Those in India, lookout for Chitrapat watercolor blocks in your local art supply store.

Now, coming down to what I painted… I was just trying out something new. I haven’t made abstracts in a while. So I just chose some beautiful colors and started randomly adding it onto paper. I had fun and I love the result.

Not only did I make something new, but it turned out to be good enough to make prints. And I would also sell the originals. So, If you are confused about art supplies and you don’t get any answers online, then just try it out yourself. Someone has to try it, why not you?

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

Have a great day.

 

My 13 Favorite Acrylic Painting Supplies

I started painting when I was 24 yrs old and I didn’t know much. I started painting with oil paints and it was great. I learned a lot. When I discovered acrylic paints, I was so frustrated because it is so different from oil paint, especially because of the drying time. But I had so many questions ‘What paints to use? Can I mix it with water?’

Over the years I learnt how to paint in Acrylic by a lot of experimenting and trying out new supplies. So here are a few of my favorite acrylic art supplies.

1. ACRYLIC PAINTS by LIQUITEX BASICS

These are my absolute favorite. The price is the same for any color you choose to buy and is not priced according to the series of colors. They are great to work with and are vibrant and light-fast.

I also use Daler Rowney graduate acrylics, Pebeo Studio Acrylics and Camel Artist acrylics.

2. ACRYLIC INKS by DALER ROWNEY FW

These are very reasonably priced, considering the amount of pigment they hold and are great to work with. I use them for fluid acrylic paintings and sometimes for airbrushing.

The acrylic inks by Liquitex Basics are also a great choice.

3.  AIRBRUSH

Airbrushing was an excellent discovery. There are effects you can create with an airbrush which you just cant create as efficiently without one.

Follow the video link to know more (Watch from 3:39 to know about airbrushes)

4. CREATEX Airbrush Paints

These are the paints I use for airbrushing and I dilute it with a little bit of water. The pigment is great, although I feel they are a little bit on the expensive side.

Alternatively I use my acrylic paints and dilute it to use as airbrush paints.

5. PALETTE

My personal favorite is Mijello Artelier airtight peel off paint palette. There are a lot of other peel off paint palettes you can choose from. I prefer the mijello because of the airtight feature. I can just leave the paint on the palette if I want to take a little break and the paint remains just as fresh and wet.

Watch this video to know more about paint palettes.

6. SPRAYBOTTLE

Using a spray bottle is the best thing when you are working with acrylic paints. Blending acrylic paints requires you to keep your paints wet long enough to do that. I wouldn’t be able to work with acrylic paints without a spray-bottle.

Alternatively you could also use an airbrush for that but I prefer saving electricity.

7. STRETCHED Canvas

I buy whichever canvas is available at a good discount in the art supply store. This is because most machine stretched canvas available in India is manufactured in the same place and just labeled differently. If you are looking for specific brands, I would suggest Camel or FineArt.

If you are buying stretched canvas that is locally made, make sure you see exactly what you are buying and how well it is stretched, watch out for neat edges and clean staples.

8.  Paint BRUSHES

A couple of wash-brushes is a must have as it allows you to cover large areas very quickly. I use filbert brushes for most of my painting and also use liner brushes for fine detailing.

9. WASH-TUB

Acrylic paint washes off easily with water. A good washtub is an absolute essential.

Follow the video link to know more about washing paintbrushes.

10. POURING MEDIUM by LIQUITEX

Liquitex pouring medium is an excellent product to use for pouring paints. It eliminates air bubbles and gives a smooth clear glossy finish and makes the colors look more vibrant.

11. TEXTURE WHITE by CAMEL

This medium has been an inspiration to create thick textures and to make textured paintings. You can find a lot of my textured flower painting videos on my YouTube channel. Follow link to my channel here.

12. Flow Improver

This is not an absolute essential but is a great help while blending acrylic paints. 

13. Liquitex Gloss/Matt Varnish

Liquitex Varnish is reasonably priced and gives a very good finish to the paintings. It is essential to varnish acrylic paintings as it protects it from dust and other damage. 

Learn how to varnish here.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

 

Have a nice day.

Happy Mothers Day

A few years ago, Mothers day wasn’t even celebrated in India. But now we do. While everyone is busy looking for gifts for their mom and thinking of ways to make her day special, I realize all that she might want from us is our love.

I remember so many wonderful things she did. People tell me that I am blessed with a talent. But it isn’t just that. I used to watch my mom paint. She used to take fabric painting classes at the time where she had to drop me to kindergarten. She didn’t waste her time just waiting. I’ve seen her be creative in so many ways. She did a beautiful nib painting piece over velvet, She made art over metal (I don’t know what it is called), cross-stitch art, knitted tablecloths and so much more. I learnt how to bake my first cake from her. I think I learnt it all from her.

She convinced dad to sell her dream house when we were in financial trouble, she taught me how to handle certain situations around perverts in public places, she taught me some social skills(I used to be very reserved). I can share all my problems with her. She is my best friend.

I love you Mom. Happy Mothers day.

P.S Not to forget, just a phone call to wish my Mother-in-Law ‘ Happy Mothers Day’ made her so very happy.

 

Graphite Drawing

Made with Watersoluble graphite

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I first decided to enter an art competition and as if that wasn’t challenge enough, I decided to do a piece in graphite; a medium that is not my strength and I don’t have much experience working with it. Anyway, to add to that challenge, I decided to use a grid system to draw the subject. Phew! I had a big task ahead of me , staring at me, saying ‘I dare You!’

Well, I went with it. I started with a large piece, bigger than A3. I then had to tape it to the wall because I didn’t have a board big enough. So, after I had decided what to paint (which trust me took a long time to decide) I got started. Half an hour through, I was barely half done with drawing the grids and then there was a power cut. Indian summer and load shedding go hand in hand. I don’t have enough light in my studio and I rely on two tube lights. I waited waited and waited and the power came back on after 6 long hours. I decided to wake early the next morning and assured myself ‘No one is going to cut off electricity at 4 am’. So, I woke up at 4 am and started drawing the subject which FYI is a Leopard. By 7:30 am I had my outlines ready. I was so happy. I took a break, made some eggs and cold coffee for myself and my husband and at 9:00 I started with the drawing again. Well, I should’ve known what was to come next. Power cut, sharp at 9:30 am. I put on a rechargeable Emergency light on my table and drew half the background. It was easy peasy, until my emergency light gave up.

I called my husband on his phone and whined for 15 mins until he hung up on me. Well, I had more things to be mad about now. Anyway, I gave up and the next day I started early in the morning again. At around 9 am, I heard the doorbell ring and saw that my husband had sent for an Inverter to be installed. I was so happy. I finally had uninterrupted power supply and then I started. I was excited.

Well, throughout my process of drawing this piece, I found out a lot of things that you need to make a graphite drawing. Here is a list of supplies I bought.

1. Derwent graphitone watersoluble pencils – These are woodless and completely graphite.
2. A Mechanical pencil – useful to get tiny lines and fine details.
3. A kneadeable eraser- very useful to lift graphite from large areas.
4. Tack-it by Faber Castell – very useful to lift graphite to create highlights.
5. Faber Castell 9000 graphite pencils set – these are excellent and almost provide a matt finish.
6. Blending stumps and q tips/ cotton buds.
Best for last…..
7. Tombow Mono Eraser – great to create highlights and is an absolute essential for graphite/ charcoal drawings. Oh what would I do without it.

My husband also bought me a drawing board which meant that I could comfortably paint without adjusting myself to ‘The Wall’. My masking tape also pulled off some paint off the wall and I had to spackle it.

Well, for the sake of the competition, I will not post the photo of the finished piece. Maybe sometime in the future…. but here is a sneak-peek of the Leopard’s paws.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

Copyright info for artists

Most artists start off by painting something they see in a picture or a photograph of a painting.

We basically learn by painting something that has already been made by another artist and that is great way to learn. You get to view different techniques. I once saw a painting in which the dandelions looked very real and misty. I watched the artists video and recreated that when I found out the trick was to airbrush.

You see something in the painting created by another artist and you wonder how to create that effect and you try to do the same and it is a great way to learn no doubt about that.

But what you should realize most importantly is that you can’t make the same painting and try to sell it, mainly because the idea isn’t yours. How can you try to make money on something that is somebody else’s idea? It is not right. It is stealing.

So, remember these few things:

Don’t copy paintings with the intention of selling them. Learn from them. You may draw inspiration from them, and make your own original painting. Don’t try to make money on someone else’s idea. You may end up paying heavily for it. Even if the photograph of the painting doesn’t have a copyright stamp, it doesn’t mean it is royalty free.

Photography – it is also a form of art. A photographer deserves credit for the amount of knowledge he has to capture the perfect image. He also deserves the credit for spending the amount of time to capture the perfect image , not to mention his photography equipment that he has spent a lot on. So , what I’m trying to tell you is that you cannot make a painting or an artwork from a photograph unless it is royalty free or unless you have the express permission from the photographer.

So, think twice before you violate the work of another artist and avoid getting stuck into copyright violations.

Think of it this way, say, you make an original painting from your imagination and somebody else sees it online and copies it and sells it and makes money from it. How are you going to feel?

Tired of reading? Just watch the video

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

What to do when you cant afford Art Supplies

Every now and then we come across artists who upload art supply hauls on YouTube or on their blog. Guilty! I’ve done it too. It is just a way of expressing our excitement. Even we have waited a long time and saved up to buy those art supplies. But, when someone who can’t afford all that, sees videos like that, they can’t help but feel a little jealous or sad that they cannot afford it. Even I look at art supply haul videos by established artists and become a little sad that I can’t afford all that.

So, you slowly build. You slowly grow. Baby steps. I waited and saved for nearly two years to be able to afford a full set of 120 Polychromos by Faber Castell. Now having said all that, it doesn’t mean you cannot be an artist with limited means. Of course you can. How do you do that? Simple. Start with basic art supplies.

GRAPHITE

Graphite is one of the cheapest and best ways to improve your drawing skills. Just start with one 2B and an HB pencil. This will take you a long way in terms of shading and controlling values. If you can draw excellent art with just these two pencils, then imagine what you can create once you have that complete set of graphite pencils. I recommend buying some graphite powder and a set of Faber Castell 9000 once you can afford it. You even get cheaper sets by Camlin in India. You can start by drawing on some basic copier paper.

CHARCOAL

Again, this is a perfect medium if you want to do some excellent shading. Try out some basic charcoal and charcoal pencils. Derwent has a set of four Charcoal pencils (Hard, Soft, Neutral and White). Camlin also had a set of three Charcoal pencils which are really inexpensive.

WATERCOLORS

This is another medium that has a lot of possibilities if you are looking to do more of painting and less of drawing. Try to find the least expensive artist quality watercolors. The best artist quality watercolors available in India in a low price range are by Camlin(artists watercolor cakes) and FaberCastell(artists watercolor tubes).

You will also need a basic set of watercolor brushes. If you do not want to buy a whole set then I recommend going for a large flat brush, a medium filbert brush and a small round brush.

ZENTANGLE

This is again one of the most affordable forms of art to make as a beginner. All you need is one Micron pen or a 0.5 pen by Faber Castell. Choose the size you prefer and get started. There is a lot of inspiration on the internet when it comes to this medium/form of art. Pinterest also offers a lot of inspiration. You can also combine zentangle with watercolors to create an interesting effect.

So, get started. These are great options to start with. Having a ton of art supplies doesn’t necessarily make you an excellent artist. What you create, makes your identity as an artist.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

12 tips to find Artistic Inspiration

All artists suffer from artists block at some point in their career. It is difficult to remain inspired at all times. As an artist, I suffer form lack of inspiration more often than I care to admit. So, how do we get out of that rut? How do we stay inspired?

We all have our own ways to deal with this. I follow some simple steps to keep myself inspired. Most of these steps may help you too.

1. Get out of your comfort zone

I used to paint abstracts all the time. For almost 3-4 years since I started painting, I only painted abstracts. I’ve had friends ask me if I could paint a landscape or a portrait and I just said, “Meh, not my style”. I’ve even turned down commissions. Finally, one day where I wasn’t feeling inspired, I decided to make a portrait. It took me a lot of time. I struggled with it for a week, but at the end of a week, I had finished it. It was beautiful. And you know what, I had not wasted one week waiting for inspiration and I had learnt something new.

So, try something new. Make a portrait of your favorite personality or make a landscape OR better yet, try some acrylic pour.

Acrylic Pour

2. Follow artists on Instagram

This is one of my latest discoveries. Instagram is an amazing place for artists to showcase their work. You get to see short videos of artists making art. Your eye may catch something new; a new form, a new technique, a new kind of painting. It is a big ocean of inspiration. But I do have to say this. Find inspiration but don’t steal. Don’t just copy another artists painting.

3. Visit art galleries

This is almost the same as following artists on Instagram, the only difference is, you get to see the art -up close. You may even get to meet some artists. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Meet new people/artists

Find out what places artists visit the most. You will get to meet them at art galleries, at cafes close to art galleries, at art events, at art supply stores, etc. Interacting with other creative people will help you find inspiration.

5. Visit the art supply store

Now here, I mean, visit a big art supply store. Mainly because, big art supply stores find ways to introduce new products. Talk to the employers there and ask questions about products if you have any. Often, they will know more than artists. I visited an art supply store which displayed a few paintings at the billing counter which showed the use of products like gel mediums, crackle paint, etc. I was intrigued. This is how you get inspired to maybe try an new product and a new kind of painting.

6. Your camera is your best friend

This is one way I make sure I don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. I always carry my camera when I go out OR have my cell phone on me. Whenever i find something inspiring, I take a picture. I then save them in a folder on my laptop called ‘Reference Photos’ and keep them organised. So whenever I’m lacking inspiration, I go through one of those photos and start painting.

7. Participate in art competitions

Whenever you visit an art supply store or an art gallery, look at the notice boards. You will always find something regarding an art challenge or a competition. Just take part in it. Whether you win the competition or no, it is an opportunity to make a new painting. Competitions come with inspiring themes. You may learn something along the way. You may even win. You never know.

8. Don’t keep your art supplies safely stashed away. Make sure they are easily accessible. That way you will paint when you are inspired and wont waste time with prep.

9. Keep a pocket note book.

Ideas come and go in a flash. You may want to note them down when it is fresh in your head. I always keep a little book and pen in my night drawer because I often find that inspiration strikes when I’m laying in bed trying to go to sleep.

Alternatively you can use an app on your phone to take notes but I dont recommend sleeping with your phone next to you.

The following points are the few things that inspire me. It may or may not apply to you.

10. Watch TV channels that may inspire you

I enjoy painting wildlife. I watch wildlife channels and come across so much inspiration. You will see that in my paintings. Find something that inspires you and think how you can incorporate that into your painting.

11. Watch mythological movies/fantasy fiction

I have always been fascinated by fantasy art. I watch mythological movies that inspire me. I find something new and just paint/ draw something I see. It is fascinating. It is all about imagination. After all, the majority of things you see on screen in such movies are ‘Artist Inspirations’

12. Read an inspiring book

This is to keep you motivated. Often we hit a low and feel like ‘Ugh, it is so hard being an artist’. Read something that inspires you to keep you going. Read entrepreneurial books. Cut out inspirational quotes and put them up on your mood board or around your work space.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

Comparing and Reviewing Acrylic Paints to use in Fluid Paintings

I just had to post a video today. I had no idea how to put this one in writing and hence I am posting the link to my YouTube video right here.

Fluid painting- This is one of my favorite ways to use acrylic paints. This is just to see which acrylic paints dry and still retain color despite being diluted with water to create a fluid-like consistency. Golden fluid acrylics may be the best but I haven’t tried them because it is quite expensive in India and not easily available.

Do let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestions. Have a great day.