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.

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.

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.

DIY Valentine gift ideas

Every year most of us are faced with a dilemma on what to gift our loved ones on valentines day. If you are thinking of something materialistic, then this post is not for you. I’m talking about personalized gifts.
My husband never appreciated gifts that I bought from a store. Even things that he really needed. Well, with me it has always been easy. Just buy me art supplies and I’m the happiest person in the world.

One valentine, I gifted him a handmade card. It was very poorly executed, but he loved it because it had a very personal message. The next valentines, I made red velvet cupcakes and he loved them too. So every valentine, I make a gift for him and he really appreciates it. There is also a backstory, Valentines day is special, not because people celebrate it worldwide as a day of love, but because it is also the day we got engaged.

Well, so here are a few ideas to make your valentines day special.

1. Handmade card with a personal message.
You may not have a lot of art supplies ready at home so I’m going to tell you how to make a simple card.

Supplies required:
– Card paper/ Card Stock/ Bond paper/ Chart paper/ Recycled paper
– Patterned paper(not so easily available), so what you can do is print a valentines pattern by looking it up online
– Glue
– Scissors


Cut out your patterned paper in the shape of hearts or you could also cut out lovebirds or any other interesting shapes. Get creative. Now stick that onto the card paper and write a personal message.

You could also make a simple watercolor abstract on paper and write with a marker over it.

2. Bookmarks
If your partner is into reading, you could gift him/her a set of four or six bookmarks.
How to make it? Same as the card but you have to cut it out in the shape and size of bookmarks.

3. Portrait
If you are artistic, you could paint a portrait of him/her or if you could afford it, commission a portrait from an Artist (remember to plan ahead).

4. Bake a Cake/ Cupcakes
I would always choose Red velvet with Cream Cheese frosting for Valentines day. You could also bake an easy Ombre cake.

5. Do Something interesting together, like ‘Make a Painting’
A couple of years ago, I encouraged my husband to paint with me. He was not very sure of it, but once he realized he just had to throw paint onto the canvas, he enjoyed it thoroughly. I made the choice of colors of course. It was an amazing day.

If you need more ideas about this activity, then try Sponge Painting and Splatter Painting. Follow the link to see how to do sponge painting.

You could also try fluid acrylic and splatter painting.

Let me make your life a little easier, I have two downloadable images that you can print and then add your personal message to create tags/bookmarks.

You will have to do a little bit of cropping . Easy right? You can thank me by subscribing to my Blog or YouTube Channel 🙂 Links below. If you have any questions, suggestions or requests, please mention them in the comments below. à bientôt.

How to clean Paintbrushes and their maintenance

We all value things that we’re passionate about. For an artist, it is paint supplies. Of all my paint supplies, I value paintbrushes the most. My magic wand as I call it…. So, I’m going to address a very important issue- Paintbrushes and their maintenance.

It is very important that you learn how to clean your paintbrushes. I spent months painting in oil paint, not knowing how to clean my paintbrushes, resulting in dirty hands and clothes too. I had no idea how to get rid of the paint from my brushes. Honestly I tried washing it with warm water and soap and as a result had destroyed too many of them. Mind you, paintbrushes are expensive. So, lets start with the first.

  1. Oil Paint – First wipe off any excess paint left on the brush with a paper towel or a rag. There are a couple of options to clean oil paint off your brushes.
  •  Paint thinner/ Turpentine: You may also get this as distilled turpentine which is less harsh on the paintbrushes
  • Kerosene: This is less expensive. I used this when I didn’t have enough money to buy the good stuff.

You should know that both the turpentine and kerosene have a really strong smell. So to those of you who cannot stand that smell or are allergic to the same, I recommend buying odorless paint thinner. This is slightly more expensive compared to the usual turpentine.

Once you wash your brushes in turpentine, you wash them again in a clean separate  container full of turpentine and then wash it with warm soap water.

2. Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is water based and can easily be washed off with water but you need to make sure you don’t let the paint dry on the brush completely. Once you let the paint dry on the brush completely, getting the paint off the brush is a difficult task. I use turpentine if the paint has completely dried but I try to make sure that such a situation doesn’t arise. In any normal circumstance I wash the brushes once with soap and warm water in the end.

3. Watercolor

Wipe it off on a paper towel. Just wash it in water once and then dip it in another container containing clean water.

Well, now that you know how to wash them, you also need to know how to dry and store them.

  • Dab the paintbrush with a tissue or an absorbent cloth.
  • Rest them on a flat surface over the tissue/absorbent cloth until they dry.

Note: Do not place your paintbrushes standing in a paintbrush holder before they dry or else water will seep through the ferrule and the bristles will fan out or shed as the glue holding them together will peel off. Do not rest your brushes standing bristles-down ever(wet or dry).

Follow these simple methods and you will have no more issues with paintbrushes.

Do come back and read my blog next week. I upload one blog post every week now. My next blog post will not be art related, it will be about some of my crazy travel experience. You can find the subscribe button on the top right sidebar of my website/blog. No spam, I promise. You will only get an update when I publish my next blog post.

If you have any questions/suggestions, mention it in the comments below.

Have a good weekend.

Happy New Year 2018

A new year is upon us and there’s a lot in store for all of us. I had a terrible start, I had taken ill on New Year’s Eve and have just recovered. The way I see it, by Gods grace the year can only get better. And it is, We finally have a house allotted. I’m waiting to move in and set up my art studio. You know what that means, I’ll have another art studio tour video on YouTube before the end of next month.
This year I’ll be uploading one video on YouTube every week- that includes art tutorials, time-Lapse videos, product reviews and a lot more.
On the blogging front I’m going to add one new blog post every week. That’s right and it’s going to be more personal along with Art , kinda like my very first blog post.
I managed to do quite a bit in the last few months. 2017 was a big learning experience for me. I attended a lot of art shows/exhibitions/festivals. I learned a lot about social networking. And I overcame my fear of approaching new people , especially the beautiful beings in our beautiful world of art. Seriously you guys, talk to like minded people and you’ll see there is so much to love in this world. Stay away from negativity, and the people who embrace it, Stay away from pessimists(the force is strong in those). Surround yourselves with positive people, read inspiring stories, be inspired, take out time for yourself.
To all my readers out there, if you have any suggestions or requests as to what kind of topics you want me to write about in my blog or what topics you want me to cover on YouTube, feel free to post it in the comments below here or on my YouTube channel and I’ll address them in the best way possible.
This year I’m going to make a lot of art that I haven’t tried before. I don’t just want to stick with what I know. And I’m going to take you along through that journey . Stay with me.
Love and Blessings,
Wishing you all a joyous 2018.
Sylvia D’Silva.

Progress in your Art by Learning from your mistakes

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video on YouTube about ‘Safety Issues while Painting’. It involved tips like

1. Don’t eat while you paint.

2. Keep your room well ventilated.

3. Wear gloves while you want to finger paint.

4.  Dispose off paint rags immediately…… and so on.

 

 

Well, like it is the case with most beginner YouTubers, my parents are my devoted viewers. They watch every video of mine without fail. They are also my worst critiques. So, as soon as I uploaded this particular video of mine, I sent a link to my parents. My mom called me to say that I looked really pretty, the lighting was bad and the video was very informative. The classic sandwich, Compliment-Criticize-Compliment. I took it in good stride and have tried to improve the lighting in my video.

But my mom didn’t stop at that. “When have you ever worn gloves in your art studio? And you are talking about ventilation? Your room is a dark dungeon with absolutely no ventilation”

Well, in my defense, my Mom hadn’t visited me in a while and I used to do absolutely everything like she said. I used to make those very same mistakes that I tell in the video that you’re not supposed to do. I slowly learned all those things. I learned from my mistakes.

It is easy to ignore certain things and panic when you make mistakes but what you shouldn’t do is get discouraged by those mistakes. Or worse even would be to repeat those mistakes.

Albert Einstein once said “Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new”

This quote applies so very accurately to artists. To me Art is about trying something new everyday. Without it I wouldn’t have learnt anything new, or wouldn’t have created anything unique.

So, a message to all you wannabe artists out there, Get off your couch and throw some paints on your canvas. Get started. Don’t be worried about what may go wrong. It’s not under your control. So stop trying to control everything and let go.

 

I listen to Audiobooks while I paint

Many months ago, I painted a portrait for a friend. It was a portrait of his girlfriend.  It was a very pretty picture to begin with; she has a really pretty face. It was my first time doing a portrait. I was so excited. I did the background first and sent the photo to my friend. He loved it. So I continued. I drew the face with white charcoal pencil. Yeah! It was perfect. And so I began painting. Oh dear… I messed up. What I painted didn’t look like her at all. I then watched some videos online and noticed that a lot of artists paint in black and white and then glaze color over it.

So I began. I painted over it in black and white. Not pretty :0 it was a disaster. I then started over it again. Layers and layers and it still didn’t look quite right. I wanted to give up. So, I stepped back and decided not to paint the next day. I just relaxed the next day. The day after that I started again on the face. It looked better that day. But again I was tired of looking at that face for so many hours a day. I don’t even look at my husband for that many hours a day.

Here’s what I did. I had a collection of audio books. I transferred it to my Mp3 player and put on my headphones. It was a brilliant idea. I was so lost in the novel I was listening to that I didn’t worry about the painting much. The task became quite enjoyable. My mind relaxed and hence I could produce better results. I was happy with that day’s results.

I continued the next day with the audio book again. I finally finished and added some extra effects too. It is amazing how much you can improve once you relax your mind.

Tip: Ask for enough time, well in advance when you take commissions so you can relax and paint and not worry too much about your deadline. If you think you can paint something in 20 days, make sure you ask for 40 days so you can produce better results.

And shop for some amazing audio books. I have the Harry Potter collection, James Patterson – Women’s murder club, John Green audio books, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many more… I’m still looking for more audio books because they make painting , so much more fun. And of course, you can also listen to podcasts.

It is important that you enjoy what you do. There have been a lot of times where I hav given up on a painting but I eventually get back to it after a break and the end result is better than I expected. Keep inspiring yourself.

I’ve always prized myself on coming up with goofy comparisons like Paintbrushes are magic wands. So here goes, Audiobooks are so much like our grandmas who used to tell us interesting stories when we were kids.  They never fail to entertain.

Don’t forget to Subscribe. Keep reading, keep painting.

My Experience at Chitra Santhe 2016

I’ve always given excuses for not displaying my art; “It is not good enough”, “I don’t have enough paintings to make up a collection”, “I don’t know how to approach art galleries”, etc.

Well, a few of those reasons are genuine but I had to get out there. I needed to experience it. So, I decided to participate in Chitra Santhe. It is an art fair held once every year in Bangalore at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. It is for the common artist, especially those who cannot afford to have a solo exhibition and as it is a fair, it is open to all audience. Thousands of people come to this event in the hope of buying art at a price they wouldn’t hope for in a gallery.

I went in the end of October to get an application form and I was delighted when I was told I was lucky as it was the last one available. I submitted the form the next day. They cannot accommodate everyone and hence you have to wait until the end of December to find out if you made it to the shortlist. Sure enough, just four days prior to the event I got it. I went with my dad for site inspection. It was a very tiny little space because they accommodated more number of participants that year.

I went home and bought some brown paper. Dad and Mom helped me make brown paper covers big enough to pack my paintings in (in case I managed to sell any). I packed them all nicely to be able to take the paintings safely to the venue.

My very resourceful mom kept a watch out for delivery vans and convinced one of them to let us hire the vehicle for transport. He backed out later because he was not comfortable with the timing. We had to reach the venue before 7:30am as the road would be blocked for vehicles after that time. Anyway, Dad managed to hire a vehicle to transport the paintings. My uncle, my cousin and I managed to move the paintings to the location and set up by 8:30am.

Tips: Carry smaller size paintings so you can just take them by car and also don’t take more than 10 paintings. Carry a sun Umbrella or wear lots of sunscreen. Handout visiting cards even if others around you think you’re being stupid.

At Chitra Santhe 2016

Don’t lose hope even if you don’t sell anything. It is a good experience. You’ll know what to expect for the next time and you’ll get lots of feedback. You’ll also get to meet experienced artists and know more about the art world.

My parents came by my stall in the evening and I got my first customer then. The woman bargained a lot and my dad convinced me to sell a painting to her at a reasonable price. I sold one more painting after that. Selling two paintings was not so bad after all. And I managed to sell one more painting online when I put up an invitation to Chitra Santhe on social media.

So start with a fair like Chitra Santhe, Kala Ghoda arts festival, Sunday soul Santhe or any art fairs in your city and you’ll have a great time and gain confidence to exhibit more of your paintings.

P. S: The packing and unpacking at the site is quite a task.

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