7 Benefits Of Painty Clothes That Only Artists Will Understand

By Nicole Tinkham

painty-clothes

There may be a handful of artists who stay nice and tidy while working on a project but the majority of artists we talk to mention getting paint, glitter, and ink everywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of art it is, getting messy while creating seems to be the common theme. Another thing we’ve heard through the artists on our Facebook page is a new fashion statement known as “painty clothes”. These are a combination of clothes you paint in, clothes that you paint on, and clothes that accidentally have paint on them (even nice dressy clothes.. whoops! 😉 ). We think the painty clothes trend can really catch on. Read on for 7 benefits of painty clothes that only artists will understand.

1.    They’re colorful

Look at the average person’s closet and you’ll most likely see many black and gray pants, even tops. And when there is a bit of color it doesn’t really pop a whole lot. Artists are a bit different though. Sometimes you’ll see painted clothes on purpose with beautiful designs and other times you’ll see random paint splatters. No matter what, it’s sure to be colorful and fun.

2.    They put others in a better mood

How can you not look at an artist with fun paint all over their clothes and not smile? You’re being totally unique and it just puts people in a better mood!

3.    They’re comfy

Most artists work in nice comfy clothes, the way everyone should dress more often (in our opinion anyway).

4.    They’re always changing

The exact t-shirt you wore last week may not be the same this week. The more you wear painty clothes and the more you create in them, the more and more different they will become. Who else can say that about their wardrobe??

5.    You don’t have to be perfect

Keeping up with the fashion trends and all the rules (who says you can’t wear white during a certain time of the year??) is just too much work. However, when you have your painty clothes on, you don’t have to worry. They go with everything (in our opinion) and you can mix and match them.

6.    You’re free to be you!

Forget name brands and what’s currently popular. In your painty clothes, you are unlike every single person out there and that’s a good thing. Life would be boring if we all acted and dressed the same.

7.    They eliminate clean up

Have you ever tried to get paint out of your nice top? It’s not an easy task. Luckily if your goal is to create some new painty clothes, you can totally eliminate this step. This means less hassle and more time to get back to work on your project.

If you weren’t sure about wearing your painty clothes out in public before, we hope that this blog has changed your mind! Be fun, be creative, be funky, be yourself. No one else has style quite like an artist and it’s time to share your painty clothes with the world. Be proud of what you do and who you are. Stop hiding under plain clothing that anyone can buy at the store. Mix it up and add some color. We are always so inspired by our artist friends and we thank you for lifting us up and making us smile every day.

17 Ways Real Artists Choose Paint Color That May Surprise You

By Nicole Tinkham

paint-color

You’re inspired and ready to create! You have all your supplies in front of you and a blank canvas on your easel. But something is stopping you. You look down at your paint and have no clue where to start when it comes to color choices. This one decision could make or break your artwork! What if you choose the wrong color?? Calm down, we’ve all been there. In fact, we’ve asked our artist friends over on Facebook how they choose paint colors to give you some ideas. You may be surprised but not one answer involves a color wheel! Here’s what they had to say.
How do you choose paint colors for your project?

1. “From my photo reference and then ramp it up a notch or two!” -Diane

2. “The colors are in the vision before I begin to paint- it’s a matter of transferring the vision onto the canvas how it appeared in my mind.” -Kriss

3. “I have a set of colors I use mainly. I have tried to use different colors, but always wind up going back to the ones I like.” -Kelly

4. “I usually see the general color in my head and make a scheme for it. I love mixing and making new colors.” – Caitie

5. “I look at the canvas and see the colors. Often if I start out with an idea of what I want I find it it needs to change to what I see it just flows out onto the canvas.” – Lorna

6. “I have a set palette for portraits and then whatever is needed for flowers and landscapes.” -Rita

7. “I let it speak to me and then the team usually comes after that.” -Heidi

8. “I don’t choose them. They choose me.” -Cindy

9. “By what my feeling is for the day.” -Doreen

10. “I use my feelings to pick my colors.” – Estela

11. “Depend how my mood is the time to make my creation!” – Beatriz

12. “With emotion.” – Sharon

13. “Intuitively” – Saddhasura

14. “Ohhhh this one is pretty.” -Heather

15. “That’s what gets me working on a piece.” -Kathy

16. “Nature.” -Patricia

17. “The project itself.” – Cayce

As you can see, every artist works so differently. There’s never a right or wrong way of working so be open to the possibilities and just be yourself. You’ll eventually get into your groove and choosing paint colors for your project will start coming naturally to you.

We want to know! Is hearing from real artists like this helpful for you? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

11 Items That Make For Perfect Still Life Paintings And Drawings

By Nicole Tinkham

Still-life
If you’re feeling less than enthusiastic about your next still life project or it’s just taking you forever to get started on it, you have got to make a change! Any project that you set out to do should be exciting and fun. You should be kept up at night just so anxious to get started working on it. If you’re doing the same still life paintings and drawings over and over again, it can be so easy to push off the project and never really give it your all when you do decide to work on it. To make your artwork more exciting, we asked artists over on our Facebook page what types of objects they love to use in a still life project to give you a few new ideas. Of course you aren’t limited to these 11 objects but it’s a great place to start if you’ve never worked with them before. Oh and we have some bonus tips at the end that you’ll want to take a look at too 🙂  Let’s get started!

1.    Old fashion cans of tomatoes

2.    Fresh veggies from the garden with bright colors

3.    Tea cups and teapot

4.    Pears

5.    Candles for light source

6.    Feathers

7.    Crystal

8.    Spoons

9.    Fruit

10.    Flowers in old containers, vase, or basket

11.    Rocks

Additional tips:

•    Choose items with various heights and texture

•    Look for items with color and reflections

•    Always work with objects you can get excited about

•    Play around with positioning and lighting

•    Take a few photos of different angles first to get the perfect composition

•    Just get started – it doesn’t have to be perfect!

•    Pick objects that are new and different to you

Still life paintings and drawings don’t have to be boring! Find unique items that are colorful and different. Let them speak to you and give the artwork meaning. Play around with different objects. Find the most random item possible and include that! Just get started and have fun with it.

Tell us, what objects do YOU like using for your still life projects?

How To Get Motivated – 37 Answers From REAL Artists

By Nicole Tinkham

motivated.jpg

We have written many blogs on motivation in your artwork and life in general because it’s one of the main things that are holding people back from achieving their goals. These blogs are filled with incredible tips but we’ve found that the best advice comes straight from an artist’s mouth. So we posed the question “What gets you motivated to start a new art project?” on our Facebook page and the various tips we received is just out of this world. Save this post because you really can learn so much from these artists of all different skill levels. Read on for what these 37 real artists (just like you!) have to say about what motivates them.

1.    “I meditate or go for a run early in the morning. Kick starts my imagination!” – Dominique

2.    “Looking at all unfinished works, stacked against the wall doesn’t help. Seeing one on my easel with paints ready, brushes clean and favorite music helps! Oh and a thermos full of sweetened, cream coffee…” -Barbara

3.    “Gonna sit in front of the linen and take a brush and see what happens….just easy…” -Anja

4.    “I pray, and just dive right into a project. :)” -Tia

5.    “ I have to create it completely, step by step, in my head so I need the quiet time to do that, then when I face the white canvass I’m ready.” -Wendy

6.    “I close my eyes and access the many worlds in my artist head and pick one to do.” -Cindy

7.    “Whenever I need to express myself or when I’m working on an assignment” -Linda

8.    “Music and looking at other art work or landscape photos.” -Kelly

9.    “Touch. Music- it’s hard to pin down.” -Jamie

10.    “Hope that it will sell.” -Rita

11.    “I have to have a clean house. (ok….somewhat clean!!) this way my mind isn’t thinking about what needs to be done. Then I just start fiddling around until I start something!!” -CJ

12.     “Research, research and more research. I get intimidated when I don’t know what I’m doing, research helps me deal with that initial fear. Then sketching, lots of sketching, this gets me used to the idea that I can do it. And gives me a chance to experiment with my ideas, what works, what doesn’t. It’s good to make the mistakes before moving onto the final media that I’m going to work with.” -Krysia

13.    “I crochet blankets for me to start my project I think about who I am making a blanket for and why. Then I spend at least an hour or more looking at designs I try to find it even make my own design if I can’t find what I want. Once I actually start the work I have things settled. I made one for one of my son’s he was living quite a distance away I made him a new one and he said that when he got it that he could feel my love all over him” -Barbara

14.    “Oh, they are swarming in my head 🙂 just have to find time for the next one. It has to be time when I can relax and don’t think about anything else. Sometimes I can’t wait to come home from work to finish a painting, sometimes I start sewing something right after I get up, to get in a better mood and start a day with something pleasant.” -Vera

15.    “New art supplies laid out nicely… and then the storm hits and we have a hot mess! But a beautiful project arises from it all. It’s quite a process! LOL!” -Estela

16.    “Clear my mind, set aside everything else, put on music and then let the art flow out onto the canvas, paper etc. Hours fly by before I know it.” -Lorna

17.    “Well of late I have been concentrating on mythical creatures that I have loved sense childhood. Mainly dragons and fairies. I have no idea whatsoever why I have not been drawing these for all of these years……If I owned the house that I live in I would love to do a mural of them…..” – Andrea

18.    “Anything inspires me. Mostly I respond to color or interesting color combinations. I also draw heavily on my Hispanic heritage- I love bright colors and Mexican and Catholic Imagery. They work so well together!” -Lisa

19.    “I get some crazy idea…lol…then l search thru hundreds of images online…then l do some sketching… I’ve got an idea I’m still rolling around in my brain.. mixed media.. Some drawing… Last night l watched a program on PBS that had a lot of castles, so l focused on the designs, layouts and perspectives…;-)” -Jan

20.    “I just start something. I get a bunch of ideas while I’m in the process of drawing, painting or carving. So I just start..” -Deborah

21.    “As a child, I played the piano when in a bad mood….now I paint when in a bad mood….both very calming and productive!” -Linda

22.    “Caffeine and a rough bit of a sketch on the back of a cigarette packet/ beer mat.. then more caffeine and dive in..” -Chris

23.    “I see something & then my imagination takes off. I love it when I wing it, lol.” -Kathy

24.    “I put a blank canvas on the easel for a day or so , I can’t stand seeing a blank canvas” -Diane

25.    “It magically happens when I get unmotivated to do a less fun project.” -Sam

26.    “visual stimulant – usually a photograph, an emotion, a natural setting rather than a structured work” -Diane

27.    “Music♡♡♡♡” -Karren

28.    “Turn on the music” -Anamarie

29.    “A new idea always helps to start off” -Sayanti

30.    “Look at my empty bank account” – Saddhasura

31.    “Looking for inspiration” –Gina

32.    “You don’t “get” motivated, either you are, or, you aren’t….if you have to psych yourself up…..you should probably wait…..how I feel anyway…” –Kurt

33.    “The need to be creative until I get it done. Oh the joy of an accomplishment feels so good. Wish I could get this excited about chores.” –Jnett

34.    “When there is nothing on my easel to work on.” –Larry

35.    “It just happens, for some reason. I try to pretend like I have a process, but I’ll wake up one day and it’s like a switch flipped and I have to make a thing happen. I’ll start assembling what I need, as if someone told me that the project has a deadline. My wife and I have been together over 35 years and she’s still trying to figure that part of me out. She’ll walk in and go, “What’s going on?” in that, “Are we about to lose a room of the house for several months?” kind of way. I’m pretty sure it’s like when Roy Neary started building the Devil’s Tower topographic in his house.” –Robert

36.    “Seeing the first half of the payment is good enough motivation for me to start something. Personal projects just need an “ah-ha” moment and some paper.” –Sarah

37.    “See a great art show like the traveling’ American Watercolor show.” -Bernadette

Whew, we are pumped up just by reading these! Keep in mind that every artist is different so going for a morning run may not do it for you. Maybe you’re more of a music person. Or maybe a little caffeine will do the trick. Try a few things out and see what gets you in the creative mood. Once you find out what that thing is, let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the list!

How To Get The Best Deals On Art Supplies

By Nicole Tinkham

art-supply-deals

Art supplies can be pricey. Let us rephrase that. Quality art supplies can be pricey but they make all the difference in your artwork. You really do get what you pay for. We heard you out about the struggles of affording the supplies needed for your numerous projects which is why we put together this blog to help you get the absolute best deals on art supplies possible. Read on for the inside scoop of the best day of week, time of month, and times of the year that you can make the most out of an art shopping spree.

Best day of the week

We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Our art department is filled with quality art supplies on sale every single day. Seriously, just about every single item is marked down on a daily basis. So when it comes to the best day of the week to buy art supplies, can we just keep it simple and say every day??

Best time in the month

Once a month (usually mid-month) Keeton’s hosts a Super Saturday Sale. This event includes select items with a huge markdown plus a 40% off coupon that you can use toward any single item not already on sale. Most of the time, the items on sale relate to the free demo also featured on the sale day. We bring in a talented artist for a few hours to provide free tips and tricks that anyone can use in their artwork. These sales are more like events that you won’t want to miss.

Best time in the year

The BIGGEST sale of the year that we have here at Keeton’s is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s similar to our monthly Super Saturday sales but is a much bigger sale. This is when you can get the best deals on art kits which make perfect gifts for the holidays as well as our most popular items (like Arches watercolor paper).

Throughout the year, we’ll also have quick 2 day sales for various holidays so watch your email for updates on those!

In addition to the sales hosted here in our Bradenton location, we also like to show up at popular events such as the Florida Watercolor Society Annual tradeshow. We bring a ton of our favorite supplies with us and offer them at great prices. Check our event calendar to see upcoming events and sign up for the Nook emails to receive updates right to your inbox.

We love working with artists, getting them the supplies they want at a good price. That’s why we always offer discount prices and special sales throughout the year. We don’t want a lack of supplies to hold you back from your next masterpiece! If you’re one of our non-local fans, just give us a call at 941-747-2995 and we will do our best to get you what you need.

Painting On A FREE Canvas – Tips, Tricks, And Fun Ideas For Painting On Rocks

By Nicole Tinkham

Rock-Painting.jpg

Did you perk up when you heard the word “free”? We also love a great deal especially when quality supplies may not always be in the budget. But as artists we’re able to get creative with what is already available to us. One type of artwork that we are totally in love with these days is rock art. That’s right, painting and creating on found rocks out in nature. This isn’t just a children’s craft (although it could be!) but is also perfect for any artist and we’ll tell you why. Read on to discover our favorite tips, tricks, and ideas for painting on rocks.

First off, let us explain why, out of all things, we love creating on rocks..

1.    Perfect project for all skill levels and ages.

2.    Unique shapes and textures produce different creations every time.

3.    The unique shapes can also spark your creativity and give you new fun ideas.

4.    You aren’t limited to painting. You can also use markers and collage materials.

5.    They’re useful (we’ll explain the different uses of rock art later).

6.    They’re FREE! And even if you do pick up a rock from the store, you won’t be spending an arm and a leg on it.

7.    There’s no pressure for perfection. The rock itself is imperfect 🙂

What you can paint on rocks: ANYTHING! Here are a few ideas.

•    Faces
•    Animals
•    Abstract designs
•    Motivational messages
•    Landscapes
•    People
•    Solid colors
•    Flowers
•    Patterns
•    Zentangle

Let’s get started! Here’s the how-to for rock painting:

Step #1: Choose your rock. If you have a particular idea in mind, you may have to find the perfect size and shape for that idea. But you could also leave it open for ideas after you choose your rock. A smooth surface will make your life easier.

Step #2: Clean off your rock. Soap and warm water will do the trick but you can also use an old toothbrush to do some additional scrubbing. Dry it off before you get started on your project.

Step #3: Sand down any rough patches to make painting easier. If you chose a very smooth rock, you won’t have to worry about this step.

Step #4: Draw your design. You can practice drawing out your design on a piece of paper first if you want. Use a pencil or chalk for making marks on your rock before painting.

Step #5: Now you can begin painting. We suggest working from the largest areas down to the finer details. Just remember to let each layer dry before moving onto the next one.

Step #6: Sealing your design. You can use Mod Podge to seal your painting to keep it lasting long.

What to do with your rock once you have it complete

•    Use it as a paperweight
•    Decorate your garden
•    Give it as a gift
•    Frame it (Yes, this is possible. Just ask our framer Mark for ideas!)
•    Use them as holiday decorations
•    Turn them into magnets
•    Make it your pet rock 🙂
•    Sell your rock creations

When it comes to rock painting, the ideas are endless. You don’t even have to use paint! Grab some fun colored Sharpies and doodle away. Use this as a way to relieve your stress. Most of the time (depending on how detailed your project is), rock art is a quick project that you can use your creative mind on without putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s a fun way to get the creative juices flowing. Whenever you find yourself in a rut, refer back to this blog for helpful tips, tricks and ideas for painting on rocks.

Do you have any experience with rock art? Please comment below and tell us about your creations!

5 Surprising Things That Make A Sketch Great So You Can Proudly Show Off Your Sketchbook

By Nicole Tinkham

sketchbook.jpg

Have you ever looked at another artist’s sketchbook thinking they make it look so easy when yours always seem to be a struggle? Why is that? Often times when we compare ourselves to others, we walk away feeling defeated and ready to throw in the towel. “Is this whole art thing even worth it”, you ask yourself. Ok, time to take a deep breath and just STOP for a moment.  It’s completely normal for you to feel this way. Thinking you’re the only one who has their setbacks is ludicrous. This is exactly why we need a community of artists who aim to spur each other on. If you’re looking for ways to develop a sketchbook that you can show off with pride, read on to find out things that make a sketch great- the answers may surprise you!

Let’s start with the definition of what a sketch actually is just so we’re all on the same page.

Sketch
skeCH/
noun

noun: sketch; plural noun: sketches

1.    a rough or unfinished drawing or painting, often made to assist in making a more finished picture.

“a charcoal sketch”
synonyms:    (preliminary) drawing, outline;

We wanted to first make that clear because so many artists beat themselves up over simple sketches when really, sketches are meant to be rough and unfinished! While they don’t have to be perfect, there are a few specific qualities that make good sketches good (in our opinion, anyway). Read on for what those 5 qualities are and how working on them can improve your sketchbook.

1.    CREATIVITY!!

In any piece of artwork, the main thing that catches the viewer’s eye is how creative it is. When people see a bunch of the same things over and over again it becomes dull and they don’t think twice about it. But the more creative a piece is, it stands out and causes people to stop and notice. This works with paintings, sculptures, photography, digital art, and anything else you’re creating. Good artwork can often be subjective but one thing we can pretty much all agree on is that it must be creative.

2.    Perspective

Perspective is such a tough thing to master and we know many artists who struggle with it. Unfortunately, if the perspective is off even by a little bit the entire sketch looks a little strange. Take the time to learn and practice perspective to strengthen your skills.

3.    Emotion

When you sit down to sketch, your feelings and emotions show through in your work. If you’re just doing it to say you got it done, people will notice. There will be a lack of enthusiasm in your line work. But put passion into it and your sketch will jump off the page. It’s the same thing when talking to someone else about your artwork. Your confidence and excitement is all in your tone.

4.    Roughness

Your sketches should not be perfect. That is not the point of a sketch! They should be loose, rough, and quick. We love sketches for one simple reason; we can see the way the artist thinks and works through the piece all within the lines. Your sketch lines are the most important part so don’t go erasing all of them. Be confident with the lines you put down. When you’re unsure, that also shows through in your lines. Be loose, have fun, and don’t stress out over whether or not your sketches are any good.

5.    Progress

Sketching is all about learning and improving. Most often the point of looking through old sketchbooks is to see that progress. To see how far you’ve come between the very first pages to the end of the book. You’ll go through a lot as an artist, many difficult times, struggles and failures. Use your sketchbook as a way to share the journey with others. We’re all at different points so you really can’t compare your sketch to another artist’s. Focus on your own journey and you’ll discover that your sketches are more incredible than you gave yourself credit for.

You may not be where you want to be in this creative journey of yours but you are getting there. When it comes to your sketches, or any type of artwork you do, keep learning and practicing. Come up with some super fun and creative ideas, work on your perspective (take a class if you need to!), put emotion into your work, get your line work on point with a nice flow, and track your progress along the way. You too can have amazing sketches in a sketchbook you love showing off.