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?

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!

Selecting The Right Color: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know And More

color
By Nicole Tinkham

Ever find yourself staring at a blank canvas even though you have a complete composition already laid out in in your mind? The hard part is over; you have all the ideas but can’t seem to actually get started. Here’s why: you’re having a difficult time selecting your color palette. If you ever find yourself so unsure of which color to select that it prevents you from starting a painting altogether, you need to read this blog. We’ll dive into everything you ever wanted to know about selecting the right color and more. This will help you get started right away on your projects because you’ll already have it in your mind what colors you want to work with.

Color palette

The first thing you’ll want to do before starting a painting is determine your color palette. This is usually a main color with a few supporting colors that go along with it. When it comes to realistic paintings, you’ll want to choose colors that match your subject as closely as possible. Otherwise you’re totally open to selecting whichever colors you want. Having so many options is typically where the trouble lies though. Every color portrays a certain feel so let’s begin there. Think about how you want the viewer to feel and what message you want to get across then determine which color below aligns with that best.

Reds = Passion, Explosive
Blues = Bold, Clean, Intelligent
Greens = Simple, New
Purples = Elegant, Smooth
Yellows = Joy, Bliss
Pinks = Power, Glamorous
Orange = Energy, Creativity

Hue vs Tint vs Shade

When selecting colors, it’s also important to understand the difference between hue, tint, and shade. This will give you different variations of a color. Hue is the pure color without anything mixed in with it. Tint on the other hand, is a lighter version of the original color as it’s mixed with white. Shade is then the opposite. It’s darker than the original color and mixed with black.

The Color Wheel

A color wheel is an excellent tool for any artist whether you’re a total newbie or experienced. We always recommend having a color wheel on hand. This tool will lay out your color options and help you pair colors up to form your color palette. On your color wheel, you’ll find the following colors.

Primary Colors = Blue, Yellow and Red

Secondary Colors = Green, Orange, and Purple

Tertiary Colors = Amber, Chartreuse, Teal, Violet, Magenta, Vermilion

Color Schemes

Once you have that main color selected, it’s time to think about your supporting colors. This is where using your color wheel really becomes helpful. Use the following color schemes to help you determine your supporting colors. They are proven colors to work well together.

Monochromatic = These are colors within the same section of the color wheel. They will be the same color but in different tints and shades.

Analogous = These are colors that can be found on either side of your main chosen color on the color wheel, one on the right and one on the left.

Complimentary = These are two colors directly opposite one another on the color wheel.

This simple guide for choose the perfect colors can be used for more than just your painting project. It can be used to help you find a frame for your project, determining what color to paint the walls in your home, decorating, and just about anything else that involves color choices. Investing in a color wheel will be the key to success especially if you’re a beginner artist but it’s also a great way to think up fresh color combinations that you may not have thought of before. Save this guide and use it whenever you get stuck choosing the perfect color for your project. No longer will color choices hold you back!

5 Small Art Mistakes That You’re Probably Making

By Nicole Tinkham

mistakes

You are an amazing artist! Whether you’re an experienced artist who’s been creating for awhile or a total beginner, there’s always room for improvement. In fact, these five mistakes that you could be making are ones that you probably already know. But it’s always great to have a reminder. We’ll touch on everything from the media you’re working with to washing your hands before starting a project. Seriously, these are super basic but must-know tips. Read on for 5 small art mistakes that you’re probably making and how to fix them.

1.    Your environment is off

It sounds so simple but let’s face it, artists get messy. It’s just what they (typically) do. Before you begin working on a project, clean up your space. If there are any projects with wet paint, get them out of the way. Gather ALL of the supplies you’ll need before you begin working. Also set your space up to make you feel more creative. Move your easel by the window, move some plants over to the area, and do whatever it is you need to do to get in the zone.

2.    You’re not patient enough

Are you impatient?? No worries if you are, we and many other artists who we know can relate. Remember that it’s important to take the time to let your ink and paint dry completely to prevent unwanted smudging. If you’re working in oils, the struggle is real! You can always use mediums that will speed up the drying time though. Dry time isn’t the only struggle artists face with impatience though. Work with many details can take time, learning takes time, improving your skills takes time, great ideas take time to come up with. Art in general takes time! Take a deep breath, get focused, and try not to rush things.

3.    You’re not working with the right media

Use the right materials! It’s so easy to pick up the closest brush and start creating but it may not be the correct brush for your particular project. If that’s the case, your desired effect could be off and frustration can creep up on you. For example, if you want fine details you should use a small liner brush, not a large flat one. Pick the right supplies for the desired effect and know that quality supplies do go a long way. If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure which supplies are best for your project, just ask! We’re always here to help (call us at 941-747-2995) or ask a fellow artist or instructor. We’ve found that the art community is super supportive so don’t be afraid to speak up and learn from others.

4.    You forgot to wash your hands

This is a simple one but so important and especially so when drawing! The oils from your hands can affect the paper you’re working on and how the pencil lays on it. It’s something you may not think about since when the creative mood strikes you just jump right into it, right? But a quick wash is best before beginning a new project.

5.    You overwork yourself

Everyone needs to take a break. It fuels you to keep going and be more productive. We know many artists who work straight through the night and get very little sleep. We understand that nothing can stop that creative mind of yours but we suggest listening to your body. When you feel overly exhausted, it’s time to take a break. When you’re totally drained and can’t think of any ideas or aren’t moving forward with a project, it’s time for a break. Trust us when we say those breaks will pay off in the long run! You’ll return with a clear mind, ready to go!

You are a talented artist (we’ve seen your work and know this is a true statement 🙂 ) but the little things in this blog make a big difference. As you learn new things, it’s easy to slip up on the small things you’ve probably heard a thousand times in the beginning. Just keep these 5 small art mistakes in the back of your mind on your next project and see the improvement. Even small improvement is still moving you forward! Keep on going artists, you are doing incredible.

How To Take The Best Fall Foliage Photos For Your Next Painting

By Nicole Tinkham

untitled-1

Each season brings something new and exciting to spark your creativity and get some brilliant ideas flowing for your upcoming projects. Whenever you’re feeling stuck and just don’t know what to create next, turn to nature! With the changing seasons, there’s always something new to discover and try. We absolutely love the colors of fall and think this is the perfect time to get out there and be inspired. If you’re not a plein air artist, no problem! Here are 13 tips for taking the best fall foliage photos to help you with your next painting.

1.    Unique angles – Fall scenery photos have been done before, numerous times. They’re almost always brilliant but to mix it up a little try out different perspectives. Look up at the trees, get a close up, snap a photo from a distance, and just play around.

2.    Find color elsewhere (not in trees) – Gorgeous fall colors can be found in other areas besides trees. Think about the yellows and oranges reflecting in the water. You can still capture that color but in a unique way.

3.    Strategically scatter leaves for composition – Leaves fall randomly which we love! But if they just aren’t working for your photo, arrange them in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing.

4.    Look for a combination of colors – Don’t just focus on the oranges and yellows of the leaves. Also try to get in a nice blue sky for contrast or something else in the scenery that really stands out. Color is all around. Open your eyes to see the not so obvious.

5.    Look for cool effects – When a row of trees reflects in a body of water the effects can be really cool. If you spot this at just the right time (can’t have much wind!) snap a photo real quick.

6.    Scout out the perfect place – If you happen to be at the right place at the right time, perfect! But if you’re on a mission, don’t aimlessly drive around. Plan it out and know exactly where you want to go so you don’t waste your time blindly searching for the ideal location.

7.    Choose your time wisely – They say the best times to shoot are at dawn and sunset. At these times, the sunlight is at its warmest color so photos tend to come out really nice. But if your timing is off, don’t let that stop you. You can still capture amazing photos at other times in the day.

8.    Get the most of the whole season – There’s more than one type of scenery to capture in the fall. You have the moments when the trees are full, when leaves start to fall, when leaves pile up on the ground, and then when winter comes and the trees are bare. You have many opportunities to capture the different stages of fall.

9.    Slow down your shutter – This will help you capture movement in waterfalls and falling leaves.

10.    Tripods make life easier! You may want to invest in one to get the best scenery shots.

11.    Bring leaves home to play around with – The tricky thing with leaves is when they blow around out in nature. Instead of getting the job done there, grab some good ones and bring them back to the studio. You can arrange them and photograph them exactly how you want.

12.    Fall portraits – Get creative! There are so many fun ways to capture fall foliage in portraits.

13.    Other fall things – When we think fall, we typically think beautifully changing trees. However, there are other ways to portray the fall feeling. Think farmer’s markets and apple cider.

Don’t let this beautiful season pass you by! You don’t have to be a pro to get incredible photos, just follow these tips even if you’re working from your smartphone. Keep an eye out for interesting perspectives and beautiful colors. Even if you’re working on several paintings at the moment, it doesn’t hurt to snap a few photos to have for later use, like in the middle of winter when you don’t want to leave the house.

Tell us, have you taken any breathtaking fall foliage photos yet this year? We’d love to hear how they’ve helped you with your painting projects!