53 Results

12 calligraphy tips for beginners

Posted May 29, 2020
Tags: General Art Tips Drawing Tips

Are you looking for a new hobby or skill? Maybe it’s time you tried your hand at calligraphy. This style of art has grown in popularity over the past few years, so we thought we’d share our top tips to get you started.1. Choosing your calligraphy toolsIf you’re thinking about trying calligraphy there are a few different tools you can use (brushes, bamboo nibs, glass pens, feather quills, fountain pens and dipper pens). For beginners, we’d suggest starting with a fountain pen because you can write and practice your technique without needing to dip back into an ink well.2. Pick a nib to suit the styleCalligraphy nibs can be round or flat and come in a range of widths. Round tips are great for flowing script styles with cursive details (such as the Copperplate Script in the image abov...

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10 tips for hand lettering

Posted Apr 27, 2020
Tags: Drawing Tips

Whether you want to create a décor piece or you’re on the hunt for a new creative activity, hand lettering might be just what you’re looking for! Below are some of our top tips to make your project as smooth as possible.1. Warm up exercisesYou know how you warm up to play sport? Well, you can do the same for hand lettering. We’d recommend practicing a few letters or words before you get started on the final piece. This will help loosen up your hands so that you’re ready to create smooth lettering.2. Pick a mediumWhen it comes to choosing a medium for your hand lettering projects, the choice is yours. Some popular options include brush tip markers, felt tip pens and watercolour paints. If you need some guidance, have a look around at what people are using for different styles and g...

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10 tips for using charcoal

Posted Mar 27, 2020
Tags: Drawing Tips Pencil Care

Want to try your hand at charcoal drawing or brush up on your skills? We’ve pulled together our top tips for working with this versatile medium and getting the most out of your sticks and pencils. 1. Understand the different types of charcoalDid you know that charcoal comes in different types? Below is a rundown of each one and what they’re good for.Willow charcoal sticks: This type of charcoal is made from natural willow wood. It’s generally quite soft which makes it great for free flowing strokes and blending. Woodless charcoal pencils: Woodless (compressed) charcoal pencils are slightly harder than willow and create a dark, rich mark. You can use them for covering large areas or creating fine lines. Charcoal pencils: If you need to create linework, charcoal pencils will come in...

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How to fix a damaged canvas

Posted Feb 19, 2020
Tags: General Art Tips Painting Tips

If you’ve torn an artwork, don’t stress. These things happen and the good news is that we have an easy trick to help you fix it! All you need is some spare canvas and a couple of tools to patch it up.Step 1: Measure the tearFirst things first, you’re going to need to measure the tear in your canvas. This will help you to cut the right size for your patch in the next step.Step 2: Trace a rounded rectangle onto some spare canvasUse a pencil to trace a rectangle with rounded corners onto some spare canvas (give approximately 2cm of space around all sides of the tear size). Why the rounded corners? These are less likely to lift in the future, so they’ll keep your patch nice and tidy.Step 3: Cut a patch of canvasGet out your hobby knife and trace around the rectangle that you’ve drawn...

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10 special effects to try in your paintings

Posted Jan 21, 2020
Tags: General Art Tips Mixed Media Painting Tips

Want to make your paintings really stand out? We have a lot of fun with special effects and we think you will too. In fact, some of them might even surprise you!1. Use household items as toolsYou don’t always have to use paint brushes or palette knives for your artworks. There are plenty of household items, such as forks and toothbrushes, that can create different effects.2. Build texture with sandIf you want to create interesting textures, throw some sand into the mix. There are heaps of ways to do this, including using PVA glue or clear mediums.3. Apply modelling pasteModelling paste is great for creating a range of textures, patterns and effects. We recently used it to build up rock texture in a waterfall painting. If you’re interested in seeing how we did it, head over to the video...

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10 tips for painting expressionist flowers

Posted Dec 13, 2019
Tags: Painting Tips

If you’re looking for a fun art project that makes a great décor piece, we’ve got just the thing. Expressionism is a style of art that focuses on how something makes you feel instead of trying to paint it exactly how it looks. So grab your paint brush and create your own expressionist flower painting with our top 10 tips!1. Get in touch with your feelingsIt might sound airy fairy, but hear us out. Since a big part of expressionism is to show feeling, it can help to take a moment before you start painting to think about how the flowers you’re about to paint make you feel. For example, do they make you happy, joyful, sad or surprised?2. Use thick paintExpressionist artists often use free brush strokes and large amounts of paint to create texture. A thick medium, like oil paints or Dim...

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10 tips for painting water

Posted Nov 15, 2019
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Whether it’s a lake, river or the ocean, water is a great source of inspiration. We’ve learnt a lot about painting water over the years, so we decided to share our top tips with you! Let’s get that creativity flowing. 1. Lay down a base coatFirst things first, add a base colour to your canvas to help create depth and to make sure there are no bare areas. When you’re painting water, mid blue or light green are great colours to start off with.2. Build layersLayering your paint by using a glazing method is a great way to capture the different tones in water. You can do this by mixing your paints with a gloss medium to make them more transparent so that subtle hints of the colours underneath come through.3. Paint shallow water with light coloursAs you might have already noticed, shall...

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10 impressionist landscape painting tips

Posted Oct 18, 2019
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Are you brushing up on your impressionism skills or trying it out for the first time? We recently painted an impressionist landscape, so we thought we’d share a few quick tips from what we learnt along the way. 1. Choose the right surfaceImpressionist artworks can be created on most surfaces, but choosing a firm one will make life a lot easier if you’re working outside.2. Pay attention to lightLight will impact the mood and atmosphere of your impressionist landscape, so take some time to look carefully at your subject. Light is also key to creating the illusion of distance. Cool colours recede and warm colours appear closer, so put your cool tones in the background and warm tones in the foreground.3. Keep your colours cleanTo create clear and realistic colours, mix them with a palette...

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How to choose a surface for your artwork

Posted Sep 13, 2019
Tags: General Art Tips

Sometimes choosing a surface for your artwork isn’t as straightforward as you expect it to be. If you’re stuck at square one, we’ve put together a list of common surfaces to help you decide which one is best for your project.Stretched cotton canvasLet’s start with one of the most common painting surfaces around. Stretched canvas comes in many shapes and sizes and is perfect for both acrylic and oil painting. The woven pattern of the cotton is a drawcard for a lot of artists, particularly when they want to create textured artworks. It’s also a big plus that stretched canvases are often already primed and ready to paint when you buy them.Stretched linen canvasLinen canvases have a finer texture than cotton and are slightly heavier. Since oil paints won’t soak into linen, this typ...

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10 miniature painting tips

Posted Jul 19, 2019
Tags: Painting Tips

Take your painting down a size with a miniature artwork! These add a nice little creative touch to side tables, desks and shelves. We recently created a miniature painting of the classic Girl with a Pearl Earring and we’ve summed up our top tips for you below.1. Choose a realistic subjectRealistic subjects work well with miniature paintings because it gives the illusion of a small window into another world. You might like to try a landscape, portrait or still-life.2. Set up your spaceThe great thing about miniature painting is that you don’t need a big work space. Clear a small area with a good light source and start painting. You might like to use a box on the table to raise the artwork so that you’re not leaning over as far.3. Take a breakBecause miniature artworks are so small, yo...

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10 tips for pour painting

Posted Jul 11, 2019
Tags: Painting Tips

We’ve been having a lot of fun splashing pouring paint around lately and we’re pretty happy with the results. If you’d like to give it a go too, or just brush up on your skills, check out our top tips for fluid art below.1. Get the right consistencyIf you’re not using pre-mixed pouring paints, you will need to add pouring medium to your acrylic paints to make them flow. We’d recommend using 1 part acrylic paint, to 2 parts pouring medium, to 1 part water.2. Choose winning colour combinationsChoosing colours that work well together can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. To find good combos, use a colour wheel to guide you and experiment to see which ones you like the best. Or, to make it really easy, just pick up one of our themed pouring paint packs.3. Have everythin...

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10 tips for dotted painting

Posted Jun 12, 2019
Tags: General Art Tips Painting Tips

Dotted painting looks great on your wall and doubles as a relaxing mindfulness activity. We recently gave it a go and learnt a lot along the way. If you’d like to create your own dotted painting, check out our top tips below and get started!1. Prepare your canvasFirst things first, let’s get your canvas in order. If your canvas came with wooden wedges, put them into each corner on the back to make the surface even and tight. Next, paint on a dark background so that your dots will really stand out. For our tiger painting, we used black chalkboard paint to make it easy to draw on the outline and so that the black dots could be seen against the slightly lighter, matte shade of black.2. Select an imageWhen you’re choosing your image, look for one that has good symmetry. This will make it...

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10 modelling paste tips

Posted May 14, 2019
Tags: General Art Tips Painting Tips

If you want to create texture or 3D effects in your artworks, modelling paste is a great place to start. We love using this medium and we’ve got plenty of tips up our sleeve for you. Below are our top 10.1. Tools to useModelling paste is thick, so the best tools to use are a palette knife, butter knife or paint scraper.2. Choose a firm surfaceYou will need a strong surface such as a wooden painting board, Masonite panel or double thick canvas. Modelling paste is quite heavy, so we’d recommend inserting timber wedges into each corner of your canvas to keep it tight.3. Create textureOne of our favourite things about modelling paste is that you can use it to create all kinds of textures. It also comes in handy if you’re using acrylic paint and trying to achieve a thick surface.4. Create...

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10 tips for sculpting with polymer clay

Posted Apr 09, 2019
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Are you thinking about making a polymer clay sculpture? We love working with this amazing material and have learnt a lot along the way. Below are some of our top tips so that you can bring your masterpiece to life too!1. Keep it cleanFirst things first – set up a clean surface to work on. Sculptors often use a sheet of Perspex because it’s smooth and easy to clean, but you can also use a place-mat or other surface that does the same job. You should also give your hands a quick wash before you start to remove any dirt or oil.2. Make a framework (armature)A general rule to follow when you’re working with polymer clay is to build a support for anything that’s bigger than an egg or more than 50mm thick. To do this, you will need to create an internal structure to support your sculpture...

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8 tips for creating a plaster of Paris cast

Posted Mar 12, 2019
Tags:

If you’re curious about making a plaster of Paris cast, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve been experimenting with this great medium lately and picked up plenty of tips along the way. Below are just a few to get you well on your way to bringing your cast to life.1. Safety firstWe touched on this on our previous plaster tips article, but it’s worth another mention. Look after yourself and always wear a dust mask and latex gloves when you’re working with plaster of Paris.2. Making the masterThe first step in plaster casting is to create a master to make your mould from (this is also called a plug). A ‘master’ is basically the original sculpture that will form the shape of your mould. You can create this from wood clay, modelling clay, wax or polymer clay.3. Creating the m...

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11 Plaster of Paris tips

Posted Feb 12, 2019
Tags: General Art Tips

Are you thinking about creating a Plaster of Paris project? Whether you’re working on a fun art activity with the kids or creating a beautiful sculpture, we’ve put together our top Plaster of Paris tips to help you out.1. Use protective gearLook after yourself and always wear a dust mask and latex gloves when you’re working with Plaster of Paris. You should also open the windows to keep your work space ventilated.2. Never submerge hands or feetYou might not realise it, but plaster can heat up to 60 degrees Celsius when it’s setting. To prevent injury, never submerge your hands or feet in plaster to create casts.3. Add plaster to waterSprinkle your plaster into water (rather than adding water to your plaster) and stir it immediately until all lumps are gone. This order is important ...

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10 Tips for Alcohol Ink Markers

Posted Jan 08, 2019
Tags: Drawing Tips

Whether you’re an alcohol marker aficionado or you’ve never tried them before, this article has a little something for everyone. Get the most out of your markers with these quick tips!1. Store your markers uprightWhen you’re not using your markers, store them upright and keep them out of direct sunlight. It might sound basic, but you should also make sure you put the lids back on properly (you’d be surprised how easy it is to miss the mark if you’re in a hurry).2. Choose the right paperAlcohol markers will work on all types of paper, but you can get better results on a thicker stock. We like to use our bleed proof paper, 150gsm sketch books or water colour pads.3. Draw from light to darkSince dark tones can’t be covered with light tones when you’re using markers, you’ll nee...

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12 oil painting portrait tips for beginners

Posted Dec 11, 2018
Tags: Painting Tips

Tackling a portrait might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is find a subject, pick up your paint brush and give it a go. If you’re just starting out, we’ve put together our top oil painting portrait tips to get you well on your way!1. Refer back to your subjectWhether you’re painting from a photograph or real life, make sure you regularly look back at your subject. For your first go at a portrait, try painting from an image, rather than life, so that you don’t feel rushed or distracted. You could even try a self-portrait by setting up a mirror–this is a great step for intermediate artists to take before tackling a live portrait.2. Choose a good photographIf you’re using a reference photograph, make sure you choose one that has plenty of contrast be...

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Still life painting tips

Posted Nov 12, 2018
Tags: Painting Tips

The beauty of a still life painting is that you can take an everyday item and turn it into a masterpiece. It doesn’t have to be the fruit scenes you often see, it can be any object you like – flowers, books, your favourite food (donuts included) or anything else you have around the house. To help you get started, we’ve listed our top still life painting tips.1. Choose a medium that suits youWhen it comes to mediums, the choice is yours. Still life painting can be done with oil, acrylic or watercolour – it just depends how you want it to look and what effects you’d like to create. Even though each medium is handled differently, the rest of our still life painting tips can be applied to all of them.2. Pick a subject you’re interested inChoosing a subject that you like is an impor...

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10 Rose Painting Tips

Posted Oct 09, 2018
Tags: Painting Tips

Painting a rose may seem like a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks you’ll be well on your way to making a masterpiece. We recently created a rose painting with oil paints and jotted down our top tips along the way. Have a read, get inspired and start painting!1. Draw from lifeUsing photographs as a reference point is helpful, but having a real rose in front of you is even better. Drawing or painting from life gives you more freedom and flexibility. You can explore different angles, get the right lighting and create the perfect composition by moving the rose around.2. Pick a good reference photographWhile drawing from life is great, we confess that we used a reference photograph for our recent rose painting. Why? Well, we found a picture that we really liked and it had all the ...

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How to Use a Painting Board

Posted Sep 11, 2018
Tags: Mixed Media Painting Tips

Although canvas is often the go-to choice for artists, wooden painting boards are proving to be stiff competition. They’ve been around for centuries, but with their versatile surface and the rise of fluid art, painting boards are becoming more popular than ever. If you want to give it a go, below is everything you need to know.What can you use a painting board for?Fluid and spin artFluid and spin art has taken social media by storm. To create this fun and eye-catching art, you pour different coloured paints mixed with medium over a surface and tilt or spin it to move the paint around. Painting boards are perfect for spin and fluid art because they require a large amount of paint. Since the surface of a painting board won’t sag from the weight, it helps move the paint around freely.Land...

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