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Painting: Most Popular Articles

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Right Brain Quiz for Artists
This right brain / left brain quiz for artists will help you determine which side of your creativity is dominant.
10 Acrylic Painting Tips for Beginners
My 10 best tips to help you avoid basic mistakes and get better results, right from the start, when painting with acrylics.
Quiz: What Is the Best Paint For You?
Find out what kind of paint would best suit your personality with this quick, fun, 10-question quiz
New to Watercolor Painting? Read These 10...
These 10 watercolor painting tips will help you avoid basic mistakes and get better results right from the start.
7 Major Painting Styles, Ranked from Most to...
If all the various art -isms make your head spin, take a look at my easy-to-understand explanation of the different art styles that exist, from realism to abstract painting.
11 Essential Oil Painting Tips for Beginners
Read my best 10 tips for getting professional-looking results and never have another oil painting crack again.
15 Commonly Asked Questions of Absolute...
If you're completely new to painting, with lots of desire but also questions, this is the place to find some answers.
10 Practical Tips for Fabric Painting
Drawing on my fabric-painting experience, I've put together this list of tips to help make things easier for you!
Everything Painters Need to Know about Gilcee...
What are Giclee or Art Prints and how are they made? What kind of quality result do they give? Page 2.
The 8 Elements of Composition in Art
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by the elements of composition in a painting or artwork, with examples of each.
How to Decide Which Kind of Paint to Use
Want to start painting but not sure what paint to use? Here's help on deciding how to choose between the most popular types of paint used.
Color Theory Quiz
Test your knowledge of basic color theory with this quiz
How to Hang Your Painting Using Wire and D-Rings
A step-by-step demo showing how to attach d-rings and wire to a painting so it's easy to hang.
What Are the 12 Best Brands of Acrylic Paint?
With so many different brands of acrylic paint on the market, how do you know which is best? Here's my choice of my favorite acrylics.
Create Your Very First Painting with This Handy...
If you've the desire to start painting but don't know where to start, then this is the article for you, describing how to go about creating create your very first painting.
Our 8 Favorite Watercolor Paints
My choice of the best watercolor paints from all the various brands available today.
A Step-by-Step Explanation of How to Make Your...
A step-by-step explanation of how to make your own fluid acrylics from your 'normal' acrylics.
Fuel Your Creativity With This Collection of...
This is the master list of all my free stencil designs, arranged by subject so you can easily find what's of interest to you. Each stencil is designed to be easy to print, cut out and use.
How to Use Acrylic Painting Texture Medium
A step-by-step demo showing how to create visually interesting texture in painting using acrylic texture medium or paste.
How to Paint on Hardboard and Wood
Find out what the advantages of painting on hardboard or wood are and how you prepare it.
Acrylic Painting 101: How to Start Painting...
If you want to start using acrylic paint but don't know what art supplies you need or how to use them, then don't worry, here's what you need to know!
Photo Gallery of Famous Paintings by Famous...
A gallery of famous paintings by famous artists (and some not quite so famous) to inspire you and to help you expand your painting knowledge.
What Painters Need to Know About Color Theory
Here you'll find all the essential info you need to know about color theory and mixing, arranged in easy-to-understand lessons.
The 10 Best Brands of Oil Paints
Find out what I think is the best brand of oil paint on the market in this list of my favorites.
What You Need to Know About the Different Types...
Learn about the different types of canvas available for painting, and tips on how to decide what canvas to use.
Get Crafty With These Free Letter, Number, and...
Have creative fun with my collection of free, printable stencils of individual letters and numbers, as well as various words and phrases.
Online Color Mixing Palette for Painters
Get familiar with the way the primary colors -- red, yellow, and blue -- mix with this online paint color mixing palette, designed specifically for painters.
How to Paint with a Knife Instead of a Brush
An introduction to using a painting knife rather than a brush, including selecting a suitable knife to get you started.
Free Stencils Collection: Flower Stencils
Have some creative fun with my collection of flower stencils, which you're free to use for your personal craft projects.
Before You Paint Your Face, Read These 10...
Professional face painter Cindy Trusty shares her top safety tips for face painting, gleaned from years of experience.
More Wash Techniques for Watercolor Painting
Learn how to create interesting backgrounds and textures by using variegated and two-color washes.
Painting Quiz: Oils or Acrylics?
Find out what kind of paint would best suit your personality with this quick, fun, 10-question quiz
Art Jokes: You Must Be An Artist If...
A humorous look at the things you may do that indicate you're an artist.
How to Stretch Your Watercolor Paper to Prevent...
Find out how to stretch watercolor paper so it won't buckle or warp when you paint on it.
Your Complete Photo Guide to Watercolor Paper
The answer to the question "What color is watercolor paper?" is not a simple "White, of course." The
Our Selection of Essential Colors of Acrylics...
With so many paint colors it's easy to be bewildered by choice, so here's my list of the essential ones to get when you first start painting with acrylics.
The Art Composition Rules You Should Be Using...
Learn about the basic art composition rules, including the Rule of Odds, and how to apply them to your paintings.
The Top 10 Painting Tips for Creating Stronger...
Use these painting tips to create stronger compositions in your art.
Basic Techniques for Pastel Painting
An introduction to the various ways in which pastels can be used in a painting, whether by themselves or as mixed media.
An Introduction to the Various Types of Acrylic...
An easy-to-understand explanation of the various types of mediums available for acrylic paints and what you can do with them.
How to Choose the Right Watercolor Paper for...
Learn the differences between the basic types of watercolor paper, and what is best suited to which watercolor painting techniques.
What Is Tone and Why Is it Important to Painting?
What is a tone in a painting, how it tone different from color, and why is it important for artists? Find out in this article on painting tones or values.
Artist's Copyright FAQ: Can You Legally Make a...
Find out whether it's okay to make a painting from someone else's photograph, or not, in the Artist's Copyright FAQ.
The Top 7 Tips for Improving Your Landscape...
A list of practical, helpful tips to help you improve your landscape paintings.
How to Find the Right Words to Talk About Art...
Find the right terms to talk about and critique paintings in this list of art words, grouped by topic such as composition, brushwork, or mood.
Before You Paint Your Face, Read These 10 Handy...
If you're after tips for face painting to make the experience easier and faster, here's my list of the top 10 things to do.
Where, How, and Why to Add a Signature to Your...
Find out where, how and why you should add your signature to a painting when you've finished it.
The Top 10 Best-Selling Subjects for Paintings
If you want to sell lots of paintings, what subjects should you be painting? Here's the result of a survey.
5 Ways to Use a Fabric Marker or Fabric Paint Pen
Learn about what you can do with a fabric marker or paint pen when fabric painting. Quick and easy creative fun!
How to Turn Your Acrylics Into Fabric Paint
Turn your acrylic paints into fabric paints using the GAC900 acrylic medium from Golden which leaves the fabric soft.
Art Trivia Quiz No 1
Test your knowledge of art and art techniques with this art trivia quiz
What Is the Purpose of Making Art?
In this article a working artist explains his thoughts on what makes something art, whether it has a purpose, and why people paint.
Amazing Advice for Painting Skin Tones
An in-depth look at how to paint skin tones (both realistic and expressionist), what pigment colors to use, and how to mix suitable colours.
An Introduction to Fine Art Printmaking
Fine art printmaking has an established convention for how and where to sign, and what to use for your
How to Cut Out Your Own Stencils
Save money by cutting out your own stencils following these step-by-step instructions to get the best results.
Palettes and Techniques of the Impressionist...
A look at the painting techniques and colors used by that most famous of Impressionists, Claude Monet.
Art Glossary: Positive Space
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by positive space in a painting or artwork.
How to Use Watercolor Pencils & Water-Solub...
Information on how to use watercolor pencils or water-soluble crayons, techniques and approaches to try.
Why Do You Get Those Little Bits of Wood with a...
Why you get those little bits of wood or plastic with a canvas, known as canvas keys or canvas wedges.
How Fast Does Acrylic Paint Dry Once It's Out...
Find out how quickly acrylic paint dries once you've squeezed it out a tube in the Acrylic Painting Problem Solver.
The Right Way to Clean Your Paint Brushes
Cleaning your paint brushes at the end of a painting session will make them last longer, but only if you do it properly. Find out what to do here.
The Top 5 Tips for Color Mixing
Tips to help you get the best results when mixing different paint colors.
Art Supplies Shopping List for Acrylic Painting
If you're wanting to start painting with acrylics, here's a list of the supplies I think are essential, plus a few that are nice to have.
Can I Finish a Painting in Oils that I Started...
If you've been wondering whether it's okay to paint with oils over acrylics, you'll find the answer in my Oil Painting Problem Solver.
How to Prime Your Canvas for Acrylics and Oils
Find out how to successfully prime a canvas you've stretched so it's reading to paint on. It's not tricky, especially if you're using a suitable for both acrylic and oil painting.
Stretching Your Own Canvas: It's Easier than...
Stretching your own canvas is easier than you may think, and can cheaper than buying ready-made canvases, and certainly means you get just the size canvas you're after.
The 8 Best Art Materials Shops in London
If you're looking for art materials or art supplies in London, you've got quite a few choices of shops. This is a list of my favorites.
How to Paint Wet-on-Dry and Wet-on-Wet with...
Understand and learn how to do the two fundamental watercolor painting techniques: wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet.
How Do I Heat Set Fabric Paint with an Iron?
Find out exactly what you need to do to heat set fabric paint using a domestic iron.
7 Ways to Price a Painting (Depending on Your...
There are different ways to set the prices on your paintings; which is right for you depends on your personality. Here's a list of what I see the choices as being.
"The Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci
Find out more about Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting and her world-famous smile, while avoiding the art jargon. Page 5.
Which Is Better? Arguments For and Against...
How to decide whether acrylics or oils would suit you best. Advice from experienced artists working in both mediums.
Art Glossary: Mark Making
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by mark making in a painting, from the About.com Art Glossary.
7 Techniques for Creating Your Painting
A look at the different ways you can create a painting, with a photo showing an example of each.
The Relevance of Right Brain Left Brain Theory...
An easy-to-understand explanation of the theory behind the right/left brain concepts and why it's relevant to painters.
Paint a Mondrian-Style Geometric Abstract
Use this free art worksheet to paint your own geometric abstract in the style of Mondrian. Rectangles, squares, blue, red, white, and black are what you need. Page 11.
Tips for Perfectly Mixing Skin Tones for Your...
Find out what colors to use to mix skin tones for a figure painting or portrait.
The Broken Color Painting Techniques Introduced...
Using broken color is one of the fundamental painting techniques used by the Impressionists. Find out more about broken color and how to paint using this technique.
How the Impressionists Changed the Colors and...
Learn about how the Impressionists changed the colors we use to paint shadows, rejecting plain black for shadows.
Scumbling Painting Technique
Find out what scumbling in a painting is, and how to do this art technique yourself.
12 Ways to Find Original Painting Ideas
If you haven't got painting ideas, then all the technical skills in the world will do you no good. This list tells you where to find painting ideas and how to develop them into your own, original paintings.
How to Paint a Sunset
Tips on how to paint a sunset working quickly and decisively.
Is It Okay to Use Hairspray to Fix Pastels or...
A scientist answers the question whether it's okay to use hairspray to fix pastels or whether should you use only artist's pastel fixative.
A Look at the Properties of Various Drying Oils...
A look at the properties of the various drying oils or mediums used in oil painting to change the consistency of the paint, to make it thinner and spread more readily.
The 6 Secrets to Painting Realism
Realism is a style everyone can paint, but you need patience not be looking for instant gratification. These essential
Why Should You Varnish Your Paintings?
Discover the reason for varnishing an acrylic or oil painting when it's finished (and why you should do if you're serious about your art).
Dealing with Stuck Paint Tube Caps
A painting tip on how to solve the problem of paint tube caps getting stuck.
The 8 Best Brands of Art Pastels
Given all the choice on the market, which is the best brand of art pastels available? Here's my personal selection, with reasons why.
Free Stencils Collection: Dog Stencils
A collection of free dog stencils to print and cut out.
The Secrets and Techniques of Oil Painting...
An experienced oil painter reveals the simple secrets behind his success with glazing, a technique which produces gorgeous, rich colors in a painting.
Art Worksheet: Linocut Christmas Tree
A printable art worksheet for creating a linocut Christmas tree. Page 12.
How to Read the Label on a Tube of Paint
Find out what the 'small print' on a paint tube label means.
10 Practical Stenciling Tips to Get Professiona...
Stencils allow you to reproduce a pattern or design over and over again, as many times as you like. These tips will help you get good results.
Elements of Composition: Balance
See what is meant by balance in composition in this analysis of the underlying structure of the famous Mona Lisa painting.
Places You Can Find Reference Photos For...
Find out where you can obtain reference photos you can freely use in your paintings without worrying about infringing copyright.
What Does the Term 'Medium' Mean?
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the term
Art Glossary: Still Life Painting
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by a still life painting, and what objects are typically included.
Learn How to Paint Like Claude Monet
Learn how to paint like the Impressionist Claude Monet, starting with the colors on his palette and using broken color as a painting technique.
What Does 'Fat Over Lean' Mean?
Find out what fat-over-lean is about and why it's an essential technique for oil painting. It's a rule you ignore at your peril!
Techniques for Glazing with Watercolor
Learn how to control the value of your watercolor painting and create new colors by using the technique of glazing, or overlaying washes.
Free Christmas Stencil: Star
A star stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 11.
Painting Glazes: An Acrylic Painter Reveals His...
Artist Brian Rice explains his success with painting glazes using acrylics.
Acrylic Painting Techniques: Pouring Paints
Instead of using a brush or knife to apply painting, this painting technique involves pouring it onto and cross a canvas.
6 Steps on Painting a Background
See exactly how to paint a background for a still life or portrait in this step-by-step painting demo.
Painting Clouds Wet-on-Wet Using Acrylic or Oil...
A step-by-step tutorial explaining how to paint clouds working wet-on-wet using acrylics or oil paints.
What Palettes and Techniques Did Rembrandt Use?
A look at the colors the Old Master artist Rembrandt has on his palette, and the painting techniques he used.
6 Things You Need to Decide Before You Start to...
Before you put brush to paint, there are various decisions or choices you need to make. Here's my list of what I think is essential when planning a painting.
How to Fix Mistakes and Remove Errors in a...
If you make a mistake in a watercolor painting, you either need to react fast and remove it almost instantaneously, or wait for the painting to dry.
Moisture-Retaining Palettes for Acrylics
Using a moisture-retaining palette solves the problem of acrylic paints drying out before you can use them. Find out how to use one, and make your own.
How Much Water and/or Medium Can I Add to...
Find out how much you can dilute acrylic paint before it looses its adhesive properties in my Acrylic Painting Problem Solver.
Know Your Reds: A Look at All the Red Paint...
A look at the various reds paint pigments available to artists, their characteristics and differences.
7 Resources for Learning How to Paint Shadows
If you're after information about how to paint convincing shadows, this is a list of all my articles on the subject.
How to Paint Using a Reference Photo as a...
How to paint abstracts using a reference photograph as a starting point and source of inspiration.
Free Printable Animal and Insect Stencil...
Have some creative fun with my collection of free animals and insects stencils, designed to be easy to print and cut out.
What Palettes and Techniques Did Leonardo da...
A look at the colors that the Old Master Leonardo da Vinci used in his paintings.
Which Types of Hairs and Bristles are Used in...
An easy-to-understand introduction to the types of hairs and bristles used in painting (art) brushes and which are the best for what.
Art Glossary: Horizon Line
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the term horizon line means when talking about perspective in a painting.
The Top 5 Ways to Ruin Your Painting
Not every painting is going to be a masterpiece, but do these five easy things and you're doomed.
Fine Art Painting Techniques
Find out what fine art painting technique was used to create the various effects and styles of painting shown in this visual index.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
Answers to frequently asked questions on painting glazes with oils or acrylics, with links to how-to demos.
Painting With Water Soluble or Water Mixable Oils
Find out what water soluble oil paints are like to use with these first-hand accounts from artists using them.
Free Dog Stencils Collection: Paw Prints
A pawprint stencil from the collection of free dog stencils to print and cut out. Page 4.
Acrylic Paint Drying Time (by Brand)
Which brand of acrylic paint dries the slowest or faster in this list of drying times. You may be surprised to discover not all acrylics dry within minutes.
Famous Paintings: Claude Monet "Water Lilies"
A gallery of famous paintings by famous artists (and some not quite so famous) to inspire you and to help you expand your art history knowledge, such as this one by Claude Monet. Page 11.
How to Paint Realistic Glass: A Photo Tutorial
What color is glass, and how do you paint it? Unfortunately there's no simple answer as glass is influenced by what's around it, but careful observation is the key.
Understanding Light Direction in Landscape...
One of the most crucial aspects for getting a landscape painting to look authentic is to have the direction of the light right. So what are your options?
Color Theory Lesson: Primary and Secondary...
A free art worksheet for a color theory lesson on primary and secondary colors using a color triangle. Page 3.
What Can I Use to Create A Thick Gloss Varnish...
What to use to create a thick gloss varnish layer on an acrylic painting, if you're not using epoxy resin.
How Do Amateur and Professional Artists Differ?
What marks someone as an amateur artist rather than a professional? Here's a list of indicators (so check you're not still doing them if you want to be taken seriously!).
Painting Ideas Machine - Get Ideas for Paintings
Looking for ideas for paintings? The Painting Ideas Machine will generate plenty of options for you.
What Is Perspective?
An easy-to-understand definition of what perspective in a painting means, from the About.com Art Glossary.
Vincent van Gogh's Painting Signature
See how Vincent van Gogh signed his paintings. Page 15.
Painting Techniques: Sgraffito
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the painting technique known as sgraffito is and how to use it. (You'll probably find you're already doing it!)
Top 7 Tips for Painting Glazes Using Oil...
Whether you’re using oil paints, acrylics, or watercolor these tips will help you create gorgeously rich colors by layering and glazing.
9 Things You Need before Starting to Fabric Paint
A list of the supplies you'll need to start fabric painting, things that are essential and things that are handy.
Color Mixing Charts
Share in the joys of color mixing and exploring color theory in this photo gallery of sample mixing charts.
Free Flower Stencil: Daisy
A stencil from my collection of free flower stencils, all designed to be easy to print and cut out for personal arts and crafts projects. Page 5.
What You Need to Know about Sfumato and...
There are two classic styles of painting which we associate with the Old Masters, sfumato and chiaroscuro. Find out what the difference is, and how to implement the styles in your own paintings.
Free Flower Stencil: Daisy Border
A stencil from the collection of free flower stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 6.
Perspective in Paintings
An easy-to-understand explanation of what perspective in art is, and how to implement it in your own paintings.
Tips to Help You Write a Personal Artist's...
If you're confused about what to put in your artist's statement, these tips will help you write one that's meaningful and personal. (And sensible!)
Art Glossary: Focal Point
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by a focal point in a painting, from the About.com Art Glossary.
Negative Space in a Painting
A tutorial on what negative space in a painting is, how and why to use it, and why it's so useful.
What Makes a Painting Good or Bad?
What makes a painting good or bad, acceptable as fine art or not? Here are various opinions from artists.
Art Worksheet: Painting a Sphere 1
A free art worksheet to print out for for a lesson in painting basic shapes, in this instance a sphere. Page 5.
Abstract Art: Which Way is Up?
How do you know which way to hang a piece of abstract art? Is this a painting of rain, or fire? Does it matter?
What Paint Did Pollock Use?
Learn about the type of paint the famous American Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock used in his paintings, and about his painting technique.
Free Christmas Stencil: Snowflake 2
A snowflake stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 26.
What Supplies Do You Need to Start Watercolor...
If you're wanting to start watercolor painting, here's my shopping list of the art supplies you'll need. Start with a few good colors to get good color mixes.
Get Started with Lino Printing: A Beginner's...
Find out what lino printing is and what's involved in making linoprints in this step-by-step tutorial.

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