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Art Information
The Nature of Soft Pastels
The Nature of Soft PastelsPastels are very soft in texture, and can be easily blended, either with a finger or a cotton bud. They come in a huge range of vibrant, strong colours and are water-soluble. Pastels are ideal for creating quick, Impressionist-style work, and they are used for both drawing and colouring. It is possible to use the length of the pastel to make broad slabs of colour, or a sharp corner to draw, as you would with a pencil. The technique does create a lot of pastel dust, and finished pictures benefit from being sprayed with fixative to seal them. Choice of paper is an integral part of pastel technique. Textured and coloured papers will add interest to your work.
 
Introduction to Pastels

Pastel InformationPastels are one of the easiest mediums to work with and therefore are a very popular choice amongst artists. Pastels combine the immediacy of a drawing medium while at the same time provide the artist with a color rich, paint like environment. With Pastel drawing, there is no need to prepare your drawing surface, as pastels can be applied directly to your support. There are no harsh chemicals or mediums to be concerned about and cleanup is a snap! It is no wonder why artists adore this medium so much.

Pastels are available in a wide range of exciting colors and materials from soft pastels and oil pastels, to pastel pencils and crayons. You could literally spend a lifetime exploring this versatile and exciting medium.

 
Tips For Improving your Oil Painting

Tips For Improving your Oil PaintingLEARN HOW TO DRAW

You will be amazed at how much learning how to draw will help improve your oil paintings. In fact, years ago art students were not permitted to paint until they learned the fundamentals of drawing. Drawing gets you more in touch with value, line and form without the distraction of color. Find a good book on drawing fundamentals and start there.

LEARN ABOUT COLOR

Nothing can confuse a beginner more than color. You need to have a good understanding of color theory if you intend on producing high quality paintings. Concepts like color temperature, hue and intensity are very important and should be studied. Once you have a good understanding of color theory, you must then learn how to mix your colors. There is much more to color mixing then meets the eye. For instance, you cannot mix any old blue with any old yellow and get the perfect green. Certain blues and yellows behave differently than others, so you must learn about the properties of each color.

 
Craft Recipes For Kids

PLAY DOUGH
1 c. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. oil
A few drops of food coloring (optional)

Mix thoroughly and store in plastic bag or covered jar. Children can pull and pound it and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. If left to dry will harden and then it can be painted. Non-toxic. Hint: If kids dust their hands with a little flour before play, the dough won't stick to their hands.

 
How Acrylic Paints Work
How Acrylic Paints WorkInformation courtesy of Liquitex®

Acrylic colors dry as a result of water evaporation. Here’s what occurs as pigment, water, and acrylic are transformed into a last-for-ages paint film:

Step 1:Squeezed from the tube, or scooped from the jar, acrylic paint is a finely balanced dispersion of pigment in an emulsion of acrylic polymer and water. The water serves to keep the emulsion liquid, and acts as a kind of chemical ‘chaperone’ preventing the acrylic polymer particles from getting close and personal and locking up before the artist is ready.

Step 2:When exposed to the atmosphere, water in the emulsion evaporates, or is absorbed into the painting support. That’s when the acrylic polymer particles come into direct contact and fuse with each other.

 
Watercolor Hints, Tips and Techniques
Information courtesy of Winsor & Newton™

Watercolors InformationWatercolor is the most popular painting method today.  Its popularity can largely be attributed to the exquisite effects of depth, texture and light which can be achieved from its delicate washes.  It is also attractive for its portability – all you need is a paint box, brush and paper.

Almost all artists have a watercolor box, whether it is their specialization or a sketching tool to support their oil or acrylic work.  Albrecht Durer was perhaps the first to use watercolor as a medium in its own right, for his animal and landscape studies in the early 16th century.  In the early 19th century, Turner can quite justifiable be regarded as the first exponent of modern watercolor.

 
9 Acrylic Painting Tips
Acrylic Painting Tip 1: Keeping Acrylic Paints Workable
Because acrylics dry so fast, squeeze only a little paint out of a tube. If you're using a 'normal' plastic palette invest in a spray bottle so you can spray a fine mist over the paint regularly to keep it moist. 'Stay-wet' palettes – where the paint sits on a sheet of wax paper place on top of a damp piece of watercolour paper – eliminate the need to do this, but generally don't have a hole for your thumb so are more awkward to hold in your hand
 
Preserving Artworks on Paper

Artworks on paper may include original works in media such as watercolours, inks, pencil and charcoal, or prints, such as etchings, engravings and lithographs.

Handling

Never touch the surface of a picture. Paper easily absorbs skin oils and perspiration so wash your hands before handling any type of valuable artwork. When handling unframed artworks, use both your hands, and support them from underneath or place them in a folder. When carrying a framed work, hold both sides of the frame. Don't use pressure-sensitive tapes such as Sellotape or masking tape, or adhesives such as PVA (white glue) or rubber cement to mend or mount an artwork.

 
How to Protect Your Fine Art Photography

How to Protect Your Fine Art Photograph
Information on how to properly care for photographs, photographic prints and the care of photography collections. Since photographs can be easily damaged, taking precautionary measures is the best defense in protecting their values. This article and web page have been designed to help you understand the of care and handling of photographs. Resource links and books are also featured providing you with a wealth of knowledge and hours of reading.

Several everyday situations can potentially cause damage to photographs. Avoiding these situations and potential problems, is much easier than trying to correct damage once it has occurred. Major areas of concern are broken down into the following categories:

 
How to Select the Proper Acrylic Paints for Painting

Step 1
Select an acrylic paint if you need a fast-drying medium. For example, if you are working on a project that requires multiple layers, or needs to be moved to another location quickly after it's painted, a proper acrylic paint can offer the best results.

Step 2
Use artist-grade acrylic paint from a manufacturer who mills pigments and mixes paints. A better brand of acrylic paint dries with a durable layer on the finished painting.

 
Acrylic paint
Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint containing pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted (with water) or modified with acrylic gels, mediums, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with the other media.
 
Brush Care
Paint and solvent residue should be cleaned from brushes after use. After removing most of the paint from the bristles manually with an appropriate solvent, detergent and water should be used to clean the brush further. After a thorough cleaning, natural hair brushes benefit from using a brush conditioner on the hairs to restore oils. A conditioner can be worked into the bristles which can then be shaped to a point and left to dry. Before the next painting session, the conditioner should be removed with water.
 
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Photo Services

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

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Photography Information

Art of Photography

Art of PhotographyPhotography is an amazing art form. A photograph album is a catalogue of life's history as seen through the camera. People, animals, nature, holidays, celebrations and even disasters are captured instantly and recorded as part of history. It is through the powerful presentations of photography that we better understand the progression of time and life. Hampton Photo Arts has over twenty years of experience working with photographers as they seek to capture and preserve the history of families and communities.

When families get together, both children and adults love to look through photograph albums. They enjoy seeing the childhood photos of older family members and compare themselves to ancestors who lived a hundred or more years ago. Photos are among the most important treasures of every family. They should not be faded and dull. They contain the smiles, tears and emotions of generations. The staff members at Hampton Photo Arts display excellence in the art of photography reproduction. They work with the highest quality materials. They know how to create family memories that will be just as beautiful one hundred years from now as they are today.

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Art Information

Learning to Paint with Watercolors

By Cindy Tabacchi

ImageWatercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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