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Art Information
Varnishing Acrylic Paintings
Do you or don’t you? Does an acrylic painting need to be varnished? Judging from the calls and comments that we get on a daily basis, most artists think not. And those that think ‘yes’ are confused about the best technique or timing for varnishing. Since varnishing questions repeatedly come up as number one on our hit-parade of technical topics, it’s time to clear up a few misconceptions. Why varnish? It makes sense why most artists don’t varnish their acrylic paintings. After all, the surface dries quickly to a durable surface. It’s flexible. It can be wiped clean. So, acrylics don’t need that extra protection like oil paintings, right? Wrong.
Clean Up Time

This is always the worst part in an artist's life. The need to clean up the palettes, brushes, easels, and other odds and ends in the studio. It is actually rather easy if you know what you are doing.

The brushes are the first thing to address. This is when coffee cans come in handy. Filling them half full of turpentine or other paint solvent will allow the brushes to soak until you are done with everything else. Just drop them in, bristle first, right into the turpentine. We will get back to these in a moment.

Art Supply Resources

ImageThere are many places you can find your painting supplies. Local craft stores and art supply stores like ours here in Bridghampton have many of the art supplies you are looking for.

There are so many things you will want to get. It will be like a kid in a candy store to look at all the wonderful items for sale. It is best when you are first starting out to save some money and purchase student paints. This will allow you to become with the different mediums without breaking your wallet. You can build up your stock a little at a time. The paints actually go a long way. You just have to become familiar with your oil paints to understand thinning and liquefying. Very few times will you use a paint straight out of the tube without mixing it with another color and some turpentine, linseed oil, turpenoid or other medium.

Setting Up Your Art Studio
ImageThere are certain things you will need for your studio. The first thing is a place to paint. Every beginning artist seems to think they can bring out everything and scatter it onto the kitchen table, set up an easel, and start painting. This is great for a day or two. If you want to continue pursuing an art career or hobby, you need a place to keep everything up and ready to go. This way, any time you feel inspired all you need to do is pick up a brush and start painting. 
Choosing A Subject
The Promised Land by Grant Haffner
The Promised Land by Grant Haffner
For everything in this world there is someone who has painted it. Whether it is a person, place, or thing somewhere someone has put it to paint. It does not matter what you choose as your subject, as long as you feel comfortable painting it. Some of the better subjects are ones that will offer color and contrast. For instance, a bowl full of bananas with an apple in the center. A vase full of blooming flowers is the perfect still life because of the colors and shapes.

You should look for many things when choosing a subject. If it is a landscape in East Hampton, you want some texture. What I mean is there should be different buildings, trees, or animals to add interest to the picture. You do not want to saturate the painting with activity but you do want to keep it interesting. For example see the artwork of East Hampton artist Grant Haffner.

What Type Of Painter Are You?
We are going to cover styles and techniques in this chapter. You need to understand the different forms of painting. You may find yourself drawn to one form or another. This often happens when you start painting. As you become more familiar with techniques, you will generate your own style.

There have been many different art periods. Here is a list of the periods along with some of the artists which made it famous.

1) Baroque – Caravaggio, Carracci
2) Classicism – Mengs, Ingres
3) Cubism – Picasso, Braque
4) Expressionism – Beckmann. Dix, Munch, Kandinsky
5) Fauvism - Matisse
6) Impressionism – Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Morisot, Bazille
7) Realism – Caravaggio, Velazquez, Zurbaran
8) Renaissance - Michelangelo
9) Romanticism – Gericault, Delacroix
10)Surrealism – Arp, Ernst, Masson,Tanguy, Dali

Light Sources in Painting
Light Sources in PaintingIn the real world, the light comes from one main direction. This is the rule. Even if you are outdoors, the light from the sun comes at you from East to West. Depending on where you are during the day will determine where the shadows are. This is the same with painting.

You must always determine where your light source is coming from. Once you have done this, keep it consistent. It will show quickly if you have a subject standing on one side of the canvas with the light dancing off her hair from the left and on the other side of the canvas the table has light streaming in from the right.

Color Your World
Red Book I by Gideon Stein
Red Book I by Gideon Stein
What has always fascinated me about paints is the way you can blend them to create new colors. I have sat for hours with my palette and created many different colors all from three basic, primary colors. To me it was like opening a present to see what would happen if this color was blended with that color. By the time I was done, my palette had the makings of a Hamptons garden in full bloom.

There are stunning portraits and eye stopping canvases being created all the time with color. This does not have to be the case. The portrait can be just as stunning when done with the absence of color. Black and white always gets your attention. You are the creator of the world on your canvas. You can have it as simple or complex as you wish. You can have it be formal or funny. If black and white what you like, then do black and white. If color is the key, then add all the color you wish. You will enjoy the piece more by allowing yourself to just let go and create.

Choosing Your Brushes
Paint Brush InformationYou cannot do very much painting without a brush. Although some people would argue with that statement, for now we will assume you will be using a standard artist's brush. There are as many brushes on the market as there are paints. Some are made better than others. Do not fall under the misconception that more expensive is better. This is not always the case. I have spent $20 on a brush to have the bristles fall out during my first session. I have one brush I have used for four years now that I paid $3.00 for. It is actually the best brush I own.
Paints on Canvas
Paints on CanvasThere are two types of paints which work well on canvas. One is oil and the other is acrylic. You need to choose which painting medium you will be using. Some people prefer the oils to the acrylics. There are several differences between the two paints. The oil can take days to dry completely. This allows the artist to continue with the painting for days after the original sitting. The acrylics are not so forgiving. These paints can dry within hours. If you think you can make a mistake and go back later to fix it, you are wrong.
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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.


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.


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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