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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.


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.


Perspective in painting is one of the biggest hurdles for beginners. Sometimes a painting just looks “wrong”, and often it is because the perspective in the painting is off. Learning about perspective will teach you how to properly translate a 3-dimensional world onto a 2-dimensional canvas or other support. Learning perspective is a necessary ingredient toward producing convincing oil paintings. There is of course an exception to this, if you are producing an abstract work and your intentions are to warp the perspective.


Materials to an oil painter are like what a guitar is to a guitarist. A guitarist cannot play without his instrument nor can he play without understanding how his instrument works. Your painting materials are your instruments. They are what enable you to express yourself, so learning more about them is an absolute must. Learn about the different kinds of brushes and what they do. Know your paints. Not all colors behave the same. Some are more transparent or opaque than others. Know your supports and the difference between them. The list goes on.


There are a plethora of oil painting techniques that you can learn to create your paintings. Techniques like wet on wet, glazing, alla prima, knife painting, etc. should all be explored. Working with various techniques will help you develop your own unique style and help you to produce more interesting paintings.


I remember not too long ago, what a frustrated painter I was. I had 10 or so incomplete paintings collecting dust in the corner of my small studio. I would attempt to complete these paintings over and over again, until finally I had to take a step back and try and understand what I was doing wrong. The reason I lost interest and was unable to complete these paintings, was because I did not have a concept in mind before I started. I would start haphazardly without a clear vision of what I really wanted to accomplish. Concepts are methods for solving problems in a painting. What do you want your painting to be about? When you have a blueprint or roadmap in mind before you start painting, there is no room for diversion. You must stick to your plan.


A very important part of oil painting is having control over your brush. Without good brush control , your effectiveness as a painter is limited. Make sure you have the best possible brushes you can afford. One of the biggest mistakes artists make, myself included, is not reloading the brush enough. Make certain you always have enough paint on your brush so that there is always a layer of paint between your brush and the canvas. Do not try and scrub the paint into the canvas. Paint your strokes and leave them be. Don’t over work your brushstrokes.


Follow this rule and you will reduce the chance of your paint cracking. Each layer of your oil painting should have a higher oil content then the one below it.


Having a clean organized palette is an essential part of good painting. Get into the habit of laying out your colors the same way every time you paint. Arrange your colors along the edges of your palette leaving a lot of room in the center for mixing. Don’t be afraid to squeeze out a good amount of paint, especially your whites. You will be more productive if you aren’t continuously stopping to squeeze out more paint. Make certain to include all of the colors you think you will need to complete that session of painting. It’s a good idea to continuously wipe your palette clean during the painting process. Keep some alcohol handy so that you can keep the mixing area of your palette clean.


If you are ever feeling uninspired don’t get discouraged. Try taking a walk outside, breath in the air, look around at the beautiful earth God created. Try playing music while you are painting. You will be surprised how music can affect your painting. Visit a museum or local gallery. Viewing other works of art can really get your creative juices flowing.

Oil Paint

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.

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.

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor 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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