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The Rules of Art

ART TIPS – Color By Malou

I want to share my experience with you guys, the upcoming young artists, and let you know how I started, more than ten years ago. When I started painting I had no idea what I was going to buy, or which direction I was headed. After your first encounter with your Art teacher, with so much enthusiasm you will go straight to the nearest art shop. Overwhelmed with so many paints, various brands and colors, arranged according to shade and tint, you might feel lost and leave the shop empty handed, because you don’t know what to buy, or dare to ask for tips and information,  or perhaps you felt afraid they would sell you more than you can afford.

In an art shop, you will see a tower of assortments of paints in different brands. There are also ready boxes for sale in basic colors and usually you find ready boxes with five or seven colors and even to fifty colors. Basic color of red, yellow, blue and white. Although whidreamstime_s_36926795te is not a color, you have to have white because you need white to make colors lighter. Yellow can take the place of white, only yellow can produce different color as well, therefore white paint is also needed and convenient. Color such as orange, green, moss green, are available and was already mixed ready to use. You will see more mixed colors, all seems so easy and convenient that you don’t have to mix, less works and are ready to use.

Important to know that there are also colors, if you mix with other colors you lose the real color such as red, mixing red with white you get pink color, that you do not want to happen! It is a very disappointing situation. In this case, ask or buy red with more pigments, it will always be red.

What brand to purchase? Most art shops have enough assortments and brands, ranging from student to professional quality paints, as well as good brands for the beginners. There is no need to waste a lot of money in buying paints, especially If you are only testing to see if you like that paint and to find out if it’s your thing (or maybe to know if you have hidden talents). Here in The Netherlands we go looking around where we can buy special offers. Although paint is also found in the grocery, I have no experience with it.

I myself started with our brand “Amsterdam” in acrylic painting as well as in oil painting and then switched to “Norma Professional” by Schmincke in oil paintings; this paint is an economical choice and similar to the more expensive brands. Smooth and real oil painting, no loss of color tint. And then in acrylic painting, I switched to “Ara” by Old Hollandse Classic Colors”. You can try what you like and what is suitable for your purpose. Try in your course if possible sometimes teachers takes some samples and never be embarrassed to ask teachers for some advice. It is not good to mix different brands! the damage is not immediately visible but after five years, the chance that the paint will slowly break down and sometimes the color will change too. It happens here that a paints start to break down. Companies uses  different basis on color chemicals that cannot be combined with others brand. Chemicals that retracts each other. What if it happens to your best work! It could also be that you have sold your work to your own boss! That’s humiliation and loss of your image.

What colors are you going to start? An important tip is that you don’t need to buy all kinds of colors. It is best buy the base color paint: red, yellow, blue and white.

An early black and white painting by artist Malou

An early black and white painting by artist Malou. See more of her art:

Experiment with colors! If you need a black color, buy and add earth color to red, blue and tiny yellow. Black is a color that you can make yourself. Save your money and you’re not predictable (your own “secret” color, in art we all have secrets!). It is important that you can make your own color that no one can easily say directly: oh that’s Prussian Blue! now that’s art, not being predictable  and that they keep will keep looking and thinking. So if your topic is white and black, mix your own black color and that goes for the white color too.

Professional artists keep experimenting and mixing colors all the time!


Centering Text on a Drawing

By Nick, (You can find out more about him at his blog )

Centering text on a drawing can be a very frustrating experience. When you hand-draw lettering, it is not easy to know where you need to start the lettering so the word or words are centered on the page. In this tip, I will show you a simple technique for getting it right every time.

Step 1

Lay out the basic sketch of your drawing. Here you see I have a line of horizontal text and below that I have text in an arch. I was able to draw the inner arch with a compass, but the radius of the outer arch was too big for my small compass so I needed to measure 1.5″ points along the perimeter of the inner circle and hand-draw the outer arch.

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Step 2

Next, you take a separate piece of paper (not the one your main drawing is on) and you lay it on top of your drawing. You may need to darken the lines of your sketch so the path is visible through the paper. You can use tracing paper, too. Or a light-box! I’ve found that I don’t need to see the underlying image very much for this job, so a simple overlay works great for me in most cases.

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Notice how the letter-sized paper on top has the text off-center. This is the frustrating part you might do on your real drawing but we’ve done it on our scrap drawing so it’s OK! Notice how I rotated the scrap drawing to center the text on the real drawing



Step 3

Move the scrap below your real drawing. I used a sharpie on the scrap to make the next bold enough to see. You can see that WAL shows clearly, but the rest of the letters are hard to make out. You can outline all of the letters using a sharpie and you’ll be good to go.

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Step 4

Marvel at your precision centering job. It’s that simple!

From there you can move onto the other elements of your drawing as you can see I did below. I will be happy to share the drawing once it is finished.wallflowers sign








Another Art Tip:

One point perspective is a drawing method that shows how things appear to get smaller as they get further away, meeting towards the ‘vanishing point’ on the horizon line. It is a way of drawing objects upon a flat piece of paper so that they look three-dimensional and realistic.

Drawing in one point perspective is usually used when the subject is viewed ‘front-on,’ or when looking directly down something long, like a hallway, or railway track.

One point perspective drawing hints:
1. Sit on the floor.
2. The horizon line is located at your eye level.
3. Find the vanishing point.
4. Draw your favorite hallway.
5. Practice and have fun.

Send us your one point picture, or another cool drawing that we can post on our website! Just drop us an e-mail.

Example: by Karen Heim.
Teacher, mom, children’s author and artist.