Some of the things I’ve designed in the last week –
10 More Great Tips For Artists – 2
©Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008
1. Go through the house, office and studio – sharpen every pencil – make sure anywhere with a writing surface has a cup of pencils, pens and an old-fashioned hand held kid’s pencil sharpener. Place some sheets of clean, un-lined paper nearby, plus posty notes and 4×6 sheets of unlined paper to make thumbnails and notes.
2. When paint tubes are near their end, cut them open and use the last of the paint directly from the casing or scape out with palette knife and use from the palette. Save the lid, cause sooner or later . . .
3. Place paint cloths, paper towels and cloths filled with thinners or turpentine into old metal coffee cans with lids. Keep out of reach of children and away from foodstuff until ready for disposal. Be sure and mark can with red electrical or paint tape and label with marker what it is.
4. A piece of rubberized, textured shelf liner cut 4″ square is good for opening paints, paint jars and tubes, jars of medium and varnishes. Pliers, if used, must be held firm but with gentleness or they can rip the paint tube and press the lid and tube lip beyond recognition.
5. Baby wipes will take almost any paint off hands including oil paints, acrylics, alkyds (which are very nasty) and acrylic mediums – as well as some glues. Masking fluid can be cleaned up with dawn dish soap and a baby wipe. Brushes dipped in dawn dish soap and water before use in masking fluids will allow the masking fluid to be removed after use.
6. Dawn dish soap will take oil paints and other paints, except alkyds, off hands and out of brushes. Xylene and toluene based enamels must have their own thinners to be removed from anything. Do not use dawn dish soap or toluene based thinners on natural bristle brushes because the natural oils in the hairs are also removed and the bristles will eventually disintegrate. Do not leave brushes in water, turpentine or thinners for any extended length of time. Glues that hold bristles can dissolve and are compromised. The bristles will then release in the painted surface as it is being created. The bristles can also give way entirely from the metal casing that holds them to the handle..
7. Old brushes with dried paint make perfect tools to create certain special effects in painting surfaces. Don’t yell at the kids and don’t throw them out. Set them aside in a cup or box with similar tools for special effects when painting and sculpting.
8. When stores go out of business – there is a lot of unusual shelving they also sell – make them an offer. Also, hair salons’ shelving and store displays make good additions for studio storage. Cabinets from kitchen remodeling can be acquired and cleaned, resurfaced, painted or glued with new formica pieces. Countertops can be added pre-made from the hardware store or from cabinet shop remakes. Any solid door or old table top can be placed on top of several cabinets for a worktable.
9. Some design markers (professional grade like ad agencies and illustrators use) can be reconstituted by placing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover) into a shallow dish and placing the tip into it to absorb the carrier. Some art markers can be reconstituted with water, alcohol (or mineral spirits and/or painting mediums). Use of pigments are available in a new form with the latter and are no longer appropriate for children to use.
10. As new work is being created or experimental ideas are being explored, take digital photos or scans throughout the process at different stages. Viewing them on the computer gives a better view and a different understanding of what is being conveyed in the paint. Then, the process can continue with the additional information during the creation of the work.
(Re-post from 2008)
When I start to paint, the memories of times when I’ve stood at the ocean come to mind. There are swirls of color and ever-changing patterns of light captured in the water that fascinate me when I am watching the waves. Ocean waves undulate in infinite contrasts, highlights and shadows. To me, there is a feeling captured in each moment of time standing at the ocean.
In a painting, I want to convey those captured moments of feeling with all its motion, color and light. The first thing I do is to remind myself of something I’ve seen in the water that I would like to create. Strangely, this isn’t always found in a photograph of the ocean or even of water. These rarely capture the intertwining motions of light and color found in the ocean waves.
CricketDiane 2017 (re-post from 2008)
Re-post from 2008 CricketDiane Blog – Painting
The Ocean As A Subject of Art – 2 – Cricket Diane C Phillips – 2008
Tips and Tricks for Artists –
© Cricket Diane C. Phillips, 2008
Ten art tips and tricks for artists-
* place a sign on the bathroom mirror that says, “Paint first – Do music – Create. And leave the mundane to do later, it can wait.”
* the best palettes for oils and acrylics are glass, old pyrex casserole dishes, thick glass cutting boards – smooth side only, microwave browning plates for watercolors and thick plate glass can be used for oils or acrylics and gouache.
* a wonderful brush cleaner can be made by cutting a circle from rubberized open-weave shelf liner in the same size as the bottom of a washed applesauce cup, small bottle or container.
* using a wet paper towel folded over beneath acrylic paints will keep them ready to use for several weeks with plastic wrap covering the palette. Edges of wrap need to be snug.
* point guards for brushes, bamboos, calligraphy pens, styluses, djanti and specialty tools can be made with small pieces of cardboard or plastic boxes cut to fit from a fold and taped together.
* strong tea makes a sepia toned dye for paper and made strong enough, can serve as a watercolor paint to do under-painting work or as the basic wash and paint for a vintage look artwork.
* one way to organize thumbnails and small composition sketches is to cut them into the size for a 4×6 photo album. Also, it’s possible to use the inner papers from these albums for thumbnails and then store them in the albums by subject to locate later.
* most vegetable based and India inks are not waterproof. Many fixative sprays made for pastels, watercolors and pencil drawings will set the surface and allow the ink to become permanent.
* when fixative sprays, spray finishes and glazes, spray varnishes and any other aerosol product gets near the end of the can, any type of artwork can be destroyed by the spitting drops of spray. This can also happen during very cold or very moist, humid weather.
* horizon lines, building edges and other straight-edged elements can be created with pieces of painters’ tape for a smooth, straight line. Make sure the tape is pushed into the surface to paint at the edge where paint will be.
Check back. More tips and tricks for artists are coming soon including easel ideas and designs. Take a look at my Ebay store sometime, I’d love for you to see my work!
(re-posted blog entry from 2008)
Once upon a time, there was a world that was filled with so many things of so many kinds that there was no longer a reason to create anything. The people of that world fought each other over the most petty things. They were forever trying to find escape from the doldrums of everyday living. They found little worthwhile to do even while they were running and running and doing and doing all the time.
Whenever confronted with a new idea, a new thing, or a new way of doing something, the people of this world flocked to it as though they were starved and dying of thirst for any touch of life that might come to them. The hunger and thirst were unsatisfied, though, and with each new thing they would flock again to have it.
No one realized in this world of such abundance, why their level of satisfaction and contentment seemed so elusive and fleeting. No one knew why the smallest things annoyed them nor why their resentment and discontent seemed to grow. It seems our world is that way now. In some ways, it seems there would be no reason to create even one more thing to add to this world. And yet . . .
When I create, the pettiness I can be inclined to let run my life, disappears. When I paint or write, I feel part of instead of isolated from the bigger world. Feeling a part of this bigger world gives me a sense of purpose and belonging. The discontentment and resentments seem to melt away in light of this sense of purpose.
As I strive to write with a bit of humor, my mind is forced to a level of honesty and candidness that I might otherwise try to hide. Getting to that honesty reminds me that the abundance in the world is not necessarily everything that is needed in the world nor all that could be. That is why I paint and am driven to create. . .
Because there is more to do yet.
Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips 2008
The difference between art and illustration –
©2008 Cricket Diane C Phillips, Cricket House Studios
In an illustration, there is little, if anything, for the viewer to do. All the information is there available for the viewer to see. It can be powerful. It can be mundane. There can be several themes at once but it precisely includes all the visual information the audience is expected to use upon viewing it. An illustration is a visual approach to a verbal story. Illustration is easily given words to express it that are appropriate to it.
The fact is, art is something else and represents a more interactive form of visual communication. It does require something from the viewer in order to be recognized. Art is not intended as a verbal communication represented in a visual format. Then, what else could it be? What other options are there, if it is not that?
Most art, even representational art, defies the use of words to interpret it. While its communication is often clearly evident, words pale in comparison. Art speaks in a language that exceeds the capacity of words. It is a direct link between the mind of each viewer and an intangible idea in a specific moment of an artist’s life.
While an illustration could be repeated, recreated, reinterpreted or done again, art can only be done once. Each time, art is different and each time, there is only one. While art may tell a story, its use of communication is different than that used in an illustration. Art may very well tell the viewer the entire story in one moment of time as a whole experience. Illustration will construct that story logically such that words could be used to describe each element and why it was included.
Both art and illustration have value in our world. Art is necessary to our lives and so too, is illustration, written communication and design. If a quick view is taken anywhere, there is art, illustration, design and written communications on nearly every item in some form or another.
Art is interactive to a greater degree than other forms of visual work because it is created from a different place. It isn’t pure, yet neither is it diluted. Art is a captured instant from the artist’s psych. Does it matter if anyone likes it or not? Probably, not. Does it matter if anyone “gets it,” or not? Probably, not. Those things belong to a part of the viewer’s identity and the logical mind, respectively. Art by its nature, goes beyond what can be logically defined and is neither an expression of identity nor intended to be, although influenced by it. Nor is art a reflection of the personality of the artist, although that also influences it.
Art encompasses more than that and different than that. It is impossible for any two people to see the same rainbow even standing side by side at the same moment in time. Art is like that and when it is created, even more so. Its as if the whole world has melted away and only that one moment exists. All the information of that moment flows into the artwork at once, not logically, not progressively, but completely. It is true of great art and true of all other art, as well. Two people sitting side by side creating from the same moment along the same theme would never be able to produce the same thing. That is art. It is original and unique each time. It can be copied, reproduced, printed, repainted to a precise rendition but they are no more than copies. To sit down and recreate the original from scratch, so to speak, will never yield the same thing, ever. No matter how similar, it can’t be made the same as the first. An artist that tries to do that usually ends up with two originals along a similar theme – not two of the same.
Why does it matter to own an original of anything? I don’t know that. Why is it important to own something there is only one of or is the first of its kind in the world? I don’t know that, either. Those are questions the audience or the individual viewer must answer for themselves. It may be important for art to be purchased and owned by someone beyond th artist who originated it, but probably not.
An illustration after all, demands an audience to be effective. Art draws the audience into an interaction effectively whether it is sitting in the studio or on public display or owned by someone somewhere. Once art has a tangible form, it is in existence and is part of all that has been created from that moment forward. Even when it is destroyed, its tangible form still exists in the mind of its creator and any who experienced it.
Art is powerful because it forms its interaction with the viewer the moment it is seen. The communication it carries is conveyed in its entirety across all barriers of language, time, circumstance and culture. Its effects are not limited by the status of the viewer nor where it is found and experienced by viewers. A diamond in a shoebox is still a diamond.
Original post titled –
The Difference Between Illustration and Art – Cricket Diane C Phillips – Cricket House Studios – 2008
I paint to communicate because I know this –
Art is a dialogue between the artist and each person that will ever see that artwork. It is immediate and without limitation or boundary. There is no hindrance in the interpretation of words, meanings of ideas or expectation of rewards. It is appropriate to time, place, nationality and culture because art is a clear, direct communication. It is not silence. It is not static. Art is the communication of change and of presence here and now between the viewer and the artist.
Art is more than emotion. It moves something primal in each of us. It is the comfort of knowing we are not alone and that another has stood where we stand in our mind’s landscape and in our lives. Art is not because I told you something today through my art. It is because we chose to have this moment of dialogue today in the course of our lives with all their complexities. That is why it is important. And, that is what makes it special.
Art is a choice between two unlike minds to gather for a moment and consummate a dialogue and to compare notes on the experience of living. There may never be words for it.
Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008
February 14, 2008
Original post was entitled –
I paint to communicate – by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008
[Reposted from CricketDiane blog 2008]
On Paints and Color – Tips for Artists – 2008
Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, Cricket House Studios, 2008
Artist paints in the tube are not the current fashion colors. While some very rich, jewel tones can be achieved by using artist colors straight out of the tube, today’s color trend hues are mixed, either on the palette or on the painting as it is painted.
In order to get these tones of color, use a color chart from any paint or discount store used for wall and house paints, *(interior and exterior paint color swatches.) Using these as a guideline, mix to match.
Series colors are simple additions of white or grey within the same range. Almost all fashion colors are mixtures and blends of artist’s hues in combination. Compare to swatches and if necessary, write down the ingredients and ratios used to create them on palette cards. Be sure to dot color on palette cards and remember – fully dry is a slightly different variation of the wet color. In use, it may have to be changed to read correctly.
Complementary colors and secondary color groups can be created in either the same range of hue and tone, or for visual tension and contrast, can be dissonant to one another; for example, bright red and soft, pastel turquoise. These dissonant combinations will either brighten or grey each color when used together or near one another. They can bring objects closer to the viewer, make things appear to stand out in the composition or appear distant and muddied.
True complements used in strength, flatten the picture plane which when juxtaposed with elements of technical perspective to create illusions of depth and volume in a flat surface. Look at the work of Chagall and Gaugin for comparison.
I’m adding this today to go with mixing designer colors from artist paint tube color –
Many home improvement stores including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace Hardware and paint stores for home decor and home exterior paints have small quantities of mixed designer colors in acrylic liquid paint.
These are suitable either for making art paintings directly with them or to use in mixing artist tube paints into their matching and complementary color palettes for artworks using artist’s paints.
Usually these small quantities of designer colors are found in the paint departments, are acrylic paint basically and the quantities are about $3 – $4 each. It is possible to design a range of colors to match cohesively and attractively with them by having these small jars to use for creating the matching palette.
There are of course, paint swatches also available but they can be misleading by themselves, since the range an artwork must provide needs to have a minimum of, a full palette in the dominant and secondary hue ranges to accomplish the artist’s visual tasks.
Magazine pictures and photographs of where the artwork will eventually be displayed are also misleading and it must be kept in mind that lighting alters the tones and character of paints, both in designer colors and artistic colors no matter how they are mixed.
Photography of a room’s decor can seem to be one set of hues, when in real life under natural and on site lighting, as well as the position where the artwork will be displayed, will host a much distant reality for the work.
Designer colors change and what looks right online is far different than what any of the colors would actually be, as well. Taking these things into account in the studio as the palette of colors are created, it is possible to either ignore all of it and simply create.
Or, to create using a palette that can most reasonably accommodate these difference in lighting, staging, photography, online presentations of the work both individually and in the rooms where it will be displayed as well as in matching the designer color palette used within the environment where the artwork and artist’s reputation will live.
Also, a last note – keep in mind that often in magazine publication practices and in many advertising applications, online applications and printed artworks, the color range is altered using the color levels function of various software apps. The end ranges are removed to the point on the levels charts where color graphs indicate positions of strongest color to enhance the visual impact of the photograph, ad or artwork.
Since that changes the color true visual facts, do not assume that an artwork’s color palette and paints as seen in person will match a designer or decorator themed room as seen in photographs from a magazine or online feature article.
Even if a tablecloth seems to be a certain range of color, chances are that the levels function was used to visually enhance the colors for publication and in person, artwork made to work cohesively with it will appear washed out or occasionally, completely at odds with the design colors.
For more tips and tools about making art, painting, design, creativity and making – check back with my blog. I will be adding more information from my older blog at CricketDiane as well as creating new articles and blog posts for this one.
This is a reply that I made to a comment requesting information about painting ocean waves – particularly in watercolor and it expresses the way to get the paint to do what you want for making a beautiful painting of the beach surf and waves –
The comment –
am trying to learn to paint ocean water, transparent water with little waves on a beach .Do you have any DVDs that I can buy, or suggest some to me,that would be good, and where I can get them, Thankyou, MILAN CVJETIC.
My response about painting ocean waves –
I’m sure there aren’t any I would watch – but that’s because it would be easier to get out some paint and play with it until it does what I want. Today, there isn’t a dvd that I’ve made about creating ocean waves in watercolor, however try this –
Imagine what the finished piece will be and the moment that you want to capture.
Everywhere there is to be sparkle, foam or waves – don’t put any paint there. Don’t wet the entire watercolor paper, but instead paint with limited areas of wetness across the page from side to side where the foam, sparkle and froth of the waves will not be.
Sounds pretty backwards, doesn’t it? In essence, paint everything in deep hues where the sea is getting deeper away from the viewer until it nears the horizon while leaving the irregular shapes of the wave crests near the viewer and where there are hints of building waves in the middle behind the detailed areas in the foreground.
There is a dry brush technique that works great for sparkle in watercolor – try it first on a separate piece of watercolor paper. Fill the dry paintbrush (stiff bristles have one set of effects, soft bristles have a different look done this way) with paint by gently, lightly dragging it across the top of the paint so it doesn’t fill the bristles completely. Then pull the color across the page drifting it across the surface in one smooth motion. Each swipe across the surface will fill in some of the color under the sparkle. This isn’t white paint in the brush, although you can do that with acrylics or oil paints.
For watercolors, the paper provides the only pure white in the painting, so when the sparkle happens – it is literally the paper showing through the other colors that convey visual information beneath the foam, the spray, the breaking wave froth, and the sparkly little bits that to the viewer seem to be on top of the water. It is easy to fill the brush with several colors of the water and sand to drag across the paper in front of a breaking wave to convey the sparkly foam in the shallows where we would splash and dig our toes into the wet sand.
There is a little shadow beneath each wave’s crashing froth – it can be created with a light wash with only a hint of wet pigment slightly darker than the sea water and depending on the time of day in your painting, the frothiness of the wave can be captured with swirls of very, very thin Prussian blue washes blended gently into the areas of white or using lightly wet soft bristles partially filled with a very, very thin wash of Payne’s grey. Try it on another piece of paper first.
The clouds and sky will be the same thing – where there are white volumes of clouds must be left unpainted because where the white paper is ever given a tint, it will never be white again. The horizon at certain times of day and in some weather conditions will be almost invisible and lighter than the surrounding upper sky or deep ocean areas. And, at other times it is well-defined and occasionally, deeper in color. What looks right in your mind’s eye? Clouds can be defined from the white surface of the paper using light thin washes of blueish purple, grey, or cobalt that develop the curving forms of shadows beneath their fluffy round forms.
Sunsets and sunrises, afternoons and dusk, all have particular tints to everything. As long as the tints match throughout the painting, it can be believable as if your viewer is standing at that place at that time of day.
The best thing to do is to have some fun with experimenting to find the different effects that can happen, but the basic rule for painting in watercolor is that white areas are left clean and lightly developed, lighter values go on first and each layer of color builds to the darkest which is painted last, rather than first as in acrylics and oil paintings.
Great fun painting – can’t wait to see the results!
– cricketdiane, 07-31-09