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Friday, 8 April 2016

Summary of Art Blogs 1-50

I have thought it a good idea to try and organize the blogs a little to make them more accessible to myself and my readers. With this in mind, I have started grouping blogs that have a common theme together in a summary blog. This blog is complete with links, headings, descriptions and photos. This is the first of these blogs on art.
Blogs 1-50
Blogs 51-100

Blog 1 - Guidelines to the Art Gallery
"Follow these simple steps to have your work displayed in the Gallery on APrettyTalent.com.
Send an emai to gallery@aprettytalent.com with the following information:"


"I recently added some Daler-Rowney Pitt Pens to the store after purchasing them from an art store that was closing its doors.  I had never worked with these before and was very curious to see what could be achieved.  Of course, I was not spoiled for choice, but was left with the brunt of the stock, the leftovers.  My colour choice was therefore limited and I could not specify points.  I simply took everything that was left and made the owner an offer he could not resist.  Today I finally got around to exploring the possibilities."


Blog 3 - What were they thinking?
"Getting into the heads of designers and illustrators using pen and ink
In my previous blog entry, I told you about the fun I had with Daler-Rowney Pitt pens for artists. The very next day saw me back in the studio, determined to put those pens through their paces. I was still very intrigued by the designers and fashion illustrators I had (re-)discovered the day before and decided to make an applied effort to get into their heads as far as the creative juices were concerned."


Blog 4  - How to create a stay-wet-palette when painting with acrylics
"I always feel pressed for time when painting with acrylics, because the paint has such a fast drying time. I spray acrylic retarder over my paint, but it still dries out too quickly. Then I learned how to create a stay-wet-palette and my problem was solved. My acrylic paints will stay wet for days in these. Let me show you how."


Blog 5 - How to strengthen paper to take paint
"Did you ever have a piece of paper that you wanted to paint on, but you knew it would not be able to 'take' the paint? Then this BLOG is for you! A lot of people keep an art journal and often run into this problem. Mixed media artists also frequently encounter this problem. The solution is gesso. Gesso is the stuff that you paint on canvas to prepare the surface to accept paint. Few people know that this can also be applied to paper for the same purpose."


Blog 6 - Drawing and Blending Mediums: A comparative overview
"I was paging through one of my drawing books when I came across a tiny picture that fascinated me. It was a simple little picture and easy to draw, but the serenity appealed to me. I sat down to do a quick sketch and was immediately confronted by the question: which medium to use? And just like that this blog was born."


Blog 7 - Mixed Media on Paper
"Have you ever found an object and just knew immediately that you would put it to a completely different use than what it was intended for? This blog was created around just such an item. Here is what we are going to make today.
I worked on a surface I had prepared during a previous blog. In that blog I took a normal printer quality paper of 80 gsm. I painted it with two layers of gesso and left it to dry. This will strengthen the paper to be able to take paint. I then painted the whole page yellow, using acrylic paint and a flat brush. I put the flower wheels on this background and drew random flowers in a variety of colours, using the markers I bought."


Blog 8 - Painting with Oils on Paper
"A while ago I did a blog on strengthening paper with gesso. I showed you how it was possible to turn any paper, even printer paper of 80 gsm, into paper that was strong enough to handle paint. This blog follows up on that one, showing you how I continue with oil colours on one of the papers I prepared in this way."


Blog 9 - Small Paintings Triptych Part 1 of 2
"I love today's project, because it cost me next to nothing to make, since I worked solely on cut-off pieces of wood, that most other people would have discarded. See how nice it turned out?"


Blog 10  - Small Paintings Triptych Part 2 of 2
"Yesterday I published the first of two blogs on how to turn some discarded wood off-cuts into decorative works of art. This follow-up blog will give you the final steps in the process."


Blog 11 - Painting a Parisian Illusion
"Do you also love those paintings where the artist doesn't seem to actually paint anything and yet when you step back, the illusion of a scene appears? This is called impressionism. Today I will walk you trough the steps of painting an impression of a Parisian scene."


Blog 12 - At the Cross
"It is Easter Friday. This is the day on which we as Christians commemorate the indescribable grace Christ Jesus showed us when He willingly laid down His life so that our broken relationship with God could be restored. I did not want to simply publish another blog today. Instead, I wanted to write a blog that would bring honour to Jesus and underscore His sacrifice on the cross."


Blog 13 - Acrilpen on Paper
"In a previous blog I told you about the acrylic pens I bought and tested, called Acrilpen. It states on the pens that they are meant to be used on fabric and I have tried it on fabric already, posting my findings here. I was not done with those pens yet. I still wanted to know how they would fare on paper! I keep a few sheets of paper at hand that has been prepared with gesso. I talked about strengthening paper with gesso to prepare it to accept paint in a previous blog as well. I grabbed one of these sheets, because I would want to use the pens in combination with normal acrylic paint to see how well it worked together."


Blog 14 - Product Overview - Wax-bars Part 1
"Nobody who has been following my posts and blogs can be in any doubt that I am a staunch Derwent supporter, absolutely loving the quality of the products they have to offer. I have also been a long time admirer of their soluble waxbar, the Derwent Artbar. This is like an oil pastel in consistency, able to stick to a great many surfaces, e.g. glass, wet surfaces, plastic, oil paintings, etc. However, it is also water-soluble, which gives it the added benefit that you can paint it, similar to water-soluble pencils. Recently I came across a similar product by Reeves, the Reeves Wax Pastel. I have not been able to find a set with more than 12 colours (Derwent offers 72 – though it’s hard to find sets larger than 24). It wasn’t too badly priced and I bought a set to compare. I worked on sky blue Fabriano Elle Erre 220 gsm paper (the smooth side). Let me share my findings."


Blog 15 - Product Overview - Wax-bars Part 2
"In the previous blog of this two part series I did a product comparison of Derwent’s Artbar and Reeves’ Watersoluble Wax Pastels. I concluded that both were rather great products that could be used with great success. The question remains if one would be able to use the two in conjunction. This is exactly what I intend to find out in this blog. I decided to copy a fun oil painting of two clowns by C Henning."


Blog 16 - Using the Mouth Atomizer with Ink
"The main aim of today’s project is to show you how to use the mouth atomizer with ink. I am going to make a page for my art journal commemorating a painting I have done repeatedly for clients (albeit every time with small changes). The scene is of the Knysna heads in the Western Cape province of South Africa. If you ever make your way anywhere, this is high on the priority list of places to see."


Blog 17 - Art on Vacation - What to Pack
"I work across a wide variety of mediums and for this reason I find it rather difficult to decide what to pack when going away for a period of time. Leaving the art materials behind is never an option. As a result I have come up with this solution, which you may find useful. It goes without saying that you would have to adjust to suit your own needs and style, but the intention is to provide you with a starting block."


Blog 18 - Painting Flowers using Leaves
"This blog is aimed at breaking through the misconception a lot of people seem to have that they can't paint. I am going to use some unconventional methods to help you paint the picture below. Once you have done this, I hope that you will feel more confidant to pick up a brush and paint so as to start creating the wonderful pictures you have always dreamed of doing. This is also a fun painting project to do with kids, allowing for a great deal of freedom and easy success."


Blog 19 - Dutch Landscape in Oil Colours Part 1 of 2
"Have you been wanting to take up oil painting, but not knowing where to start? In the next two blogs I will show you how to paint this very easy painting all on your own. I will walk you through a number of tips and tell you a little about products, choice of brushes, etc. The painting is titled Dutch Nostalgia and is available from my collection in APrettyTalent.com's Gallery. Click here to go there."


Blog 20 - Dutch Landscape in Oil Colours Part 2 of 2
"In yesterday's blog we started with the creation of this painting. I showed you step by step how to go about selecting your tools and materials. Today we will finish the painting. Post pictures of your own paintings when you are done. The painting is titled Dutch Nostalgia and is available from my collection in  APrettyTalent.com's Gallery. Click here to go there."


Blog 21 - Mixed Media Art Journal - The measure of a woman
"Today's project is a fun one in which we are going to make a page for our art journal. I have the concept of womanhood in my mind and I keep playing with the word measurement, perhaps because I've been cutting out patterns."


Blog 22 - Understanding Colour
"When it comes to colour there are a number of important things we need to be aware of.  Most elementary would probably be the colour wheel. The colour wheel is divided into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colours."



Blog 23 - Derwent Inktense and a splash of Derwent Watercolour Pencils
"I recently had a conversation with a friend about which product would be the best to buy, Derwent Watercolour pencils, or Derwent Inktense pencils. I stated unequivocally that I would save up and buy both rather than have to choose between the two. That conversation inspired today's blog. Most of the painting is done in Inktense pencils, but I did use two watercolour pencils as well. I'll explain my choices as we go along."


Blog 24 - Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils
"I love working in charcoal! So when I discovered Derwent had a set of Tinted Charcoal there was no doubt in my mind that I would get myself a set of these. This was a couple of years ago and I am still as in love with the pencils, as I was when I first tested them. Let me share my enthusiasm with you."


Blog 25 - Putting Derwent Drawing coloring pencils to the test
"Of all the non-soluble coloring pencils I have ever tried, the ones I like best are Derwent's Drawing pencils. The set comes in 24 colors and they are luxuriously soft. The range was specifically developed to draw hair and landscapes and the colors are geared towards this, but I happily tolerate the color restrictions and use them in any subject I like for the mere pleasure of using them. Bear in mind that I have sets of 72 colors available to me when I say that. Let me walk you through this simple little project to show you why I love these pencils so much. (Please note that the Tatty Teddies are not my brainchild and if I knew who to credit with these lovely creatures, I would happily do so)."


Blog 26 - Marie's Drawing Set for Beginners are put to the test
"Marie's has put together a rather brilliant set of drawing materials aimed at budding artists, just venturing into the world of art. I have often remarked on the value for money that Marie's offer, but was wondering how far this set would take me before I started longing for something more. Well, when I start wondering about something, I make a plan to find out. Let me share my findings with you."


Blog 27 - Combining different charcoal products in your art
"I love working in charcoal and find it a very responsive medium. Yet, charcoal is more than just sticks of burned wood. It has evolved into a comprehensive range of products. Each product brings its own unique features to the task and today I will introduce you to the possibilities that exist in these."


Blog 28 - Painting your Graphite drawings
"Did you know that most, if not all, graphite pencils are water-soluble to a greater or lesser degree? This means that it is always possible to add water to your graphite drawings to soften lines or blend areas of the drawing. But then there are graphite pencils that is purposefully produced to be water-soluble. Let me show you how much fun you can have when you combine these with normal graphite pencils. Now, let us 'just add water!'"


Blog 29 - Painting with Oil Pastels
"I have never been a great fan of oil pastels, finding that they reminded me too much of crayons, which is another product I did not fancy much growing up. As a matter of fact, I would only use my crayons if I did not have any alternatives at all! My mom is quite the opposite. She loves oil pastels and will often pull hers out to work with. Where I love soft pastels, on the other hand, she hates them! But this works in some mysterious way, because I have free access to her soft pastels and she in return enjoys the same liberties with regards my oil pastels. Then I learned that you could dissolve oil pastels, and in effect paint with them. Now I have developed a great affinity for those hated oil pastels. Let me show you a simple project to try yourself."


Blog 30 - Learn to draw a cute owl step by step
"I had a special request by a follower to show her step by step how to draw an owl. Since the request accompanied a blog with a cute Tatty Teddy I assumed she was talking about a cute owl rather than a realistic one. I found this picture on the internet and adjusted it ever so slightly. I painted it with water-soluble wax bars. Let me walk you through the steps."


Blog 31 - Learn to draw an almost realistic owl step by step
"Still on the theme of drawing owl, I decided to attempt a more realistic bird. This was a quick sketch and certainly needs a whole lot more work to be truly finished, but I show you in a few quick steps how simple it really is to capture the essence of an owl. For this project I decided to work with woodless charcoal pencils, but any charcoal pencils could achieve the same results."


Blog 32 - Comparing Marco Raffine Coloring Pencils to Derwent
"When I published the blog where I used Derwent's Drawing pencils, someone commented that they preferred Marco Raffine because you got great quality at a fraction of the cost. When asked it turned out that this person had never actually used Derwent Drawing pencils. I, on the other hand, had never used Marco Raffine. It started me wondering how good these pencils were and if I would like them at all. You know by now that when I start to wonder about something I make a plan to find out. This time was not the exception to the rule. I bought myself a set of 12 Marco Raffine pencils today and immediately set out to test them. Let me share my findings with you."


Blog 33 - How to draw an uncomplicated wind-pump
"When a follower asked me to do a blog on how to draw a wind-pump, I had to give it a lot of thought. There are so many styles of drawing. Which one would I choose? Eventually I decided that I would draw the simplest form of a wind-pump that I could find. This will get the skeleton in place and from there anyone can make it as complicated or as easy as their own skill or needs would allow."


Blog 34 - Comparing Derwent Pencils to Derwent Pencils
"I had a very interesting discussion about coloring pencils with someone recently. It got me really curious about one range of Derwent pencils I had not tried yet - the Studio pencils. I had a blister set in store and opened it to find out more. What a lovely pencil! I then decided to test it next to more ranges by Derwent. If you've been wondering which pencils to buy then this blog is a must-read!"


Blog 35 - Is a blister pack of six coloring pencils at all useful for an artist?
"I will readily admit that I have always scornfully pulled my nose up at coloring pencils that came in sets of six. Even sets of 12 holds little attraction for me. In the previous blog I opened and tested just such a set of six coloring pencils when I wanted to put Derwent's Studio pencils to the test. I was so impressed with the pencils that I immediately decided that I need to buy myself the full set of 72 pencils. It was natural that I would start wondering what to do with six measly pencils I had tried the day before. Of what use are six single pencils to an artist after all? Once I asked this question, I decided to put it to the test to find out if a set like this held any value for a professional or not. I've had to compromise, but I think it actually works! Take the journey with me and decide for yourselves."


Blog 36 - Painting with Derwent Aquatone
"I was in a bit of a playful mood today, simply doodling and toying around with my products when I thought of painting some fairies. I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I've been spending so much time with the nieces and nephews over the holiday. When it came to painting these magical creatures, I could think of nothing better than Derwent Aquatone. Derwent Aquatone are solid watercolor pencils with no wood casing. It is a brilliant product and marvelous value for money."


Blog 37 - Painting with Derwent Aquatone on Black
"In the previous blog I introduced you to Derwent's brilliant product; Aquatone. Aquatone are solid watercolor pencils without a wooden casing. They are fantastic value for money and a brilliant product for professional artists. What I have failed to tell you yesterday is with how much success you can use these fabulous pencils on a black background. Their true vibrancy only comes into its own once it is used on black and the colors will pop off the page. Learn more about this in today's blog."


Blog 38 - How to draw a Zebra step by step with Derwent Graphitint
"Have you been wanting to draw a zebra, but found the idea daunting? Let me show you step by step how to draw one of these cute animals. I use Derwent Graphitint which I paint with water afterwards."


Blog 39 - Draw a Landscape step by step using Derwent Graphitint
"In the previous blog we made use of Derwent's Graphitint pencils to draw and paint a zebra. Being slightly dull in color it was pretty much a done deal that we would be able to do so successfully. The question remains if Graphitint pencils are at all useful if you want to do a colorful picture? I found a vibrant painting by Paul van Rensburg and put the pencils to the test. Let me walk you through it step by step."


Blog 40 - Drawing and Coloring a Giraffe step by step with Derwent Drawing Pencils
"Today I will show you how to draw a giraffe step by step. We will then color the giraffe using Derwent's Drawing pencils, a series specially designed to draw fur and landscapes. It is amazing how easy it is to set the right tone with these pencils. Let me walk you through the process step by step."


Blog 41 - Drawing Minnie Mouse's Face Step by Step for use on a card
"If you work with kids then you will know that they love Minnie Mouse (among others) and at some stage you are going to wish you knew how to draw the cute little mouse. I show you how to do just that in a step by step blog today and then go one step further when I mount the drawing on a birthday card. This blog is also a very nice one to use with older kids who are interested in drawing."


Blog 42 - Drawing Minnie Mouse's Complete Body Step by Step for use on a card
"In the previous blog I showed you how to draw Minnie Mouse's face step by step. This cute little mouse has a body that is just as much fun to draw, although it is ever so slightly more complicated. If you enjoyed drawing the face, then you have to try your hand at the body as well. I used this drawing on the inside of a birthday card I was making, but you could just as easily use it on the outside of the card as well."


Blog 43 - Drawing a dinosaur step by step with Derwent Drawing pencils
"I am not at all into dinosaurs. This is such a well-established fact that my family members all reacted with astonishment when they saw the subject for today's blog. So why draw a dinosaur? Because I have a little nephew who is enchanted by these huge monsters, and I bet many of you have a child like that in your lives as well. And so we draw dinosaurs! This drawing may appear very intricate, but it is one of the easiest animal drawings I have ever done. I break the process down into steps and walk you through it slowly. Even if you know nothing about drawing, you should be able to master this."


Blog 44 - Using Masking Fluid to Paint a Card
"Masking fluid is a wonderful medium that can be painted onto a paint surface to retain the original color of the surface. It dries into a rubbery substance that can simply be rubbed away with a finger once dry. In today's blog I show you an introduction to the medium which has much more to it than can be covered in this single blog. But it is a good place to start. We paint a simple design on a small piece of paper and then turn the tiny painting into a handy card that can be used for a variety of occasions."


Blog 45 - Oil Painting of an Abandoned Car Wreck
"I was recently approached by someone who asked me to paint a specific photo for them. I do not know who the photographer is and wish I could give credit where it is due. There is something very characterful about abandoned wrecks and houses that seems to evoke a universal nostalgia with people. I also loved the setting hinting at wide open fields and skies. This was going to be fun to paint. The client was keen on having a textured painting on an A0 canvas. Lovely! I decided to do two different interpretations of the same photo. One would be painted smoothly and the other textured. This way I can show you some of the versatility of oil colors."


Blog 46 - Textured Oil Painting of an Abandoned Car Wreck
"Clients approached me recently to paint a photo of their choice and I could not help getting excited when I saw the subject. I do not know who the photographer is to give credit where it is due. The client specified that they wanted a large canvas and finally settled on an A0 canvas. They also wanted the painting to be textured after having seen another painting I have painted with a palette knife. I have shown you how to paint this photo smoothly in a previous blog and now I will show you how to do a different interpretation where we add texture to the painting."


Blog 47 - Watercolors on Wax Resist Pumpkins
"In today's blog we will be making a set of two small watercolor paintings. I will show you how to use wax resist to help you to retain white and color layers in the painting. The paintings are available from the Gallery in APrettyTalent.com under Miekie."


Blog 48 - Drawing Cute Cows
"Recently I was asked for some designs for cows by someone wanting to decorate a farm themed kitchen. They had some unsightly shelves that they wanted to cover with painted fabric decorations. In today's blog I show you how to draw two cute cows, specifically with fabric painting in mind. These will look great in the traditional cattle colors as well as in any strange colors of your choice. After all, who said cows could not be pink with purple spots?"



Blog 49 - Adding Fun Drawings to your Adult Coloring Pages - step by step dinosaurs
"Today's blog is all about having fun with those coloring pages you've been working so hard on. I found this color by number page in one of my adult coloring books. I am not a fan of color by number, but I immediately saw the potential that this one had and dutifully proceeded to color it with Derwent Coloursoft Pencils. Once it was done, I took great pains in framing and mounting it in a sturdy box frame (see the previous blog). With this done it was finally time to do what I envisioned right from the start; to draw some dinosaurs and add them to the scene. I show you step by step how to draw and color these dinosaurs in today's blog, before showing you how to add them to the scene so that they are interactive and FUN!"


Blog 50 - Using a Filbert Brush to Paint Trees Effortlessly
"In this blog I want to introduce you to only one of the uses of the very versatile Filbert brush. A Filbert is a flat brush with a rounded top. They come in a wide range of bristle types and can be used with equal success across all mediums of paint. I am going to show you how to use these brushes to paint trees effortlessly."


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