The psy-link between painting and photography

Today we are going to learn about The psy-link between painting and photography. When you think of American photographers who have made a difference, the names of Ansel
Adams
or Robert Mapplethorpe may come to mind. But the first American to spur change by
tripping a shutter was Alfred Stieglitz, who also ran a painting gallery. He was the first to define
photography as a fine art. Stieglitz mentored Adams. He gave him the idea of making photography
the “equivalent” of painting. And Robert Mapplethorpe, whose lens art is celebrated for its poetry,
began his career as a student of painting.

The psy-link between painting and photography
“Projeto mural” – photograph by Ansel Adams

And just as photography learned its art lessons from painting, the reverse ultimately took place with
the advent of photo-real painting, also known as super-realism. The photo-realist movement in
painting also showed up in sculpture and Tampa Museum offers examples from the Martin Z.
Margulies Collection, as well as its own example in paint: Ralph Goings’ “Collin’s Diner.”

Collin’s Diner outside view
Collin’s Diner outside view

If you think super-realist painting is just naturalism in cinematic Technicolor, you should see
“Collins Diner.” His is not the stuff of representational imagery. It’s about what a camera sees.
Paintings in this case take on the look of good quality color slides, often made section by section
and sometimes upside down, the aim being the look of reproductions, not interpretation.

Ralph Goings - inside Collin's Diner
Ralph Goings – inside Collin’s Diner

In Goings’ 48-by-68-inch oil painting, there’s more to the eatery than meets the eye. Even with
20/20 acuity, human sight isn’t designed to record the amount of detail that Goings records.

So you’re looking at something beyond realism. Intensity, in the glare of polished diner chrome, is
everywhere: from the precise, razor edge of the tapering second hand on the concave crystal casing
of the diner wall clock to the discernible thickness of a diner patron’s eyeglasses.

With these details, the painting seems to reflect urban life in its seemingly endless facets of
scrubbed metal and glass – monuments to industrial hygiene and sterility. Like a still life, “Collins
Diner” also enumerates the furnishings of our time: paper cups, fast food, swivel stools and the
inevitable clock by which we live.

Signs of the human condition are no match for the overriding crispness of high gloss. A snapshot of
newlyweds on a shelf cannot minimize the bland, neutral anonymity of the whitewashed,
untouched-by-human-hands environment. Man looks like an intruder in his own man-made space. It
is as if in exchange for a high-tech world, he traded off his leading role for a bit part.

Out of this painter’s extraordinary exactness, then, comes social commentary, not only reporting.
Just as omission is a form of editorializing, an opinion also is expressed when nothing is ignored
and everything is emphasized.

And therein lays both Goings’ appeal and his significance. If focus is so sharply defined that
everything in sight looks magnified and underlined as if in red, what you have is a kind of
expressionism – not realism. When Goings flawlessly projects what a camera faultlessly sees, rather
than what the human eye perceives – peripheral blur and all; when art looks like a high-quality color
slide rather than pigments brushed on by hand, he only reiterates the message: Next to precision and
spic-and-span shiny smoothness, people look grimy and beat.

We at Paintings Studio hope you enjoyed reading the article about the psy-link between painting and photography. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

Water Dreaming (Lungkata Tjungurrayi)

We at Paintings Studio today are pleased to present to you information about Lungkata Tjungurrayi, or in its full name “Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi”. is a Pintupi man born at Walukuritji (c. 1920 – 1987) south of Lake Macdonald, and is best known as an artist, and important member with Papunya Tula Artists.

Children’s Water Dreaming 1972, 62 x 44 cm, Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi
Children’s Water Dreaming 1972, 62 x 44 cm, Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi

Aborigines used Australia’s wealth in ochre colors (iron oxides) to paint their mythologies on sand, cut bark of stringybark tree and their bodies. In 1972, acrylic paints and masonite boards were made available to a few Aboriginal men congregating in a ‘painting club’. While the usage of contemporary materials served to adulterate, it also helped to popularize Australian Aboriginal art.

Classic Pintupi Water Dreaming 1972, 62 x 42 cm, Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi
Classic Pintupi Water Dreaming 1972, 62 x 42 cm, Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi

Last year, early ‘Papunya’ boards were shown at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU. Paintings from the exhibition are reproduced in a book icons of the desert that also provides anthropological information on Aboriginal art and artists.

Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi, detail of a group portrait, Men’s painting room, Papunya, 1972
Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi, detail of a group portrait, Men’s painting room, Papunya, 1972

Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi, then 52 yr old, was a member of the 1972 painting club. In his ‘Water Dreamings’, he painted the distant region of his youth. Water Dreamings can be openly shown unlike secret men mythologies that were displayed during the NYC exhibition in a separate room. At the entrance, a message warned Aboriginal women not to enter there. These secret boards are reproduced in a separate, removable folder within icons of the desert. (Women, too, possess secret mythologies).

Researching classical pigments, a British journalist visited Australia on her quest for ochre. In her book COLOR, a Natural History of the Palette she writes about contemporary Australian Aboriginal painters, many of whom are women. She also visited the schoolteacher who created the 1972 painting club and thereby provided the impetus for popularizing Australian Aboriginal art.

An explanation of Dreaming is given in COLOR, a Natural History of the Palette:

Traditional Aboriginal life only makes sense in the context of the time when Ancestors first arose out of the original mud or sea or sky and brought the first sunrise with them. In English it is articulated as the “Dreaming” or “Dreamtime” – a dream in the sense that it is not set in the past, but a kind of parallel present universe, rather like the one that we operate in while we are asleep. In Aboriginal lore, the Dreaming is the reason for everything that has ever existed and ever will exist. And its stories are told in layers, depending on how ready, or authorized, the listener is to understand them. It is said that your personal Dreaming depends on where your mother was when she first felt you in the womb. The Ancestors who live in that place have given you “anima” – they have animated you – and when you grow up their stories and songs will be in your trust, and you in theirs.

Religious Oil paintings

religious oil paintings

Religious oil paintings bring your home to life! If you have lived in your home for many years, chances are you might be a little bored with your surroundings. Before repainting or recarpeting, consider purchasing new religious oil paintings. Christian paintings can dramatically change the look and feel of any room.

For instance, you might want to hang a large, historical piece by Arnold Friberg in a formal dining room. This will lend an air of dignity and grace to the room. Works by Larry Dyke can quickly become the centerpiece of any office. Your children’s bedrooms will benefit from the cheerful, touching beauty of religious oil paintings of angels and cherubs.

Religious Oil Paintings Online

The best place to find religious oil paintings and other Christian artworks is online. The Internet is a great source of religious art, with amazing variety. You can easily find signed and numbered prints by all of today’s top artists. You can even commission an artist to make a portrait of your family!

Signed and numbered prints are excellent investments. The more famous the artist, and the smaller the printing, the better your odds of having the painting appreciate in value. This is why signed and numbered prints are ideal baptism gifts. Their value increases over time.

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Still Life: The Basics of Drawing a Pencil Still Life for beginners

still life

Drawing is an artistic skill that can be improved by combining natural talent with diligent practice. A simple still life is a good place to start in learning to create attractive pencil drawings. Beginner artists may consider these tips for drawing a still life.

Still Life Drawing Supplies

Begin with the necessities for drawing. You will need a sketching paper or a sketchpad, pencils, an eraser, a pencil sharpener and perhaps a blending tool. A blending tool is a pencil-shaped device made of paper, either end of which can be used to blend pencil or pencil crayons. Once used, the ends can be sanded to remove excess pencil lead. You may appreciate the look of charcoal or conté, but it is often easier to learn with a pencil.

Consider sketching pencils. An “HB” pencil is a regular pencil – students will use in it school for math class. A number alongside “H” on a pencil indicates the hardness of the lead. The higher the number, the lighter the pencil marks will be. A number alongside “B” on a pencil indicates the softness of the lead, and how dark the pencil marks would be. The higher the number, the darker the pencil marks. Therefore “HB” is in the middle of the spectrum. These different pencils help with shading in sophisticated pencil drawings.

A beginner artist can learn well with a simple HB pencil. However, while practising, you may wish to experiment with different sketching pencils as well.

Drawings Shapes and Shading in Pencil Sketches

Drawing is a skill that takes some practice to do well. For learning, begin with something simple, like an apple. Look at the apple before you; noticed its curves. Apples are not perfectly round, as much as some look like they are. The apple may have a round middle, but inevitably dips in on the top, where the stem is. Taking note of this shape, begin drawing with the outline. Drawing a still life is translating to the page what you see. To best form the outline, be sure to observe the apple often, comparing it to the drawing. Draw the outline with a light hand, as it will be easier to erase mistakes.

Pencil sketching looks at shapes, shadows and colour contrasts rather than colours and shades. Consider the shadows as well as differences in shades of colour on the apple. For example, a mostly red apple may have a spot of yellow on it as well. As a lighter colour, it requires lighter shading.

When shading, start with the outline and work your way inward. When using a simple HB pencil, shade lightly and go over the same area until the shadows are as dark as desired. This keeps mistakes easy to erase if need be. If you do not have a blending tool, shading can be smoothed lightly with a fingertip. As with the outline, compare the drawing to the apple. Does the shading gradually become lighter or darker, as it does on the apple? Have you left a spot of white where a light may be reflecting off the apple?

A good trick for creating such a spot of light is to shade the area lightly and erase it in whatever shape the light is in. In the case of the apple, it would likely be an upside-down tear drop shape that curves slightly. Moreover, rubbing the shading lightly with a blending tool helps to better even out the pencil lines and keeps fingers clean.

Beginner artists may try these tips for pencil sketching a still life. Remember that drawing is a skill that can be learned with an artistic eye and plenty of practice. If the first still life drawing is unsatisfactory, simply try again.

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A Guide to Acrylic Paint Brushes

paint brush

A Guide to the Acrylic Paint Brush

While painting with acrylic, there are many different brushes that can give you your desired effect. Many beginner artists wonder what each paint brush does and what they are used for. This article will explain some of the key brushes when painting with acrylic.

Filbert – This paint brush has a flat profile with a point that is slightly rounded. When using it on its side, it will give a thin line. When used flat, the filbert gives a broad brush stroke. It is used for softening edges and giving a variety of strokes.

Fan Brush – The fan brush has a flat profile and spreads out like a fan. It is used for blending from color to color. Also, I like to use it for creating fur on animals. I dip the tip of my brush into my paint and very lightly and smoothly make a stroke. There are different sizes depending on what you are trying to create.

Round – The more you press down the wider this brush becomes. It is thin at the top coming to a point. It can create a variety of thin and thick lines depending on the pressure applied to the brush. It is easier to use with thinned paint.

Pointed Round – This brush is thinner than the round paint brush. It too has a pointed tip. It is best used for small detailed areas.

Detail Round – The detail round has shorter hairs than the round and pointed round. It is very small and is best used for areas that have a lot of detail. I use this brush a lot if I am painting words, eyelashes, cracks, and a lot of other objects.

Bright – The bright paint brush has a flat profile with short hairs. The hairs curve inwards as you get closer to the tip of the brush. It is good when painting with thick, heavy paint.

Flat – Of course, this brush has a flat profile. The tip is very squarish and has medium sized hairs. I use this brush a lot for fine lines, and edges. The square tip makes it easy to use when trying to get straight lines.

Angular – The angular paint brush also has a flat profile with long hairs starting at one side and getting shorter at the other side. The hairs end at an angle. This brush is great when try to fill in corners because of its angle. It can be used when trying to get into small areas.

The more you experiment with these brushes, the better you will become at using them. My advice is to get a piece of paper and try all the different techniques with each brush. Learning the techniques will help you in painting a finished piece.


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How to Paint a Mural for Your Child’s Bedroom

child's bedroom mural

Painting a mural for your child’s bedroom can create a unique environment for your son or daughter. The choices for mural topics are endless. My wife and I have painted murals in two bedrooms in our house. If you would like to do the same, please consider the following tips based on our experience.

Tip1: Choose a Theme for the Mural

Themes can range from bumblebees to trains to Disney Princesses. The sky is the limit! However, when painting a mural for your child’s bedroom, consider how long the child will enjoy the theme. Your five-year-old daughter may love Little Einsteins now, but will she two years from now?

When our daughter was born, we painted a jungle theme for her bedroom, complete with a pink elephant and a yellow giraffe on the walls. Our daughter is almost four and still loves her bedroom. We just finished another mural of Mulan in the spare bedroom because we are expecting another daughter in three months.

Tip 2: Get your Equipment

Painting a mural for your child’s bedroom is so much easier when you have access to an overhead projector. Using an overhead projector allows you to draw your mural on a smaller scale, like 8 ½ inches by 11 inches, which is much easier than drawing on a wall free hand. Also, using an overhead projector allows you to just print a template off the internet, if you find something you like.

I am a fairly artistic individual, but when painting a mural in my daughter’s bedroom, it still would have been difficult for me to get the proportions correct when drawing large figures on the walls. Using an overheard projector allows you to get these proportions correct and also allows you to appropriately space out figures, trees, and other objects on the walls.

Tip 3: Trace in Pencil

Yes, it is quicker to just start painting, but my tip is to trace in pencil first. This is time consuming, but so is painting a mural for your child’s bedroom in the first place. If you wanted to save time, you would have just bought some border and some large wall clings and called it a day instead of spending hours working on a mural.

Tip 4: Pick your Paint

Many different paints can work when painting a mural for your child’s bedroom. Much of the decision boils down to personal preference. We have used both Dutch Boy Dirt Fighter acrylic latex paint and Apple Barrel acrylic paint. Both paints applied well, but they required two coats, as expected. We used a variety of brushes, including traditional brushes, rollers and sponge brushes. My tip is to buy a variety pack, especially if your mural includes very intricate details.

Tip 5: Outline Correctly

Unless you are going for a bold, comic-book type mural (think Superman bashing through a wall), do not outline the characters and details in black. The outlines will be too harsh. For a softer, more organic feel, mix the color with a little bit of black.

In our daughter’s bedroom, the pink elephant is outlined in a darker shade of pink. The yellow and orange giraffe is outlined in a dark orange. This technique works with all but the darkest colors. With very dark greens, browns and blues, you may need to use black to outline the details.

I hope you consider these tips when painting a mural for your child’s bedroom. Your child will appreciate a special bedroom of her very own!

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10 Simple Interior Painting Tips

interior painting tips

One of the quickest and easiest ways to change your rooms and put your personal stamp on them is to paint them. Interior painting tips like those below can help you revamp your home all by yourself. Although it is easy to find a painter to do the work for you, painting a room yourself is much less expensive and need not be a difficult task. Your local paint and/or hardware store has knowledgeable staff who can explain and help you choose the type of paint and the correct amount you will need. Additionally, here are some hints from my experiences painting to make your work easier.

Interior Painting Tips

1. Take the screws from the outlet and switch plates you removed and tape them to the piece itself. No more losing those little screws or trying to match them to the appropriate plate.

2. Make sure you have a pack of razor blades. If you get paint on a glass window, glass door, or tile you can just scrape it off when it dries with no fuss. They are also useful to cut through layers of paint if you have old casement windows who get painted permanently shut.

3. Carry a wet cloth (I use an old washrag) to use on little drips or “errors.” It’s handy and can save time later. It’s especially useful for doorknobs or window handles that might accidentally get a swipe of paint on them.

4. Have plastic bags or plastic wrap easily available in case you have to leave the scene – for a break, answering the phone, answering the door, a quick email check, whatever. Wrap your brush and/or roller with it so it stays moist and supple. Sometimes distractions take longer or time flies and if so you won’t come back to stiffened implements. I save the plastic produce bags from the market which are perfect for this.

5. Wear head covering! It’s much easier to clean a cheap shower cap or bandanna than to keep washing your hair until you get the paint out. You will get paint in your hair! You can reuse the head covering when you paint again.

6. Write the color and brand of the paint in pencil somewhere it won’t show. I usually write it on the back of one of the outlet plates with a sharpie. Those paper samples you intend to keep can easily get lost. It might also be useful to note the amount of paint used for the room.

7. When rehanging something on your walls, put a small piece of cellophane tape where you intend to sink a nail or screw. This will keep the paint/plaster from chipping and/or cracking. (Likewise, if hanging something on wallpaper, cut a small “v” at that spot and nail right into the wall. Then when you remove it you can just push the wallpaper back in place and it shouldn’t show.)

8. Put a little of your paint color in a baby food or other small jar and seal it tightly and store it with your cleaning supplies. Keep it handy for future touch ups. Yes, you are going to save what’s leftover in the paint cans but we all know garages “hide” things when we need them. You can purchase a cheap set of brushes perfect for touchups. Check out the school supply section of a general merchandise store for an inexpensive set.

9. Drape a cloth or cloths over your ceiling fan when painting your ceiling. I took my blades off once and shocked to see all the paint on the tops of them.

10. I was once successful in keeping little gnats and bugs off my wet, fresh paint by putting in a little citronella in the paint. It didn’t affect the paint but gave off that citrus smell that bugs don’t like.

Green Tip: Check out the low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints – good for you, and good for the planet!

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Layering painter John Decker emerges with new aesthetic.

layering

Born and bred in Huntington Beach where the sun-soaked suburbia, and cityscapes inspire his ironic and nostalgic compositions, John Deakers commits to layering – he layers paint, mixed media, three-dimensional figures, and different planes of realities.

Focused on subjects like peg-legged Icarus-types, to angsty one-eyed teens, Deakers does not immortalize typical heroes; rather, he deicts the characters at their lows, or amidst the mundaneness of everyday life.

Don’t Worry Baby

Altering the Southern California image of sparkling clean glamour, Deakers creates images of disillusioned adolescence. With a tone of despair, in “Don’t Worry Baby”, a forsaken figure leans against the side of a white truck, as the boy’s backdrop is a pixilation of rectangular images together making a row of houses.

The dedication to a rectangular composition in “Don’t Worry Baby” introduces the work of quilting in layers of paint, like layers of fabric. As he compiles overlapping squares to create the sky he mixes blue with the sparse gray and brown for the smog-ridden atmosphere. The layering tradition is repeated in the boy’s pants, as Deakers mixes actual jean and other media to explore texture and textiles as an element of layering in aesthetic experience.

Contesting David Hockney

As if in dialogue with the iconic Los Angeles painter, David Hockney, Deakers refutes what Hockney favors in his persistent and even delirious embrace of a world constituted. Exaggerated and imbued with garish tones that heighten compositions to the brink of cartoon, Deakers layers in familiar pop culture entities like Seven-Elevens to ground them in current reality. Like Edward Hopper’s “Night Hawk”, the jarring florescence echoes the same image comment on the isolation of commercialism.

Justin Rudd Nonprofit

Deakers is currently sponsored by Justin Rudd, the head of a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization that promotes and sponsors beach cleanups, spelling bees and other community building events. While some of his work is traditionally worked on in his private workspace, John also creates out of a van, taking his pastels and brushes, and draws for an audience.

Tools of Artistry

Straying away from the traditional tools of artistry, Deakers paints off of pieces of cardboard boxes, like “Donuts”, in which he paints a donut shop with telephone wires in the foreground, and the reoccurring smog layering the composition once again. Seemingly made from the rings of a coffee cup, polyp-like clouds envelop the top section of the image, layering in a heaviness of paint, but a depth of atmosphere, like sfumato on acid.

Deakers’s collection of layering continues with his three-dimensional painting structures. The “Orange Juice” piece’s two-dimensional composition is imbedded in a crate of oranges, as the boy breaks through the fourth wall of the two-dimensional image and reaches for the orange above him.

With a fresh-squeezed practice of multi-media layering, John Deakers expands the painting aesthetic beyond the brush and canvas. Reigning from Southern California, Deakers harnesses the California experience: with his imagery of familiar California suburbia, but intertwining the ironically angsty yet fantastical, he coats in multiple levels of emotionality through his commitment to layering.

We hope this article was inspiring for you! Please contact us if you have any further questions about the layering technique.

Preschool Painting: Ideas for Parents and Educators

preschool painting ideas

Art is play for young children. Providing art experiences to children allows them not only express themselves but to develop fine and gross motor skills as well. These preschool painting ideas can help you give them fantastic learning and fun experiences!

Paper

Offering a wide variety of preschool painting ideas for your kids will help them be super happy little beings! Paper is the first thing you will need in big supply as it is important for experimentation. Posterboard, tracing paper, butcher paper and cardboard are all nice to have on hand. Try cutting the paper into a variety of shapes, circles and long triangles often produces interesting results. Children may enjoy kneeling over a piece of paper on the floor, standing up at an easel or sitting at a desk, or if you are brave, tape a large piece of paper along a wall or fence.

Color

To allow for success, offer colors that mix well together. Primary colors (red, yellow and blue) all mixed together create shades of brown. Try offering just two colors at a time and encourage conversation about what happens when the colors are mixed. Paper plates make great pallets. Washable tempera paint is versatile and readily available at discount stores.

Brushes

One way to encourage children to create art is to offer ways for children to get paint to paper that allows freedom from depicting images from life and concentrates more on play and experimentation. Some of these creative brushes include: feather dusters, tooth brushes and Qtips. Dipping toy cars in paint and allowing them to drive along a long paper is great fun. Play some music and have children drum onto paper with paint covered hands. Mix paint with a small amount of water in a spray bottle, hang a piece of paper along a wall and let children spray the paper.

Hang art work in a prominent spot to bolster a child’s self confidence. Most of all, approach art making with a sense of wonder and fun.

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Home Improvement: Painting the Hearth

painting the hearth

Painting the hearth is a great way to change the look of the fireplace and fireplace hearth.There are many reasons people decide to paint their fireplace hearth, including wear or unavailable replacements for brick or stone.

Preparation is tedious, but important. Measure the area you will be painting. The hardware store will be able to recommend how many gallons of paint are needed for your project when you tell them the area to be covered. The hearth needs cleaned, which means the entire fireplace should be scoured clean. Make any repairs to brick, stone, or mortar after the initial cleaning, being certain to clean up any accidental spills or cement. Based on past experience, I recommend a full twenty-four hour period of drying time. That minimizes paint bubbles and peeling.

Cleaning the Hearth

Spread several drop clothes around the hearth, to keep the flooring or carpet clean. Brush or vacuum the area to be painted. TSP (trisodium phosphate) is a great cleaner and degreaser. It also works wonders with smoke stains and soot. Use a nylon scrubber and scrub brush. Because TSP can sometimes irritate or burn hands, wear rubber gloves. You can get the scrubber, scrub brush, and gloves at your local Dollar Store. TSP can generally be found at your local hardware store. If you are young, ask Grandma or Grandpa. TSP was a household cleaning name way back when. It was the perfect cleaner for asphalt tile.

Painting the Hearth

Leave the drop cloths to protect the flooring and items that can’t be moved. Use masking tape as an edging around the hearth and fireplace (do not get any paint on the inside of the fireplace). I use ¾” tape to be on the safe side. Meticulous people can get by with ½” tape. This is often available at the Dollar Store, and always at the local hardware store.

If you have a flat or slightly-textured surface, you can use a regular paint roller. If it is more textured, as in bricks or stones with strips of mortar in-between, get a roller with more nap. If you are painting the entire fireplace, get an extension pole for the paint roller, as well. You should also have available a durable stepladder. Purchase them at the hardware store.

If you are painting brick that has not been painted before, use primer first, letting it dry overnight. If the hearth gets a lot of use, apply two coats of paint. When repainting, a semi- gloss with primer added will do. I encourage the use of semi- gloss because high gloss paint really brings out imperfections. If you intend to keep the same color for the rest of time, buy enamel paint. If you are like me and think you will change your mind in the next few years, buy acrylic. It is easier to paint over or remove. Also, water easily washes acrylic paint off the rollers.

The Home Depot, True Value, and Lowes are excellent hardware stores for supplies. They usually have guidelines or a class scheduled for do-it-yourself projects. Many WalMart stores also carry home improvement supplies.

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