Elements of Design – 1. Shape

Welcome back to my website. With this article I return to the topic of design elements. Design elements and principles are the bricks that our paintings are made of. Saying that knowing how to implement them is important is an understatement. The truth is that without mastering them you simply cannot hope to master the “language” that is painting. It is similar to learning the…

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“Painting a Night Scene” Full Demonstration [+Video]

In today’s demonstration I’d like to talk about value patterns from slightly different angle. When discussing value patterns, usually the conversation is quite abstract and perhaps even difficult to grasp. This painting should provide a very reasonable example of when a need to consider value patterns arises. The subject for today’s painting is mostly made up, in other words, “inspired” by a real life scene….

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Guest Artist: “Drawing vs. Painting – A Considered Approach” by Russell Black

When we, as artists, come to the easel and begin the work of creating a painting, we have a number of methods and approaches at our disposal. How we proceed from our initial idea and concept through to the finished painting is our choice, but the working methods can either help us, or hinder our efforts. I’ve always been of the belief that the working…

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Review: Platinum Carbon Black Fountain Pen Ink

Only a few weeks passed since I started my great ink lightfastness tests and already several inks show rapid deterioration. That’s why I am already heavily inclined to use inks that are marked “permanent”. One such ink appears to be an offering from the Japanese brand Platinum. Carbon Ink is a pigmented ink that promises permanence through “carbon” pigment particles. From the short time I…

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The Great Fountain Pen Ink Lightfastness Project!

When reviewing fountain pen inks I noted several times how unfortunate it is that there is no standardized testing done for the durability of dyes and pigments used in making of fountain pen inks across the industry against UV exposure, or lightfastness (read more about lightfastness on Wikipedia). This would help assure the correct selection of inks for any particular purpose, such as lightfast ink…

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“Shapes and Color” Full Demonstration [+Video] + Commentary & Critique by Russell Black

  When it comes to painting in watercolor, there are three fundamental methods. They are, 1) Wash & Silhouette, 2) Wet-into-Wet, and 3) Brush Line or the “calligraphic” approach. With the Wash & Silhouette approach, we can break this down even further to three basic methods, 1A) the “traditional” or layered approach which was pioneered by the English and is still the principle way to…

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How to Set up Your Watercolor Palette: 7. Conclusion, Final Tips and Resources

Welcome to the conclusion to the series on watercolor palette setup. Throughout the series we discussed my personal palette, how temperature is the basis for a successful understanding of our paint selection and mixing, how we best select our actual paints, how we decide on our palette layout and I also showed you a selection of my studio palettes and portable paintboxes and shared my…

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