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Information and rants on products or art gibberish. The types of things you may like to know and we just can't keep inside.

Drawing On Experience

Material Study of Graphite on Paper

© Michelle Grant

I love using pencil. Just me and a stick of graphite. I’m a persistent scribbler but at times I wish I could slow down and capture a bit more. The other day I overheard the artist Michelle Grant talking to a student about using different grades of pencils to achieve different effects and it was very interesting, so I asked her to write down her thoughts. Below is what she came up with. I especially love the idea of a marriage between the type of pencil and the paper you're using…

Paula Henchell • Oil Painting Step-By-Step • Flower Fairy

Leisure Painter Magazine - August 2014

Paula Henchell • Oil Painting Step-By-Step • Leisure Painter

We are always proud to showcase the talents and achievements of our art instructors. Paula has been teaching at Swinton's for six years now, and in this time has honed her skills, in teaching and in her art, to great heights.

Follow her painting process in the latest of her articles published in Leisure Painter Magazine (August 2014), where she outlines how to achieve the illusion of depth, what colours to use for skin tones, how to attain glowing colours by glazing and create visual interest by building up areas of detail.

Enjoy the demonstration and don't forget to leave a comment below. Paula loves the attention :)

Rain, Rain, Go Away... Wait... Rain, Rain Stay and Play!

Painting rainy scenes takes a bit of skill but the potential for a great painting is worth the effort. Here is why.

Rain, Rain, Go Away... Wait... Rain, Rain Stay and Play!

Just before a long stretch of rain, the atmosphere builds up with a momentum of activity that has clouds gathering, dancing, swirling and pushing up against each other, jockeying for position. The heat from the earth rises and the cool air falls, precipitating chaos in the sky. When the rain breaks out, the cloud formations can be jaw-dropping. Giant puffers bubbling up and disappearing as fast as they are born. Perfect for sky motive paintings.

7 Benefits of Painting with a Limited Palette

Achieve a greater balance through your painting.

7 Benefits of Painting with a Limited Palette

My youngest son is a genius. He asked me, “Dad, how come you are having a sale in the store, and while trying to sell more paint you write about painting with fewer colours?”

Using less colours means you are spending less money but you will paint more when you see the results. The goal of a limited palette is to gain more control and get rid of the frustration and confusion. You can always expand your repertoire once you learn to paint efficiently.

7 benefits of painting using a limited palette...

10 things I’ve learned about framing.

Framing your art for success.

10 things I’ve learned about framing.

Framing doesn’t have to be expensive to look good. There are many options for making frames look fantastic without spending a lot of money. Below is a list of 10 things to consider while making decisions about how and why to frame your work.

11 Things I Know About Painting Nocturnes

by Robert E. Wood

11 Things I Know About Painting Nocturnes

During these short winter days here in Canada, there is one thing we have a lot of: night. Oddly, not a lot of artists paint nocturnal paintings. I learned to paint nocturne's from artist Harold Lyon, for whom night scenes have been a significant subject for more than four decades. Regardless if you're painting a landscape, a western cowboy and horses, or a romantic scene of lovers under the stars, the reflected light from the sun, bouncing off the moon and illuminating our nights creates an alluring image... Here are some of the things I know about painting moonlit scenes:

10 Tips on Painting Realistic Snow

Stop shoveling it and go paint it!

10 Tips on Painting Realistic Snow
Looking out my window at the giant pile of snow on my driveway I thought to myself - snow is a wonderful thing to paint - and instead of shovelling I wrote down 10 things I know about painting snow.

Colour Review: Gamblin Warm White Oil Paint

Gamblin Warm White Oil Paint
This is a completely different colour to the normal Titanium Buff that is offered by most oil manufactures. It's creamy in nature but still has a robust feel when dipped into. Here's the scoop...

Drawing

Begin by sketching

Doug Swinton Drawing Sketches

Drawing. That simple art exercise that eludes some artists and yet elates others. I can’t tell you how often I am asked if one needs drawing skills to be able to paint. The fact of the matter is, artists able to paint correctly, with no drawing skills what so ever are few and far between. It takes a vast amount of skill and dexterity to be able to paint what you see and juxtapose colour upon colour, stroke next to stroke, without having any drawing ability whatsoever.

In comparison, the music world has many musicians who cannot read a stitch of sheet music and learn by ear. The incomparable Johnny Cash very deftly did this, writing and performing his songs without the ability to read musical notes. Tablature, a form of reading music without notes, was created out of the fact that many musicians couldn’t read music. Similarly, one doesn’t have to be able to draw to be able to paint, or for that matter, one doesn’t need to be able to draw well in order to paint a painting. But here’s the snag…

Leisure Painter Magazine: Paula Henchell - Part 2

Paula Henchell - Leisure Painter Magazine - October 2013

Paula Henchell Artwork

This is the final part of a two part article published in Leisure Painter Magazine. 

Paula Henchell, one of our fine instructors, demonstrates in a straightforward fashion how this combination of watercolour and acrylic painting comes to life. Paula's paintings are realistic and her approach to painting is systematic and based on abstract design. The dreamy poured background is a soft stage for the rhythmic design of the detailed flower in the foreground.

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