August 3, 2022
Preparing for Your First Craft or Vendor Show

By Tina Martin Whether you're one of the almost 2.5 million Americans who work primarily as an artist, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, or you're just dabbling with a side business, craft, and vendor shows, it’s important to get your handcrafted goods in front of an audience that's ready to buy. Preparing […]

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April 7, 2022
9 Ways to Prevent Messy Oil Painting

I've been oil painting for over 15 years. I like oil paint because of its incredible versatility, blending capabilities, forgiving technique, stability, and perceived value in the marketplace. But that choice can bring a number of challenges if you are used to water-based paints. So how can you keep from making a big mess when […]

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March 19, 2022
Oil Painting Surfaces: Everything You Need to Get Started

Oil paint is a very versatile medium that sticks to many different types of surfaces. However, depending on your painting style and goals as an oil painter, some surfaces are better than others. Let's dive in and take a look at some different surfaces for oil painting and give you all the information you need […]

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January 19, 2022
Resin 101: Introduction To Creating Resin Art

Creating artwork with resin can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you know the basics. Are you looking for a DIY project related to art and craft? Something enticing, colorful, and unique? This article will fulfill your curiosity, and after you’ve finished reading, you’ll get to know how to create your epoxy […]

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January 11, 2022
Bad Smelling Oil Paint-And What To Do About It

One of the biggest reasons I hear about why people don't want to paint in oils is because of the fumes and or toxicity. This always surprises me because in reality, good, quality oil paint is no more toxic than watercolor or acrylic, and it doesn't have to smell bad. In this article, I'll discuss […]

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December 6, 2021
Seven Secrets for Good Tree Paintings

In most landscape paintings, trees are usually the center of interest or at least a strong element in the scene. Their variety of shapes, not just among different species, but among how they are arranged, can enhance any landscape painting. However, poorly-painted trees can be the number one reason for failed landscape paintings. Among beginning […]

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November 3, 2021
Eight Secrets for Good Sunset Paintings

Painting sunsets is something many artists enjoy doing. The beautiful, intense colors, simplified foreground, and dramatic clouds beckon us to pick up our brushes and make our best attempts to capture that gorgeous but fleeting moment. However, there are many mistakes that beginning and even seasoned artists can make that will ruin their sunset paintings. […]

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May 16, 2021
How to Make the Color Black Without Black Paint

Black is probably the most controversial color an artist can have on their palette. Some artists swear by it and wouldn't dare paint without it, other artists will have nothing to do with it. We are going to explore the topic of the color black in painting and how to mix the color black without […]

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March 31, 2021
Giving Your Oil Painting That Glossy Look

There are many different reasons artists choose to paint with oil paint. While numerous blending capabilities, longer working time, rich, and deep colors are some of the reasons, a glossy finish is one of the most popular. But just because you are painting with oils doesn't mean you will have glossy results. So how do […]

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March 10, 2021
12 Ways on How to Thin Oil Paint

For artists, there are a number of ways to thin oil paint. However, the best thinning method will depend on how thin you want to make your paint, your painting technique, and how much gloss you want to achieve. So what are some of the best ways to thin oil paint? Thinning oil paint with […]

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February 16, 2021
Drawing with Charcoal Powder

Charcoal powder is a very exciting and versatile medium that can create a number of different effects. But it can also be pretty messy if you are not careful. Let look at some different ways of drawing with charcoal powder. Background Effects with Powdered Charcoal Powdered charcoal is one of my favorite ways of creating […]

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February 2, 2021
What Is Needed for Charcoal Drawing?

Charcoal is considered to be the oldest drawing medium in the world. Charred sticks were used to make marks on ancient cave walls. Despite this being the most primitive medium, there are an array of additional tools that make this enduring medium very modern. So let's look at a list of items that are needed […]

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January 15, 2021
How to Clean Oil Painting Brushes During and After Painting

Good oil painting brushes are not cheap. Yet if they're properly cared for, they can last you for many paintings. Letting your brushes get stiff with dried oil paint will ruin your investment and your ability to paint. Let's look at some methods for how to clean your oil painting brushes during and after your […]

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January 3, 2021
12 Ways Artists Can Create Texture with Oil Paint

One of the most intriguing and pleasurable things about painting with oil paint is the ability of the artist to create a variety of textures ranging from watery drips to thick impasto brush strokes. Numerous things can affect the texture of oil paint, depending on what you desire. Oil painting with texture is achieved primarily […]

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November 16, 2020
How to Draw the Human Eye-Everything You Need to Know

When we were children, most of us would draw the human eye with two arched lines containing a circle in the middle. But for the serious artist, sketching or drawing a realistic human eye requires more knowledge and refinement, especially if you want to draw the eye from different angles. So what is the best […]

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October 4, 2020
How To Draw Linear Perspective Without Vanishing Points

Knowing the principles of linear perspective is a must when sketching architecture or most any other subject. However, using some of the methods of linear perspective when drawing or sketching is often be unpractical because you either have vanishing points that are beyond the drawing surface, or you end up with exaggerated and unnatural angles […]

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August 9, 2020
16 Essential Skills Needed To Create Great Artwork

If you are starting out, or even if you have been an artist for a while, it can be challenging to know what skills an artist should have in order to create beautiful and great looking artwork. Know what to work on can be a tremendous help. In this article, we will discuss the 16 […]

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July 17, 2020
Why Oil Paintings Get Dull Spots-And How to Fix It

Artists call it different names, sinking-in, dead spots, ghosting, blotchiness, and it can be one of the biggest frustrations for oil painters. When your beautiful painting dries, certain spots appear dull and devoid of color. So how can you prevent dull patches from happening in your oil painting? You can prevent oil paint from sinking-in […]

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July 11, 2020
Wet on Wet Oil Painting-The Basics and Beyond

It professional art circles it's called Alla Prima, others call it wet on wet. But no matter what you call it, wet on wet oil painting can give you results that cannot be achieved with other techniques. So what is wet on wet oil painting and how it is done? A wet on wet oil […]

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July 4, 2020
How to Quickly Sketch People In 10 Easy Steps

The human figure is one of the most beautiful and complex forms in nature, which makes it a challenge to draw. So how does an artist quickly and easily create sketches of people? In this article, I'll show you how to sketch people with this quick and easy step-by-step process. Start By Drawing A Square […]

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June 29, 2020
9 Ways To Make Oil Paints Dry Faster

Waiting for oil paint to dry can try an artist's patience, especially those who are used to faster-drying paint such as watercolor or acrylic. In this article, we will look at 9 different techniques to make your oil paints dry faster. Paint In A Dry Well-Ventilated Area As stated above, oil paint dries through a […]

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June 20, 2020
The Best Way to Draw a Realistic Horse in 8 Steps

There are many online tutorials that show you how to draw a horse using circles and boxes. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t usually result in a realistic-looking horse. So how do you draw a realistic horse? I’ll break it down for you into 8 overall steps and examine each step in […]

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June 14, 2020
Enlarge Your Drawing Into a Painting With or Without a Grid

So you have a nice drawing that you would now like to paint, and you want the painting to be bigger than the drawing. How do you turn your small drawing into a larger painting and enlarge the drawing onto the canvas? There are several ways to transfer a smaller drawing onto a larger painting […]

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June 4, 2020
Essential Items for a Field Sketching Kit

Having the right tools and materials for sketching outdoors can make the difference between a successful day of sketching or a miserable one. Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at your sketching destination and finding out you forgot your pencils or watercolor brushes. So that brings up the question, what are the essential items for […]

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May 28, 2020
Oil Painting Without Solvents-What Artists Need to Know

Using solvents to thin oil paint or clean brushes can present health problems for certain artists. But one does not need to abandon oil painting or resort to water-based oil paints due to intolerance of solvents. In this article, we will explore oil painting without solvents and what artists need to know. Solvent-free oil painting […]

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May 20, 2020
Eight Things You Must Know to Sketch Realistic Clouds

Clouds can add a nice touch to your landscape drawings, but making them look realistic can be fairly elusive. So how do you sketch clouds and make them look realistic? We will discuss eight things you must know to sketch realistic look clouds. Know Cloud Families And Their Shapes There are essentially four different types […]

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May 15, 2020
6 Ways to Hold Your Drawing Pencil-Pros and Cons of Each

How should you hold your pencil while drawing or sketching? There are essentially 6 ways to hold your drawing pencil and there are pros and cons of each method. What grip you use depends on the results you would like to achieve in your drawing. The Writing or Tripod Way To Hold Your Pencil This […]

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May 7, 2020
Combining Charcoal and Pencil-What Happens When Used Together

Can you use charcoal and graphite together? This is a question some artists may ask, especially if they want to combine the rich darks of charcoal with the precision of pencil. We will discuss if you can use charcoal and pencil together and how to do it. You can use pencil and charcoal together but […]

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May 6, 2020
10 Subjects to Improve Your Drawing Skills

If you want to learn how to get better at drawing as quickly as possible, you need to focus on subjects and methods that will challenge your artistic growth. Below we will look at 10 subjects to improve your drawing skills. Learn to Draw the Human Figure This is probably the most time-tested process for […]

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May 5, 2020
Oil Painting Start-Up Costs and What You Actually Need

If you are just starting oil painting the numerous options can be quite intimidating, and you may wonder how much it will cost. Let's discuss at some oil painting start-up costs and what you actually need to get started oil painting. The cost to start oil painting can vary depending on the number of colors […]

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May 4, 2020
Getting Good at Sketching-How Long Does It Take?

Getting good at sketching or drawing requires dedication, determination, and inspiration, but it's also something that can be done by anyone. Let's take a closer look at how long this process can take and what it takes. You can get good at sketching or drawing by committing to doing 5 sketches a day, or for […]

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May 2, 2020
Smudges in Your Sketchbook-Keep Your Drawings From Smearing

After over two decades of sketching and filling piles of sketchbooks, I've dealt with many smudged drawings. So how do you keep drawings in your sketchbook from smudging and smearing? The most effective way to prevent smudges is to spray your drawings with a fixative spray once they are completed. Other methods include hairspray, using […]

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April 30, 2020
Quick and Easy Way to Store Your Oil Paints

Oil paint is expensive. Letting paint dry on your palette is like throwing money away. There are different methods available for how to store used oil paints, but which ones are the best? The best way for artists to store used oil paints and keep them from drying out is to place them on a […]

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April 29, 2020
Sketching Exercises To Help Beginners Learn and Pros Improve

When I started drawing, I benefited greatly from certain sketching exercises that not only improved my dexterity but most importantly increased my powers of observation. Below are some sketching exercises that will help you improve your drawing skills. Rapid Line Sketching Exercises There are many versions of this type of exercise, below we will cover […]

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April 29, 2020
What to Use for Sketching on Canvas

Many artists and painters like to sketch their ideas onto canvas prior to painting. But what medium should you use for sketching on canvas? We will talk about some different options below. To retain a detailed sketch throughout the painting process use an H-grade pencil and seal it with a fixative spray. Use charcoal if […]

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April 27, 2020
The Lightest and Darkest Drawing Pencils-And How To Use Them

Using the right drawing pencil can make a big difference in how your sketches or drawings turn out. We will talk about the different grades of drawing pencils and how to best use them. For graphite drawing pencils on the market, the lightest is 6H, while the darkest available is 8B. The higher the number […]

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April 25, 2020
Sketchbook Ideas: 10 Great Ideas To Maintain Your Artistic Inspiration

Whether you just started or have been sketching for some time, it can be challenging for artists to keep up their sketchbooks. Here are some sketchbook ideas: 10 great ideas to maintain your artistic inspiration so you never run out of ideas on what to sketch. Change Your Sketching Environment Getting into a different environment […]

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April 11, 2020
Advice for Artists During a Pandemic

Closed galleries, canceled shows, shelter in place orders. While it may look grim, below is some advice for artists during a pandemic.

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March 28, 2020
Planning a Complex Oil Painting

There are a number of steps that go into planning a complex oil painting. Here I describe the process I went through to arrive at my latest large painting.

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March 18, 2020
Overcoming Doubts About Your Art

Overcoming doubts about your art may be one of the most difficult aspects on the road to being a successful artist. Nothing can cripple your creative ability like self-doubt. This is my story on how I overcame my doubts.

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March 13, 2020
How to Sell Art at Fine Art Exhibitions

How to sell art at fine art exhibitions is a question that I have often thought about, especially when sales were down. While I've done plein air events which are slightly different than the traditional exhibition, my main experience has been with wildlife and historical art. Here are some things I've learned over the years […]

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March 11, 2020
Preparing For a Fine Art Exhibition-Part 2

Properly preparing for a fine art exhibition and properly hanging your work can make all the difference in the success of your show. This is the second part of a multi-part series on how to have a successful art show. See the first post Preparing for an Art Exhibition-Part 1. Prepare for Your Exhibition by […]

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February 27, 2020
Preparing For a Fine Art Exhibition-Part 1

What are the first steps you need to do to prepare for an upcoming art exhibition? We will discuss this and more.

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January 30, 2020
How to Paint a Cardinal in Oil Paint

How to paint a male cardinal in oil paint in winter light. Excerpts from a video demonstration.

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January 11, 2020
Books That Changed My Artistic Life

A list of books that had a dramatic impact on my artistic development and which I highly recommend to my students and anyone else looking to improve their artistic development.

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January 3, 2020
Advanced Charcoal Techniques

Keeping a charcoal drawing clean is not difficult when you utilize some simple steps.

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December 17, 2019
Quick Sketchbook Idea-Sleeping Children

Opportunity Sleeps I had written earlier about drawing ideas for busy people. Here is a quick sketchbook idea-sleeping children. Tonight, my son fell asleep in our recliner waiting for his mother to come read to him. While he missed out on storytime, he did provide an opportunity for me to put my own advice into […]

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December 14, 2019
Drawing Without Boundaries

Many artists will draw outlines and fill in the shading like a coloring book. This method can leave your drawings looking stiff and sterile. Focusing on values early in the process can help solve this problem.

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November 18, 2019
The Most Important Element of Drawing

The first consideration, aside from composition, for any drawing should be the large shapes and the placement of those shapes in proportion to one another.

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jason@jasontako.com
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