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Category Archives: Art

Tips on Painting Glazes

In painting, glazing refers to applying a thin transparent layer of paint over another, dry layer to build up or modify the underlying color. This is a great way to add luminosity and depth to your art work that can’t be achieved through color mixing. And although it may sound simple at first, the re are a lot of nuances you should know to do everything right. So if you want to learn painting on canvas like here, read carefully!

In painting, glazing refers to applying a thin transparent layer of paint over another, dry layer to build up or modify the underlying color. This is a great way to add luminosity and depth to your art work that can’t be achieved through color mixing. And although it may sound simple at first, there are a lot of nuances you should know to do everything right. So if you want to learn painting on canvas like here, read carefully!

1. Study your transparent colors.
The first thing you should do is learn to distinguish between transparent, semi-transparent and opaque pigments. Using transparent colors to paint glazes will give you beautiful, subtle shades, but with time you can also try to play with opaque paints for this purpose.

2. Wait until the paint dries.
Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to glazing. Don’t apply another coat of paint until the previous layers dries completely! Otherwise the colors will mix together, which is something we are trying to avoid. Those painting on canvas using acrylic paints can accelerate the drying time by using a hair drier. Wait until the paint is dry to the touch, it shouldn’t stick to your fingers. You can also move between several canvases at once while a glaze is drying.

3. Use a ground of light color.
Light colors are known to reflect light as opposed to dark colors that tend to absorb light. Therefore using a light-hued ground will give you more sway over the final look of your glaze. If you aren’t sure, try producing exactly the same effects on both light and dark grounds.

4. Use glazing mediums.
Nowadays, there is a wide range of means to facilitate the painting process. By mixing glazing mediums into the paint, you will thin it to an optimal consistency for glazing. Fast-drying formulas will also reduce the drying time. Besides, glazing mediums improve adhesion even if you added to much water to the paint. Avoid using too much of them, though, otherwise there will be too much gloss in your painting.

5. Glaze with a soft brush.
The layer of glazing should be thin and smooth. Your regular brush might leave imprints in the paint layer, so it’s advisable to apply it with a filbert brush. If there still some noticeable brush marks, you can effectively remove them using a dry fan.

6. Avoid rough surfaces.
Glazing is a delicate process that requires a perfectly smooth surface. You wouldn’t want your glaze to accumulate in dints or break apart at rough spots of the canvas. To avoid that, make sure your canvas is properly primed and try to lay down the initial layering as thinly and carefully as possible.

7. Apply a final layer.
At the end of your work, cover the entire canvas with the final layer glaze to unify all elements of the composition. Alternatively, you can glaze just the element positioned in or near the focal point of the picture.

Glazing will tremendously improve your treatment of color and allow you to achieve amazing visual effects. However, there are also many other tricks that will enhance your painting on canvas. Art by Leonid Afremov is full of those. A famous modern impressionist working with a palette knife, he creates bold colorful cityscapes that catch the eye with expressive contrasts and sophisticated texture. If you want to learn more about his art work, iTunes and Deviantart feature a wide collection of his paintings. You can also visit the artist’s official internet gallery that offers thousands of beautiful bright pictures available for online purchase.

The Concept of Realism and Realistic Art

Artists have always drawn inspiration from Nature, human experiences, mysticism and a variety of other facets of life. As times change, art also evolves. Different styles and schools of art have emerged with the changing times. The development of Realism and Realistic art during the eighteenth century will always be looked upon as an important phase in the history of art. Realism in art is basically an art movement which is known for its departure from the traditional styles of Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Wondering what is Realistic art and how is it different from the other schools of art? Scroll down to find out more about this art movement along with the artists associated with it.

Realism in Art

Realism in the artistic world basically symbolizes the depiction of objects as they exist. This school of art emerged in response to Neoclassicism and Romanticism in art. Romanticism was an intellectual artistic movement that influenced many artists during the seventeenth and the eighteenth century. It placed a great deal of importance to emotions, creativity and the imagination of the artist. The art was much more than the reflection of the Nature. Those who followed Romantic art tradition, used their imagination freely in the works of art. Appreciation of Nature’s beauty and mysticism were increasingly used as themes. On the other hand, famous artists who painted as per the Neoclassical art are known to have used classical styles for expressing their ideas about bravery, sacrifice and the love of country.

Characteristics of Realistic Art

Realism in visual arts is basically about moving over the interpretation, personal bias, subjectivity or emotionalism and depicting the painting theme in an empirical sense. Realists rejected the characteristics of Romantic art as they believed in portraying objects with a sense of objective reality. Thus, the artists didn’t use techniques to change the appearance of the object. For instance, an artist who follows the Realistic art tradition would never attempt to conceal any flaws in the object or scene he/she is painting. The Realism art movement can also be associated with the age of positivism. Positivism is all about gaining knowledge using scientific methods of observation and objective evaluation. In art, this translates to depiction of objects as they are. One must not allow subjectivity and imagination to affect the depiction of the objects. Realism in art is all about rejecting idealization. Those who follow the realistic tradition in art believe in an accurate portrayal of ordinary people and events. The artist’s muse shouldn’t be someone who is larger-than-life or glorious always. This explains why artists who follow this tradition didn’t believe in painting the Gods, Goddesses or heroes. Their aim was to depict the daily life with as much accuracy as possible.

Realists basically draw inspiration from contemporary life. The subject matter of their paintings generally includes daily scenes and ordinary people.They depict contemporary life in a realistic and accurate manner. For instance, after industrial revolution, many of the famous paintings from Realistic school of art depicted workers performing their tasks in factories. They tried to depict the workers as they looked. However ugly or unaesthetic the surroundings looked, the painter painted them with honesty, just as they existed. No changes were made to make them look aesthetically pleasing. If you go through the famous painters list, you will come across names such as Gustave Courbet, Honore Daumier, Jean-Francois Millet, John Singer Sargent, James McNeil Whistler, Jan Van Eyck and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. These were some of the famous painters who followed this art tradition. Movements such as the Ashcan School, the Contemporary Realist, and the American Scene Painters are also based on this art tradition. These painters believe in the painting what they see. The logic given by these artists is that the abstract objects, or the objects that are intangible or non-existent, don’t belong to the realm of painting.

The rejection of the Romantic art tradition is an important aspect of Realistic art. Painting ordinary people and daily scenes in a realistic manner is the objective of this form of art.

Characteristics of Renaissance Art

Evolution of Renaissance art took place in three stages, namely, Early Renaissance (1400-1475 AD), High Renaissance (1475-1525 AD) and Late Renaissance or Mannerism (1525-1600 AD). A lot of changes in art took place during these time periods. Primarily because rich Italian families, whose businesses were flourishing, started patronizing many artists. With this new-found financial support, there was a drastic change in the behavior and thinking of the artists. They outright rejected the medieval art emphasis on religion and after life, thus starting a revolution in the field of art. There are some characteristics that are symbolic of this period.

Characteristics at a Glance

  • Naturalism
  • Individualism
  • Focus on perspective
  • Complex formal arrangements
  • Realism and a sense of emotional expression
  • Rendering of light and shadow to create illusion of depth

Now let us take a look at how these characteristics were reflected in the works of the period during its different stages.

Early Renaissance Art

The artists of the early renaissance period believed that art can’t remain static, it should develop and move forward. The artists of early renaissance examined the light, color, and space techniques used by the ancient Greek and Roman artists. They used the successful creative processes of the ancient period artists to create a new and modern art form.

Early Renaissance Art

Unlike the artists of the medieval period, who painted heavenly creatures, the focus of the artists shifted to the human body. Realistic expressions were given to the human figures, be it in painting, architecture or sculpture, and the concept came to be known as Realism. Painters like the famous Masaccio still painted religious themes, but the saints in the paintings wore common people’s clothes and had natural expressions.

The artworks of early Renaissance depicted people carrying on with their everyday activities like eating, dancing, etc., rather than doing something extraordinary.

Architect Filippo Brunelleschi introduced the concept of linear perspective during the early renaissance era. By utilizing this, the artists were able to create the illusion of space and distance on a level surface. “Statue of Brunelleschi” by Filippo Brunelleschi, “Trinity” painted by Masaccio,”St. James before Herod Agrippa” by Andreas Mantegna and “Metal Recto” by Alberti utilized linear perspective beautifully.

Modern ideas were embraced, and the focus was slowly shifting from other worldly things as advocated by the church to the present and now. The modern artists of this era started questioning the church. People’s belief in religion started diminishing too and the same was reflected in the artists’ works. “The Arnolfini Portrait” by Jan van Eyck, shows a couple being married in a room instead of a church. Although, the room has a chandelier on which a candle is placed, which in a way represents Christ. Another peculiarity of the painting is that the woman is shown pregnant even before marriage. Such modern ways of living were unheard of during the medieval period.

One more work of art that deserves a mention here is the dome of the Florence Cathedral. Filippo Brunelleschi built round arches for it instead of the Gothic style preferred by the church during those days.

High Renaissance Art

This same devotedness to art, which Michelangelo professes, is observed in the works of other High Renaissance artists as well, who aimed to achieve perfect harmony and balance, in all aspects of painting, i.e. use of color and light, perspective, technical precision, imagination and composition.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” paintings, Michelangelo and Raphael’s Vatican City paintings are the epitome of creativity that existed in this era.

There was a focus on painting human anatomy. When Michelangelo carved the statue of Moses, he included veins and muscles in the arms and legs.

Another example is the “Vitruvian Man” painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, which studies the ideal proportions of a male figure. High Renaissance art focused on portraying the humans in their most natural form. Nudes were painted beautifully and aesthetically. Artists perfected the art of facial expressions. Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and the “Last Supper” are a good example of this.

The artists advocated the philosophy of Humanism through their art works. Humanists believed that humanity is unparalleled, as it connects the mortal world with the spiritual world. Human welfare and human values like secularism were heavily promoted. People began to focus on self-improvement and started doing things according to their likings. The Renaissance paintings depicted people studying Philosophy and Mathematics, rather than worshiping, as was the trend in the medieval art.

Late Renaissance Art

Mannerism, from 1525 to 1600, concentrated more on style or manner and less on the substance. There was no newness in the Italian art as the artists of this period only wanted to outdo the artists of the high renaissance period. Mannerists used loud colors and strange themes. They depicted humans with unnaturally long limbs.

The sack of Rome, then a part of Papal states, by the troops of Charles V in 1527, is believed to have caused a major impact on the painters. Painting anguished people became one of the strangest characteristics of Italian Renaissance art. Prominent artists of this period included Giorgio Vasari and Giovanni da Bologna. Michelangelo was one of the few artists of high Renaissance, who continued painting during this period.

Renaissance didn’t remain concentrated to Italy though, it spread to other European nations as well. Northern Renaissance art characteristics included the use of Gothic style as against the Roman style of the Renaissance in Italy. Even the human figures depicted in Northern Renaissance art, although very realistic, were unlike the ones used in the Italian art. Symbolism i.e. objects used to denote an altogether different meaning, was widely used. Prints i.e. use of woodcut to create images, was also a very prominent feature of the northern Renaissance art. The artists used to make drawings on wood. The untouched part of the wood was then cut off and the raised portions were inked. In the end, the wood was pressed against a paper or fabric, to create paintings.

Renaissance Art Compared to Medieval Art

▶ In Renaissance art, human emotions were depicted liberally. Medieval art made lesser use of emotions.
▶ Humans were very natural and lifelike. They had realistic expressions unlike the humans depicted in medieval art.
▶ In the Medieval period, the art was simple and mono dimensional. The Renaissance paintings, on the other hand, were complicated and had more depth due to the use of linear perspective. The artists showed how things looked different from far and near.
▶ During medieval period, the artworks had religious themes and were inspired by the Gothic culture. There was a great influence of Rome and Greek ancient art works on the Renaissance artists and they preferred to paint Greek gods, Greek goddesses and Greek philosophers. Even the architects built Roman style round arches, which were considered against the Church ideals. Such architecture was unthinkable during the medieval period.

The Renaissance art shows the kind of intellectual development that took place during those golden years of art. Even today, the artists of contemporary art, use this information which is available, to enhance their paintings. These artworks teach us human values which have been long-lost in today’s world. As Thomas Merton puts it, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Facts behind Oil and Water Color Painting

At times, it really becomes hard to decide on the type of paint, be it water or oil as a medium. Each type of paint has its own importance, and properties and thus, different individuals have different choices to meet up on. Sometimes you do not get much time to go out and explore paintings of your choice.

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At times, it really becomes hard to decide on the type of paint, be it water or oil as a medium.  Each type of paint has its own importance, and properties and thus, different individuals have different choices to meet up on. Sometimes you do not get much time to go out and explore paintings of your choice. In such conditions, the best place to buy art online is the internet that gives you ample time and choices to make your preferences and choose the best for your desire. Below are listed few basic points that wil.

1. Drying time

Oil paints are notable for setting aside a long opportunity to dry, numerous months’ truth be told. It’s hence that oils are better for those who would like to invest more energy in their work – with oils, specialists have a great deal a greater amount of a chance to try different things with various strategies, for example, mixing and blending of colors. In contrast to this, water paintings are much sharper to dry, so they’re better for somebody who likes to work rapidly. It likewise helps that with water paints you can cover an extensive part of the canvas with a little measure of paint. On the off chance that your work space is some place hot and dry, your water shading paints will dry very quick. You can back off the drying time by working some place moister.

You can buy water color paintings from a wide range of online portals as thousands of paintings are being produced all over the world everyday.

2. Mixing

Oils can be a considerable measure less demanding to blend than watercolors just due to their truly moderate drying time. However blending water colors can be very harder in view of the way that they dry all the more rapidly and the way that the water doesn’t generally carry on as you need it to. Mastering watercolors may appear to be very simple, but then it can be troublesome as well. At the point when blending watercolors, you need to take extraordinary care since it just takes one drop to destroy something you’ve been working for some time on.

3. Colors

Painting with oils opens up an incredible assortment of colors for you to utilize. This is a result of oils’ truly moderate drying time and in light of the way that oils contain a considerable measure of shades. Watercolor paints give a more translucent impact and they really dry lighter shading than what they initially showed up on the canvas.

There are various ways that you can show your talent and one way is to give yourself a chance to the original oil paintings for sale via online portal. Thousands of visitors look for new and unique oil paintings everyday so that they can give their place a different look. For such oil painting lovers, you can open a door and also can spread the zeal of oil painting.

The Post-Impressionism Art

The term Post-Impressionist was coined by an English artist and art critic Roger Fry. It was included in the title of an exhibition of modern French painters, Manet and the Post-Impressionists, which was organized by him at the Grafton Galleries in London in 1910.
In 1872, a French painter Claude Monet introduced a revolutionary mode of painting through his Impressions, Sunrise (1872). Several painters followed this path, which was rightly termed as Impressionism. The movement focused on visible brush strokes, natural, fleeting light in a particular moment, and a painter’s impression of everyday surroundings. The movement was in rage for almost a decade with its last exhibition held in 1886.

However in 1886, younger artists called for a change. They were not satisfied with how the Impressionism movement’s obsession of light overshadowed the subject matter of a painting. However, these artists could not decide on one way to defy Impressionism norms. The fact about Post-Impressionism art movement is that the artists developed their individual style, which is collectively called Post-Impressionism.

Edvard Munch described the soul of Post-Impressionism aptly in these words, “Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye…It also includes the inner pictures of the soul.”
Post-Impressionists like Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, and Paul Signac brought a structure and order in paintings. They used solid colors to depict their surroundings in their paintings. Pointillism technique was introduced, which is a systematic use of small color dots.
Subject matter was reduced to basic shapes using saturated color dots. The style was also identified as Neo-impressionism and Divisionism among the artists. Paintings were made with separated shapes or marks, each with a single color, which the painter believed to be visually blend within the viewer’s eyes.
Post-Impressionist painters Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh painted to give a symbolic and personal meaning to their paintings. Though their subject matter was their surrounding, they refused to look around them to draw inspiration. Instead, they drew inspiration from their memories of the subject matter and what they felt about them. Saturated colors and broad brush strokes were used. They believed in painting the painters’ emotional impression of the things that connect with the viewer on a deeper level. As Vincent van Gogh had said, “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.” Paul Gauguin developed a theory of Synthetism based on this, which was included in the encompassing Post-Impressionism movement. Pure color, strong lines, and two-dimensional was used to depict artists’ feeling about the subject matter. He had said, “I shut my eyes in order to see.”

Many Post-Impressionists had brought Primitive in their painting by using vivid style and symbolic content. Henri Rousseau pioneered the Symbolism style. The non-Western art forms were usually borrowed. Jungle scenes, simplified and conventional subject matter, and abstract forms were used to present painters’ interpretations of his memories and subconscious.

Though the movement was centralized in France, the style of painting was adapted by non-French artists too. For example, the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch adopted ideas from Symbolism and used them to create his own personal style.

By 1910, the structured and organized Post-Impressionism style gave birth to Cubism movement, and the expressive and non-geometric side of Post-Impressionism led the way for Expressionism. By the end of that year, movements like Fauvism, Expressionism, Surrealism, and Cubism became dominant that developed from the various styles of Post-Impressionism.

Characteristics of Post-Impressionism Art
► Though the artists were teamed up under one title, Post-Impressionism, they had their own style. However, they were united in one goal, i.e., to push the limits of Impressionism.

► Post-Impressionists preferred real-life subject matter for their paintings. However, they chose to depict those subject matters from their memory or subconscious mind on a canvas.

► The impression of the subject matter wasn’t the general impression, but it had a deep meaning attached to it. Usually geometric shapes were used for the purpose. Sometimes abstract figures could be seen.

► The movement was known for personal exploration of colors and composition on the artist’s part.

► Powerful brush strokes were used to depict the artist’s impression on the canvas. With thick and spontaneous brush strokes, saturated colored dots were also practiced.

► Colors were vivid in the paintings. Paint was usually thickly applied. Most of the time, single-colored forms were painted side by side, which were merged in the viewer’s perception.

Famous Post-Impressionist Painters
◆ Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
France Van Gogh postage stamp
◆ Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Paul Cezanne
◆ Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
◆ Georges Seurat (1851-1891)
◆ Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
◆ Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
◆ Paul Signac (1863-1935)
◆ Émile Bernard (1868-1941)
Examples of Post-Impressionism Art
  • Crowns over a Wheatfield
  • Crowns over wheat field
  • Divisionism: Still-life
  • Divisionism art
  • Pink House
  • Pink house painting
  • Old Tower in the Fields
  • Old tower in fields
  • Pointillism: Houses
  • Pointillism painting houses
  • Flowers in Grass
  • Flowers in grass painting
  • Old Town
  • Old town
  • Waterlilies
  • Water lilies
Édouard Vuillard, a French painter, has beautifully summed up the whole thought behind Post-Impressionist art movement―”Who speaks of art speaks of poetry…There is not art without a poetic aim…There is a species of emotion particular to painting. There is an effect that results from a certain arrangement of colors, of lights, of shadows. It is this that one calls the music of painting.”

Representational Art

The word ‘representational’ originates from the word represent, which means to denote. Likewise, representational art, by definition, represents the art that finds resemblance with the real world. The onlookers of this art form can associate the elements with actuality. And it is this feature of this art form that has garnered appreciation of people from all walks of life. This is the most superior of meanings that could be associated with representational art.

Nonrepresentational art, on the contrary, is that art form bears no elements that has similarity with the real world. It allows room to its viewers to interpret a piece of art in his own way. It is the artist’s way to emote his own experiences, or experiences that he has known in his life. Such works are laden with the artist’s perspective of the object. As far as the nonrepresentational history is concerned, we can infer that in the last part of the 19th century, emerged a pressing need to have an art form that would stand in total contrast to the stark depiction of reality. Thus, came into the fore, non-representational art, which in itself is a broad terminology, and has within its ambit, a plethora of elements that is beyond the scope of this article.

Having understood these, we can say that most paintings and sculptures can be divided into either representational art or non-representational art. Well, the answer is certainly an affirmation of the question. Representational art is also known as figurative, and nonrepresentational art is known as abstract. Figurative art is directly influenced by real-life sources, while the abstract art is an embodiment of the artist’s creative waves and the interpretation by the viewers. This phenomenon resulted from artistic independence. Representational art showcases humans, elements in nature such as trees, birds, flowers, etc.

Origin

• The very first representational art dates back to the prehistoric times, when the prehistoric men carved paintings on the caves.

• The purpose of it was to represent human or animal form. Venus of Willendorf is one of the living examples of a piece of representational art.

• Apart from this, there are also opinions that Australian rock art discovered on the caves may also be one of the oldest forms of figurative art attempted by humans.

Let’s recognize some of the characteristics of this art form in the sections given below, and also take a look at some of the marvels of this art form.

Characteristics of Representational Art

• A representational artist is an observer. He executes and reflects in his art form, what he sees through his eyes and captures in his mind. But, a room for discretion is always left, wherein he alters with the actual object. Thus, representational art is correlated to observation.

• Representational art has within its ambit an imagery, which is brought about with the help of mental process of representation. The minimum requirement for this type of art is a piece of object, which could be replicated.

• Figurative art is an important characteristic of representational art. The word in itself is an explanation of the characteristic; i.e., it is influenced by a figure. In fact, this is the most important characteristic because without this, the art would not retain its meaning.

• Some of the key features that figurative art has to take account of is the correct usage of elements such as the combination of light and shade, color of the object, and the tone. As it is the replication of the figurines, therefore, the piece must highlight the same to the maximum.

• The characteristic feature of representational art is based on the viewpoint of a single focus, unlike representational art which follows no clear distinct focus.

• What we mean by a single focus is that the artist tries to view the object from a single viewpoint so that his replication is closest to the original.

• Edward Hopper was an enthusiast of representational art. He is considered as one of the best examples of America’s most prominent realistic painters.

• A burning example of representational art is Renaissance art. This art form was driven by the principle of humanism. The core belief of humanism was to represent elements that were close to the real life, rather than symbolism. Mona Lisa of the Renaissance period is an example of representational art form.

• Fresco and tempera are two great techniques that were highly practiced in representational art. These techniques were used by Florentine artists. Michelangelo was one such Florentine artist.

• The influence of industrial revolution on this art form was innate. Depiction of reality, one of the many characteristics of representational art, escalated a peak at that time.

• Color in this art form was held at the helm. It was utterly important to depict the object in the same color as seen in reality.

• Another noteworthy characteristic of representational art is the impressionist mode of painting. This developed during the period of Impressionism. The point that this method emphasized on is on the use of accurate brush strokes that would define reality in toto.

As far as categorizing representational art is concerned, there isn’t much scope to diversify it into categories and groups. One straight and simple reason for this is that the artist has to cling to his depiction of the object in its true color, form, and texture. There is no room for variation, and hence, varieties would be vague in this context. So, in conclusion, it could be safely said that representational art requires great skills and a strong sense of color, tone, and light, apart from drawing skills.

Art History

Art history is a subject that is unfortunately, rarely taught in schools. In most instances, the gateway to this topic is a trip to a museum, or to a city like Rome or Florence that’s renowned for its role in the history of the artistic world. For this reason, it takes a bit of initiative on the part of individuals who want to learn more about artists and their work. But rest assured, the energy and time that it takes to learn about art history is worthwhile!
Visit Museums
The best place to start when determining which artists and movements you want to study, is a museum. Take a trip to your local museum, and take notes about your favorite pieces. You can note down the overall appearance of the object, describe its details like the composition and materials used such as acrylic or watercolor, and begin to discuss the work before moving on to the next object. If photography is allowed, take snaps of the paintings you love and the information placards hung beside them. You can go through your photos later, to decide which artist or movement is your favorite (and which one you would want to study first).
Check Websites
The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains quality material for art students and educators. Art History Resources is another source that provides information on Prehistoric art, the evolution of art in different countries and various time periods, such as the early Christian art, Medieval art, Gothic art, Baroque art, etc. Artcyclopedia provides a comprehensive list of links to image archives and museum websites which can be found by the titles and locations of the artists. Another site, Virtual Library for History of Art, provides links related to art history. Smarthistory (a part of the Khan Academy since October 2011) offers over thousands of art videos and essays from around the world.

Also, various textbooks have developed websites to test your knowledge about art. There may be crossword puzzles, multiple choice questions, and more activities to engage in. So, check out for such interactive websites.

Visit Museum Gift Shops
When you get to the end of a museum tour, take a stroll around the gift shop. In most museums, the gift shop is loaded with books about the artists and paintings that are featured in the exhibits and collections. If you had a favorite, ask the gift shop employees if there’s any additional information available. If nothing else, snagging a post card of your favorite painting is a great reminder of your trip and the painting that took your breath away.
Take Up a Course
You can also take up Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate courses in art history. There are institutes which offer research programs and short-term courses in art history including theory classes, gallery talks, site visits, workshops, and seminars. Internships at museums and cultural and community arts organizations can provide scope for professional growth and careers in art history.
Take Notes when on Vacations
Art encompasses more than just paintings; there is art all around you! When exploring a new city while on vacation (or even when getting to know your city a bit better), take notes about buildings or sculptures that you really like. You can learn more about the artists and architects who created these pieces and find out where more of their work is located. Many art history enthusiasts plan vacations around artistic pieces. For example, art history buffs often travel to Italy to see the works of art such as paintings, sketches, and sculptures of art masters like Da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Michelangelo and other famous artists. Paris is another place that is home to a large number of museums of varying sizes and specialties, and is a wonderful place to study art history. The vibrant Prague offers magnificent architecture and beautiful works of art. Other places to explore art are London, South America, Australia, South Africa, Austria, Hungary, Russia, Spain, and Egypt.
Seek Books about Artists and Art Movements
A Google search of your favorite paintings and artists can provide you with a lot of information. However, sometimes the best place to turn to is a bookstore. Whether you want to shop online or have your local bookstore order what you’re interested in, leveraging the written word is one of the best ways to explore art history. By learning about your favorite artists’ lives, you can better understand their work and what their pieces are conveying. The same goes for overall artistic movements. For instance, a book about Impressionism can teach you how this movement started, and which artists were the most influential in its development. A few popular art history books are ‘Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel’ by Stefano Zuffi , ‘Gardner’s Art Through the Ages’ by Christin J. Mamiya, Fred S Kleiner, and Helen Gardner, ‘The Story of Art’ by E.H. Gombrich, ‘History of Art’ by H. W. Janson and Anthony F. Janson, ‘Seven Days in the Art World’ by Sarah Thornton, and many more.
Art history is a fascinating subject, and it’s one that you can certainly learn about on your own.

The Pop Art

The above line best describes pop art and the movement which led to its popularity. Initially, art was restricted only to things worthy of aesthetic sense like human nudes, human faces, landscapes, and still life. But pop art movement started including celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, popular foods, branded products, household items, etc. It was inspired by contemporary society, news, magazines, and even comics.

This Buzzle article discusses the characteristics and significance of this movement, along with some celebrated pop artists and their works.

Characteristics of the Movement

★ Pop art was visually attractive, as use of bright and bold colors like red, yellow, blue was prominent. Techniques like color blocking, use of black outlines and Ben-day dots―a printing technique in which dots are used to render effects―was a significant aspect of the pop art movement.

★ Silkscreen painting, use of acrylic colors, also became very popular. Paintwork became much sharper and lines clearer.

★ Recurring themes in pop art were food, household items, and many other mundane objects. Unimaginable objects like toilets were also a part of pop art. For example, Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Toilet.

★ Logos, brand names, and product names were used. Campbell’s Soup Cans labels by Andy Warhol, for example.

What Prompted the Movement

★ The main idea behind this movement was to establish the fact that art is not elitist, it can be about common people or day-to-day things.

★ It was a strong reaction to the abstract expressionism, prevalent after World War II. Pop art was a successful attempt to pull back society from abstraction.

★ The pop art movement was, to an extent, inspired by the Dada movement, but was at the same time dissimilar to it. Dadaism was all about anti-art works, whereas pop art was all about art for the masses.

Evolution of Pop Art

★ One of the most popular art movements, the pop art movement began in Britain in the early 1950s, and spread to America by the late ’50s.

In Britain

★ A group of painters, sculptors, writers, and critics called Independent Group, was a harbinger to the pop art movement in Britain.

★ Eduardo Paolozzi, a co-founder of the group, created a series of collages called Bunk! These were influenced by magazines, comics, and other graphic works that represented contemporary society.

★ In fact, one his work Rich Man’s Plaything, was the first work of art to have the word pop on it. It was written on smoke coming out of a revolver.

★ The British pop art movement used strong symbolism from the American society and its growing prosperity.

In America

★ Artists started using irony and parody, along with inspiration from real-life to withdraw from abstract expressionism.

★ By 1960, pop art had officially become famous, and artists like Claes Oldenburg and Jim Dine held their first exhibitions.

★ Andy Warhol, the most popular pop artist of all time, had his first solo exhibition in 1962.

★ Pop art in America was much more bold and aggressive than its British counterpart.

Leading Pop Artists

American

★ Robert Rauschenberg
★ Jasper Johns
★ Roy Lichtenstein
★ Andy Warhol
★ Jim Dine
★ Robert Indiana
★ Ray Johnson
★ Alex Katz
★ Claes Oldenburg

British

★ Sir Peter Blake
★ Patrick Caulfield
★ Richard Hamilton
★ David Hockney
★ Allen Jones

Most Popular Works

★ I was a Rich Man’s Plaything, Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi
★ Flag, Jasper Johns
★ Bed, Robert Rauschenberg
★ Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different?, R. Hamilton
★ Dual Hamburger, Claes Oldenburg
★ 210 Coca-Cola Bottles, Andy Warhol
★ Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol
★ Campbell’s Soup Can, Andy Warhol
★ Love, Robert Indiana
★ Ale Cans, Jasper Johns
★ Souvenir, Jasper Johns
★ Brillo, Andy Warhol
★ Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein
★ Whaam!, Roy Lichtenstein
★ Estate, Robert Rauschenberg
★ Field Painting, Jasper Johns
★ Choke, Robert Rauschenberg
★ Retroactive, Robert Rauschenberg
★ Great American Nude, Tom Wesselmann
★ Floor Cake, Claes Oldenburg
★ Triple Elvis, Andy Warhol
★ F 111, James Rosenquist
★ The Diner, George Segal
★ Electric Chair, Andy Warhol
★ Big Painting No. 6, Roy Lichtenstein
★ Soft Toilet, Claes Oldenburg
★ Ingrid Bergman, Andy Warhol
★ A Bigger Splash, David Hockney
★ Lisp, Edward Ruscha
★ Geometric Mouse, Claes Oldenburg
★ Jo Sofa, De Pas, Lomazzi, D’Urbino
★ Floor Burger, Claes Oldenburg
★ Still Life with Goldfish Bowl, Roy Lichtenstein

Significance

★ What makes the pop art movement so significant, is that it brought art to the common man. It acted like a bridge between commercial arts and fine arts.

★ Pop art reflected contemporary society; therefore, viewers could connect with the art. It made a strong visual impact on the audience.

★ Although it was scorned by critics, and called a big joke without any humor; it was appealing to the general public.

★ Artists started experimenting with different mediums, which brought a novelty to art. Acrylic painting, collage on canvas, silkscreen printing, use of highly contrasting colors made art more attractive.

★ Pop art movement, pop artists, and their works, have influenced generations of artists. And even today, we can see many references of pop art in graphics.

Rauschenberg believed that painting is more like the real world if it’s made out of the real world. That is what the pop art movement was all about.

Light Graffiti

There wasn’t a time that can be thought of when graffiti was ever appreciated as art, rather being defined as a form of barbaric behavior. Maybe it was misbehavior in its own right, but it sure was good looking. Here’s the cool part about what followed the old idea of graffiti… With technology came the concept of light graffiti, and it definitely brought about a change in the idea of graffiti on the whole. Working on a different platform altogether, there is absolutely nothing destructive about this one. Done mainly with the use of LED lights or flashlights, and a digital camera with manual settings, the outcome of light graffiti, or light painting as it is occasionally called, could be spectacular if you want it to be. What’s even more fun is that anything can be used as a medium for this form of “light doodling”. If it seems hard to believe, you should check out how to draw graffiti in Photoshop along with other tips and tricks.

How to Create Light Graffiti

Creating light graffiti isn’t half as bad as you may think it is. All you would require is a camera (preferably a DSLR), a variety of colored LED lights, or maybe even flashlights, and lastly a tripod or a flat surface. Take a look at one of the easiest light graffiti ideas that you could try out. It involves the use of LED lights or glow sticks (take your pick), and a digital camera. It’s simple, hassle-free, and most importantly it’s fun! So, here’s a guide for drawing light graffiti with a digital camera.

◆ Begin by gathering up all the material / equipment that you need at a convenient distance around you. You will need it like that in order to be able to move swiftly when attempting to create the light graffiti. Make sure you have everything (basically, the lights and your camera).

◆ The next thing you want to do is fix your camera settings that will be best suited for this job. What’s recommended for this is a camera with long exposure, an ISO setting of 100, and an aperture set to the smallest setting possible on the camera. Also, for its full effect, the best recommended shutter speed should preferably be anything between 5 seconds to 30 seconds. If situations permit it, you could also use an ISO of 200 or more. You will have to use your discretion for that though.

◆ Now that you have your camera fixed to the required setting, get ready to create some magical illumination. Do not forget though, to keep the flash of the camera off, as also to work in a dark or extremely poorly lit room. Working in a room with poor lighting will allow you the complete effect of what you are trying to achieve.

◆ Most of what you need to do while preparing to do light graffiti has been covered. It is now time to head to moving in front of the camera with the lights, while creating an image / word or whatever it is that you are aiming at.

While there is no real tip that can be offered to get it right, the one suggestion that can be offered is that of practice. Also, do not hesitate to use a variety of lights, such as glow sticks (use varied sizes & colors) in order to achieve an array of looks for your graffiti. Also, to add to the aesthetic value of what you are doing, feel free to use any good looking element available in the background. Oh, and don’t forget… When writing, make sure you do it backwards so that it looks right when you get a picture of it. All right then, what’s keeping you from it? Go get experimental, keep at it with some practice, and there should be no problem with getting to a point of perfection for some fabulous light graffiti.

History Graffiti Art

The meaning of the term ‘graffiti’ is: drawings or words that are scribbled or scratched on a wall. It has been derived from the Greek word ‘graphein’, which means ‘to write’, while the term ‘graffiti’ itself is the plural form of ‘graffito’, an Italian word. This art began making its way on public walls in the latter part of the 1960s. However, graffiti as a form of unsolicited messages has existed forever, with the ancient cave paintings, dating back 40,000 years to the Upper Paleolithic era. Right from those times, drawing has always been a means of human being’s deep need and desire to communicate.

Various Styles

Technically speaking, graffiti is a kind of art that is made on a building or wall. When graffiti drawings first started appearing, which was in New York City, the tools used to create them were usually spray paints or wide-tipped markers, which were used basically to draw ‘tags’, or the writer’s name, and not any art as such. This was done to make themselves known all over the city. The bigger and the more colorful they could make their tag, the more attention they got. This gave rise to graffiti ‘wars’ springing up, with each artist trying to outdo the other in making their tag bolder and bigger. However, once these artists figured that anybody could spray on huge letters, style began making its appearance.

To people who are unfamiliar with the art, all graffiti seems the same. However, there are several distinctive styles. Most of them are about using particular fonts to create letters or characters.

Tagging: It is used mainly for displaying penmanship, and is considered as lacking in artistic form.
Blockbuster: Large sized block letters are used.
Wildstyle: Interweaving graffiti letters with designs.
Throw-Ups: This type of drawing that is done very quickly using few colors.
Bubble Letters: Large letters written in a rounded style.

Each of these styles can be used to create various types of graffiti:

Hip-Hop: Reflecting African-American culture, this is considered to be the most traditional types.
Challenge: The intention of this type is just to express that somebody ‘was here.’
Poster: Drawings made on posters that have people’s pictures on them.
Aircraft: Drawing tags on airplanes, usually on the dirt on it.
Tree: As is apparent from its name, the paintings are done or carved on trees.
Invisible: It is a purely symbolic type, like the logos made on computer microchips, which although are there, can’t be seen by anybody.

History

Although the art of drawing graffiti letters began in the 60s, the period between 1971-1974 is generally regarded as the era when most of the pioneering work in graffiti was done, since this was the time when this form of art began spreading and getting publicity. For some of the youth of that time, it was a means through which they could vent their angst at a world, which they found oppressive, and as a way of rebelling against a society, which they thought was unjust and corrupt.

However, for others, these graffiti characters were simply a pleasurable means of expressing their creativity, just as a unique art form. Like conventional artists, they used walls as a canvas, onto which they poured their souls, their dreams, their hopes, and their fears with a spray can of bright colors. It was during 1975 to 1977, that the art of drawing graffiti reached its peak, with standards of drawing graffiti letters being established. As the 70s slipped into the 80s, being a graffiti artist became more challenging, as the authorities began clamping down harder on them, since it was considered vandalism, as most of the graffiti was made by gangsters, who were young and usually poor. This was known as the ‘die-hard’ era, as graffiti culture withdrew under cover.

Today’s graffiti culture is referred to as the ‘clean train era’, as many artists are taking their art from the subway walls and the insides of train cars, into studios and galleries, with the establishment increasingly viewing it as a genuine art form. And hence, these days, some cities have provided particular areas to graffiti artists, where they are allowed to display their art. The trouble with this is that a previous work has to be painted over in order to use the space. Therefore, good artists usually do not use such spaces. One of the most important features of drawing graffiti is that each piece of art has the artist’s name. Spray paint is the medium used, and there are particular techniques that have been established for drawing graffiti letters.

Different media is used to create each of these types of graffiti. Although this writing style is being legitimized, and some of it may be getting into more established forms of displaying art, such as studios and art galleries, purists are of the opinion that it is only the ones that show up on train cars and public walls are the true form.