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  • Van Gogh, the painter

    Have you seen the brand in the shop, but not sure it is suitable for your work? Curious how can Maths and Vincent Van Gogh be in the same sentence, or intrigued how much has he actually cut off of his ear? Come along and admire the “tortured genius’s” works!

    Vincent Willem van Gogh

    Self Portrait with Straw Hat (1887) Self Portrait with Straw Hat (1887)

    Interesting Facts About Van Gogh

    1. Van Gogh worked as an art dealer, and was fairly successful.
      Since he couldn’t really bear to do his art dealer job, he became a preacher south of Belgium.
    2. Van Gogh was dismissed because of his exaggerated religiousness, and moved back to his parents’ home and began learning to draw. Mostly in his lifetime he was too poor to afford models, therefore he practised by painting self portraits.
    3. Later in his life Van Gogh started attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. However, as the academic environment didn’t appeal to him, he went to Paris after a year.
    4. Van Gogh spent some time with his friend Paul Gauguin working in a shared studio. However, as he suffered from numerous mental and physical illnesses, during one of his epileptic seizures he tried to attack Gauguin with a razor, which resulted in him cutting off his earlobe.
    5. In his lifetime Van Gogh's family tried to convince him to go to a mental asylum, and after his deteriorating mental health caused the incident, he willingly committed himself into an institution in Saint-Remy
    6. After a while Van Gogh was well enough to return to the outside world, but his depression got considerably worse when his brother, Theo, could no longer afford to finance him.
    7. It was believed for long that Van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself in a field, however, a recent study claims that in fact his death could have been the result of his encounter with two drunk boys who had a malfunctioning gun.
    8. What is certain that Van Gogh died two days after being shot, and according to his brother, his last words were: “the sadness will last forever”.
    9. Theo died six months after his brother, and it was his wife who pursued galleries and art dealers to get Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings recognised. It turned out successful, as while van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, he became famous after this death.

    Painting Techniques / Style:

    Self Portrait with Bandaged ears (1889) Self Portrait with Bandaged ears (1889)

    The later, most well-known style of Van Gogh is supposed to be that of Post- Impressionist. Post/Impressionism wasn't really a movement like impressionism, it was more of a response to the strict rules of the style. Painters who identified as 'Post-Impressionists', put more emphasis on the spiritual, symbolic and emotional expression, thus creating completely unique works determined by each individual painter's persona.

    Wheatfield with Crows (1890) Wheatfield with Crows (1890)
     A Wheatfield with Cypresses (1889) A Wheatfield with Cypresses (1889)

    Pointillism

    Pointillism is a painting style most characteristic of Georges Seurat - but Van Gogh made attempts to recreate it in his own way as well. Pointillist paintings are made up of (tiny) dots of paint out of the tube and placed next to each other - this way eventually the dots seem to blend together and give out the forms and colours.

    Self-Portrait (1887) Self-Portrait (1887)

    Impasto

    This technique creates a somewhat 3D effect as the paint is applied heavily on the surface.

    Detail of the 'Starry Night' (1889) Detail of the 'Starry Night' (1889)
    Detail of 'Houses at Auvers' (1890) Detail of 'Houses at Auvers' (1890)
    detail of 'Wheat Fields With Cypress' (1889) detail of 'Wheat Fields With Cypress' (1889)

    Van Gogh’s colour palette
    You can find more about it in the previous article by clicking here

    “How to paint like van Gogh?”

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDEMxd6EDDA[/embed] [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86RsoSdIN4w[/embed]

     

    Still want more?

    Documentaries:

    The Mystery of Van Gogh's Ear

    The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night" - Natalya St. Clair

    Studies:

    Rhythmic Brushstrokes Distinguish van Gogh from His Contemporaries: Findings via Automated Brushstroke Extraction

    A comparative study of Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom series

    References:

    http://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/fun_facts.html

    http://www.theredheadriter.com/2011/06/vincent-van-gogh-30-interesting-facts/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/arts/30iht-vangogh30.html

    http://www.artyfactory.com/art_appreciation/portraits/van_gogh.htm

    http://www.theartstory.org/artist-van-gogh-vincent.htm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15328583

  • Rembrandt, the painter

    Have you seen the previous article on the Rembrandt and Van Gogh paints? Or you would like to get some painting tips from the Dutch Master? Even if you’re just interested in some fun facts about painters and techniques; curious what chiaroscuro means, or why it is so soothing to look at Rembrandt’s paintings, keep reading!

    Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn |1606 - 1669

    Self-Portrait, aged 51 (c.1657) Self-Portrait, aged 51 (c.1657)

    Interesting Facts About Rembrandt

    1. Rembrandt started attending the University of Leiden when he was 14 years old, but as he found art more interesting than his studies, he left for Amsterdam to master his painting skills. Not long after he returned to Leiden, at the age of 22, where he started teaching art.
    2. Rembrandt's famous painting Night Watch is actually a nickname standing for tediously long original title – funnily enough, the painting is actually set at daytime, only the old dark and dirty varnish made it look nocturnal.
      Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq (1642) Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq (1642)
    3. Rembrandt is famous for painting himself into his paintings – here he is in the background of Night Watch
    4. In 1715, the forementioned painting was supposed to be brought to the town hall of Amsterdam. However, it was so big that it couldn’t simply fit on the wall – therefore, to hang it, it had to be cropped, and in its present state it’s actually missing some parts.
    5. January 13, 1911, September 14, 1975, and April 6, 1990 – what is common with these dates is that they mark the days when the Night Watch somehow provoked violent reactions from visitors, they actually attempted to slash it with a knife – or a more modern method, pouring sulphuric acid on it. Nevertheless, the painting still remains untouched
    6. There are many reasons why Rembrandt’s paintings stand out from others, but one is definitely the phenomena of “guiding the eye”. Apparently, Rembrandt’s painting technique enables the viewers’ eyes to be directed throughout the paintings on a specific route, as if Rembrandt consciously wanted to present a certain narrative by making sure where his paintings “begin and end.” As the study – mentioned in the article “The Magic of Rembrandt’s Painting Technique”- shows, it has been confirmed scientifically that Rembrandt knew how the human eye works, and did actually guide the viewers’ eyes with his brushstrokes.

    Rembrandt’s Painting Technique:

    Chiaroscuro, meaning “light-dark” in Italian, is technique used to create contrastive effect, especially in painting. Moreover, it’s not simply the strong contrast of light and dark surfaces, but according to Tate Britain’s Glossary, the chiaroscuro technique is generally only remarked upon when it is a particularly prominent feature of the work, usually when the artist is using extreme contrasts of light and shade"

    The effect of Chiaroscuro is very characteristic of Rembrandt’s paintings; he usually used dark shades of browns for shadows and pale yellow tones with white highlights to achieve an illuminating effect, as if his subjects were the sources of light.

    Danae (1636)
    Self Portrait (1628) Self Portrait (1628)
    Self-Portrait in a Gorget, (ca. 1628) Self-Portrait in a Gorget, (ca. 1628)

    More on Rembrandt's techniques:

    • How to Paint Chiaroscuro - https://sites.google.com/site/oilpaintingdemonstrations/how-to-paint-chiaroscuro-in-oils
    • Using the Secrets of the Master in Portrait Painting by Brigid Marlin - http://www.artofimagination.org/Pages/RembrandtTech.html
    • Reconstruction of Rembrandt”s “burnt plate oil” -http://www.northernlightstudio.com/new/burnoil.php

    What was Rembrandt’s colour palette?
    You can find more about it in the previous article by clicking here

    How can I paint like Rembrandt?

    Well, naturally, to acquire such skills as Rembrandt’s, you probably would’ve need the expertise of the master himself. Although, perhaps with some help of these videos you can learn the technique and pretend you’re a contemporary of the Dutch Baroque painter.

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8RLtL5NZhg[/embed]

     

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5YIEzmwfPA[/embed]

     

    Rembrandt Etchings

    Fortunately, Rembrandt wasn't only a talented painter: he took an interest in this particular printmaking technique - and became quite known from his etchings as well. In fact, he produced almost 300!

     Triumph of Mordecai Triumph of Mordecai
    The Three Crosses The Three Crosses

    Interested in printmaking techniques? Keep your eyes on the website, or sign up for the newsletter to hear about the arrival of the article!

    Still want more?

    Rembrandt style drawing - U Tube Clip
    Painting techniques from Rembrandt to Vermeer - U Tube Clip
    BBC Fine Art Collection 3 of 7 Rembrandt - U Tube Clip
    Why I Tried to Copy Rembrandt By Sarah Hart

    References:

    http://www.tate.org.uk/
    http://www.naturalpigments.com
    http://www.livescience.com
    http://www.rembrandtpainting.net

  • Portrait Artist

    Dutch Portrait Artist

    https://youtu.be/of_pW-nwGxA?list=PLag3BK7yc27siPeEc9ylUwDUde3ozScQL&t=124

    Dutch Portrait painter, Ben Lustenhouwer, paints with Rembrandt materials only. Ben has become more and more known for is portraiture. Because of this he is gaining many more commissions from countries like countries like The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Switzerland, England, Finland, Russia, Mexico, USA, and China.  His career as an independent artist started in 1972 while visiting the academy of art in Utrecht. Ben studied drawing and anatomy at a very early age with the renowned Beatus Nijs in Hilversum. With this foundation it is no wonder he can produce such beautiful and talented portraits.

    See more of his work on his website and learn what techniques he uses and more.

    This video above shows him using the Rembrandt Oils and how to paint a portrait of this little girl he has done.

  • Adult Colouring Books

    Colouring Books for Adults

    Adult colouring books have taken storm and become very popular to many. Illustrator Millie Marotta has produced a a number of colouring books for grown ups. Animal Kingdom and Tropical Wonderland are just a couple of them. Millie produces these spectacular intricate and very detailed illustrations for you to enjoy colouring in and, in some of her colouring books she even leaves blanks in her illustrations for those to be able to hand-draw their own images and doodles also. The idea of these adult colouring books are a therapy in itself as it allows the consumer to go into another world and just let go. These colouring books help those who suffer mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and more. Allows them to focus on what they are doing and to be able to relax. Also, they are good to help you forget about your worries or problems, and de-stress from a very busy working day.

    Why not pick one of her beautiful colouring books from Amazon or any other online retailers for yourself or a loved one for Christmas?

    You can learn more about the illustrator here and be sure to watch this video below

    https://youtu.be/XnOAiZivzrY

  • Apple Pen for Ipad Pro

    Introducing the Apple Pen for iPad Pro

     

    Apple recently recruited the gifted artist James Jean after interviewing him to promote their new Pencil Stylus that pairs perfectly with the new iPad Pro. James is a Taiwanese American visual artist who is know for both his fine art gallery work and commercial work. The gifted 36year old has  put the pencil stylus product to good use by drawing out his amazing imagery directly onto the tablet itself which you can see here.

    james jean 2

    The pencil stylus is just perfect for apple iPad Pro as there are many different things you can acheive with this novel technology on the iPad Pro itself plus the great thing about it is that you can draw and be creative with it. The battery life lasts hours but when needing to charge up it just takes taking a part of at the end of the pencil and has a connection on it that you place into your iPad Pro allowing it to charge. . You can produce broad or single strokes with this wonderful tool and it has been designed to feel and look like a familiar tool. Watch the video  below to see just how works and how creative you can actually be with this apple pencil for the apple iPad pro.

    https://youtu.be/iicnVez5U7M?t=87

     

    You can see from the close up picture of James Jean drawing here for the Apple pencil that the pencil leaves true sketch marks making it look like a real physical drawing as if on paper.

    james jean 3

    You can see his work just here on his website.

  • Brush up your own Christmas Cards

    Homemade Christmas Cards

     

    Fancy making & brushing up your very own Christmas cards? Then watch this lovely brush lettering homemade Christmas card. Gouache, water-colour, pens & inks, calligraphy pens are ideal for creating beautiful Christmas cards with your very own personal touch. Purchase any of these products in our shop iartsupplies in Dundee, Perth Road, or visit us online and order from there. You could even add some sparkle with our lovely Stardust Glitter Gel Pens

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyeFM3_kEqE

  • Kissing up Portraits

    Creating Kiss Art

    Artist Natalie Irish from Houston creates stunning kiss-art, using a tube of lipstick and placing over a 1000 kisses from her very own lips to create spontaneous portraits of very well known celebrities. Marilyn Monroe was just one of her many perfect candidates and catches her perfectly well.

    Kiss Art

    Natalie came upon the idea of kiss art after an evening of preparing herself for a night out with friends. She was layering on her make up and blotted her lips on a piece of tissue and realized she could do the same thing onto canvas and, create something in a similar way to when she use to create images with thumbprints a s a child. From this moment she starting to shine in the art world for her unique highly personal art - which may seem semi romantic, but look at the results it gets her. Watch the video to see her kiss-art in action.  It is awesome but yet very strange seeing someone kiss away on canvas but, it is very different and what a talent to have.  Read more about the artist on her website  & here.

     

     

  • Last Painting by Osi Rhys Osmond

    The Last Painting

    Welsh artist, Osi Rhys Osmond, died March of this year and, here they talk about his very last painting, unfinished as he died before he could finish, and how it is to be hung in public for the very first time in Chapter, Cardiff, then affterwards to be homed in the new Maggie's Support Centre for people with cancer.  Self Portrait - the last painting Osmond did - can be seen worked on here and you can read more about him on it too.

    osi rhys osmond

     

  • J.M.W Turner Sandycombe Lodge

    Turners Home

    Famous talented artist J.M.W Turner built his own lodge in Sandycombe, Twickenham, which he designed for himself in 1813. The beautiful building which has been looked after and raised funding for restoring it, has been open to the public since April this year til October once a month allowing visitors to come along and see the famous artists' stunning lodge. Interested to see it and learn more then click here and get the details of when you can visit, only small problem is there is no parking so you are required to hop onto a train to visit. This is a "must go and see" for me after studying so much about the artist myself whilst at art college.

    Watch this video to see inside  J.M.W Turner House Here

    Sandycombe_Lodge_1814

  • Art Journals and Mixed Media

    blogAre you interested in starting your own art journal, improving your art journal techniques, looking for new ideas for backgrounds, pages etc.?  This great blog provides ideas, tutorials and guidelines, check it out for some inspiration and education.

     

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