African Art and Paintings

To begin with, African art was usually items than paintings. So how does one explicate the idea of African art and paintings? Firstly, 3D objects dominated the much less world of that of paintings. Nevertheless, both are equally informative and priceless.

If you were to visit an art museum and go to observe the African art pieces, they would almost all be things like pottery, sculptures, wooden spears, clay bowls, necklaces and so forth.  Hence, you can see that all these items had specific function.  Even the trademark painted masks that you may be familiar with, served a formal, important aspect. It usually reflected tribal lore and religion.

The African country of Mesopotamia has been called the cradle of civilization. From that province, life changed and evolved and dispersed to other areas. Staying on focus, you will find constant themes that permeate the structure and meaning of African art.

You may notice how everything serves the purpose that fits the use of the human body like the former examples. Also, African antiquities reflected the pride, valor and honor  of those who possessed these valued objects.

Ancient African tribes were extremely superstitious that is mirrored in their art. Masks often represented spirits of animals through rituals often demonstrated through the familiar “fire dances” depicted on TV and school books. Another element is the abstract detail and shiny finish typical to much of African workmanship.

Now we will delve into the much less practiced and more distinct form of African art: rock art. Like the sculptured figures that were made for practical purposes, African art was not intended to serve like that of fine art. As I’ve stated before in previous posts, fine art is purely for the sake of adoration. There is no intrinsic meaning or message therein. It is in a matter of words, it is art that “is what it is.”

African rock art was used to record events, mark passage of tribal rights and other ceremonial acts. There were also special meanings behind things like animal depictions that were symbols of fertility for example.

To make rock art, Africans blended red rock grinds with fat. Rock paintings were not composed with different colors as you might notice. Rather, the painter made objects or creatures in shades of the same color. African rock art was also very resilient to weather ware and age.

Moreover, these two dimensional images used fine lines to depict them. In simple terms, they were curvy stick figures.

One of the most significant examples of rock rock art, comes from the San that lived in what was then purely  called South Africa. Today the area is designated as South Africa and Botswana. According to a more refined method of carbon dating it was discovered some African rock art dates back to about 5,000 years ago.

A big factor in this advanced method, called accelerator mass spectrometry, is of course the state of the rock art. It is much easier to date art in caves rather than depictions exposed to open and exposed outer surfaces.

Every continent has some form of rock art. We see examples in the Native Americans, Scandinavia which is on Europe, Asia, and Australia where the native aborigines are a fairly recognized group of people who produced the dazzling wall paintings we are familiar with.

Only in modern times, do we see a deluge of African art that is displayed on on canvas and notably on walls in urban areas. Today however there is a disagreement over what is called wall art or plain graffiti.

Most contemporary African art is reflective of relevant culture. But even today, these works of art are mixed with long past ideas of composition. One big difference between ancient African rock art  of long ago and the present is the use of rich color and fine detail. There is also an abstract tenor to these paintings.

So there you have it; a brief but concise narration of the sole method of ancient African painting. I hope this was informative and enlightening. If only we could own pieces of rock art of every sort and geographic area.

Please remember to comment!! I’d love to hear from you!!

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon Clip Art

Clip art is a thing of modern times more or less. In dragon clip art you may find silly cartoon child’s depictions. But when did the legendary beast combine into small decorative artist’s creations?

 

 

It evolved from other depictions of dragons mainly in medieval timeline of Europe. Dragons were portrayed on shields and banners. The mighty beast was seen as a symbol of power. But the myth of the dragon has exited since the beginning of time notably in ancient Rome and Greece. But around that time, China had their own version of the dragon. It was of course the snake-like elongated pictures mainly depicted in fine Chinese art.

Returning to how clip art ties into the legendary dragon, we look at the time when mass production of dragon clip art started a rage. It really took off  in the mid-nineteen-nineties  about a decade before the introduction of the PC and the Apple Macintosh.

During this time was the start of pop culture. With the innovative advancement of computer software, mass production of clip at was possible. Microsoft Word was the medium that mainly produced clip art.  Unfortunately a report was released at the end of 2014 that Microsoft was doing away with them. Nevertheless, you can still find them in Word 2019.

There is a relatively big demand for dragon clip art even today. Basic dragon art still exists in other forms: cartoons, tattoos, video games and especially in fantasy related things. But how has this very ancient beast survived so long even to the point of affecting child’s toys and picture books?

In pop-culture, they are described as “cool” or “rad.” It’s odd how such a symbol of ruthless evil and power has been adopted into modern times to be admired so much and made to be appealing.

Clip art historically has been used for businesses for logos and on a totally different spectrum, for stickers you would find in a kindergarten’s class.

Mass production and distribution of clip art began with companies like T/maker. Unlike Microsoft, T/maker used an alternative method with a system called WriteNow. It was drawn up by the modern business mogul Steve Jobs, the founder of Macintosh.

There are two kinds of clip art formats that are used to make dragon art. The first one called bitmap was used by Apple. This method, however, became block-like and checkered when the image was expanded.

The succeeding format is called vector-graphics. It came into play in 1983 when the the original one-sided floppy disks were used. This technology was soon outmoded with the creation of the integration of the vector art system with what is called a Graphical User Interface which is simply making use of imagery to interact with things like Windows for instance.

But dragons that were popular thrived in other realms. In the 1990’s dragons were making a comeback in a wide range of forms. In the world of literature, dragon were making a mark specifically in the 1980’s and the 1990’s.

The dragon phase fizzled out somewhat in 2000. That being said, fantasy has declined in fascination except for examples like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Which is a shame because I like that genre the most.

Before working on this post, I had no idea that dragon clip art and clip art alone, had such a rich and in depth history. As I said, most dragon art is geared for children. We’ve all seen those smiling, laughing cartoon clip art images. Now that’s all nice and fine. But what about us adults? I’m sure there could be more serious classic-looking depictions to choose from.

Technology and lore has combined to make dragon clip art famous. Today most clip art is for commercial purposes such as logos, insignia, banners and magazine caricatures.Very few clip art pieces are for recreational reasons. The only other narrow exception would be skin tattoos.

So there you have it. A brief rundown of the history and examples of clip art as well as an explanation of how dragons and clip art relates.

Note: Click on image to see full picture.

Please remember to comment!!

What is The Best Lens for Portrait Photography?

I will now delve into the robust and technicality of all the art forms – photography. Photography is as much of a science as well as an art. When someone mentions art photography you may naturally think of beautiful vistas, lush gardens, and architectural masterpieces.  But there is a small category no one really though of as an art- portraits. Whether they’re of individuals or in groups, this type of photography is nevertheless, art as well.

The biggest component that will ultimately decide the overall image is of course your lens. Here I will review different cameras along with the lenses from research I have done and choose a favorite. Like any item, lenses vary in production.

There integral factors used to create that picture perfect shot. Perhaps lighting and shadow is the most considered one. There is a definite point that I call the “freeze frame” moment. It is that instance where all the details come into sync. It is a split second recognition that the photographer decides to take the shot. And for that, I will show you howto choose the best lens choice in  my opinion.

1. Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f1.8

This is a versatile tool. Like all single-lens reflex cameras, it joins the automatic non CPU reaction with cutting edge technology of a digital imaging sensor. The camera was introduced to the public nine years ago. For such a small device, it is quite dependable. My main reason I like this model is because of its simple operating and for its price. For a camera of its tenor, it works well in indoor or shaded areas. Some who have reviewed this camera apparently like its low sound when focusing.

As mentioned before this device is perfect for novices who like portraits as a hobby and not as an occupation. Likewise it is affordable. Nikon made strides in the camera business with the creation of the single-lens reflex function. A one year warranty is included along with the four year maintenance and four year service package. It weighs less than half  a pound but retains a very accurate performance rate.

Canon 85mm f/1.8 EF USM

This camera is a sweet deal. It comes with a a feature that is standard which  Electric Focusing. Like the Nikon, it is super quiet. It is of course much larger and heavier being an 85mm camera lens. And again like the Nikon, the carrying case is not in a  package deal. It came out in 1992 and has gone down in price in decent intervals from its original price down to $370, $349 and finally to $369 in 2017.

It was reviewed as being excellent and a good buy. Moreover it is sleek and advanced. But this also means it is harder to operate. So if you’re a beginner, this may not be the one for you.

Fujifilm X-mount lenses

It is of course vital to make your mind about how seriously you want to pursue the art of photography. Fujifilm manufactures two types of X-mount lenses – the XC and the XF. For portraits, I recommend the XF for a simple fact. It yields a better and more detailed photo. It is however more pricey.  But, you get what you pay for. The zoom is very accurate and it is built with a a state of the art twin linear motor and has top of the line contrast, focus and sharpness. The lens is applied with special coating for maximum performance.  Unfortunately, it is heavy for such a small camera.

Sigma 85 mm f1.4 art lens

Released sometime on late 2016, this one was a lens Juggernaut at the time of its prosperity. It was a born baby that dared to rival the established leaders in the photography world. Particularly, it stood up to the Sony 85mm. The Sigma actually beat some aspects of criteria of the Sony brand. For instance: the Sony is not multi-compatible in regards to the different mounts it can be used with. It only works with their brand. The Sigma is functional with mounts including Canon and Nikon.

When the Sigma is fully expanded, it apparently has superior sharpness. You will find an exceptional overlying feature to me; zero distortion! The peripheral viewing factor is great so that you get great side border resolution. not only that but it has a great light distribution coined as “T-stop.” This is the degree of lens lens aperture. This is compared to a “F-Top” camera that works much simpler. This kind of lens operates with  the opening in front of the lens.

Although this was introduced a while ago, it sounds very enticing. The review spoke more objectively with hard facts. The others were more subjectively with opinions like “Great camera/lens!” or “It’s great for beginners!”

My Conclusion

For my pick of the liter of which brand and type of lens to buy, I was leaning towards the Sigma. But that lens is three years old. Naturally, technology advances. So I looked at the fujifilm next. I am inclined to it because its good reputation. It is also manufactured in Japan, a place booming with technological enterprise.

As for Kodak, well the unfortunate truth is that it’s filed for bankruptcy in 2013. It is a shame in that the company pioneered the photography world. It is good that they are still operation but are lagging behind.

Most if not all of these four cameras/lenses were actually quite old. But, as I stated, Fuji is my pick because of its versatility and optimization. I haven’t heard that much and reports about the company overall. And I was impressed with its self-description.

Well, that is it for today! I’ll see ya in two days. I hope you got some insight into the technological depth of these few examples from this article.

 

As usual please don’t forget to leave comments!! Later!!

 

Fine Art and Paintings

Fine art is a craft that is very conditional. What qualifies as fine art? Simply put, it is a piece of art that is beautiful and thought provoking in its own right. Fine art and paintings is usually qualified as a related pair. And fittingly so. It is, in a plain definition, without intellectual insinuations or specific style. Not to use a short sighted idiom, but fine art “is what it is.” It’s just a beautiful picture. It exists only to amuse and entertain. There’s no massage, no subtle agenda.

However fine art encompass 3D creations like sculptures as well. Fine art paintings have an alternate sister method or more accurately it actually has method. This appealing method is called functional or decorative art. The latter name is probably more readily comprehended. What do you think of when you say “decorative art?” Perhaps draperies, window art, interior painting and design.

 

This art type follows a rule or scheme of composition. If you need instructions to make your art, it is probably decorative! Tile art and mosaics are of this sort.

 

But we’re here to address fine art paintings. Now that we have defined fine art in explanation and contrast, let us examine some paintings that are in the fine art category.

Th first kind I’ll discuss is called encaustic painting. This title has a dual meaning: the paint substance used and the method incurred. It is used with hot beeswax as a bonding component to join color pigments to more effectively adhere to the surface of bare surfaces like walls or wooden enclosures.

This fine art technique originated form 500 BC Greece and leads right to the present. Hence it has stood the test of time. In modern times, heat lamps or heat guns are us to sear the beeswax to the surface.

 

Tempera paintings are another form of the fine art denomination. It is rather odd in that its core adhesive formula are eggs mixed with water. It may also be mixed with other edible ingredients like milk, honey. Glue may also be blended for its affect.

This manner of art usually uses an emulsifying texture substance like gesso with is a chalk based plaster-like spreading material. Usually a pictorial outline was applied onto the primer and then thin coats of paint were administered. In regard to its life perseverance, it is quite durable and retains its image well.

Historical speaking, one of the oldest examples was in Egyptian art specifically 50 BC to 250 Ad. However no such pieces have ever been discovered in ancient Greece around the time that tempera flowered in Egypt.

Moreover, in regard to 19th century art, the technique of Tempera art was still held by artists particularly the famous William Blake. In terms of present composition, a few artists have held on to the ancient art method. A few artist include: Edvard Munch, Giorgio de Chirico and Otto Dix to be brief and for content’s sake.

 

In a category all its own comes the fine art of printmaking. As the term may infer, it is a thing of the last few centuries. It is the process of taking a drawn picture and using mechanical means of sorts to reprint the image on paper. In the 19th century, the lithograph outmoded methods of previous centuries like engraving, woodcutting and etching that flowered mainly in the Europe and the Americas. In Asia, the Japanese ukiyo-e method was practiced as well at that time.

A kind of printing that was used was called Mono typing. Unfortunately, with this method only one reproduction can be done at a time. This system was very basic and effective. It is done by placing a wet, just painted piece of art on a flat surface and then another piece of paper is pressed over it, usually by using a press, and thus yields a single double work of art.

Returning to the direct facet of what fine art paintings is explicated as, I will again mention what the notion of fine art is: it is plain, simply portrayed work of art made just to amuse and entertain. There is no subtle undertone or implied meaning.

In essence, even aged cave cave paintings are classified as fine art! But some of us may wonder why fine paintings are infamously known to be of high class repertoire. And on that note, why are they typically so expansive? There is a relative reason why. It could be compared to why books are so famous.

One factor is “who do you know?” and where is the art piece exhibited and who shows up to admire it. However, most in person art exhibitions are giving way to art being sold online, much like this site aims to do. There are close to a dozen or so online art vendors in business.

I will soon be posting high tier art work that is  is of good value for a good price in my opinion. so be sure to check back every often. If you enjoyed or were enlightened by this narrative I will try to post articles every other day.

Until next time, keep it real art connoisseurs!

Acrylic Painting Ideas

 

Disclaimer: The following are methods derived off YouTube. I did not create them nor do I own them. I did modify and add to them as I see fit so it is not word for word descriptions.

Flower Squares

For this idea, you will need a small piece of canvas to be wrapped over a tile about eight by eight inches long. Your goal is to make flower collage that bursts with life. It will also cause a focused center of attention.

To begin with, completely cover the surface with a light purple.                          Next, use a small pointed brush to dab on the canvas to create to the flower center. The good thing about acrylic forms of this nature is that you can work with mistakes. And since you are creating a depiction of more or less random or general  strokes and blotches, It’s quite hard to distinguish what is a mistake outright. It relates somewhat to the abstract method.

Then once you have your dots, use the blotching method to depictions of petals. They can be a few difference colors. Next  liberally blotch and make fine strokes around your flowers to simulate a rich and varied garden colors. Again the intended image will not get lost because you will in fact be intentionally be making a random portrayal through improvising.

By now the array of shapes and colors have dried. Getting towards the end, you will paint on more white hue to make the picture slightly raised as it is applied. This gives it a 3D texture. At this point, you should have a yield of happy, joyful flowers.

The Sunset and Forest Idea

This following method or idea is succinctly and simply titled. It is also meant for beginners. To be accurate, this entails the use off one canvas. It will be put on a single surface side-by-side. I will begin with the sunset portrayal. To be specific, it as a sunset from the view of an island surrounded by water with a palm tree in the front view.

Start by covering half of the canvas with a vibrant yellow on the left part fo the surface. Next, from the top, apply a coat of red over the yellow hue with a hot pink. Use back and forth motions when applying with a long bristled brush. When the top part is covered with pink of back and put another coat of yellow over the top pink section on the upper surface.

Now you will be begin the forest phase. Apply a layer of blue to the right side the same way you did with the yellow before. Only this time, begin your back and forth motion roughly in the middle of the right side. Then use a dark, purplish blue which is also called Prussian blue as it is called. Paint the upper part of the regular blue with the Prussian blue.

Next, paint a white hue beginning from the bottom up with the same back and forth fashion. After applying the white, go over it with the blue shade. No we return to the left side. As stated, there is water and you will be putting in white water reflections. Before that, display a sun with a small white ball at the middle-right section of the sunset side.

At this point use a point brush to make white shading bellow the sun. A horizontal water line will be created now. Next paint a strip of black at the bottom of the canvas to portray the island section. Then use the black to create a semicircle series off strokes coming down from the right upper edge. This will be your over hanging palm branch with pointed leaves at the end. You will also be painting another piece of land below the water line.

And there you have it! Easy huh?

Now to put the finishing touches on your forest painting which is a no brainer. Just make vertical lines and then form the top, scribble in the foliage in a cone shaped lines the lines.

Conclusion

As I stated before, I got these ideas from YouTube. Since it is a painting, these instructions may be just a bit cumbersome without visual aid. For beginner projects, I thought these were very good considering how simple the methods were. I hope you enjoyed this little smidgen of art techniques. My favorite one was by far they second one. It created a lot of tranquility for me. I hope you liked what you got at the end for both examples.

Don’t forget to leave comments!! Bye until later!!

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Moore Interior Paint Colors

Before you go any further, you may be wondering why a site post that is titled Benjamin Moore Interior Paint Colors, has to do with art. Of course there is an obvious correlation in that both art work and interior painting have in common; they both involve paint and an innate method as well as a pronounced aesthetic appeal.

Interior painting is an art in itself. It can create a living and interactive environment on walls floors or ceilings. In this case the whole inside of your house is a canvas. It is similar to the affect of Chinese balance and impression of fengshui although that kind of art involves furniture and other physical elements.

Now to the main point. So you’ve decided or are leaning for Benjamin Moore paints. Great choice. One of the things I like about BM is that it is smaller and more focused company. It’s more close nit. They’re typically found in single, compartmentalized buildings. Most big time home improvement stores don’t have them.

The paint in the Benjamin Moore lineup I will review is the Aura Matte/eggshell/satin/semigloss. To begin with it, is highly adherent. It finishes with a uniform and full bodied texture. Some people claim to not have to apply a primer before hand! That, in my opinion is a pretty big plus. As for where to apply it, I suggest bathrooms and baby rooms. This is because, no to be vulgar, when someone is using the bathroom they will naturally be drawn to gravitate towards the wall if there is no photo. More over in such a first time close encounter, it is the first deep focused color experience. and this color hue, like all the Auras, is very gentle on the eyes. The white grey mix is relaxing to the mind.

It is no wonder that kind of whites like eggshell or white dove are used on the walls of mental facilities and padded rooms among other white textured hues. This color is good in luxurious entry ways. The first general impression is vital. It gives a relaxing mood in large intimidating spaces. It can also serves as a subtle backdrop to decorative items like lamps, Venetian blinds, windows and simply shaped furniture of strong yet calming appearance.

As with any interior paint job, you must have an empty space. But as a general piece of advice, try to keep a clear vision of your space layout. Quite often, people tend to do another paint job after they have gathered and arrayed there decor like pictures and furniture.

Getting back to the Aura paint type, it is very resilient to ware, scrape, chips, and dirt collection. It is a very rich, luscious texture that you feel you can eat it. I call this is what I call the “yummy factor.” Imagine, for example, a brand new hot red Corvette. The sheen is sweet and it is easy and pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, unless it is washed and waxed everyday very thoroughly, its deep, vibrant luster will degrade.

The Aura line up keeps on strutting its stuff for years to come. As stated before, this paint is smooth and silky when you apply it.

But like most of this narration, some of the things are subjective. I encourage you to find your own color scheme. Experiment with how you want this whole collage of uses and find your focus. After all, its your own tastes. Take into consideration what the pros have to say, but absorb it with a grain of salt!

Please remember to comment! And if you do get the Aura or any other Benjamin Moore paint, I’d love to hear how you like it. Tootles!

 

Modern Abstract Painting Techniques

The abstract art universe has been a thing of peculiarity. It is a notion that baffles the mind as well as the human soul itself. Some people may think “What classifies as abstract art?” as apposed to just blotches and paint smears on canvas. A pertinent question would be what is abstract art and what does it mean? People can literally stare at some abstract art piece for hours and just drink in the weird, deviating aesthetic emotion that each individual feels.

Today the abstract art venue still excels with multiple tools and utensils. Present day modern abstract painting techniques have a wide range of methods. In this post I will talk about some ways that artists use to compose there enigmatic abstract wonders.

To start with, the rules of abstract art creation are not stringently subjected. Freedom and expression as well as style are integrated into this kind of art. I will begin with the most explainable method. Although there is no official term for the following technique, it is practiced by a good number of artists of today.

This method is good if you’re new to abstract art and need a template to draw from. It starts with a simple picture. Imagine a sketching or photo of a  tree. Notice the dimensions of the tree – its long trunk, its canopy or its smaller branches or rushes.

 

Now take a small section and “cookie cut” it onto a piece of paper or canvas. If it was the body of a trunk, you could more or less transfer a rectangle on to the art surface.

Here is where it gets fun. Look at the the image of  a tree and do as if you were going to copy a detail like lines of its trunk. But rather than just draw an according line or lines, change it as you feel. Do you see where I’m going? You’re drawing abstract art piece! Wasn’t that simple?

This is where phase two comes in. You’ve worked with the general aspect of the process until now. Now you will give color and vibrancy to the general shapes.

With your palate of paint colors, try to shade in the shapes represented in the picture of the tree. Here you can focus on the finer details of your abstract piece. Notice the design of the bark like its striations and lumps or perhaps a hollow on the trunk.

In the same way use the actual organic subject and play with the contours and other details. Continue in the same way that you used to color the general parts of the tree. Although liberality is encouraged, try not to stray too far from the line boundaries. Now take a step back and relish your work.

This next method is more complex and it delves into the world of true inert and expressive mentality. This is the typical abstract composition that is comprised seemingly random, conglomerated, and peculiar painting strokes, swipes and blotches. Despite the apparent simplicity that is tied with this form of art, it is quite challenging.

Think about it. How does one express joy, nostalgia, peace in various combinations of shading and mixing of paint on a canvas? How does one portray an abstract feeling with deviation and ambiguity? It is similar to the abstract emotion you might get when adoring the clouds or looking at the mountains. Is it possible to capture that exact feeling without painting a cloud but rather use a collage of individual collars and brush strokes.

So now we will dive right into the next kind of abstract painting.

Obviously you will require a canvas. It is optional to use gesso to give a smooth, primed backdrop. Gesso is a grey, thick painting plaster made of paint pigment, chalk and binder. Next, choose the paint kind you want to use. Before 1937, only oil based paints was available. But this kind of paint was thick and could not be painted over. It also had a bad odder and faded some and got discolored.

Acrylics dry faster but had have less pigment. They are made with plastic so it can be improved with more refined as plastics evolve. Both paints have pros and cons. In light of that, the choice is up to you.

Then, choose your brushes. Again, there is no exact type you must use. Abstracts require the use of varying colors and different degrees of shades. Often you may have to frequently mix and re-apply paint. It is advantageous get a visual guide like a color wheel. This tool is more or less a pie chart with each piece a varying color shade.

Now to the action. Use blue painter’s tape and apply strips all across the canvas so that you have a patch-like appearance at random angles. Then, select your hue of paint that you have pre-mixed and brush lightly with a wide brush. Use the rules of color-relationship when you apply your colors. Take a rainbow for example; the hue is formed by the scientific light spectrum. This specific part of the technique my require practice.

After you have covered the canvas with your paint, remove the tape. The product at this point is paint with white lines over it. At this point you will do the finishing touch. Simply fill in the white lines with a color of your choice. And there you have it! Doesn’t look great!

Bellow is a partial end product of the process explained above. There are more intersecting lines and they could be colored as in the outline shown above.

Besides the part of properly learning the relationship of color, this method is pretty easy. And it looks truly professional. Of course there is a sleuth of other abstract techniques, I have explored only two. I  hope you have gained some knowledge about the different facets of this art style.

I encourage you to pursue your hankering for today’s brand of abstract art. As always paint on and feed your inner muse with all sorts of ideas!

P.S.  Don’t forget to leave comments!!! I’d love to engage you in any art related topic!!