Friday, October 23, 2009

The canvas

If the blank canvas calls to you, here are some new books you might enjoy:
Colored Pencil Painting Bible: techniques for achieving luminous color and ultrarealistic effects by Alyona Nickelsen. Make your colors pop off the page, bring more light and shadow into your work and deepen the level of detail by using Nickelsen's techniques. She provides step-by-step instructions, along with many illustrations and examples, of how to blend, fuse, layer and burnish your colors. Clever application of mineral spirits, masking fluid and mounting putty, as well as techniques such as sgraffito, powder brushing and negative painting can really elevate your work.
Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists: experimental techniques for composition, layering, texture, imagery and encaustic by Ann Baldwin will show you how to create textures in your paint using spattering, rock salt washes, and found objects. You can layer materials for color, texture or collage. You can learn stamping, stenciling and block printing. Baldwin also includes instructions on doing encaustic painting and adding digital photographs to your canvas. There's a wide range of creative techniques and inspiring ideas in this book.
Watercolor Essentials: hands-on techniques for exploring watercolor in motion is by Birgit O'Connor, and it comes with a very handy DVD that further illustrates each lesson. O'Connor takes you through choosing your brushes, paint and palettes into mixing colors, blending and laying in washes. She also explores ways to create shadows, movement and depth in your watercolors, as well as various techniques for masking, spattering, staining and marbling. The accompanying DVD makes it much easier to apply the skills yourself.

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