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Tips From the Palette

Using the Rule of Thirds to Your Advantage

One of the most basic rules in visual art composition is called The Rule of Thirds.  It's been used throughout history to help determine placement of elements within a painting.  Understanding how this rule works will help you lay out your composition and determine your focal point in order to achieve the effect you're after. Simply put, the rule of thirds states that if you divide your composition into three equal parts horizontally and vertically, and then place the elements of the painting along these lines or at the point where the lines intersect, you'll achieve a pleasing arrangement.  Let's take a...

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Now That's a Stretch!

When painting on canvas, an artist will almost always have to stretch their canvas or purchase it pre-stretched on a wooden frame.  However, for a watercolor artist painting on paper, there are choices.  Small size watercolor pads or “blocks” come with all four sides glued and only a small area unglued to facilitate removing a sheet (finished painting) from the block.  In this case, one would not nor need to stretch the paper. So why stretch our paper at all?  With large sheets and large washes (passages of wet watercolor), un-stretched (un-restrained) paper has a tendency to warp or buckle, leaving...

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Choosing the Right Brush for Your Painting Project

We’ve all been there … You want to explore your creative side, feel the joy of layering brilliantly colored paints on a canvas, and create your first masterpiece!  You head to the art store and quickly find your paints, canvas or paper, and maybe a “how to get started book” with fun painting exercises to try.  You’re feeling excited and eager to get going.  And then it happens. You reach the brush aisle and are faced with an overwhelming number of choices and have no idea know where to start.  Sure, the brushes may be separated into sections for watercolor,...

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