Website Hosting

Arvixe Web HostingI’m going to stray a little from my normal mode of posting today and talk a little about my hosting service. I started this blog back in September in an attempt to help promote my main website North Forty Wildlife Art, which displays the most recent paintings I have created since becoming a full-time wildlife artist.

I searched the web for several weeks searching for a web hosting company that could meet the needs of my website. I basically had two criteria at that point. The first was reliability. The hosting service had to be realiable enough to keep my site up 24 hours a day 7 days a week with few interruptions. The second requirement Continue reading

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Acrylic Painting Mediums

Gel MediumWhen painting with acrylic paint, I very seldom work with the paint straight from the tube. To me, and for my style of painting, straight tube paint is too thick and does not flow well. So I decided to describe some of the mediums commercially available for use with acrylic paints in today’s post.

Although you can simply thin acrylic tube color with water, most manufacturers produce liquid painting mediums for this purpose. Each of the different types of medium serve a different purpose, so you’ll have to try each one to see which fits your Continue reading

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Scumbling An Acrylic Painting Technique

Creating art with acrylic paint requires several specialized techniques for applying the paint in order to make the painting look realistic and believable. The technique that I want to talk about today is called scumbling.

Acrylic paint dries so quickly that it’s hard to blend one wet stroke smoothly into another. When using the scumbling technique, one stroke overlaps another and they seem to blend in the viewer’s eye. The lights and shadows of an object are rendered Continue reading

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How to Create a Painting From a Photograph

In past articles, I’ve talked about preparing for a painting by using reference photographs. This process involves taking numerous photographs and selecting certain elements from each picture and creating a whole new painting from the mosaic of elements.

However, it is very good practice for the beginning artist to create a painting from a single photograph. As a student, you need to practice your skills Continue reading

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5 Ways to Improve Your Art

If you’re an aspiring artist with a strong desire to improve your abilities, here are 5 things that will help you to quickly and dramatically improve your paintings.

Become Intimately Familiar With Your Colors
The only way to know how your palette of colors will look is to use them. Only then will you see what colors can be produced when colors are mixed and how the colors react when placed next to each other. Typically when mixing paint colors, mixing Continue reading

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What Do You Want to Know

So far all of my posts have been about what I wanted to say to you as readers. As my Christmas gift to all of you, I would like to know what you would like to see posted on my blog. If you have any questions that I can answer about wildlife art, painting techniques, or just about anything about art in general, now is the time to get them answered.

You can either post a comment or send me an email at randy@north40wildlifeart.com and I’ll put together the articles for you as soon as possible.

Until then, keep your brushes clean, your colors pure, and as always, thanks for stopping by. Merry Christmas.

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Editing Your Photographed Artwork in Photoshop

Yesterday, I talked about how to photograph your own artwork with a digital SLR camera. Today, I want to give you a quick run down on how I initially edit the photographs of my artwork after I get them on my computer’s hard drive.

The first thing I need to do is get the file open into photoshop for editing. You’ll notice the distracting background around the image that includes the studio Continue reading

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How to Photograph Your Artwork

Nikon D200 Digital SLR CameraI am not only a wildlife artist, I also have an extensive background in photography. In order to obtain high quality images of my artwork, I photograph my own paintings for digital reproduction and posting on my website. My camera of choice is a tripod mounted Nikon D200 digital SLR. 

When photographing paintings, I prefer continuous directional illumination rather than a flash unit. This lighting setup creates optimum lighting on the painting’s surface and avoids harsh flash spots on the painting. I place my painting vertically in my easel to allow for accurate alignment of the painting with the camera lens. With this setup, I can accurately align the painting and the camera so they are perpendicular Continue reading

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How to Clean Paint Brushes

Artist Paint BrushesOne of the most import tools in an artist’s tool box, in my opinion, is a good set of quality brushes. No craftsman can produce quality work with inferior grade tools. High quality paint brushes can range from a few dollars for a small round to nearly $100 for a large synthetic bristle.

No matter how much you pay for your brushes, they will not last very long if you don’t take care of them. The single most effective way to care for brushes is to keep them clean. When I’m finished painting for the day, I always wash my brushes thoroughly to keep any paint residue from building up in the bristles, especially near the ferrule.

Windsor and Newton Acrylic Artist BrushesIf I’m painting with acrylic paints, Continue reading

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Acrylic Color Palette

Acrylic Color Palette

Artists are like songwrites in a sense. If you listen to much music, the songs that most songwriters produce sound very similar from song to song. The words are different, and the melody is different, but the style and the mood of the songs are frequently very similar.

Artists seem to do the same thing with their paintings. The image may vary from painting to painting, but the overall theme of each painting is usually very similar. This is because the majority of artists usually stick with the same set of colors, and paint using the same techniques for each painting they produce.

As a wildlife artist, I’m no different. I use a very basic set of colors for the majority of my paintings. These colors are ultramarine blue, ivory black, titanium white, Continue reading

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