Oil Painting Art – The Advantages and Disadvantages

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Oil painting has been around for hundreds of years. In fact, the thirteenth century has brought us some oil painting art from England. This is where they used oil paintings for decoration. However, during those early years, many of the artists liked using paints that are known as tempera, instead of using oil paints. This is because tempera would dry faster than the oil paint. During the fifteenth century, certain artists came up with the idea of taking tempera and mixing it in with the oil paint. It was not until the seventeenth century that the pure oil paint became more popular. Below, we are going to discuss this topic even more.

If you are in touch with your artistic side, then we are sure you are in this type of art. Oil painting has a tendency to slowly dry. In fact, it dries slower than any other paint out there. This is because it is made from small particles of pigments.

Some of the artists out there may find it troublesome to wait for the painting to dry, but when taking a class, you will find that the artists believe this type of art should be taught to every student. This has a lot to do with the fact that there are many oil paint reproductions developed using these type of paints.

When it comes to this type of painting, there are more advantages than there are disadvantages. You see, if you forget about your paints and you leave them open, then they are not going to dry out as fast as the other paints.

Since it takes longer for them to dry out, the paint in the tube is not going to dry out if you leave it open. In fact, it could take up to a couple of weeks for it to dry.

This also makes it easy for an artist to leave their picture and come back at different sessions without fearing the painting is going to dry up too early. Of course, for many, this may be viewed as a disadvantage because the slow drying could make it difficult for them to go to the next stage of their project.

These type of paints are great when it comes to blending with the paint that is surrounding it. When you blend it on canvas, you will be creating unique strokes that are not possible with any other type of paint. Of course, to some, this advantage could also be viewed as a disadvantage. It is possible to blend colors that one did not intend to blend.

Have you taken a look at all of the oil painting art that is out there today? We’re not just talking about the pictures that are hanging in the museum. We are talking about the type is for sale. There are many websites on the Internet that have a large variety of pictures for sale. Some of them are from private artists, while others are from famous artists. Oil paintings would look great hanging on your wall.

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Source by Al Smitty

Top 10 Symptoms of Helicobacter Pylori

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Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium that lives in the stomach and small intestine of humans and some animals. It can cause a vast array of symptoms both in the digestive system and in other parts of the body.

Drs Robin Warren and Barry Marshall won the Nobel Prize for Physiology & Medicine when they proved that H pylori causes stomach ulcers. In fact, H pylori is now known to cause 80% stomach ulcers and 90% duodenal ulcers. It is also thought to cause stomach cancer and has recently been associated with heart disease.

When I had H pylori, from 2004-2007, I suffered many of the symptoms listed below. It is important to understand that chronic digestive infections can cause symptoms outside the digestive system.

Symptom #1 – Heartburn & reflux. Contrary to belief, these symptoms are not usually caused by excess stomach acid. They are caused by acid burning irritated tissue that has been damaged by H pylori or foods. Some people gain significant relief by actually taking acid supplements!

Symptom #2 – Gastritis. H pylori causes an inflammatory response in the stomach, leading to gastritis.

Symptom #3 – Nausea. As with many digestive infections, H pylori causes nausea, particularly in the mornings. This can be confused with morning sickness in women.

Symptom #4 – Vomiting. When people first acquire the infection, it can cause severe vomiting. Chronic infections can also cause morning sickness. If there are bleeding ulcers, coffee-like grains can be seen in the vomit. Medical attention should be sought immediately.

Symptom #5 – Bloating. Helicobacter actually shuts down acid production in the stomach (which is why antacids like Nexium, Zantac and Prilosec should not be used long term). If food cannot be digested properly it can putrefy and cause bloating in the intestines.

Symptom #6 – Diarrhoea. The disruption to the digestive process caused by Helicobacter pylori can lead to excess water being secreted into the intestines, causing diarrhoea.

Symptom #7 – Constipation. If a chronic H pylori infection shuts down acid production in the stomach, the entire digestive process can be shut down and ‘backed up’. Some individuals may experience constipation whereas some may develop diarrhoea.

Symptom #8 – Bad Breath / Halitosis. Gases produced by improperly digested foods and oral H pylori infections can cause bad breath.

Symptom #9 – Fatigue. It is known that B vitamin and iron absorption does not function correctly when people have H pylori. If the infection stops food being digested and absorbed, metabolism cannot run properly, leading to fatigue.

Symptom #10 – PMS / Depression / Anxiety. Similarly, if nutrition depletion occurs the chemicals needed to maintain mood, such as hormones and neurotransmitters, cannot be produced by the body. This can lead to many mood disorders.

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Source by Dave Hompes

Cartoon Drawing As a Hobby

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Cartoon drawing is the most basic form of human language. It was used to represent what people feel when they could not write. It is an art to represent a situation, real or imaginary in a funny way. There is no limitation in creating cartoon characters. With little imagination you can create cartoon characters with all kind of funny features. The basic idea to keep in mind while drawing a cartoon is that it is simplified form of a line art and not a form of any complicated painting. It is more important to imagine a funny looking character in a funny situation. It is like writing a story with the help of animated characters.

One can take cartoon drawing as a hobby for a fun or as a pure pleasure. To develop this skill as a hobby you do not need more than a paper, pencil, a felt tip pen and few colored crayons. There is no major cost involved in developing it as hobby. Cartoon drawing will allow you to explore your creativity without any limitations. A personal note or love letter will give best impression when accomplished with a cartoon drawing.

Cartoon drawing can be taken as a profession for a rewarding career. One of the common forms is comic strips. Most of the magazines and news papers have special section devoted to comic strips. Comic strips can also be put together as a story to form comic books, which have been enjoyed by teenagers for decades. Additional knowledge of computers can help you to generate cartoons with the help of computer. Animation movies has created a demand for new generation of professional cartoonist.

Cartoon drawing can be fun as a law cost of hobby or it can be highly paid professional career as a front page cartoonist or as a professional working in big budget animated films.

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Brief Account of Life and Work of Shahnawaz Zaidi

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Shahnawaz Zaidi is one of the talented and well-known artists of Pakistan. He was born on 24th May 1948. His parents migrated from India, Muzafarnagar, and Uttar Pradesh to Mandibahaudin near Gujarat, Pakistan. Zaidi was the fifth of eleven siblings. Till class five he was not allowed to go to school but studied from a tutor at home, after that he was sent to a corporation school from where he did his matriculation. In 1962 his family shifted to Lahore, here he got admission in pre-medical in Islamia College. In 1964 he joined Punjab University and in 1968 he completed his masters in Designing. In September 1969 he participated in a graduating student’s exhibition of graphic design at Punjab University and in the same year he began as a lecturer there.

In 1971, he married one his class mates, who was a painter. After completing his masters Shahnawaz was appointed to Punjab University where he taught for five years then in 1974, he was appointed as Lecturer in Nairobi, Kenya. After one year he got promoted and became head of the department. He spent eight years in Kenya but then decided to come back to Pakistan, in 1982. Here he opened an advertising agency and worked there for two years. Since 1984 he has been an associate professor and later principal of Department of Fine Arts and remained at this institution until his retirement May 2008, he became the principal three times, first in March 1990 and remained for nine years till 1999, then for the second time in the same year October 1999 till 2002 and then after two years in February 2004 till May 2008. Now he is working as an adviser in Comsats Institute, Lahore. He was awarded “Tamgha-e-Imtiaz” in 1998.

Zaidi has been interested in painting and drawing since childhood. His eldest sister Arjumand Shaheen was also interested in art and she was a fine arts student at Lahore College for Women (University). Zaidi use to copy her drawings. During his matriculation period he was punished for making a drawing on this mathematics copy, which was the first “recognition” he received for his art. When he enrolled in graduate school he was very much interested in painting, but at that time Anna Molka Ahmed was the head of the art department at Punjab University and she refused to give him admission in painting, instead she offered him admission in design which he took despite of his real interest in painting. There was a competition of designing that Zaidi participated in and won first prize; soon after this he became interested in designing.

In 1984 when Zaidi joined Punjab University as a senior lecturer he started painting professionally. Before this he uses to paint occasionally. He was highly inspired by Anna Molka as she was among the first painters of Pakistan who painted in every genre. Zaidi did paintings of imaginary personalities, but he was mostly interested in portraits. His earliest achievements were the portraits of Ibn-e-Sina and many other portraits of historical personalities like Umar Khayam, Al- Razi, Al-Ghazzali and Quaid-e-Azam. All these are now displayed in Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Lahore on the second and third floors. All these portraits are in Flemish style with dark background and dramatic light which emphasize on the character. Those parts that are away from the face are painted with less detail. Thick over thin paint is applied with bold, curved and confined brush strokes.

Like the Italian Renaissance painters, Zaidi worked in all fields of art. His different works show different moods and influences. When he paints female figures he seems to be inspired by the French Impressionists. He also painted cultural scenes that can be called group portraits. Zaidi had worked in many mediums like water colors, pastels and oil. He also did some watercolors and Chinese brush technique and subjects. Zaidi participated in thirty-five national and regional exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad and one solo show in 1996/7, of portraits in Al-Hamra. He did commissioned portraits one of which is of Dr. Junaid Vice Chancellor of Comsats institute where Zaidi is now an advisor.

As Zaidi was inspired by Anna Molka Ahmed, his work somehow relates to her in terms of theme and technique. Both of these artists liked to paint social themes. Anna Molka used palette knife as her medium and Zaidi also used this medium not as a whole but he used it in some parts of his paintings and he also has done some portraits completely with palette knife. He was more inspired with Anna Molka because during those times when art just started flourishing she was the only lady who worked in every genre, with such a bold medium and in bright colors.

In addition to his painting Zaidi was very much interested in poetry. He translated the poems of Abinranath Tagor, which was rewarded a Noble Prize. He wrote a few books of poetry for example “Aiana Dar” and “Gita bijli”. Aiana Dar presents a variety of themes where colors of nature, truth of human relations and reality of the modern world seemed mingling up in various forms. Thus not only his paintings but his poetry also revolves around the social issues in our everyday life.

According to Zaidi “He is a painter basically and art teaching is his profession. Music and poetry are his affections.”

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Source by Fariha Rashid

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acrylic Paint in Acrylic Art Paintings

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Acrylic paints first showed up on the market in the 1950s. This revolutionary new paint helped to bring about a new form of art. Acrylic art which could be produced at a much faster rate that artwork created with other types of paint. The acrylic art soon became a paint of choice for many artists, but there were also those who saw some disadvantages to this new paint. This made them hesitant to use them and to create acrylic artwork.

Fast Drying

One of the top reasons why so many artists were drawn to the idea of acrylic art paintings was the paints fast drying time. Previously it could take weeks for a piece to completely dry when they were created with oil paints. That waiting time could become tedious when an artist simply wanted a piece to be complete. Acrylic paints offered a quick drying time and that was very appealing to artists. On the other hand, the quick drying time often results in harsh looking acrylic art. This is because colors can’t easily be blended or softened.

A Familiar Appearance

Acrylic art also have the ability to be diluted with water. When this is done acrylic art paintings resemble watercolors or oil paintings. They are easily used to replace watercolors and oil paint. In many cases acrylic paints are preferred over watercolors because as the acrylic paint dries the color does not change as it does with watercolors. This allows for a more predictable final coloring of a piece.

Durability

Acrylic paints, when dry, are resistant to water damage. This makes it much easier to preserve acrylic art paintings and other acrylic artwork. They also do not yellow as oil paints often do. They resist cracking and changing at all. Some may actually see a problem with the fact that this paint is resistant to water because it makes altering an acrylic artwork very difficult if not impossible.

Toxicity

Many artists prefer acrylic paint because using this type of art requires far less exposure to toxins. Acrylic paint can be thinned with only water and does not require any type of toxic substance in the thinning process. Also brushes can be cleaned in just water without the use of toxic substances. However, the paint itself may contain some toxins and if an artist is trying to slow the drying time then toxic substances must be used.

The advantages and disadvantages of acrylic artwork is something the individual artist has to weigh for themselves. Some artists may find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. It all really comes down to what look an artist in trying to achieve. Acrylic paints have a specific look and even though they may be able to somewhat mimic watercolors or oil paint, when acrylics are used it is usually a very distinguishable look. Besides that working with acrylic paint is a much different process. So, it really comes down to the artist and their preference of which type of paint to use.

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Source by Nicole Roberts

Chinese and Japanese Ancient Clothing

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The Chinese were always a fashionable race and Chinese ancient clothing was largely influenced by all the dynasties which ruled it. The Han Chinese clothing or the Hanfu has the longest history of clothes worn. The Hanfu rules of dressing were followed strictly as a mark of respect for the culture. On the other hand, ancient Japanese clothing kept changing with every dynasty that ruled Japan. Since the Kimono is a national dress, it has always been mistaken for very ancient clothing worn by the Japanese people which is incorrect.

The basic design of the Ancient Chinese clothing Hanfu was largely developed during the Shang Dynasty. The Shang had two basic styles – the Yi which was the coat worn on top and the Shang whichwas the skirt worn beneath it. Buttons on any ancient Chinese clothing was substituted by a Sash. The clothing was in warm tones. The Zhou dynasty in western China varied in the sleeves being narrow as well as broad. The length of the skirt varied from knee length to the ankle and the different sizes and styles created a distinction between the people who wore them. Ancient Chinese clothing used minimal stitching on the garment and the use of embroidery and silk sashes to design the dresses.

Japanese ancient clothing was majorly influenced by Chinese clothing. Vigorous trade between Japan and its continental neighbors brought in Chinese dresses and styles into Japan during the Han Dynasty. The Tang styles and Sui dynasty from China influenced clothing in Japan while it was developing from a collection of loose clans to an Empire. All robes in Japan were to be worn from left to right just like the Chinese. Right to left was considered barbaric in China and the ‘left over right’ became the conventional rule of wearing a Kimono ever since. During the Heian period (894 specifically), Chinese influence began dying out and Chinese characters began being abbreviated in Japanese script. The Heian court was taken to sensitivity of art and subtle beauty and wardrobe became much more detailed. Colors, combinations and fabric textures changed and separated themselves from Chinese influence.

After the Heian period, the Kamakura period saw a number of clashes and war clans within Japan. The ancient Japanese clothing soon underwent another change and now clothes became more functional. The number of layers and broad sleeved clothes were shunned for more usable clothing. Soon the imperial land split into a southern and northern court and these people’s lives got influenced by the soft court life. Fights resumed and the gradual decadence is obvious in the elaborate dresses of the period. Women had stopped wearing the Hakama and the robes were lengthened to ankle level. Veils and robes over the head were some strange ways experimented and worn during this time.

Japanese ancient clothing was mainly robes and most of the patterns and designs were religious and auspicious. Dragons were printed with nine yellow dragons and five cloud patterns. These heavily embroidered robes were won by the emperors and were auspicious for the wearer. The Cheongsam was another one piece dress adorned by ancient Chinese women. It had a high neck with a closed collar and short or medium sleeves. Buttoned on sides with a fitted waist, it had slits going up from the sides and complemented their figures.

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Source by Christopher Schwebius

Is Criticism A Good Thing?

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It always seems like in whatever you do, people will always have something to tell you. There are times that they will admire you and there are times that they will criticize you. People are quick to say words that won’t be encouraging, instead belittling to the receiving end. It is what we call, “responding to stimuli”. We, humans react to whatever we hear, see or feel. If we find something unusual or wrong with anyone or anything, we naturally make our criticism or judgement.

Wikipedia defines criticism as the practice of judging the merits and faults of something (or somebody) in an intelligible (or articulate) way.

Criticism is based on someone’s perception and observation. It could be both positive and negative. It is positive if the person giving comments or judgements is focused on someone’s strengths and gives words of encouragement and motivation. It becomes negative if the critic is hurting the other person’s feelings by giving insensitive comments or just simply telling the truth. The real definition of criticism depends on how someone gives it and how someone (being criticized) takes it. Criticism can be destructive or constructive. It hurts us and can destroy us if we only expect the merits from what we have said or done. On the other hand, criticism motivates and encourages us to be more careful with our actions and use it to make us become better individuals.

Nobody is perfect, indeed. No one can ever be perfect. Only a fool would think that he is perfect. Although, there is perfect timing. A perfect timing at a situation or at a person’s mood. For example, it will be so kind of you to comfort a friend that you haven’t talked in a while when one of his or her family members is in a very difficult situation – a matter of life and death. It would be great if you could offer food, shelter or money to a person who critically needs it. We become generous and kind to our fellowmen when we know where they’re coming from. Instead of criticizing, we choose to help them because we know exactly what they’re going through. You may not believe in God but I would like to share this verse from the bible when Apostle Paul preached to the Galatians.

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Why do we criticize one another?

People criticize others mainly because of misunderstanding, disrespect, insecurity and pride. All of us living in this world are guilty of judging anyone or anything that is beyond what we usually witness in our daily lives. We even criticize our parents, siblings, friends and everyone around us. Sometimes we also criticize popular people, albeit they have a pleasant personality, do good things and help the community. (a)That is because we don’t understand them at times. It is human nature that we complain about anyone or anything that doesn’t suit the situation. (b)You can’t appreciate someone’s success or accomplishments because you are blinded by your disrespect to that specific person. You don’t have an open mind on what a person can accomplish in his life. Instead of admiring, you discredit him. (c)You don’t want to appreciate other people’s ability, skills and talent and you’d rather rebuke them only because it hurts your ego and pride. You look down on someone and when that person has done something excellent, you still won’t recognize it. No matter what the person has proven not only to himself but also to the society.

It doesn’t happen all the time that our judgement or criticism is true and correct. Sometimes we just base our criticism on our feelings toward someone and anything that the person possesses that doesn’t impress us. Anytime you notice that a person’s behavior is unacceptable and annoying to you, you judge him immediately. Without having any sense of consideration, you assume that their way is wrong and yours is right, whereas you can just try to understand them in the first place, give them respect, forget about pride and throw away any insecurity. Most of the time, the word “criticism” gets abused and its meaning changes into something appalling. It becomes a result of a person’s pessimism towards things.

Here is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi for us to ponder on: “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”

Who do we criticize in our environment?

Whoever you are, whichever walk of life you come from, you deal with criticism every hour in every day of your life. From our government to show business, sport industry, religions and churches, school, office and our home: it is ubiquitous. We breathe it and live with it. But let’s not go any further, let’s focus on the most powerful thing in the world – the internet, which apparently powers social media.

The following are based on real-life situations:

1. There are a few people who frequently post selfies (self-portrait photograph) that are not quite aesthetically pleasant – usually with the caption, “I’m so haggard”, “I’m fat”, “Oh, my eye bags!”

2. One guy complains about anything that he sees in his surroundings. He posts them on Facebook and Instagram and feel proud about it, saying he is just being true to himself – either you hate him or like him.

3. A friend of ours talks about special things in her fancy life that seems to be more about fantasy.

4. Some guys post much of their activities and interests (fitness and sports) on their social media accounts showing off their bodies and their physical abilities.

5. There are some people who constantly post their new shoes, bags, watches and the places (especially restaurants) they go to.

If you can think of anything else, feel free to add it on the list. It’s your call. Choose which ones deserve criticism and which ones don’t. Weigh things up, think if somebody needs to stop a bad habit, if they’re beyond normal or you may just be annoyed because something hurts your ego. Either we think comprehensively before speaking or simply making comments, anybody or anything that deserves admiration or compliments should get it. As well as the ones that deserve assessment should. We are all entitled to our opinion. But another thing to consider is that when someone is careful enough of their actions, he or she would always be ready to listen to any criticism and would always take it positively.

We can never change nature. Us, wanting to cross out the word criticism in our vocabulary is like wishing for the night to never come at all. It is part of our lives, we have to embrace it, learn from it and make it a driving force to continually mold us into a better person each passing day. And as I end here, I’ll leave you with these questions: With your experiences in life, how do you find criticism? How do you deal with it? Do you have an open mind for any negative feedback? What are you willing to do to change your bad attitude?

Regarding the topic, I am apparently expecting criticism and will end with these words:

“I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don’t hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am.” – Paulo Coelho

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Source by Art Forrosuelo

Translation of Tattoos and Body Art – Make Sure You're Not Free of Charge!

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Foreign language tattoos that include authentic and exotic characters can form a beautiful design with a substantial, individual and personal meaning. But unless you get your tattoo professionally translated, you may end up with a permanent embarrassment on your skin. To help you avoid a tattoo disaster, here are some tips you should consider when choosing a tattoo in Hindi, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, or any other language you're not familiar with:

Whatever you do, do not use an on-line machine translator to get your tattoo translated. The results can be extremely embarrassing, like having "sanitation" tattooed instead of "purity"!

Explain fully to your translator what you want your tattoo to say and provide them with a description and context to work within. Remember that there is no such thing as word for word translation. A professional translator will ensure the meaning of your word is translated accurately and approbably. Do not rely on friends who claim to be fully conversant with another language. Even someone who is bilingual may not be able to translate accurately.

If you see your tattoo as a form of self-expression, make sure you understand what it means, otherwise the whole exercise becomes rather pointless.

Ensure that your design is not misaligned, mirrored or applied upside down – a mistake often made by tattooists who do not understand the characters they are working with. Make sure with images you understand what meaning lies within. For example animals represent different emotions and histories whereas numbers represent luck – 88 for example is a lucky number in Vietnam while it also represents an elite squadron of Hitler's army.

Still not convinced? Here is an example of what can and did go wrong:

A woman wanted a Chinese tattoo so she went to her local take away shop and asked one of the staff to translate the word "free" into Chinese. He wrote it out for her and she took the design to a tattoo artist. Unfortunately, just like in English and many other languages, the word "free" has a double meaning in Chinese. It can mean freedom, or it can mean free of charge. You can guess which version the waiter translated into Chinese!

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Source by Eva Hussain

Watercolor Painting – Benefits and Drawbacks of Watercolor Painting

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The most rudimentary form of painting with the brushes could be related to watercolor painting, as it is the primary step in the painting field, to get accustomed with the colors and the strokes of the brushes. This form of work is mostly found effective, to a great extent, considering the fact that it allows you to learn the strokes with a paint brush, before proceeding onto more daunting techniques. At the same time you also get the rough idea of mixing the paints, to get the desired effect. On discussing about this art we come across several aspects, which can be debated upon or could be put aside as the shortcomings or benefits of the art.

Several positive aspects

Watercolor paintings are an easy art, as far as the painting techniques with the paint brushes are concerned. The necessary ingredients required for watercolor painting could be easily available in the market, along with the water that is in free flow in every home. The watercolors are generally watering soluble pigments, which can be easily affordable by the individuals, and the water to dissolve the pigment is available at the workplace and even at home.  

All this makes the technique of watercolor painting so popular among the younger learners, who seek to get a good grasp on the painting techniques. Even the application of colors and the movement of strokes could be very well mastered, through the watercolor painting. It is much easier process than the others and allows us to feel free to experiment with the colors, as they are within affordable limits.

Some of the negative effects

Although, people say that the watercolor painting technique is a very easy process and saves a lot of money, they forget to consider the after effects of the watercolor painting. There are several disadvantages of maintaining a watercolor painting due to several reasons, like problem with pigmentation, colors being water soluble and few others. You might have noted that watercolor paintings are mostly done on paper, varying between several qualities, which tend to turn yellow after quite a few years.

Moreover, the watercolors being soluble with water are prone to water damage in the long run, where the entire painting might be ruined. Preservation for a watercolor painting can be really difficult considering these aspects, as you never know when some accidents might lead to contamination of water over the painting, dissolving the paint and ruining it.

When we take up the aspects of the pigments present with the paper texture, we do not wonder about the bonding of the pigments with the texture. For this reason, when the pigments seem to come off the paper and the painting seems to get dull over the days, you feel astonished at the incident, causing us further trouble to restore it.

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Source by Murtaza Habib

Everything You Need to Know About Router Bits

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WHAT IS A ROUTER BIT?

A router bit is a cutting tool used with a router to rout out (or hollow out) spaces in the surface of a generally hard workpiece. Although routers and router bits are more commonly used in woodworking applications like cabinetry and carpentry, these cutting tools can also perform in metals, plastics and various other materials. Essentially, though, these cutters are used to create joinery aids (like a dovetail joint) or to embellish work pieces with decorative or ornate effects (like formed edges, intricate inlays or surface work). With the right router bit, users can cut, trim, and shape workpieces with staggering versatility; these bits are available in numerous profiles and can be custom fabricated to create virtually any profile conceivable.

TYPES OF ROUTER BIT

Of course, there are many different types of router bit and although they all serve the same general purpose, they each do different things and achieve different results. A good router bit, though, should be sharp, should retain its sharp edge, and should be well balanced; this produces a bit that will last longer and will “chatter” or vibrate less during use. Conversely, bits of lesser quality tend to wear faster, chip easier, and chatter more aggressively. The following, then, is a basic breakdown of how router bits are most commonly categorized and their respective routing applications.

Cutter Type:

For the most part, router bits can be divided into three major types: fluted cutters, profile cutters and helical cutters. Fluted cutters are used for edging and trimming, profile cutters are used for trimming and shaping, and helical cutters, while mostly used in more easily machined (softer) materials, are designed for trimming, shaping and drilling. Of course, within these three groups, bits can be (and are) more specifically categorized – this will be reflected in greater detail below.

Construction:

Similarly, drill bits are usually fabricated with one of three compositions: solid high-speed steel (HSS), carbide tips, or solid carbide. HSS bits are the least expensive; they dull more quickly and, accordingly, are used primarily to trim laminate or for work in softer workpieces. Carbide tipped bits are the most universal bit type as they are more durable and perform (at least) reasonably well in all applications. Of course, these are more expensive than HSS bits, but they are equip to manage harder materials and they retain their sharp edges for longer periods. Solid carbide bits, as one would assume, are the most expensive and highest-performing bit type. While some might argue that their solid carbide construction is superfluous, they are durable and deliver beautiful results. Because of their cost, though, solid carbide bits are generally used by only the most practiced woodworkers.

Router bits can also be classified as edge bits, non-edge bits, or anti-kickback bits. Edge bits include a small wheel bearing which acts as a fence against each workpiece; these wheel bearings can be changed to alter the diameter of the cutting edge. Non-edge bits do not have this wheel bearing and therefore a fence (either attached to the workpiece, the router itself or to the router table) must be used with these bits. Anti-kickback bits, on another hand, feature non-cutting material surrounding the bit’s “shoulders.” This additional girth around the bit limits the material feed rate which, in turn, protects the workpiece from over-eager bit progress. This reduces the risk of kickback which occurs when a bit bites and catches the material it’s cutting. This is usually the result of material feeding too quickly. The girth of ant-kickback bits also allows the bit to stay cooler which reduces the likelihood of burnishing and allows the bit to better retain its sharpness.

Shank:

Router bits are also differentiated by the diameter of their shank or the portion of the bit that fits into the router collet. Shank sizes commonly range from about 1/2″ to about 3/8.” Although 1/2″ shank bits are typically more expensive, they are also the most popular as the thickness of their shank lends durability (in their stiffness) and also less vibration during use. Bits of a smaller shank diameter tend to be less durable and more chattery. Altogether, a 1/2″ shank bit will usually deliver the smoothest cuts and due to their greater rigidity, many larger profile bits are only available with this 1/2″ shank. Similarly, some smaller or more specialized bits are only available with a 1/4″ shank.

The shank of a router bit and a router collet must have the same diameter to be used together. Of course, collets of different diameters are available for purchase and are frequently included with the router itself. Adapters may also be purchased to help different bit shank sizes fit more comfortably.

Speed:

In order to cut, trim, and shape efficiently, router bits spin at very high speeds (ranging from approximately 8,000 RPM to 30,000 RPM). Because router bits are shaped and sized differently, though, all router bits can not / should not spin at the same speeds. For example, because larger bits have more girth and weight spinning about, they also have a much greater potential to vibrate or be, in some other capacity, out of control. Larger bits, then, should be used at lower speeds. Similarly, bits that spin too slowly can burnish and damage your materials. Accordingly, manufacturer guidelines should always be reviewed and implemented before engaging a bit.

Although, as a generality, faster speeds are more advantageous while working with router bits (they ordinarily yield a much smoother cut), speed isn’t the only factor that contributes to the quality of your cutting results. The sharpness and composition of any given bit, the material being cut, the type of router being used, feed rate, and various other factors play into the results produced by your bits. Accordingly, it will behoove you to run bits at appropriate speeds before assuming the faster you spin them the smoother your results will be.

ROUTER BIT PROFILES AND APPLICATIONS:

As aforementioned, there are numerous bit designs and, according to that profile, each bit has a different specialization. The following, then, briefly sums-up (in alphabetical order) the most common bit types and the things those bits do best.

Ball End Router Bits:

As the name indicates, ball end bits have a ball or sphere shaped formation at their bottom which routs out channels for pipes and cables.

Bullnose Router Bits:

Bullnose bits are designed to create a (convex) rounded edge on the front edge of a workpiece.

Chamfering Router Bits:

Chamfering bits produce a clean angled bevel cut. These are commonly used in joinery for concealed joints and beveled edges in constructions with multiple sides. Chamfer bits are also used to create a decorative (albeit plain) angled edge.

Combination Router Bits:

Combination bits are primarily used in trimming to trim softer materials and, particularly, veneers.

Core Box or Round Nose Router Bits:

Core box or round nose bits produce a half-round groove or a groove or cove with a rounded bottom. They are commonly used for fluting and reeding.

Corner Round Router Bits:

Corner round bits are designed to create a rounded corner on a workpiece (usually furniture).

Drawer Lip Router Bits:

Drawer lip bits are used to create the acting pull-handle on the fronts of pull-handle drawers and cabinets.

Edge Forming Router Bits:

Edge forming bits (like an edge beading bit) are used primarily to create a decorative edge on a workpiece. These bits often include a pilot bearing for guidance and are ordinarily used to create a final decorative feature. Because these bits are almost singularly used for embellishment and can take-on virtually any profile conceivable, there are many different types available. To name a few of the most common edge forming bit types, one will commonly encounter edge beading bits, cove bits, ogee (or Roman ogee) bits and round over bits.

– Bead and Double Bead Router Bits:

Bead bits create a decorative quarter-round convex profile. Double bead bits so this twice with one quarter-round running directly below the other.

– Cove Router Bits:

Cove bits are used to create a concave (or indented) quarter-round into the edge of a material.

– Edge Beading Router Bits:

Edge beading bits are used to cut decorative half-round profiles called “beads” into the edge or corner of a workpiece. This edge typically features a small lip or fillet at the top and bottom of the convex half-circle cut.

– Ogee Router Bits:

Ogee bits have an “S” shaped profile and produce an “S” shaped edge on a workpiece. These decorative edges have one convex hump and one concave cove (like an “S”) and usually have a small fillet at the top and bottom of the cut. This delivers a more traditional or “antique” finish.

– Round Over Router Bits:

Round over bits produce a perfectly rounded edge on a workpiece. These are commonly used in cabinet and furniture making.

Finger Grip Router Bits:

Finger grip bits shape the drawer pull handles on the front edges of some drawers and cabinets.

Flush Trim Router Bits:

As the name implies, flush trim router bits are used to trim the edge of one material to be flush with the edge of another material. They are often used to flush veneers or to produce identical shapes in multiple workpieces. These bits are used with a pilot bearing that may be positioned at the top of the bit or at the base of the cutting edge.

Fluting Router Bits:

Fluting bits are used to carve flutes (or a concave profile) into a workpiece (usually molding).

Joinery Router Bits:

Joinery bits are used to produce a specialized type of groove for a precision joint. These, then, are used in virtually all types of construction where one workpiece must be joined to another. The most popular joinery bits are dovetail bits, drawer lock bits, finger joint bits, lock miter bits and tongue-and-groove bits.

– Dovetail Router Bits:

Dovetail bits are used to create a strong joint between materials and are ordinarily used in cabinetry, frames and shelving. They are available in a huge variety of angles and involve carving interlocking mortises and tenons (usually fan-shaped) into an adjoining workpiece.

– Drawer Lock Router Bits:

Drawer lock bits are designed specifically for the joining of perpendicular pieces (like the joining of drawer sides to drawer fronts) and should always be used with a router table. They create a wedge-shaped tenon.

– Finger Joint Router Bits:

Finger joint bits have a series of thin horizontal cutters that protrude from the bit (like fingers). When this profile is cut into two separate pieces, the grooves/extensions interlock to create a strong end or edge joint with a greater gluing surface area. Some finger joint bits feature adjustable cutters.

– Lock Miter Router Bits:

Lock miter bits have a reputation for being difficult to use but create durable and (when used properly) perfectly aligned miter joints with a large surface area for gluing.

– Tongue-and-Groove Router Bits:

Tongue-and-groove bits are used in pairs to create a tongue-and-groove joint in a workpiece. This joins workpieces together edge-to-edge (where one piece has a thin, deep ridge (tongue) and the other has a slot (groove); these pieces are pushed tightly together to form the joint).

Keyhole Router Bits or Keyhole Slotters:

Keyhole bits are used to cut the keyhole shaped slots found on the backs of hanging workpieces like picture frames. These slots, of course, aide in the hanging of these pieces.

Molding Router Bits:

Molding bits are used to create complex ornamental profiles in architectural and furniture moldings and are usually much larger than a typical edge forming bit. They can incorporate multiple profiles onto one bit and produce ornate edging for molding pieces. As these bits are more substantial, they are almost always used with a router table.

Mortise Router Bits:

Mortise bits are used to carve mortises (or square shaped slots). These are used for joinery and for carving spaces for hardware such as hinges and lock sets.

Rabbeting Router Bit:

Rabbeting bits are used to create rabbets or notches in the edge of a material. These cuts/notches are vertically and horizontally straight and create a step shaped profile. Rabbeting bits utilize a pilot bearing which is positioned at the top of the bit and guides it along the edge of a workpiece. Using pilot bearings of different diameters allows one rabbeting bit to produce cuts (rabbets) in multiple sizes.

Raised Panel Router Bit:

Raised panel bits are available in both vertical and horizontal configurations and are typically used (with a stile and rail bit – see below) to create profiled, decorative edges on a panel (i.e doors). Horizontal raised panel bits cut profiles while the panel being cut is flat (horizontal) on a work table. Vertical raised panel bits cut profiles into a panel while said panel is on its edge, and, because their radius is much smaller, are usually considered safer and simpler to operate.

Spiral Router Bits:

Spiral router bits are designed quite like a spiral drill bit with flutes ground around the body of the bit to form a sharp spiral profile. They are available in up-cut and down-cut configurations and, while ideal for plunge cutting, they are also used for edge forming, cutting, and trimming in a variety of materials.

Stile and Rail Router Bits:

In frame and panel construction, stile and rail bits are designed to create ornamental edges and panel slots in the edge of a workpiece (most commonly in raised panel doors and custom cabinets). These ordinarily come in sets of two matched bits but are also available singularly.

Straight Router Bits:

Straight bits come in a variety of cutting diameters and are designed to make straight cuts into a material to hollow-out an area or to produce a grove or dado in a workpiece (usually for a mortise or inlay). Straight bits are very common and may also be used for dado joining and for general material cutting.

V-Groove Router Bits:

V-groove bits are used to carve a “V” shaped groove into a workpiece. While ideal for miter folds, these bits are commonly used in lettering and sign-making.

Veining Router Bits:

Veining bits are designed to create decorative cut-in designs. They are commonly used for free-hand work and lettering.

TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR ROUTER BITS:

To conclude this journey through router bit basics, the following are a few tips to help you optimize your router bits and your experience with them.

First, you should always store your router bits separately from one another (perhaps even in their own individual cubbies). Because router bits are both heavy and fragile, you want to minimize their contact with anything they are not presently cutting. Don’t allow your bits to roll about bumping and knocking into other objects under which circumstance they will most certainly chip.

Second, keep your router bits sharp. Dull bits can damage your materials and will produce generally poor cuts. Like many other cutters, router bits can be sharpened to keep their edge.

Third, be cautious of how you handle your router. Both forcing a bit and moving one too slowly can cause overheating in both the bit and the router. An overheated bit can damage workpieces and can lose temper (which diminishes the integrity of the bit) and an overheated tool can result in internal and sometime irreparable damage. The sound your tool makes as you cut is usually a fairly good indicator of whether or not you are properly paced.

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Source by Mallory Kramer