Thomas Cole and a Goblet for Titans

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American painter Thomas Cole is best known for his detailed depictions of the American countryside, depicted in accordance with the tenets of Romanticism and Naturalism. As a founder of the Hudson River School, Cole was instrumental in this development and depiction of the American landscape.

However, not all landscapes depicted by Cole were based on actual existing locations. Indeed, while even his depictions of existing landscapes often exhibited idealistic interpretations of nature, some of his most famous paintings were not based on actual landscapes at all. Among these works, we find the aptly named “The Titan’s Goblet”. This masterpiece was painted by Thomas Cole in 1833 and its deeper meaning has been open to interpretation ever since. It was painted on a fairly small canvas which contrasts nicely to the immensity of the subject, and was done using a very thin layer of paint, maybe because Cole painted this subject for himself rather than for any specific sponsor. However, its humble beginnings none withstanding, it was a masterful execution of a mind boggling subject: An immense mountain landscape amid which rests an immense goblet. The Goblet is filled with water and along its shores people are living, while they spend their days sailing on the waters of the goblet itself. From the sides of the goblet, some water falls to the landscape below and where it lands, life emerges.

The interpretations of such an immense work have obviously been many and varied. Cole himself did not provide any text on the subject, which only heightens the speculation on the real meaning of the painting. Some early speculation focused on the similarity of the goblet to a tree and went to compare it to Yggdrasil of the Norse Methodology, though this interpretation was later abandoned as it was very unlikely that Cole had even heard of the Norse Gods and their detailed mythology.

Another more inviting interpretation, supported by the name of the painting itself, lends the inspiration to the realm of the Greek gods. With the titans of that Mythology being gigantic beings that did craft giant stone objects, this interpretation lends itself more easily. That the titans were themselves also givers of life can be seen as reflected in the life giving characteristics of the goblet in the painting. The presence of both a Greek temple and an Italian palace on the banks of the goblet also further lends credibility to such a Mediterranean interpretation.

However, Louis Legrand Noble who was both a friend and biographer of Cole did not mention any such Mythological connection – and we could rightly have expected him to know. Rather, he wrote:

“There (the goblet) stands, rather reposes upon its shaft, a tower-like mossy structure, light as a bubble, and yet a section of a substantial globe. As the eye circles its wide rolling brim, a circumference of many miles, it finds itself in fairy land; in accordance though with nature on her broadest scale… Tourists might travel in the countries of this imperial ring, and trace their fancies on many a romantic page. Here steeped in the golden splendors of a summer sunset, is a little sea from Greece, or Holy Land, with Greek and Syrian life, Greek and Syrian nature looking out upon its quiet waters.”

So in his interpretation, we are rather looking at a utopic fairy land where romantic fantasies can come to life. In other words it is a world of dreams, set above the lands of normal mortals. It is the illustration of a dream. In such an interpretation, the title itself only refers to the size of the goblet, and the painting to a romantic idea. As Cole’s paintings were highly influenced by Romanticism, this is definitely another possibility.

In recognition of the unique nature of The Titan’s goblet, it was the only pre-20th century painting included in the New York Museum of Modern Arts 1936 “Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism” exhibition. The painting can today be found on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York.

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Source by Catherine Garney

Leonardo Da Vinci As Compared To Vincent Van Gogh

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There are two towering giants in the History of Art, Leonardo Da Vince and Vincent Van Gogh. I would like to draw a comparison between these two artists so as to better understand their work.

Leonardo is a figure of the Renaissance whereas Van Gogh is from the late 19th Century. However, these two great men have much to offer us today in ways that are very similar to each other. First and foremost both men are very linear in their approach to art.

Leonardo always had his sketchbook with him so as to grab images quickly while he was about. These sketches form the basis for the undertaking of all of his great works. One only has to look at he Adoration of the Magi or his Cartoon of the Virgin and St. Anne to immediately grasp his understanding and use of line. Leonardo’s grasp of line was for far more than a drafting skill to set-up a painting, rather his drawings are expression of his core feelings and thoughts about his subjects and he conveys about this in his writings.

Van Gogh too uses his drawings in his work, however, unlike Leonardo, Van Gogh would paint directly on the canvas without the use of any drawings. This is not to diminish his drawings, rather, it is to demonstrate the mind of Van Gogh. If you look and any of his drawings you are aware all at once that everything in the drawing is the subject. Van Gogh is able to integrate together all that he sees and put them down on paper. Certain drawings of his are so outstanding that it is difficult to look at them and understand them. In the same manner Leonardo’s drawings of wind and water are masterpieces that are difficult to understand but the message of the drawings call out to you.

With regards to the paints of the two masters both of them and totally different approaches. Leonardo wanted to convey the scene or event that has been requested of him, whereas Vincent had no desire to convey any scene. Van Gogh wanted to express himself through his paintings and often that means that they are very abstract and not easily rendered as images of scenes or events. The key difference between Leonardo and Van Gogh is that the later’s work pulsates and demonstrates vigor. Leonardo on the other hand used very subtle tones and strokes to render his art. Both men are very different in their approach to art but both of them offer us the same thing and that is the revelation of the inner consciousness at work within us and made manifest through their art.

Stephen F. Condren – Artist

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Source by Stephen Condren

Why Are We So Fascinated By Koi Tattoos?

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One of the principal reasons people get tattoos are in order for them to symbolize something significant in their lives through art on their bodies. It is quite literal like wearing one's heart on one's sleeve or back or where it is one happens to have a tattoo placed. That is why tattoos of koi fish are so popular. It is because these fish are laden with symbolism in the Japanese and Chinese cultures from which they come.

The meanings associated with koi are generally those of perseverance, aspiration, advancement, non-conformism or downright good luck. Perhaps this is because there is an ancient Chinese koi myth about these fish being the only one of their kind to swim up the waterfall towards the "Ryumon" or dragon gate at the upper edges of China's "Huang He" (Yellow River). It is at the dragon gate that it is said, the carp were transformed into dragons. From hence also comes the Japanese idiom, "koi-no-taki-nobori" or "carp swimming up the rapids," which is used to describe success in life sometimes in the same way that we use, "going against the grain."

Tattoos of koi fish are also taken to mean "love." This may be due to an old Japanese chronicle called the "Nihonshoki" which tells of how the Emperor Keiko fell in love with Princess Otohime (meaning Shy and Modest princess) and tried to make her visit him at Kukurinomiya Palace. The Emperor was known for taking pleasure in viewing his koi pond at the palace for this was common practice among the aristocracy of the Heian period (794-1185 BC). To the emperor's delight, the princess who happened to share his same pastime, could not help but finally pay him a visit. This paved the way for romance, all thanks to the koi fish.

Another symbolism for tattoos koi fish is that of masculinity, bravery and heroism. In Japan, koi are called "bushyi-go" or "Japanese warrior fish" because of their serene and determined manner of swimming, sometimes even jumping out of water. It is also said, that much like a samurai, koi fish do not flinch under the knife.

Tattoos of koi fish are often accompanied by backdrops of streams. To some, a koi swimming upstream or in rough water might mean one is struggling with a challenge. If the fish is swimming downstream it may mean that one has failed that challenge. Oftentimes however, koi representations are those of victory. Which is why even celebrities such as Cherliize Theron and her mother both sport the same tattoos of koi fish after their successful battle with cancer. Others like the late Alexander McQueen had a koi tattoo on his chest; popular singer John Mayer also wears one on his right shoulder.

Finally, a depiction of five golden koi may mean increased wealth or good luck, five being considered a lucky number in the East. This would be reason enough for anyone to have these beautiful carp close by. By having tattoos of koi fish one can be certain this is always the case.

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Source by Jason S Williams

Name Plate With M-Seal

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Some time back when I had holidays from my school job, I was searching for some paintings and art stuff on Google and then I found this really beautifully made name plate. It seemed to be quite easy and so I obviously thought of starting it without giving a second though. I have some idea how they have made it.

Firstly, take a wooden board of the desired size. Mix equal portion of fevicol and Plaster of Paris and then add some water to make a paste so as to spread it over the wooden board. Take care that you do not add too much water else it would not stay on the board and will keep flowing. Also, if it is too thick, it may be difficult to apply and have cracks in it. Now, put a thick layer of this mixture on the board and spread it all over. Now give some texture of you choice to it. You may use your fingers, spoon, scale, pen or anything for giving texture. You can make spirals, stars, circles, diamonds or anything that comes to your mind. Now allow it to dry completely for a few hours or may be one full day. This is necessary because without drying you would not be able to take the further steps. Now paint the base using acrylic paint of your choice. Make it colorful as you want it to be or may be as simple as you think it should be. And now its time to decorate this covered board. Make some small flowers and leaves using m-seal and stick them on the board. You can also use some dry flowers or pot-pourri to decorate the board. Also make some small curls or stem like things and put them next to the flowers. There is no need to use fevicol to paste these m-seal made things as m-seal would stick itself when it is still wet. Make the face of Ganesha as you can see in the image and put it on top center. Leaving a space of few centimeters put two lines each of m-seal. Let to dry and once the m-seal hardens, you can then paint it.

Although in this image all the things seem to be made of m-seal but you can also try using other things like dry flowers, ready made Ganesha and whatever you feel like. Be creative and try something.

Have fun time making it.

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Source by Anu Goel

Gel Nails – Simple Instructions on Gel Nail Application

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Gel Nails have become the latest and a more natural alternative to acrylic nails as they do not cause any damage to your real nails. Also, gel nails dry instantaneously and lift less when compared to acrylics. Gel nails can also be used to strengthen your natural nails by applying them as a base coat.

The increasing popularity gel nails have been receiving universally has tempted many to try it out themselves. Gel nail styles have been so exotic and multifarious that it certainly entices many to embellish their nails with the new gel fashion fad.

If you are looking to enhance your nail beauty through gel nails by doing it yourself, it is important to understand their application to prevent any harm to your nails. Being the hottest in the nail beauty segment, gel nails are yet to be completely understood and applied correctly. One must not confuse gel with acrylic. Although gel and acrylics are both of the acrylic category and are prepared using the same type of acrylics, they differ in their application. This is primarily because both are made using different procedures, curing techniques, molecular structures, etc.

Here are some basic instructions that will guide you on applying nail gels correctly and professionally without cutting corners.

1) First, if you have any natural shine on your nails, then buff your nails to remove it. Once done, apply one coat of primer and let it dry completely.

2) Take the gel brush and apply the nail gel on your nail, brushing a thin layer starting from your cuticle to your nail tip. The application motion should be similar to applying nail polish. Make sure that the brush hairs do not come out while applying the gel. If they do, it means you are putting too much of pressure which must be avoided.

3) Once the gel is brushed on your nails, put your hands under a UV light for one to three minutes till the gel dries completely.

4) Now brush on another coat of nail gel as explained in step 2. However, make sure a drop of gel forms on your nail and then slowly spread it on your entire nail.

5) Once again put your hands under the UV light to dry the gel.

6) Perform the procedure again for the 3rd time. This time spread the gel to get an even gel-like uniformity. Once again put your hands under the UV light for drying.

7) Once the gel is completely cleaned, file your nails to the shape you desire.
In the process of gel nail application, be careful that the gel does not come in contact with your skin as this will cause your nails to lift later. Also, do not apply the gel in excess as this will cause air bubbles to form or lead to uneven curing.

Applying gel nails may appear very simple but it's not when it comes to doing it yourself. Therefore, it is recommended that you get your gel nails done by a professional nail artist or a nail salon that specializes in it and can do it the right way.

Once you are comfortable with it and are confident of doing it yourself after having done through a professional, you can try it out yourself next time.

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Source by Krill B

Indian Miniature Painting – History and Techniques

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Miniature paintings are one of the many things that make an Indian proud of his country’s rich cultural heritage. Miniature paintings originated long back in the history of India. Indian Paintings can be broadly classified as the murals and miniatures. Murals are huge works executed on the walls of solid structures, as in the Ajanta Caves and the Kailashnath temple.

Miniature paintings are executed on a very small scale on perishable material such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal were the pioneers of miniature painting in India. The art of miniature painting reached its glory during the Mughal period. The tradition of miniature paintings was carried forward by the painters of different Rajasthani schools of painting like the Bundi, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Marwar and Mewar. The Ragamala paintings also belong to this school.

Indian miniature paintings are renowned worldwide for their beauty, finesse and impeccable detailing. The history of Indian Miniature Paintings can be traced to the 6-7th century AD, the time, when Kashmiri Miniatures first marked their appearance. Miniature Paintings have evolved over centuries carrying the influence of other cultures. The miniature artists gave self-expression on paper, ivory panels, wooden tablets, leather, marble, cloth and walls.

Indian artists employed multiple perspectives unlike their European counterparts in their paintings. The idea was to convey reality that existed beyond specific vantage point. Some of the special Miniature paintings include illustrated manuscripts of Jains and Buddhists, the flowering of the Mughal, Rajput and Deccan miniatures. Themes used were from Indian epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagvata Purana, Rasikpriya, Rasamanjiri as well as ragas of Indian classical music, etc.

A miniature painting, as the name signifies, is an intricate, colorful illuminations or painting, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. The colors used in miniatures are generally derived from natural sources and materials. Some of the paintings use pure gold and other precious gems and stones to extract the colors for beautifying these miniature paintings. India has a long and varied tradition of miniature paintings.

Themes of Miniature Art Paintings.

After the Mughal reign, which lasted 200 years, by the second part of the 18th century, the Rajput Maharajahs became independent. They employed these highly skilled artists to replace their own artisans, leading to a sort of painting renaissance in northern India. The whole of Rajasthan divided into numerous princely states, patronized miniature art painting. These states had evolved a characteristic style of their own.The paintings of this era have their own unique style, being influenced by the surroundings- the deserts, lakes, hills and valleys, as the case may.Colorful glimpses of history are provided by these paintings depicting hunting and court scenes, festivals, processions, animal and bird life, and scenes from the Raagmala and Raaslila — Lord Krishna´s life story. Also, courtly lavishness and prosperity have been displayed.

Mughal painting

Mughal painting is a particular style of Indian painting, generally confined to illustrations on the book and done in miniatures, and which emerged, developed and took shape during the period of the Mughal Empire 16th -19th centuries). Mughal paintings were a unique blend of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. Because the Mughal kings wanted visual records of their deeds as hunters and conquerors, their artists accompanied them on military expeditions or missions of state, or recorded their prowess as animal slayers, or depicted them in the great dynastic ceremonies of marriages…The painters focused mostly on court scenes, royal portraits, natural scenes and landscapes.

Akbar (1556-1605) was the one who started encouraging of Mughal artist. After he had consolidated his political power, he built a new capital at Fatehpur Sikri where he collected artists from India and Persia. More than a hundred painters were employed, most of whom were Hindus from Gujarat, Gwalior and Kashmir. They worked under the two Persian master-artists Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid Ali, but they were encouraged and inspired by Akbar.

After him, Jehangir encouraged artists to paint portraits and durbar scenes. His most talented portrait painters were Abul Hasan and Bishan Das. Shah Jahan (1627-1658) continued the patronage of painting. Some of the famous artists of the period were Mohammad Faqirullah Khan, Mir Hashim, Muhammad Nadir, Bichitr, Chitarman, Anupchhatar, Manohar and Honhar. Aurangzeb had no taste for fine arts. Due to lack of patronage artists migrated to Hyderabad in the Deccan and to the Hindu states of Rajasthan in search of new patrons.

Rajput painting

The Rajput School of Miniature Painting imbibed inspiration from the Krishna legends. The emphasis was more on the man and woman relationship and paintings were aesthetic portrayal of their emotion, love and passion. The lovemaking scenes of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha are some of the finest specimens of the paintings. Rajput painting, a style of Indian painting, evolved and flourished, during the 18th century, in the royal courts of Rajputana, India. Each Rajput kingdom evolved a distinct style, but with certain common features.

Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s life, beautiful landscapes, and humans. Miniatures were the preferred medium of Rajput painting, but several manuscripts also contain Rajput paintings, and paintings were even done on the walls of palaces, inner chambers of the forts, havelies, particularly, the havelis of Shekhawat.The colors extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones, gold and silver were used. The preparation of desired colors was a lengthy process, sometimes taking weeks. Brushes used were very fine.

Jodhpur School: The centre of this hand made paintings are love scenes then the other art figures. The Jodhpur School of Miniature paintings depict love scenes of lovers Dhola and Maru on camel back. There are hunting scenes with elephants and horses. The major colors used in this style of painting are gold and stone color.

Jaipur School:

Gods and goddesses, kings and durbars are very attractively painted on hand made papers by the artists.

Kangra School:

Real gold, stone, and water colors are squirrel-hair brushes are used. Glittering effect is extended using silver and golden colors.

Mewar School of Painting:

These represent hunting scenes which are painted on cloth and handmade paper using stone colors

Technique of Miniature Paintings:

A high degree of expertise is required as it involves the use of a very fine brush. The strokes should be absolutely perfect as they should be intricate, colorful and rational impressions. The colors used are mainly derived from minerals, vegetables, and precious stones, indigo, conch shells, gold and silver which are obtained through a painstaking process. Paper painting in Miniature art are done on old or new hand made paper of very fine quality that depict Animals, Birds, Butterfly, Mughal themes and more. One can put these as wall hanging decorations. Miniature paintings made of pure marble slabs that feature Mythology, Birds, Turbans, Women and Mughal themes can be used as table tops or wall frames as well. Miniature Painting is painstaking efforts of skill and talent exhibited by Indian artisans. They have been well acclaimed and received by the world all over.

Step 1: Choose a design

Step 2: First draw the required pattern on the trace paper and copy the design into the cloth/paper using carbon sheet

Step3 Now first paint the human figures. Then animals and other components of the picture. The background is painted last. This is to set each area’s base color

Step4 This step need fine brushes to beautify the Floors, carpets, human figure with intricate detailing. This also includes techniques like shading, highlighting, washing,

Step 5 Outlines the figures with a darker color and highlight the jewelery and other parts using metallic paints to give an appearance of richness.

Step 6 Burnishing is the last stage. The miniature art painting is laid face down on a hard surface, and an agate stone is used to stroke it firmly. This gives the painting a uniform texture.

To this date, Indian and Mughal Miniature paintings provide an interesting insight into the lifestyles of earlier centuries and continue to fascinate people.

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Source by Rahul Chandani

The Stages of Anorexia

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Anorexia nervosa is one of the most prevalent and dangerous eating disorders known to man. It is known to many in that it is characterized by the sufferer refusing to eat and losing extreme amounts of weight until they often resemble nothing more than a skin covered skeleton which can often lead to death in the most severe cases.

The stages of anorexia can be different for different people but they all follow a similar pattern in that the symptoms and effects worsened as time progresses. Anorexia nervosa is a treatable disorder, but there is no known specific cure. It is important to note the different stages listed below and their characteristics so that you can begin to identify if you or someone you know is suffering from this condition. In either case, seek treatment immediately so that the condition does not worsen.

Stage One of anorexia may simply resemble someone deciding to take part in a rigorous exercise program. They may exercise every day but simply appear as a fitness conscious individual.

Stage Two occurs when the individual begins obsessing not only about exercise, but food as well. This can be constantly talking about what they had to eat or how long it’s been since they had their last meal.

Stage Three is often characterized by the sufferer obsessing about trying to eat the fewest calories possible in order to still have energy to exercise and lose additional weight. This may be weeks or months and actually having the disorder and physical characteristics such as looking gaunt or pale or having circles below the eyes may exist.

Stage Four may be recognized as the person begins obsessing about their appearance in the mirror in a very public way. This may be pulling up their shirt to see how many of the ribs they can visibly count, or looking at their back to see if their spine or other bones are showing. Many people work to keep this condition private so friends and family may never witnessed this personally.

Stage Five shows just how much of a downward spiral can occur because of this harmful disorder. As anorexia progresses, one of the symptoms is that the sufferer will begin to gauge how many days they can go without eating before they faint. At this stage, fainting is common. Friends and family should certainly take notice and begin to seek treatment for this individual immediately. At this stage, the disorder has truly taken hold and the ones suffering may be completely helpless to do anything about it.

Stage Six and beyond simply sees the downward spiral continue, often at a rapid pace. Fainting spells, bloody noses, incredibly thin physiques, and extreme lack of energy are common characteristics of later stage anorexia.

Please keep in mind that the above stages are guidelines and indicative of many, but not all sufferers of anorexia. The most important thing to look for is long-term weight loss coupled with obsessive behaviors about exercise and food. It is extremely important that if you think you or someone you love may be suffering, seek treatment immediately. Anorexia kills, don’t let this happen to you or anyone you know.

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Life Drawing – 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Drawing a Nude Model

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1 – Do Arrive Early

Due to the popularity of life drawing classes (I can’t imagine what for?) even large-sized classrooms can easily become packed out. No one cares for the slacker turning up late, clambering over everyone’s easels, elbowing people in the face. Being a latecomer won’t make you popular. Also it is embarrassing for everyone concerned when you start asking to borrow a knife to sharpen your pencils or masking tape to stick the paper to your board. Yes – make sure you get all that chit chat and material pilfering over with before the model even disrobes.

2 – Do Draw The Whole Model

Although this isn’t a problem for the serious artist, when I attended art college it was surprising the number of people who chose to either eliminate areas of the model’s naked body, or concentrate too hard on one specific ‘region’. Unless it is your raison d’être and master plan for world domination, it probably doesn’t serve your masterpiece well to do a tiny doodle or a huge close up of the model’s breasts (or whatever your favorite part is). You will appear amateurish and slightly foolish. Another good tip for impressing the tutor is to begin drawing your drawing from the inside-out rather than just focussing on the outline of the body. Although Picasso got away with it in his awesome nudes the Van Gogh ‘crazy marks everywhere’ approach is more artistically engaging.

4 – Do Draw Negative Spaces

A good way of convincing everyone that you aren’t simply there to act like a deviant and behave badly – and, more importantly, learn something about drawing – is to focus on drawing the spaces between the figure. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? However it is often the case that by filling in the background as much as the figure itself, a stunning drawing can be achieved, especially if you draw a silhouette of the figure — perhaps basking in the shadows as the daylight fades from the room. Another reason to draw in this style is because a nude is far more alluring and atmospheric when details of the body are suggested as opposed to rendered in full, resplendent detail. This sometimes also has the dual benefit of making your drawing easier to do. Why make it hard on yourself? Knock everyone’s socks off with this clever trick.

3 – Do Remember Sketching A Nude Figure Is The Same As Any Other Drawing

It sounds obvious but some people get carried away with the fact that they are drawing a naked human being. Keep it real. Artists have been focussed on using the nude as a subject for centuries and not all of them slept with their models. It is unlikely to go down well if you form an unhealthy stalker-like fixation on the model. Also, if you join a class which runs for a full semester, it is likely the actual model will be switched around and you never know who will turn up. It will become very suspicious if you suddenly vanish when the seventy year old, bearded man makes and appearance but start hanging around for ages before the class when there are rumors of the twenty-five year old naked Swedish girl being ‘on’ this week.

5 – Do Pay Attention to Foreshortening

If you look at any object from different angles it has a different eclipse. The nude human figure is no different. You are trying to create the illusion of depth which is no easy feat. Foreshortening is quite like perspective and can either be used as an excuse to show off – for the well practiced and talented – or a very easy way to display your shortcomings (and perhaps give you away as a voyeuristic intruder). Just keep the faith and move around the room, taking advantage of the versatility you can obtain by drawing multiple poses. Before long you will be as good as some pompous renaissance artist.


1 – Don’t Dictate The Flow Of The Class

Some novice life drawers are surprised when the tutor suddenly goes all hyper-active and starts ordering the class to carry out quick ‘familiarization exercises’ such as doing lightening-quick charcoal sketches and frustrating fifteen minute poses in which the model is told to change pose when you are just getting started. It is outrageous to vent your frustration in such a situation and you may even risk being banned from the class for being a troublemaker.

2 – Don’t Forget To Use The ‘Thumb and Pencil Method’ When Drawing The Face

Although you may feel somewhat self-conscious standing there with your arm outstretched, the thumb-and-pencil-method is a sure way to make certain that everything balances up. Become aware of seemingly irrelevant facts such as how many human heads fit into the nude human body and how you can line your pencil up with the top of the model’s head and slide your finger down until you get to the chin. This is a basic unit of measurement which you can use to figure out the rest of the proportions in the body.

3 – Don’t Be Afraid Of Drawing Yourself

When not in class the enthusiastic can use whatever spare time they have to keep up the good work. All you need is a mirror to draw yourself. The bold can take their work into the class next week or you can stuff your sketches in an old drawer. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that you are developing as a figurative artist. Many famous artist’s such as Van Gogh and Rembrant have used their own bodies – or at least their faces – in their paintings. One good exercise is to look out some old photos and choose a few where you are in a situation that brings back positive memories. Start blocking the background from the photo into your drawing or painting and simultaneously use a mirror to draw yourself in the present moment. The cheerful associations from the photo will affirm everything that is sanguine about yourself and art in general.

4. Don’t Look Down On Online Virtual Figure Drawing Galleries

There are many portals on the internet where models – such as – pose using full frontal nudity in the name of art. Some sites are composed of glamour models as well as artist’s models but you can usually find a good array of figures, shapes and forms. Choose someone who arouses your interest and draw them repeatedly for several weeks then move onto another model. Some 3D computer artists post their animated models online which allow you to turn the model’s body around in three dimensions. This can be particularly helpful when learning foreshortening and how to draw accurate proportions.

5. Don’t Go Out With The Model

Although it may be fine to date the tutor if they are a part time lecturer it is a no-no to hit on the model. Some classes meet in coffee shops and bars after the class but it isn’t usual for the model to attend. Conflicting signals can be sent by entirely liberated models who skirt around the class during rest breaks without putting their robe back on. If confronted by the large breasted naked Swedish exchange student complimenting your drawing whilst smiling at you in the afternoon sunlight try to see that as enough without also asking her to accompany you on a dinner date.

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Source by Russell Steedman

A Forgotten LDS Art – Film Strips

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LDS people love media because it allows them to be able to share the message of the gospel and tell stories. Before the VCR, DVDs and other other types of media were available, members and missionaries of the Mormon church used a simple type of technology to tell stories; this media is called filmstrips. Filmstrips are 35mm rolls of film that are projected through a simple projector. The projector sends light through the film and the images is projected on the wall or white screen. When the slide needs to be changed you turn a dial on the projector. Audio is provided by an audio cassette tape or a vinyl record. When the slide needs to be changed you hear a small beep.

Filmstrips were used by the Mormon church from the 1960s until the 1990s. However, filmstrips began to lose popularity when LDS meeting houses began purchasing VCRs and televisions in the late 1980s. Many regular films were converted to filmstrips because it was significantly cheaper than a moving picture system. Some of the most notable films that were converted to filmstrips were movies such as, the Mormon classics “Johnny Lingo” and “Windows of Heaven”. Gordon Jump, the actor who starred in the television sitcom “WKRP”, was featured in a filmstrip called “It All Started with Thad”.

Filmstrips are a forgotten LDS Art. The technology is so old that modern youth find it fascinating. In the 1970s or 1980s this technology would have been common place in a Mormon Sunday school class. In the Mormon stage play film “Saturday’s Warrior”, the Missionaries use a filmstrip projector to share a missionary discussion. Elder Kestler projects the filmstrip onto the portly stomach of Elder Green.

Filmstrips were used to tell the Mormon message; they told Book of Mormon Stories, Church History Stories, and also taught lessons to youth, teachers and leaders. This technology was popular among members of the Mormon faith, and many public schools used this technology as well.

This form of art and media has been lost due to the availability and convenience of modern video equipment, however, you can still purchase or find filmstrips that have been converted to modern recording devices, such as DVDs, at the Mormon Church Distribution centers in very limited availability.

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Source by Trent Bowen

Lighting a Fine Craft Trade Show Booth – Options for the Budget-Conscious Artist

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Good lighting is a main ingredient of a successful trade-show booth. Just the right lighting system can help an artist create the atmosphere of a fine-craft gallery. This will lure gallery owners off the isles and into your booth – the first step toward making a sale.

Lighting is a relatively expensive investment. So how does the budget-conscious artist find the right solution?

When it comes to choosing a lighting system, artists new to the trade show circuit often become overwhelmed. Prices vary wildly, and each convention center may have its own lighting rules. Lighting technology is changing rapidly, making the choices harder still.

This article details what I learned while tackling the challenge of lighting my 10’X10’ booth at the American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE), a large wholesale show for American and Canadian craft artists. As I am new to trade shows, this information is meant only as a pointer for artists in the process of choosing lighting, and perhaps also for more seasoned artists looking to update their systems.

In examining many different lighting options, my objective was to illuminate my glass jewelry beautifully but inexpensively. I wanted the lights to be lightweight and modular, to fit in boxes for shipping to the show. I was looking for contemporary styling, in silver or black. And I wanted to have at least one special lighting effect – not too flashy – to give my booth a unique element.

In his CD on booth design, art business consultant Bruce Baker suggests 1,000 watts will light up a 10’X10’ booth very effectively. I decided to stay at or under 500 watts, however, because the ACRE show includes 500 watts with the booth price, and the halogen lighting I ultimately decided upon illuminates my displays very well. Since I bought the lights at a “big-box” store with sites in virtually every city in the U.S., I can add more lights once I’m at the trade show if necessary.

The Battle of the Bulb

Contractors Choice Lighting ( says a light fixture is simply a “bulb holder.” The bulb, therefore, should drive one’s choice of a fixture. This is somewhat true for trade-show lighting, although the fixtures may dictate the types of bulbs, depending on the choices available at the store where one shops for the lights. The CCL website offers a “Bulb Photometrics” page ([]), whose graphical representation is a refreshing departure from the complex descriptions of lighting options that have proliferated on the web.

Halogen is the bulb of choice for many trade show exhibitors. It offers a crisp, white light. Although people commonly refer to halogen as non-incandescent, it is in fact a kind of incandescent lamp. It generates light by using a thin filament wire made of tungsten, heated to white by passing an electric current through it. According to General Electric, the first halogen lamp was developed in 1959 – not too long ago for many of us!

Halogen bulbs differ significantly from the traditional type of incandescents we grew up with. The halogen bulb’s filament is surrounded by halogen gases (iodine or bromine, specifically). These gases let the filaments operate at higher temperatures. The end result is a higher light output per watt.

The gases also do something rather miraculous: Tungsten tends to evaporate off the filament over time, and the gases actually help re-deposit the tungsten onto the filament. This extends the bulb’s life way beyond that of the traditional incandescent bulb, whose evaporated tungsten clings to the walls of the bulb like a smoky apparition and eventually the uncoated filament snaps. Who hasn’t rattled a burnt-out light bulb and enjoyed the jazzy cymbal sound of the broken filament inside?

In addition to giving off more light than traditional incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs emit a whiter light that provides better color rendition. “For highlighting and bringing out true colors, use halogen lamps,” suggests USA Light and Electric’s website ( “Nothing looks better than the drama brought in with halogen lamps.”

Baker also suggests halogen lights – floodlights in particular – for a contemporary look, especially for jewelry and glass. It’s important to consider that other fine craft materials such as ceramics and wood might be better enhanced with halogen spotlights, or even with some of the more traditional incandescent lights that emit a warmer color.

Having decided upon halogen lighting, my next task would be to choose bulbs. The ACRE show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which has instituted a strict halogen lighting policy. Each light cannot exceed 75 watts, and all halogen bulbs must be factory sealed in glass (not in a removable lens or linear shape).

Thankfully, there is plenty of factory-sealed halogen lighting, in the form of PAR halogen bulbs. PAR is an acronym for “parabolic aluminized reflector.” PAR bulbs have a built-in reflecting surface made of pressed glass. The glass provides both an internal reflector and prisms in the lens for control of the light beam.

PAR bulbs are numbered, as in PAR 16, PAR 20, PAR 56. The PAR number refers to the bulb shape. has a halogen section of the site where you can quickly compare the various PAR bulbs visually. Within a given category of PAR bulbs there are various wattages, wide and narrow spotlights and floodlights, different base sizes, and even different colors.

Fortunately I was able to skip the process of deciding on a PAR bulb by deciding first where to shop for my lights (more on that below).

Power Issues

When you go to shop for track lights, you’ll notice there’s a choice between 12-volt and 120-volt fixtures. 120 is the standard voltage that comes directly into most homes and offices – and convention centers.

For a lamp using 120 volts, no additional parts are necessary beyond a regular socket. 120-volt fixtures generally are lighter than 12-volt fixtures because they don’t need a transformer. They also cost less and can use halogen or regular incandescent bulbs.

I stopped short of investigating 12-volt fixtures, except to find out that they step down the amount of energy being used to a lower voltage, and thus are more energy efficient. They require a transformer to convert the 120-volt household current to 12 volts, and they may require hardwiring (although one artist I know found a 12-volt fixture with a built-in transformer which she was able to plug into a 120-volt outlet. A 12-volt fixture accommodates very efficient bulbs that offer a variety of wattages and beam spreads, including the 50-watt MR-16, which is popular in galleries.

I decided on 120-volt lighting for the trade show, because I wouldn’t have to worry about transformers and could just plug it in.

Choosing a Store and Track Lighting

I read the ACRE online forum for clues about where to buy lighting. What one artist said struck me as eminently sensible: He buys all his lighting at Home Depot, because if anything goes wrong at the show, he can find a store nearby for replacement parts.

This was something to consider: Tempting as the gorgeous designs might be, special-order lighting of any kind introduces the risk of having a malfunctioning light for the duration of a show.

Another artist on the ACRE online forum said he buys his lights from Lowes. It probably doesn’t matter which big-box store one chooses, as long as there’s one in every city.

Since I was new to trade shows and this was to be my first lighting kit, I resisted choosing from the many good suppliers on the web. I settled on the limited but attractive selection at Lowes. A side benefit of this was that my choices were comfortably narrowed.

Within the category of halogen lighting, you can get either track lights or stem-mounted lights (with arms extending outward). I went with track lights. This was partly because the stem lights I found on the web were relatively expensive and Lowe’s didn’t offer them, and partly because with track lights I could have one cord instead of several hanging down.

The Lowes lighting salesperson was helpful in putting together a full package from the track lighting on display and in stock. I decided on four, two-foot tracks to keep the size of my shipping boxes down. Here’s a rundown of what I bought:

· 4 two-foot track sections, Portfolio brand, black finish, Item #225678. Each section holds 2 lights, for a total of 8. Total: $23.12

· 8 Flared Gimbal Track Lights, Portfolio brand, Item #120673, with a satin chrome finish for a contemporary look. They are easy to attach to the track by following the directions. Total: $80.76

· 8 halogen bulbs, Par 20, 50-watt, for bright, crisp light. I bought several floodlights and a couple of spotlights. The bulbs are very packable, at a little over 3” long and 2.5” in diameter. Total: $60.00

· 2 Miniature Straight Connectors by Portfolio, Item #120716, for joining two of the track sections end to end. The idea is to have only one cord to plug in from a row of four lights. Total: $5.92.

· 2 Cord and Plug Sets, Portfolio brand, Item #120827, to power track from a standard AC wall outlet. I connected these to the end of the two of the track sections by unscrewing the covering on one side of the track. Total: $17.06

· Various Multi-Purpose Ties (cable ties), by Catamount, for attaching tracks to booth pipes. Total: $5.00

· 2 heavy-duty extension cord/power strips – 14-gauge, 15-feet, with three outlets each, Woods brand, from Lowe’s, Item #170224, model 82965. Total: $22.00

Grand total: $213.86

The Gimbal lights I chose only accept a 50-watt, PAR 20 bulb, which made it easy to pick out the bulbs. So in this case, the fixture drove the choice of bulb, not the other way around.

According to the Bulb Photometrics page at Contractors Choice Lighting, a PAR 20, 50-watt halogen flood bulb will emit a beam of light with a 5’4” diameter when it reaches 10 feet away. It offers about 12 foot-candles worth of light at 10 feet away from the bulb (a foot-candle is the level of illumination on a surface one foot away from a standard candle.)

For the sake of comparison, a PAR 30 beam offers a diameter of more than 8’ at 10 feet away, and you still get about 14 foot-candles at that distance. What happens if you notch it up to a 75-watt bulb? You get a lot more foot-candles (38) at 10 feet away. This suggests that larger trade-show booths might want to take advantage of higher PAR and higher watt bulbs.

All together, the track lighting system I chose uses 400 watts of electricity. This left me another 100 watts to add specialty or accent lighting to my booth, while still remaining at the 500-watt limit.

Cords, Plugs and Hanging Lights

The Las Vegas Convention Center has very strict rules for cords, plugs, and hanging lights.

The two-pronged, 18-gauge cords that the manufacturer has attached to your lights are acceptable (leave the UL tags and labels intact). These lighting cords cannot be plugged into the convention center outlet, however. Instead, you must plug them into a three-pronged, heavy duty, 14-gauge extension cord – or a breaker strip with a 14-gauge cord. You can then plug that 14-gauge extension cord into the convention center outlet.

A 14-gauge extension cord is capable of handling 1,825 watts. It’s helpful to read the brief extension-cord sizing and safety information on the web pages of the Underwriters Laboratories ( and the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service ([]) before purchasing a cord.

Bruce Baker suggests the cord be 20 feet with six outlets, and that it include a cord reel. I couldn’t find this type of cord at Lowe’s, so I decided on two 15-foot, heavy-duty, 14-gauge extension cord/power strips, each offering three outlets. If you have a larger booth, you can find a 25-foot cord with three outlets at Lowe’s.

There are so many different approaches to hanging lights, and so many variables to consider, that it could be a topic for another article. In general, you can hang or clip lights onto a cross bar or onto the “hard walls” of your display if you have them. Depending on the rules of a particular trade show and the size your lighting system, you may be permitted to attach the lights to the booth’s existing pipe and drape.

Since my booth design does not include my own walls, my lights will attach either to the existing pipe or to a cross bar. Cable ties (commonly called “zip ties”) appear to be tool of choice for attaching tracks to the pipes or bars, and even for attaching additional cross bars to existing pipe and drape. One artist I know uses Velcro strips, followed by cable ties to secure the attachments. There are a few entire websites for cable ties. One of them is .

I purchased Multi-Purpose Ties from Home Depot. They can bundle 4 inches in diameter, withstand temperatures up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and hold up to 50 lbs.

Accent Lighting: LEDs

There are many ideas for accent lighting – although a fair treatment of the topic is beyond the scope of this article. Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is one technology that is experiencing breakthroughs and growing fast. It takes many LEDs to equal the light output of a 50-watt bulb, and LEDs are fairly expensive, so LEDs aren’t ready for prime time when it comes to lighting a whole booth.

There are several close-up applications for LEDs, however, that are worth looking into now. An example is the in-counter light bar sold by MK Digital Direct at (at a whopping $175 per foot). The more affordable MK Sparkle Light Pocket ($30) is a portable device that has extra long-life of over 100,000 continuous hours and promises to give jewelry “maximum sparkle and scintillation.”

The Nexus mini LED light system (, meanwhile, offers a lot of illumination for its size – a puck shape not much bigger than a quarter. The company says it is for direct display lighting of crystal and glass, and it can even be submerged in water. The light is attached to a 12’ cable that ends in a plug, and has “mode switch” with seven different color choices. Unfortunately, white is not one of the color choices, and at $25 it’s a bit expensive. Still, a few of these lights combined with room lighting could draw viewers into your booth and toward your most dramatic displays.

LEDS also include tube lights, flexible lights, linear lights, and bulbs. Superbright LEDs ( ) has a collection of 120-volt screw-in LED bulbs for accent and other low-lighting applications, as well as a host of other fascinating products such as “plant up-light fixtures.”

At this writing, the search was still on for accent lighting to give my booth an extra special glow. Stay tuned for a future article on the results.

Online Resources

The following list is not an endorsement, but rather a starting point for research on lighting systems, cable ties, and accent lighting. – inexpensive and many choices, has “Bulb Photometrics” page to help determine how much light and what kind you want from a bulb – stem-mounted and track lights – large selection of lighting and bulbs – quick visual comparison of PAR bulbs (in halogen section) – Cable (zip) ties for securing track lights to pipe – LED lights for jewelry cases – a nice selection and visual layout of stem-mounted and other lighting (but not cheap) – good technical information and images of lights set-ups for trade shows; several stem-mounted clip-on designs – LED accent lighting, including screw-in bulbs and light bars

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Alice Horrigan

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