Mizuhiki – The Japanese Art of Knot Tying

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Mizuhiki is the traditional Japanese art of knot tying. It is made by tightly winding washi (japanese paper) into a thin cord, then using that cord to tie a series of knots.  Sometimes the individual cords are adhered to one another to make a wide strip and then knotted.
The mizuhiki knots and cords create intricate bows and flowers for decoration, and even creative frames or woven/knotted baskets.

In the past, mizuhiki was used as decoration for special cards, letters and gifts for important or high-standing people, and in some cases, to tie the Samurai top knot hairstyle.

Today, mizuhiki is widely used for decorating cards and gifts for occasions like weddings, baby showers, graduations and many other important events. 
Growing in popularity both in Japan and overseas, mizuhiki is also being used for table settings, home decor, and even fashion accessories.

Some mizuhiki artists can create beautiful life-like animals and other creative sculptures for display or as a wonderful addition to gift wrap. 
The most common decorations are flowers, bows, Japanese cranes, butterflies and carp for both beauty and symbolism. For example, the carp and crane are greatly used to symbolize strength, grace and longevity.

By using basic knot techniques combined with weaving or even a crochet style, it is possible to create beautiful pieces of art like floral bouquets, life-sized sculptures (like carp, butterflies and flowers), or even functional items like place mats, utensil rest, baskets, hair and clothing accessories or lovely decoration that wraps around glassware.

Another important thing to consider is the colour combination. In Japan, colour combinations have a specific meaning for many occasions, so mizuhiki decorations must also follow the theme.  For example, special joyous events like weddings use red and white or gold and silver. For births, graduations, house warming and other happy occasions, a simple red and white combination is used, and finally sad events (like funerals) use black, white and silver.

Today, mizuhiki has such a wide range of colours and patterns, it’s simple to use it for anything your can think of from art, decor, fashion and more!

For more information or to see some mizuhiki examples, check out Miho’s mizuhiki page .

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Source by Miho Suzuki

Western Art – Neo-Primitivism – A Contemporary Edge to Primitvism

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Neo-Primitivism – The History

After Russian painter and art theorist Aleksandr Shevchenko published his book ‘Neo-Primitivism’ in 1913, a completely new genre in art was formed with the same name. However, other accounts suggest vice-versa. According to them, Neo-Primitivism began much earlier, with its official launching in 1909, at the third ‘Golden Fleece Exhibition.’ The art form is said to span over 1907 through 1912. Although, it was primarily a Russian art movement, it became equally popular in the Western nations. Neo-Primitivism was fundamentally a radical modern sect with primitive style executions and therefore, named so.

The Details

The characteristics of Folk Art, like lubok, embroideries, distaffs, icon painting, and spoons, formed the basis of Neo-Primitive works. The frames were usually one-dimensional, flat imageries with bold color schemes, and visible brushstrokes. The paintings lacked, not only in visual depth, but also in their intricate or visionary representations. The Neo-Primitive works often look like child-art, with the distortions of forms and space.

The Artists

Russian artists Aleksandr Shevchenko’s (1883-1948) publication describes a harmonization of Russian Folk Art with some different art forms, like Futurism and Cubism. French Post-Impressionist and Cubist Paul Cézanne’s (1839-1906) body of work was also a great influence on the underlying philosophy of Neo-Primitivism. The original protagonists of this style were Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964) and Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962), though they were not the only ones. Other famous artists associated with the movement were Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935), Vladmir Tatlin (1885-1943), and Marc Chagall (Russian-French, 1887-1985).

The Artworks

Mikhail Larionov’s, ‘Soldier in the Woods’ (1908-09) is a perfect example of Neo-Primitive elements, where a brightly painted canvas in primary colors, depicts a horse smaller than the soldier is. Similarly, Natalia Goncharova’s ‘The Evangelists,’ (1910), is a set of four, oil on canvas works, 204 cm X 58 cm in dimensions each. This religious work is a leading example of icon painting, which depicts the four authors of the Gospels. The set is remarkable for its straight-forwardness, simplicity, linearity, and colors, in each piece.

Conclusion

An exhibition in Paris, featuring the native art forms of Australia, Oceania, and Africa, popularized Neo-Primitivism in the Western world. The directness of themes, bold expressiveness, striking color combinations, vigor, spontaneity, and innovation, caught the fancy of the Western artists in no time. Neo-Primitivism, in the Western world, has come as a blanket term for various types of art, including ‘Body Art.’ In broader terms, any art, which subscribes to the philosophy of Primitivism, represented with a modern outlook is Neo-Primitivism. Primitivism suggests that the life was more simple and honest for the ‘unschooled’ primitive civilizations!

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Source by Annette Labedzki

HOW TO PAINT A WINE BOTTLE by Peter Kotka

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How to Paint a Wine Bottle

Fine Wine Art has been produced by Peter for the past 30 years.

Here he shows you the basics of painting a bottle.

Painting Fine Wine 1

DRAW YOUR OUTLINE WINE BOTTLE IMAGE IN ONE COLOUR. I USED BLUE.

Fine Wine Bottle Painting 2

SELECT A PALETTE OF BURNT SIENNA, ULTRAMARINE BLUE, YELLOW OCHRE AND TITANIUM WHITE. THEN ROUGH IN THE COLOURS.

Fine Wine Art Bottle Painting 3

NEXT, STRENGTHEN THE DARKS STILL USING YOUR LIMITED PALETTE
AND CREATE MORE DIMENSION TO THE PAINTING.

Fine Wine Art Bottle 4

NOW USING A FULL COLOUR PALETTE, PAINT THE BOTTLE TO ITS CONCLUSION.

USING THIS METHOD YOU CAN EXPAND THE PICTURE TO STUNNING EFFECT AS FOLLOWS:

Oil Painting of Wine Bottle and Glass

Fine Wine ArtOriginal Oil paintings of Fine Wine by Peter Kotka

The History of Fine Wine Painting

Fine Wine Paintings have been created for a very long time and has its beginnings in still life paintings dating back many centuries. Very early ‘breakfast’ pieces by the Dutch painter Nicolas Gillis, were followed by Pieter Claesz and Willem Claes Heda, the paintings initially were quite simple and very subdued in colour. Then came Willem Kalf who also featured wine, tall glasses and wine jugs, Roemer glass, candlesticks and fruit, but light seemed to be a big influence on him. Blue and white Chinese bowls with lemons, using complimentary colours to great effect. Then there was Jan Davids de Heem with Nautilus cup, green grapes, lemon and lobster, such evocative pieces to feast your eyes on, how could they not inspire?

All of these painters were superb, their paintings probably influenced fine wine art painters that followed much later. They certainly had a great influence on me and my art.

This article from the website www.peterkotka.com

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Source by Peter Kotka

Where Did Manga Come From?

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While Manga seems to be growing ever more popular, which often leads many to believe that it’s a relatively modern creation it’s actually been around (in its early form) for over a thousand years.

The tradition of telling stories with a series of sequential images has been a part of Japanese culture long before what we now know as present day Manga ever came about. In fact Toba Sojo, an 11th century painter-priest, has been attributed with the earliest examples of pre-manga art with his animal scroll paintings which satirised the Buddhist priesthood.

Over the years the religious world refined the art, even as the nation was torn apart by warfare.

Another credited for development of modern Manga is Katsushika Hokusai, the famous 19th century artist and printmaker while his woodblock print images of 36 views of Mount Fuji are known the world over, his manga sketches are some of the best examples of humour in Japanese art. Hokusai was also the first to use the term Manga to describe his sketches though he didn’t invent the word himself.

Adult storybooks – text surrounding ink brush illustrations became popular within the middle class Japanese population. Printed with woodblocks these books were similar to modern manga in that they covered a wide variety of subjects from fantasy and drama to humour and even pornography. Shunga (Erotic Art) and Yokai (Ghosts and Monsters) are other forms of popular Japanese Art that have influenced modern manga

By the 19th century the art became influenced by western culture and the illustrated story books became a mix of Japanese and Western Cartoons.

As it progressed many say that Osamu Tezuka was the father of Modern Manga, his most popular creation was Mighty Atom (or Astro Boy). His Manga debut came in 1947 with his New Treasure Island a comic that was produced cheaply and sold 400,000 copies with this success he was able to develop a following of young manga artists eagre to continue with what he had started. These would soon broaden and from here the young adults that started reading those earlier comics would continue to read manga as adults and with that is it said that modern manga was born.

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Japanese Art (World of Art)

Japanese Art (World of Art)

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“A long-needed presentation of Japanese art that concisely offers inclusive coverage from prehistoric times to the twentieth century.” ―Choice

The uniqueness of Japanese culture rests on the fact that, throughout its history, Japan has continually taken, adapted, and transformed diverse influences―whether from Korea, China, and the South Seas, or Europe and America―into distinct traditions of its own. This book, an authoritative and provocative survey of the arts of Japan from the prehistoric period to the present, brings together the results of the most recent research on the subject. In this expanded and updated edition, a new chapter explores Japanese art from the 1980s to the new millennium. Profusely illustrated with examples from a range of arts as well as an extensive bibliography, Japanese Art is a concise, thought-provoking overview of a fascinating culture. 185 illustrations, 50 in color



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Utamaro and His Five Woodblock Masterpieces of Women

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One of the dominating themes in the history of art anywhere in the world has always been female beauty. Parodoxically, few artists are primarily identified with this theme. A major exeption is the Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) who dedicated is whole artistic life exploring this beauty. He specialized in the posture, the character, the softness of the skin and the grace of the woman and fully utilized the characteristic of the woodblock to obtain the essence of female nature.  The following five bijin (beauty print) designs are among his most acclaimed masterpieces and are in no particular order.    

Mountain Woman with Kintaro  (c.1801)  

Utamaro designed nearly fifty prints of the mountain woman Yamamba and her son Kintaro (a.k.a. Kintoki) in various settings and formats. This naga-oban (c. 20 3/4″ x 9 1/2″) design is Utamaro’s most well-known print depicting this subject. In this scene the viewer can feel true motherly love from Yamamba as she’s trying to calm the little boy with chestnuts while fondling him as he is holding on to her. The soft colour combination is beautifully contrasted with the strong colours used for Kintaro, emphasizing his health and strength.    

Matron in Love (c.1793)  

From Utamaro’s five part series Kasen: ko no bu (Selected Love Poems) this okubi-e (bust portrait/ half length portrait) design is generally considered the best of this set of prints. The title in the English translation of this print is ‘Love Which One Can Not Put Out in One’s Mind’ and is the portrayal of a mature woman resting her head on her hand. Her eyebrows are shaven, which indicates she’s married, and her eyes are narrowed in a dreamily gaze looking into the distance. In this series Utamaro focuses on the facial expressions of these women using fine lines and soft delicate colors trying to expose their inner feelings.    

Lipstick (c.1794)  

An ordinary woman depicted in a half-kneeling position looking in a mirror which she holds in her hand. She’s applying red lipstick to her mouth after she blackened her teeth. In this design Utamaro proofs his mastery in depicting women wearing everyday clothes placed in an ordinary setting. The subtle contrast between the red lipstick and the white of the skin is a magnificent detail. The black box in front of her contains implements for blackening the teeth.  

Woman Reading a Letter  (c.1791)  

The following print is from Utamaro’s famous ‘Ten Physiognomical Studies of Women’ -series and is a study of a noble looking middle-aged woman reading a letter, with her hands outstretched to unfold it. A masterpiece because of its simplicity and superb composition. Some prints of this design have a pink-mica background instead of silver-mica. The pink was made after the silver.    

Takashima Ohisa (c.1792)  

This print belongs to the same series as the foregiving one and is probably the most celebrated single bijin portrait in the history of Ukiyo-e. The model of this print is thought to be a daughter of Takashima Chobei who was a proprietor of a tea-house in Ryogoku Yagenbori. The viewer can feel the sweetness of this girl who is a daughter of a well-to-do family. It seems that Utamaro often painted Takashima Ohisa (like many other contemporaries) by preference. He also painted Ohisa in the series ‘Six Famous Beautiful Women’, even after her marriage and as the proverb says: “Beauty is often inconsistent with luck”, this pretty Ohisa died young leaving two sons behind.

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Source by Marijn Kruijff

Bob Ross Oil Painting Technique – Frequently Asked Questions

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The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the BOB ROSS Oil Painting Technique and some instruction about the use and care of the materials.

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This technique refers to the softening of hard edges and most visible brush strokes by blending the wet oil paint on the canvas with a clean, dry brush. In blending, an already painted area is brushed very lightly with criss-cross strokes or by gently tapping with the corner of the brush. This gives colors a soft and natural appearance. Not all oil paints are suitable for this technique – most are too soft and tend to smear. Only a thick, firm paint is suitable for this technique.

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To mix paints to a marbled effect, place the different colored paints on the mixing area of your palette and use your palette knife to pick up and fold the paints together, then pull flat. Streaks of each color should be visible in the mixture. Do not over mix.

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When mixing paints for application over thicker paints already on the canvas, especially when adding highlight colors, thin the paint with LIQUID WHITE, LIQUID CLEAR or ODORLESS THINNER. The rule to remember here is that a thin paint will stick to a thicker paint.

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Painting with the wet on wet technique requires frequent and thorough cleaning of your brushes with paint thinner. An empty one pound coffee can is ideal to hold the thinner, or use any container approximately 5″ in diameter and at-least 6″ deep. Place a Bob Ross Screen in the bottom of the can and fill with odorless thinner approximately 1″ above the screen. Scrub the brushes bristles against the screen to remove paint sediments which will settle on the bottom of the can.

Dry your larger brushes by carefully squeezing them against the inside of the coffee can, then slapping the bristles against a brush beater rack mounted inside of a tall kitchen trash basket to remove the remainder of the thinner. Smaller brushes can be cleaned by wiping them with paper towel or a rag (I highly recommend using Viva paper towels because they are very absorbent). Do not return the brushes to their plastic bags after use, this will cause the bristles to become limp. Never clean your Bob Ross brushes with soap and water or detergent as this will destroy the natural strength of the bristles. Store your brushes with bristles up or lying flat.

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Use the 2″ brush with long, firm vertical and horizontal strokes across the canvas. The coat of Liquid WHITE should be very, very thin and even. Apply just before you begin to paint. Do not allow the paint to dry before you begin.

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I suggest using a palette at least 16″x20″ in size. Try arranging the colors around the outer edge of your palette from light to dark. Leave the center of the palette for mixing your paints.

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To fully load the inside bristles of your brush first hold it perpendicular to the palette and work the bristles into the pile of paint. Then holding the brush at a 45 degree angle, drag the brush across your palette and away from the pile of paint. Flipping your brush from side to side will insure both sides will be loaded evenly.

(NOTE: When the bristles come to a chiseled or sharp flat edge, the brush is loaded correctly.)

For some strokes you may want the end of your brush to be rounded. To do this, stand the brush vertically on the palette. Firmly pull toward you working the brush in one direction. Lift off the palette with each stroke. This will tend to round off the end of the brush, paint with the rounded end up.

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Place the tip of your brush into the can of LIQUID WHITE, LIQUID CLEAR or ODORLESS THINNER allow only a small amount of medium to remain on the bristles. Load your brush by gently dragging it through the highlight colors, repeat as needed. Gently tap the bristles against the palette just enough to open up the bristles and loosen the paint.

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With your palette knife, pull the mixture of paint in a thin layer down across the palette. Holding your knife in a straight upward position, pull the long working edge of your knife diagonally across the paint. This will create a roll of paint on your knife.

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There are no great mysteries to painting. You need only the desire, a few basic techniques and a little practice. lf you are new to this technique, I strongly suggest that you read the entire section on “TIPS AND TECHNIQUES” prior to starting your first painting. Consider each painting you create as a learning experience. Add your own special touch and ideas to each painting you do and your confidence as well as your ability will increase at an unbelievable rate.

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The BOB ROSS technique of painting is dependent upon a special firm oil paint for the base colors. Colors that are used primarily for highlights (Yellows) are manufactured to a thinner consistency for easier mixing and application. The use of proper equipment helps assure the best possible results.

Liquid Clear is a particularly exciting ingredient for wet-on-wet painting. Like Liquid White/Black, it creates the necessary smooth and slippery surface. Additionally, Liquid Clear has the advantage of not diluting the intensity of other colors especially the darks which are so important in painting seascapes. Remember to apply Liquid Clear very sparingly! The tendency is to apply larger amounts than necessary because it is so difficult to see.

13 colors we use are listed below:

*Alizarin Crimson

*Sap Green, Bright Red

*Dark Sienna

*Pthalo Green

Cadmium Yellow

Titanium White,

*Pthalo Blue,

*Indian Yellow

*Van Dyke

Brown

*Midnight Black

Yellow Ochre

*Prussian Blue
(*indicates colors that are transparent or semi-transparent and which may be used as under paints where transparency is required.)

HOW DO I MIX COLORS?

The mixing of colors can be one of the most rewarding and fun parts of painting, but may also be one of the most feared procedures. Devote some time to mixing various color combinations and become familiar with the basic color mixtures. Study the colors in nature and practice duplicating the colors you see around you each day. Within a very short time you will be so comfortable mixing colors that you will look forward to each painting as a new challenge.

SHOULD YOU USE JUST ANY ART PRODUCT FOR THIS METHOD OF PAINTING?

Possibly the #1 problem experienced by individuals when first attempting this technique and the major cause for disappointment revolves around the use of products designed for other styles of painting or materials not designed for artwork at all (i.e. house painting brushes, thin soupy paints, etc.).

All of the paintings for this technique were created using Bob Ross paints, brushes and palette knives. To achieve the best results from your efforts, I strongly recommend that you use only products designed specifically for use with the Bob Ross wet-on-wet technique.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MY PAINTING TO DRY?

Drying time will vary depending on numerous factors such as heat, humidity, thickness of paint, painting surface, brand of paint used, mediums used with the paint, etc. Another factor is the individual colors used. Different colors have different drying times (i.e., normally Blue will dry very fast while colors like Red, White and Yellow are very slow drying). A good average time for an oil painting to dry, when painted in this technique, is approximately one week.

SHOULD I VARNISH MY PAINTINGS?

Varnishing a painting will protect it from the elements. It will also help to keep the colors more vibrant. lf you decide to varnish your painting, I suggested that you wait at least six months. It takes this long for an oil painting to be completely cured. Use a good quality, non-yellowing picture varnish spray. I personally spray my paintings after about 4 weeks and have not had any problems.

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Source by Gerald Scott

How to Paint your Own Motorcycle

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———-
Motorcycle and chopper painting tutorial

PAINT AND PREP SUPPLIES
Reducer
Plastic Filler
Flowable Putty
Epoxy primer
Epoxy Sealer
Base color Paint
Clear Coat
80,120,400,600,1500,2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper

IMPROVISED PAINT BOOTH
If you’re like me, you don’t have the luxury of a down-draft spray booth in your shop. Here’s what I did. I cleaned out a storage room that’s attached to the back of my shop. I lined the walls with white poly, and placed a variable speed fan in the window. I then went around with a roll of duct tape and sealed the perimeter of the fan to the surrounding poly on the walls. Now onto the lights. After the first time you try painting something, you’ll quickly learn just how critical good lighting is. In fact when it comes to lighting, the brighter your paint area the better. A buddy gave me two four-tube florescent light fixtures, which I hung on opposite sides of my new spray booth. It’s good to have reflective walls. Lining the walls with white poly not only saves your walls, but it’s also quite reflective.

SAFETY
Before I continue, I want to stress safety. It’s a very bad I idea to paint in a room that’s attached to your house. In fact, it may not be legal in some jurisdictions. Also, paint fumes are not only super toxic, they’re highly flammable. Make sure your fixtures are wired properly, and that your fixtures are fully encased with lens covers attached. Last but not least, make sure you have a good quality respirator with the correct filters for the kind of paint you’re using.

PAINT EQUIPMENT
For tools you’ll need at least two spray guns, a air regulator with a water trap, a compressor, and of course some air hose. As aforementioned, you’ll need 2 paint guns… one for painting primer, and another for painting base and clear coats.

PREP FOR PAINT
Be certain your fuel and oil tanks are pressure tested and leak free before you start. Ideally, it’s good to sandblast your metal parts, especially if they have old paint on them. If you choose not to sandblast, make sure to sand them really thoroughly and wipe them down with a non oil-based cleaner prior to starting the job.

The next step is to apply filler to the low spots and any trouble areas. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I like to spray a coat of epoxy primer prior to spraying on the base coat. This gives a nice base for the filler to adhere to. Prepare your filler in small amounts (it sets up fast) and apply it smoothly and evenly onto your part.

After the filler has dried, sand it smooth with 80 grit and look it over for any low spots or chips, then fill and sand again. After the necessary rounds of filler and sanding are finished, it’s time to prime.

Spray on a couple of coats of epoxy primer. After the primer has dried, get a spray can of black paint and very lightly spray it over your part. This is the guide coat. The light black coat will show any ripples, low spots or defects in your handy work. To repair the problem areas that the guide coat exposed, you’ll want to use flowable putty instead of filler. Apply the putty in thin even coats, then smooth it down with 80 grit sandpaper (wrapped around a rubber sanding block). Once you get the high spots leveled down, smooth it down even more with 120 grit, then finishing it with 400 grit. You’re now ready for the last round of primer. Once the primer is dry, sand it thoroughly with 400 grit to give it a toothy surface for the base coat to stick to. I like to spray on a coat of epoxy sealer just prior to spraying the base colour coat. In addition to providing a ideal surface for applying the base color, it also prevents any solvents from coming through and causing bubbles in your clear coat. Make sure to follow the paint manufacturers spec sheets with regards to mixing times, mixing ratios and painting temperature. Failure to following the instructions will cause you much grief…believe me.

BASE COAT/CLEAR COAT
Now comes the color coat. Lay down the colour coats as per your paint manufacturer’s spec sheet. Next comes the clear. After the first round of clear has dried, wet sand it down with 600 grit. You’ll notice rows of ridges appear in the clear as you sand. Keep sanding until the clear is even and the ridges are gone. If you’re painting graphics on, now is the time to put them on. After applying your graphics, cover them with another round of clear. It may take one or more rounds of clear to completely bury the graphics. Be sure to wet sand flat with 600 grit between rounds of clear. After the last round of clear has been sprayed, sand it down flat with 600 grit like before. When it’s nice and smooth, finish it off with 1500 grit. If you want to get it even more silky smooth, go for a final round of 2000 grit.

POLISHING
Now for the gratifying part. The final step is to polish it to a mirror finish. You’ll need a variable speed polisher, a buffing pad, and some polishing compound. There are many different kinds of buffing compound available. Your local automotive supply store will be able to recommend a good one.
———-
This little tutorial is meant to give you a basic idea of the paint process. For more in depth guide click on the link below.
http://www.torkypig.com/paint/

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Source by Dan Gibson

Where Did Manga Come From?

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While Manga seems to be growing ever more popular, which often leads many to believe that it’s a relatively modern creation it’s actually been around (in its early form) for over a thousand years.

The tradition of telling stories with a series of sequential images has been a part of Japanese culture long before what we now know as present day Manga ever came about. In fact Toba Sojo, an 11th century painter-priest, has been attributed with the earliest examples of pre-manga art with his animal scroll paintings which satirised the Buddhist priesthood.

Over the years the religious world refined the art, even as the nation was torn apart by warfare.

Another credited for development of modern Manga is Katsushika Hokusai, the famous 19th century artist and printmaker while his woodblock print images of 36 views of Mount Fuji are known the world over, his manga sketches are some of the best examples of humour in Japanese art. Hokusai was also the first to use the term Manga to describe his sketches though he didn’t invent the word himself.

Adult storybooks – text surrounding ink brush illustrations became popular within the middle class Japanese population. Printed with woodblocks these books were similar to modern manga in that they covered a wide variety of subjects from fantasy and drama to humour and even pornography. Shunga (Erotic Art) and Yokai (Ghosts and Monsters) are other forms of popular Japanese Art that have influenced modern manga

By the 19th century the art became influenced by western culture and the illustrated story books became a mix of Japanese and Western Cartoons.

As it progressed many say that Osamu Tezuka was the father of Modern Manga, his most popular creation was Mighty Atom (or Astro Boy). His Manga debut came in 1947 with his New Treasure Island a comic that was produced cheaply and sold 400,000 copies with this success he was able to develop a following of young manga artists eagre to continue with what he had started. These would soon broaden and from here the young adults that started reading those earlier comics would continue to read manga as adults and with that is it said that modern manga was born.

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Source by V Brown

Kirigami – The Japanese Art of Paper Cutting

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Kirigami is the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting. Quite simply, kiri means “to cut” and gami, means “paper”.

Making kirigami is as simple as taking a piece of paper and cutting tool (such as scissors or scalpel type knife) drawing an image and cutting it out.  There are of course other techniques that are used, such as different ways of folding the paper (like Japanese origami) followed by cutting an image out.
By following a few steps, it’s possible to create beautiful cut outs to decorate scrapbooks, cards, window hangings and even pop-up decorations.

In the beginning, it may sound difficult to do, but Kirigami is actually fun for for all ages and art levels.
Many children have actually tried Kirigami projects in their elementary schools.  Usually in winter, paper snowflakes are made, cut out hearts for Valentine’s Day, or a string of people holding hands to promote cooperation and friendship.  All of these fun and simple projects are kirigami.

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As a first attempt, remember that the difficulty is up to the creator.  There are many projects that require simple cuts and designs. Choose any image with few details and begin from there on a blank piece of paper. It’s important to keep the main image outline attached and only the “meaty” portions cut out.

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The main tools and materials required for Kirigami are paper, a pencil, scissors or scalpel knife, and if you would like to make more detailed designs, a mini stapler, which will reinforce flimsy areas and keep the paper aligned for precise cuts.

There are three main rules to Kirigami, and they are fold, draw and cut.
While some designs require fairly specific folds, the best way to start is by folding a piece of paper in half and drawing the image on one side only, making sure to include the folded edge withing the image (this will keep the two sides of the paper together and create a mirror image of what you cut).

When drawing the image that you would like to cut out, it’s best to draw half of it beginning from the folded edge. This works best for images like butterflies or flowers that require  symetrical sides.
Once finished, there are many different things the Kirigami cut outs can be used for.

Here are some examples:

  • Seal and string them up to make mobiles.
  • Frame it in a clear glass frame for decoration around the home.
  • Add translucent or metallic paper to the back (or create two identical cut outs to “sandwich” the metallic paper) and create a stained glass look. It’s a beautiful window hanging.
  • Make small Kirigami pieces, secure them to colourful or contrasting paper and place a magnet on the back.
  • Secure them to blank cards or notebooks for decoration.
  • Fold or curve them and secure the ends to create pop-up art.
  • Use them as stencils.

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try different kirigami techniques and combine them with other things like origami. The most important thing is to have fun with it and learn as you go.

Please check my blog to see more kirigami examples and  step-by-step projects.

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Source by Miho Suzuki