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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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.

various_kirigami.jpg

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.

mini-kirigami-225x300.jpg

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

Disadvantages of Painting in Extreme Heat and Cold

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If you have been planning to apply fresh paint to your home in the coming months, this is for you, particularly if the temperatures in your region tend to be extreme. Painters across the country recommend that outdoor painting be kept to more temperate months instead of during very cold or very warm months.

Need for Optimum Temperature

When the ambient temperature is too high or too low, paint is not able dry properly leaving uneven and ugly patches on the walls. Basically Oil and Latex paints are the two commonly used paints for both interior and exterior painting needs. Most well known paint companies produce quality oil and latex paints for domestic and industrial application. Humidity and outside temperature play a vital role in deciding the drying time and the curing time. Extreme hot and cold conditions have a direct bearing on the curing time. Generally painters apply coats based on the instructions provided on the paint container. Usually these instructions are provided by the paint company based on the optimum temperature conditions.

Curing Time

These are two important parameters that determine the overall finish of the paint. Drying time usually ranges from an hour to three hours for oil and Latex based paints. Curing time is much longer than the drying time and ranges from 20 days to 30 days for different varieties of paints. The liquids in the paint must be completely evaporated for the curing to be completed. This evaporation happen when a dry skin is formed on the painting surface. Formation of the dry skin indicates that that all the liquid content in the paint has completely evaporated. In order to give the ideal drying time for the paints to do another coat, the recommended outside temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus when the temperatures cross the 100 degrees mark in summer, the paint doesn’t get the required optimum temperature and humidity level to dry properly. Similarly, when the temperature falls below the 50 degree mark in winter, it would have a significant effect on both the drying time and curing time of the paint.

Multiple Coats

When painting is performed during extreme summer and winter months, even an experienced painter would find optimum times of the day to complete the work. The time between coats may require a longer period to allow the initial coat to dry. If you are considering having a painter come paint your home during temperature extremes, be sure to have a long discussion with your painter so that you fully understand the pros and cons of this choice.

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Source by Chris Camp

How to Hang a Painting

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A good question to ask, always, before purchasing any kind of art to hang on your wall, is: Do I have the wall space?

If you’re like me, very familiar with certain measurements because you see them all the time, like 16″ x 20″, 24″ x 36″, etc. then you might be able to tell at a glance whether or not there’s room on your blank wall to hang a painting.

But chances are most people will need to measure to make sure. Aside from just measuring the wall with a measuring tape, I would also recommend taking it one step further to really get an idea of what a painting of a certain size would look like in that spot.

Take a large sheet of scrap cardboard, poster board, or anything you can get your hands on that’s large enough. It can be destined for the trash—doesn’t matter. You may have to take several sheets of paper and tape them together. Just figure out a way to create a rectangle the exact size of the painting. You can then hold this up on the wall and really visualize what it’ll be like.

Placement of artwork is no sweat if you’ve got a natural talent for interior design. This is for those of us who don’t:

The painting should not take up all of the available space, if you can help it. It is good to have a certain amount of what I call “buffer” around the painting to give a place for the eye to rest.

Here’s what it looks like when you don’t leave enough “buffer.”

Too Big for the Space!

If you have a large wall, don’t be afraid to leave some of it blank. When you do this it showcases the artwork more elegantly. (If you’ve ever walked into an upscale art gallery, you know what I mean. Such spaces normally have gleaming wooden floors, clean white walls, excellent lighting, and little more. Artwork in this setting takes on a feeling of importance, as there is often just one painting per wall.)

At the same time, you also want the artwork to make a statement. If you hang a small painting on a large wall, it may not have the kind of visual impact you’re looking for.

Here’s what happens when the painting is too small for the wall.

Too Small for the Space!

So when you’re decorating, try to choose artwork for your space that is not too big, not too small, but just right.

Just Right.

Once you’ve selected your new artwork, determined where it will go, and finally got it home, hanging it on the wall is a simple, if specific, process.

How to Hang a Painting

You will need a picture hanging hook, a pencil, a measuring tape, a hammer and a level.

The first thing you need to do is find the point on your wall where you want the center of the painting to be. You may need to measure if you want it exactly centered on a wall, but in most cases it is okay to eyeball it. Mark the spot with a piece of masking tape or a small pencil mark.

Then measure the length of the painting (from top to bottom) and find the midpoint by dividing that number in half. Say your painting is 30″ high x 24″ wide. The vertical midpoint would be 15″ from both the top and bottom edges. You want this imaginary line to be at eye level when the painting is hung on the wall.

Hanging Art 1

The average person’s eye level is at about 60″ from the floor. If you are taller or shorter than average, you can use a measuring tape to figure out where your eye level is. Let’s assume in this case that it’s 60″.

The back of the painting should have a hanging wire installed. (If it doesn’t, you can get picture hanging wire and screw eyes from a hardware store. The screw eyes should always go about 1/3 of the way down from the top edge of the painting, the wire should be at least 2″ from the top edge of the painting when pulled taut, and it should be coiled tightly and neatly so it’s secure. But that’s a whole other subject.)

Hanging Art 2

You want to pull the wire up towards the center of the painting’s top edge, just as if it were hanging on the wall and gravity were pulling it taut. Measure the distance from the wire to the top edge of the painting.

Hanging Art 3

The number you need is the measurement from the “eye level” line, or vertical midpoint, to the point where the wire will hang on the hook. To get this number, subtract 3″ from 15″, to get 12″. This is how high above eye level you will need to place the bottom of the hook.

Hanging Art 4

So add 12″ to your eye level measurement of 60″. You will place the bottom of the hook for this painting at 72″ from the floor. Mark this spot with a pencil dot.

Picture hanging hooks can be purchased at any hardware store. The ones I use look like this.

Hanging Art 5

The nail goes in at an angle to really anchor it into the wall. If you are hanging a heavy piece of art, make sure to use hooks that are rated for the proper weight. I don’t recommend using nails because the wire can slip off of a nail. With a hook there is no chance of that.

If you’ve measured correctly, when you hang the painting by its wire on the hook, the center of the painting should be exactly at eye level. (If you’re off by a half inch, don’t stress about it–you won’t be able to tell by looking.) Use a level to make sure it’s hung straight.

Hanging Art 6

Note: If a painting is much wider than it is high, for example, 24″ high x 48″ wide, the canvas will usually have a cross-brace in the middle. In these cases you will have to hang the painting from 2 hooks, one on either side of the cross-brace. When pulling the wire taut to measure its distance from the top edge, you’ll just have to pull it taut across 2 points. It’s a little tricky but if you understand the theory, you’ll be able to get an accurate measurement. The important thing in those cases is to use a level when installing the 2 hooks to ensure that they are placed in line with each other.

Of course a painting does not always have to be at eye level—for example, if you are hanging it above a piece of furniture or in a configuration with other paintings, eye level becomes less important. In those cases it is usually best to eyeball it. But once you figure out where you want the center of the painting, you can still use this method to figure out exactly where the hook should go.

Hopefully this info will be helpful to you next time you’re hanging a painting, photograph, or mirror.

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Source by Cedar Lee

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