Art Questions and Answers

Art Questions and AnswersArt Questions and Answers

Ask the Artist... Some of the Questions we've received, and our Answers:

Q:

Hi there, I did this project a few weeks ago and my mother has requested that I make another one. The first one I did I used canvas and I painted black Fresco Tempera paint ( it was the first time I ever bought paint). Anyways, after I had the paint on, I had to put like 6 coats to get most of the canvas covered, I used a light gray Faber - Castell colored pencil and wrote a scripture verse across the canvas, the added pictures and then I put a layer of Modget Podge to keep everything sealed and tight on the canvas. That project looks awesome. This time around I decided I would use acrylic paint so I wouldnt have any white spots of canvas showing through. I only had to use two coats of paint this time. I wrote a scripture verse and added my pictures, and everything was good. This canvas is painted in Green and I used a white faber castell colored pencil. Everywhere the modge podge touches words ... they are either gone or smeared really bad. Do you know what I can use to write on acrylic paint and it hold or is that not an option?

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.

Have a great day
Caleb S.

A:

Dear Caleb,

Your work sounds awesome!

On acrylics, you could use colored permanent marker
http://www.madisonartshop.com/sharexfinpoi.html

or another color of acrylic paint
http://www.madisonartshop.com/acrylicpaint.html
applied with a very thin brush
http://www.madisonartshop.com/brushes.html
Nothing needed on top of those.

Whatever you do, just keep at it!

Best,
Sharon


Q:

Hello, I'm looking for some help to determine if there is a way to create a "wet on Wet" painting style a la the Bob Ross technique, but using water soluble oil paints rather than the more traditional oil based paint. I've seen the Artisan oil painting medium and someone suggested the Holbein oil paint medium to me, but I don't know if they can be sued to simulate the "liquid White" effect of the Bob Ross style. Any thoughts, suggestions would be greatly appreiated. Yours, marc k...

A:

Hi Marc,
Yes, you can use W&N Artisan for the "wet on wet" technique.
http://www.madisonartshop.com/wnmixedoil.html
Best,
Jacob

Q:

Hello,

I am planning a benefit children's art show, to give to an orphanage in Africa... do you have suggestions on the size restrictions on the pieces sent in by the children?

Sincerely,
Kaori

A:

Dear Kaori,

I wouldn't give size restrictions, or any restrictions for that matter, to the children. Art and restrictions never go together!

Best of luck with your important work!

Jacob

wwww.MadisonArt.com

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Q:

Hi,

I just found your website and it's very educational particularly for someone that just started to paint with acrylics. I have a question. I started to use watercolor pencils and made them look like water color paint by mixing them with water with a help of a brush. Now I like to go with acrylic paints on top of that water color start. Is it possible?

Would appreciate any comments on anything that has to do with mixing other media with acrylics.

Thanks

Marja

A:

Hello,

It seems like your really moving along with your art. Yes, you can use acrylic on top of your water color. You should not over do it. The water color paper is not cut out to hold alot of acrylic paint but some dabs here and there, or a this coat is just fine and can have a very nice effect. This technique is known as mixed-media.

Good luck!

Sharon

www.madisonartshop.com

(-

Thank You so much for your fast respond Sharon. I know what you mean because I over did it once. It's interesting with a new media but, it takes some practice but the interest is there so it's fun! Hope you have a creative week-end as well.

Take Care!

Marja)


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Q:

I'm looking for a Palette Pal or similar type of product for a French easel. Do you carry such an accessory ?

Thanks,

Don S...

A:

Hi Don,

Click on these:

www.madisonartshop.com/shelfhelp.html

www.madisonartshop.com/acfrmifrco.html

Thank you for your interest in Madison Art Shop!

Jacob

www.MadisonArt.com

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Q:

I am a begining oil painter. I was wondering what colors you suggest a beginer buy. I`ve heard students in my classes talking about how they use only a few "basic" colors, in which they can mix a large range of colors from. Do you have any tips?

A:

Hi,

These are our recommended 10 "core" colors:
*Titanium White , *Cadmium Red Medium Hue,
*Ultramarine Blue, *Burnt Sienna, *Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue,
*Cerulean Blue Hue, *Mars Black, *Permanent Green Lt.,
*Phthalo Green, *Hookers Green.

They should suffice for a beginning. Colors as purchased are rarely found to be exactly as needed for the artist´s work. The blending of colors to produce the right color and shade is always required. Understanding Color Theory and blending is probably the key secret to real art (in painting, at least.) It takes time and practice. Certainly, being taught by the right teacher can help. Eventually, the artists brings out his own natural talent and skill in this.

If you would like to increase your student palette to 20, we have selected 20 W&N Winton oils here: www.madisonartshop.com/wintonoilpnts.html

As you progress, look into W&N professional grade Artist Oils www.madisonartshop.com/wnartistoilcolors125.html with a wide selection to increase your palette. Then with blending, the possibilities are endless.

All the best,

Jacob

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Q:
Hi there, I'm new to oil painting. I'm using winton oil colour
but am wondering how you stop the paint from going dull
in parts when you touch up areas on your painting when it is dry?

Thanks, Amanda

A:
Hello Amanda,

This really shouldn't happen. Perhaps you are using to much thinner.

Try using a medium, or mixing in a bit of linseed oil (this, in general, is a good idea.) Experiment first!

http://www.madisonartshop.com/wineblglme25.html

http://www.madisonartshop.com/dlrlioil2751.html

All the best,

Sharon

www.MadisonArtShop.com

{Questioner's response: "Just wanted to let you know the linseed oil worked great!!!!
You saved my life as this painting was for someone. This will teach me for taking on something before knowing everything about it.
Many Thanks,
Amanda"}

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Q:
Hello,

My mother-in-law has recently taken up card-making,
and has requested "chalks". Art is not my forte, so I
am unsure if what she actually wants is, in fact, some
sort of chalk, or pastels. She plans to use these
"chalks" to colour her embossed cards and to colour in
any designs she creates. In your opinion, could she
actually be looking for pastels, or would they be too
soft for this sort of project?

Thank you for your attention,

Bethany L.

A:
Hi Bethany,

I don't recommend chalk pastels for making cards. I think they get all over and are messy. I would recommend Watercolor pencils. http://www.madisonartshop.com/watpenset12.html

Good luck,

Sharon

www.MadisonArtShop.com

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Q:
I have been making collages out of photographs printed on matte finish photo paper on my printer. I used aerosol craft glue to put them together and now parts of them are coming undone. What product should I be using?

A:
Hi,

I don't like the aerosol sprays. Try this - Best-Test Cement

Good luck,

Sharon

www.MadisonArtShop.com

* * *


Q:
I just purchased PORTRAIT DRAWING BY DAN GREENE from your Web Site. This is for my 12 year old Granddaughter. She's been drawing for quite a while and seems to keep going. I hope that this video will be right for her to help her in her drawing. Any other suggestions would be helpful.

Stuart A. T.

A:
Hello Mr. T.,

Yes, Daniel Greene's Video should be perfect for your grandaughter.

I would also suggest some Color Pencils and Markers www.madisonartshop.com/colorpencils.html

She will love the Prismacolor 48 Color Marker set! www.madisonartshop.com/prartcoma48s.html or www.madisonartshop.com/prartcoma24c.html

Some drawing pads would complete things, www.madisonartshop.com/drawingpads.html as would additional drawaing supplies. See our drawing section www.madisonartshop.com/drawing.html for pencils, erasers, charcoal, maniquins etc...

A nice Easel can be very inspiring! www.madisonartshop.com/easels.html

All the best!

Jacob

www.MadisonArtShop.com

* * *


Q:
Someone dear to me shows great potential in the arts of drawing and painting and we're looking for suggestions on how to promote this. She draws from the heart without educational imput, but her drawings says something special. We're hope that you may make some suggestions as to what is available through your company that address:

Brief efficient education on the different styles and techniques of painting
Complete paint kits and brushes (acrylic and oils)
Equipment needed i.e... easels, paper, etc...

Basically, we're looking for a complete beginner to intermediate setup, we don't know exactly what we need and we're looking for guidance. We'd like to spend around $300-$400. Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

Randy and Vicki R.
Naples, FL

A:
Hello Randy and Vicki

It certainly sounds like this potential artist is very lucky to have the two of you so close to her.

Her nature of drawing from "the heart" without any formal training is truly the mark of great potential. However, I would recommend her studying some educational direction, and then, by all means, go ahead and break all the rules. That is the stuff Monet's and Picasso's are made of!

I will give you some suggestions of educational materials and art supplies that I think will be perfect to begin with and fit nicely in your budget, (which actually, is quite generous.)

If you go to our "Art Education" section, you will see some video's from Dan Greene www.madisonartshop.com/dagrvi.html Many of our customer's are just wild about these. Pick out the drawing and painting ones. She should have her supplies and be all ready to draw or paint as she views these.

For Acrylics go to that section. The "Liquitex starter set" is a nice set of high quality acrylics www.madisonartshop.com/lqprim6acset.html

For oils, see our "Oil Paints section" (button on left.) I would start with the WINTON oil colors by Winsor and Newton. (She has time before starting with W&N Artists' oils.) We only sell the 19 colors we ourselves use. Here is a link: www.madisonartshop.com/wintonoilpnts.html By checking off the first box, you can choose our full 19 color selection.

She certainly should continue to draw. Under Drawing / Drawing pads take the Strathmore 9" x 12" www.madisonartshop.com/strat9x1224s.html and 11" x 14" www.madisonartshop.com/strat11x1424.html They are very popular drawing pads:

For an Easel, I would recommend the Academy Dulce Floor easel for you www.madisonartshop.com/acduflea.html We do have much more higher-end inspiring easels in solid Oak etc..., but they might go above the budget you mentioned together with the supplies. The Academy Dulce is also a beautiful strong piece, that is sure to encourage her.

Please browse through our site for additional small items, such as kneaded erasers, rulers, pencils, vine charcoal, colored pencils, markers etc...

Best of luck!

Jacob

www.MadisonArtShop.com



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Q:
Do you have any information on setting up an art studio? I am building a house and need some help organizing a space to paint.

Thank you, Shelby M.

A:
Hello Shelby,

Windows and sunlight are really important. Check out the lot you are building on, to see the sunlight's direction in the morning and afternoon. You will want your studio, and it's windows, situated to capture optimum sunlight.

Air and ventilation are quite important too (when working with regular oil paints and turpentines etc...) Again, enough nice windows, plus a large enough room, should do for this.

Keep in mind that certain professional Easels need high ceilings, as high as 12 - 13 feet.

A high ceiling in it's own right lends a great look and feel for an Art Studio.

To create the studio, you basically will want to look into Easels and Manikins.

Here are the section links on our site:

http://www.madisonartshop.com/easels.html

http://www.madisonartshop.com/manikins1.html

If you want to go all out, and have the space, look for the following high quality art furniture in our "Easel" section:

GREENLEAF ARTISTS' DRAWING TABLE

BEST ART CART
reg. List price: $895.95
Our price, Only: $449.99 (You save $445.96, 50%)

BEST ABIQUIU DELUXE W/MELEMINE TRAY
reg. List price: $2,515.75
Our price, Only: $1,254.08 (You save $1,261.67, 50%)

URANIA'S DESK Art Desk/Easel by BEST
reg. List price: $1,595.00
Our price, Only: $794.48 (You save $800.52, 50%) [For pastels]

BEST WALLMOUNT
reg. List price: $871.45
Our price, Only: $437.89 (You save $433.56, 50%) [Extra, space-saver Easel]

BEST "CABALLO" Art BENCH/Easel
reg. List price: $439.95
Our price, Only: $179.99 (You save $259.96, 59%)

SHAWN'S WATERCOLOR STATION by BEST
reg. List price: $1,425.00
Our price, Only: $698.94 (You save $726.06, 51%) [For Watercolor}

BEST ART CART
reg. List price: $895.95
Our price, Only: $449.99 (You save $445.96, 50%)

With these, you'll have plenty of painting stations to invite over other artists to work with you!

Mainly, put your own personality into your studio. This will happen within time, as your studio grows with you.

Best of luck with your new home!

Jacob

www.MadisonArtShop.com

* * *

Q:

I have just taken up water color, and I notice that my darker colors look “dry” and my work overall is not pleasantly transparent. I am using inexpensive paste water color – could this be the problem?


Second, is there any type of coating I can put on the finished water color to bring out the depth and richness of the color, like a spray varnish or paste of some sort?

Thank you!
Chris R.
San Diego, CA

A:
Hi Chris,


Yes, the inexpensive paints could be the problem. We sell Cotman that you should try. The quality makes a difference.
Also you should dilute it more with water. Don't use thick coats like you do in acrylics. Use thin coats, and let each coat dry first.

No, there is no coating for watercolor. You can frame it and put a glass on top...

Good luck!
Sharon
www.MadisonArtShop.com



- Another customer had this to add:

Sharon, not to dispute yor answer to Chris R. San Diego, CA. that is no coating for watercolor.
I have used "KRYLON KAMAR SPRAY VARNISH #1312" for years and it has always done a great
job for me, Do you disapprove of this?. Just a thought!... But I do not use a real expensive paints, although it may not work for all W/C paints.
This is a afterthough, It works well for me. I didn't think about different brands of paint !

G.V.

Bowling Green, KY -

{Personally, I would still be concerned about this "yellowing" the white over time.

Sharon}



* * *




Q:
J...@aol.com wrote:
Hi,


Your website appears to be the most informative I've seen.

I have a minor problem. I have a few metal items (steel and silver) that are carved and have some etchings on them. What I would like to do is fill the carvings and etchings in with a nice color. Some of the etchings are very thin and not very deep. A brush would be extremely tedious and perhaps not even possible. Do you have any other thoughts on how I can fill in these designs?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Jeff T.

A:
Dear Mr. T.,

Thank you for your interest in Madison Art Shop and very kind words.

As for your question, I would say to try this: Get Shoe Polish in the color you want, apply it on the piece liberally, and then before it dries, remove the excess. The color should remain in the etchings. (If it's not right, you could deep clean it before it dries.) I did this once with a student's intricately etched frame, and it came out great.

Hope this helps!
Sharon,
www.MadisonArtShop.com



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Q:
...what type of paints are the best for a 9 year old to start with? She is amazing at drawing but hasn’t painted much besides school art class.

Thank you.

Alison D.

A:
Dear Alison,


...I would recommend Acrylics for your daughter to start with. We have a nice beginners set. Here is a link: http://www.madisonartshop.com/liquitex.html .

Thank you for your interest in Madison Art Shop!

Sharon

www.MadisonArtShop.com

* * *

Q:
Hi,

I have been a good cutomer, buying my easel from you plus. I am a new art student and I have a question about using varnish on acrylic paintings. First, would you recommend High Gloss Finish, or Matte Finish, and would you recommend spray or paint on?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Sincerely,

Howard G.

A:
Hi Howard,

I would recommend the Winsor Matte and Brush-on. (The spray is difficult, because you have to put it on very evenly.) I don't think that we carry it...

Best of luck with your new art career!

You are a valued customer!

- Sharon

www.MadisonArt.com



* * *

Q:
Hello!

I have ordered art supplies from you in the past and have always wanted a studio easel - years ago I had an old, wobbly A frame that actually served me rather well despite its defects! But we've parted, and I would like something a bit sturdier! - possibly in an "H frame"?

I am retiring at the end of the year to my mobile home in Pa where I hope to take up oils(water based) or acrylics, maybe try casein. In the past I have done mostly charcoal and pastels. I am looking for something that will accommodate these mediums. I am drawn towards the Best Classic Dulce model. My ceilings are a little over 7 ft. (I doubt 8' !) but I wouldn't have to fly at full mast, so to speak, use it at a lower setting. And I want to do some large canvas work as I enjoyed working on a mural some years ago! A memorable experience! I am also looking at your Best Lobo model, but it might take up too much room, nor am I sure I need the horizontal feature. I was wondering what you might suggest in the same price range? Both come fully assembled? That would be better for my circumstances. And collapse flat if needed for storage?
Thank you for any suggestions. I enjoy your website!

Best Wishes for the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Syril

A:
Hi Syril,

Great to hear from you!

Casien is more of a watercolor, and a wonderful new experience. You can read about it here: http://www.madisonartshop.com/casien.html. However, it is recommended to use on Heavy rigid paper, 300 Ibs. and up http://www.madisonartshop.com/-jr100513.html, http://www.madisonartshop.com/-jr100504.html, so you could probably use any flat table for this.

For your pastel work, a forward-tilt is nice, which you have on the BEST Lobo http://www.madisonartshop.com/bedeloea.html.

If you want to spend a bit more, lok at the BEST PORTABLE COLLAPSIBLE Easel with Wheels http://www.madisonartshop.com/bepocoea.html (comes partially assembled, but I'm sure any neighboor or friend would enjoy helping with the easy put-together.)

If you don't need the forward-tilt, then the BEST CLASSIC DULCE Easel is a classic http://www.madisonartshop.com/beeacldu.html.

Enjoy your new-found extra time for art!
Jacob
www.MadisonArt.com



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Q:
...Hi

I have just read your article on acrylic paints and it is the most informative info that I have found on the internet. It's brilliant and I have learnt so much, thank you!

However, as a brand new painter I have had some problems with the acrylics that I have recently used. I used them straight from the bottle, swirling them on the canvas and leaving them to dry. They were very thick and have unfortunately cracked.

I see on your website that this is quite unusual so would you have any idea why this has happened?

I didn't prime the canvas (stretched on board) and the arcylic paints were probably cheap in comparison to some (Artiste brand), could this be the reason?

I look forward to hearing from you and being able to carry on painting with confidence!

Many thanks

Karen

A:
Hello,

It can be that the acrylics were used too heavy. Some artist use mediums to thin out the paint to reduce cracking. Liquitex is an excellent brand for acrylic paint. We have a huge variate of colors.

Good luck on your future art.
Sharon
www.MadisonArt.com