Top Art Techniques & Tips

Bring new life to your work with our wide selection of art demonstrations, techniques and tips. A new painting pointer, drawing trick or art tool might make the difference in your next still life or portrait. Now you can paint with knives or learn how to scumble. Art techniques can stretch across media, so whether you work with watercolor, oil, colored pencil or pastel you’ll find something to advance your art.

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Pastel Impasto Impersonation

One of the great advantages of oil paint, beyond its inherent richness of value and color depth due the pigment's suspension in oil, is the ability to apply it thickly--to create an impasto surface effect. The term impasto originates from the Italian word pasta, which means "paste." When associated to painting, it signifies a...

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Painting Blue Skies | Applying the Theory of Light, Part 2

Last week, I started a discussion on how best to deal with an extremely intense blue sky in an otherwise warm landscape scene. I emphasized the importance of representing light by indicating a full spectrum of color and talked about a method of selecting analogous hues of blue and painting them with fragmented strokes...

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Touchable Textures in Colored Pencil

In colored pencil, underpainting involves first tinting the paper surface with the subject’s light, underlying color. To do this, you apply solvent or water. This is a technique that doesn’t destroy the tooth of the paper, so you can create, with subsequent layers in colored pencil, visually tactile textures and other effects—from the illusion...

Halcyon Afternoon (pastel, 12 x 16) By Richard McKinley

Best of Pastel Pointers | The Finish Line

How do you know when you’re done with a painting? This is one of the most frequently asked questions among artists. And most responses are ambiguous at best: When I have gone too far; when someone takes it away from me; when someone offers to buy it; when my teacher tells me I’m done...

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Paint for the Impatient

If you're an oil painter who doesn't like to watch paint dry, then painting the alkyd oils is for you. Michael Chesley Johnson teaches the basics of this medium.