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Gesso Alternatives: How to Prime a Canvas Without Gesso

Many artists prime their canvases with gesso and never consider the alternatives. There are a number of reasons why you may not want to use gesso, such as not wanting to work on a pure white surface. Some artists prefer the natural beige color of the canvas, and want it to show through in the final painting. What are the …

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The Difference Between Mars Black and Ivory Black

At first glance, choosing a black paint seems like an easy decision. The two most popular black pigments are Mars Black and Ivory Black. One is warm and the other is a cool, you just have to decide on which one you want to use…right? Not exactly, It’s a little more complex than that. So what’s the difference between Mars …

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Yellow and Black Makes Green

You may find it perplexing that yellow turns green when you mix it with black. Some artists use this to their advantage when painting with a limited palette, but it can catch you by surprise if you aren’t expecting it. So, why does yellow turn green when you add black to it? Dull olive green is an accurate representation of …

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Acrylic Color Mixing Chart: Free PDF Download

Click on the following link to download my free acrylic color mixing chart as a PDF. (Please read the section on acceptable uses). It contains 29 color mixing recipes for mixing the most common colors used in painting. Prints of it are also available. Color mixing can be confusing, even for experienced painters. I created this chart to help make …

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9 Acrylic Blending Techniques

There are a number of blending techniques that you can use with acrylics. In this post, I demonstrate 9 ways to blend acrylics using a different brands of regular and slow drying acrylics. I demonstrate each blending technique by creating a simple gradient on a canvas panel. Throughout the post, I also provide a few examples of my paintings that …

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Magenta Is the Secret to Mixing Purple

If you’re having trouble mixing purple, it’s probably because you’re mixing red with blue. For reasons explained in this post, mixing red and blue creates brown. So how do you mix purple? The key to mixing a brilliant purple is using magenta instead of red. You can mix purple from Quinacridone Magenta and Phthalo Blue. Other blues, such as Ultramarine …

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Liquitex Basics: The Best Student Grade Acrylic Paint?

Student grade paints are made with less expensive materials and are considerably cheaper than professional paints. There are many student grade paints on the market, and they vary in quality. While I typically recommend professional grade acrylics if you can afford them, there are many circumstances where student grade paints may be the best option. I was once an art …

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The Top 90 Art Terms in Plain English

In this post, I cover the top 90 art terms that are most relevant to drawing, painting, and photography. There are many terms that are unique to art. You’ll encounter new words and phrases when learning about art through books, magazines, and workshops. If you don’t understand what they mean, it will be difficult to follow the discussion. Some of …

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The 6 Options for Painting the Sides of a Canvas

In this article, I cover the 6 most common options for painting the sides of a canvas. I also include a number of tips to help you decide which option is best for you. The most popular solutions that I’ve seen are to paint the edges a solid color, leave them white, or to frame the painting. 1 Leave the …

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Liquitex Acrylic Gouache Review and Demo Painting

I’ve always wanted to try some version of matte acrylics so when Liquitex announced they were introducing a line of acrylic gouache, I knew I wanted to give them a try. There are fifty colors to choose from and they range from opaque to semi-opaque.¬† They also offer sets of primary colors or fluorescent colors. In this review, I’m using …