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Showing posts from October, 2012

Rock Painting in the Classroom

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School Art Activity:
Rock Painting



LEVEL: Pre-school and Early Primary. Bringing the outdoors into your creative art time is so much fun for children.A brilliant way to bring creative inspiration into their mind and also is helping kids to be inspirational with nature. Rock painting is fun and a real adventure. This is a great sunny day activity.

You will need:
: Tempera poster paint or an acrylic.  The Tempera will offer a temporary coating while most acrylics are permanent.  Some of the budget brands may not be permanent. Read the label first.
: Rocks in interest shapes and sizes and also you may use big flat leaves.
: Plastic table top or you can cover a table with a plastic sheet.
: Paint brushes
: Glue or PVA
: Apron and a cover sheet or newspapers – plus paper towels – for clean-up. Let’s get started:

Start off by taking the kids on a nature walk and as you walk you can collect interesting shaped rocks. Prepare the work area with a plastic sheet and put on the aprons.

Arrange the r…

Looses is no excuse, artist painting tip

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Painting looses is no excuse...
By Ron Gribble 
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When I see a painting that is painted ‘loose’, I immediately look to see if it is accurate in the draughmanship.

By loose, I mean ‘Broad brush’, with impasto brushstrokes, or like pallet knife work.

I had this discussion once with an ‘educated’ artist – who suffered many years in art school to learn the trendy definitions but with little practical application.

I pointed out that is you want to illustrate a subject (in this case, a boat) in a landscape there are certain rules to obey.  My friendly degree holder retorted, “There are no rules in art”.  My response was “If that is true, what did you spend six years learning”?  I did not get an answer!

Of course there are rules, a you must obey them if you want to accurately give the impression of the subject. The trick id to them so well that you know how to bend them, and which ones to bend, to your own agenda.

Do the horizons run uphill? No!
Do the colours …

Leaf Paint Prints School painting for kids

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Leaf Paint Prints using school paint for kids:

LEVEL:Pre-school and Early Primary.
Make use of the autumn leaves that are lying on the ground.Take a look around your home or school for flat printable leaves.They make brilliant colourful artworks. You will need:

: Tempera poster paint.
: Large flat leaves. Ones that have a great full leaf look are the best.
: Plastic table top or you can cover a table with a plastic sheet.
: Sheets of paper and cardboard.
: Paint print roller & dish for roller
: Glue or PVA
: Apron and a cover sheet or newspapers – plus paper towels – for clean-up.


Let’s get started: Prepare the work area with a plastic sheet and put on the aprons.A flat surface is better that an easel. Arrange the leaves in your preferred design onto your cardboard sheet.Glue the leaves onto the card in a flat design. Allow to dry. Pour a small amount of paint into the dish and move the print roller through the paint until you have a good even coating. Roll paint with the roller onto your…

What is composition in artist painting?

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By Ron Gribble

I will attempt to address the composition in artist painting question.
That is, the arrangement of the elements, of a subject to compliment the focal points and create a harmonious, inviting place for the viewers eye to rest in. Probably not the best definition in the world, but will do for now.

To achieve all of the above, a good composition should have all or most of the following:

:Foreground,
:Mid-ground,
:Background
:Eyepath
:Primary point of interest
:Area of mystery
:Non-geometric arrangement of elements

There is a lot of personal preference involved in all of this, but lets take a ‘broad brush’ look.

Foreground, Mid-ground and Background:



Yes, even still life, or ‘key hole’ subjects. You should be showing depth. One of the three maybe very under stated, but leave it out altogether at your own risk. Eye Path:



That is, an element of work that guides the viewer though and into the point of interest and deposit in the ‘area of mystery’ (see below). Primary Point of Interes…

Artist Painting Tip, Start Thin Finish Fat

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Start Thin Finish Fat
By Ron Gribble

There are very good reasons why artists do this. 

First lets define ‘thin’ and ‘fat’
Thin – meaning that the paint is put on the canvas thinly. 

This may mean that you have mixed a quantity of medium with it to thin it or it may be that you have simply ‘scrubbed’ it onto the surface so that is applied very thinly.

Fat – meaning paint that is ‘Impasto’
i.e., straight out of the tube and applied in bolder thicker chunks.

Why thin first?

I have two very good reasons that I can think of instantly, and other lesser reasons.

If you lay down a ‘fat’ paint area you are limited to what you can do over the top of it.  Try painting fat on fat and you will get mud when painting wet on to wet paint.

By putting down a ‘thin’ area you are preparing the area for an opportunity to contrast with fat painted details on top.  The more sedate thin paint adds weight to the “Shout at you “ fat paint.

Generally you should place early details on thinly and progressively get fatt…

Plasticiene Printed Paper

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This is a very easy way to make a very effective print block.


As well as being a great way to introduce printmaking, it is also one of the many ways of creating decorated paper. You create a plasticine printing block or stamper that is very durable – I have some that I made years ago and only need a quick dust before using and a wash up before storing away again. If you have not come across plasticine before, it is worth having a play with some. It is a modelling clay that does not dry out – it really does stay pliable, I am sure there are other brands of this sort of modelling clay but plasticine is the one that I have used for years and can confidently recommend .

Start with a lump of plasticine and shape it so it has a knob at one end. Bang it on a table to create a flattened surface.

Use some tools like a nail, blunt knife, a stick, or even a textured surface to create a pattern on the flattened surface.

You may need to gently flatten the surface again.

Apply some paint to the …

Paint application for artists

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Artist Paint Application.
By Ron Gribble

This is one of the most neglected areas in painting courses.

The bottom line is that you, the artists have to decide the application that suits that particular subject.

Loosely applied, bold, exposed brush strokes
Fine glazes
Smaller detailed brush strokes
Palette knife
Variations such as ‘spatter’, or ‘scaffitto’, ‘scrumbling’ etc.
I would like to give some overall “things to look out for”!

A bold apparent loose style is a lot more “painterly” and has a lot more character than the alternative detailed.  If you are very talented as a draftsman and your style is developed the fine detail may well be for you.  However most artists tend to over-work a painting when using a smaller brush.  The work becomes boring repetitive and predictable.

Often when completing an important detail I will go back to into that area specifically to make it more bold.  I will over paint an area that is correct, with a larger brush or pallet knife. I would rather “be wrong a…

Eye path in painting design

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Barriers in the Eye Path in painting design:
By Ron Gribble


I am very aware that I will have a very broad band of artists reading this, so, I will try to be as broad as I can. That is to say, subject matter those artists will be applying this material to from still life, to abstract right through to the more traditional landscapes.

They all have one thing in common. They must some how pick up the viewers interest or catch the eye ‘so to speak’. So having ‘caught the eye’ what are you going to do with it?

It is therefore helpful to develop techniques that guide the eye down the paths that you want them to go. So you can deposit them in the area that is important to you that they see clearly.

As a landscape artist I tend to think in terms of things in the landscape, but for you it could be the subtle folds in a cloth leading towards your prime subjects in a still life.

A road or track maundering through a landscape can tie together all the elements very nicely. A closed gate on a track …