Join leading Baltimore artists Elena
Dustin Carlson for an intriguing conversation about
artists' subtle choices and how they affect our
perceptions. Then tour the BMA’s outstanding Minimalist
works to find fresh ideas and inspiration for
the lively drawing workshop to follow.
The Baltimore Museum of Art · 10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, MD, 21218 · Open Wed-Sun · 443.573.1700
Top Image Credit:
Photographer Christopher Myers
Drawing in Ink-Dec. 2013
A very early drawing experience during childhood might
be one with a pen and staff and a bottle of ink. It remains a favorite
way for many to express their artistic talents. Ink drawing is a
art technique to try and the materials are easily carried
wherever you go. Those two reasons make it very appealing to both old
and young artists.
The pen you use is the first place to start. Everything
from real feather quills and commercial "quill"
pens to elaborate
points and staff collections is an option. Everyone who wants to do
should experiment with a wide range of instruments before settling on
just one. Many artists pride themselves on the use of high quality
tools. One company that offers a wide range of materials is Koh-I-Noor.
They offer all styles of pens from exquisite
fine writing instruments
to sketching pens. They also have a good range of inks—bottled, bulk for
refilling and cartridge style—from which to choose.
But your "pen" might not be a pen at all. Some artists
love to use a long, flexible twig. Dip it in ink, stand over the sheet
or drawing pad and
do a drawing standing up. This is great for gesture drawing but is fun
in any situation. Feather quills are pretty neat too, because they make
irregular lines...thick and thin and changing all the time. That freedom
of line is a great way to loosen up - like doing artistic warm-up
exercises. Don't like that look? Why not flip the feather and draw with
the soft, fluffy end? Who knows what you might discover?
Inks come in every
opaqueness. India ink is thick and extremely opaque. Some liquid stains
make great inks, too. And there are metallic inks created with minute
iridescent particles. Clear or opaque, the style of your work will
change with any of the choices. And isn't that a great creative
After selecting your pen—or instrument—and ink, the only
thing remaining is the surface upon which to draw. Choices are abundant.
Pads, sheets and bound books of high quality papers abound and the
surface textures vary enough to give you just the feel you want. Slick
Bristol papers are good for ink because they allow the lines to sit on
the surface for
complete clarity and definition. Softer styles of paper, even
some handmade sheets, are great for many methods, and the slight snags
and catches they create can give an entirely new look to your work.
Panels and boards, like gessoed panels and illustration
boards, are great for high quality, absorbent yet smooth surfaces for
drawing. Claybord by Ampersand,
http://www.ampersandart.com/claybord.html, is one of the coolest
surfaces for ink work. The surface is slick and smooth and just
absorbent enough to take and hold the ink. If you want to recover
whites, simply scratch through the clay coating and voila! You have a
pure uncompromised white again. Any sharp scraping tool, from blade to
needle, can be used.
Artists love to find new surfaces, tools and methods
with which to experiment. Ink and paper have been around for hundreds of
years, but they still offer a great experience when it comes to
creativity. And remember that you can take your "tools" with you so
easily, they might even fit in a sealable plastic
sandwich bag. Traveling offers new visions and subjects -
what could be easier or smaller? Why not take advantage of the ease with
which you can do drawings and carry your creativity along for the ride?
Airbrushing Water-Based Artist Colors: Watercolor, Gouache and Acrylic
Water-based paints are well suited for use in the airbrush for several
Artist watercolors were the first mediums employed in airbrush technique.
Early in airbrush history, they were used for photo retouching and
illustration; and today they are used in both of these applications as well
as fine art painting. Watercolor is especially good for use with the
airbrush because it doesn’t tend to clog the tip.
Both pan watercolors and those in tubes can be thinned with water for
airbrushing. When using pan watercolors you can lather the paint with
a paint brush and then transfer it via the brush to the airbrush color cup
(or reservoir) for spraying. Tube watercolor, the type most commonly
used, can be thinned with water in a cup or jar and then poured into the
Beware! Watercolor in pans or blocks can easily turn into “mud” when
intermixing colors. Mixing and thinning tube watercolor in a container
makes cross-contamination of colors less likely. Once the watercolor
is dry in the container, it can easily be reconstituted by adding water, so
there is little waste of paint.
Gouache was originally the name of a painting technique using an opaque
watercolor. Gouache is made of the same materials as transparent
watercolor with the addition of precipitated chalk, which makes it opaque.
Today the term gouache refers to the medium rather than the technique.
This paint was preferred by illustrators and photo retouchers alike and
years ago it was handmade by artists. It’s a somewhat easy paint to
make and at first was not necessarily designed to be colorfast or permanent.
Illustrators were primarily interested in the speed of application rather
than the longevity of their artwork, since the artwork was to be reproduced
and not exhibited. However, years later many renowned illustrators
regretted doing renderings that had become valuable over time in a less than
Today, the commercial brands of gouache are referred to and known as
designers’ gouache, still manufactured for the commercial field but also as
a fine art medium. Contemporary gouache is lightfast and very durable
with a brilliant, extremely opaque color range. Like watercolor,
gouache is easily reduced with water.
Artists who incorporate airbrush technique in their work prefer artist
acrylic colors when working on canvas. Unlike oil paint, acrylic paint
dries very quickly. Therefore, artists are able to easily work with
all the different types of stencil materials. Acrylics are also fairly
easy to clean from the airbrush (but not as easy as watercolors) with the
use of soap/water or commercial water-based paint airbrush cleaner. In
addition, they are also low in toxicity and somewhat waterproof when dry.
And, like oil paints, acrylic paints are colorfast. They are also
ideal for working on paper, illustration board, acetate, Claybord, etc.
Most artists working in the fine and commercial arts who utilize an airbrush
in part—if not all—of a rendering, will use water-based artist colors.
See your retailer and ask for Academy Acrylics, Academy Watercolor
and Finest Watercolor by Grumbacher and Horadam Watercolor
and Gouache by Schmincke; and visit
Each month you’ll find informative articles that deal with a variety of
subjects such as artists and art history, current events and art world
news, schools, competitions and workshops, and a Kids’ Korner. Subjects
vary each month. art supplies, airbrushing, drawing, painting,
printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, matting and framing, arts and crafts,
and more. These explain various techniques—how to work and paint with
artist's watercolor on paper, oils or acrylics on artist canvas; how to
use pastels, pencils or pen and ink; how to work with different
surfaces grounds; how to paint with the airbrush and compatible materials;
the use of projectors and light boxes in your work and more. You’ll also
find artists information on magazines, art books. (Established
Cybercopy - posted Dec. 1, 2013
(ARTtalk’s latest cybercopy is
posted on the 1st of every month.)
—Auction News—Phillips—Leading the Top Ten Lots at Phil-lips’
Contemporary Art Sales were Lichtenstein’s Woman with Peanuts, at $10.8 million
and Banksy’s Laugh Now, at $485,000.—Christies—The two-week fall art auction
series in NY topped $1 billion, with Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian
Freud, a 1969 triptych, setting a world auction record for any work of art at
$142.4 million. Koons’ Balloon Dog real-ized $58.4 million, setting a world
auction record for the artist. Sotheby’s—The auctions of Impressionist, Modern
and Con-temporary Art and Magnificent Jewels achieved a total of $1.02 billion .
Warhol’s Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) set a new world auction record for
the artist at $105.4 million; and de Kooning’s Untitled V sold for $24.8
—Artists Celebrated—The recent 2013 Guggenheim Interna-tional Gala
honored artists James Turrell and Christopher Wool, whose retrospective remains
on view through Jan. 22nd. And New York-based artist Nicole Eisenman received
the 2013 Carnegie Prize and South African photographer Zanele Muholi received
the Fine Prize, awarded for their work in the 2013 Carnegie International.
—Best Books Announced—The New York Times has named winners of the Best
Illustrated Children’s Books Awards for 2013: My Brother’s Book; Ballad; Jemmy
Button; The Dark; Holland; Journey; Fog Island; Jane, The Fox and Me;
Locomo-tive; and Nelson Mandela.
—Position Established—A significant endowment from mem-bers of the
Sackler family has established the position of Sack-ler Family Curator for the
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art of the Brooklyn Museum—to be held
by Cathe-rine J. Morris, who has been Curator of the Center since 2009.
—Gifts for New Museum—The new Pérez Art Museum Miami will open on Dec.
4th with a new major gift of art. More than 100 works from the collection of
Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer include artists such as Konstantin Grcic, Roberto
Jua-rez, Clay Ketter, Byron Kim, Glexis Novoa, and Chris Finley, among others.
—Special Limited-Edition Prints Available—MoMA (NYC) has reissued a
deluxe limited-edition facsimile of The Prints of Paul Klee for the first time
since its original publication in 1947. Limited to 2,000 individually numbered
copies, the reis-sue includes 40 color and B/W prints, each on a separate sheet
of textured cardstock, many well known and more than a third that are very rare.
—Artist Commissioned—The Guggenheim Museum has an-nounced the
selection of Beijing-based artist Wang Jianwei as the first commissioned artist
for the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at the Museum.
Launched in early 2013, the Initiative has been established to expand the
discourse on contemporary Chinese art.
—Gift Expanded—Leonard A. Lauder has added another mas-terpiece to his
collection of 78 Cubist works promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.
Fernand Léger’s The Vil-lage (1914) will remain on view through at least the end
of the year in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for Modern and Con-temporary Art.
—New Galleries Open—The Indianapolis Museum of Art has opened the new
Contemporary Design galleries after a three-year, multiphase renovation project.
With more than 400 ob-jects focusing on design after 1980 and spanning nearly
10,000 sq. ft., this addition is one of the largest displays of contempo-rary
design in any North American art museum.
Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art (NYC) presents a sculptural
installation by renowned Ital-ian artist Giuseppe Penone, consisting of three
monumen-tal, 30-foot-tall bronze trees.
Ideas of Stone (idée di
pietra) interacts with the Park’s lush landscape to high-light the
relationships amongst man, sculpture and nature. Thru Feb. 9.
NYC, pr esents A
merican Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe, which takes a fresh look at the Museum’s
holdings of American art made between 1915 and 1950 and considers the cultural
preoccupations of a rapidly changing American society in the first half of the
20th C. Thru Jan. 26.
pr esents a new installation of embr oi-dered works and large-scale works on
paper by A
lighiero e Boetti, thru Feb 17. Included among the works are the
Untitled (V ictoria Boogie W oogie) (1972), consisting of 5,040 envelopes
the artist mailed to himself in Turin from different cities in Italy.
—Call for Artists—Textile Artwork — The Lofts at Beacon, 18 Front
St., Beacon, NY, is looking for textile artists who may be interested in showing
their work in a group show in March 2014. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact Nicole Corneyea at 845-202-7211 for further info.
—Call for Artists—The U. S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Pro-gram,
established in 2003, ser ves to enr ich and invigor ate the nation’s coins and
medals by commissioning designs from a select pool of outstanding artists. The
Mint has partnered with the NEA to manage a new application and review process
that is open to all US. Citizens who are established in the fields of pro-fessional
art or illustration. Up to 20 artists will be selected to participate in the
program. Application guidelines are posted on the NEA website with an initial
deadline of Jan. 10, 2014. http://arts.gov/grants-individuals/united-states-mint-call-for
—Call for Artwork! - The CherryBomb PopUP Shop on Main Street,
Beacon, wants to help you start the New Year with a studio free from the clutter
of old work. You made it, you love it, you hate it, you want to rid yourself of
it! Whatever, we can help with our January ARTIST’S FIRE SALE. We will sell your
work at discount prices, and you will be unburdened from the heaviness of old
work that is cluttering your spirit and your studio. Start the New Year with
cash in your pocket for your next artistic impulse. Email Kat Stoutenborough at
email@example.com for mor e infor mation.
—Open Call for Art—Artbridge Kingston is a public exhibi-tion
on the Greenkill Ave. & Broadway Bridges in Midtown Kingston, featuring the work
of Mid-Hudson Valley-based con-temporary artists. Opening in March 2014 and on
view for six months, the submission deadline is Jan. 5. http://gallery.mailchimp.com/20726b35b67ce2d54e1aa8fb3/
U. S. Postal Service
New Holiday Forever Stamp Designs
Poinsettia—Stamp art painted by William Low.
Virgin and Child—Painted by Jan Gossaert (1531).
Gingerbread Houses (4)—Photographed by Sally
Andersen-Bruce and baked by Teresa Layman.
Kwanzaa—By Artist R. Gregory Christie, with art
director Antonio Alcalá.
Hanukkah—Created by VT blacksmith Steven Bron-stein and photographed
by George E. Brown.
View these at:
Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA
During the holiday season, Rockwell’s anxiously awaited illustrations brought
good cheer to mil-lions of Americans who encountered his images on the covers
and pages of their favorite maga-zines and on holiday cards. This special
installa-tion includes original drawings, paintings and costumes/props featured
in the artwork. Thru Jan. 26.
Christmas Tree and Neapolitan
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
This long-standing yuletide tradition in New York will be on view thru Jan.
6. The brightly lit, 20-foot spruce—with a collection of 18th C. Neapolitan
angels and cherubs—will once again delight holiday visitors in the Medieval
Sculpture Hall. Set in front of the 18th C. Spanish choir screen from the
Cathedral of Valladolid, with selected Christmas music in the back-ground and
daily lighting ceremonies, the installation reflects the spirit of the holiday
Some Subjects That Can Be Found In
The Pages Of ARTtalk!
art, arts, paintings, painting, airbrush, airbrushes, airbrushers, paint,
sculpture, sculptors, printmakers, printmaking, pencils, pencil, brush, brushes,
decorative, women, drawings, pens, inks, papers, illustration, boards, canvases,
portrait, collages, colors, studios, exhibition, crafts, classes, workshop, drawing,
pen, ink, workshops, magic markers, landscapes, portraits, history, paper,
canvas, color theory, arts and crafts, studio, competitions, exhibitions, news,
oil, pictures, software, figure painting, erotic art, tattoo, framing, mat
cutting, matting, holidays gift, guide, kid's, children's, newsletter,
materials, products, marketplace, stores, supply, material, retailers,
wholesaler, organizations, books, frisket film, watercolor, acrylic, gouache,
carving, fine art, aquamedia, magazines, lessons, artists, painters,
printmakers, potters, weavers, weaving, textile, pottery, lithography, screen
printing, silkscreen, carving, wood, poster, tools, prints, compressors, museums,
galleries, schools, lessons, instruction.
Eclipse Airbrush, Iwata Airbrush, Medea Textile Colours, Medea Com-Art Colours,
Ampersand Art Supply, Artool, General Pencil Co., Silentaire Technology,
American Art Clay Co., Graphic Chemical & Ink, Grumbacher, Schmincke,
Chartpak, Higgins Ink
Get a copy of ARTtalk at
Genesis Art Supplies, Prizm, Artcetera (Bermuda), Coast Airbrush,
Reuel's Art & Frame, Blick Art Materials, Artist & Display, Utrecht, Reddi Arts,
Discount Art, Continental Art Supplies, Graphaids, Commercial Screen Supply,
Keith Coldsnow, Blaines, Bellevue Art and Frame, New York City Art Supply,
ART in Beacon NY
THE ARTIST’S MARKETPLACE
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Printmaking Techniques & Materials
Printmaking is an enjoyable expression and is
accompanied by some terms that often seem a bit difficult to
understand. So, here some of the common terms and techniques will be
explained. The scope of printmaking is huge and can be enjoyed by
nearly any age group. Some of the materials used are found around
the home, while others must be purchased from art material
Graphic Chemical & Ink Co.
No matter the level of your involvement with
printmaking, it is sure to be exciting. In some techniques,
duplication of results is nearly impossible, which seems a bit
contradictory to the basic term: printmaking. Let’s take, for our
first example, the most direct and simple of prints…monoprints.
A monoprint (mono meaning one) is created by
applying ink or paint to a hard flat surface (plate), pressing paper
against the plate and lifting the paper from the plate. The
resulting print is one-of-a-kind, since ink or paint would be nearly
impossible to set in the same place time after time. Simple doesn’t
mean uninteresting, and this is a great technique for any artist.
Collagraph, a very simple form of
printmaking, is a print created from a plate (Masonite, mat board,
chip board, etc.) that has natural and/or found objects with texture
glued to it. The surface of the plate is sealed and, when dry, is
inked on the textured plate, excess removed and a paper placed on
top. Downward pressure (using a press or hand roller) presses the
paper and ink together and the images are transferred (in reverse)
to the paper. Again, the simplicity of collagraph prints makes them
easy for everyone to try. Many, but not unlimited, prints can be
made from a master collagraph plate.
Wood block (woodcut) printing advances in
difficulty because the artist uses special gouges and carving tools
to create a dimensional image in a wood block. The high surfaces of
the wood block are inked, paper is pressed against the inked areas
and the resulting image is a woodblock print. Surfaces other than
wood can be used; linoleum, wax, and rubber are a few that are a bit
easier to carve. Early wood block designs were used for fabric
embellishment and those blocks endure as collectables.
Reduction prints are created with care by
print artists who desire more color and texture in their work. Each
color is printed individually on the ever-decreasing wood block.
Working from back to front colorwise, the artist reduces the wood
block with every color, printing that part of the plate that will
reflect a specific color, and then removing more mass to print the
next color. When finished, the only areas that remain on the block
are those representing the very last color.
Drypoint etching is more involved because it
starts with a metal plate. The plate is scribed (scratched) by the
artist to record a subject. Ink is rubbed into the slight toothy
grooves created by the scribing. Paper is then put on the plate,
pressed and the resulting print is pulled away from the plate. For
all but the tiniest of printed images, a printing press is
invaluable in the process. Strong definition and evenness is
difficult with hand pressing methods. Many prints can be made from
the original plate. Etching can be taken yet another step by using
acid to enlarge and remove areas of the metal surface.
Intaglio prints are made from a metal base
into which designs have been created. This is often done with harsh
chemicals, the metal dissolving where there are scribed or etched
lines that have been made through a protective covering. Because of
the chemical contact (acids), this level of printmaking is
considered advanced and should be done under supervision and
instruction. Many prints can be made from the original plate. Ink is
rubbed into the low areas, paper is pressed to the surface and a
print is created.
following is a simple explanation of some terms associated with
brayer - a hard rubber roller on a handle
used to transfer ink to the plate.
plate – a surface on which an image is
formed, usually metal.
baren - a circular padded tool used to rub
against the back of paper to obtain an image from a master.
hard ground -an acid-resistant material
applied to an etching plate through which you scribe to create a
mordant - an acid or other corrosive
substance used to “bite” into a metal plate to create an image on
gouge – a V- or U-shaped tool for cutting a
wood or linoleum block.
Working with Clay
Working in clay is one of the most interesting and
expressive things an artist can do. There is a universal feeling of
making "something" from what appears to be "nothing," and it is
great to have successes with that type of creative process. Clay is,
however, far from "nothing." It is a very precise combination of
materials that when joined together with moisture is a wonderfully
plastic and malleable material.
Clay formulas vary greatly in the degree of
smoothness or texture they possess. Porcelain, for instance, has
nearly no grit within the formula, so the surface will be smooth and
sleek for glazes. It is also fired to the highest temperatures to
achieve vitrification. Porcelain clay is usually a very light color
of gray or pure white once fired.
Earthenware clay is the other extreme. It is more
porous, has much more texture and glazes are less fluid on the
earthenware surface. Colors range from tans and yellows to rich
browns and reds. It is easier to manipulate than porcelain but not
as smooth or "polished" in appearance.
Between these two extremes is stoneware clay, the
most popular. The composition of stoneware offers a more rigid and
stronger base than that of earthenware but not as "tight" a surface
All three clays can be shaped/formed in the same way
- hand built, slip cast or thrown on the potter's wheel. In liquid
form (slip), all can be cast into molds for rapid and exact
duplication of shapes and forms. Of all choices of manipulation,
hand building is the method used most by potters who want to offer
creative and expressive forms for sale. Throwing on the potter's
wheel is fun and is a skill that can be worthwhile to learn. For the
creation of large forms the potter's wheel is very valuable.
However, most potters agree that once the mechanics of throwing are
learned, it is far less rewarding than the ability to create one-off
items with hand building.
in clay bodies, glaze formulas are a very precise measurement of
components. Some of the elements in a glaze help hold it on the clay
body. Some make glazes flow and intermix with the colorants. Some of
the colorants can react with the other components to create an
ever-changing array of glaze "activity." Potters want to have a
regiment of glazes that they can depend on and that will perform
well and as expected. That final step is vital to the success of any
Methods of glaze application are as varied as there
are potters. The order in which multiple glazes are applied can
affect the result in new and unexpected ways. That is not a bad
thing. New can be good. Some colorants react to a minor change in
glaze composition to give a huge range of colors with a very slight
change in formula. For those who are less interested in
experimentation or study, there are hundreds of very controlled and
beautiful glazes where all that is required is to open a jar and
apply the glaze. Easy can be good, too!
One can brush on glazes, singly or in layers.
Designs can be painted over a base glaze to create a completely new
look. Dipping is a choice of many clay artisans because in one dunk
you cover the entire surface. The base of a piece of pottery must be
clear of glaze or it will stick to the kiln shelf. If you dunk, you
either have to put on a wax-type resist to avoid the glaze coating
or wash off the base. Airbrushing glazes is a very fast application
method, and if applied one over another, you can create totally
unique colors and textures. Even in the method of application, there
are dozens of choices, so change can be a vital part of the learning
process with clay and glazes.
Carving through glazes to create designs that will
show the original color of the clay is also popular. Any tool can be
used that will render an area large enough to detect once the glaze
is fired. Runny glazes are obviously not a good choice if you want
your carving to show.
Two methods of firing clay are practical for most
potters: electric or gas firing. Electric is easiest but is a bit
limiting because of the oxygen-rich environment. Gas firing uses
this lack of oxygen to create red glazes with copper based glazes
but also fires any glaze well. Gas draws oxygen from the clay body,
through the glaze and transforms copper from green to red. Pretty
amazing, but if reds are your passion you can get them with electric
firing by purchasing ready-made glazes in red. Occasionally you will
find an artist who does wood firing. That is a wild and interesting
way to fire clay but not very practical for the average potter. The
kilns are huge and massive amounts of wood are needed.
This article barely scratches (carves!) the surface
of clays and glazes, but once an artisan becomes interested in the
practices, designing and—dare we say—chemistry of pottery, it is one
of the most engaging and creative ways to express one's artistic
abilities. If you get an opportunity to try any part of the clay
experience - take it! Visit
www.amaco.com for all your material/equipment needs from
clay to kilns.