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What is Alcohol Ink?

Alcohol Ink Art

This intriguing medium has recently gained popularity over the last few years. You may have heard about alcohol ink, but what actually is it!? Alcohol inks are fast-drying, highly pigmented, alcohol-based inks that are great to use on any hard, non-porous surface including glass, metal, plastic, ceramic, stone, leather and polymer clay. Once the ink is applied, the alcohol evaporates, leaving the dye behind. Once alcohol ink dries, it can be re-wet with rubbing alcohol (91% Isopropyl Alcohol), allowing for unique and versatile effects that cannot be achieved with water-based products like acrylic paint. Alcohol ink is waterproof, adding to its durable properties.

March 30, 2018

Alternatives to Renting Studio Space

Can’t Afford to Rent a Studio? Here are Some More Economical Ideas

Stop dreaming about having an art studio—make it become a reality!

Before you begin your search, ask yourself a few questions to better understand what you need to look for. It is important to consider location. Can you work from home? Do you want a space that is completely separate from your home and work life? And do you want an isolated studio or a studio that offers the company of others? Will you need a large space? Or will you be satisfied with a small space? This is dependent on personal preferences but also the size and scale of your art. Then ask yourself what you are willing to spend. Factor in rent, transportation, supplies, and time when making these calculations. If you decide that you really do not have enough money to spend on renting an art studio, don’t worry! Here are some more economical options.

February 20, 2018

Unpacking the Process: Tips on Packing and Shipping Art

Transporting art can be a tricky endeavor. Before you begin, multiple variables need to be considered to ensure your art makes a safe delivery. Consider the size, weight, dimensionality, value, fragility, potential environmental factors, distance needed to travel, and destination requirements.

Consider researching local companies that have professionals to create the packaging for you. You can package or crate your artwork at home, but many art shipping companies offer packaging services. Sometimes, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Each company will offer different and customized services which need to be taken into account.

December 20, 2017

From Spain to America: An Interview with Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro

Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro

Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro is a landscape painter and portrait artist who recently won the “People’s Choice” award that was sponsored by Plaza Artist Materials in the 7th Annual Friends of the Yellow Barn Drawing Show at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. Having grown up in Valencia, Spain and moving to Washington, DC eight years ago, Gonzalo shares how his artistic career and experiences have differed in the two countries. Read our exclusive interview with Gonzalo below to gain an inside look into his unique artistic journey.

November 7, 2017

Lauren Rader: An Exclusive Sneak Peek into Studio Stories: Illuminating Our Lives Through Art

Studio Stories

“Part of my life is that I am split into these different things; there is the book, there is my teaching and then there is my art.”

Lauren Rader is a Maryland-based artist, author, and art educator. In 2005, she began teaching art classes to women called ‘Releasing the Creative Powers Within’. Inspired by the women’s individual creative journeys and life-changing experiences taking place within these art classes, Lauren wrote the book Studio Stories: Illuminating Our Lives Through Art to document and share their unique transformations.

September 13, 2017

The Beginner’s Guide to Custom Framing

Many people have no idea what to expect when they walk into their local frame shop. Custom framing can be a daunting prospect for anyone – especially those who don’t have much experience with it.

Never fear: Your local custom framer is an expert! She’s an artist – most likely for real, but also because custom framing is an art form in its own right. Not only will she help you pick the best framing design for your artwork; she also knows the best ways to protect it. She’ll help you stay within your budget, too. Phew! That means you’re off the hook, right?

Well, not entirely. Whether you’re an artist, art collector, or just looking to get your precious memorabilia beautifully framed, there are a few basic things you should know before walking into your local frame shop. Being prepared will help make your custom framing process enjoyable for everyone.

April 13, 2017

The Results of Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers on 5 Different Papers

Are you curious about Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers? Not sure how they’ll look on certain types of paper? Read this post to discover various results you can get with this awesome range.

These popular markers were released in 2015 and have exceptional lightfastness and fantastic blending properties. Each marker in this series has a lightfastness rating of A—it will take up to 100 years before color change or fading affects the high quality pigments. Artwork produced with pigment-based markers last longer compared to other types of markers. The ink is about as thin as most alcohol-based markers and stays wetter slightly longer, allowing for extra blending time.

August 4, 2016

The Future of Notebooks? Read our Interview with Rhodia Drive

This month, we answered some interesting questions about the future of notebooks for the Featured Retailer series on the Rhodia Drive blog. Rhodia Drive is sponsored by Clairefontaine-Rhodia, the maker of Rhodia products. On the blog, you can find information and resources for using these iconic orange notepads! The folks at Rhodia Drive asked us questions about the importance of handwriting and drawing by hand in a world ruled by technology. Read an excerpt of the interview below or check out the full interview on Rhodia Drive!

July 22, 2016

How to Choose Oil Colors: A Guide for Beginner Oil Painters

Getting started with oil painting can be daunting, not only because it is more labor and clean-up intensive than acrylic painting, but also because it seems that more tools are required. It’s true. You may need a few extra mediums and tools than you might need for acrylic or watercolor painting, but oil painting is worth the extra steps. Many artists attracted to oil painting because oil paint offers what many consider unparalleled color intensity, luminescent tinting power and luscious glossiness.

July 8, 2016

Facts About Tracing Paper

What is Tracing Paper?

Tracing paper is a very thin, low opacity paper used to trace and transfer images. This translucent paper was first mass-produced in the mid-19th century. Tracing paper can be made from treated wood pulp or from cotton rag. Tracing paper is a versatile surface; it is translucent and designed to accept most drawing media. It can be used for transfer tracing, fine line drawing, and overlays. Vellum tracing paper is super thin; it is a higher quality translucent paper that is good for engineer plans and technical drawing.

June 8, 2016
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