Pigment Makes All the Difference

For ages I was having trouble getting yellow to be bright and for white to appear solid in my acrylic paintings. Then I realized the problem was the amount of pigment in the paint.

I was painting with Creative Inspirations titanium white and Liquitex Basic primary yellow.

In order to get the solid effect I wanted, I had to apply layers of those colors. But I didn’t have to do that with other Creative Inspirations or Liquitex Basics colors.

Then I discovered the solution.

I read that Golden titanium white was an excellent brand of titanium white, so I bought a tube. What a difference! The Golden paint was both solid and very bright.

So I started using the economical Creative Inspirations titanium white for lightening the shades of my other colors. I call that my “mixing white.” And I used the Golden titanium white toward the end of my painting session to add brightness to the artwork.

That made me suspect that the solution to the difficulty I was having with Liquitex Basics primary yellow could be solved in a similar way.

This time I order Liquitex heavy body yellow light. It went on solid and strong – exactly what I was looking for.

From that point, I started using the Liquitex Basics primary yellow for mixing with other colors to create a third color but I used the Liquitex Heavy Body yellow light toward the end of the painting to make the areas of yellow really stand out.

These discoveries really make a difference with plein air paintings. You can’t get that sense of stark bright sunlight with a white or yellow that does not have enough pigment.

So if you have a color that is not giving the results you need or expect, try using a different brand of that color or a heavy body version of that color.  You may just need a paint that has more pigment.

 

 

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Artfully yours,
-Elaine

How to Enlarge and Print Any Image

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These instructions will help you enlarge or reduce your reference image. You can then transfer the image onto your painting surface or just determine the correct placement of each element of your creation.

These step-by-step instructions are for Windows but they might work with other operating systems, too. You can use this method to enlarge or reduce a reference photo to make a template for your artwork.

Scan in the image into your computer or choose a copyright-free image that is already on your computer:

Colorful Horse Portrait 01

If you don’t want to use a lot of ink for the final printout, follow the instructions in the article “How to Create an Outline of an Image“.

If You Need to Crop Your Image, Do This:

Use Either Paint or Paint.net

Now open the original image or the outline of the image in the free paint or free paint.net program. (If you don’t have either of these programs, search online for “free paint.net” and download/install it. But search your computer first for the free paint program.)

If you want to crop the image because you only need part of it, now is the time to do that.

Put the Image into a Word Program

Copy the image (or the outline of the image) into your clipboard using the Control-c keys at the same time. Or by right-clicking on the image and choosing Copy.

Open a Word document and paste (Control-v keys) the image into it.

Export it to a pdf file where the image can be enlarged using the pdf’s Poster feature.

Enlarging the Image

Open the pdf file:

Choose “File” and then choose “Print” but don’t print it yet.

See the print pop up box.

Choose the “Poster” button:

(Optional step) Check the “Cut Marks” box. This will put little crosses on the printed pages where they can be trimmed with a scissors:

 

Change the Tile Scale to a larger or smaller number – whatever number might give you the  printed size you want. If you click twice on the Cut Marks box, you will be shown how many pages will print when enlarging your image:

 

Choose Landscape or Portrait and Print. The result may print on more than one sheet of paper, depending on what Tile Scale number you chose.

Compare the size of the printout with the paint surface you want to create that image on. If it is too small or large, put in a different Tile Scale number until you produce the size you need.

Trim the sheets and tape them together to make one large page.

Transferring the Enlarged or Reduced Image to Your Painting Surface

Tape the top of the image to your painting surface (canvas, board, wall, etc.).

Using tracing paper, trace the image onto your painting surface. Alternately, you can cut around the main element of the image and trace around it on your painting surface.

If you get stuck on any of these steps, just contact me and I will help.

If you want to learn more skills that will help you in your creative endeavors, visit this page to learn the many benefits of joining the Skillful Artists Membership Group.

Creatively yours,
-Elaine

How to Create an Outline of an Image

Take a picture and load it onto your computer or scan the image into your computer or use a Pixabay image.

Make a copy of the image to experiment with and put the original in a folder for safe keeping.

Open the copy of your image in the free paint.net program:

 

Select the Effects tab.  In the dropdown menu, select Stylize.  Then select the Outline option from the Stylize pop out menu:

 

Adjust the intensity to the desired effect. When ready, click [OK]:

 

Save as the outline of your image from the File tab at the top of the screen:

 

Click [OK] to the next box. (Save Configuration box):

 

Your outline is on your computer ready for you to print it out or whatever.

Copyright-Free Reference Photos – 1

Copyright-Free
Reference Photos

All of the images on this page were taken from Pixabay.com, which is site full of copyright-free images and videos for people like us.

We can use any of their pictures without fear of stepping on any copyright toes.

You are free to paint any of these images and sell your artwork anywhere, even on the internet.

To save one of these images to your own computer, right click on the image and choose “Save image as” or some similar option. Of visit Pixabay.com and search through the millions of images they have in stock.