Snow, and new Photoshop CC Features

Yesterday the weather man got it wrong. I thought we were looking forward to a long day of wind and rain. Instead I woke up to the this lovely site. It didn’t stick around too long as the rain did come later in the day. By the end of the day the hills which were covered in snow were covered …

3 portfolio improvements

Recently I’ve been doing student portfolio assessments. It can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of the semester, it can also be one of the most soul-destroying. You spend a semester teaching students, investing your time, energy and emotions in the hope that they will submit a good portfolio at the end of the semester. Some do, others don’t. …

Composition – Deconstructing Gerome

The Grey Eminence by Jean-Leon Gerome is an excellent example of composition. Below is a breakdown of some techniques used. Spoke-wheeling / Line Leading A spoke-wheel composition with the monk at the centre is caused by the following methods: banisters direction of peoples gaze (what are they looking at?) stairs Contrast Objects that are in strong contrast to their background …

How to make glue

I got this recipe from someone who works at the National Library of Wales in the book binding department. I was told it is traditionally used to stick the leather to the hard cover of the book (usually called the case). It also is a great substitute for PVA when sticking paper together, or making paper-mache. The Recipe Add 60g …

Stretching Paper

My complete guide to stretching paper the over-top way! The credit for this method goes to Nita Engle who’s book “Making watercolor paint itself” was where I first got most of this method from. It is also a great resource for anyone who uses watercolour. Also feel free to cut back on some of the steps, and adapt this method …

Smooth Backgrounds

Ok, try this one on for size. Say for example you’ve done a nice figure illustration but the background isn’t quite the colour you wanted. The problem is that if you start layering your premixed colour on top of your background by the time you’ve gone round all the intricacies of the figure other parts will be drying. You’ll end …

Painting with Masking Fluid

Behold it is a “Tip”! This may be the only one and it’s nothing earth shattering but it may do somebody some good somewhere…maybe. So if you’ve ever used masking fluid then you’ll have come across the problem of the masking fluid drying on the brush and ruining it. Well here it is, “soap”. Just your plain old bathroom soap. …