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Dean Kirkland

EmptyEasel.com

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Painting Tips, Artist Reviews, Selling Art Online and more

There will be no new articles published at EmptyEasel this week since my wife and I are currently in the midst of packing our belongings and making a long cross-country trek to our new home in the Midwest. (So long Oregon!) We do plan to be back on schedule with another round of articles by [...]

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Monday in Drawing Tips – No matter how skilled you are with colored pencils, eventually you’re going to need to “lift” some of that color off your paper. Luckily, Carrie Lewis has two very effective methods to do just that—drop in tomorrow and see how! Tuesday in Motivation – Set aside so

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Today I’m going to demonstrate the “color wheel method” of painting for watercolor artists. I will be using the light and dark values inherent to the colors in my palette to create value and form in a simple still life painting of an orange. While other painting mediums (like oil and acrylic) use black and [...]

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When I teach my Introduction to Oil Painting classes, I always begin by having my students paint a grayscale. If you haven’t been using a gray scale to check your values when painting, I strongly suggest painting your own. Pre-made ones are fine too, but painting your own is better, simply because it will help [...]

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If you asked several landscape artists what you absolutely MUST get right when you’re drawing a landscape, it’s possible you’d get a few different answers. But in my opinion, the most important thing is pictorial depth. Pictorial depth is the illusion of three dimensional space on a two dimensional surface

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Art impacts us all as individuals, but it can also reach into a community to impact the masses. This is the goal of Chicago Kids Create, a program initiated by Chicago public school parent Catherine Marchese and artist Jeff Semmerling. “Chicago Kids Create is a unique, hands-on, visual arts training program designed for C

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When you think of local art shows, a few things might come to mind. Perhaps you think of your local art association, a popular local events for the arts, or an annual show organized around a particular theme. I’ve participated in a local themed show in my community for the past several years, and every [...]

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Angela Westerman’s surreal, fantasy artwork encourages people to examine their world a bit more closely, and challenge their own preconceptions. . . especially the integration of nature, humankind, and technology. By creating her artwork on a large scale, Angela allows her viewers to linger over the tiniest, most intricat

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In my last article I described how I started a drawing of a landscape at sunrise. If you missed that article, or if you would like to review it, you can read it here. This what the drawing looked like at the end of that article. Today I’ll be demonstrating how I finished it. Like [...]

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EmptyEasel will be on its “spring break” hiatus starting tomorrow morning, so there will be no new articles posted this week. We’ve still got you covered though. . . check out a few of our recently published articles below, or sign up for an online art class at Craftsy.com. Their big spring sale is conveni

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When you’re first taught to paint with a limited palette, you’re usually given three primary colors—red, yellow and blue. Limiting yourself to just a few colors teaches you how to mix colors correctly, see value and temperature, and encourages thought and planning in your color choices. Today we’ll discuss a dif

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Back in March I wrote an article describing how 6 business owners created the perfect taglines for their businesses. Today, I’m going to go one step further and discuss how to craft a tagline that will not only work for your art business, but also help you get noticed by the right people. Know who [...]

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If you’re anything like me, you probably have a pile of colored pencils too short to be sharpened any further somewhere in your studio. Pencils are expensive and you just can’t bear to throw away the leftovers. . . but what can you do with them? Like many artists, I’m reluctant to throw away anything [...]

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This Monday there will be no new article posted on EmptyEasel, in honor of Memorial Day here in the US. If you’re celebrating with us, either here or abroad, we hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend! Tuesday in Drawing Tips – We all know the pain of buying art supplies. . . we squeeze [...]

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Eric Francis started out painting cartoon characters. He learned everything he could from books and later went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio painting from Centenary College in Louisiana. After college, painting took a backseat to earning a living. . . that is, until the day he became too ill to [...]

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We all know we should back up our computers. None of us seem to do it, however. To me, talking about backups is kind of like talking about flossing. . . Until it hurts no one wants to listen. Fair enough. I, however, have already lost plenty data and have needed a few teeth drilled, [...]

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After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Jerry La Point began his artistic career with exuberance, exhibiting commercially in solo and group shows for 14 years. His work has been showcased in galleries from Atlanta, Ga. to Blowing Rock, N.C. His success lies very obviously in his m

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As an artist, you’ve spent hours honing your craft, learning the latest techniques and practicing your skills to get to the level you’re at today. But there are many other skills that will also help to make you a successful artist—and no, these aren’t skills related to your craft. Here are five skills th

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It’s not always easy to figure out your brand, let alone take specific actions which will create a brand that art buyers grasp. Yet, without an identifiable brand, it’s hard to sell art. So today we’re going to spend a little time explaining ways you can increase awareness about your brand. Here are four q

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Staying organized is a chore, I know. And reading about staying organized isn’t any fun either. But even though “workflow” isn’t the sexiest photography topic, searching through countless images to find one photo is way too tedious to do every day. And losing photos is even uglier. . . trust me. So put your

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Oil painter John Wentz’s interest in art began at the age of six upon discovering Batman and Spiderman comic books. The artist, who was born and raised in the Bay Area of San Francisco, has carried over his artistic talents as a muralist, billboard creator and freelance illustrator into something new. . . and a [...]

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In today’s article I’ll be using traditional colored pencils to finish a project that began with a drawing in water-soluble colored pencil. I started this drawing using brushes and a homemade “palette” of colors drawn with the water-soluble pencils. If you haven’t read the first article yet, I enco

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Joining an arts collective can help you advance your arts career in many ways. A collective will offer networking and collaboration opportunities, events and exhibitions, advocacy, and even shared studio space and discounts off materials. But what if there isn’t an arts collective in your city? Or, what if the ones th

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Monday in General Art Advice – Creating art for a living can feel a bit solitary at times, especially when it comes to marketing your work to the public. But why go it alone? Drop in tomorrow to learn how you can start your own arts collective, and begin working with other artists to promote, [...]

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Kevin Meredith started out as an art student, but after starting a family of his own, he put away his paints and took another career choice. Thirty-two years later, for no other reason than he missed painting, he decided to “dust off his paintbrushes to test his earlier talent.” Then one day he approached his [.

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Although South African artist Cecilia Rosslee now resides in California, both of her sunny homes are surely inspiration for her light-filled oil paintings. Her work brings interior and exterior locations to life, as well as reflecting some of her favorite things and people. With clients that include the ever-famous Planet H

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Despite the wide variety of photographic muses that people chase, nearly everyone who has a camera sooner or later will want to take photos at a party, a backyard barbeque, or (if you’re Elliott Erwitt) strangers at the zoo. We just ALL like people pictures! There’s also a long tradition in literature and art of [..

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Creating art from found or recycled objects is usually called “up-cycling” because it’s less about breaking items down, and more about taking a complete item and reworking it to make it into something more beautiful or useful. The trick with up-cycled artwork is to find the right sort of objects to transfo

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Monday in General Art Advice – Drop in tomorrow for several helpful pointers from Steff Metal on where to find cheap (or free!) previously-used objects to create your own “up-cycled” art. Tuesday in Photography Tips – EE’s resident photographer Zach McCabe will be sharing three excellent tips f

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EmptyEasel will be taking a short hiatus this week, as we work on finishing up a few side projects, but we’ll be back to our normal schedule next Sunday. In the meantime, don’t miss our articles from last week: 4 Questions to Consider Before Renting a Space for Your Art Studio How to Start a [...]

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