Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Bang for Your Buck

I’ve discussed before the necessity of saving time and money as an artist. I shared common sense advice like painting over a failed or half-finished canvas, finding a good used or recycled art store for paper and paint; but there are other ways you can get “more bang for your buck.”

Since most of my paintings usually focus on one or two things, the process of finding a “painting within a painting” is difficult. I do use this “squaring off” technique on photographs to zoom in on what I want to paint. I did my “Swamp Angel” canvas and egret painting in this way, and only painted a quarter of the scenes I had photographed.

“Squaring Off” works especially well for water colorists, who sometimes damage a portion of their painting. By squaring off areas of the canvas or paper that are satisfactory, you may find a portion that is perfect for a smaller print, a greeting card, a miniature framed piece, or even a bookmark.

Unused, experimental, or failed artwork on watercolor paper makes wonderful bookmarks when torn into strips; perfect for artshow FREEBIES.

Tips from the Artist:

• If you want to display greeting cards in a unique way that attracts attention, purchase some mini clothespins in a craft shop and some heavy string or twine. Find the perfect place to tie your string in tiers, and attach your cards to the twine using the mini pins. This works well on a windy day. The cards flutter, but seem to stay in place. It does attract attention.

• Unlike watercolor, oil canvases need to breathe. Paintings may be matted, but never covered with glass which will eventually cause the oil to deteriorate over time. To keep the matts clean, simply spray the matt lightly a few times with a charcoal or pencil fixative.