5 Useful Oil Painting Tips

1. Invest in expensive paints

Oil paints can be expensive, but it’s definitely worth investing in some expensive ones. Generally speaking, the more expensive they are, the higher the quality. By all means, if you’re doing several under layers, get these done first using a cheaper oil paint; then simply save the most expensive paints for the topmost layer.

2. Don’t use acrylics on top of layers of oil paint

One of the main properties of oil paint is that it’s incredibly slow to dry. In fact, it can be notoriously slow to dry. With this in mind, you shouldn’t use another type of paint, such as acrylic, on top of oils. Acrylics, for example, are very quick to dry. If you apply a layer of acrylic on top of a layer of oil paint, the layer of acrylic will eventually crack or flake due to the oil paint taking a lot longer to dry out.

3. Try using acrylic paint for bottom layers of the painting

Conversely, you could try using acrylic paint for the bottom layers of the painting. The paint will dry very fast and you’ll be able to apply oil paint on top of it without any problems arising. The advantage of this is that you can have the bottom layers done very quickly; they’ll also dry out very quickly so you won’t have to wait too long before you can get started with the rest of the painting.

4. Learn the rules, then experiment

Painting is all about creativity and self-expression, though the act of creating a painting of quality requires a lot of skill, time and expertise. It’s important to learn how to paint and how to do it well; master the basic techniques and get yourself to the stage where you can complete a good painting. Once you’re confident with your skills and abilities, you should then experiment with your creativity. Try new things; take standard techniques and invent your own touches and twists here and there.

5. Avoid cracking by using the fat over lean technique

Fat over lean basically means making each layer of paint thicker than the one before it. The purpose of this is to prevent cracking; the thinner layers will dry more quickly than the thicker layers on top of them. So when it comes to your first few layers, use thinner paint and less oil (as mentioned previously, you could alternatively paint the first few layers with acrylics). As you work your way up to the topmost layer, make the paint thicker and add more oils to it.

How To Use Contemporary Art Paintings As Decor


We live in an age where we create art for arts’ sake. The point of art is to appeal to our senses and bring beauty into our lives. Art is on canvas the picture what we see around us, it is also an expression of who we are. We need not create art to express ourselves, but the display of art in our houses and personal spaces is also very telling of who we truly are. These days it has become rather easy to buy art paintings as there are many sites online and in stores in our local neighborhood to check out as well. Of course, sitting at home and browsing through some of the best work out there in the world is very enticing.

Using art around the home

One of the best places to use contemporary abstract art is around the house – especially if you are the kind of person who loves minimalist, but chic décor. Taking pride in your home is a good thing, and you can showcase through the exemplary art that you have displayed as well. But you cannot simply put up random art pieces around your house. This will make the place look cluttered and claustrophobic and messy if it isn’t done right. So, here are a few decor pointers you need to know about art.

• When you buy paintings one of the main things you need to consider is the balance of color. This means that both within the painting itself and with the things in the room, there needs to be a good sober balance of color. Contrasts are always really good to work with, but it should not be jarring or hurt the eyes. Go for a minimalist, calming sort of look.

• You can combine multiple pieces of original art paintings. You can either have one large piece over the mantle place or three smaller pieces. Do not be afraid to experiment with whatever you have. See what combination works best for the room and the artifacts you have. You will be surprised at the amazing things that can be done when you step out of the lines and try new things.

Things to keep in mind

If you are looking for a simple and easy way to find original contemporary art that is catered to your wants then you don’t have to look very hard. Everything you that you need can be found online. There are many artists who will create very specific paintings according to the guidelines you give them. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the process.

• Ensure that you have the full credentials of the artist in question. You should definitely be getting your money’s worth.

• They should be sure to listen very carefully to the kind of original canvas art that you need.

• They should be recognized and have a portfolio or catalogue that you can go through. They should also take you through the process of their painting so that you can see if they can deliver what you need.

How to Write a Comic Book

A comic book should ideally contain 22 pages. It makes the book short and compact. Just like any other creative activity, writing a comic book is also an art. It is a form of creative writing in which one has to visualize the sequence of events instead of just creating a verbal ‘portrait’. The story should draw attention and liven up the reader’s interest. Since most of the comic book stories are read by children, the content presented in them should be simple, entertaining and must give a positive message.

Make Your Own

To write a comic book, one should either follow the ‘full script’ or ‘plot-art-dialogue’ method. The above two methods though, are commonly used in comic writing, you can also innovate if you wish to do so. The full script method gives more control to the writer in a sense, that he/she can decide on the number of panels in a page, the characters presented in it and finally the sequence of events and dialogs. The plot-art-dialogue method on the other hand, allows the artist to take charge of the portrayal of events in the story. The writer has to provide the artist with a synopsis of the story and dialogs for few instances or events. Rest of the control is handed over to the artist. He divides the basic plot of the story into panels and decides on how to pace it. After the artist is done with his job, the content is handed over to the writer for him to add the rest of the dialogs in the story.

How to Start?

The first thing that a comic book writer should do is to work out the structure of the story visually. Writing along the flow of thoughts is not recommended in this type of literature. The writer should have the whole story or at least a rough idea in his mind. The content written by him should offer a clear idea about the sequences and events to the artist. Clarity of thoughts allows the artist to portray the story in an efficient manner. In short, the artist shouldn’t face much difficulty in interpreting the content written by the writer. There is no scope for the writer to expand his thoughts or ideas in this form of writing as he is expected to remain focused on the flow of story by providing compact descriptions.

The story should be fast-paced and dialogs used only when the need arises. The fast pace of the story maintains the interest levels of readers. As far as comic books are concerned, one should keep in mind that ‘less is more’. The comic book characters should attract the attention of the readers. One could refer to various comic book resources and famous cartoon comics in order to obtain information on creating the necessary content.

Comic Book Publishing
Companies like ‘Marvel Comics’, ‘Dark Horse Comics’ and ‘DC Comics’ are amongst the many publishing houses functioning in this industry. One should find a suitable publisher and understand the technicalities and financial aspects of publishing beforehand. It is advisable to choose a publisher who provides enough exposure to your artwork.

The above guide to making comic books provides us with a basic idea about the field of comic book creation. It would help you make your own comic books at least in the primary stages. Comic book creation is thus, one of the fun-filled ways to exhibit writing skills.

Creative Writing Prompts for High School Students

Any piece of writing finds its base on some kind of inspiration derived from a situation, person, or circumstance. This inspiration becomes a fine piece of writing, and leaves people wondering how one can be so creative. The truth is, everyone is prompted to write something that is creative and original by an occurrence. It is this prompt that gets the imagination working, leading to the creation of a masterpiece. Whether at elementary or high school or college levels, creative writing stimulates the mind and imagination, and broadens its vision. It is not necessary that a prompt only be used for the purpose of creative writing. These make students more observant of the events around them, and help them make the choices they do in any aspect of life. Thinking creatively is the basic purpose of any writing. Here, we take a look at some prompts to stimulate those young minds.

With these prompts, not only will you get the kids in your class thinking out of the box, you will also see how their writing skills improve as they continue with such exercises.
What do you think you are good at? Write a piece explaining to others how to develop and imbibe this habit/quality. Write in an instructional manner so that the guide can be followed easily by anyone who reads it.
Write a review of your favorite book and describe what you think is the underlying theme of the book.
Describe the meaning of your name and the significance behind it. Was there any specific reason you were given the name? Do you think this name suits your personality? Would you ever consider changing your name?
What do you think is the purpose of the allowance given by parents to children: financial independence or rewards for completing a chore or good behavior? Explain what you think is the logic behind an allowance and write a persuasive piece on why parents should follow this logic. (This can be used as a persuasive writing prompt.)
Write a letter to yourself 30 years from now. Include what you should have achieved by then, your goals and aspirations, and what you expect to see yourself as in the future.
Write about a situation where you were forced to choose between an emotional decision or a logical decision. Write it as a conversation occurring between your brain and your heart, and what eventually emerged victorious.
Write a story that starts with this line: ‘I entered the room and finally found that bottle of cough syrup I was looking for. I rushed to take it, but tripped on a lone shoe lying on the floor…’ Continue the story and give it any kind of ending you would like.
(Find an interesting photograph with single or multiple elements – a leaf, a waterfall, an old couple, a pair of shoes, etc. and give it to your students.) What do you think led to such a moment being captured on camera? Describe it in the form of a story with you being the photographer.
Do you think good grades are the only thing that matter in a student? What other qualities do you think a student should have? Describe in detail.
Go to the mall or park. Write about any person, object, or situation in the park that interests you. Describe how you feel when looking at it from an outsider’s point of view. Ensure that every feeling is described in detail, such as ‘The bunch of leaves was a sight for sore eyes, soothing them immensely and exuding a sense of calm in me.’
The motive behind any of these prompts is to ignite a spark which will turn into the flame of creativity. Do not discard the thought process behind any piece of writing. Nothing is right or wrong, and since most of the prompts are based on personal opinion, they may vary. Just be open to any idea, and get those young minds to think out of the box.