Beginners Resource Guide to Art

Did you know that the creation of art can be used to help people both mentally and physically? There are different therapies that use art as a way to help people express themselves. Art is a wonderful way for people to fully engage their imagination and creativity. There are many different forms of art such as ceramics, painting and graphic design. Creating art can become a very rewarding profession for people who are very good at their art form or it can merely be a hobby that is purely for fun. Of course it is also possible for you to sell your art for extra money even if being an artist is not your actual career.

Painting

Painting is not just about brushing or dabbing paint onto paper or canvas. There are methods and techniques for you to learn that will help you to create the best paintings possible. The three types of painting which people typically do are oil painting, watercolor painting and acrylic. Oil painting involves a canvas and the use of a thicker paint (which is easier to control). Thinner paint tends to spread more. This type of paint dries over a period of days so you can continue to work with it longer. All you need to do to correct a mistake is to scrape off the paint layer. The scraping shouldn't damage any layers which are underneath it. Yet there are some disadvantages to this type of painting. It is more expensive than the others, requires more materials and you need a special cleaner such as turpentine in order to clean everything. Watercolor painting is typically done on paper and uses transparent paints which are thin. The problem with this type of painting is that its form will change as it dries. This alters the appearance of the painting. Clean up is easy as you can simply wash with soap and water after working with watercolor paints. Acrylic paints are between watercolor and oil in terms of thickness. They are thicker than watercolor paints and thinner than oil paints. They are easier to work with than watercolor paints because they are thicker which makes them easier to control. Acrylic painting is typically done on canvas. Unlike the oil paints, acrylic paints dry fast and become plastic. If you make a mistake with acrylic paints you can just wait for them to dry and paint over them.

Drawing

Drawing is an art form that is very relaxing and fun for many people. You can escape the world for hours by immersing yourself in the creation of a picture through drawing. There are many different drawing mediums that can be used to create your masterpiece such as pastels, chalks, charcoal or just a pencil or pen. Drawing can be divided into three main categories which include: casual, preparatory and finished. When you doodle on a piece of paper during a class at school, you are creating a casual drawing. Sketching is another form of casual drawing (which is an unrefined or unfinished creation). A preparatory drawing is also unfinished as the artist intends to color it later with something such as paint or colored inks. The creation consists of one image or numerous images which form the entire picture or merely a portion of it which the artist will at some point color. A finished drawing is a stand-alone, completed creation. Examples of finished drawings include: cartoons, caricatures and illustrations. Drawing can also be divided into several types which include: portrait, landscape, figurative genre works, still life, fantasy drawings, illustrations and caricatures. Portraits are typically a profile or three-quarters of a profile of a person. Landscapes are basically scenery. Genre works involve certain types or classes of drawing. Still life drawings involve something that is not moving such as a beautiful flower. Fantasy drawings stem purely from the artist's imagination. An illustrative drawing explains text through pictures. Finally caricatures are drawings which exaggerate parts of people or situations.

Graphic Design

Graphic design involves creating (by hand or utilizing a computer) visual concepts that express ideas for consumers or for fun. For example, a graphic designer might create a logo which represents a particular company. When a consumer sees the logo they instantly relate it to that particular company. Graphic design allows artists to communicate ideas through a combination of art and modern technology. There are many communication tools which a graphic designer can choose to work with in order to convey a message to a specific target audience. Typography and images are the two main tools used in graphic design. If a design is image-based then the images convey the message. Many page layout software programs exist including QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. These types of programs are considered high-end graphic design software. There are even software programs that allow you to take pictures with a camera and alter the images. Adobe Photoshop is an excellent program for working with pictures.

Ceramics

Ceramics as an art form typically involves creating shapes using a mixture of powders, clay, water and earthen elements. The formed object is then placed in an oven called a “kiln” and is “fired” at a very high temperature for a specific amount of time. Artists often decorate their ceramic works of art with glazes (substances similar to paint) which are brushed onto the ceramic object. Ceramics can be done with just your hands or you can use a potter's wheel. If you use a potter's wheel you typically place a ball of clay in the center of the round disc of the wheel. You then use your hands and possibly other objects to shape the clay as the wheel spins. Typical items which artists create with a potter's wheel include vases, bowls and plates. Ceramics is an art form that is great for helping to release stress. You can pat, pound and roll the clay in your hands to form many different shapes.

Sculpture

Sculpting involves creating a three-dimensional work of art. You can create your sculpture using methods such as casting or carving. Traditionally sculptors used metal, wood or stone as the base material from which to create their sculptures. Today there are many other materials that can also be used to produce sculptures such as glass and ceramics. Some people merely collect a variety of different items and join them together to form their sculpture. Different methods of sculpting require different techniques and tools.

Computer Art

Have you ever used drawing software on your computer to create a person, cartoon character or some other work of art? It is easy to create extraordinary works of art using specialized computer software programs. Computer art only requires a computer and an artist in order to create the art. It is also good for the art to be distinctive artistically. You can create two-dimensional or even three-dimensional computer art. The beauty of this type of art is that you can create incredible works of art even if you have problems drawing a straight line freehand. For example, the software programs you use allow you to draw things perfectly such as a circle or a straight line even if you don't have a steady hand.