Thursday 31 May 2012

Tulips On Cubic Background

 It's been almost a month since setting up this blog. I've discovered lots of brilliant Artists, whom were as kind to share their works as they were talented. Thus, I feel it's just the right time to show you one of my Art works. Keeping in mind that I am just 17 years old, as of 2012, here it is:

35cm by 25cm (14" by 10")
Done in Prismacolors
On Fabriano 50% Cotton Paper

  It's not the best day for photographing a painting as it is slightly under the weather now in Singapore. It's about halfway done. And if you were interested, here is the reference image. It is by "Chia" on's image reference library.

  I have not thought of a name for it yet, so, perhaps you might help me think of one? Leave me an idea of what I should name it in the comments section below.

  In other news, if you're on Tumblr, follow me at "". It's an Art inspiration blog, with pretty pictures, and lovely Art.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

What to Put In Your Art Website

  You've searched the internet and have chosen a hosting website. You've been sitting on a chair for perhaps, an hour or so, and finally have come up with the perfect website name. Now then. What should you put into your website?

Your home page
  It's the first thing people see when they arrive on your site. It should have your name, what you are (an Artist), and perhaps two or three introductory lines. Also, some curators say to choose one Art work that you really like, and place it somewhere on that page.

Your Gallery
  "Works", "My Paintings", "My Art Works", you can title it lots of things, but make it clear and short, because that's what people are most interested in- your Art.

  If you have lots of paintings, you should split the them into a few series, or categories. Categories could go according to medium used, (Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor) or subjects, (Portraits, Landscapes, Still Life) or they could go according to series. (Bird Series, Blue Series, Abstract Series)

  Make sure that there are large enough thumbnails to show the Art works, so that viewers can decide whether they want to click on them. Also, it is a personal choice whether you want to show which Art works are sold, or otherwise. You could always have a separate gallery showing Art works that have been sold.

Artist Bio & Portfolio
  Your Biography is an introduction of you, your beliefs in Art, and where you see yourself heading. Stay away from politics, religions, and other unnecessary topics that are not related to your Art. (Unless of course, that is what your Art is about.)

  Your Portfolio should include what competitions, exhibitions (be they solo or group), awards, and other recognitions you've ever received/taken part in. You could, if you'd like, to include which Art school you graduated from, or what kind of formal training (if any) you've received. Most of the time, I am not interested in the school the Artist has graduated from, but if it adds to your Portfolio, then I say, go for it.

  A Portfolio can be written in a time-line form, or it could be written as an essay, whichever you feel suits your needs.

Contact Me/ Contact the Artist
  It should be on the navigation links and not hidden somewhere deep within your website.

  You must (yes, must.) include at least one contact detail. Be it, a phone number, an e-mail, or a gallery address. It'll be lovely if you could include all of them. I would say to NOT put private details, like where you live. However, Twitter/Facebook accounts are according to what you prefer. Also, whether you choose to place your blog in this tab, or in another tab altogether, is to your preference.

Design Layout
  Not something that you can put in your website, but it is something you need to consider. The navigation bar should ALWAYS remain in one place. The design should stay the same throughout the website. Colors should be complementary/neutral, which means no blood red, or bright yellow. Finally, never underestimate the legibility of Times New Roman font.

Other things that are worth a mention
  You should learn how to take good pictures of your Art works, in good lighting. Edit your images, and color correct them always, for they are representations of whom you are as an Artist.

  Make sure that your website can be viewed in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and in Iphones and Android phones. Which means to make sure whether your website is phone compatible. It'll be a real waste if you've designed your website brilliantly, but have it to be incompatible with phone devices.

  And... That's it. These are all the things to consider for your website. Do you have an Art Website? Are there things I missed? Leave me a comment in the section below.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

The Importance of a Personal Art Website

  There is a huge amount of importance on an Art website as it is your presence in the virtual world. When people open up Google, and type an Artist's name into the search engine, they are hoping that the first search result would be that of the Artist's blog or website. We, as humans, are restricted to being at one place at a time and so are our Art. However, in the virtual world, where everything is only 1s and 0s, there can be hundreds of visitors on your website at once, and you can give all of them the chance to view your Art.

  There is a number of hosting site to choose from. From Blogspot, to Blogger, to They each have the option given to you to pay a small sum of money to the them, and get a custom domain name. Each has their pros and cons, and lots of other website cover them, thus I will not go into those details.

  First thing to do, after you've chosen your hosting site, is to think of a name for your website. Even if, for now, you're not going to buy a custom domain name, do get a name that you'll like to keep, even in the future. When you get a custom domain name that differs from the name that you are using now, you'll loose traffic, and some people might not be able to find you.

  Your full name is the best name for your website. [] If you're a female, and are worried to use your surname as you might change it after marriage, use your first and middle name instead. For example, I might use my first and middle name, Stephanie Jennifer, for this purpose. If your name is already taken, hyphens are helpful. [] Do keep in mind though that too many hyphens are cumbersome to type, and to tell to others. Hyphens are not very helpful creatures.

  As you are thinking of a name, it will also pay to check whether the .com version of it is taken. If it isn't, it is a wise investment to register your domain name as soon as possible as many websites are taken very quickly. If it is, I recommend you think of another version of the name, or see if the .com(followed by whatever country you are in) For example, in my case, if "" is taken, I might try the Singapore version of it. ""

  Lots of names are already taken, and as a website is a branding tool, you might get frustrated that your name is already taken. Never fear, though, other worthy "tricks" to try:
- Adding "artist" at the back of your name.
- If you paint/draw in mostly one medium, adding that medium of choice at the back.
- You might try to include where you live in your url. [] for example.

  Also, if your name is easily misspelled, it may be worth to buy the variant of it. For example, if you choose your name as a website address, [], you might consider buying the variant [] and putting a redirecting message on that website.

  In my next post, (here) I'll be writing about what you might consider putting in your website.

Monday 28 May 2012

Painting of the Day: Old New York

"Old New York (Rain)" by Ed Weiss

Watercolor and Indian Ink on 300 lb, 640gsm, Aches cold-pressed watercolor paper.
22" by 30" (56cm by 76cm)

  It's a beautiful piece, isn't it? I think that's due to the brilliant darks in the painting. His secret? He uses indian ink to lay down the darks.

  You can see the technical skill required to draw out the perspective, and the cars. The color scheme is wonderful, and I love the fading feeling of the buildings as they recede.

  Unfortunately, I could not find any information on the Artist, nor could I locate his website. If you do know any information on him, especially his website, do tell me in the comment section below as I would like to give credit to him.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Painting of the Day: November Sunshine: Minnie

"November Sunshine: Minnie" by Kathy Caudill

Done in Transparent Watercolor. 10 1/2" by 15 1/2" (27cm by 39cm) Featured in "Splash 8"

Quote from the book:
  "...I discovered that I could enhance the soft look of my watercolor paintings by lightly scraping the dry paint with the edge of a double edged blade. The razor acts as an eraser to gently lighten or remove selected areas of paint. ...My old friend, Minnie, ... was diagnosed with cancer, (and) I wanted to paint ... the familiar softness of her fur, as well as the gentleness of her spirit."

  Brilliant work, as always from the "Splash" series. I love how the shadows connect the cat to the edges. The dark background does not detract you from the main subject, and the overall warmest of the painting is portrayed brilliantly.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Nathan Fowkes

     Nathan Fowkes, one of the brilliant DreamWorks Artist that I found in "Moonshine". (If you'd like to find out more about the book, click here to see my review on it.) He has (is) also working for Blue Sky and animation big house, Disney.

  As his job scope requires him to work digitally, he uses his spare time to draw and paint in the traditional manner. He has originals on sale on his blog, and if you really like his style, he holds regular workshops too.

"Angeles Crest"- Watercolor on Paper

"Bridesmaid"- Charcoal on Paper

Photoshop Sketch

Environment study for "How to Train Your Dragon".

  As you can tell, he's awfully talented, and if you'd like to see more, visit his blog.

Friday 25 May 2012

Book Review: Moonshine

  We've just had a lunar eclipse not too long ago, and it just happened that I chanced upon a book titled "Moonshine".

  It even has a blog on the project. Just click here.

The range of mediums and subjects covered within this book is wide, and so are the styles of the works. Now, I must say, I don't remember Artists by their names when I see their works unless I've read a book written by them. The reason being, is that when I go to an Art competition, I view the works, and not the Artist. Likewise, if I pick up a book with a range of Artists' works in it, my reason for choosing the book is to see a wide range of styles and mediums. Thus, I'm not too concerned with whom the Artist is. I'm more interested in the content of the paintings/drawings, the colors used within each Art piece, the composition, what I think the Artist could have improved on... etc.

  With books like these, I want inspiration, I want "wow", I want brilliant. Thus, I might not know each individual Artist within this book, but I love the Art within the book because they work for me. Some Art works might "work" for me more than others.

  The book itself has a good layout. With a range of different subjects, from characters, to landscapes, to design base pieces. Also, there is an Artist index at the back of the book that gives you the Artists' websites.

  Although, the price is slightly steep over at Amazon, and it might be a factor which you need to think about before purchasing the book. It's not a limited edition, nor was it hard-cover. Thus, unless you're an illustrator  or that you have an Artist within the book that you really like, I do say that you borrow it from the library instead of purchasing it,

  If you were wondering which Artists were within this book, this blog has a list on the Artists that are included in the book, plus a video on what is inside the book.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Christopher Fisher

  Christopher Fisher does landscapes, portraits, and illustrations in, what I believe to be, oil. (If I am mistaken, please correct me.)

  If you would like to see which of his paintings that first made me sit up and watch him, click here.

  One of his illustrations that really left me in awe is a painting titled "Surgery In The Revolutionary War". Although, I must warn you that it is gory, and bloody. The painting will be shown right after the jump.

  It is also shown on his blog, whose address is right... here.

Painting of the Day: Battle of Fort Montgomery

"Battle of Fort Montgomery" by Christopher Fisher.

A link to his Recommended Artist page is right here.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Chichapie

  Chichapie is an artist hailing from the Philippines, and does his work in Digital Art. His paintings are usually fantasy paintings, but are executed quite well, ranging from fan art to commissioned pieces, and of course, personal ones too.

Self Portrait of the Artist.

Commissioned Piece

I, personally, adore this piece because the girl looks so bad-ass, and sassy. The colors are well executed and the simple traces of the background do not draw your attention away from the subjects.

And here, is where you'll find his DeviantArt gallery.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Kai

  He hails from Singapore, and is currently working in LucasArt Singapore.

Not too bad, if I say so myself. He has a BLOG and a WEBSITE, of you're interested in seeing more of his Art.

Monday 21 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Stanley Lau

  Born and bred in Hong Kong, the multifaceted Stanley wears different hats as an illustrator, designer, concept artist, creative director and co-founder of Imaginary Friends Studios — a world acclaimed digital art studio that produces high quality artworks for the likes of Capcom, DC Comics, Square Enix and other giants in the entertainment and gaming industry.

  Formally trained in graphic design and advertising, Stanley's art is imbued with a strong sense of aesthetics and visual fluidity. It is a perfect blend of eastern and western art styles. Better known by his handle Artgerm, Stanley's art continues to infect and inspire new generations of artists and his ever-growing fan base around the world.


"Pepper- Freedom"


    I think his style is very easily recognisable. Bright colors. Strong composition. A very strong understanding of human anatomy. And bold brushstrokes. That is today's Recommended Artist. Visit his DeviantArt right..... here. It's full of beautiful art. I highly recommend you checking it out.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Rob Alexander

  The title of the book he wrote, "Drawing & Painting Fantasy Landscapes & Cityscapes", might give you an idea of what kind of Art Rob Alexander does. He does Digital Art, and armed with his trusty stylus pen, he produces magical works of Art.

"After the Fall", 12" by 18", Mixed Media.

"Coldsteel Obelisk", 8.5" by 11", Watercolor.

"The Crow- The Summons", 7" by 10".

  Brilliant works, aren't they? I find his website slightly overloaded with links that make it slightly overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Here is a direct link to his Art:

Visit his website, here, to learn more about his Art and his book.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Painting of the Day: Somnio 003

"Somnio 003" by Seung Ho Holmberg

  This is just breathtaking. I mean, the chosen color palette, the deep shadows, the warm glow of the sun. The light cast on the buildings are a really brilliant touch, and I just love the small specks of light within the shadows. (Clicking on the picture will bring up a clearer image.) It is no wonder that Seung Ho Holmeberg was featured in D'artiste.

About: Painting of the Day

  I'm going to begin a new segment in my blog called: "Painting of the Day". As I've just taken up a large project recently, I'm doing this to keep the blog posts keep flowing even when I'm too busy or tired. By doing so, it will ensure that you, my dear reader, still have beautiful works of Art to look at every time you visit my blog.

  There will, of course, always be credits to the Artist, and you could, in your own time, Google search the Artist. Or, wait a day or two for me to put up a Recommended Artist post on that particular Artist. Also, I will include a short essay below the chosen painting on what I like about it.

  As always, the "Contact Me" page is above, and should you want me to feature you, or an Artist that you really admire, do not hesitate to write me an e-mail.

Friday 18 May 2012

Watercolor Brushes

  In this day and age, there is a limitless amount of brands, and types of brushes you can find in the market. However, depending on your budget and location, there might be a certain constraint on what materials you can and cannot buy. Obviously, you could buy materials that your local Art store does not stock through the inter web, but that might require some research.

  Thus, I have compiled a list of different types of brushes that are currently available in the market, just for you.


The Sable brush family can be split into two general types. The first being Kolinsky Sable.

Kolinsky Sable comes from the tail of a species of mink in the weasel family that can be found in Siberia and Northeast China.

Kolinsky Sable is also said to be the best material for both oil and watercolor brushes due to its strength, spring and ability to retain its shape. It's also said that if proper care is given to the Kolinsky Sable brush, it will last for many years.

  Stratford & York brushes (top) are handmade in England, and the skills of their brush makers and the creativity of their brush designers has made them the largest brush company in Europe—making an impressive 15 million brushes a year! 

  These brushes are a cheaper alternative to its more expensive sable-haired counterpart.

Photo Credit:

  Other than the beautiful Statford & York brushes, squirrel hair brushes can be split into grey and brown squirrel hair.
 Grey squirrel hair is native to Russia and is highly in demand for lettering and quills. However, supply nearly always falls short. Brown squirrel hair is more readily available. Squirrel hair, however, is not very resilient and is mainly used for scholastic to medium quality brushes.

A hake brush is an oriental-style wash brush on a long flat handle.It can be used for laying in large areas of water or color, and for wetting the surface of your paper.

   Synthetics are man-made of either nylon or polyester filaments. They can be tapered, tipped, flagged, abraded or etched to increase color carrying ability.

  Often, synthetic filaments are dyed and baked to make them softer and more absorbent.

 The advantages of using synthetic brushes are: 
1) They are less prone to damage from solvents, insects or paints. 
2) They are easier to keep clean than animal hair brushes because the filaments don't have animal scale structures to trap paint. 
3) They are less prone to breakage and are durable on many different surfaces.


 These Silver Brushes are a blend of natural squirrel hair and black synthetic filament. Dick Blick describes them as being 'full bodied, with a wonderful snap". Other than watercolor, they can also work with silk painting, inks, dyes, acrylics, and gouache.

  Keep in mind though, that if you use a brush for Watercolor, never use it with Acrylics or oils. Gouache is fine, but I'd rather have different brushes for different mediums.

  I have never used these brushes myself, but they do have mixed reviews on them over at Dick Blick. However, I really do like their sleek appearances and would love to try one of them out in the near future.
Photo Credit:

JAPANESE BRUSH (a.k.a. Bamboo Brush):

  Another alternative that I've found for the expensive sable brush is the humble, but extremely versatile, Japanese calligraphic brush. Not to be confused with the hake brush, the Japanese calligraphic brush is much thinner and holds a point very well just like any other watercolor brush.

  The advantage of using a Japanese brush is its capability to hold water/pigment. However, the disadvantage is that it doesn't have much "spring". I would recommend using the Japanese brush when drawing loosely, or when doing a wet-in-wet wash.

  In the past, these brushes were made of hair from wolf, squirrel, weasel and badger. (If you ever find a traditional brush made of wolf hair, buy it, because I guarantee you, it is a brilliant investment.) Today, sheep, dog, cat, rabbit, deer, goat and horse hair is most often used.

  Thus, this is my list of different brushes that can be used for watercolor. Now that you know more about the TYPES, you'll need to find a BRAND. As always, I say you should experiment with different brushes and find what truly suits you and your style.

  Which type of brush do you like best, and why? Leave me a reply in the comments section below.

Recommended Artist: Douglas Thomas

   It took me a while to find him, and to do so, I had to search: "D. Thomas Art". I saw his Art in "Watercolor- The Spirit of Spontaneity". Here are the works featured in that book:

  The above painting is dedicated to a close aunt of his, that supported his early Art career.

The only link that works on his website is the "contact me" page, unfortunately. He is also, rather invisible on the World Wide Web. However, if you would like to see more, I do urge you to pick up a copy of "Watercolor- The Spirit of Spontaneity".  And if you know any other information on this artist, do tell me in the comment section below.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Karlyn Holman

  "Watercolor- The Spirit of Spontaneity" by Karlyn Holman. The book teaches just that, with many different techniques that you can utilise. I'm not too fond of the layout of the book, but the paintings within them makes up for that, and most people would agree that it is a highly inspirational book.
And here is one of the many paintings that can be found within the book:
 I'm not a fan of Abstract Art, but this is a captivating one.

  If you're interested in seeing more, visit her website.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Annette Kane

  Annette Kane is the author of "Being Bold with Watercolour" and she has been working full time as a painter for over ten years and has had more than 20 solo shows in London at the Catto Gallery, Amsterdam and New York. Her work has also been published and sold world-wide.

  And here are some of the brilliant works that can be found within this book:

  She now resides in the coastal village of Silverdale in the North West of England with her husband and daughter, Eva.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Harley Brown

  I found Harley Brown through his book, "Harley Brown's Eternal Truths for Every Artist". (as shown below) He is a pastel Artist, and while Pastel isn't the main medium I work with, I enjoyed the book imensly.

  It's been a while since I last read the book, thus, I'm not going to review it. I can, however, remember that it was a no-nonsense, written in a "teacher/mentor voice", type of book. If you hop on to Amazon, you'll see plenty of good reviews about it. Harley Brown works beautifully in his medium and the paintings in the book serve as inspiration to me, and many others.

  If I remember correctly, the painting below was the painting that helped him build his confidence up. It won him an award, from where I can't recall.

  If you're interested in learning more about Harley Brown, he has another book titled: "Confessions of a Starving Artist: the Art and Life of Harley Brown". It's an autobiography of his life, and from what I hear, is a pretty interesting read.

 He doesn't have an Art website, nor does he teach anymore. However, he is a member on and goes by the name makinart.

  What do you think about Harley Brown? Leave your comments in the comment section below.

Monday 14 May 2012

Recommended Artist: Denny Bond

  Apart from his hyper-realistic Art, Denny Bond also does caricatures, and illustrations. He is currently living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Fine Art in communications. He is currently exhibiting in galleries and museums throughout the United States, and his paintings have been featured in Watercolor Artist, February 2008 and in American Artist, June 2007.

 His website is simple to navigate and has an awesome layout. (I'm a sucker for good design.) So, if you're interested to know more about him, click on the link at the end of this post. Here, are some of his Art.

 If you were to ask me, I feel the first painting is the best, out of these three. Because the lights and shadows are very well planned, with a harmonious palette, and also because he used shadows to tell a story, as opposed to light. They are all, still, brilliant works.

A quote from his website:
   " I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of variation. Creating paintings in a series using a common theme allows me to focus on a particular subject matter of interest, but changing that focus for the next series is absolutely necessary to retain interest. I approach each painting with the thought of wanting to return to review it again at a later date. If I can capture that interest within myself, the content and execution of the painting is successful. Using my illustration background, I search for concept, composition, and detail in a representational style of painting that is predictable, but a choice of subject matter that is not."

Visit his website here.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Recommended Artist: David Walker

You've not seen Street Art at its best if you've not seen David Walker.

And here is his website.

  He uses spray paints. Spray paints. Imagine the amount of control one needs to utilise spray paint to draw... His blog doesn't tell much about his education in Art, but, if you know me, I'm not interested in your education, I'm interested in what you draw.

  His blog hasn't been active in 2 years. For reasons I'm unsure of. But, if you click on his Portfolio, it'll bring you to a vast array of his paintings. Like the ones shown here:

If you like them, you can get prints of them too.