Category Archives: Impressionist painting

Famous Historical Artists Who Loved Spring

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Your favorite season says a lot about you. For example, those who favor fall are often contented creatures who become excited by the simple pleasures of life. Summer lends itself to people who are outgoing and love to be with others. Winter is usually held dear by those who are introverted, pensive and prefer a good book to a wild party. Finally, Spring is often beloved by individuals who seek change, are creative and are deeply moved by beauty.

There are several famous historical artists who seemingly preferred Spring above all other seasons. This assumed preference is made evident in their multiple pieces of artwork featuring Spring-related themes. We like to believe Monet and Renoir adored Spring in all its glory.

Monet’s Paintings Reveal His Affinity for the Season of New Beginnings

images-2Artist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) was more than just a founder of French Impressionist painting; he was also a lover of nature. The earth was Monet’s muse, and he obviously took great delight in painting Springtime scenes. One of his most famous Spring-related pieces is simply titled Le Printemps (the Spring) and was completed in 1886. The piece depicts two women dreamily sitting beneath a tree that is freshly blooming. Another is Le Printemps (auprès de Vétheuil), painted in 1880. This piece is simple and quite understated, though no less breathtaking than any of Monet’s works. Fields in Spring is another enchanting piece that features a parasol-covered lady drifting through a Springtime field filled with wildflowers. In all three paintings, many cool-toned colors are used, creating the effect of a refreshing Spring breeze. These paintings are just a small sampling of the Spring-themed works of art Monet created in his lifetime.

Renoir: Another Lover of Spring

imagesMonet wasn’t the only Impressionist painter to prefer the Spring season; Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) did also. Spring Bouquet is perhaps his most famed piece of Spring-themed artwork. Spring Bouquet, completed in 1866, appears more in-focus that our friend Monet’s artwork. This exquisite painting features crisp, cool colors that perfectly animate the flowers represented in the piece. Other beloved Spring-related works of art created by Renoir include Spring Landscape and Spring at Chatou (1872).

Speaking of historical artists, have you seen our new digital paint-by-number Historical Figures pattern sets? Designed for use on a smart phone or tablet, Historical Figures 1, 2 and 3 are cheap, amazingly fun, and bring art right to your fingertips. Check them out by downloading our FREE SegPlay Mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play. Use the comments section below to let us know how much you like these new patterns!

Of all the Spring-themed works of art mentioned in this article, which do you like best? Can you think of other famous historical artists who seemed to favor Springtime?

Claude Monet – Founder of French Impressionism

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

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3 Ways that Artists Can Benefit from Blogging

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Before the invention of photography, artists had to work from real life. How did that affect artists’ working habits?

The necessity of working from life meant that in order to paint a portrait, the sitter had to pose for hours, days, weeks, and sometimes months before the artist was finished. To paint a still life, the artist would have to make sure the set-up stayed the same day after day, and could only paint when the lighting conditions were the same as the previous day. For landscape painting, artists would have to finish as much as possible on-site and often complete the final painting in their studio, often surrounded by smaller studies that contained notes on which hues and values to place where.

The invention of photography – especially digital photography – has changed the way artists work. Thanks to the convenience of affordable digital cameras, artists can easily take a variety of high-quality pictures of whatever they want to paint, and then instead of working from real li

The main goal of art marketing is to get your art out there. The more people that know about you and your work, the better. Blogging is an excellent – and free – way to put you and your art in front of a wider audience. In this article we’ll take a look at how artists like you can benefit from keeping a blog.

What is a blog?

“Blog” is short for weblog – a word that was first coined in 1997 when the general public was still getting its feet wet with the Internet. At first, blogs were merely online diaries – personal accounts of people’s daily lives. As the Internet has matured, blogs have turned into so much more. Blogs are now powerful marketing tools that are used by corporations and individuals alike to promote their businesses.

How can blogging be used as an effective art marketing tool?

  1. Blogs provide exposure. The search engines love frequent-updated blogs. Each update you post gives you another chance to be found on the Internet – by a gallery owner, a potential collector, or anyone who might be of benefit to you and your business in some form.
  2. Blogs provide insight. When you blog about your art, you can write about everything from your inspirations to your struggles and everything in between. Blogs give gallery owners and potential collectors insight into your working process, which shows them that you are a serious artist.
  3. Blogs facilitate connections. People who buy artwork online are more willing to purchase art from someone with whom they feel a connection. Blogging allows you to connect with your fans and collectors on a personal level – showing them that you are a real, live, trustworthy human being, as opposed to an impersonal collection of pixels on the screen.

These are just some of the many ways that artists can benefit from blogging.

One final note: remember that a blog is better as a supplement to your website, and not a substitute. While some artist blogs double as an online gallery and a blog, it is generally better to keep the two separate, so that it is easier for your site visitors to navigate from your new content in your blog to your static content on your website (such as your gallery).

Ready to set up your art blog? You can start a blog for free through WordPress or Blogger. Have fun!

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Tips for Making the Most of Your Next Art Museum Visit www.segmation.com

Visiting art museums can be both fun and daunting. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, contains over 2 million square feet of exhibition space – now that’s a lot of art! With room upon room filled with treasures from various civilizations, a visit to a major museum such as the Met is certainly an eye-opening, educational experience… but it can also be exhausting. Almost against your will, you’ll find that after awhile, your mind shuts down as you stare blankly at artwork after artwork.

Follow these tips to avoid that zombie-like state and glean the most from your visit to an art museum:

  • Study the museum map before you enter to familiarize yourself with everything the museum has to offer, then plan out a logical route that takes you through everything you want to see.
  • Don’t try to see everything at once. Prioritize your visit by planning to see the artwork you’re most interested in at the beginning of your museum visit, while your mind is still fresh.
  • Read the placards that explain what each exhibit and artwork is about. If you start to get burned out after awhile, don’t try to retain all the information. Just let your eyes skim over the information and absorb the key information. Look for artist, time period, medium, and location, if applicable.
  • Linger awhile in front of the pieces that most interest you, and contemplate why you like that particular piece. It is better to spend time examining the artwork you really enjoy, rather than to rush through rooms full of art that you really don’t care about.
  • If photographs are allowed, take photos of the pieces that most interest you. You should also photograph the title card of the piece, so that you can research the artist and artwork later.
  • Carry a sketchbook with you to jot down notes, ideas, impressions, and sketches of artwork that catches your eye. If photographs are not allowed, a sketchbook can be a useful substitute.
  • If you need a break, sit down in the museum cafe and rest your eyes for awhile. Fresh air can help if you’re feeling burned out, but if you leave the museum to step outside, make sure it is okay for you to re-enter without having to pay the entry fee again.

Follow these tips and your next trip to an art museum will leave you happily saturated with creative inspiration!

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All About Yellow Pigments www.segmation.com

Yellow is one of the three primary colors, which means it is often used in painting – from capturing the warm rays of a golden sun, to a field full of sunflowers, to the flickering flames of fire. Here is an overview of some of the most common yellow pigments you’ll use when painting:

Yellow Ochre (sometimes called Mars Yellow) is a non-toxic natural clay pigment. In fact, it is one of the oldest pigments in the world, used by our prehistoric ancestors. Yellow Ochre has a tan, sandy appearance.

Naples Yellow was once made from toxic synthetic pigments that were used abundantly by the Old Masters, but today’s version is made from modern, non-toxic substances. Naples Yellow usually has a light, pale appearance.

Cadmium Yellow is another historically toxic pigment (Cadmium Sulfide) that was used by artists in the late 19th century. It now contains a non-toxic replacement (usually Azo pigments), but is still called Cadmium Yellow. Cadmium Yellow has a very bright yellow appearance.

Azo Yellow (also called Hansa Yellow) is a dye-based synthetic pigment invented in the early 20th century. Azo Yellow is usually bright but it is also pale and translucent compared to Cadmium Yellow.

Each of these yellow pigments adds something different to your palette. If you are painting a still life, landscape or portrait that requires the use of yellow, consider the different properties of these yellows to decide which one (or more) would work best for what you need.

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Was the Model for the Mona Lisa a Male?

Who was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?

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Unfortunately, one of the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is who was the model was a Male or Female? What age was the model? Where was the model from? Was it his wife? Did da Vinci know the model? We may never know who the model is and of course some may say why does this matter anyway right?

One thing we know for certain is that this portrait has led to many discussions. One discussion is about the Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile. I am sure you have thought about that part yourself. I often have wondered who was this model in such a wonderful piece of art? When I look at the different masterpieces myself that other Historical artists have painted, I often ask myself this same question being who was their model or models? Also, how do these famous artists select their models? Is it their wife, themselves, mistresses, children, lovers, worker, apprentice, grandparent, high school sweetheart, coworker, neighbors, people randomly picked off the street? When the artists select a model or models, what is the artist looking for in the models? What method are the looking in their selection for a model? Are they looking at some unique feature? Unique features such as their smiles, such that the smile is mysterious, sexy, sad or interesting?

When I go the the art museum, I like to look at the famous paintings from all different angles. Do you find yourself doing that as well? When I recently went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, one of the first things I did was to walk into a room and look at the paintings from a distance. This is sometimes a hard thing to do, especially when the room is large. When the room is large, how do you really know which masterpiece to look at first. I usually look around to see which one intrigues me the most. When I find the one that interests me the most, I then look at them straight on. I often like to talk to the docents to find out what they like about the certain pieces displayed at their art museum. The docent is the true expert as they should know which pieces are the most interesting and any unusual facts about the paintings. I wonder what was the artist thinking before they started to paint on their canvas. Is there a hidden agenda on their canvas that we may never know such as the hidden identity of who their model is?

Most scholars think that da Vinci’s Mona Lisa may be his wife but have you ever thought it could really be one of his apprentices? Perhaps da Vinci had a companion that was even a male and this was the person who da Vinci drew in this well known painting? Was the model Salai who had been a model for Leonardo in several of his other paintings? So the question really is then who was the model and was it a male?

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Jan Havickszoon Steen – One of the Greatest Artists of the Dutch Golden Age

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Jan Havickszoon Steen (born ca. 1626, died early 1679), was a 17th century Dutch genre painter who is considered to be among the greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age. His use of vivid colors, his sense of humor and his ability to capture facial expressions contributed greatly to his popularity. His greatest talent was his exquisite portrayals of children, which remain unsurpassed.

The exact date of Jan Steen’s birth is unknown, but he is thought to have been born in 1626 in Leiden, home to several other Dutch masters, notably Rembrandt. His parents were prosperous Catholic brewers and, like Rembrandt, the young Jan was educated at the Leiden Latin School. He received his first art lessons in Utrecht from German historical painter Nicolaus Knupfer, who influenced Steen’s use of composition and color, and it is thought that he may also have been apprenticed to Adriaen van Ostade in Haarlem. At the age of 22, Steen studied briefly at the University of Leiden and in 1648 he joined the Sint Lucas Guild of master painters in Leiden.

In 1648 Jan Steen moved to The Hague where he studied under successful landscape painter Jan van Goyen and in 1649 he married Van Goyen’s daughter, Margriet. The couple had eight children and Margriet posed for several of Jan’s paintings. They lived in Warmond, near Leiden. Jan Steen and his father-in-law worked together for five years until Van Goyen faced financial ruin through poor speculation. Steen’s father came to the rescue, setting Jan and his young family up in a brewery business in Delft in 1654, but the business did not succeed and in 1660 the family moved to Haarlem.

Jan Steen remained in Haarlem for ten years, period in which he painted his best pictures. Most of his works are genre paintings, many of which are set in taverns, but he also broached portraits, biblical and mythological themes, and still-lives. He excelled at painting children. But in 1669 tragedy struck: Margriet died and Steen was in debt. The following year the town apothecary seized all his paintings and auctioned them to cover the medical bills. The following year, Steen’s father died. After these misfortunes, Steen moved back to Leiden where he remained for the rest of his life. He opened a tavern in 1672 and remarried in 1673. His new wife was Maria van Egmont, a widow with whom he had two children.

Steen continued to paint while running the tavern. He was a congenial host and his new wife brought him financial stability. In 1674 Jan Steen became the president of the Saint Lucas Guild. His jovial works were greatly appreciated and he was able to command good prices. Steen did not have any students, but his work was a source of inspiration to his contemporaries. His paintings were lighthearted and humorous, often with a moral message in the tradition of Dutch genre painters. Much emphasis was placed on facial expressions, body language and poses. Sometimes Steen included himself and other family members in his works. Jan Steen was always experimenting and in his final years his style became more flamboyant and foreshadowed the Rococo style of the 18th century.

Steen was a very productive artist, producing some 800 works during his short career, yet despite this he never managed to earn a living by painting alone. Upon his death in 1679 at the age of fifty-three he left his widow with heavy debts. He was buried in a family grave in the Pieterskerk in Leiden.

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Promote Your Art Through an Open Studio

A great way to drum up interest in your art is to hold an open studio. Instead of waiting for your art to get accepted into a gallery, why not turn your work space into a temporary showing space? Remember that most art lovers enjoy spending time in artists’ studios because it allows them an inside peek into the process behind the art.

Here are several tips for hosting a successful open studio:

  • Send invitations to local gallery owners, local art critics, and anyone you think may be a patron of your art. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family also, because they will help stir up conversation about your art amongst the other attendees, and their enthusiasm will be infectious.
  • Make sure your studio is neat and presentable, but you don’t need to go overboard. People will expect paint splatters in an artist’s studio! You should leave some of your art materials (paints, brushes, palettes, etc) in their natural positions, so that your tidied studio still retains the essence of your creative energy – but make sure all toxic chemicals are safely stored away.
  • Arrange your artwork in an organized display around your art space. Add title cards underneath them with your name, the title of the work, and the price, if it is for sale. It is also a good idea to display one or more works-in-progress, because many people will be interested in seeing the evolution of an artist’s work.
  • Have plenty of business cards available. A guestbook is also a good idea for adding to your mailing list.
  • Consider selling prints of your art for people on a budget. You could also sell other low-cost items with your art on them, such as cards, magnets, bookmarks, etc.
  • If your art space is big enough for people to linger, offer a plate of hors d’oeuvre. If your budget allows, offer your guests wine or other drinks.
  • To set the ambience, select appropriate music to accompany your open studio – but play the music softly. It’s important that your guests are able to hear you and vice versa.
  • Once the doors are open, socialize. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people you don’t know. You’ll be asked a lot of questions by people who want to know more about you and your art, so be mentally prepared. Your open studio is an opportunity for networking, so make the most of it.
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United States President Caricature Art by www.segmation.com!

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Here’s a fun and easy set of United States President Caricature patterns (thanks to our friends at Graphics Factory for providing this content) The set includes 17 nicely done portraits of the more familiar presidents including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

When these patterns are completely colored, the resulting image has a very strong resemblance to the original artwork. These vibrant and colorful pieces of art are truly engaging and exciting for you to paint, and especially a joy to look at when completed.

With over 2800 available patterns from an ever growing collection of artistic themes, SegPlay® PC will provide you with hours upon hours of painting fun and entertainment. SegPlay® PC Splash Screen With SegPlay® PC as an Art Appreciation teaching tool, students can memorize famous works of art, color by color. Children can truly touch images related to a wide assortment of subjects. As a parent or educator, the learning possibilities stretch as far as your image-ination!

SegPlay® PC is in the computer software category known as “casual gaming”. While it provides a pleasurable and creative escape from mundane computer activities, the program is simple to use and new players can begin the painting function immediately, with just a few, intuitive tools. However, the program also offers rich features with challenging and engaging options, so it expands with each user, whether they seek an education in art appreciation or just want to enjoy a creative gaming challenge.

With a dynamic and clear user interface and fun sound effects, the program’s gaming features compliment the artistic benefits and engage users at all levels. For a gaming challenge, users can race against a timer to complete patterns in a given timeframe at levels from Easy to Experienced and Expert. Users can also employ speed-painting tools, monitor the mistake counter, and track the number of remaining pieces and colors to increase the program’s challenging and addictive potential.

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Have fun and relax with beautiful online painting art. So fun and easy to use with no mess but just a mouse!

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Be my Valentine by www.segmation.com

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You’ll find in our SegPlayPC Be My Valentine pattern collection. This is a fun, off-beat set of great colorful digital patterns. We know you’ll enjoy coloring these great patterns! What a great stress reliever as well.

Gorgeous art painting patterns to color and relax with. You don’t have to be a professional artist to enjoy this. Join the fun today! Segmation.com

Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world on February 14th. It’s a magical day where lovers express their love for one another in many traditional and untraditional ways. In today’s time, candy, chocolates, flowers, and heart filled cards are usually given as gifts in many cultures around the globe. Our set of Valentine themed patterns includes many illustrated graphics of the holiday including roses, candy, cupids with arrows, dragons and puppies in love, and couples in love. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
This set contains 24 paintable patterns.

You can find a wide collection of Be my Valentine Scenes paint by number patterns and is available at the Segmation web site. These patterns may be viewed, painted, and printed using SegPlay™PC a fun, computerized paint-by-numbers program for Windows 7, 2000, XP, and Vista. Enjoy!

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Leonardo and Picasso: Artists of Their Times www.segmation.com

Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso are two of the most famous painters in history (if not the most famous); one a Renaissance genius renowned for his skillful realism, the other a modern legend and co-founder of Cubism.

Did you know that even though Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world, he only produced less than 30 paintings in total? Even then, many of them were left unfinished. Picasso, on the other hand, created nearly 2000 paintings – plus sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and hand-pulled prints that combine to over 50,000 works of art! (To be fair though, Leonardo also left behind a substantial number of drawings, sketches, and pages full of notes.)

One reason for this vast difference in the number of paintings produced is that both artists were products of the times in which they lived. When Leonardo was alive, artists didn’t have the luxury of creating art for art’s sake. Instead they were commissioned by the church, guilds and wealthy patrons to create paintings and sculptures that were expected to depict certain themes. For this reason, Leonardo needed to find work where he could. During times of war, he had to work as a military architect and engineer, designing methods of defense. Making art took a backseat to the work necessary for survival.

By the time Picasso was born 362 years after Leonardo’s death, the world was a different place. Artists had more freedom than ever to paint what they wanted. Self-expression in art was more widely accepted and expected. Instead of being commission-based, most artwork was sold in galleries to private collectors, as money flowed more abundantly through society than it did during the Renaissance. By the 20th century, successful artists such as Picasso were able to sustain themselves from the sale of their artworks alone, and did not need to seek alternate forms of employment to make ends meet.

These factors may contribute to the reason why Picasso created so many more artworks than Leonardo, even though Leonardo is the creator of the most famous painting in the world. Who knows what more Leonardo could have accomplished if he’d been alive in modern times?

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