Category Archives: Online Paint by Number

The Whole (Art) World in the Palm of Your Hand

On a scale of one to ten – ten being the most – how much of your world is consumed by art? Many of us art enthusiasts can’t get enough art. We practice art, talk about art and devour news of current art events and exhibits.

Thankfully, there is enough art inspired news to fulfill our insatiable appetites. Actually, there might be too much news. Sometimes it is nice to filter out the fluff and get to what is important. This is where an art/news app comes in.

An App for Art Enthusiasts

Now, with an iPad app called “Planet Art,” you can receive valuable news from the art world. According to UBS, the banking mogul behind the art app, “Planet Art is the location to simplify your access to contemporary art.”

Artnet.com praises the app (which was designed by Razorfish), saying:

“The app seeks to cut through the glut of art publishing initiatives, filtering out the most essential news, features, and market analysis and presenting it all in a clean, pleasingly-designed layout on the iPad. See it as the curated arts RSS feeder you didn’t have to create yourself.”

How Does Planet Art Work?

Planet Art pulls quality content about contemporary art from sources like The Art Newspaper, ARTnews and more. It also swims outside of the mainstream featuring worthwhile reads from blogsites and independent publications.

Aside from gathering content, the app also organizes articles into three main feeds: news, features and “The Market.” (The latter showcases articles that help everyone from art students to high profile collectors stay up-to-date on trends and happenings in the art world.) Also, users have the option to pick and choose the type of information they receive by applying keywords to create unique streams.

Another Must-Have Art App

Long before the Swiss bank merged the world of art and apps, Segmation brought digital paint-by-number patterns to the digital devices of art enthusiasts.

SegPlay Mobile makes fun ready-to-paint pattern sets available on iPhones and iPads. The app has several modes (normal, scored, hint, creative, and instant), providing an assortment of playing options which test your painting speed, as well as your artistic acumen. It allows users to color and zoom into intricate line patterns and produce photorealistic images.

With SegPlay Mobile, you can take art into your own hands. If you haven’t already, explore how fun and relaxing the world of digital paint-by-number can be. Click here to download the app for free: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/segplay-mobile/id395127581?mt=8.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Vision Problems Guide Artists

Graphic Designer Creates a Different TYPE of Art

Colorful Jewelry Inspired by Classic Art

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Perspectives on Color

We often talk about linear perspective — the way the shape and appearance of an object changes with distance — but the phenomenon known as color perspective is equally important. Also known as “aerial perspective,” it deals with the way that distance and interference from the air alters colors in landscapes, backgrounds, and other elements of a painting.

How are colors changed by distance? Most hues begin to look more blue as they get further away. Even reds, oranges, and yellows lose vibrancy and become lighter and hazier due to the volume of air between the viewer and the object. A brightly colored object will seem just as bright in contrast to nearby items, even if it is far away – but it will look a whole lot less bright in comparison to something closer to the viewer.

Weather also impacts color perspective by altering hues slightly. Cloudy conditions, sunrise, and sunset all affect the way colors appear, and an experienced artist knows to take that into account rather than painting every object as if it was near and in full sunlight.

Considering color perspective means thinking about the assumptions we make in our art. If a house is red or a tree’s leaves are green, those colors aren’t constant; they change with distance, weather, and the quality of light at a given time of day – all things that an artist needs to think about when painting for realism.

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Color Theory Basics: The Color Wheel

Color Wheel

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The world is filled with infinite shades of color, from a candy-apple-red sports car to a smoldering orange sunset to the crisp green of springtime grass. The popular color wheel simplifies the shades into 12 distinct colors to help illustrate the variations.

Arranged in a circle with 12 sections, the wheel presents a visual representation of the primary colors in the following order: blue, blue/green, green, yellow/green, yellow, yellow/orange, orange, red/orange, red, red/purple, purple, blue/purple. The colors are arranged in a chromatic sequence, with complementary shades opposite one another. These are all of the standalone colors that cannot be created by mixing other hues. Secondary and tertiary hues can then be created by mixing three primary colors (traditionally red, yellow, and blue).

The color wheel is further segmented into active and passive hues. Active colors (reds, oranges, yellows) will appear as more dominant when placed against passive shades, while the passive colors (purples, blues, greens) appear to recede when viewed near the active ones.

In our next post of Color Theory Basics, we’ll explore the art and science behind color combinations.

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Colors Red and Purple: A History of Emotion

Metro station in Paris at night. The Metro is the rapid transit metro system in Paris. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The Metro network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km (133 mi) in length. There are 300 stations (384 stops), of which 62 facilitate transfer to another line. Paris has one of the densest metro networks in the world, with 245 stations within 86.9 km2 (34 sq mi) of the City of Paris. Lines are numbered 1 to 14.Have you recently had a conversation about how color invokes emotion? It’s no surprise if you have. Colors are a big deal to us!

Magazines are just one place we see how colors invoke emotion. With each turn of the page, strategic color schemes draw our eyes to title lines; fashion trends send bold signals that trigger thoughts of new clothes; photographs of paradise remind us to long for tranquility, even between the hours of 9 and 5.

How did color and emotion come to go hand in hand? Let’s take a closer look at the history of colors red and purple, to see if we can discover when color symbolism began.

Red

Do any emotional descriptions come to mind when you think of the color red? Love, anger and violent are all words descriptive of emotions and they are all words associated with the color red.

Historically, red was used by the Greeks as a symbol of heroism. Christians have used red as a symbolic color within the crucifixion. Over time, these symbolic uses of the color have formed current perception of red and how it has very specific emotional representations.

Interestingly, the color red focuses behind the retina. This makes the lenses of the eye convex, which makes us see red areas as if they are moving forward. These scientific aspects might also be a contributing factor to our concepts of red.

Purple

Purple is a color that is rarely found in nature. Historically, many people probably never saw a purple flower or a purple colored fish. Even those who could create purple dye found the process extensive and thus, purple colored garments were reserved for only the privileged. These historical factors have contributed to the color purple being associated with a supernatural feel.

Biologically, purples are the hardest colors for the eye to distinguish. It is now known that this color is the most visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy, which is another reason why shades of purple tend to be associated with the divine, the unearthly, and the cosmic and invoke otherworldly emotions.

Next time you find yourself examining a photo or a painting, take a moment to consider how color has been used. Do certain colors draw your eye? Can you detect some of the color symbolism discussed here? Do the color collections invoke emotion?

Image made available by Marian Kraus at www.mariankrausphotography.com

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4 Reminders Why Art is Important

Art is important. It is of the highest value to our individual selves and an intrinsic part of culture. However, in the 21st century, we often find ourselves taking art for granted. This is why it is important to be reminded about just how important art is to us.

After exploring the history of art and opening ourselves to the reality of its importance, we’ll take a look at 4 reasons why art benefits everyone.

Why do we take art for granted?

Think back to the first time you walked into an art museum. Remember how magnificent everything appeared, with the halls full of paintings, photographs, sculptures, mosaics, and so on? Large spaces set up with exhibits allowed art to tell a story, highlighted an artist or explain a segment of history.

But when was the last time you entered an art museum and experienced breathtaking art up close?

In the past century, the introduction of technology has brought fine-art into our homes. This only advanced with the evolution of technology, computers and the internet. It also allowed another branch of art to form — digital art.

However, the only way to advance art from the point we are currently at, is to look back at the history of art and acknowledge what it has always done for us humans.

4 reminders why art is important

Art is individual

Art appeals to the senses

Art is collective

Art is ritualistic

Individual— Art has the ability to evoke special feelings inside of an individual.  The fact that art makes people feel special is undeniable and relates directly to every human’s need “to embellish, decorate and personalize,” writes Cathy Malchiodi. In her recent blog post, What is Art For? The Restoring Power of Imagination, she explains how important art is to an individual because of our unique taste for aesthetically pleasing design and appealing imagery.

Sensory

The reason why people have different tastes in art is because art has the ability to stimulate our senses. It is believed that art practices, in general, came about as a health-giving behavior. This means that art makes people feel good; it encourages them to be lively and brings playful qualities to difficult circumstances. Before visual art, humans used other forms of art to stimulate their senses like rhythm, story telling, order, pattern, natural color, and body movement. Nevertheless, all art forms, with an emphasis on visual art, give humans a sensory experience that can lift the spirits of any individual.

Collective— While art does wonders for an individual in the sense of growth and sensual stimulation, art is actually a community experience. After all, it is most often created to be enjoyed by others — not just the artist. It speaks to a time and place, and engages all who relate to it’s message. Even though reactions to art differ, coming together for the purpose of art has been, and always will be, a center point of human community. It is where we can gather to celebrate or grieve life’s most important events and issues. Not to mention, in the 21st century as all times before, it gives people reason to come together.

Ritualistic— People who gather together to create and critique art have more unifying interactions and ceremonies than groups who don’t. A evolutionary ethologist, Ellen Dissanayake, makes the point that historically, people who came together for the purpose of art “…were able to survive longer than those who did not engage in using art.” Art rituals have been part the human experience since its beginnings. In fact, much of history reflects that people have always come together for the purpose of art. Do you remember studying Tibetan sand paintings? Or Native American totem-polls? These were sacred rituals for cultural groups at certain times throughout history. Malchiodi points out how these rituals were founded in human survival-instinct because “they help us make meaning of life as well as reduce life’s inevitable stresses.”

Hopefully, these 4 reminders refresh your memory as to why art is important. It is likely that you have personal reasons why you appreciate art. Segmation wants to hear about those moment. Comment below and share with us about why art is important to you.

Top image made available by Torley on Flickr through Creative Common License

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Catch a Wave

American recording artists, the Beach Boys said it best; “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

Is this how surfing feels? The mighty energy of water folding under one’s feet must be exhilarating, and there is no doubt that it mimics the sensation of sitting on top of the world. But how many people really get to experience this sensation?

Not only is it challenging, it’s a rather limiting exercise, especially considering one’s location may prohibit their access to these energetic waves. That’s why people living in places like Hawaii, California, and Australia are more likely to take up this activity, while those in landlocked regions don’t necessarily have the option. However, the sight of an individual climbing the wall of a crashing wave is alluring to almost everyone. This is why it has become such a popular setting in paintings, photographs, and even movies.

Paintings

There are many ways of painting a wave. Some artists like to paint them as precise as possible, down to the fine detail of the ocean spray. Others, make the art more abstract. However, one thing is necessary when painting a wave– it has to be inspired by the energy of the water.

Surf artist Peter Pierce says that his wave art is, “… inspired by the actual act of riding quality waves. Likewise, the true ‘surf artist’ understands the rareness/value of quality waves via living a life passionately devoted to the pursuit of such waves… ”

Therefore, Pierce paints waves because he knows how to ride waves. But people can also “ride a wave” from the comfort of their beach chair, and capture a similar energy with their paint brush.

Photography

Capturing this energy with a photograph is a bit more challenging. The surf culture itself is very active, and to keep up with the waves, and people riding them, one must be quick to point and shoot.

With the speed and force of rising and falling water, the active lifestyle of surfers and surf artists can be down-right-dangerous. In fact, photographers who desire to get the perfect picture oftentimes put themselves into compromising positions. In pursuit of a breathtaking image, they will put themselves into the water with the surfers but without the advantage of having a floating board (and instead happen to be carrying expensive, water-sensitive equipment).

Although, perhaps that is the price these individuals pay to do what many others cannot: Surf art photographers are able to literally catch a wave so that those who can’t surf still experience the sensation of sitting on top of the world.

Movies

Movies about surfing, and more specifically, movies about the sea creatures who live beneath these transportable waves, have been popular for quite some time. And why wouldn’t they be? A movie about surfing has many elements that a successful movie needs. This is because the active culture of surfing is inviting, crashing waves are thrilling, and the risk of danger is high.

Just this year, the most recent surfing movie, Soul Surfer, was released. With an all-star Hollywood cast and amazing cinematography, the movie captivated its audience and shared the thrill of catching a wave.

There are countless other movies that survey the surfing culture. All of them have something in common — the artistic capturing of natural scenery.

Even though many people don’t have access to large bodies of water conducive for surfing, most everyone enjoys the energy that comes from catching a wave. Whether they can actually ride a wave or just look at one, energy exudes from the image of swelling water that is on the verge of collapse. This allows surfers, artists, and observers of both, to catch a wave and sit on top of the world.

Thank you featured surf artists Peter Pierce and Trent Mitchell. If you want to know more about this art wave and craze, visit http://www.clubofthewaves.com.

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Giotto di Bondone – Father of European Painting (www.segmation.com)


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Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 – 1337), known simply as Giotto, was a Florentine painter and architect. He is now considered the first great master of the Italian Renaissance and the founder of modern European painting. Giotto’s natural and realistic style broke away from the symbolism of Byzantine art and was the catalyst that marked the start of the Renaissance.

Giotto was born in a small hamlet north of Florence. His father was a farmer and Giotto probably spent much of his youth as a shepherd. According to art historian Giorgio Vasari, the renowned Florentine artist, Cimabue, who was the last great painter in the Byzantine style, discovered the young Giotto drawing pictures of sheep on a rock. Cimabue was so impressed by the young boy’s talent that he immediately took him on as an apprentice. That story may be apocryphal but by around 1280 Giotto was working in Florence and by 1312 he was a member of the Florentine Guild of doctors and apothecaries, a guild that also included painters. He traveled to Rome with Cimabue and may well have worked on some of the master’s commissions.

Giotto signed his name to just three paintings. All other attributions to him are speculative and the unresolved controversy has raged through the art world for over a hundred years. Nevertheless, his work stands at the brink of a new age in art. He concentrated on representing human emotions, people in everyday situations, and capturing the human experience through his art.

Although he lacked the technical knowledge of perspective, he created a convincing three-dimensional pictorial space. His genius was immediately recognized by his contemporaries; he was lauded by great philosophers, writers and thinkers of his day, among them Dante and Boccaccio. Under Giotto’s leadership the old, stylized Byzantine art forms slowly disappeared from Florence, and later from other Italian cities. His freedom of expression influenced artists of the early and high Renaissance, and changed the course of European painting.

One of Giotto’s finest works is the series of frescoes painted 1304-1305 for the Scrovegni chapel in Padua, usually known as the Arena Chapel. The 37 scenes depict the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary and are considered to be one of the masterpieces of the Early Renaissance. The figures in his paintings interact, gossip, and look at each other.

From 1306 to 1311 Giotto was in Assisi where some art historians believe he painted the fresco cycle of the Life of St. Francis. Although the style of the frescoes is realistic and breaks away from the Byzantine stylization, the controversy is caused by the stylistic differences between the St. Francis and Arena Chapel frescoes. Documents that could have proved the origin of the commissions were destroyed by Napoleon’s troops when they occupied the town in the early 19th century.

Giotto received commissions from princes and high officials of the church in Florence, Naples and Rome. Most scholars agree that he painted the frescoes in the Church of the Santa Croce in Florence and although he never signed the Ognissanti Madonna altarpiece, the Florentine work is universally recognized as being by him. It is known that Giotto was in Florence from 1314-1327 and the large panel painting depicting the Virgin was painted around 1310. The face of the Virgin is so expressive that it may well have been painted using a live model.

Towards the end of his life, Giotto was assigned to build the Campanile of the Florence Cathedral. In 1334 he was named chief architect and, although the Campanile is known as “Giotto’s Tower,” it was probably not built to his design specifications.

Giotto died in January, 1337. Even his burial place is surrounded by mystery. Vasari believed he was buried in the Cathedral of Florence, while other scholars claimed he was buried in the Church of Santa Reparata. But Giotto left an artistic legacy that could not be ignored. His disciples, Bernardo Daddi and Taddeo Gaddi continued in the master’s tradition and, a century later, the artistic torch lit by Giotto was passed on to Michelangelo and Raphael, the great masters of the High Renaissance.

Giotto made a radical break from the Byzantine (abstract – anti-naturalistic) style and brought more life to art. Giotto primarily painted Christian themes depicted in cycles and is best known for his frescos in various Chapels (Arene Chapel, Florence Cathedral, Assisi, Scrovegni).

Our pattern set collection features many of his more familiar works including the Ognissanti Madonna, The Mourning of Christ, The Marriage at Cana, The Mourning of St. Francis, Crucifixion and Madonna and Child.

Giotto di Bondone

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What Every Artist Should Know About Copyright (www.segmation.com)

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All artists should be aware of copyright – that is, the exclusive rights that you, as the creator of your art, are granted from the moment your artwork is created.

Because you are the copyright owner of your original artwork, you have the sole right to distribute your art and make reproductions of it. No one else can do this without your consent. If they do, it is illegal and you can take legal action.

Technically, the moment you create your artwork, it is copyrighted. While it might be helpful to draw or paint the copyright symbol © onto your art (followed by the year and your name), this symbol is no longer necessary to protect your copyright. It’s more of a visual reminder to let others know that your art is copyrighted.

However, if you should ever take someone to court because they infringed upon your copyright, the only way to get the utmost in legal protection is to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. Ideally you should do this immediately after the artwork is finished.

If the artwork is registered with the US Copyright Office, offenders can be held liable for up to $30,000 in statutory damages or even $150,000 if you can prove that they already knew your art was copyrighted but reproduced it anyway.

Registering your copyright is easy. You can fill out the form entirely online at the website of the US Copyright Office, pay the fee, and upload images of your art. Once processing is complete, they will snail mail you a certificate of registration. Even though that may take a few months, your copyright is officially registered from the date you filled out the form, made the payment and uploaded your art.

The cost to register your art is $35, but if you register your artwork as a “series”, you can register as many works of art as you want (as long as they were created in the same year) for one single fee of $35. For instance, if you created 12 landscape paintings in 2010, you can register all 12 landscapes under the same claim for a single $35 fee. This is a great way to save money on registration fees.

In short, it’s always a wise idea to protect your copyright by registering your art with the US Copyright Office. If and when your art becomes wildly popular, you may need that legal protection if anyone infringes upon your copyright.

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The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.