Category Archives: Paint by Numbers Online

Gilbert Stuart – American Portrait Painter

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Have you ever wondered how George Washington’s image came to be on the United States one-dollar bill? The answer to this query can be found in the life of a man named Gilbert Stuart, a renowned American Portraitist.

Gilbert Stuart’s story began on December 3, 1755 in Rhode Island. Stuart’s father was a Scottish immigrant and his mother was a member of a prominent land- owning family. At the age of six Stuart moved, along with his family, to Newport Rhode Island. It was in Newport that Stuart first took an interest in art and began to demonstrate his abilities as an artist.

In 1770 Gilbert Stuart met a man named Cosmo Alexander. Alexander was a Portraitist himself and became Stuart’s tutor. Under Alexander’s tutelage, and at the mere age of 14, Stuart painted one of his most well known pieces titled, “Dr. Hunter’s Spaniels.”

A year after this fete, Stuart moved with Alexander to Scotland in order to finish his studies with the painter. Unfortunately, after only a year together in Scotland, Alexander died in Edinburgh. Stuart was left to make his own way as a Portraitist in Scotland. However, after a year of attempting to make a living as a painter with little success, Stuart moved back to Newport Rhode Island in 1773.

His return home coincided with the American Revolution leaving him little opportunity to pursue a career as a Portraitist. Due to this, Stuart once again left Rhode Island in the hopes of building a career, this time to England. England, it seems, was a wonderful place for Stuart’s career. He studied with Benjamin West, and by 1777 his work was on exhibit at the Royal Academy.

By 1787 Stuart had married Charlotte Coates. However, he had also found himself plagued by financial struggles; the result of extravagant living and poor bookkeeping. On more than one occasion, Stuart found himself escaping debtor’s prison. Thus, in 1793 he and his family moved back to the United States and settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania Stuart set up his own studio. Pennsylvania was also the place where Gilbert Stuart began his work on the famous portrait of George Washington in 1796. Interestingly, the portrait was never completed. Instead, Stuart kept the unfinished portrait and made copies which he sold for $100.00 a piece.

It is this popular image which appears on the United States one- dollar bill and has also appeared on postage stamps.

During his life, Stuart painted over one-thousand portraits. Having painted such a large amount of noble men and women in the United States he was declared the Father of American Portraiture. Stuart was popular not only for his talent but because of his knack for conversation. The individuals who sat for long hours as he painted their likeness found him entertaining, and it has been said that he did so to keep their expressions natural and unstructured.

Stuart himself preferred to paint bust, or half- length, portraits. He also favored dark or neutral colors for his backgrounds. He cared little for detailed accessories which he felt had the potential to distract from an individual’s facial features.

However, one of Stuart’s most famous pieces deviates from these preferences, yet still proves him to be remarkably talented. “The Skater (Portrait of William Grant)” is a portrait that depicts Grant engaged in the sport of ice skating. Unlike the formal bust portraits, this piece is of a man taking part in a rather vigorous activity. Stuart’s talent in this portrait is still praised today.

Popularity followed Gilbert Stuart throughout his life, but so too did financial woe. In 1824 Stuart suffered a stroke while living in Boston. He continued to paint until, at the age of 72, he passed away. Unable to afford a proper burial, the Stuart family was forced to lay Gilbert to rest in an unmarked grave.

There is, however, a memorial tablet on Boston Common bearing his name that stands in remembrance of the man and his famous, unfinished portrait of George Washington; in remembrance of the Father of American Portraiture.

This set contains 35 paintable patterns.

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC Gilbert Stuart (see more details here)

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Golden Gate Bridge

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The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge in San Francisco. It spans the Golden Gate which is the opening of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. It is considered to be the most photographed bridge in the world. Construction started in January 1933 and opened in May 1937. It is painted in a color called International Orange, originally used for a sealant for the bridge. Unfortunately more people attempt suicide at the bridge, than any other location.

Our pattern set collection contains many photographs of the bridge taken from various angles and vantage points, and at different times of day. Several show the bridge enveloped in fog, a common occurrence in San Francisco.

This set contains 25 paintable patterns.

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The Evolution of Paint by Number

What holds you back from creating art? Is it time? Expenses? Experience? Perfectionism? These were some of the first thoughts that went into creating the Paint by Number kit — the perfect art activity that surpassed all excuses.

In 1950, commercial artist Dan Robbins, and entrepreneur Max S. Klein, invented the concept of painting by numbers. This new creation married an art form with a hobby; painting and jig-saw puzzles. The Craft Master product was sold by the Palmer Paint Company in Detroit, Michigan.

By 1954 over 12 million kits had been distributed all over the world. Each kit had two paint brushes and up to 90 paint colors. Different paints were given each a number. Included in the kit was a canvas complete with light blue or grey lines and number markings to guide the artist as to where to place the appropriate paint color.

Not only did this innovative product make, “Every man a Rembrandt,” it created a new pastime. Like any intriguing art project, many individuals (mostly adult females) found painting by numbers to have addictive qualities — in the best sense of the word, of course. By the time a mysterious image revealed the hills of a landscape, dynamic sea, cuddly pet or even Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” the artist was hooked.

However, not everyone looked at this as art work. Some critics laughed in disdain about what adults were filling their time with. But in the end, the educational value proved to be a positive selling point for the product. It was seen as a transitional item that introduced those interested in art to the tools and techniques necessary to flourish in the trade.

Not only did it open a creative outlet for individuals,  it offered attractive, homemade decorations. To this day completed works hang in museums and galleries. In 1993 the daughter of Max Klein donated the Paint by Number archives to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It’s even said that Paint by Number kits, completed by White House staff members, were hung along a corridor of the West Wing.

Between idea conception and present day, the Paint by Number art phenomenon has come full circle. In the 1960s it was adopted into the realm of Pop Art. Then, in the 1970s the designs became more abstract to fit the maturing tastes of art enthusiasts. By the 1990s, Paint by Number was looking for ways to regain a footing in the craft market of America; a telephone survey led them to create the “America’s Most Wanted” kit. Around this time, numerous children’s art companies, like Crafthouse and Janlynn started to produce Paint by Number kits for kids; there are even designs inspired by Disney Characters.

With the advent of virtual technology, it seemed only natural that Paint by Number programs become available through a computer. This is the type of innovative thinking that encouraged SegPlay, a color by number kit fit for your computer. Like Paint by Number kits, it is accessible at anytime, you can leave and return to your design as you choose, and it has the good addictive qualities that will fulfill leisure pastime. Also, like the Paint by Number phenomenon, SegPlay is always looking for new ways to serve artists. This is why Segmation SegPlayPC is evolving.

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

Sergio Calatroni Art Room in Milan have customized a wheelchair for Italian art director Fabrizio Sclavi.

Therapies that use art have been popular for many years. One notable practice is color therapy. Colors have a strong influence on the human mind and encourages action in addition to guiding reaction, speech, and even attributes to higher-than-normal test scores.

But did you know that art therapy treats more than just the heart? It can help the body too. There are a number of creative activities, crafts, and art projects that stimulate the human body and result in a better functioning person.

People with disabilities know this is true. While having a disability can be challenging, its intensity is drastically lessened when people change certain behaviors that replace negative circumstances with positive action.

Having a bright outlook and light heart can take a disabled person to a new level of personal success. These qualities are available to anyone with or without a disability through the wonderful world of arts and crafts. This is because it keeps the mind engaged and encourages creativity, confidence, and basic motor skills.

Here are some arts and craft ideas for people with disabilities:

Painting

Painting is one of the best craft ideas for anyone with a disability. Because there are a variety of painting techniques available, one is destined to find a form that fits their capacity. Included in this group are, but not limited to:

  • oil painting
  • faux painting
  • canvas painting
  • acrylic painting
  • watercolor paintings
  • fabric painting

Painting can offer relief from the mental and physical pressures of having a disability. In the subjective nature of art, every piece created is beautiful, especially the pieces done with full concentration and dedication. A beautiful work of art also makes a great gift.

Make Greeting Cards

Creating greeting or thank you card is a craft that serves multiple purposes. This is a way to stretch artistic abilities and show caregivers and family members appreciation.

Cards can be made by using these materials:

  • colored paper
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • sketch pens

The efforts of creating a beautiful card is beneficial to the artist and he or she who receives it. In addition, it gives purpose to doing the craft project, which encourages the individual to see it through to completion.

Writing 
People with disabilities often have vibrant minds. Writing fiction short stories, full length novels, and even articles about living with a disability is a fantastic form of expressive art. It does not require any physical stress to the body and engages an individual in a long term, focused endeavor.

Segmation

Paint by numbers has always been a therapeutic activity. It engages the mind and body to work in harmony and guides the creation of an artistic masterpiece. They are not difficult to complete and as an individual nears the finality of the picture, an edifying masterpiece begins to emerge.

Seg Tech is a virtual paint by numbers program. This means that a disabled person is able to create masterpieces without having the physical capabilities of a non-disabled person. All they need is an adaptive mouse (if necessary).

Virtual paint by numbers merges the properties of number and color recognition in a way that stimulates the mind, while encouraging the individuals to commit themselves to completing a work of art. This offers people with disabilities 3 constructive qualities: Challenge, purpose, and a therapeutic outlet. It emphasizes the artist in each individual and encourages a sense of wellness only art therapy can provide.

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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What are your Summer Colors?

Thinking about summer usually evokes thoughts of vibrant colors and warm temperatures. In fact, mental flashes with shades of yellow, sky blue and soft orange can be tormenting during drab winter months. Let’s face it, a 90 degree summer day is the only appropriate time to pull out the yellow linen table cloth, light blue Bahama-shorts and fill your drink glass with colorful fruits.

So, we have to ask: What are your summer colors?

In Martha Stewart’s 60 Days of Color 2011, she shares 19 colorful images that are sure to spawn ideas about how you can incorporate summer colors into your warm days. After flipping through some of the pictures, Martha’s favorite summer colors become apparent.

Summer Colors according to Martha Stewart

  • Dramatic Yellow
    • Martha Stewart repeatedly uses yellow as her primary color. To compliment this shade she pairs it with a variety of greens. The yellow has a deep tone, closer to a shade of mustard, and nowhere near the color of a street sign. This allows her to use the summer color in large, solid amounts. However, the shade can also carry an entire design and dominate the swirling motion of flower patterns. No matter how it is used, this deep shade of yellow adds brightness to a room without overwhelming the eyes.
  • Shades of Blue
    • Martha Stewart uses a myriad of blue shades in her collection of summer colors. She often uses light blues to cover large background areas, such as walls, bedspreads and curtains. This allows light to flow through the room and reflect off of dramatic blue accents. Various pieces that are dark blue include throw blankets, vases and paint trim.
  • Orange: the soft and the bold
    • In her 2011 collection of summer colors, Martha Stewart features some bold rooms with bright accents. Perhaps she does this because her readers spend so much time surrounded by dark colors in those drab winter months. The bold rooms photographed are filled with burnt orange, dark woods and deep greens. Something she uses to splash these dark settings with summer color are light orange accents, soft peach center pieces and lots of complimentary candle light.
Martha Stewart has named her summer colors. Have you chosen yours?

There is still time to pick your 2011 summer colors. Immerse yourself in a world of color by doing a leisure summer activity. Paint by number with Segmation is certain to bring out the color expert in you.

Image made available by Shahram Sharif on Flickr through Creative Common License

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Colors Change What is Beautiful

What is beautiful? The term is a bit subjective, don’t you think? After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?

It most certainly is, but one undeniable quality about color is its ability to make all things beautiful!

This is why color-field painting, with its abstract merging of vivid colors, is responsible for some beautiful works of art.  In this post we will look at how color-field painting evokes emotions and has the ability to change an environment.

By now we know how color impacts art and also stirs emotion in people. Recent posts discuss color therapy, known as chromotherapy and the psychology of color, offering insight into how color can impact an individual.  As artists, we know the emotional impact art can have on us. Vivid colors can stir emotions and hold an observers heart once they pass.

Sometimes, color makes beautiful what was not beautiful before. This is the case of color-field painting; color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale change a blank canvas into a brilliant work of art.

This style of art is very abstract and those who are best known for its development are considered Abstract Expressionists.  Color-field painting emerged in New York in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It was a type of art inspired by European modernism and made popular by artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.

What sets color-field painting apart from other types of abstract art is the artist’s regard for paint.  With the main focus being color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale, there is less emphasis on gesture, brushstrokes and consistent actions that create form and process.  In fact, the entire work of art is created by the artist who determines what elements he or she will add to convey a sense of place, atmosphere, or environment. In other words, what makes color-field painting beautiful, is its subjectivity.

Like most art, the beauty of color-field painting is in the eye of the beholder.  These colorful pieces are nice accents for decoration and fun to paint too! But don’t let the look of simplicity fool you.  This style is not easy to perfect and contrary to how it appears, cannot be replicated by a 6 year old!

Have you splashed your art palette with color today?  Try it and see how color changes what you see as beautiful.

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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A Summer Activity for Leisure Days

© Dave Dugdale: Flickr http://www.learningdslrvideo.com

Summer days are notorious for bright sun, hot temperatures and endless activities. The irony here is that summer days are also supposed to be days of leisure. This is why lounging around inside is okay even when the sun is bright. In fact, one of the most enjoyable things about a summer day is air conditioning!

Indoor summer activities often consist of watching television, sitting on the computer and working around the house. It is challenging to find a leisure activity that is also mind stimulating. This is why Segmation offers the perfect summer activity for all ages.

Paint by Numbers

Since the 1950’s, paint by numbers has been known as a leisure past time and summer activity.  It became popular when people began making more money, working fewer hours and increasing the amount they shopped. As a result, people purchased items to use in their free time. With consumers buying items like TV sets, barbeque grills and paint by numbers kits, these popular past times became better known as “new leisure.” To this day, paint by numbers, among the rest, are still a favorite past time, even though they all have new faces.

The Artist in Everyone

© Kara Allyson: Flickr

Paint by numbers is not just a great past time; it allows anyone to become an artist. Even a clumsy hobbyist can paint the perfect picture. This is why the box tops of paint by numbers kits formerly proclaimed “Every man a Rembrandt.” While every person can craft the perfect picture with paint by numbers, different levels of expertise offer this leisure activity at any skill level.

Now you have it all; all you need are leisure summer days to awaken the artist in you. The virtual paint by numbers program, Segmation, will turn you into a Rembrandt, or at the very least, a graphic design artist. Enjoy picking colors, following a pattern and watching your masterpiece appear on screen. With Segmation, this leisure activity awaits your next air conditioned summer day.

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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