Tag Archives: painting by numbers

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.

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How to Make Your Mistakes Work for You

Every artist knows the feeling of working for hours on a piece, only to make some kind of mistake. Whether it’s spilling paint, making a mark that can’t be erased, or stepping back and realizing that your drawing is out of proportion – we’ve all been there at some point. But when you goof up, does it mean that your artwork is ruined? Not necessarily!

Here are some tips that can help save your artwork after you’ve made a mistake that you can’t undo:

  • Cover over it. This is probably your first impulse, so ask yourself, “Is there a way to cover this mistake?” If you’re painting in acrylics, you can cover over it. But if you’re working in watercolors or colored pencil, covering over mistakes is not an option. In that case…
  • Work the mistake into the composition. Do all you can to make the mistake blend into the artwork, so that it seems like an intentional part of the piece. This may require you to…
  • Embrace the unexpected. Ask yourself, “How can I adjust my original vision for the piece to incorporate this unexpected addition?” You might surprise yourself, as this can produce a very creative approach that you may not have otherwise taken.

Above all, don’t panic. Art is a process of creation, one that requires a balance between control and letting go. By letting go and welcoming whatever happens, you free your creative flow and allow your muses to guide you.

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The Healing Power of Color (www.segmation.com)

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As an artist, you are probably aware of the effects that different colors can have on your state of mind and emotional well-being. In fact, in a past article we discussed the psychology of color and provided an overview of how each color can impact your mood.

In this article, we’ll take a look at color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, and how you can apply the basic principles of chromotherapy in your art.

Color therapy involves using, or meditating upon, specific colors to help you find balance and harmony, both inner and outer. There are many forms of color therapy, such as:

  • surrounding yourself with a color that represents characteristics that you feel are lacking in your life, to achieve balance
  • immersing yourself in a color that represents characteristics, or states of being, that you aspire to
  • using colors to “cleanse” your physical body and achieve physiological harmony (such as practiced in Chinese therapy)

While color therapy was once regarded as a New Age fad, today the effects of colors on a person’s mind, body and spirit are well-documented. Even commercial paint manufacturers recognize the connection; some offer a specific range of paint colors that are designed to promote healing and wellness.

To utilize the healing power of color in your art, you can create paintings or drawings based on specific colors to bring about a certain adjustment in your (or someone else’s) mental, emotional, or physical state of being. You can use a combination of colors to evoke a certain state of mind. Experiment with different patterns and compositions and take note of how the paintings affect you.

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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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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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How to Make Your Own Oil Paints

In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of making your own paints, rather than buying commercially-made paints from art supply stores. Two of the most appealing reasons for making your own paints include the ability to control the color and the quantity of the paint that you make. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how you can make your own oil paints using just a few simple supplies.

The two main ingredients you’ll need for making your own oil paints are powdered pigment and an oil, such as linseed oil (which most oil painters usually have on hand anyway). The tools you’ll need to mix the ingredients can either be a mortar and pestle (shown above), or a sturdy spatula and a flat glass surface. The mortar and pestle is the preferred choice because it will allow you to grind the pigment into finer particles.

To make your own oil paint, place your desired amount of pigment onto the glass surface or into the mortar. Add a small amount of oil and grind together the pigment and the oil using your pestle or spatula. Be sure to start off with a small amount of oil, because you don’t want your mixture to be too runny.

As the pigment absorbs the oil, note the consistency. If the mixture looks too dry, add more oil. If it is too oily, add more pigment. Your goal is to create a mixture that resembles the consistency of toothpaste.

Once the pigment and oil are thoroughly mixed, then you are ready to paint! The process is as simple as that. Your homemade oil paint can be mixed with commercially-made oil paints, and it may be stored in tubes or airtight jars for future use. segmation dot com.

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Selling your art at outdoor art fairs

Have you ever considered selling your artwork at an art fair? Outdoor art festivals are a popular way of uniting artists with potential collectors and even gallery owners. At the larger art festivals, attendance can reach 250,000 and higher, which means a lot of eyeballs will have the chance to view your art! If that wasn’t enough to convince you, keep in mind that there are visual artists who report 6-figure annual incomes from selling their art at street festivals around the US.

Before you start applying to art festivals, do your research to find out which art fairs are best for you. Some art fairs are well-known and highly-regarded, while others are smaller and don’t generate as much foot traffic. When researching which art fairs to apply for, find out the answers to the following questions:

  • How many people attend the art fair each year?
  • Will any cash prizes be given, and if so, how many prizes and for what amounts?
  • What is the booth fee?
  • Does the art festival expect to collect a percentage of your sales?
  • What is the location of the art fair? Similarly, how far will you have to drive? Will you have to stay in a hotel? What are the costs for this – and is it worth it, given the answers to the previous questions?
  • Are you allowed to sell prints and cards of your work, or only originals? (Not all art festivals allow artists to sell reproductions of their work, but if they do, it’s a great way to boost your income and also spread your artwork further afield.)

The answers to these questions will help you decide which art festivals are worth your time, and which ones you can skip.

All in all, selling your art at art festivals is an excellent way to take your art career into your own hands. You can make connections with other artists, network with gallery owners and reach out to the general public. Rather than wait for a gallery to take on your work, you can take your art out into the world!

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