Whats the Buzz


Creative Mark Polar-Flo Watercolor Brushes & LUKAS 1862 Oil Colors

For today's round of Whats the Buzz, we are looking at one of the most popular lines of watercolor brushes from Polar-Flo and the very high-quality LUKAS 1862 Oil Colors. Artists have been ranting and raving about how great these products are and today, we want to share what people have really been saying about these paints and brushes and letting you know what the buzz is really all about.

First Up are the Polar-Flo watercolor brushes from Creative Mark, one of the most talked about brushes here at Jerry's Artarama. Artists have always liked them because they come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and sets that will meet the needs of any watercolor painter. Plus they are found at a better value than most watercolor brushes and hold together longer. But lets see what Artists have said in response to these claims and see the buzz about the Polar-Flo watercolor brushes:

"I order these brushes for personal and classroom use. They are a good value for students, hold a lot of water and the set is a versatile assortment of all sizes. Jerry's promptly replaced the one brush out of several I've ordered over the years that was not top quality."-artistanne, Colorado

"I have found that the quality is amazing given the reasonable price. Given this depressed economy I am thrilled to have experienced such wonderful results for the modest price of these brushes. They hold their shape and have a snap that comes right back and is ready for the next stroke. i use a soap cleaner after using and am sure to rinse well. While the brush may be stained from permanent colors they do not impart that color onto the next painting. Thank you Creative Mark!"-Minister Marie, Illinois

"Works for acrylic painting too!"-ML, North Carolina

"These brushes are excellent in quality and very low priced. A winning combination. I have used them for years."-Blondheim, Florida

"Great watercolor brush set, recommended by a teacher, bought a spare set and will buy another for a gift"-Marie, Arizona

Sounds like people are buzzing about how great a value they are and how well they hold up. It's also pretty cool they don't drop colors if they do get stained!

Next Up are the LUKAS 1862 Oil Colors paint line. Having a long history with a company that started, you guessed it, in 1862, these oil paints are well known for their top quality and as the best oil paint around. We have had many artists creating a buzz around Jerry's with the 1862 line from LUKAs including buzz from one very famous painter. See if you can spot him in the reviews below:

"I think LUKAS paints are easy to apply because they glide on. The drying time is especially quick for oils and allows the artist time to add to the painting."-Sue from Maine, Maine

"I only use LUKAS 1862 whites. All other brands I have tested (of whites) will yellow to a degree, Lucas titanium is still cool and glowing after years of drying. Generally half the paint I use is white so this is very important."-Painter Jake, Australia

"I have ordered colors from Schoenfeld[LUKAS] in Dusseldorf, as there were some colors which I couldn't get here...the picture with the potato eaters is not good in some details...I should have had a better result with the mineral blue that I have now [from LUKAS], instead of the old one."-Vincent Van Gogh

"Today I use this paint as my main paint line. I started just by experiment buying one or two of tubes and then slowly but surely it replaced most of my colors. I love it, because of its special consistency-it is not thin at all, but more runny and flexible than even such a nice brand as Gamblin. It explains on their page that they add sunflower oil as an extra flexibility ingredient."-Sasha, Massachusetts 

"There is something special about LUKAS 1862 oils that make them my favorite. The LUKAS oils mix wonderfully and just feel great going on your canvas. If you like to work fast, you will love LUKAS. These oils are dry to the touch after only a couple of days-amazing!"-Pablo marlo, Iowa

Into the West by Pablo marlo(with LUKAS 1862 oils)


Did you catch the famous endorsement there? From a long history of making amazing oil paints, LUKAS has really brought all of their best colors out for this line and it sounds like all of you artists are pleased with how well they spread on the canvas and dry quickly. Well looks like the buzz is well deserved for both of these lines. And remember, here at Jerry's we love to hear what you have to say, so make sure to leave us a review on the products you love because you might just show up on the next edition of Whats the Buzz!


Painting and Music

Tips for Painting with Musical Inspiration

"To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."~Pablo Picasso

Art and music have always nicely complimented each other, but it is usually when viewing art when music is more often associated with it. And music is beneficial to the experience of viewing art. It has been said that music inspires a creative outpouring without interfering with the process and has been shown to help writers and students studying. But could it be beneficial to painting as well?

Modern painters have listed quite the variety of musical genres that get them into the painting groove. And so far, according to studies, no particular genre of music or artist has been proven to predominantly inspire creativity, but instead it's whatever the particular artist likes. Just like an athlete needs his or her own choice in music to get pumped up and excited, or any person listening to their favorite music while performing their favorite activities, artists choose what they like to listen to in order to paint what they like to paint.

However, classical music may be better suited for evoking the imagination than contemporary songs. For instance, there are no lyrics to guide you, and no music video to demonstrate what the song is about. Apart from the chance you've linked the music to a play or ballet, there is no alternate media putting forth the meaning of the music. You are free to paint the scene the music shows you in your own mind, then put it down on the canvas or paper.

In any case, its worth giving it a try. Here are some steps to getting introduced to classical music while you paint.

  • Start by setting aside a chunk of time when you can work without interruption, say 3 to 4 hours.
  • Gather your canvas, your favorite paints and brushes and set up your workspace.
  • Explore the internet for classical music. It's best to pick something you haven't heard before. Art classes in the past have used Ravel's Bolero or Four Seasons by Vivaldi or a Nocturne from Chopin. Do some research and it may take a little time to find something that will pique your interest, and when it does; just go with it.
  • Turn off the cell phone and computer-the only bit of technology you may need is an iPod and some speakers.
  • The rest is up to you. From your own experiments, let the music guide you and your paintbrush to create your own unique interpretation of the notes. Make it as realistic or as abstract as you want. 

This is a great activity because the possibilities are endless. You can try listening to classical and painting, then switch up the music to something more modern. Compare the art you make with different music in the background. I bet you'll find out something interesting. You can also involve family and friends-see if they can have different interpretations of paintings made with the same sounds, processed through different minds. Its also a great activity to do with kids, since they have the best imaginations in the world!


Tips for Drawing Self-Portraits


5 Tips to sketch yourself better!

Drawing self-portraits can be a great way to practice sketching techniques as-let's face-it-there is no shortage of material when you draw yourself! Sketching or drawing yourself can be a great way to learn a lot about sketching, shading and proportions. And, when you sketch, your pictures can be kinda funny-they don't always represent a subject the same way. But, making a sketch of yourself, whether you use a picture or look in a mirror, can teach you a lot about art and yourself. So here are some tips on how to draw your own self-portrait:

1. Start with a light sketch.

Start with a light outline. Everyone thinks they know the proportions of a face, but when you really study the human face, its easy to realize that the eyes are not near the top of the head, they are more about half-way between the crown of the head and your chin. Get the major features first, lightly, to create a foundation so you can add in your details later. This way, if you make a mistake, you can easily erase it and it wont affect the minute details you will spend more time creating later on.  

2. Add shadows and smudge them.

To make your sketch look professionally done, add shadows. You will want to go lightly here as well. To create realistic shadow effects, use a smudging tool or your finger to draw out the shadows. This will blend the medium you use whether it is graphite, charcoal, or pastel and your shadows will end up lighter and easier to clean up in case you make a mistake. Lighting is important in finding shadows and one of the best ways to properly "light" yourself is use top-lighting or lighting from above. This is something to take into consideration when you take the photo you will use to do your self-portrait, during your set-up if you plan to use a mirror.

3. Do your hairline after you outline.

Start with the head and work out the proper length. Fill in with thick lines, then add shadowing and highlights as you go along.

4. Fine details come last.

After you have the outline and some of the shading done, its time for the fine details. Take some time filling in places in the eyes and lips, and also add some more shadowing to the neck so that your face doesn't have the appearance of floating in thin air. The finer details are the ones which really lend to the realistic quality of a self-portrait. And, a little extra tip, (4.5) if you've used pencil, you can add some color at this point with colored pencils or even watercolors.

5.  Choose a good frame.

If you like your portrait, choose a great frame for it. A nice frame can complement your art nicely and highlight your sketching skills. A simple black frame is nice when using charcoal, or something made of light wood goes best with soft colors. 

And if you ever get tired of drawing your own image, you can always get together with a friend and practice drawing portraits of each other. Or, do a portrait of yourself and have your friend do one of you as well. Don't look while they are in progress, but afterwards, compare and contrast. Our perspectives can vary much from individual to individual. Give it a try!


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