Whats the Buzz


Practica Canvas & SoHo Acrylic Paints

In today's round of Whats the Buzz, we are looking at another two of our most talked about products: the Practica Stretched Canvas and SoHo Urban Artist Grade Acrylic Paints. Artists frequently talk to us about these products telling us great things, so now we want to share with you the Buzz on these excellent items.

First Up is the Practica Stretched Canvas. Artists claim to love how nicely they are stretched, and because they are pre-stretched, how they save artists lots of time. They also act as an inexpensive alternative to canvas panels and are great for beginners and students. Now lets see what real artists have to say and see what the Buzz is all about:

"Practica Canvases are perfect for teaching and very economical. They are classy looking in that the staples are on the back and not the side like the more expensive brands. Yay for Practica and Yay for Jerrys. Thanks."-Nogrits, Ohio

"If you are a freshman in college, studying art (especially drawing and painting majors) invest in a few boxes of these canvases in different sizes. I wish I had! These are a good quality for the price. I find the canvas is stretched much tighter than those in the same price range."-Allreba, Missouri

"I purchased these canvases to use when teaching oil painting. They were a delight as they are very smooth, saving my students time and their brushes. They are an excellent value."-Sue, Florida (see how well the canvas holds paint below)

 "I paint florals and pet portraits on the canvases. They are first rate-and the price is the best I found after many hours of research! Thank you!"-Sally, Florida

Sounds like these have become extremely positive because they are the best price around and great for quick paintings and studies. If you like to paint, give them a shot and let us know what you think about them. We love to hear what you have to say!


Next up is SoHo Urban Artist Grade Acrylic Paints. Artists won't stop talking about how much they love these acrylics because they leave a lustrous finish, provide excellent coverage and have a great range of brilliant pigments. But lets put it to the real test and see what the Buzz is all about:

"Good bang for the bucks. Great paint for Landscape painting. Easily applied with brush or knife. Tends to dry quickly so be ready to paint. Blends good and great color values."-Louie, Texas

"I used this product for a painting in my home, it worked great for the canvas I had and the colors are gorgeous. It was super easy to clean up afterwards with little to no dripping and came off easy with water alone. I haven't noticed anything bad about these paints, I am very happy with the results!"-Just a beginner, North Carolina

"After getting a few of these colors and trying them out, I went and purchased about 30 more colors. They are very smooth right out of the tube. They also work well with other company's mediums. I love these colors and for the price, they are much better than some of the other competitors."-Jason, Arizona

"These are excellent acrylics-the color is intense and the texture, buttery. I love using them and I've tried several brands. Many are quite good, personally, I find SoHo Urban as good as any of the best and they are more economical. I don't see how you can go wrong. I use them for fine art work, both abstract and representational and get excellent results."-Graybird, Connecticut 

Looks like the artists have spoken and proclaimed SoHo Acrylics as "top of the line". Thanks again for all of the input and remember, we love to hear what you have to say! We love to find out where the buzz is with the latest art products, tools and mediums. And stay tuned for next week's Whats the Buzz!



2013 Turner and SoHo Spring Painting Contest Winners


Check out the amazing winners of our spring painting contests

Our most recent contests for the Spring of 2013 Our Turner Watercolor Contest and our SoHo Urban Artist Contest, I must say were very successful. We received so many amazing entries from all of our talented artist friends, it was extremely hard to pick a winner in either contest. It took multiple rounds of voting, but here's who we decided was the best of the best!

First up, our Turner Spring Painting Contest Winners



First Place Winner

"Peaceful Water Garden"
by Kimberly Wakeman

"I am a HUGE fan of Turner Watercolors because of their brilliant color hues, smooth blending with the water on the paper, and super mix-ability which allows me to create subtle, moody watercolor scapes, or bolder, brighter watercolor scenes. You will be SO pleased with the Turner Watercolor range! I am hooked!"


Second Place Winner

"Out of It"
by Marcel Franquelin

"I draw in graphite, charcoal, soft pastel and pen and ink. I paint with oil, acrylics (airbrushed) and watercolor. I like to pick the medium best suited for my subject. Watercolor is the least forgiving medium of all; it is all about preparation, long thinking and fast acting. because of its difficulty, it can get quite pricey and frustrating, especially when the colors do not "react" as intended, turning out to look weak, or fading away with time. Turner watercolors are reasonably priced, concentrated and lightfast; what's not to like? Watercolor work is demanding enough to the artist, having a medium of quality on your side is a must, and I definitely recommend Turner"


Third Place Winner

"Southern Migration by Moonlight"
by Frank Wilson

"As a full time, professional artist since 1971, I have tried and experimented with many brands of gouache paint. I have found that, among them all, Turner Designer Gouache is my choice color because it is consistently superior in the dense pigment load and exact color match from tube to tube. I easily make rich, vibrant textures and broken color with a velvety finish with Turner Gouache that are often mistaken to be pastels! Turner Designer Gouachelends itself to the wide variety of application methods that I use in each of my paintings; sponging, scrubbing, knife painting, splattering, dip-pens, airbrushing, as well as the use of more traditional hog bristle, camel hair and sable brushes. The realism I achieve is made easier because I know my paints are consistent from batch to batch and I can depend on the full color saturation of Turner Designer Gouache to achieve very deep to very delicate passages of color, and heavy, rich textures. Even the engineering of the tubes is superior to other brands resulting in ease of use and less color loss! I heartily recommend Turner Gouache paints to my gouache workshop participants."


For our honorable mentions, see the rest of our Turner contest winners



And our SoHo Spring Contest Winners,



First Place Winner

by Dorian Gray

"I love the smoothness of and drying time of SoHo Paints. It gives me just enough time for it to dry from week to week. I also love the brilliance of these paints and how easily they glide onto the canvas and how, like people they mingle with interaction."


Second Place Winner

by Wendy Wu

"I bought a set of SoHo Urban Artist colored pencils and it turns out to be perfect for this image. The brilliant shades of red make the Qipao dress come to life. I wanted the whole painting to have a warm color scheme and I was able to blend layers of color to get that effect. I would definitely recommend SoHo colored pencils to other artists"


Third Place Winner

"Man and His Best Friend"
by Armando Araujo

"Since moving to the US a year ago, I have been to the Jerry's Artarama stores. Once I began buying SoHo products, I was amazed. I feel it is a quality product as well as a good priced one. I have many brands that I could choose but I do prefer SoHo"


For our honorable mentions, see the rest of our SoHo contest winners



Make your Art Available in the Internet Age

Tips on why you should make your art digital today!

In the internet age we live in, many artists are going digital. With a simple Google search, we have access to more works of art than ever. And by putting artwork online, artists can gain many benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Find potential buyers
  • Make digital copies to keep your art safe
  • share your artwork with others
  • Look at your artwork in new ways

First, it allows you to share your artwork with others. Whether you are trying to sell your artwork online, gain exposure and notoriety, or just share it with your friends and family, making digital copies for online distribution is a great idea. With a digital copy, you can crop, shade, lighten, or find some way to optimize your piece of art and share it the best way possible when you cannot see it from the easel in real life. Having these copies on your computer will also save you time when you need to send a picture of your piece for a perspective buyer or possibly for a contest. Many Jerry's Artarama artists know this too well and have entered our many contests we have all the time. The recent winner of our 2013 Charvin contest was very aware of this when he won with this piece:


Putting your artwork online also allows you to look at your artwork in a different way. It can shed new light on what your strengths and weaknesses are. Want to learn about your use of shadows or how light penetrates your body of work? Put any piece of art through photoshop and find out which way your painting or work of art looks best when not shown on an easel or framed. This will also let you judge your art in a new way so that you can learn from it when you create future works of art. 

Adding your artwork to a digital network is also a great way to protect it in case of theft or environmental factors like fire or flooding destroying your art. And if you are worried about  any sort of online theft, there are many ways to protect your art online as well. You can add watermarks over your image making it harder for any thief to steal the image. Another option would be to disable right clicks from your website or photo sharing site you have posted on. This will stop people from being able to "Save Image" from their computers, protecting your artwork. 


Being able to expose and market your artwork online is a necessity for artists in this day and age. So consider making digital copies for all of your artwork. If you would like to learn more about gaining exposure and marketing your art for sale or online distribution, check out our amazing Art Career Experts DVD series.

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