Oil Painter Alexey Steele in Jerry's Artist Spotlight


Artist Alexey Steele uses Raphael canvas for his "novo-realistic" masterpiece - "The Dawn"

Alexey Steele, born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1967, began his art training at an early age in the studio of his father, the renowned Russian painter, Leonid Steele. He furthered his professional education at the prestigious Surikov Art Institute of the Soviet Academy of Arts in Moscow under internationally acclaimed artist Illia Glazunov. In 1990, Steele moved to Los Angeles where he continues to paint large-scale figurative works, commissioned portraits, and plein air landscapes.

"The Dawn" is a culmination of 15 years in my artistic search. It is my most significant work to date both stylistically and personally.

It is a product of a long quest for finding the most powerful and convincing way of expressing the type of imagery that affects our imagination deeply and expresses truth about our current condition. It is a look at our reality and the unseen forces behind it.

It is a visual statement and product of my thinking on visual language and social purpose of art today, which we call "NOVOREALISM" and which is capable of adequately reflecting our world in turmoil.

This expressive language is based on an inseparable unity of the classical ideal and form with realist color that reflects our modern sensibility, making ART an experiential and emphatic act of contemplating contemporary reality.

The work is conceived as an epic saga spanning the wide range of visual themes that affect senses. The magic, majesty and the promise of a fleeting moment just before sun breaks through a dark horizon and the world is filled with the glow of ever expanding and imminently rising Light. The modern day Madonna invokes the sanctity of motherhood and of a blissful paradise, an island of love, in midst of a dark infinite expanse where forces much beyond our control fight threats we do not see. We don't know what they are, but feel their presence.

The status quo of the world is crumbling all around us, yet the force of life is inextinguishable and the mystery of a new life holds the future in its hands, in fact being more powerful than all forces of the world.

The unveiling of the work at the World of Art Showcase in 2012 coincided with the last days of the Mayan Calendar which are seen not as a particular moment or an event, but as a perfect symbol signifying the vastly transformative nature of our times.

The world will go on, and it is up to us to chart its future course, but for this to happen we need a revolution of an inspired and elevated consciousness... as we greet "The Dawn"

— Alexey Steele


For this stunning work, Alexey used a custom canvas stretched with Raphael Oil Primed Linen. To learn more about Alexey Steele's amazing and epic art, visit his website at


Draw on Anything with GOLDEN Grounds

Turn any surface into a drawing surface with GOLDEN Acrylic Grounds and Mediums!

According to a recent survey conducted by NAMTA*, over 2/3 of all artists regularly draw. Because of its accessibility, immediacy and portability, many artists who enjoy drawing have limited experience with other media. Acrylic mediums provide a bridge from drawing on sheets of paper to drawing on much larger substrates, traditional prepared surfaces like canvas and panel, or found objects and dimensional surfaces. The ability to create a surface suitable for pencil, pastel, charcoal, marker or watercolor also brings new flexibility to the creative process and potential. In this lesson plan, we'll explore a few of these possibilities as a starting point for drawing on anything, with anything, and wherever.


*2012 NAMTA Artists & Materials Study


One (or more) of the following GOLDEN Acrylic Grounds or Mediums:

  • Acrylic Ground for Pastels
  • Micaceous Iron Oxide
  • Coarse Molding Paste
  • Fine Pumice Gel

Your choice of drawing media (or watercolors):

Tools for application and clean-up:

  • Paint brush, ideally flat with short bristles
  • Palette knife (may be used in lieu of a brush)
  • Plate, or dish for mixing medium with your choice of Heavy Body or Fluid colors (optional)


Assuming most artists have a preferred drawing medium, the first step for this project is to identify a new or different, possibly an unconventional surface you would like to draw on. There are just a couple criteria that help ensure your success:

  • Choose something with enough structural integrity to withstand the application of an acrylic medium and your mark making. Avoid anything flimsy or breakable, or that would be damaged by a waterborne substance.
  • Choose a clean or cleanable surface. Remove any dust and loose dirt before applying any new materials to a surface.
  • Stretch yourself, but be realistic. Please, push your boundaries, but if the largest piece you've created is 9x12", try some intermediate sizes before taking on a mural. Similarly, if you've never worked three dimensionally, choose a smaller and more basic shape for your first dimensional piece.
  • Acrylics need to stick! It seems obvious, but this only works on materials to which acrylics can form a sufficient bond. For glass or metal, you may need additional materials and preparations* to improve adhesion. For certain plastics, like HDPE, adhesion may not be possible.
    *For non-porous surfaces, see our notes and recommendations related to GAC 200, a specialty acrylic polymer available from GOLDEN that can be used to improve adhesion. For more detailed technical information, visit:

START: Choose a space for applying your acrylic medium to the surface that is also clean, well-lit, and has moderate ventilation. There are little or no fumes associated with acrylics, however a little ventilation will remove any odors that are present and accelerate drying.

TEST: Brush out a small test of your chosen medium, ideally on a small sample piece or hidden area of your chosen surface.

Allow your test area to dry, then apply your chosen drawing media on the test piece. Consider the opacity or transparency, as well as the color of the acrylic medium you've chosen.

To alter the color, add a small amount of any GOLDEN Fluid or Heavy Body Acrylic Color. Add Titanium White to increase the opacity and brightness of your medium or ground.

If you choose to add a color to your ground or medium, start with a small amount and add more color very slowly. It is much easier to increase the intensity of a color than to dilute color after you've added too much.

APPLY: Prepare your drawing surface by simply applying the acrylic ground or medium. Here are some tips for a more successful application:

  • For dimensional or textured objects, use a brush.
  • On flat materials, a palette knife works well for reducing texture and creating a smooth surface.
  • Two (or more) thin coats are usually preferred to one heavy coat, however most grounds and mediums will provide a surface ready for drawing with just one complete coat.

DRY: Drying time varies significantly depending on the absorbency of the surface to which the acrylic was applied, the thickness of the application and environmental conditions. Steady air-flow and low humidity will accelerate drying. Ideally dry overnight before handling.

DRAW: Choose your medium and apply it to the surface you have prepared!


Check out the video below to see artist Steve Nyland using GOLDEN Acrylic Ground for Pastels to prepare a non-traditional surface for drawing!

Acrylic grounds or mediums will provide a consistent and receptive surface for drawing without altering the qualities inherent to the drawing medium chosen. Charcoal and pastels will still smudge and watercolors will remain sensitive to water. In addition, the acrylic base you've applied for your drawing is compatible with most fixatives, clear coats and varnishes.

Interested in learning how to Draw on Anything? Be sure to check out the GOLDEN Introductory Acrylic Grounds Set! It's a great way to get started and to experiment with working on multiple surfaces.


Fun Mother's Day Art and Craft Projects


Check out these fun craft projects we put together on Pinterest!

Looking for something quick, easy, and creative to make Mom for Mother's Day? Look no further! We had ourselves a craft-a-thon here at Jerry's Artarama and came up with a slew of fun projects perfect for gifts this Mother's Day -- or any other time of year!

Head on over to our Pinterest page on Mother's Day Art Projects and learn how to make convenient framed jewelry hangers, custom painted silhouette portraits, personalized painted aprons for Mom and more! We've listed out all the art materials we used to put together these great gifts, and let you know the steps to make them as well.


So what are you waiting for? Get your crafty juices going and make a personal and creative gift that Mom is sure to love!

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