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Artist Tips

art tipsTo make beautiful, sepia-colored paper for art projects (like cards and tags), soak sheets of plain white card stock in a casserole tray filled with warm, brewed coffee. Set sheets to dry on racks designed to cool baked goods. The cooling rack will leave an attractive design on the sheet -- to keep it plain, line racks with waxed paper. You may also wish to sprinkle sheets with the coffee grounds (to be dusted off later), leaving dark sprinkles of color. Once dry, paper can go through a computer printer or be stamped. This process also works for plain printer paper. - Leah

art tipsPresent your small canvas paintings in style without buying frames. Paint the edges and display them on small replica easels of the larger style ones. Check out the Van Gogh Table Easel and Monet models offered at Jerry's. You can fit a lot of these on a table; they hold up well in wind of an outdoor market and makes for a classy display anywhere. - Joan, Gull Rock, Hyde County

art tipsGrapes and Berries: To paint quick and easy grapes and berries load a round stencil brush with your main paint color (purple for grapes, red for berries, etc), then load white on the outer edge. Place your loaded brush straight down on your painting surface, give it a swirl and lift. Gradate the size of the brush for grape bunches. - C. Bebeau, Princeton, MN

art tipsStorage for instructional videos--when you collect the instructional videos, a great way of storing them would be to put them in a cd holder that holds more than 50. I take mine out of the plastic container, cut out the picture and put them in the holder. I only use 1 side of a 240 holder so that some cushion is between each page. Make areas for a certain artist you are following. - Kim, Wallingford, CT

art tipsBefore adding the finishing touches to your artwork, take a picture with your digital camera using the black and white setting, or change it to black and white on your computer. You'll be able to quickly judge if your values are correct. Also, if you are sending a picture for a non-color publication, put these digitals on your computer screen to decide which ones will look the clearest in black and white. - Michele, Marquette, MI

art tipsFor left handed artists....turn your spiral bound sketch upside down and work from the back of the book. The spirals will be on the right side and not interfere with your hand. - Alison, New York City, NY

art tipsTo dislodge broken pencil from an electric pencil sharpener, take a hard leaded pencil (H2 or the like) and jab it into the pencil sharpener hole at a 90 degree angle. Repeated jabs will dislodge what is stuck in the pencil sharpener - Nancy, Seneca, SC

art tips For photographing artwork I use a white sheet pinned to a wall outside. I hang the painting or put it on a shelf that I have on the wall. Mount my camera on a tripod. Then put the sheet over me, the painting and the camera, using the sheet as a giant lightbox. I've been doing it for about 3 years this way & have been able to submit my photos to any show and publication with out problems. Convenient and inexpensive. - Becky Joy, Phoenix, AZ


art tips I like using acrylics on paper, usually Bristol Pads, and I love to create interesting backgrounds with rubber cement. The rubber cement works as a resist allowing layers to be painted down on top of each other but being able to keep certain areas white or in my case apply some rubber cement(let it dry), paint a color(let it dry), apply rubber cement in an interesting pattern(let it dry), apply another color(let it dry), and then using a rubber cement pickup rub across the entire piece seeing what is revealed underneath. The end results look very much like a multiple color print. - Donna, Hilliard, Ohio

art tipsUse acrylic medium instead of water (too much water keeps the paint from adhering) - Heather (Staff Member)

art tipsMix your acrylics with pouring medium-pour on plastic and peel off after it dries-then sew it together!

art tipsUse a magazine that you have finished reading as a pallette for your acrylic paints. The glossy paper won't absorb the paint and after you are finished your session, just flip over the page. This saves me a ton of time on cleanups and saves washing paint down the sink. Just toss out when all pages are used up. - Monika, Markham, Ontario

art tipsI like to use old muffin tins to mix separate colors of acrylic paint, and add a bit of retarding medium since it's very dry where I live. Muffin tins let me mix more paint at one time than old film canisters, which I've also used. When I'm done painting for that session, I cover the muffin tin with 2 layers of plastic wrap, and the paint stays wet and workable for quite a long time. It's easy to find old muffin tins at garage sales or thrift shops. - Jodie, Borrego Springs, CA

art tipsWhen I am using acrylics, and I am done for the day, I mist some water over them and then cover them with plastic wrap. I have kept paint in a hot warehouse on a palette over a weekend and still been able to use it on Monday. - Karl, Toccoa, GA

art tipsKeep some non-bleeding tissue paper on hand when painting. If you have an area of paint where you wish to change or tone down the color, tear off a piece of tissue paper in the color you wish to add, and just apply over your dry paint with a bit of water. The tissue will stick but can still be torn off. You can gauge the effect of the new shade or tone, and if you don't like it, just pull off the tissue. If you like it, you can paint over or you may enjoy the texture and tone of that tissue paper in your painting and keep it there as a collaged area. - Jillian, Cary, NC

art tipsNo more wasting paint! Whether you're finished with your paintings or are just half way through you can put your palette of wet acrylic paint in the refrigerator and it will stay fresh up to 2 weeks! - Cara, Phoenix, AZ

art tips When I want to do straight vertical lines for things like sail boat lines I use an expensive pizza cutter - for oil paints and acrylics. Thin the paint the same way you would for using your liner brush (medium) until it is an ink-like consistency and then roll your pizza cutter through it - then roll it on the canvas. It keeps your 'halyard lines' straight! - Shara , Sandy Hook, VA

art tipsWhen using acrylics, I put them into a mini muffin tin with a wet sponge in one of the tins. Place this into a large plastic food container to keep it air tight and you have a damp environment to keep your paints. Before closing make a wet thumbprint into a mound of paint prior to misting with water. This will maintain the paint for weeks. Store flat and make sure it's sealed well. Working with multiple palettes, as with students, I use the press 'n' seal food wrap, mist the paints, put the wrap tightly across and seal it well. Then, I stack them into a garbage bag on a counter with a wet sponge in the bag. Seal and it will keep for weeks. - Linda, Muscatine, IA

art tips In my many years of teaching acrylics, I always get a dot or two on clothing or the rug. To remove the acrylic, I have found that denatured alcohol with a Q-tip will remove dried paint. Then wash gently with regular soap. - Linda, Houston, TX


art tipsInstead of storing your brushes in a vertical position, in between use (which allows water to stay in the ferrule -- increasing the drying time) buy a cheap aluminum foil cookie sheet and line with paper towels or a dish towel and store them horizontally. This not only speeds the drying time and keeps the tips from splaying, but it allows you to organize your brushes by size or shape. It's an easily recognizable manner to decrease the time it takes to locate a brush you want to use for your painting. - Jon, Warren, PA

art tipsI have found the best way to store brushes after drying is to to get a nice size block of green florist's foam. Stick the ends in the foam to leave the bristles to stand on their own. You can place them as far apart as you need so that they do not touch each other. This method also makes it super easy to find the brush you are looking for as a quick glance. - Teresa, Clinton, NJ

art tipsKeep your brushes longer by making sure they always face up. Try the brush crate.

art tipsWhen painting use an old coffee pot to rinse your brushes. It is a nice size and the handle makes it easy to be able to carry to the sink and change your water. - Aimee, Grass Lake, Michigan

art tipsFor watercolor painting, most people use sable brushes. But you can also use synthetic brushes like Taklon, that are marketed as acrylic painting brushes. They can create a nice, crisp line that isn't always achievable with sable, as well as a variety of other strokes and effects. - Hannah, Chattanooga, TN

art tipsNatural bristle or sable brushes getting scruffy? Inexpensive hair conditioner will bring back some spring to the bristles. If the bristles in your brushes are losing their shape, at the end of your painting session, apply a bit of hair gel after cleaning. This tip works on all types of bristles whether they are made of acrylic or natural hair.
- Marilyn, Nashville, TN

art tipsWhen drying your brushes after cleaning, make sure you hang them with the tip pointing down. When you dry with tip upright, it allows moisture to stay in the ferrule, and greatly reduces the life of your brush- Jonella, Spencer, Indiana

art tipsAfter washing the brush, dip the end into some milk or moisten with saliva, then use a small rubber band to make a coil around the brush to form a point. When the brush is dry it will be like new. This works very well for small #1 or #2 brushes that seem to lose their point quickly. It is great for filberts and rounds. - Maryanne


art tipsHate staring at that huge white canvas? Prime it with Matisse background colors and get inspired! - Heather (Staff Member)

art tipsIf you are having a hard time with your foreshortening or perspective, Turn your art canvas and the photo you are working from upside down! You will see the correction right away! (this works for drawing as well) -
Robin, Palm Harbor, FL

art tipsTone your canvas before use. This gives an immediate midtone to the painting, and you can start adding light and dark values right away. - Linda, CA

art tipsWhite canvas intimidating? Add orange acrylic paint to tint your gesso and you have ready made sunlight ready to shine through your paint layers. - Shelley

art tipsTo get a perfect sketch on your canvas, print out or pull your page from your sketch pad and shade the entire back of the page lightly with a pencil. Lay the sketch, pencil shaded side down, over your canvas and outline the image. This will give you a nice template to start your canvas. This process works very well in portraits when every small detail matters. For larger canvas' I like to print the image on a few sheets of paper, I then do them one at a time laying them out right next to each other, works like a charm and saves you much time. - Daniel, Lancaster, PA

art tipsAre you tired of your canvas or board being rough after gessoing? Let dry thoroughly and sand with an ordinary unprinted brown paper bag to smooth the surface. No scratching of the surface and satin smooth! - Shelley, Middletown, Ohio

Comic Art Supplies

art tipsElectric/battery-operated erasers are a fabulous tool that many artists don't know about but once you get one you will be totally hooked. Electric erasers allow an artist to lift graphite and colored pencil marks from a very small space with precision. Use your electric eraser to not only do your general erasing, but also to lift pigment to make highlights with blurred edges. This technique is especially useful in rendering realistic leather. See the comics art supply section - Karalyn Johnson (Staff Member)

Do It Yourself (DIY)

art tipsA good way to break creative block: collage rice paper and paper scraps onto 300 lb. watercolor paper with matte acrylic medium . After it's dry, lightly sand and then use for pastels, pencil, watercolor, acrylics or more collaging and enjoy the one-of -a kind- textures that appear! - Laura, Lafayette, CO

art tipsTo check your accuracy, view your work in a mirror. This will give you a fresh look rather than simply turning your piece upside down. - Nathan, Chesapeake, Virginia

art tipsUse an inexpensive picture frame with glass for an oil palette. The frame will keep paint from sliding off the edge of the glass, making it easier to transport and different colors of paper can be placed under the glass to match toned canvas for more accurate paint color comparisons. - Jan, Indianapolis, IN

art tipsGet one of your little plastic tubs with the top and when using any type of medium, such as acrylic gesso, gel, tar gel, etc. always put the amount you want to use in your tub and don't paint directly from the jar of medium. This way if you get some sort of stain in the medium you won't mess up your entire jar, just whatever is in your plastic thing - and, if you like your "mess up", pop the lid on and it stays for a long time! - Christi, Meriden, CT

art tipsTired of having smudge marks appear on your artwork and your hands? Simply wear a glove on your hand and it protects both. Wear of one hand or both but when they show the smudge marks, its time to change. - Krystyna J., TX

art tipsDon't overlook the brush cleaning mediums. Buy one that will strip out old dry paint. I saved a ton using this type of paint stripper on clothes as well as brushes. - Joan - Gull Rock, Hyde County, NC


art tipsKneaded erasers are self cleaning! Just knead them until the pencil & charcoal is gone & keep on using it!

art tipsI am a colored pencil artist. When the pencil gets too small to use I drop it in a baggie. Later I take all of them and make pencil dust with sand paper. I use that dust for backgrounds. It's great because I hate to use a new pencil for dust!. - 20, Felicity, OH

art tipsCarry a sketch book (SoHo Sketch Pads) with you every where. Scribble in the first few pages so you are not afraid to mess it up and draw in it every single day. Do not judge your sketch book - ever. It is your key to further creativty. - Miriam, Phoenixville, PA

art tipsI find when you are working on a drawing using Prismacolor Colored Pencils, there are bits and bits of the colored pencil is left behind. By using a kneaded eraser, I can get rid of the bits by simply and gently pressing over the bits without harming the drawing - Krystyna, Tx

art tipsWhen drawing and struggling for ideas, try using the two-hand method. Use your non-dominant hand and put it to work. Pick up a different-colored marker or colored pencil in each hand and draw something-- a face, an animal, or an object. Move both hands at the same time along side each other in a similar pattern and you'll be amazed at what your non-dominant hand can produce. This is also a good exercise to do before beginning other media. - Hillary, Tampa, FL

art tipsI draw with colored pencils. I have found that the end of a toothpick works great for blending small areas. I draw a lot of cars and this works especially well for things like fittings and feul lines. - Mike, Crow Junction, Colorado

art tipsUse anything to draw on when an idea pops in your head wherever you are. Napkins, lined paper etc. I make sure I always have a black rollerball pen and a pencil in my bag. I carry a large one to keep supplies in when I travel or just to doodle at work with in between. Some of my best drawings in my mind incorporate doodlings I've done over the years. - Patricia


art tipsWhen preparing to prime your canvas, you should make sure your gesso< is the consistency of sour cream. Add water and stir with a spoon, a stick, or even the end of your brush until it has reached that consistency. This not only makes the gesso easier to paint on; it also makes it last much longer!- Heather (Staff Member)


art tipsWhen I want to create some detail or thin lines or designs with Acrylic inks I use wood skewers (the kind you grill with). I find that I can dip the pointed end into the inks and the wood soaks it up and I'm able to draw or write on my canvas quite easily. If you find the length too long you can always break the top part off. You can achieve very nice lines with a wood skewer and they are easy to find and really cheap. - Michelle, Raleigh, NC


art tipsAs Rumi the Persian poet advised, "Let the beauty you love be what you do". That is all there is to it. Create art meaningful to you and it will enhance your life and your creative output. - Julianne, Dallas, TX


art tipsI've totally fallen in love with the Prismacolor markers. As intimidating as they seem, the colors are brighter than color pencil. The most valuable tip that I can think of is start out working the piece from lightest shades to darkest darks. For example, apply your cool grey 10%, then your 20% and then a 40%. If you are looking for a smooth transition, go back over the shades with the 10% grey again until the colors bleed instead of using the clear blender. By adding color (instead of clear), you use less ink and your colors are richer. This technique can be applied to any color. Just use your base color to achieve the desired effect! - April, Mesa, AZ

Mixed Media

art tipsI do a lot of mixed media work. When I'm trying to adhere pieces down I use toothpicks! Keep a box on your table, it keeps from papers pulling up when you lift your finger and it keeps fresh paint on the canvas or paper instead of your fingers, where it belongs. - Linda, Houston, TX

art tipsI paint in acrylic, so basically I love using mixed media. Things I add to my paintings sometimes: Glitter glue, regular glitter, feathers, fake flowers, beads, and ceramic tiles. - Tania

art tips For collage work: Use an old phonebook to place your items to glue then apply to your project. You can easily turn pages for fresh work surfaces. - Renee, Xenia, OH


art tipsBaby wipes are great for cleaning oil paint off your hands, tools, etc. Easy to grab while working and effective at quickly, safely, and easily removing oil paint to control mess as you work. They prevent me from having to repeatedly scrub my skin or wear gloves, and they don't dry out your hands! - Katy, SC

art tipsGetting headaches from oil painting? Use an air purifier.

art tipsProtect your oil painting! Oil Varnish it after 6 months

art tipsI am an oil painter and the best way I have found to keep oils wet and useable for a long time is to put the pallette in the fridge freezer. A thin coating of ice forms around each paint color and keeps the air away from it so it can't dry out. The only down side is that if you live with other people, they tend to complain about paint on the ice cream container - Hilda, Provincetown, MA

art tipsFor exquisitely real-looking skies in oils, use a watercolorists' goat hair mop. Apply the sky and cloud colors thinly in roughly the desired areas first, then use the mop to work the colors into each other, adding highlights and dark areas as you go. The mop eliminates "brush strokes", making the sky incredibly realistic! - Lin, Red Cliff, CO

art tipsWhen using Oil Paints, add about 10% Liquin Original (medium). Not only will you get more out of your paint, but they will dry fast, still allowing you to work with them. This works great for blending / detailed lines and it will rescue you when meeting a deadline for exhibits or Instructing a workshop. It also gives you better drag without thinning. Careful, don't get carried away and use too much! - Joshua, Silver Bay, MN


art tipsSome small watercolor palettes have a place to store a brush. To keep the brush firmly in place and protect the hairs I place a small ball of kneaded eraser in the center of this space and press the brush handle into it. - Pat, Fort Lauderdale, FL

art tipsWhen working with watercolors, I cover my palette with "Stretch and Seal" to keep the paints moist longer. It fits perfectly across the top of most standard palettes in one piece and stays put. This is especially helpful while at a 3-5 day workshop. It also helps prevent drips from leaking outside even a covered palette when transporting. - Peggy, Lombard, IL

art tipsUse nonstick plastic ice cube trays for storing paint and keeping it fresh. Get as many trays as you might need for your color palette of choice or the whole range of colors. I use a wide range of colors placed in the order of the color wheel, leaving some spaces here and there for mixing new colors. When done painting for the day, place plastic wrap over the trays to keep from drying. I put my trays in a plastic storage container and place my current art on top(if small enough to fit in the container). It can be used for any type of paint. You can also paint a diagram of your trays on paper and place it on top of the trays when you are done. I do each color from solid to wash to see the range that the paint color offers. - Gini


art tipsSave the powder from your sharpened soft pastels and paint with it later!

art tipsPick up out of date wallpaper swatch books from the paint store, and use the vinyl wallpaper samples as a support for various media. I like oil pastels on it, one can layer and scraffito the pastel and enjoy the serendipity of the background patterns. - Jillian, Cary NC

art tipsA quick tip for pastel. Right before doing a color rough of a landscape 'en plein', (outside in the open air) make sure you bring along a set of Prismacolor markers 10% thru 100% ( black) to make a grey scale value study quickly. You can either use it for reference so you don't get off track with light, medium or dark values when executing your color rough. Or use it as a underpainting for your color rough. Either way, it will help you establish depth in your pastel roughs. Plus you will learn a fast and easy technique that will help you avoid problems in your final pastel of whatever landscape you are working on. Love Jerrysartarama and love your art tips, videos and encouragement your website brings! - Leslie Santa Fe, NM

Painting Tips

art tips Having trouble with the caps on your paint tubes getting stuck and hard to open? Place a small square of saran wrap over the tube before replacing the cap, it keeps the paint from drying on the inside of the cap and sticking to the tube. Much easier opening! - Meredith, Tarboro, NC

art tipsTo keep your turpentine clean and brushes out of the pigment that collects on the bottom of jar, use a small hard plastic cup that will fit in the turpentine jar, and make cuts from the top edge toward the bottom in at least 4 places. This makes it easy to put the cup, bottom up, into the turpentine jar. Punch several holes in the bottom of the cup for the pigment to settle to the bottom. Ole' cleaner turpentine every day. - L.B, Austin, Texas

art tips To prevent tossing out a perfectly good tube of paint, and prevent it from drying out prematurely by worn or cracked caps, save extra caps from those tubes that are in good condition when you have used up your tube. That way, you will always have a cap ready to replace the bad one when that happens. - Linda

art tipsIf you want to make a picture and have bubbles imprinted on canvas or paper, all you have to do is get a large sink or bathtub and add soap and water. Then, with a friend or by yourself, take a straw and blow into the water to make bubbles. Take a small "mister" bottle with your choice of color and (for paint, use food coloring or watercolor) and put it in the bottle. Step back and lightly mist the bubbles (stand far back enough so the paint doesn't pop the bubbles). Take your canvas (or paper) and lightly dab the canvas or paper on the bubbles but take care NOT to touch the water--only the bubbles (which creates the shape of the bubbles that are now imprinted on the canvas or paper). It is a great technique for underwater scenes, etc. - Rose, OC, California

art tipsUse a paper towel like Viva or the Blue Shop Towels instead of regular paper towels during painting -- they create less lint particles to get into your painting and are less harsh on your brushes. - Von, IL

art tipsTo open a stubborn paint tube take a disposable latex glove and place the palm over a smooth cap, put a paint rag over that and give a firm twist. The cap will pop right off with no swearing. - Heather, Oregon

art tipsSqueeze your paint tubes to the last drop with a Wringer.

art tipsMelt your encaustic paints in tuna cans (free) and use wooden clothes pins to pick them up or move them. Also you can use a white label to mark the color on the clothes pin. - Eileen

art tipsWhen using a watercolor palette for the first time, to remove the shiny surface from the mixing trays, you can scrub the trays with an abrasive, non-chlorine cleanser, like Ajax. It will scuff up the surface enough so that you don't have your paint mixes pooling or beading up. - Tiffany, Whiteville, TN

art tipsFor a very cool texture paint your canvas with a heavy coat of acrylics. Then, carefully and in a well ventilated area, use a heat gun to bring up bubbles in the paint. Let it cool down and then heat it up again. Go over the bubbles with additional paint so that the cracks and crevasses will be enhanced. - Lorrie, Kalamazoo, MI.

art tipsUse aluminum foil as your acrylic painting palette while painting and cover the paint with another sheet of aluminum foil when you are finished. Open it in a week and you'll see the paint is still usable - Steven, Connecticut

art tipsWhile painting I use a styrofoam egg carton for a second rinse when cleaning my brush. Each section can be used for a different color and avoids so many changes of water. Then, just toss the egg carton - no washing. - Linda, OH

art tipsMaking Color Charts when learning color mixing. Buy Artist Canvas Panels by Creative Mark, I recommend either 8" x 16" or 6" x 12". They can be done with any medium on these durable surface panels. When completed, you will know more about your paints than you ever thought possible and become better prepared to match the colors you see to your painting surface. Speaking from experience, when attending a workshop, you will be better able to mix colors much better and your workshop will be much more enjoyable. A very smart exercise! - Linda, Raleigh, NC

art tipsProduce a third color with amazing variations in tone and value. This technique, which is a favorite of mine, can only be done with a gouache paint that has pure Gum Arabic as a binder such as Turner Design Gouache or Lukas Designer's Gouache. Paint a dark color like black or raw umber as an underpainting. Scrub another, lighter color such as lemon yellow over the dried black or dried raw umber to produce two very different, sophisticated greens. This technique, which is a favorite of mine, produces beautiful broken colors and subtle nuances that are very organic looking and great for landscapes. This can only be done with a gouache paint that has pure water soluble Gum Arabic as a binder. - Frank, Paradise, CA

art tipsAn underbed plastic storage container is the perfect size to carry wet 16" by 20" or smaller oil canvas or board to and from painting class. Place your covered pallet, table easel and supplies in first and then lay your painting on top, cover with lid making sure the lid does not touch painting when closed. This keeps paintings clean and free from lint. - Mary, Lancaster, OH

art tipsCut up old t-shirts into small pieces. Excellent for drying brushes, erasing off wet paint when needed, cleaning your palette and also to rest your hand on instead of directly on your painting. Saves the environment from lots of paper towels. Used for painting with acrylics, watercolors-especially on Yupo paper, blending with PanPastels/drawing-illustration/pastels, etc... Possibilities are endless. - GrissyG, Hidden Hills, CA

art tipsHere is a tip for dried up gouache tubes--cut the tube and remove the dried paint. Place in a small salsa or preserves jar. Cover with water and let it dissolve. This will store for months and makes great diluted color for backgrounds or spattering and rolling color to "get started" on a found image. I use small paint rollers instead of brushes for a smooth ground- makes a richer color and texture than most toned paper. - Frances

art tipsIf you've ever taken a ceramics class or know someone who did, use the plates you made for palettes. I once took ceramic class but had difficulty making perfect, rounded plates with nice bottom sides. I completed them though, regardless of what they looked like and now they make wonderful palettes that are easy to clean. When I'm done painting, I just let the paint dry and peel it off! - Marilyn, Oceanside, CA


art tipsEven great artists make mistakes and to cover them here is a fantastic solution. I am talking about the incredible "Mr. Clean Original Magic Eraser," which is mostly used for household purposes. For example if you want to remove Watercolor paint from an area of a painting then follow these steps: Let the area where paint needs to be removed dry completely. Cover the surrounding areas with a masking tape so that you do not disturb the other areas. Soak the "Mr. Clean Original Magic Eraser" in water and squeeze out the extra water. 4. Now rub this eraser gently over the area to remove the paint. Don't rub too harsh as it may damage the paper. - Megha, Virginia

art tipsOne of the most exciting elements in a watercolor painting is light. It is also difficult to work out while you are painting -- so to ensure good, strong value contrast in your painting, always make a small thumbnail value sketch. Working through those values before you begin painting will not only save hours of work, but will improve compositions. Have fun painting! - Kathy, Texas

art tipsWant to get a neat water color effect or background? Sprinkle a pinch or two of salt on the paper after you've painted and let the paint dry. You can just brush the salt off once the paint has dried and you're left with a neat and unique design! - Kali, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

art tipsUse gouache with watercolors to make great combinations of washes and opaque color that's perfect for flower still lifes. - Heather (Staff Member)

art tipsWhile painting a area of the painting that is to be heavily textured, use salt. After the first application of paint, add a thick amount of salt to the area. Let it partially dry, then use your brush to add different colors to the area. Dab with your brush the areas you want to add colored texture. The dried salt absorbs the color and doesn't spread it out. This is especially nice when painting bricks, trees, and other heavily textured areas. When I paint bricks, I leave the salt on the paper. It add a little sparkle and makes it come alive. - Renee, North Canton, OH

art tipsWhen painting watercolors on Yupo Paper allow yourself time to take a break and try not to use a hair dryer. The medium allows exciting "mistakes"! - Miriam, Phoenixville, PA

art tips A quick and easy way to reserve fine lines in your watercolor painting USE WAX PAPER. Wax paper is transparent and will allow you to be able to see exactly where your lines need to be. Use a pen, pencil or stylus. This works best on hot or smooth surface. What a great way to reserve hi-lights that help your painting sparkle. - J. Schuler - Gulf Coast Artist

art tipsAchieve some cool textural effects by dropping a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the your wet paint. Rubbing alcohol repels the paint, creating interesting effects. Also try letting the alcohol drip and run a bit. - Peggy, Fredericksburg, VA

art tipsI have a great tip for watercolor artists: Use an acrylic shaper to apply your mask/white out liquid to your watercolor paper: this way you only put it exactly where you need it. The masking liquid easily comes off of the shaper as you clean it under warm water. No more ruined brushes! No more blobs of white out material on your clean watercolor paper! - Eileen, San Diego, CA

Art Supplies for Kids

art tipsSchedule 'art class' with your kids to keep them in practice, and to refresh your work--you'll be inspired by their youthful eye, and they'll learn new techniques. - Mary, LA

art tipsI teach elementary art and when it comes to hand washing and clean up it can be a bigger mess than the project itself. Underneath the sink turn down the water pressure. This conserves water and keeps water from getting everywhere. - Anna, Little Rock, AR

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