The art of jewelry: diamonds

Diamond earrings are classy and tasteful earrings that every woman loves to wear. They can be so versatile, and come in many styles and colors as well. Earrings with diamonds in them never go out of style, and just a single pair of earrings added to your outfit makes you feel all dressed up and ready for a night on the town. While most diamond earrings might look the same to the naked eye, you are probably wondering why some of them will cost more than others do.


There are several reasons that one pair of diamond earrings may cost more than another. You see, the diamonds are sold by weight in Karats. When you have a diamond that is a higher karat than the other, the one with the higher karat weight will be more expensive. This is the reason you can have two different pairs of earrings with diamonds in them, and they both look the same, but one might be more expensive because the karat weight is higher in one pair than the other one.


Another reason that one pair of diamond earrings might cost more than another is because of the diamond cut. There are so many different diamond cuts that you can have in a pair of earrings, and each and every one of them are unique in their own way. Some of the cuts are harder to get than others and make perfect. This would mean that a particular cut would be more expensive as it is harder to achieve. All women have their favorite cuts that they love diamonds in, and the princess cut diamond is probably the most popular of them all.


Something else to think about that may increase the cost of a pair of diamond earrings is the setting that the diamonds are in. There are so many different settings to choose from when you are looking at earrings with diamonds, and some of them are a little harder to get. When you have a really complicated setting for the diamonds, you are looking at paying more per pair of earrings than you would just a single stud setting.


Diamond earrings are so beautiful and come in many different metal settings that you can choose from. You will find that there is 18K Gold, 14K Gold, and 10K gold. This only covers the yellow gold that you can choose from. There is also white gold and sterling silver that are ever so popular with earrings. However, you will also find that for those that are allergic to gold and silver, you will be able to get titanium earrings with diamonds in them. This is a great alternative for anyone that has allergies to other metals, it is a little more expensive, and it is readily available in most jewelry stores.


As you can see, diamond earrings are any female’s favorite. You can not go wrong when you surprise a girl with a pair. You now know why some earrings with diamonds in them may look the same but cost different. If you were to buy a pair of pairs that had a really high diamond karat weight you would make an investment that would be cherished for many years. Diamond jewelry never goes out of style and you can wear it with anything to any occasion and look great.


Quatty Wot is the perfect store if you’re looking for more affordable women’s fashion accessories. You can visit their website for more details.

The art of design – Top 10 designers of 21st Century

Fashionolia takes a look at the top 10 fashion designers of the 21st century, who do you think will be crowned No.1? Dolce and Gabanna? Jean-Paul Gaultier?…read on to find out.


Even though Luella is no longer creating clothes after financial difficulties her designs will be remembered forever. Worn by celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Zooey Deschanel, and Beth Ditto Luella is a mixture of floral fabrics and fun feminine styling. If you’re wearing a bow in your hair right now, that trend was started by Luella on the catwalk back in 2008. Just letting you know…



If it’s clean simple lines that you’re looking for then look no further than Celine. Catwalk trends started from the designer are camel coats and wide-leg trousers to name a few. Celine creates collection after collection that speaks to the working woman who likes to look good without compromising on comfort. Masculine tailoring is a key style to any Celine collection. Celebrities who love Celine include Kate Bosworth, Kylie, and Blake Lively. A key look for s/s11 for Celine is the tan leather top.


Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has been on the fashion scene for over three decades now and is still creating clothes that people aspire to wear. The label captures all that is America, preppy, sporty, and classic. Ralph himself is the all-American father and looks towards time periods such as the great recession for inspiration for his collections. Jeans are of course a staple as is the white classic shirt for women. The polo player has become a symbol of RL and is instantly recognizable across the globe. Celebrities who love to wear Ralph Lauren include Kanye West, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Christina Aguilera.



Gothic and glamour are two of the key characteristics of a Givenchy outfit. The French label is extremely popular with celebrities gracing the red carpet, including Zoe Saldana, Liv Tyler, and Natalie Portman. Givenchy makes no apologies for over-the-top designs, such as floor-length black lace, sheer to show the naked body underneath, or the ruffled vibrant purple and tie-dyed gown that Zoe Saldana wore to this year’s Oscars. When it comes to Couture, a designer would have to work hard to beat the designs of Givenchy.



Armani is another designer that captures the American way of living. The label, created by Georgio Armani is famous for its fabulously designed suits yet today celebrities insist on wearing Armani’s creations to events such as the Emmy’s, the Oscars’ and the Grammy’s. His sculptured designs were spotted on Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Salma Hyeck, proving that the Armani dress is created for real women with real curves. A good friend of Georgio Armani is Victoria Beckham who has been known to show up on the red carpet in one of the designer’s wonderful creations.


Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs is a fun, flirty collection that captures a woman’s form perfectly. His latest collection for s/s11 was the epitome of 70′s glamour and can be spotted on celebrities such as Nicole Richie, Anne Hathaway, and Eva Mendes. Victoria Beckham is a huge fan and friend of Marc Jacobs and even posed in a carrier bag for his recent ad campaign, a little tongue-in-cheek humor to poke fun at Victoria’s obsession with shopping. A key piece from the MJ latest collection has to be the purple and maroon split to the thigh dress which screams seventies sexiness.


Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs not only designs for his own line he also produces a huge collection for Louis Vuitton, season after season. How does he get the time to do all this and still manage to create pieces that are original and unique? Louis Vuitton is famous more than anything for its logo handbags that throughout the nineties everybody wanted an LV adorned bag. This season however LV brought back the glamour of the fifties and clothes that celebrated the female form rather than hide it. This skirt and corset pictured have to be the most popular look from the catwalk for a/w 10 with celebrities such as Daisy Lowe, Alexa Chung, and Katie Holmes.


Alexander McQueen

Since his death earlier this year Alexander McQueens talent for designing has been celebrated all over the world. His vision and imagination was like no other designers. McQueen created not only pieces of fashion but pieces of art. For one collection he sent a model down the runway with a plain white dress on, and as she stood on a spinning floor a paint gun was sprayed at her to create a piece of fashion that was completely artistic and put a show together that wowed the fashion judges. This show is still talked about now. Celebrities that love McQueen include models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, Sarah Jessica Parker, and most recently Lady Gaga who wore some of his pieces to the MTV music awards including his 15 inch high shoes.



Karl Largerfeld, the key designer at Chanel, has to be crowned as the No.1 designer with his creation of Chanel suits and magnificent shows he puts on the season after season. Coco Chanel made the matching suit famous in monochrome, pink, and sorbet yellow, and every fashionista worth their weight in gold should own or be trying to own a 2.5 Chanel handbag. Most celebrities have worn Chanel down the carpet but big fans include Muse and singer Lily Allen, Alexa Chung, Diane Kruger, Rachel Bilson, Jessica Alba, Rihanna, and Beyonce. Key looks from this season are fur boots, a tweed suit, and white tights. Chanel seems to be only going better and is constantly breaking barriers including featuring plus-size model Crystal Renn in the recent s/s11 show when other designers are still behind the times and only use size 0 models. Long live Chanel.


Do you want to know more about fashion? Visit Qwatty Wot to learn more!

Decor lighting


When remodeling and decorating your home, we usually look for furniture, paintings, carpets and decorative items such as photos & corner cabinets. However, lighting can make a big difference if you did it properly & delightfully as lighting is responsible for mood or atmosphere into any living space. With a careful selection about design, type & color of lighting, the room can be given a different atmosphere. The right lighting can set a mood, enhance productivity and give a sense of well-being. Bright rooms give a feeling that is positive and optimistic, while on the other hand, the rooms with darker lighting tends to be more intimate and romantic. In short we can say that, light can make a big difference in how we feel.

Good lighting design will not make you frustrated in the kitchen when you are not able to see what you do, and it will stop the arguments in the bedroom over whose turn it is to up for passage of light. Instead, you should be able to transform a room a bright, vibrant living space to setting a romantic dinner for two.  Natural light is sunlight passing through windows and doors. The direct sunlight is a good source of light, but the brightness and intensity is highly variable.

The time of day, season and weather all have an influence on the natural sunlight. To control the amount of natural light, the different types of glass or curtains can be used. The scattering and reflection are great ways to control this source of light available. A good idea is to find the wall that has received the form of direct sunlight and paint in a bright color. The reflected light creates an atmosphere in the room. The wall surface, controls the light scattering, rough surfaces have different effects than smooth surfaces.

With some ideas for lighting design, you can change the visible appearance of a room and make it look larger or smaller.  Standing lamps and table lamps work great for specific purposes and only brighten an area of the room. Rooms with high ceilings can get a cozier radiance using lighting that is below the ceiling. The light should not escape beyond the height of the source.

Use a shade that directs light downward. In the other direction, using the lighting is on the rise in the ceiling, the rooms seem higher. Lighting is equally important as interior color or style of furniture and accessories.

When you’re choosing a design for your home, lighting should also be one of the priorities. Click here to learn more about choosing the best lighting and decoration for your next house design.

Custom Lanyards for Schools and Universities


Custom Lanyards are often seen used for Universities and other educational institution purposes. They are an affordable way for institutions to get the word out about their facility during school orientations, outreach functions and community events. They also are a great attribute to any institution’s marketing event and they are easily indispensable. Representatives can hand them out accompanying fliers easily. Many students who take part in community outreach prefer using lanyards because it is an easily indispensable item that says it all. Customizing them to reflect the school colors and branding gives their purpose more professionalism and rather than explaining who they represent the lanyard explains it all.

They are also becoming essential to other student activities. They are used for facility clubs and groups to reach out to the student body and gather student interest in their club or group. Many institutions have special clubs and groups in which students can participate in for additional credits or extracurricular activities. Customized lanyards may be an attribute to the group’s welcome package or handed out to gain recognition as an established group. Badge lanyards are a great asset for students looking to build a support network to their cause. Students who are running for the student body can also use them in their campaign for the student office. This is an easy way for students to become known to the school population. Custom lanyards can also be used as an incentive for collecting data. When students are competing for signatures to a cause or taking surveys they can hand them out as an incentive for participation. You may be surprised about how many people will react to the freebie!

There are plenty of functions within educational facilities that are discreetly for members only. Having a member’s accompany an ID is the perfect way of distributing your memberships and leaving a lasting impression. Dances and other high profile student functions often use lanyards in limited quantities to permit entrance into these specialized events. It’s an excellent way of keeping track of members or sign ups in a fashionable and inexpensive way.

A lot of youth today use custom lanyards in a variety of ways. From holding ID cards to adding those to their keys and many students will actually seek out free to add to their collection. They are fashionable and serve multiple uses and can make a stylish impression on backpacks and handbags. Students will also hang the custom lanyard on their rear view mirror in their car, showing their school spirit and reflecting their own causes. The marketing that comes along with customization is a must for any University or college club and it doesn’t stop there! Every time someone sees your logo on a custom lanyard you are gaining the attention and interest you need.


How Do Aperture Cards Work?


These days aperture cards are old news, and are gradually being replaced by digital systems. This said, many systems still use aperture cards for archives since they possess certain key advantages over digital media for storing information.

Aperture cards are ways of storing certain types of digital information. They consist of a stiff piece of card with square holes punched at precise locations in rows and columns, with a 35mm microfilm chip containing a microform image glued to the card. For this reason they are normally used for engineering drawings with the drawing being stored in the microfilm image, and the information about the drawing stored in the form of punched holes. As well as this there is often data printed on the card for easy identification when a person is looking through the aperture cards by hand.

How Aperture Cards Work

Although all work with aperture cards can be done manually, there are three aspects of aperture card archiving which one may desire to be automated for increased speed and efficiency:


The microfilm within aperture cards is are printed using a specialised laser to etch the images onto the microfilm. The holes may also be printed using a machine using either custom input data, or set to copy existing aperture cards.


Each column on the aperture card has twelve rows. Sorting machines focus on one particular column set by the user, and classify cards based on the position of the punched hole in one of these twelve rows. The machines sort the cards into one of thirteen boxes; one for each punched hole row, and a final box for blanks and errors.


Aperture card microfilm chips can be scanned with traditional scanning equipment, and an aperture card copying device is commonly used to copy cards for archival purposes.


Aperture cards have an official shelf life of 100 years, but with the right storage conditions they could potentially last for much longer than this. They also offer the advantage of being entirely human-readable without the need for a computer (although the whole process can be made machine automated).


There are several critical disadvantages of aperture technology which are driving their gradual replacement by more modern digital archiving options. The aperture cards require machinery with physically moving parts to handle and change between the cards. This machinery can be costly and slow (in comparison to digital archives), not to mention the enhanced cost of such a system compared to a more modern digital archive system.

An added disadvantage is the low resolution of microfilm images. This results in higher resolution images losing significant amounts of detail over time.

A further disadvantage of the aperture cards is the possibility of damage due to the nature of their construction: the flimsy microfilm window is simply glued over a hole in the rigid card. If this card is bent in storage the chip can detach and cause problems not only with identification, but also for the machinery designed to copy and read these cards.

The glue used can also cause cards to stick together when subject to excessive pressure or heat, causing further problems for the machinery used in their manipulation. This may lead to damage of machinery and therefore halting of your archiving operation, or the added expense of machine repair or replacement.

If, after these considerations, you still want to keep your film production process digital and modernized, you might want to check VFX LA to add some perfect visual effects and editing to your production.

Choosing Film Schools and Film Courses

Why film schools? It’s one of the default questions that aspiring filmmakers face when they plan to take film courses. Despite a line of argument that filmmaking often goes beyond the realms of theory and despite success stories of “untrained” filmmakers, the relevance of film schools in imparting the craft and technical intricacies of the medium stays largely unchallenged. You can learn many things, even motion graphics and visual effects. Though reputation of the film schools is critical in your search, it’s also important to realize that, ultimately, it’s the opportunity to develop hands-on and all-round skills as a visualizer and maker that seals it.

To start with, decide on the kind of films you would like to be part of. The independent film movement – that started off overlapping with anything off-beat – has now evolved into a strong market movement as well. The lines between Indie and commercial still exist but the movements are not necessarily countering each other all the time. These are exciting times for young mavericks to pursue their kind of cinema without getting completely awed down by the market compulsions.

Film Courses and Disciplines

Film schools, typically, offer courses across disciplines in filmmaking: editing, cinematography, sound, screenwriting, directing and more. It makes sense to decide on a primary focus area — say, directing — and supplement it with courses in cinematography, editing or screenwriting. Niche courses are pursued religiously at film schools across the world but inter-disciplinary curricula have also started catering to the needs of aspirants who look for an all-round education. The theory and history of film, along with its social context and evolution, and focus areas like literature and art are also being offered at these film schools.

Accredited Film Schools and Faculty

An accredited film school brings with it a stamp of stature and quality, that often makes the screening easier for the student. The Aboutfilmschools website traces a US example and points out that the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is the independent organism recognized by the American Department of Education for accreditation of programmes of visual arts, apart from six regional accreditation organizations.

The stature of the school faculty is as important as the course material they deal with. It’s important to trace the industry standing of the faculty and distinguish between reputed academics who have published books on films but have collaborated in none and those who have the industry exposure and tutorial skills to match. Go for film schools that also offer guest lectures by speakers from the industry and have strong industry alliances to ensure internships. Studios, labs and libraries add to the film school experience.

Courses at Premier Film Schools

Alumni filmmakers who have made it big add a definite lure to the schools, like a Michael Mann or Mike Leigh does. But these are premier institutes like London Film School, New York Film Academy and the National Film and Television School, UK. There are other high and medium-range schools as well, offering basic filmmaking education in short-term courses at a moderate fee.

Learn Film Production With Online Filmmaker’s Schools or Programs

Movie making technology has improved over the years, so that tech-savvy children can edit footage from their family’s home movie camera, or digital camera and create short films, rolling credits, special effects, graphic overlays and more. Nurturing a child’s love of movie production doesn’t require a Hollywood-sized budget. Free resources for learning film and video production are available, from several different sources.

Online Screenwriting Courses

Script Frenzy is one free Internet resource for learning how to write a movie script. Scriptwriting must follow a very specific format, with differing margins for dialog and distinctive jargon for scene setup. Script Frenzy is designed to be a one-month screenwriting workshop, but the resources are available all year long and include character development advice, plot development and access to real movie scripts, for reference.

Internet-based screenwriting forums and websites have advice for would-be screenwriters, too. The Writer’s Guild Foundation offers several DVD lectures and interviews by successful screenwriters. offers a chat room-based environment where participants share their stories with each other and help develop their story and write their script. Courses are ten weeks long and participants can choose to opt out of either the story development or screenplay writing section. Prices range from $399-$1098.

Internet Movie Making Resources

Youtube has a few options for editing and creating graphic overlays, but for more flexibility, One True Media also offers slide shows and can upload automatically to the user’s Youtube account. Roxio and CreateSpace have features that allow users to have their film put onto a DVD. Users can even make money selling those DVDs. Amazon’s print-on-demand service that creates a copy of the DVD with options for designing custom cases and disc graphics, too. Experimenting with movie making software can be fun and educational.

For Screenwriting resources online; Celtx and Scripped offer free screenwriting software that’s designed to help writers execute the proper formatting. Scripped is a web-based program that enables writers to collaborate on a project and track changes, by hosting the project on a web-based server, which each user can update. Some screenwriting software is designed to import half-finished scripts from other word processing programs. Another popular feature, for self-production is the automatic creation of character lists & descriptions, integrated development of a shooting schedule and call sheets and location lists to help in pre-production.

Online Degree in Film Production

Many online colleges and universities offer filmmaker’s courses. Even students who aren’t old enough for college can sometimes register for classes. Clarify the student’s goals before signing up. The ultimate goal may simply be to learn more about production, or specific skills, or software programs, like Final Cut Pro. Alternatively, the goal may be to get a bachelor’s degree in film production from an online filmmaker’s school. Either way, help is available.

MIT’s OpenCourseWare offering is entirely free and the Music & Theatre section has a few listings for potential filmmakers, like script analysis. More of their courses are for designed stage theatrics, rather than filmmaking.

Learning Animation at Home

Creating a short movie with stop-motion animation, with action figures, dolls or legos is an activity that kids can do without auditioning actors or enlisting the help of a lot of people. Making flip-books is one way to help kids understand how stop-motion animation works. A variety of software can be used for stringing images together. Gimp is free and can be used to create animated GIF files which can be attached to an email or added into any web page. Movie making software like Windows Movie Maker and iMovie for Mac can also be used to create videos using stop motion animation.

Kids who enjoy making movies may grow up to be professional filmmakers, or they may move on to an entirely different field. Either way, the lessons learned working within the confines of the formats and available technology stretch beyond visual communication and just having fun. A new appreciation for the art and talent behind the latest movies, cartoons and video games may develop. If you want to know more about professional visual effects, visit here

10 Unusual Still Life Ideas

Creative Painting Inspirations

10 Unusual Still Life IdeasThe key to finding good still life painting ideas is keeping an open mind. Compositions can be found in unusual areas as long as the artist is willing to look.

painting ideasStill Life Painting Ideas in the Kitchen

The kitchen is full of different textures, shapes and finishes. Because of this, there is an unending supply of still life inspiration in this room. For example:

  • Rummage through the silverware drawer and come out with a handful of utensils. Lay a dishcloth on the counter and toss the handful of silverware onto it. Each piece will make an interesting design as it overlaps onto another piece.
  • Arrange a grouping of pots and pans like a cityscape. Vary the heights of the pieces and make sure that there are several items with different finishes for visual interest.
  • Arrange dirty dishes in the sink and fill it with suds and hot water. The sheen of the water and the transparency of the bubbles will add a challenging element to the painting.

Still Life Painting Ideas in the Kid’s Room

Children’s items are full of color and shape. When looked at with a fresh eye, the artist can find a multitude of still life subjects in a kid’s room. Try these ideas:

  • Arrange video game controllers and games into a teetering tower.
  • Rummage through a toy box to find damaged dolls, broken trucks and other well-used toys to produce an interesting commentary on a child’s life.
  • Collect baseball, football, Magic, Pokémon, or other cards that children collect. Arrange them on the child’s bed.
  • Look under the bed. Use a homemade viewfinder or a camera viewfinder to crop an interesting composition.

Still Life Painting Ideas in the Toolbox

creative inspirations
A person’s tools say a lot about their personality. Depending on the person, the tool box and the types of tools can very drastically. Consider these types of toolboxes and tools as still life subjects:

  • The Artist’s Toolbox- This can include paints, brushes, pencils, markers, colored pencils and more. Try to arrange the items in their storage and in abstract groupings.
  • The Mechanic’s Toolbox- Grab some wrenches, screwdrivers and nails and scatter them on any interesting background such as cement, greasy corrugated cardboard or shiny chrome for an interesting composition.
  • The Seamstress’ or Tailor’s Toolbox- Open the lid to any sewing box and you will find an instant subject; simple open the lid and look down on the contents. The composition is framed and the mix of threads, buttons and shiny needles will add instant textural appeal to any painting.

Artists can use these ideas, or use them to brainstorm ideas of their own, for new, interesting still life paintings.

Paint on Fabric Without Expensive Artists’ Supplies

Paint on Fabric Without Expensive Artists' SuppliesAlthough batik has been around for almost 2,000 years, it is Java, Indonesia where it has become a well developed art in its own right. Batik is a labor intensive art that involves applying wax to fabric and immersing the fabric into dye. If more than 2 colors are desired, the wax is removed and the fabric is waxed again before immersing in a third color. A more direct approach to painting fabric can lead to innovative works. By using paint instead of dye, and instant potatoes instead of wax, multiple colors can be applied without multiple steps. Here’s how to do it.

Materials & Supplies Needed to Paint on Fabric

fabric painting art supplies

  • Lightweight fabric – usually white, but there’s no reason other colors can’t be used
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Fabric medium for acrylic paint – this is optional, but thins the paint, reducing stiffness when dried. Some brands need to be heat set, others don’t.
  • Box of instant mashed potatoes
  • Pencil
  • Paint brushes
  • Frame to stretch the fabric – the easiest frames to use are those you can easily find from quilt and craft shops.
  • A squeeze bottle for the potato resist, an empty mustard bottle works well, if the tip is too small, the resist won’t flow.

Steps to Paint on Fabric

  1. Stretch the fabric on the frame so that it is taut and smooth.
  2. Draw the lines for the resist on the top of the fabric freehand, or tape a design to the back of the fabric and trace onto the top of the fabric and remove the design. The side with the pencil lines will be the back.
  3. Mix instant potatoes with hot water to the consistency of white glue and place into a squeeze bottle.
  4. Squeeze a line of resist along the pencil lines of the design and let dry thoroughly.
  5. Take the fabric off the frame, turn it over, and put it back on the frame with the side with the dried resist down.
  6. Squeeze more resist along the design and let dry thoroughly. Hold the frame up to the light, as shown in the photo below (click on the image for a larger view) to check that all lines have absorbed the resist.
  7. Paint the design, using either water or medium directly on the fabric.
  8. Once the paint is dried, heat set the paint, if required, and soak the fabric in warm water, rinsing a few times until all of the resist has been washed away.

Batik designs

It’s possible to use many techniques, including watercolor techniques, for the actual painting. The only restriction is not to use a lot of water which will loosen the resist. Best of all, it’s possible to paint fabric without a large investment in a different kind of paint or resists. Potato starch is much easier both to apply and to remove than wax.

Tips for Buying Paint Art Supplies

Tips for Buying Paint Art SuppliesFor new artists, buying art supplies, especially paint, can be overwhelming. With hundreds of brands, sizes and qualities to choose from, many wonder where to begin. Follow the tips in this article to jump-start an art education.

To begin, paint is either:

  • Heavy-body (thick consistency) or Liquid (thin consistency)
  • Artist Quality (high concentrations of pigment) or Student Quality (low concentrations of pigment)

Tempera Art Supplies

Originally used in Renaissance-era fresco painting, tempera remains very popular in elementary schools because, unlike watercolors, acrylics and oils, tempera is non-toxic. Though everyone is familiar with the student-quality versions, opaque egg tempera is available for artist-quality use.

Great care should be exercised when using liquid tempera, as the paint dries very quickly once exposed to air. Tempera paints are available in liquid, cake and economical powder form.

Tips for Buying Paint Art Supplies - watercolorWatercolor Art Supplies

Available in three forms:

  • Pan watercolors, which come in trays of dry to semi-dry pigment cakes, are easily transported and best suited for outdoor use.
  • Tube watercolors are typically heavy-bodied, good for opaque applications and should be diluted with water before use to avoid cracking.
  • Liquid watercolors, which come in bottles or small jars, are best used for transparent coverage.

Watercolors dry quickly and clean easily with soap and water.

Acrylic Art Supplies

Very popular with new artists for their ease of use, acrylics are available in tubes or bulk jars. Like watercolors, they dry quickly and clean with soap and water. Acrylic paints come in three forms:

  • Heavy-bodied acrylics are typically higher quality and the most versatile, able to be thinned with water or applied thickly without cracking.
  • Liquid acrylics are thinner than heavy bodied acrylics and are better suited for watercolor-like applications.
  • Acrylic gouache (say ‘gwash’) can be applied to a variety of surfaces and so is typically used in craft projects.

Also in the acrylic family is the canvas primer, gesso (say ‘jess-o’). Originally made with animal glue, modern gesso uses acrylic binders, which create a flexible painting surface for both acrylic and oil paints. (Without gesso, paint would soak through canvas.)

Because white gesso is made with acrylic binders and a titanium dioxide pigment, there is little difference between it and unnecessarily expensive white acrylic tube paints.

Oil Paint Supplies

Tips for Buying Paint Art Supplies - oil paints

The traditional choice of fine art painters, oil paint is available in tubes or bulk cans. Though complex in composition, oil paints still essentially have two parts: a pigment and a binder made from a drying oil like linseed or walnut.

Since drying time can vary with color and application density, oils can take anywhere from six months to one year to fully dry. However, drying mediums can be added to quicken the process.

Most oil paints are heavy bodied and require a thinning agent, such as additional linseed or walnut oil or artist-quality turpentine, for most applications. Oil paints must be cleaned with turpentine or mineral spirits.

Best New Artist Starter Colors (Affordable Equivalents)

  • Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue (Azo Yellow Medium)
  • Cadmium Red Medium Hue (Naphthol Red Medium)
  • Cobalt Deep Blue (Ultramarine Blue)
  • Titanium White – oils only (substitute white gesso for acrylics)
  • Burnt Sienna

Buy Primary Colors

From the brightest and most brilliant colors (hues), all others are possible. Granted, it’s easier to buy a beginner’s set of paint, flushed with varying tints and shades, but new artists should take the time to experiment from scratch.

Understanding how colors interact is an essential part of becoming an artist. That said, for large-scale paintings that will take days or even weeks to complete, it is worthwhile to buy specific tints and shades of color. Without precise measurements, replicating exact colors is at best difficult.

Buy Medium or Deep Hue Colors

It’s a common misconception that it’s easier to darken a color than lighten it. For example, to turn ultramarine blue into a turquoise, just add white (called tinting). The blue is still blue, only lighter. However, it is much more difficult to turn a turquoise into a deep-hued blue. Simply adding black (called shading) dulls the color, turning it from blue to gray. Deep-hue colors offer the best flexibility for color mixing.

More on the color black: For most painters, black is rarely needed. A blue or purple mixed with a brown is a great substitute for, and will often look better than, a straight black.

Carefully Shop for Artist Paint

Typically, primary colors with the deepest hues are the most expensive. Side by side, two colors of tube paint could look nearly identical, but carry significant price differences.

Avoid Discount-Marketed Artist Paint

Cheap acrylics and oils have a higher binder to pigment ratio than professional-quality paints. Paints with less pigment typically don’t cover well, often requiring many coats to achieve a brilliant hue. While this may not be as important with transparent watercolors, it is an issue with opaque applications involving acrylics and oils.

Though it’s best for beginning artists to buy affordable paints, the cheapest are simply not worth it.