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Beginners painting - How to paint snow

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Snow is rarely white!
Over the last week, I have uploaded a tutorial to YouTube talking about how to paint snow. I have expanded on this with a more in depth step by step course on Skillshare
Artists of all levels often encounter difficulties when our brain overrides our eyes. When we learn to trust our eyes and don't allow our brain to "fill in the dots", drawing and painting becomes much easier. However we do need to constantly remind ourselves!
In the case of snow, we have lived all our lives with the assumption that "snow is white". Of course snow is white under perfect conditions, however in reality it can appear to be many colours. The snow will be affected by the light source, cast shadows, reflections of surrounding objects and the sky.
If you look carefully at the photographs below, you can see that there are many different colours in the snowy areas. Before beginning your painting, look carefully and makes notes of the colours that your eyes see!
The Yo…

NEW ink and watercolour beginners course, teaching on Skillshare

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Today I uploaded my first online course to Skillshare. I hadn't heard of Skillshare until a couple of weeks ago, when a fellow YouTuber recommended it as a good platform for both learning and teaching.

If you haven't heard of Skillshare, it is basically a website full of online courses in a vast array of subjects. It has both a free to view section and a monthly subscription option. 

Courses are broken down into short lessons, so each student can work through the course in their own time when it is convenient to them. 

This format appealed to me, as I feel it allows for a much more comprehensive and in depth course. However, it has also been quite a lengthy process. Filming, photographing and editing 15 classes for the course is much more involved than filming a single YouTube video. It also has to be said that the Skillshare upload page isn't the greatest, some patience is required for the upload process and you may need to try different browsers!

My first course is in ink an…

Reference photographs for Artists and taking care over copyright.

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A few days ago a user in a Facebook group I follow asked other members if they had reference photographs that she could use in her artworks. Many members kindly uploaded their own photos for her to use, therefore giving their permission to reproduce them. However, one member surprisingly advised her to "just look through Google images", which I would strongly recommend you not to do.


Whenever a photographer, either amateur or professional takes a photograph, the copyright is theirs. The copyright remains theirs, unless they specifically and clearly state otherwise. Whether or not the photographer uploads their photo to a public site such as Instagram or Facebook etc. is irrelevant, the copyright belongs to them. Incidentally, this is the same for your artworks, the Artist automatically maintains copyright even if a painting is sold, unless otherwise stated.


You may think that it is "not such a big deal", if you are "only using them to practice" (quotes I …

New Year's resolutions, more Art and less social media!

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The first time I've ever made New Year's resolutions, so good so far!I don't know if it's an age thing? However, this year is the first year I have felt I should make some New Year's resolutions and stick to them. Perhaps this is because I know what I would really like to achieve from them, rather than just plucking at resolutions because it's January and thinking you ought to.
So what do I want to achieve? There are two things, firstly to be consistent in producing more Artwork and secondly to be healthier and a few pounds lighter. My hope is that improving my fitness levels will also help my work output.
With this in mind I have made the following resolutions :-
1. Paint more. 2. Less Social Media time. 3. Increase exercise. 4. Loose weight.
I always feel I need more hours in a day to create the volume of paintings that I aspire to. However, how many of those hours are taken up by scrolling through Social Media? The answer I know is way too many. Lots of people are…

Why I favour Ink & Wash

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Those of you who follow my YouTube channel will be aware that I enjoy using all media. It's great fun trying out new products and seeing how different products work together. When I first learnt to paint, like many people it was with watercolour. Maybe this is why after flirting with different media, I always come back to my battered old tin of watercolours.


I will always continue to try out new things, especially as there are new art products regularly released to discover. In fact I was saddened to learn that Derwent no longer make Artbar, as I have just got into using them and am loving how you can layer them. I also love using Colourcraft Brusho for it's unpredictability and bright colours.

When displaying my work at Art fairs and exhibitions, a few times now I have received complimentary comments about my mark making. Many beginners in art lack confidence in their drawing skills, much preferring the process of painting. I believe that when your drawing confidence grows with…

Alternative paint mixes to using black.

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In my next YouTube video out on Thursday, I talk through why I don't use black paint and the alternatives I mix. I thought it would be useful for you if I wrote those mixes down here.

Cally's recommended Art Products
I find that black paint on its own can appear very flat and boring. My first tip if you have black you want to use, would be to add a touch of blue to it.

My favourite alternative mixes are French Ultramarine with Burnt Sienna or French Ultramarine with Burnt Umber.

You can also use Paynes Grey in many cases where you need a dark colour.

Dark Greys can be made from all three primary colours, using different combinations of your available reds, blues and yellows. The colours with this are infinite, if you mix one you really like, don't forget to write it down.

Finally, a tip for beginners in painting. Don't be too tentative to use very dark mixes. You need to go dark in places to make your highlights "pop".



Quick beginners guide to the Elements & Principles of Design

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As a beginner you may not be familiar with the term "Elements and Principles" of design. This simply refers to some important points to consider in all your artworks. The "Elements" are more tangible and obvious, whereas the "Principles" are a little more open to interpretation and personal preferences. They are not set in stone, more of a guide to make you think about how successful your finished piece of artwork will be.

I have made a video talking through the Elements and Principles. however it is also useful to have things in writing.

Here is the list I refer to in the video :-


Elements & Principles of Design
Elements of design :-
Colour
Space
Form (shape)
Texture


Principles of design :-
Harmony
Scale
Balance
Contrast
Dominance
Proportion
Rhythm

Most of the list are self explanatory and although it is important to learn them, over time they become automatic rather than something you are consciously thinking of each time you paint.
It is particularly …