How to Price Your Artwork

When you finish a piece of artwork, you may be tempted to sell it. Doing so will not only put a little extra money in your pocket, but it will also share your artwork with the world. But, how exactly do you price your artwork? What will seem reasonable to the buyer while also providing you with the money you deserve for all your hard work? Read on to learn more:

Factor in the cost of materialsOriginal oil painting of beautiful golden sunset over ocean beach on canvas.Modern Impressionism, modernism,marinism

Every type of artwork will require tools, paint, and other materials. When figuring out the price of your artwork, you should consider how much money you spent to make that artwork a reality. Your artwork should allow you to break-even or even earn a profit.

Look at what other artists are selling for

Take a look around the local market. What are other artists selling their artwork for? You should look at similar pieces of artwork and artists with a similar reputation as yours to get a better idea for what you should price yours at.

Consider your reputation

Is this the first painting you’re selling? Are you just starting to get into the world of art? If so, then you likely don’t have the same reputation as artists that have been selling their work for years. Well-known, local artists can sell their work at a higher price because they have a bigger reputation. However, if you’re just starting out, you may want to be conservative with your prices as customers will not be as willing to shell out cash.

For more tips and tricks, be sure to read through our blog or sign up for one of our classes and workshops!

The Different Types of Color Contrast

Color contrast is an essential tool when painting. It creates a striking image on the canvas, delineating between two distinct elements. With proper use, you can use color contrast to focus attention on a key element or feature stunning colors.

However, color contrast is more complicated than simply placing two contrasting colors next to one another. There are actually three different types of color contrast. Learn more below:color wheel vector illustration

Value Contrast

Value is how light or dark an element is on a scale of white to black. Value contrast, then, refers to the contrast between light and dark colors. For example, yellow is lighter on the value scale than green. So, if you placed yellow and green next to one another, there would be a value contrast.

Hue Contrast

Hue contrast is what most people think of when they imagine contrast. It refers to the contrast between different colors on the color wheel. Complementary colors (colors on opposing sides of the color wheel) have strong contrast. So, for example, yellow and blue are on opposite ends of the color wheel. As such, they have strong hue contrast.

Saturation Contrast

Finally, there’s saturation contrast. This type refers to contrast between saturated and dull colors. For instance, there will be a sharp saturation contrast between a saturated orange and a dull orange. They may be the same hue, but their saturation differs significantly.

Understanding the different types of color contrast can help you on your journey of becoming a great artist. At Creative Ventures Gallery, we also have plenty of classes and workshops to further you along on this journey. Contact us today to learn more!

How to Name Your Painting

Every great piece of artwork has a name, so it’s only right that you name your own pieces as well! However, this can be a daunting task for some artists. After all, how do you name something you’ve poured your heart and soul into? It needs to be perfect to reflect the work you’ve put in and the story you want to tell.

To help you out, we’ve listed a few tips on how you can name your painting.Landscape with houses, watercolor illustration

Keep it simple

When it comes to naming a painting, simple is always best. Most pieces of artwork use titles with just a couple of words at most. If you make your name too long or convoluted, people and admirers won’t be able to remember its name. A simple name, meanwhile, will be memorable and easy to remember.

Make it descriptive

Your painting’s name should reflect what is happening in the painting. It can center on the subject, scene, or story you want to tell. For example, Lilla Cabot Perry’s Lady With a Bowl of Violets shows just that, a lady with a bowl of violets. However, if you want to be more creative, you can. Frederick McCubbin’s Down on His Luck shows a forlorn man sitting alone in the woods. The title describes the story that is being told rather than just the subject’s appearance.

You can describe a wide variety of features in your painting. Here are some to get you started:

  • Emotions, feelings, or ideas
  • The subject of the painting
  • The scenery or environmental conditions of the painting
  • The story playing out
  • Artistic elements
  • A statement about society, politics, etc.
  • Symbolism

Remember, you don’t need a fancy name for your painting. Just pick something that reflects its true nature.

For more painting tips, be sure to read through our blog or sign up for one of our classes and workshops!

The Different Types of Artist Palettes

An artist palette is a handy tool for any painter to have. While we mostly think of the old, wooden palettes, there are actually several varieties out on the market. Here, we discuss the different types of artist palettes so you can choose the right one.

Traditional woodWooden art palette with blobs of paint

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Traditional wooden artist palettes have been used for centuries, and for good reason! Simple to use and easy to wash, they allow you to easily mix colors. So long as you don’t mind holding your palette as you paint, you can’t go wrong with this type of palette.

Disposable

Typically made out of paper, disposable palettes are a one-and-done type of palette. This makes it very easy to clean up, but it does mean you’ll have to continually replace your palettes over time. Additionally, disposable palettes are not completely flat, which could be an issue if you’re using a palette knife.

Glass

Glass palettes are becoming an increasingly popular option amongst artists. They’re remarkably easy to clean—all you need is a razor to scrape the paint away. However, these palettes will break if you drop them, so be careful with them.

Stay wet

These types of palettes are best used for acrylic painting, as they help keep your paint wetter for longer. However, we don’t recommend them for oil painting.

Plastic

Plastic palettes can be flimsy, but they’re extremely affordable. As such, they may be a good option for beginners who may not want to spend too much money yet.

At Creative Ventures Gallery, we offer a wide variety of painting classes that can help you take your artistic skills to the next level. Contact us today to learn more.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Prints of Your Artwork

No one can replicate the feeling of having an original piece of artwork. However, not all of us are fortunate enough to have original artwork, especially if the one piece we love is not available for sale. As an artist, you may have come across customers asking for prints of your artwork. You’ve debated the value of prints, but still aren’t sure if it’s worth it. That’s why we put together a list of pros and cons for selling prints of your artwork.

Pros of Selling Printscollection of art prints on wall

  • Prints allow your fans and customers to purchase a copy of their favorite artwork at a more affordable price.
  • They are flexible and versatile. You can make them in a variety of types, materials, and sizes depending on your customers’ wants and needs.
  • Prints are scalable, meaning the more you sell the more profitable prints become. You can also control how many you sell. Meanwhile, an original artwork can only be sold once.
  • They can help you earn money without taking up much time.

Cons of Selling Prints

  • Prints can diminish the value of your original works.
  • Prints won’t earn you much if you only produce a few—they must be sold at higher volumes in order to make a profit.
  • The up-front costs of getting all the equipment can be too high for some artists.
  • Invariably you might pick the wrong paintings to make prints of. As a result, you’ve spent money on something that won’t sell.

Whether or not you plan to sell prints, Creative Ventures Gallery can help you take the next steps in your artistic journey. Look through our list of classes & workshops to get started!

How to Paint Color Gradations

Color gradation is how you transition from one color to the next. Your painting is filled with color gradations. Some are sharp, with clear boundaries that delineate one object from another. Others, however, are smooth and subtle, building the color change gradually instead of all at once.

The nature of your color gradations will depend on what you’re trying to convey. As such, there are various techniques you can use when using color gradation in your painting. These include the following:

Blendingcolor gradation on blue sky

The easiest way to use color gradations in your painting is to blend one color into the next. This is typically used to develop smooth color transitions like you would see in a morning sky.

Intermediate Color

Another way to perform color gradations is to place an intermediate color in between the two colors you’re transitioning to and from. For example, if you want to transition from blue to yellow, you can place a bit of green in between to help smooth out the transition.

Broken Color

The broken color technique is most frequently used by Impressionist painters. For example, if you wanted to paint a lake, most techniques would have you use smooth blue tones with gradual transitions. However, with the broken color technique, you would paint with small dabs of different colors, such as blues, whites, greens, grays, etc.

Hatching

Hatching is most often used in drawings rather than paintings. You draw parallel lines to darken an area. The closer together the lines are, the darker the area appears, and vice versa.

Layering

Layering is as it sounds. You place thin layers of paint on top of one another to create color gradations. The layers should be partially translucent.

Density

Color gradations can also be created by varying the density of each color you use. You can do this by controlling the number of strokes, the amount of pressure, or the thickness of the paint for each color.

At Creative Ventures Gallery, we offer beginner paint classes that will help you better understand the concept of color gradation. To learn more, look through our selection of classes today!

Understanding Positive and Negative Space in Art

As you go further in your artistic journey, you will come across many methods, techniques, and terms. Among these are the concepts of positive and negative space. While they are relatively easy to understand, many beginner artists are unaware of these concepts. But understanding positive and negative space can strengthen your skills as an artist and is a valuable tool to have.

What is positive and negative space?Handmade watercolor drawing of touristic boat

Look at any painting and you will likely see a subject and a background. The subject is the key focus of a painting, while the background adds context and character. When it comes to positive and negative space, the subject is the positive space while the background is the negative space.

For example, if you have a picture of a partly cloudy sky, then the clouds would be the positive space while the peaks of blue sky in the background would be the negative space.

Why is positive and negative space important to understand?

Positive and negative space are simple concepts, but they can help transform your artwork. More specifically, they can help create a sense of balance and rhythm.

Balance refers to how artistic elements (such as lines, texture, colors, and forms) create visual stability in a painting. With positive and negative space, you can create a busy positive space that is balanced out with a quiet negative space, or vice versa.

Rhythm refers to the harmony between artistic elements, guiding the viewer around a piece rather than focusing on just one point. By using repetition and patterns in your positive and negative spaces, you can create a sense of rhythm in your painting.

Positive and negative spaces are just a few of the many concepts you will learn as a budding artist. To learn more concepts and techniques, consider one of our art classes or workshops at Creative Ventures Gallery today!

Landscape Painting Tips for Beginners

Whether you’re capturing the beautiful fall foliage or a majestic mountain range, landscape painting is perfect for nature and art lovers. However, landscape painting requires different techniques and methods in order to properly capture nature’s beauty. Here we discuss some top tips for beginners trying their hand at landscape painting.

Simplifylandscape painting of ocean and beach

Oftentimes, artists get caught up in the details of their landscape rather than capturing the entire picture. While detail is certainly important, it’s better to emphasize certain areas of your painting and then leave the rest up to the imagination of the viewer. And remember, you don’t have to put everything you see into your painting.

Use your artistic license

Unless you’re painting a very identifiable image (such as Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon), you don’t have to copy your landscape exactly. You have the liberty to play around with your scene. Granted, you want to keep the general appearance of your scene the same, but you can experiment with details and characters.

Know your greens

The most common color in your landscape painting will ultimately be green. But it won’t be the same shades of green. You can try mixing your own greens, or you can buy different green paints. Keep in mind that if you decide to buy your greens, they will not be natural greens. This means you’ll still have to mix your greens to achieve the right colors. Either way, you’ll want to have more than just one shade of green when you start painting.

Use a palette knife

A palette knife is a helpful tool when it comes to landscape painting. Not only can you use it for mixing your greens (see above), but it can also help add crisp edges.

At Creative Ventures Gallery, our art classes and workshops can help you master landscape painting. Contact us today to learn more!

Acrylic Painting Supplies: What Beginners Should Buy

When beginners start painting with acrylics, they often rush to the store and buy the wrong supplies or too many supplies. However, as with anything, simple is always best. You don’t need to buy hundreds of art supplies to start your art career. In the beginning, you just need a few simple tools to get you started.

Acrylic paintbox of artist paint

The first thing you need will obviously be acrylic paint. There are several brands available on the market, but not all are created equal. Many beginners will buy inexpensive paint, but these have little pigment to cove the canvas. As a result, it takes multiple layers to get the color down. We recommend getting only about six colors plus white in the best quality that you can afford.

Paintbrushes

Once you’ve found your paint, it’s time to buy your paintbrushes. We recommend getting synthetic brushes over natural brushes, as they work better with acrylic paint. From there, you’ll want to get a few flat or rectangular brushes, and then a few round and pointed brushes. You can start off with mid-sized brushes (sizes 6 to 8) and then continue to branch out from there.

Canvas

Next, you need your canvas. While you can paint acrylic on various surfaces, it’s usually best to stick with canvas as a beginner. Then, once you become more confident, you can try wood, paper, and more. Just make sure your canvas is thick enough to handle acrylic paints.

Palette

A palette is where you’ll hold and mix your paints. While we usually think of palettes as circular with a small hole on the side, they actually come in many varieties. Go to the store and try a few out to see which version you prefer. You can also opt for paper plates in place of traditional palettes to reduce clean-up time.

Rags/paper towels

Painting can get messy. Be sure you have some old rags or paper towels to clean up after yourself or to blot excess water from your paintbrushes. You can also use them to wipe your brushes clean before switching colors.

Soap for paintbrushes

Once you’ve finished painting for the day, you’ll need to wash your paintbrushes. Ordinary soap can work, but you can also get paintbrush soap for a more thorough cleaning.

Varnish

Finally, there’s varnish. This adds an extra layer of protection for your recently finished painting. You can get varnish in matte, satin, or gloss depending on the look you want to achieve.

At Creative Ventures Gallery, our beginner art classes can help you decide what acrylic art supplies you need the most. Look through our classes today to get started!

5 Painting Surfaces to Try (Other Than Canvas)

When learning to paint, you typically start on canvas or paper. But what if you wanted something out of the ordinary? As you advance your skills, you can start experimenting with differing surfaces, including wood, metal, glass, and even books. Read on to learn more:

WoodPainting on Wood

Whether it’s an old dresser or part of a building, wood can be a fun surface to paint on. There are so many things you can do with wood, and so many opportunities to show off your artistic skills. Some artists are even painting on tree trunks to create a 3D illusion. Just keep in mind that if you’re painting on wood, you’ll need to sand and seal it before starting.

Books

Do you have any old books that you never read? Then consider reusing them for your next artistic project! You can paint the inside pages or the cover to add a new look to your old book. Just make sure you use hardcover books to prevent any warping.

Fabric

When painting on fabric, you have many options available to you. You can paint on wearable fabrics such as t-shirts, or you can opt for flags, banners, and even silk. You’ll want to use a special fabric paint and then set the paint by heating the opposite side with an iron. Some fabric can be washed after being painted, but you’ll want to do some extra research before throwing it in the washing machine.

Metal

Certain metals can also be painted on, but the most commonly used is copper. Painting on copper has been done for hundreds of years using oil paint (acrylics don’t adhere as well to a copper surface). You’ll need to sand the copper before painting, but priming is not always necessary. Some artists want the glow of the copper to shine through their paint.

Glass

Finally, there is glass. Traditionally, paint doesn’t adhere well to glass, but you can fix this by sandblasting your glass and using specially formulated glass paint. Just be sure to clean the glass beforehand so that there isn’t any dust, dirt, or natural oils leftover.

At Creative Ventures Gallery, we offer a variety of classes to help you improve your artistic skills. Contact us today to learn more!