How to Paint Mist Or Fog in a Landscape Painting

Painting mist or fog turns an ordinary scene into something special or specific. For example, mist can indicate that it is morning before the sun has burnt off the fog or it can indicate distance. Fog can add mystery, suspense or even peacefulness to paintings.

You should decide beforehand if you want the entire scene to contain mist of fog or just distant mountains and valleys. A scene that is fully misted will have little detail in the background because just like on a misty day – visibility is limited. Look at other paintings and at nature and observe what you see.

Let’s say that the entire scene will be misted. You most likely will use opaque or dulled down colors and paint in the background, again use little detail. A dry brush technique with circular strokes makes a nice misty effect. Use slightly more detail in the middle ground and more in the foreground. When the painting is done you could use a very – very thin (watercolor consistency) white and go over the entire painting layer by layer until the effect you desire is achieved.

If the effect your looking for is mist or fog at the base of mountains or trees, then that’s pretty easy too. I paint with acrylics and they dry quickly so this technique works well. After your mountains or trees are dry, dry-brush with white from the bottom upwards. Remember the mist is very transparent, so you need to use a tiny amount of paint on a dry brush. Start at the base, use circular strokes and work your way up until the mist blends in. Do the same with mountains or water scenes.

I would suggest practicing these techniques before attempting to apply them to a finished painting. If you aren’t comfortable, the last think you want to do is ruin your work. Remember, mist and fog are fairly simple techniques that add tons of character to art.

Source by Julie Shoemaker

How To Paint A Wooden Boat

One of the great increasing mysteries of today’s modern boatbuilding is the amount of hi-tech gobble-de-gook that the average home boat builder is expected to wade through when the time comes to paint the boat after the horrendous amount of sanding, fairing and hard work is (mostly) over and the fruits of your labour now require a shiny deep lustre that the painting now promises to bring. This part, to my mind at least, is one of the best parts of boatbuilding, the finish! (Well, at least the start of the finish!)

Painting a boat used to be a reasonably simple task. All one needed was a fine dry day, one of Dad’s paintbrushes, some turps, a roll of masking tape, a bit of pink primer left over from the decorating and a half gallon of shiny blue enamel paint from the local hardware store…they were the days!

Not so today, my friends! The unsuspecting boat builder who toddles off to the local chandlery or superstore best be prepared for the very worst- not only will he (or she) face a huge financial onslaught on their wallet but a mind boggling array of hi-tech whiz wow balderdash that the (generally) uninformed shop assistant will proceed to throw in their general direction in the faint hope that you will give in under the stress and buy several litres of the latest polurethanicalslitheryaminomolecular goop that’s just come in. For example, you’ll be faced with trade names like ‘Interlux Interthane coating’. I mean, come on, it sounds like a new space invaders game! This is bloody paint! There are many others but I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying.

Another example of the kind of thing that drives me nuts is that you can expect to buy several litres of a iso-cyanate two pack marine polyurethane paint only to be cheerfully told its illegal to spray it unless you have a proper licenced premises to do so, drone drone!! I suppose they have to make up new names to go with the new paint company policies of charging up to $150 a litre for some of these new fangled paints! What the hell have they discovered that’s so expensive to put in this stuff? I was under the impression that paint was a few litres of linseed oil, turps, some drying agents and a few ounces of pigments for colour…can I really be so out of touch?

BACK TO BASICS

So, why do we paint wooden boats? Or any other boat for that matter? The first part of that question is easy. Boats look much smarter and better if they shine and gleam a bit… it’s only human nature after all. The second part to that question is: We want to protect it. Ok, from what? Well, wood rots if you don’t paint it, right? – wrong! Wood left to its own devices does not rot. Wood only rots as a result of its environment. There are multiple cases of how, plain untreated wood can last for centuries as long as it is in the correct environment. There are basically only a few elements that start wood rotting. Biological attack from spores, fungi, temperature, high humidity or total absorption, physical attack from marine borers and crustaceans that allow ingress to all the other elements aforementioned.

Don’t let’s forget that polluted waters can degrade timber to the point where it will rot….we’ll add chemical attack to that list too. So, in view of all these very compelling reasons we protect our boat by painting it to coat it fully against these assaults.

PREPARATION OF TIMBER

The actual preparation of timber can cover a range of differing requirements. If your boat is a new build you won’t have to go through many of the preparatory stages that an older boat may have to go through. With some forms of boatbuilding where a boat has been built by a different method such as strip planking or cold moulding, we paint the boat as if it were a fibreglass boat, due to the fact that either layers of fibreglass cover the timber or that the timber has been coated with epoxy that does not allow conventional paints to adhere to it properly. However, if we wish to protect bare timber then we use a different tack. Timber in its bare natural state has millions of thin hollow tubes running through it, constructed of cellulose in its natural form. We have to seal these tubes to prevent the ingress of water into them. Therefore we seal and coat the timber first of all.

The first thing we do is to clean and remove any loose and flaking or damaged paint plus any dirt that remains on the hull – sounds easy if you say it quick but it must be done! If necessary (and most times it is) degrease the hull using a proprietary paint degreaser after removing all dust preferably with a vacuum cleaner. Don’t forget it won’t be absolutely necessary to get all the hull back to bare wood just dry, clean, grease and dust free.

FILLING AND IMPERFECTIONS

Obviously, not many timber craft are perfect on the outside. There are many blemishes, cracks, imperfections and splits both large and small to deal with by filling them and sanding them flush before priming the boat. It’s a bit of a chore but time spent here will reward you with a boat that will certainly look better plus have a longer life. Some folks fill these holes and imperfections in timber with epoxy filler but it is not a good idea. Sometime later, for example, when the boat has to undergo a repair, it will be the very devil of a job to remove the epoxy from a fastening hole. It’s best to use some kind of proper timber filler that dries hard and fast but is never that hard that it can’t be removed later on. For example, painter’s glazing compound is a fairly hard setting soft paste that can be quickly applied then sanded and painted satisfactorily. Carvel boats usually have their seams filled fair with a special seam compound AFTER the boat has been primed. Once the boat has been filled and faired smooth and all dust removed we are ready to put some actual paint on. Remember, the difference between a professional paint job and an amateur is the PREPARATION!

WOOD PRESERVATIVE

There are two schools of thought about treating bare timber with wood preservatives. I’ve heard stories that primers and paints don’t adhere to many of them. In my case, I have never personally had that happen to me, so I am generally in favour of using them. Nevertheless, I am convinced that in many cases where the paint refuses to stick to timber is because the wood has not properly dried out after application. There is a definite percentage of humidity level that every timber has (and most of them differ slightly) where paint of any description simply won’t stick. It can be up to fifteen per cent in some timbers. Above all, ensure that your timber is dry enough to allow any paint or filler to adhere to it. Remember too that salt deposits on timber will readily contain water and keep it damp…. if your boat was in salty water wash it off in fresh before commencing painting. When and only when, your timber preservative is dry the next stage is:

PRIMER

The first coat of primer to go onto your hull is metallic grey primer. It is a good primer to use because it is made up of millions of microscopic flat metal (aluminium) plates that lie on top of each other giving water a very hard time to pass though it…Pink primer for example, has circular molecules of substances therefore allowing water to ingress a lot quicker…fact! Grey primers also contain certain oils and most have anti-mould agents contained within (biocides to you and I) We put two coats of grey primer above the waterline and three, no less, below it.

SOME OTHER OBSERVATIONS ABOUT PRIMERS

There are a whole world of paint primers out there and confusion about their qualities are very common. For basic dry timbers, the grey metallic primers are good as previously explained. Also many oil-based primers from well-known companies are also very good and will do the job perfectly well. Hi-build primers however must be approached with caution and I must say that I have never personally got on too well with them. Most of them contain Titanium Dioxide (that’s talcum powder to us lot) and even when it is fully cured can absorb copious amounts of moisture that can prevent really good paint adhesion. To avoid this only paint hi-build primers on good clear dry days and avoid excessive atmospheric humidity levels. Then, as soon as is possible apply the topcoats to seal them in. Note too, that hi-build primers are a soft type of paint and can suffer badly from scuffing over stony or shingly beaches and even when launching from boat trailers. When sanding these primers remember that huge clouds of white dust are released so be aware of where you sand and wear appropriate safety masks.

TOPCOATS

Once again, there are many types to choose from. Let’s get the two- packs out of the way first. TWO-PACK POLYURETHANES have to be applied over a two-pack epoxy undercoat first of all. They have a fantastic finish and that’s fine but you must be absolutely sure that the timber underneath is not going to move because the paint cures so hard that it can and will crack (strip plankers and cold moulded boats are your best bet here…apart of course from glass boats). The primary reason is that timber constructed boats move or ‘work’ as it is known. You may well get away with it if your timber boat has been glassed from new….not glassed over later as a preventative method to stop leaks. Rarely boats treated thus dry out properly and are still susceptible to movement as the timber inside the glass either rots because it was wet or it dries out too much and shrinks. Also boats that have been chined properly, that is, strips of timber glued in between the planks instead of being caulked, stand a reasonable chance of not moving.

Ok, what else? One pack or single pack polyurethane paints can be a good choice for a topcoat…they are almost as glossy and as durable as the two-packs but not quite! They are however, less expensive and far easier to apply than the two-packs… there are a multitude of them out there, so a bit of research is required plus your own personal choice…I’m not going to get involved in a slanging match about which ones are the best! However, remember most major well-known paint manufacturer’s products are usually ok! It’s your call!

So next on my list are marine enamels. Once again, it pays to remember that anything with MARINE in front of it is usually expensive…a good place to avoid in this quest is the large hardware chain stores that sport one or two paints in this category and I’ve fallen for it myself before now. It’s the Name we are looking for!

Even with decent quality marine enamels some of the whites have been known to yellow with age and the way round this is to buy the off-white colours such as cream or buff. My last choice in Marine enamels proper, is a relative newcomer…a water-based enamel. I personally have never used any but I have heard some good reports and there has to be a few advantages with them, quick cleanup for one and you can even drink the thinners!

ASSORTED CHOICES

There are a few types of paint systems that are different to the abovementioned and as usual they probably will draw a lot of flack from those types that love writing to the editor for some reason or the other. Mainly I suspect, because something isn’t quite conventional. Each of the following paints has their different uses and attributes.

HOUSE PAINT ENAMELS

Over the years the quality of house paint enamels has been increasing dramatically to the point where many yachties I know paint their boats with it. It’s a bit softer (and definitely cheaper) than most single pack polyurethanes and some colours, mostly the darker hues, tend to fade earlier than others. However, the fact remains that they can be an excellent choice especially if you own a small boat and don’t mind repainting it every couple of years….cheap to buy, easy to apply!

WATER BASED ACRYLICS

A few years ago you wouldn’t have dreamed of painting your boat with acrylic paint….it would have peeled off in great strips. That does not apply today however. My own boat, The NICKY J has been painted using Wattyl’s Acrylic semi-gloss “CANE” and it is really amazing. I used gloss for the hull and semi-gloss for the decks over white epoxy primer single pack and it has been really good. Never once has it even looked like delaminating. I paint the boat once a year with a roller and it takes less than a day…and she’s forty two feet long! It is yet another choice!

Well there’s your main paint choices but I urge you to remember one thing…preparation is King… it will save you plenty of money in the long run, for sure.

HOW TO APPLY YOUR PAINT

There are of course, three main methods of applying your paints; Spraying, brushing and rollering. There’s another that many people use, a combination of the last two, rolling and tipping, we’ll deal with that one later.

Let’s take a look at spraying. There are several pre-requisites for a decent spray job. These usually are a decent workshop complete with suction fans and half decent ventilation using good spray gear (cheapo underpowered stuff just doesn’t cut the mustard) and most importantly, adequate and proper safety gear. There are always exceptions to the rule and there’s one chap who works in Edge’s boatyard outside in the weather and he does a fantastic job…imagine how much better he might be if he worked indoors!! You will also have to watch the weather, high humidity is not good and also where the overspray goes…not over anyone’s car as is so often the case! A good excess of paint is lost and wasted in the process. If you have a driving need for you boat to look like your car then sprayings for you! Oh yeah, it quick(ish) too!

Brushing by hand can yield incredible results if you are patient and also know what you are doing. I’ve seen boats that at first glance look like they have been sprayed only to find out that they were hand painted by brush…….Dust free atmosphere and bloody good brushes (I mean expensive) are an absolute must here.

Last of all, rollering especially the ‘roll and tip’ method. This requires two people working together as a team. One rolls the paint on thinly and the other follows closely with a decent brush and ‘tips’ out the bubbles left behind by the roller – unbelievably good finishes can be obtained by this method.

A word of warning, no matter which method you use. Don’t be tempted to retouch runs or sags in the paint or you will ruin the finish….wait until the paint has fully dried then deal with it! It’s tempting but paint always seems to gel quicker than you would think!

A SUMMARY

There are many facets to the successful painting of a boat. We can’t be good at all of them and you have to choose the method most suited to you own particular capabilities. A lot depends on the facilities that you have available at your disposal. Some people have the garden to work in others may have huge sheds and even access to a warehouse! I will say that a few basic rules apply to painting even the smallest boat. Often, too much, too clever or too sophisticated is often detrimental to what you are trying to achieve.

I have seen boats that cost twenty grand to paint and they were just really average…why? Wrong choice of painter, that’s why. If you are going to choose a painter it’s not a crime to ask him to show you some examples of his work. If he’s any good there should be plenty…there are plenty of chancers and cowboys about, rest assured. All boats, every single one of them will need retouching or even a repaint within years. Just how long you get for your money is the trick. Unless you put your freshly painted boat in a museum or garage and lock it away you can bet that from day one, it will collect nicks, dings, scratches and scars, it’s inevitable. Beware the painter who tells you, ‘yes it will be ten grand, but it’ll outlast you and me’. The need for repainting is directly proportional to how badly the boat is treated over the years. The only way of keeping your boat pristine and perfect is never to actually put it in that dirty old water once it’s done! Be realistic about your own abilities and your expectations. Simple can be better in many cases.

A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR CALCULATING HOW MUCH PAINT YOU NEED (FOR ONE COAT)

This is interesting if not exactly exact! But it gets very close indeed. This is applicable to brushing and rolling only NOT spraying. There’s a different formula for that and I don’t know it!

THE FORMULA

ONE COAT = The boat’s length overall x the beam x 0.85

Divided by square feet covered per litre listed on the paint can instructions.

If you can’t work it out the paint manufacturer will tell you if you ring the company hotline.

Over the years, wooden boats have survived the elements in spite of very crude and primitive forms of paint. Many early vessels were simply daubed in pitch, bitumen, turps and beeswax. An early Thames barge had survived for over a hundred years in perfect condition as she was originally used as a bitumen tanker!! The dark brown shiny finish was the most perfect example of preserved wood that I have ever seen. One of the most interesting boats I ever saw was painted with fence paint…the owner reckoned he’d only ever painted it once in thirty years! Another old boat builder I knew once told me the secret of painting a wooden boat was to paint it with as many coats of paint that you could afford!

Source by Terry Buddell

Portrait Painting Techniques – How to Paint Hair

Portrait Painting Techniques – How to Paint Hair

Paint Hair

Painting portraits is a great hobby that gives both the artist and the model much pleasure. It is better for both however if the texture, color and flow of the hair closely matches the model. Follow these steps to obtain more realistic colors in your next portrait.

Before painting hair, you should always have the rest of the face finished first. The flesh color extend into the hairline. This is so that the flesh color shows through and the hair does not look unnatural. Remember that hair is much more than one layer, therefore, you need to paint it in layers. There are also hundreds of shades of hair color. To keep it as simple as possible try to base each portrait with, blonde, brown (this includes red), black or gray.

Under paint the entire hair area with a very light mixture of one of these colors. These are called undertones. This under painting will actually be the highlights because as you work you will not cover all of this. Notice where the dark or shadowed areas are and paint them in. Now use a darker color and start stroking in hair strands. Black is the opposite. Start with the darkest as the undertones, then add lighter layers. Continue until you are satisfied with the results. It is very easy to overdo hair. Know when to stop!

Here are the colors you will use for any hair tone. Remember to apply the undertones first

Blonde (Reds) Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, (Alizarin Crimson)

Use Burnt Umber to darken blonde and red hair

Brown Titanium White, Burnt Umber

Use Cadmium Red or Ivory Black for red or blackish tones

Black Ivory Black Undertones

Warm Black – Ivory Black & touch of Brown

Cool Black – Ivory Black & touch of Blue

Gray Titanium White, Ivory Black for a Gray Undertone

Warm Gray – Ivory Black & touch of Brown

Cool Gray – Ivory Black & touch of Blue

Start the first layer, or undertones with a very watery mixture of paint. Use a medium to large brush because you are not painting details. Don’t try to paint in individual hair strands at this stage. Start adding more paint color to your brush and add some more layers. Pull the brush in the direction of the flow of hair. Use a liner brush to add some indications of individual strands. Add any deep pockets of color to really give the portrait depth. I added some deep shadow on the side of the neck.

Congratulations! You should be well on your way to being your own master portrait painter. As always, don’t forget to sign your painting.

Portrait Painting Techniques – How to Paint Hair

Source by Julie Shoemaker

How to Print on Ceramics Using Two Ceramic Printing Techniques

Printing your own images, pictures, designs or text onto ceramics is easier than you might believe. This article will demonstrate two popular techniques that you can use at home to transfer images onto ceramic surface like plates, mugs and tiles for instance.

Method 1 – Using waterslide papers to print designs onto ceramics

This is one of the easiest craft projects you will ever do and professional looking results can be expected on your first attempt.

1 – Purchase some waterslide decal paper. If your ceramic surface is white or a light colour, choose the clear waterslide decal paper. Alternatively, if your ceramic surface is dark in colour, go for the white waterslide decal paper. Decal papers are available for both inkjet and laser printers and work differently. I shall explain the differences later in this article. A pack of 5 A4 sheets is enough to print pictures onto around 20 ceramic mugs or maybe 10 plates.

2- Open up your picture or type your text into Microsoft word or your photo editing software like Photoshop. You will need to size your work according to your ceramic surface, so for a mug printing project, you would use the top left quarter of your page and print out a test on a regular piece of paper and maybe even cut that out and place onto the mug to ensure that you are happy with the size.

3 – Load your decal paper into your printer so that your print lands onto the papers shiny side. This is the coated side of the paper that is effectively an extremely thin film that slides off the papers backing when water is applied later in the production process.

4 – Take your printed picture or text and either cut it out now or if you have filled your A4 sheet of decal paper with pictures, leave it as one piece as it will make the next stage easier.

5 – If you have purchased inkjet waterslide decal paper, you will also require some clear varnish for the next stage as you will now start to apply the varnish to your image. Ensure that you have either waited at least 30 minutes or have used a hair dryer on your print to ensure that it has dried.

6 – Apply 2 to 3 quick, even sprays of varnish over your image, separated by around 10 minutes. Do not use too much as this can harden your decal, making it awkward to apply to a curved surface. Apply to little though and you risk leaving a tiny area or two for water to engage your print, leading to an ink smudge. That said though, do not over concern yourself with applying the varnish as ceramic printing using this technique is very forgiving and following the instructions will provide great results.

7 – Cut your image out close to the edges and place into some water. You can use your fingers to hold the paper under the water and also to keep it flat as it will automatically have a tendency to curl up when it hits the water. Again, don’t worry if it does this as you can easily flatten it out again whilst under the water with your fingers.

8 – After around 30 seconds the paper backing will suddenly become loose and easy to slide off. Do not slide it off though yet. Remove the ceramic decal from the water and slide off 1 centimetre. Apply the 1 cm of film that you have slide off directly onto your ceramic surface, then slide the rest of the paper backing away, leaving you with your printed film directly on the ceramic surface. Gently feather away the water under the decal with your fingers taking care at this stage not to tear it.

9 – The decal starts to harden almost immediately and once dry you can place it in an oven for a further 10 minutes at 110c.

10 – Applying another coat of clear varnish will add extra protection to your project. Waterslide decal papers provide an excellent finish for decorative purposes. Hand wash any ceramic projects that you complete and avoid placing finished work like ceramic cups and plates into dishwashers.

The difference between inkjet and laser waterslide decal paper

The two decal papers are similar and produce the same desired results, the main difference being that clear acrylic spray / clear varnish is not required when using laser waterslide decal paper. You effectively skip steps 5 and 6 above. After you have completed your ceramic project using laser waterslide paper, you can of course apply some clear varnish for additional protection and durability.

Method 2 – Using ceramic paint to apply your own designs to ceramics

If you have some artistic flair or just want to give ceramic painting a go, start by getting yourself a few basics like some suitable ceramic paint and brushes. Pebeo and Liquitex are the two leading brands for ceramic paint and brush sizes 1 and 2 round and ΒΌ” flat would be suitable for painting small ceramic tiles for instance.

Start by washing your ceramic surface with soap and water, dry and start by drawing your design onto the ceramic in pencil. Unwanted pencil marks can be removed using water or painted over. Choose your colours and squeeze into your palette. Ceramic printing paint goes a long way but can also dry quickly so bear this in mind when starting and have an idea of your colour scheme before you begin.

To mix a colour, apply the lighter colour to the palette first so if you wanted a grey colour, you would apply some white into your palette before adding a small amount of dark colour until you reach the ideal grey. Keep all of your mixed colours in case you require them later for finishing touches.

Start with your lighter colours first and apply one colour at a time. Put a small amount of paint into your palette but take a modest amount on your round brush and paint evenly along the ceramics natural flow. Ceramic paint dries quickly allowing you to add another coat quite quickly if required.

Use a liner brush (thin brush) for detailed edges. Lighter colours can be painted over when you come to painting with the darker colours so don’t panic if you go over the edges.

Continue to work with the lightest colours through to the darkest colours last and finally any black colour last.

Ceramic paint will dry with a slightly raised surface in around 3 hours and completely dry in 48 hours. Your finished work will be scratch resistant and can be gently hand washed in cold water. As with the decal paper, do not place finished ceramic work into the dishwasher.

Source by Kareem Sherazi Naiyar

Unusual Uses For Ceramics

Just as in the field of plastics, scientists are coming up with new ways to use ceramic materials. They have already proven to be stronger than steel in many applications, and they have properties that make them the ideal choice in the automotive industry, aerospace technology, dentistry, and prosthetics. Long considered to be a material more suited for decorative pieces, it is now being found that ceramics can be used in many more ways than originally imagined. Since it’s introduction in primitive forms in ancient civilizations, ceramics has just started its journey to the edge of modern technology.

Some of the types of advanced ceramics critical industries in our society are employing are Alumina, Aluminum Nitride, and Silicon Nitride. These are being used, because they will remain their dimensional stability through a range of high temperatures, exhibit high mechanical strength, have superior chemical resistance, and give manufacturers the opportunities to design components that will offer the best performance possible.

As in the rest of the world these days, the aerospace industry is under pressure to produce higher performance and increased safety while faced with dwindling financial resources. This means that manufacturers of commercial and defense airplane materials as well as the space exploration sector are being forced to find new, reliable materials to meet the needs of their highly specialized applications. Ceramics are moving up to fill this void.

Architects are finding that ceramic materials have the ability to keep up with the developmental pace of human society and the needs of the people. Prior to the 1920s, architecture employed a lot of ceramic decoration; however, the Modernist era put an end to that practice. Now in the 21st century, however, more architects are incorporating ceramic artwork into their building designs. New products, such as Superadobe, are being developed to provide a more earth-friendly method of building.

Medicine is an area where the use of ceramics is making a huge difference in a great many lives. The use of ceramics in constructing artificial joints has been under development since the 1970s. The procedure experienced a great deal of publicity in 1999 when golfer Jack Nicklaus received a ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacement, and these hip joints finally were approved by the FDA in 2003. The chief advantage of using a ceramic hip joint instead of a more traditional metal one is because of the increased life expectancy of the joint. Hip recipients can expect to get as much as 20 years of use from their ceramic joints.

The automotive industry has always been a venue for the use of ceramics. Even the earliest models used ceramic spark plugs as well as glass windows. More recently, cars are being made with ceramic honeycomb supports for the catalyst of catalytic converters, ceramic oxygen sensors to help optimize combustion and reduce exhaust, and ceramic brake shoes and rotors, all of which reduce the weight of the vehicle while providing high performance. It is very likely that ceramics will soon be used in internal engine structural parts as well as for valves and valve seats and ceramic fuel cells.

Ceramics are on their way to becoming the super material of the future as scientists discover different properties and uses for it.

Source by Paul Julian