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Artist interview with Tara Jane

I had the opportunity to talk with Tara Jane about her art and asked for some advice for beginner artists!

To our fellow artists who haven’t met you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello world 🙂 My name is Tara Jane and I’m a part-artist – part-psychologist based in Brisbane, Australia. I’m a gouache painter of landscapes and pathways!

What is your main goal when it comes to your art? Is there a certain message that you want to convey or a certain way you want people to feel when they look at your work? 

Since I work full-time, I keep art as a space where I feel I can be free and explore whatever comes my way. This is a particular reason I do sketchbook work. There are no expectations or desires for sketches to be something other than a journey. In a way, I think that I try to convey that in what I paint. Adventure, creativity, growth. They mean different things to different people and I love seeing that reaction to my work. 

What’s your favourite art tool that you can’t live without?

I’m extremely messy when it comes to mixing, so my porcelain palette is honestly something that I *need*. The ease of washing is practically life-changing. 

What inspires you to create art and what do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?  Where do you seek inspiration?

I’m always struck by inspiration when I’m out in nature! Gardens, forests, mountains. Even when I’m walking to work, I’m looking at the overgrown plants on driveways and it makes me want to paint it. When I’m not feeling inspired, I just give myself time. I know it will come back to me when it wants to, and when it does I’ll be waiting! Haha. 

Who are your biggest influences? Is there a particular artist that inspired you to pursue art?  Whose techniques do you study or admire?

As an artist, the biggest inspiration to me has of course been Studio Ghibli. My style, themes, colours, identity, is really rooted from those movies. When I feel I’m losing technique or need to practice, I will do studies of Ghibli backgrounds.

What advice do you have for artists who don’t have enough time to be creative?  Is there any way to practice your art skills without having to paint for hours?

I 100% can relate to this because I can only really paint on weekends at the moment. This was the biggest reason I switched to doing mostly sketchbook paintings as they only take me 1-2 hours. This was one of the most freeing things that I’ve done and it’s made painting so much more enjoyable for me. My advice is just to do what you can manage and not put any expectations on yourself. 

What advice do you have for beginner artists with a small following wanting to sell their work online?

This is tricky because it took me a long time to find my groove and boom online. I noticed that when I posted more consistently and found more of my own style, my online presence and ability to sell work became a lot easier. I think that is a lot easier said than done however! It takes time and trial-and-error, so don’t give up!

Throughout the years, I’ve noticed a lot of artists struggle to find their artist style. Is an artist style important to have in your opinion?  And how do feel does an artist find their own style?

When you’re starting out, it’s important to try different things because that’s the only way that you’ll grow. Eventually, there will probably come a time where you notice it’s easier to paint or draw in a certain way, or maybe you enjoy doing it in a certain way more. That’s where your natural style will flow in. But in saying that, being an artist means a continuous stream of challenges and exploration, so your style is always evolving. 

Where do you hang out most online?  Where can we find you?  

I’m really only on Instagram at the moment, but you can find me on Youtube where (if I ever get the time) I will be posting videos! 🙂 

Thanks Tara for taking the time for this interview, it was great getting to know you better and I’m sure that all of us can’t wait to see what beautiful scenes you create in your sketchbook next!

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Art as social commentary and provoking conversation | Covid – 19

Art to me is way more than just pretty pictures. While I do feel that there certainly is space for pretty pictures in the art world, I think that art, even wall art sometimes, can provoke powerful feelings. If the composition in a still life is imbalanced, for instance, if all objects are placed on one side of the canvas, leaving the rest of the painting blank, it can cause a sense of uneasiness because you’ll feel like you’re being dragged in one direction and this can even cause anxiety in some people.

And since art has the capacity to provoke feeling, naturally, it also has the ability to communicate very strong opinions and to ask questions that can provoke a conversation.

Take this painting of mine as an example. I got inspired to create this work because people who have passed away due to this pandemic, gets pushed aside and the fight for survival became the focal point. For this reason, I decided to do something with poppy flowers, since the flower itself is seen as a remembrance symbol of ww1, a war that affected many countries. I also decided to add the poppies as a way of remembering everyone who passed of this virus, which is something that we often forget in our frantic search for toilet paper.

And if you guys follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have a thing for fantasy and surrealism and i love to incorporate that into my own art, so I transformed the planets here into different representations of covid 19.

At the same time I made use of bright colours in order to juxtapose the memories of people who passed with our childish reactions over supplies.

But sitting cooped up at home and making this painting got me thinking about art in general and how art can have such a powerful affect on people, just by changing compositions, for instance, or using a different colour palette. If I made the colour palette in this painting, for example, more dulled down or added more red, I would imagine that it could evoke a lot more fear in people than it does right now.

As artists, I do feel like it is our social responsibility to think about what we put out into the world, especially when it comes to something as sensitive as covid-19. Art has the power to change and shape opinions and start conversations if done well and we can use it as a tool to change the world for the better.

That being said, we do still have the right to express our own anxiety and fears, and to share that fear with people. But then I want to encourage you to think about why exactly you aim to provoke fear and anxiety in a situation like the coronavirus crisis. Do you want to use that fear in order to move them? So that they can take better care of their hygiene? And then in turn protect not only them but the people around them or is it just a cheap publicity stunt?

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Interview with Justin Fetcko

One of my favourite things to do on instagram is to chat to you guys, my fellow artists! And this got me thinking, why not create an interview series, where we can all benefit from different takes on beginner artists’ burning questions and get to know some more artists?

I then got the opportunity to have a chat with artist Justin Fetcko. Some of you might know him as better as @mortt.y on his instagram page, which he describes as his surrealistic art museum.

I had a go at is art technique. Not too shabby, hey?

Here are some of the questions I asked him:

To our fellow artists who haven’t met you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My names Justin. I’m a 17 and a senior in high school. I love hiking and exploring new areas around northern California with my boyfriend.

Work by Justin Fetcko

What’s your favourite art tool that you can’t live without?

I cant live without the cut tool

What inspires you to create art and what do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?  Where do you seek inspiration?

I get a lot of my inspiration from various photographer’s I follow on Instagram and Pinterest. One of my all time favorite photographers is Daniel Kordan and a few other inspirations of mine will forever be Frank Moth and Cult Class.

What advice do you have for beginner artists who struggle to find inspiration?

My best advice would be don’t try and force yourself to be inspired. Sometimes I find myself forcing myself just to get a piece done and I never like the outcome. Art takes time. Sometimes it comes quicker sometimes it takes forever.

Work by Justin Fetcko

What advice do you have for beginner artists with a small following wanting to sell their work online?

My advice for artists with a smaller following is to promote your page with other curators when possible. It’s helped me gain some attention for sure. Another tip is to use hashtags but change them for each post depending on what its about to try and draw in other crowds.

How would you describe your artist style?

I find my style changes a bit depending on what mood I’m in. But most of my art I would categorize as space surreal with a hint of real life landscapes.

Where do you hang out most online?  Where can we find you?  

I am always on Instagram. You can find my art page by using the handle @mortt.y

Thanks Justin!

We are all looking forward to seeing your upcoming works.

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7 Tips for your first art exhibition

For beginner artists

It’s been a while since I have had an exhibition. The last exhibition I attended was back in uni days and I would like to share my experience in attending my first exhibition out in the “real world”.

tips for your first art exhibition

Here are 7 tips for your first art exhibition.

1.Mingle:

It is so important to network as an artist. Apart from actually creating the art, networking is the next, if not just as important. Before the exhibition doors open, start a conversation with your fellow artists who are exhibiting with you and get to know them a little better.

If you’re an introvert and you’re not sure how to start a conversation, try asking questions instead. You’ll be surprised at how many conversations you can actually have if you just ask an artist about his/ her work.

2. Dress appropriately

Find out what the dress code of the event is before hand. I find that a safe bet is to wear something simple and black. If you’d like to know what happened to me when it came to dressing up for my first exhibition, have a look at this you tube video

3. Have business cards

When you’re building connections, it’s important for your new friends to be able to reach you. Instead of constantly going on instagram and adding each other, hand out your business card. Not only do you come across as more professional, but you also exchange contact information much faster and more effectively which gives you more time to talk to more people.

4. Be ready to talk about your artwork

People are going to expect to have a conversation with you about your art and very often we have our concept in our heads and when we haven’t actually said it out loud to someone, it can come out as pretty jumbled up. This is why it’s helpful to write something short about your art beforehand, so that when the time comes to talk about your work, you have talked about it before and you’ll come across as more confident and put together.

5. Arrive on time

While arriving fashionably late for parties is advised. Doing the same for your own art exhibition is a big no-no. Like I mentioned earlier, you want to make sure that you get to talk to everyone else attending, as well as people coming to view the paintings.

6. Take mental notes throughout the exhibition

This is your first exhibition, so you’re bound to not do everything perfectly. Take some mental notes as the event progresses on how you can do things better the next time. I’ve learnt a lot in doing this and I know in the next exhibition I attend, I’ll be way more prepared.

7. Have fun

You’re at your first art exhibition! This is an exciting time, so don’t forget to have fun while you’re there! You’ve put in hours and hours of work in your art and now is the time to show your paintings off to the world!

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How to paint a colourful ocean wave

In Acrylic for beginners

I got so inspired by the beautiful colours Nathan Head uses in his photographs lately, I decided to make a another painting tutorial out of one of his works for you guys. Well, it’s inspired by his photo. I decided to add my own touch to it as well. We will be using his post captioned as PALETTE as a painting reference.

I have added the link to his Instagram page here. Feel free to go check it out, because I’m sure you’ll love it!

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Paint: You can have a look here to see the paints I used
  • A cloth
  • Water
  • A spray bottle: this is optional, but you can use this to spray your palette every now and then so the paint doesn’t dry on the palette
  • A Palette
  • A variety of brushes
  • A canvas, you can use anyone you’d like, it doesn’t have to be a round one
  1. Start off with drawing your basic outline with yellow paint. I chose yellow paint to do this because there are a lot of yellow spots in the painting, and I knew that I would struggle to cover pencil marks with the yellow paint after doing my drawing. This is why it’s better to just go in with some yellow paint instead. You can then also add all your yellow and orange sections that you see in the reference.

I would suggest that you take some time to study the reference and really see where all the colours are before each step. I say this because while there are obvious yellow and orange spots, there are also some areas where it looks like there could be some orange underneath a colour. Have a look at the left hand side of the foreground in the reference image for instance. You can still see some orange, but it looks pink at the same time. So for areas like these, we need to paint them orange or yellow first and then once that’s dry, we can add a thin layer of pink on top so we see the two colours at the same time.

2. Next you can start adding the pink areas. Again, we are imagining what the colour underneath all the other colours would be.

Also remember that while we are painting the wave, we want to make sure that the brush strokes always goes in the same direction of the shape. This helps to describe the shape of the wave more and helps to make it dent in where its supposed to dent in and bulge out where its supposed to bulge out.

3. Now that we are pretty much done with the underpainting of the wave, we can add the background. I decided to do a night sky with stars and planets, but you can do anything you’d like. I’ll be showing you how I painted the night sky in this tutorial as well, in case you want to do the same.

I used a mixture of blue, black and white to paint the sky. I did this because using only black would make the sky appear too flat and harsh.

4. Once you’re done painting the sky, the underpainting should be dry. You can now add the teal colour. I used it straight out of the bottle, but if you’d like to mix it, make use of some blue, lime green and white.

You can have a look at your reference while you’re doing this, or just follow what im doing here if you’d like. The main goal is to just focus on what the shapes of the teal colours are on the reference. All you do then is to just copy it onto your painting. If you want to make this a bit easier, you can print the reference image out and outline them with a pen first. I usually do this when I get stuck with a painting.

5. Next you can add some purple. This will mainly be on the inside of the wave around the blue areas.

6. Next you can add some green tones as well. And remember, we are not really concerned with blending the paint at all. We are mainly only trying to copy the shapes of the colours we see. If you don’t do it exactly the same, it will still look nice. But try as much as you can to copy the shapes exactly

7. Now you can start adding the foam. For this I used a brush with very hard bristles. I did this so that I can create some texture. Dont go in with stark white just yet, you first need to paint the darker foam. This will basically serve as the shadows of the foam. We will add the white foam later, once this has dried.

8. Next you can add the stars, To do this, make thee dots at a time. No more, because otherwise it will dry before you can blend it out. Then blend out the edges all around to make it look like the stars are glowing. You can do different sizes to make it look a bit more interesting.

Some stars here and there you can start off by making a coloured dot and blending it out. Then you can add a white dot on top and draw a cross from the dot. These stars will look like they’re closer to the viewer so it will help to create depth in the painting. Even though we’re not going for a super realistic painting here, some degree of depth is still nice.

9. Next you can start adding your foam on the wave. The important factor here again is the shapes of the foam. This is so important because your wave wont make sense if you don’t paint the foam in the same direction as the wave. So when you paint it, imagine how the wave is bending inward on the right hand side and outward on the left hand side.

10. Now once you have the basic shapes of all the foam on the wave, you can go back in with some stark white and add that on some areas on the foam. You can use another brush with hard bristles if you want to add some texture. Another way you can add texture on the foam is to just use a dry brush. This just means that you only add a little bit of paint on your brush and you don’t add any more water, so your brush stroke will basically look like you’ve run out of paint.

11. Next in order to make sure that the wave actually looks like it dents in and makes a curve, add some dark blue areas at the bottom of the wave.

12. Now you can go back and add some planets! First make basic circles to decide where you’d like to pace them.

13. Then you can add the light and shadow areas. Remember that all planets need to have shadow areas on the same sides and the same goes for the light areas. I decided to have my shadows on the left hand side and my light spots on the right hand side.

And that’s pretty much it for this painting! I hope you enjoyed following this tutorial as much as I did creating it! Please remember to subscribe to my You Tube channel so you don’t miss the next video. You can also follow me on instagram with the handle @jetheadedgypsy for updates on painting tutorials and my own paintings.

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How to paint water drops in acrylic

For beginners

I’ve decided to use a yellow background for this painting, because I mainly want to show you the concept of painting a water drop, so that you can translate the idea to any water drop you paint, and not just a water drop on a leaf.

Plus yellow is super fun! So why not?

Materials you’ll need:

  • Acrylic paint – I used yellow, orange, white, red and green.
  • paint brushes – A small and a medium brush will do
  • Palette
  • Water
  • Cloth to wipe your brush with
  • Canvas
  • Reference image
  1. Start off by painting the background. I used yellow and orange for this so that I could create some streaks to mimic the veins on a leaf.

2. While the paint is still wet, start by drawing a circle with orange. Also draw the shadows next to the water drop with orange. These will serve as the medium tones in your water drop. Have a look at your reference image to see what the shape of the shadow inside and around the water drop looks like.

I found it way easier to blend while the paint was still wet, however, its not a train smash if it dries. You can still blend it out and make it look pretty. But, if you want to ensure that the paint is still wet when you do this step, make sure you apply a liberal amount of paint to the background.

3. Next you can add some white to the opposite side of the water drop. Since the paint is still wet, it will turn into a very light yellow. So at this stage we are starting to add the lighter tones.

4. You can also add a light spot on the dark side of the water drop. Again, have a look at your reference to see what the shape of this light spot is. Also make sure that you blend the edges of the light spot so that it’s nice and soft and transitions smoothly into the dark area.

5. We still need to add some final touches to the water drop, but it has to be dry in order for us to do so. In the meantime, you can paint a couple more water drops if you’d like, while we wait for the paint to dry.

6. Once you’ve completed all the above steps with the other water drops, you can then go back to the very first drop you painted. We are now going to add more white paint in the light are. Make sure that the light spot starts on the very edge of the water drop and fades into the rest of the drop. You also want to make sure that you still keep some of that nice light yellow you painted earlier, so don’t cover the entire light area with white. Instead, blend it into the direction of the dark side of the drop. Blend all edges so that it forms a gradient into the light yellow.

You can also do the same with the small light spot on the opposite side of the drop. Add the stark white in the center of the light spot and blend it outward, while still keeping some of the light yellow/orange.

7. You can repeat the process with the other water drops as well.

8. As a final touch you can add the darkest area to add some contrast. The darkest areas will be on the shadow area closest to the water drop and on the edge of the darkest part of the water drop. I mixed some green and red to create brown (you can also just use burnt umber or sienna out of the tube if you’d like) and I added some yellow to it.

I would love to see how your water drops turnt out! Please remember to tag me on instagram so I can see them!

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How to paint a colorful sunrise and seascape

In Acrylic for beginners

I got so inspired by the beautiful colours Nathan Head uses in his photographs, I decided to make a painting tutorial out of one of his works for you guys. We will be using his Magic Moon as a painting reference.

I have added the link to his Instagram page here. Feel free to go check it out, because I’m sure you’ll love it!

https://www.instagram.com/nathan.head/?hl=en

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Paint: Teal, blues, purples, white and yellow and pink.
  • A Palette
  • Paint brushes: I always prefer flat brushes for applying the paint. And then a medium soft brush for blending.
  • A cloth: You need this to clean your blending brush in between while you are blending.
  • Water
  • Canvas – Any size you’d like. I used a 30×30 CM

I started off by painting my entire canvas a pastel pink. The reason why I did this was so that the general feel of the painting would be warm. In order to achieve this, you can use any warm color you prefer, just as long as it’s not too dark.

Another reason why this is helpful, especially for beginner painters, is that it takes away that fear of the blank canvas, and the fear of making a mistake.

If you’d also like to prime your canvas, make sure that you set it aside to dry before you start with the next step.

Start off by drawing your horizon line with yellow. When drawing your horizon line, make sure that you don’t put it right in the center of the canvas, because this makes the painting very static. You want to put it slightly off center. If you were to put the horizon line a little higher in this painting, there would be more sea visible and the focus would, therefore, be on the sea. And the reverse is also true with the sky. I decided to focus a bit more on the sky.

Start by adding your first two colours in the sky. Add quite a bit of paint for each colour, so that the paint doesn’t dry too fast. I decided to use two separate brushes to apply the paint for this step in order to have more time to blend the colours before the paint dries.

There are also plenty of mediums available that you can mix with acrylic paint to let them dry a little slower. You can make use of this if you’d like.

You can then use a third brush to blend the two colours together. I find that the fluffier the brush, the better. If you’d like to see the exact steps on making a smooth gradient, have a look at my you tube video: How to paint a Gradient.

I usually recommend that you use a dry brush for this, because as soon as you wet your brush and try to blend, it can become patchy very easily.

You can then repeat the process by adding the third and fourth colour. If you find that some of your paint is drying already, just add some more paint and continue blending.

Next we can get started with the sea. If at this point you are not completely happy with your sky and there are still places which you feel are a bit too blotchy, don’t worry about it too much. Instead of trying to fix it now, rather let it dry and add a second layer in the areas you want to change later.

Add the spots where the moon is reflecting on the sea.

Next you can add the base of the water. In order to do this, have a look at two or three medium tones you see in the water and add them. For this I used teal, blue and purple. You can also add some greens in there if you’d like.

I don’t know about you, but once this step is done, I’m usually pretty relieved because I feel like I took a big step forward in my painting. This step is very helpful, since you now have all the medium tones down, you can easily distinguish the darker and lightest tones. You’ll be able to tell when your dark tones are a bit too dark and when your light tones are a bit too light by using your medium tone as a reference.

Next you can get started with the darkest tones. For this step I used ultramarine blue and dark purple. Since this sea is painted in an impressionistic way, you don’t have to worry too much about blending the sea. I decided to paint this in a different technique since I felt that it contrasts nicely with the smoothly blended sky.

It also introduces you to two different painting styles at once.

Next you can go back and brighten up the medium tones. You can use the same medium tones you used earlier.

You can then go back with some light tones. These will be all the colours you used mixed with a lot of white. You can add this in the lightest areas you see. I added a very light yellow in the middle of the yellow spots in the water.

Also remember that in order to create the illusion of depth in your painting, you want to make sure that the farthest part of the sea is lighter and less bright than the front. This is called aerial perspective and it really helps to give that feeling of where you can actually walk into the painting.

While you add the light spots, you can also add your moon once you are sure that your sky is dry. Start off by using a light yellow to draw a circle.

You can then add the details on the moon with a darker colour yellow. If you deel like your sky needs a bit more colour, you can add it now.

In case you find that your first layer is coming off easily, which often happens with entry level quality paint, just leave it to dry for a full day and continue the next day. This will ensure that the paint thats already on the canvas has enough time to dry properly and bond to the canvas.

Thanks for following this tutorial! I hope you enjoyed it and I would love to see your work! Please feel free to tag me on instagram with the handle @jetheadedgypsy.

If you liked this tutorial and you would like to be the first to receive my next tutorial, sign up to my newsletter! Subscribing will also give you the opportunity to have free personalized one-on-one art mentoring.

I am looking forward to seeing your work!

Talk to you soon,

Jet Headed Gypsy

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How to paint an eye in oil paint

For beginners

We are so intrigued with painting eyes because they can tell us so much about a person. That is why it is so important to make sure that they are depicted in a striking way. If you want the portrait that you’re painting to convey a certain emotion, then perhaps a good idea would be to have a look at the difference between angry eyes, sad eyes, happy eyes, etc. before beginning your painting. Have a look at the different shapes, wrinkle lines, pupil sizes, etc.

This will add character to your painting and it will help to tell a story through your painting.

But, before we can paint eyes with emotion and character, we need to get the basics down of painting an eye first.

I find that in order to learn to paint something properly, you need to use a reference. I added the reference image below in case you want to use the same reference image I used.

For this painting tutorial you will need:

  • Oil paint: different shades of browns, blues, greens, naples yellow, white and black.
  • Paintbrushes – small and medium sizes – Personally, I prefer flat brushes and a small round brush for the details.
  • Turpentine
  • Canvas
  • Cloth to wipe your brushes with

Start off by blocking out all your dark, medium and light tones. We do this because it creates a map for us to follow on our second layer and we can also correct some mistakes we made when we were drawing the eye.

Burnt Sienna is a good colour to use for this first layer, because its a translucent colour which means that it lets through a lot of light through the painting layer, which illuminates the painting from the inside. If you don’t have burnt sienna, you can use any other brown.

Leave this to dry overnight.

*If you’re in a hurry, you can skip this step, however, I would not recommend it.

Paint the skin tones around the eye. This step is important because we don’t want it to look as if the eye is floating or hovering in front of the face and this can happen if we don’t do the shading correctly. Don’t forget to add the eye lid as well.

Our skin have so many different colours in them. If you look closely at your reference image, you can see that there are some areas that are yellow, others more blue and green and so on. In order to make these colours a bit more subtle, mix them with a bit of flesh tint.

If you do not have already mixed flesh tint, you can use orange, white and pink for this. Depending on the shade of the skin tone you’d like, you can then gradually add some burnt sienna and burnt umber to the mixture. It’s a good idea to use both of these paints to darken the skin tone, seeing that burnt umber by itself is a cold brown, comparing to burnt sienna which is a lot warmer.

Next we can get started with the whites of the eyes. A lot of people think that the whites of the eyes are just plain white, however, there are so many other subtle colours in there. It is important for us to include these colours, because it helps to describe the shape of the eye more.

There will almost always be a blueish shade on the sides and it will gradually go lighter in the middle area of the eye.

In this area you want to make sure that you add a shadow. I used sky blue and a bit of burnt umber for this.

Another important part is the inner tear duct. You want to make sure that you dont make this too pink, so mix a bit of flesh tint with pink and burnt umber for this area. for the darker shades on the inner tear duct, you can mix a bit of pink and burnt umber, without adding the flesh tint.

Also remember to include the inner lid here on the bottom lid of the eye. You can make this slightly lighter than the face.

Here comes the fun part! Painting the Iris. Start off by outlining the iris with the darkest colour you are planning on using for the eye. By studying your reference, also have a look at any other dark spots you see there and fill them in too. I decided to use ultramarine blue for this. In order to make the ultramarine blue even darker in some areas, I mixed some burnt umber with it.

You can then add your medium tones. I decided to use cobalt teal for this step. Here you can also check to see if there are any light spots in the eye. For these you can add a bit of white with the colour you are using for this step.

Do not paint the white spots where the light is reflecting on the eye yet.

Once you’ve added the dark, medium and light tones in the previous steps, you can now fill in the light spots with some white. It is very important to add these, because they bring life to the eye.

Next you can add an outline at the top of the eye. This will serve as a shadow for the eyelashes.

You can also add the pupil with black. Even though it seems that way, your pupil isn’t just black everywhere either. On the left hand side here (see the picture below), you’ll see that it’s a bit grey. I did this by just blending some of the white in that light spot into the black of the eye.

To make the pupil appear more realistic, soften the outline on of the pupil by running over the edge with a soft dry brush. Blend around the pupil in this direction:

The eyebrows play an important part when it comes to the eye, because it frames the eye. To paint the eyebrows, use the smallest brush you have and paint it hair-by-hair. Since the entire painting is wet, I found it helpful to turn my canvas upside down to do this step.

Have a look at your reference to see in what direction the hair is going.

Now for the part we all fear: the eyelashes! Make sure that your lines for the eyelashes start off thick and taper out like the lines above. To do this, you’ll have to add more pressure to your brush when you start from the eye and lift your brush upward as you drag the line up.

Make sure that your hand is steady when you do this, since it is very difficult to do when your hand is just in the air. I usually balance my entire hand on my pinky when I paint thin or long lines:

To make sure your eyelashes look natural, have some of them go in different directions. As you can see in the picture above, some of my eyelashes go in front of the eye!

When adding the bottom lashes, apply the same technique, but use a lighter grey for them instead of pitch black. The bottom lashes will also be significantly less than the upper lashes.

Thanks for following this tutorial, if you have any questions, feel free join the Gypsy Tribe by signing up to my newsletter! I’ll then send you an email address by which you can contact me in order to ask me any questions regarding your paintings.

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How to fix a torn canvas

It happened in slow motion! I was so close to finishing my painting, just wanted to fix a couple of things that was bothering me and then I stumbled and dropped my painting on the edge of the table in my studio.

I felt like laughing and then crying at the same time. Which is what I did… After having a subtle nervous breakdown, haha!

On the bright side, this gave me the opportunity to show you guys how to fix a torn canvas if this were ever to happen to you.

How to fix a torn canvas

What you’ll need to fix your torn canvas:

  1. Paint brush
  2. Water
  3. Gesso
  4. Another piece of canvas
  5. Two heavy objects, anything will do
  6. Cling wrap
  7. Palette Knife
  8. Sand Paper
  9. The painting you’re working on and the piece that you need to put back (if you have one)
  1. Add quite a bit of gesso on the separate piece of canvas.

2. If you have a piece of your painting that came off, stick this on top of the separate piece of canvas. If not, you can skip this step and go to step 7.

3. With cling wrap you can now cover your piece of canvas. This is just to make sure that the gesso doesn’t mess everywhere when you’re doing the next step.

4. Put a heavy object on top of the canvas that is now covered with cling wrap. This is just to make sure that the piece of painting stays flat and doesn’t curl up.

5. We want to ensure that the piece of painting is really stuck on the separate piece of canvas, so now leave this to dry. Use your two heavy objects to make sure that the canvas doesn’t curl up.

6. Have a look at the front of the canvas at what angle you should put your painted piece.

7. It is now time to stick the canvas to the painting. If you only have a tear in your canvas with no separate piece of painting, this is where you would start.

Add gesso to the one side of the canvas and stick it to the painting.

8. Once its down and you’re sure its in the right place, continue adding more gesso. Make sure you cover the edges very well.

9. You can now go back with a palette knife to level the grooves in the front of the painting. Just to make sure it’s dry before you do the next step, let it dry over night.

10. Once its completely dry, you can now sand it down to make sure the service is smooth. If there are any more grooves, repeat the process by adding more gesso again.

Once you’re happy with it, you can fix up your painting with some paint.