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- Chartpak Sponsors The 2022 Northampton Chalk Festival
Chalk art has a long history, beginning in the 16th century in Italy when artists paid tribute to the religious figure of Madonna on the city's streets. These artists would travel around the country, making any money they could from those who admired their art. These artists were deemed “Madonnari” and this art form was practiced in Italy until World War II. In a similar fashion, street painters started appearing in London in the mid-1800s. These artists were called “screevers.” This term refers to the messages that were included with their drawings. The typical artwork was religious or moral in nature and the messages reflected the virtues of their drawings. Screever became popularized in the Disney film Mary Poppins by the character Bert. Fast forward to the 1980s, a few artists brought street painting to the United States. Robert Guillemin, aka "Sidewalk Sam" made a lasting contribution to this performing art form. Kurt Wenner became the first American artist to practice Italian madonnari. Wenner introduced this art form in the USA at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art at the first such festival in 1985. Following in the same tradition, Northampton MA, home of Koh-I-Noor USA invited local artists to it's streets. On the second Friday in September, downtown Northampton’s sidewalks were transformed into a colorful canvas of chalk art masterpieces, with area artists drawing inspiration from nature, comic books, culture, abstract ideas, and even Covid. Some individual chalk artists included Robert Markey, Dave Rothstein, Aldo Pizzi, Kimberly Guthrie, Marc Austin, Rob Kimmel, and more. The 2022 Chalk Art Festival features more artists and more venues than ever before, with more than 28 individual artists participating. Chartpak and Koh-I-Noor USA were thrilled to sponsor the event and provide Toison d'or pastels to each of the participating artists. Koh-I-Noor product offering now consists of our Gionconda Pastels and Chalk Pencils which you can find here: Congratulations to this year's winners! First place: Melissa Stratton-Pandina Second place: Carlos Enriquez Third place: Shannon Chiba
- View From My Easel Project: 365 Days of Painting
Hi there! My name is Jen Herman-Russell (IG: @jen.herman.russell); I'm a watercolor artist from California known for the "View From My Easel“ project. I spent an entire year painting every day to build my skill as an artist and find my style. Making sure I documented every step of my progress with photos and film. Not only was it one of the most challenging projects I've ever completed it was also gratifying in so many ways. When I first started, I had no real direction other than I knew if I practiced, I would see results. In the beginning, l sketched and painted from my old travel photos for inspiration. Picking random subjects to practice hoping I’d see improvement. Instead, I started to notice all sorts of little things to improve on, such as avoiding harsh outlines, smoothing my color blends, establishing a steady light source, and developing more realistic shadows, which are just a few examples. I realized the best way to move forward was to work on one particular subject or technique for a week, perhaps two. So I started using themes for each week to help me focus. By the end of each week, I noticed a change in how l would approach things. My confidence also improved as I moved on to the next piece. Halfway through my project, l could look back at my earlier pieces with similar subject matters and see how far I had come. It was such a boost to compare and see the differences. It encouraged me to continue to develop specific techniques. Although, I think the most exciting part was towards the end, when my fans started pointing out how much they loved my style. That's when it dawned on me that I had done it! I found my place as an artist with my unique voice. I was no longer in the shadow of my father's inspiration. My father passed away in 2005, leaving behind the legacy of an accomplished watercolor artist. He showed me the artist's way and encouraged me to find my path. I want to think he'd be pleased with my accomplishments and proud of my work. I know I finally am. Even though my project is complete, I'll continue to grow as an artist as there is always more to learn and techniques to improve. Although, I'll be taking a step back to focus more time with my family and build my brand by selling originals and prints from my studio on my website. I'm also developing an affordable mentorship and coaching program to help other artists discover their potential and style because one of my main goals is to inspire others like you. Find me online: https://jhermanrussell.com Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jen.herman.russell Watch me work: https://m.youtube.com/c/JHermanRussell
- National Coloring Day ✨
It is widely-known that coloring is a beneficial hobby. The activity of coloring is both creative and repetitive, allowing your mind to get absorbed in what you're doing and let some of those high-level cognitive functions take a break. Coloring is also wordless, which lets your linguistic processes take a breather, too. All those health benefits aside, coloring is really enjoyable unto itself. As you relax and start coloring, you can practically feel your creativity flowing faster. All your daily, intrusive thoughts start to lighten up. Coloring provides a wonderful get-away experience. National Coloring Day doesn't exclude coloring books. Get extra creative by trying new mediums and to color outside those lines. Go one further — apply this idea to other parts of your life! Enjoy these custom made Chartpak Coloring Pages for you to download, print, and color!
- Healing with Mandalas Coloring Pages
Just click, print and add your own color to this beautiful hand drawn mandala created by Saudamini Madra. Born and raised in India, Saudamini is an artist based in Los Angeles. Her artwork focuses on hand drawn illustrations ranging from mandalas to zentangles, and from landscape scenery to other nature subjects. She completed a Masters in Fashion and worked in the industry for 15 years, then moving to Los Angeles 11 years ago to work in the fashion industry. As Saudamini's job would keep her busy, she would turn to art to de-stress. In 2017, she was drawn to mandala art, completely mesmerized by mandalas and practiced every day, improving with each piece. She had found a new passion in black and white art flourished once again! In 2019, Saudamini quit her job and now is working on mandalas full time. She dedicated her time in creating new artwork and classes that other aspiring artists find helpful. For more info on Saudamini please check out her website https://saudaminimadra.com/ and follow her Instagram page @saudamini.madra Elsa Maria is an artist living in Australia. Please follow her incredibly beautiful and inspiring work on Instagram @elsasmandalas! Here's a little bit about her process and inspiration for her beautiful creations. "I found mandala and it's magic around this time last year and it has been an amazing journey since then. If you are someone who over-thinks or someone who is anxious or if you're someone who needs to find something to do with their hands in order to keep things off of their mind, mandalas are great for it. You DON'T have to have an artistic streak in you. You don't have to be someone who is creative. ANYONE can draw a mandala and I'm a living proof of that. You can go back on my page and check out the first mandala I drew. I wish everyone knew about healing mandalas. I wish everyone knew how many people found solace in drawing simple patterns repeatedly. I wish everyone knew how many people sleep well after drawing mandalas. If you are someone who is struggling mentally even an ounce, art is a great outlet. Learn from me. Or from someone else. But, learn mandalas. It's easy and good for your soul. ❤️"
- Healing with Mandalas
Mandalas are circular designs that represent wholeness. The word mandala derives it's name from the Sanskrit word for circle. In the western world, a mandala often comes in the form of printed design on paper or depicted in artwork that is admired for it’s intricate details and vivid colors. What a mandala means depends on the context in which it is used. From modern-day coloring pages and stress-reduction drawings to eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. The world of mandalas is rich in symbols and meanings. The mandala has a long history and is recognized for it's deep spiritual meaning and representation of wholeness. Many people and cultures have attested to the mandala’s intrinsic meaning. Buddhists, Hindus and Native American tribes have all derived meaning from the mandala and it's captivating beauty. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung has called it “a representation of the unconscious self.” The “circle with a center” pattern is the basic structure of creation that is reflected from the micro to the macro in the world as we know it. It is a pattern found in nature and is seen in biology, geology, chemistry, physics and astronomy. On our planet, living things are made of cells and each cell has a nucleus — all display circles with centers. The crystals that form ice, rocks, and mountains are made of atoms. Each atom is a mandala. Within the Milky Way galaxy is our solar system and within our solar system, is Earth. Each is a mandala that is part of a larger mandala. Flowers, the rings found in tree trunks and the spiraling outward and inward of a snail’s shell all reflect the primal mandala pattern. Wherever a center is found radiating outward and inward, there is wholeness–a mandala. The very nature of creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic. The shapes and colors you create in your mandala will reflect your inner self at the time of creation. Your instinct and feeling should inspire and guide you through the process of creation. Ultimately, you will be creating a portrait of yourself as you are when creating the mandala. So, whatever you are feeling at that time, whatever emotions are coming through, will be represented in your mandala. As with most art therapy, it’s not about the final product…it’s about the journey. When you reach your destination, you will have a representation of something meaningful and personal…a snapshot of you for a brief moment in time expressed through your mandala. A mandala is a map or record of a journey; so, draw your journey. The four sides of the outermost square of traditional mandalas are gates, so you might imagine entering your exploration of your journey from one or all edges of the paper. Making your own personal mandala can be both fun and enlightening as you strive to represent your characteristics, values and desires in this artistic form. Some ways of thinking about our journeys can be: From who I thought I was to who I really am From outer to inner From childhood to adulthood From not knowing to knowing From knowing to not knowing Consider the meaning of some common symbols to determine if they belong in your mandala. Circles: Circles can represent eternity or the infinite. In religious terms, a circle symbolizes unity, wholeness and protection. It can also symbolize the sun. Triangles: Triangles represents the trinity of body, mind and spirit. Triangles with the point facing upward may symbolize spiritual growth, while those with the point down make represent the physical world. Flowers: Flowers typically represent life and renewal. Leaves: Leaves and vines often represent eternity or rebirth. Hearts: Hearts are the universal symbol of love and compassion. How to Draw a Mandala Outline To draw you own mandala you will need a piece of drawing paper, a soft lead pencil, a ruler and a compass or a a stencil of circles. If you do not have a compass, you can use cups, bowls, a roll of duct tape or other round household object in the size you desire. Trace a large circle onto the paper. Typically, you will want to make the circle as large as possible as this is the outer edge of your mandala, but you can make it smaller if you wish. Draw a faint horizontal and vertical line through the circle dividing it into four equal quadrants. You can divide it further into 8ths if you prefer. These lines will serve as guides as you add your designs to the mandala and will help you determine the exact center of you mandala. Mark the point where the lines intersect in the center of the circle. This is the center of your mandala. Draw a small circle approximately 1-inch from the center dot so that the dot is in the middle of the circle. Repeat the procedure drawing concentric circles spaced 1-inch apart until you are within 2 inches of the outer circle. This will create a wider circle around the outside of your mandala. Adding Details to the Mandala Now that you have the base of your mandala you are ready to begin adding your own designs to personalize it. Draw a shape to fill the inner circle of your mandala. You may wish to draw a flower, a shape or even a special symbol. This should fill the entire inner circle. Fill in the next ring of the mandala with the desired design and repeat the pattern all the way around to fill the ring made by the second concentric circle. Use the cross lines you drew earlier to keep the designs the same size and shape. Repeat the procedure with each ring working your way to the outer ring. Add decorative scrolls or designs to the outer ring to complete the mandala design. Erase your guidelines drawn through the center of the circle. Use a black permanent marker to outline the mandala design. Although this isn’t necessary it will give you a nice contrast and make the design and colors stand out. Color the mandala with colored pencils or markers. Some prefer to use only two colors for coloring the mandala, but you can use more if you desire. Consider choosing a predominant color and an accent color for the majority of the pattern and add a splash of other colors throughout the mandala. Benefits of Mandala Coloring Modern mandalas we can see in coloring books or contemporary artwork are used as means to reduce stress, connect with oneself and appreciate forms of beauty in the world. One study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association showed a significant increase in anxiety reduction when participants colored fairly complicated geometric patterns, such as those found in mandala coloring pages. Here are just a few of the ways mandala coloring may be able to help you: Decrease stress. Coloring mandalas takes a great deal of focus; you have to decide which colors should go in which spaces and work carefully to stay within the detailed line work. Focusing on these aspects helps the other problems and issues in your life start to slip to the back burner of your mind. Ease depression and anxiety. Coloring has been shown to help with the physical and psychological symptoms associated with mild depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. One possible reason is that the repetitive motion of coloring acts as a self-soothing behavior. Cultivate your creative side. Coloring in any form gives you a way to express yourself without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Share your mandala drawings with us on Facebook or Instagram! #kohinoorusa
- 6 Steps for Creating Geometric Designs in Watercolor
Masking fluid is a nifty tool to use with the Koh-I-Noor watercolor wheel. You can create crisp, geometric lines within the brilliant colors of your watercolor wheel in a few easy steps. 1. Draw out your line art using a masking fluid -- these can come in a variety of delivery systems. For instance, Molotow makes a masking pen that delivers a thin coating of masking fluid in a precise line. Grumbacher makes a masking fluid that you can dip a glass pen, stylus, or brush into for a thicker application. Let the masking fluid dry. 2. Using a wet-in-wet technique, coat your sheet of paper with a clean brush dipped in water. You can layer the water right over your masking fluid. 3. Next, paint your watercolor into the wet layer of water on your sheet of paper. You can layer and blend your colors. Letting the color dry between layers can result in a more saturated look, while building up wet layers and letting them run can also offer unique results. 4. Let your paint dry, depending on how much water you've used; this could take up to a few hours. Don't let your work sit for more than 24 hours, as the masking fluid will become more difficult to remove. 5. After the painting has dried, gently rub the masking fluid with your finger to remove it from the paper. You can also use a vinyl eraser to remove the masking fluid; this will also remove some of the watercolor giving your linework a slight glow. 6. You can experiment with a wide range of colors and methods of working with masking fluid and watercolor. It's easy to store your finished pieces in a journal format using the Grumbacher and Koh-I-Noor papers that feature the In & Out Pages. You can simply press the domes back into the binding, keeping a record of the effects you've been able to create.
- Basic Tips for Mondeluz Aquarell Watercolor Pencils
It's important to know the difference between watercolor pencils and standard colored pencils BECAUSE WHY... Koh-I-Noor Mondeluz Aquarell pencils contain a water-soluble binder, whereas colored pencils have a wax or oil-based binder. With a regular colored pencil, you would completely fill in your sketch. With watercolor pencils, you should leave some “white space,” which allows for light shading with the water. Once a regular pencil mark is made, it is permanent and stays set on the surface. On the other hand, watercolor pencil marks can be activated with water for blending and movement. 1. To begin: Lay in the sketch and establish the shadow areas. Sketch your drawing with an H pencil. Layer and blend with your watercolor pencils. 2. Then comes layering: Layering is a great technique to use with your Mondeluz pencils. By adding another layer of pencil over your first layer, you can deepen the colors and add detail and depth to your art. Just make sure that the paper is completely dry before adding another layer. If the paper is wet, the pencil marks react to the dampness and the results will be different. The same color can be applied or you can add a different shade to create new colors. Then apply a second layer of water with the appropriate brush. 3. Similar to watercolor painting, you use a brush dipped into water instead of paint. Blending color with a wet brush is the most common method used by artists. With a watercolor pencil, fill in an area with your base color(s) of choice. Leave some areas of the paper showing through. Dip your appropriately-sized brush into a small bowl of clean water and wipe it on the bowl’s rim. With smooth strokes, lightly brush water on your pencil marks to spread the pigment from your watercolor pencils. They activate immediately. 💦 QUICK TIP: Too much water can make the pigments run. Keep a paper towel handy to catch any runs. The final result! Rich, vibrant saturated color! Artwork by Lana Casiello Boyle
- Print Color Send!
Click on the PDF to download your set of 3 different Valentine cards to color or paint and send!
- Start Your Own Virtual Art Class
Teaching art courses online is a great way to grow your student base, increase your income, and to feel creative especially while staying home. Even if you’ve never taught any kind of class before, you can succeed in teaching your art techniques to others online. And we want to help! Here are a few tips that can make your class a success. Prepare your studio space You don’t need a dedicated studio to run your own art classes. Whatever space you choose needs to look presentable to your course attendees. Clear away the “life” clutter! · Lighting is important. Proper lighting of your workspace is essential. Inexpensive lighting kits are widely available online. Pick a live chat platforms. · Zoom is a great choice for getting started: it’s free to sign up and takes only a few minutes to schedule your first call. There are some restrictions for free accounts: You can live chat for up to 40 minutes with 3 or more people. If you need more time than that, you can subscribe for $15 a month. · CrowdCast. CrowdCast does not have a free option but costs just $20/month (if you pay yearly) for 50 attendees and up to 5 hours per month. · Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is free for up to 10 people and an unlimited amount of time, but the quality and ease of use are lower than Zoom and Crowdcast. · Depending on your audience (if you have a really engaged social media audience) than using Facebook or Instagram live is another great option. Assemble your equipment. There are two main recording equipment options: · HD Webcam- This option will provide the highest quality picture. The webcam that comes factory-installed on many laptops is not usually of high enough quality to produce a good video. · Smartphone with tripod- If you need to use your smartphone to record or live stream, make sure that you are using a tripod to keep the picture stable. An iPhone 10 or 11 or the newest iPad Pro all have very high-quality cameras that will work fine for recording video. When choosing your tripod, consider if you need one to point your phone overhead to demonstrate your techniques. Rehearse. When you first begin teaching online, especially via a live course, be prepared to spend some time ironing out technical issues with microphones, cameras, etc. This is normal, and an inevitable part of including multiple people in a video chat. Remember, in a sense, it is a performance. You will feel more comfortable if you are following an outline and know what you are going to say. Of course, you don’t want to be reading from a script but a basic outline of what you would like to cover in the class will be very helpful to you and will keep you on task and on time. If you are doing it live on Facebook or Instagram, you can run a practice run live as a private event and share with a friend to have them give you feedback on how you did. That way you are familiar with the live platform and setting so that you can see what it looks like when questions come in! Advertise your class Promote your class on social media. Consider having the class at the same time every week if that frequency works, create a private group or event to post updates and follow-ups. Follow-up Ask your students for feedback, answer questions, inquire about what other types of classes your audience would be interested in, engage with students/followers. Teaching virtual may not be in our lives forever but it's a good tool to have. And remember, practice makes perfect so you may not start out with the number of participants but as you do more of them your audience will grow! “My first class was in October 2020, which I had a total of 3 students, my December class was 42 students! There is such a need for humans to interact with one another, some love to paint, but a portion of the students just want to watch my step by step process and feel connected with other people in these tough times. “ - Grumbacher Facebook member and artist, Carol Hawkins
- Colored Pencils - The Basics!
Ah, colored pencils, the approachable artist tool. They are easy to work with, very portable (even if it's just from your couch to the dining room) and they don't require any preparation, which means you can grab them whenever motivation strikes and get right to work. So what's holding you back? If you're wondering where to start, see below for some basic techniques. Keep the Pencils Sharpened A sharp tip lets you work on the drawing precisely, giving you more control over the outcome of each stroke. The best example of this benefit is when working with outlines and filling in the little details. A dull tip leaves messy trails beside the actual lines and requires you to apply pressure which can ruin the tooth of the surface. Use a blade as opposed to a sharpener. But with a blade or a knife, you have control over sharpening the tips to prevent waste. The Right Surface Colored pencils also require the right surface to produce an archival quality piece. Working on the right paper helps highlight the best performance of those colored pencils. A multimedia paper works well. KIN makes a paper specifically for colored pencils. Pressure The pressure you apply on the colored pencil decides how your painting will look like in the end. And the problem usually comes up while layering – not all layers need the same amount of pressure to be used. Layering There are times when you’ll notice that a single color does not give full coverage to the area in the artwork because it can either be too thin or too dull. In such cases, applying more layers is necessary. Layering can help the artist get satisfying outcomes as it provides the piece with more depth, hence, making it appear more real. To get the best layering results, choose colors that are close representatives of each other or those which are of similar shades. You can also use colors that are total opposites to each other. Strokes Direction The same way brush strokes are important in painting, so are colored pencils. In order to get this technique right, it’s important to first decide where the strokes should face, especially when working with life-like pieces. Mix the Colors The benefit we get from mixing colors is that they appear to be more natural. With a wet medium, we can always blend two colors together and create a totally different tone. But in the case of dry mediums such as colored pencils, we are required to layer the colors. For example, if we want to produce a natural shade of red, we can try mixing the colors yellow and purple by layering them. "Optical mixing’ is a technique that involves progressively mixing the right shades by dotting them in the area where you want to. Blending Since blending is a major part of colored pencils, there are many ways to get it right. Try using a white colored pencil or a blender. Gently going over the other colors with the white pencil or blender pencil can help smooth and cover the empty areas. Burnishing Burnishing is what makes a drawing turn into a painting through colored pencils. What it does is letting the colors seep into the surface’s texture to help make the drawing appear more compact. When using either wax or oil-based colored pencils, the process of burnishing automatically happens because the composition starts to build up. All you need to do is use a light-colored pencil and apply it on the spot using pressure. The best colors to perform burnishing with are cream, white, and similar light colors. Another way to burnish your drawing is to use Turpentine over it with a brush after the drawing process is done. This will take more effort but the results are pretty much similar to when using manufactured blenders. Hope this helps! Share your creations with us at @kohinoorusa!
- Key Components of a Successful Colored Pencil Composition
Koh-I-Noor Featured Artist, Ranjini Venkatachari recently picked up her colored pencils to create a still life of silver objects, which can be a detailed and complicated subject to draw. Here are some of her invaluable tips and insights in creating a striking and rich composition. "I love painting and drawing silver objects. People always ask me what colors I use to get a realistic rendition of the silver metals. There is never a simple answer. One thing I can definitely say is what it is not. It is definitely not just shades of grey. There are a few things that I recommend you keep in mind when drawing silver objects..." 1. Drawing - Your initial drawing is key to understanding the object and its reflections. So make sure you have the perfect drawing before you start to apply color. 2. Proportions - Keep your proportions geometrically correct. This is very critical for the object to look realistic. 3. Color - All metal surfaces will reflect the colors around them. There is always a painting within the painting when there is a reflective surface. So make sure you add in the colors & reflection from the environment the object is placed in. Ranjini chose a rich palette of purple and dark blue to add an element of visual drama. The dark blue, especially if it’s cooler in tone, makes the purple appear more sophisticated. Purple also works well with warm neutrals like tan and warm yellow since they are complements. The whole palette gives a sense of mystery that sets the tone for a narrative. To learn more about her colored pencil technique please check out her classes and workshops http://vividpencils.com/
- Holiday Gift Guide for the Special Artist on your Shopping List
1. Famous Artists Ornaments https://bit.ly/39SVlvi 2. Personalized Handmade Leather Sketchbook Satchel https://etsy.me/3grmqqJ 3. Famous Artists Seed Packages https://bit.ly/3qBpWDD 4. Buddha Board https://amzn.to/33QtGHC 5. Blue Flowers Framed Artist Print https://bit.ly/3gy8cVe 6. Handmade Water Cup and Brush Holder https://etsy.me/3m5rMcF