Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Painting Realistic Pictures Without Drawing

Do you wish you could paint realistic pictures but have always been put off because you can’t draw? I have created a system which overcomes the drawing problem and opens up a wonderful hobby for people who have always thought it was something they just couldn’t do.

I take the drawing problem away by providing an outline which you transfer to your painting paper. Then with detailed step-by-step instructions, accompanied by photos, I show you exactly how to achieve a fine painting. There are paintings from beginner level 1 to more advanced level 5.

This is real painting, not colouring in or painting by numbers. You learn proper painting skills including the very important skill of blending. Blending means making two colours next to each other merge gradually instead of having a sharp join. For example, the stem of a flower is round, not flat. By blending the colours you can make it appear round. Without blending it would just be flat and not lifelike. Blending is vital to realistic painting, and is widely used to give shape and depth to faces, body parts, flowers, jewels, fruit, wineglasses, and many more.

Some people worry that using an outline is cheating, and that any artist should do all the drawing. I’ll let you into a secret. Many professional painters are not very good at drawing and need help. For a small painting they might take a photo, and trace it so that they can transfer the tracing to the painting surface. For a large painting some artists use a projector to shine an image onto a canvas and draw around it. Others who are better at drawing still don’t draw straight onto their painting paper or canvas. They do the drawing on paper and work on it, rubbing out mistakes and doing it again until they are satisfied it is good enough to transfer. Using a grid of squares to get the proportions right has a long history and was a method employed by some of the great masters. Using some form of drawing aid is very common and you should not in any way feel that there is something wrong with it. It will allow you to achieve a painting that you would have thought was completely beyond your abilities

I did all the paintings with an opaque water paint which is very easy to use. I don’t recommend oil paints for people who are new to this style of painting. They are more difficult to use than water paint. The aim of my method is to show people how to achieve paintings that they would not have thought possible. It is very important that the paint should be easy to use and not involve unnecessary complications. Of course, after building up some experience you might want to explore oil paints. Why not? You never know how far you might go once you have been supported to get started. You might amaze yourself with what you can do!

David Ainge has created the ArtStepByStep project to show people that they can paint fine realistic pictures without drawing skills.

This approach is highly structured and gives very clear instructions, with photos, for every step of a painting. You are supported at every stage of the painting, from start to finish.

Reasons You Must Buy Paintings Directly From Artists

When you decorate the walls in your home, there are a number of facts, that support you should buy paintings directly from an artist, instead of buying reproductions in online shops or physical shops.

  • You get an original, unique painting that no one else has
  • The painting is carefully created, down to the smallest detail
  • You get a quality product, made of excellent materials
  • You get the most bang for your buck – no commission to online or physical galleries
  • The selling price is higher when you want to make changes in your collection
  • You get a better service, the artist will answer any questions you have

You get an original unique painting

When you buy an original, unique painting from an artist, you get a unique piece of art, there is only one of one-of-a-kind.

And you can use the artwork to design the decor in your home with your own special touch, without any fear that your family, friends or neighbors already have the same painting or can imitate your decor.

If we look at the definition of the word “original”, The Danish Dictionary says it is an “object or phenomenon that is the basis for a copy.”

Be aware that many online and physical stores that advertise with “original” paintings, actually sell reproductions where the artistic value is practically non-existent.

Copies are typically made at art factories in China and other Eastern countries. The workers there doesn’t always have the best working conditions. Employees work many hours a day without any breaks, and the production is made in buildings, that lack basic needs such as glass in window and heating during winter.

There is also a couple of Danish mass producing art factories, which employ Danish artists who produce copies under pseudonyms.

It may be difficult to spot whether it’s a real or fictitious artist and if it’s an original painting or a copy – here are a few tips you can use, factors that indicate it is a real artist:

Start by Googling the artist and see what information comes up. Does the artist’s contact information appear, is he having his own website, does the search show earlier exhibitions?

  • If there is an artist profile on the store’s website, and it shows a photo and a biography of the artist.
  • If an artist profile with biography is attached to the painting, and there is shown a photograph of the artist.
  • Things that indicate it is an original unique painting:
  • If there is a real artist behind and not only a pseudonym.
  • If the painting is signed with the full name, title and year on the back of the canvas.

The painting is created with great care

Unique paintings, made by real life artists, are characterized by the artist using hours and hours of work on composition, texture, color composition and color blending. The result is an artwork with endless small details, beautiful colors and great depth, which means you will continuously discover new details, textures, and details.

Initially the artist plan the composition, style, subject, and medium. After that, the process of creating the painting consists of a series of different steps: priming of the canvas, applying texture pulp (1-3 operations), painting the subject (1-5 operations), top finish and at last, a topcoat.

It varies a lot, how many times an artist must work on a painting before it is ready for the public, but typically it’s worked over 5-10 times. Especially when the creation requires many thin translucent layers and transparent colors, it has to be worked over many times.

Characteristic for the production of reproductions is, that there is very little time for producing each painting, normally there are only 15-20 minutes available.

This means, that it is only possible to make a painting with a maximum of three layers before it is ready. Often the painting will be manufactured in one process, and the employee is parallel working on up to 50 copies of identical paintings. Therefore, reproductions are often missing details and depth.

You get a quality product

Many artists take pride in using paint, materials and tools in a very high quality.

Basically, a distinction is made between three different qualities within artist paint: School quality, student quality, and artist quality.

What factors do determine the quality of the painting? It’s a question of the pigments being used, the proportion pigments have relative to the fillers, and the bindings.

The highest quality paint is using the most expensive pigments, the largest share of pigments and contains little or no fillers.

School quality is the cheapest and is used for training in school classes. It’s not suitable for a real painting, used to decorate your home with, since the poor quality means difficulties in mixing with other colors, the paint can not maintain the texture and dries to a flat shape, and lack colors fade resistance, opacity, tinting strength and transparency.

Student quality is a basic paint, which is used for priming of paintings and opaque surfaces. It is a sound quality, that has some good characteristics so the colors can be mixed, and they keep the texture to an acceptable degree. The only problem is, that these colors have trouble showing transparency without the use of mediums.

Artist quality is top of the line with high lightfastness, high opacity, strong color tinting and high transparency. All in all, it gives the possibility of making paintings with very fine details, brilliant colors, and great depth. And the high proportion of pigments secures that the paintings will have a long shelf life, without the colors starting to fade away or paint flaking off.

The professional artist uses canvas in good quality, made of cotton and/or linen.

The vast majority of artists always finish the process with a layer of protection in the form of varnish or gel. It secures a painting that will last for many years, and also makes it easier to clean.

Reproductions usually use artist paint in school quality and student quality – the outstanding artist quality will not be used because of a high price. And copies don’t get the topcoat that protects against UV rays and sunlight and provides durability for many years to come.

The canvas they use are often made of 100% polyester, providing a rigid surface, that is unable to stretch with the paint under various humidity conditions.

You get the most bang for your buck

If artists are selling through online or physical galleries, they often must pay up to 50% of the sales amount to gallery owners.

Obviously when you are dealing directly with the artist, there is no paid commission, and there is thus no costly intermediaries to monetize on the artworks.

The selling price is higher

When you want to sell a painting you initially bought from a professional artist, the prices keep a higher level, compared to copy paintings you buy online and in physical stores.

Generally, you can get approximately the same amount as your buying price for paintings purchased from an artist, whereas reproductions fall drastically in price, so you only get about 25% of the amount you originally paid.

And if you spot a talented artist, you can make money when you sell again.

It requires a lot of practice, and that you know what to look for when buying art.

You get a better service

When you deal directly with a professional artist, he or she will answer any questions you have. Whether it comes to design, materials, maintenance or otherwise.

And you have of course also the possibility of letting the artist creating a unique piece with your own colors and designs.

Many artists also offer to help with transportation.

The Book Review About The Brain That Changes Itself

Book review –
The Brain That Changes Itself
written by Dr. Norman Doidge.

When my son first acquired his brain injury, I was told that whatever state he was in at the 6-month mark was about the best we could expect for the rest of his life. You’d better believe I started immediately with (homemade) tools to stimulate thinking, speaking and motor control.
Not to mention nagging his doctors for physical therapy, of which he received 10 whole minutes a day in the ICU, his home for almost 6 weeks.
Somewhere along the line, the 6 month limit was extended to 12 months. I don’t recall by whom – perhaps a physical therapist who didn’t work with patients long-term.

however, was that my son kept making progress step-by-step, month after month, dollar by dollar. We never gave up on his capability for continued improvement and – 4 years later – I discovered a revolutionary book that proved what I suspected all along. The brain can keep changing itself!
Norman Doidge, M.D. is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who began researching neuroplasticity after meeting scientists whose studies at the “frontiers of brain science” excited him about the implications of their work for clients in his own consulting practice.

He met with many of these brain scientists, describing their cutting-edge work and amazing results in a book called The Brain that Changes Itself, published in 2007. After reading Doidge’s book, I now had “official” hope that my son could keep improving his brain function with time, diligence… and money.

I am, quite frankly, astonished that not one physician, therapist, psychologist or brain injury support website that we encountered over the past four years has mentioned this truly important book – or the research being done by the scientists whose work is featured in its pages. My introduction to the concept of neuroplasticity (or brain plasticity) came through an online energy healing resource, for which unfortunately the url no longer exists. Dr. Doidge’s book was listed there. It took four years to finally find this “official hope” based on scientific evidence that brain power can improve and increase with the right tools and approaches.

The book is not overwhelming to read for a non-scientific person like me. Though, like me, you might find your jaw dropping when you read some of the case studies.

For example, a stroke patient returning to his medical practice and tennis-playing after constraint-induced movement therapy at the Taub Clinic. Or Michael Merzenich’s work on brain maps that demonstrates the brain’s ability to compensate for missing functions.

Then there’s the story of Michelle, born with only half her brain. Functions normally handled via the part of her brain that is missing migrated to the other hemisphere, enabling her to manage day-to-day with a partial brain. Not perfectly, but sufficiently.

The story of Barbara Arrowsmith is quite remarkable. Labeled “retarded” as a child, in an era when little was understood about learning disabilities, Arrowsmith struggled her way through high school and college until she came across a research study by Mark Rosenzweig on how activity can produce changes in the structure of the brain.

She designed her own “mental exercises” to work the brain functions she was weakest in and found that, not only did those functions improve – others that were related did, too.

A two-fer, in other words.

Barbara Arrowsmith took what she learned from the research and her own experiences in designing “proof-in-the-pudding” exercises to found the Arrowsmith School in Toronto, specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities. I learned in this chapter, for example, that practicing cursive writing improves the flow of thoughts into speech – something my son wishes to improve. So I’m busily looking for websites with cursive writing worksheets that he can use for this purpose.

Doidge’s book is an eye-opener and I plan to go through it again to winnow out more ideas for homemade exercises. More on this in another blog post.

If you haven’t read The Brain That Changes Itself, you can
click this link to “look inside the book” at
Most of the first chapter is available for preview, including some really interesting material about Paul Bach-y-Rita.

The part you don’t get to read concerns the methods Bach-y-Rita’s brother used to help their father recover from a debilitating stroke. The results of that intense work triggered a career change for Paul Bach-y-Rita, who then focused on rehabilitation medicine (especially with “late rehabilitation” stoke patients), using the techniques he know knew had validity. An international icon in the field of neuroplasticity, Paul Bach-y-Rita died in 2006. His story is worth knowing.

I’m a guy with a brain injury. These are my stories!

The Sanity In A Psyche Ward

The most highly paid living artist lives in a psyche ward in Tokyo. When she stops painting or creating, she becomes suicidal. Her art therapy began while undergoing treatment for her mental illness. She has had visual hallucinations since she was a child and has been painting them ever since.

Her recent exhibit in Washington DC., drew record crowds and caused lotteries, scalping and endless lines. Extra staff was added to accommodate the extra large crowds and the show took two years to plan and execute.

At 88, she has just signed yet another clothing deal. Her daily regime includes leaving the confines of a mental institution to walk to a nearby artist’s studio where she paints every day from 9am to 5pm. She then returns to her room in the hospital where her status is referred to as ‘fragile.’

In her twenties, Kusama wrote to Georgia O’Keefe and sent some of her paintings. To her surprise, O’Keefe responded. Kusama then decided to leave her homeland of Japan to avoid her family’s expectation of marrying a designated man. That is the decision that brought her to America where she landed in New York City.

In Kusama’s initial work, she painted huge works called “Infinity Nets.” Her repetition of pattern was manic. She attempted to paint polka dots on everything from people to food as well as thousands of canvases. From the early years until today, Kusama strives toward ‘self-obliteration’ through painting.

As a contemporary Japanese artist, she visits a variety of media with her work-painting, sculpture, film and installation. Her body of work shows strong repetition and densely patterned motifs. She exploits the use of repetition. She explores infinity and she is obsessively negating the self.

She returned to Japan from the states in the ’70s where she has lived in a mental hospital ever since. After falling into obscurity for decades, her talent received heightened recognition after a memorable showing in the 1993 Venice Biennale.

As fragile as she is, her work ethic has carried with her throughout the years. And still today, she describes having constant hallucinations. When she talks about her work, she claims she feels as excited as a child and filled with ‘mountains of energy.’

Today when she attends exhibits, she always has an exit strategy. If her mood changes or she gets confused, her assistants quickly whisk her away and back to the safety of the hospital.

Doctors have tried to medicate her but she does not like to alter her natural imaging of things. She might be the first artist to accurately capture an hallucination. Or maybe she is one herself.