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Published at Friday, 21 February 2020.

Sensory Integration: Children who have an opportunity to play with diverse media and in different sensory settings are better able to develop their sensory systems. Allowing a child to spend time in the sensory environments he finds most comfortable, gives him the inner strength to cope with those he finds more challenging and then gradually build his sensory system to be able to cope with them. Reading also needs good visual perceptual skills. Shape perception allows us to recognise the similarities and differences in the shape of letters. Figure-ground perception is needed to be able to see the separate words on the page and the separate letters in the words. Spatial perception allows us to see where one word starts and another ends and which way round a letter must face. OK, let's get started. Step one...supplies. You need a flat brush, a fan, a small detail brush and a couple of Filberts. A filbert is a rounded edge brush that lets you maneuver the paint easily without going outside the edges. Ultimately buy brushes that you like though, and make them work. Fans allow you to blend, for example. I use fans a lot and it's how I graduate color throughout my images. Everything I paint is by hand....no airbrushing or assistants. I want it to be an expression of me and nobody else. You also need an oil painting medium to mix with the oil paint to make it more fluid, and to speed or slow the drying process. Whichever you prefer. Go to the art store and don't be afraid to ask for help....they'll love helping you! A medium is merely an additive liquid which increases gloss, makes it flow easily, preserves the finish over time, keeps it from yellowing. I personally love Galkyd and Galkyd Lite. If that isn't available, buy a medium that looks like liquid amber and is kind of thick. Don't buy watery looking mediums....too hard to work with.

THE COMPOSITION. Now go back to the subject and your first impressions about the painting. It's time to analyze how the artist made you feel the way you felt using the artistic means it his/her disposal. The composition is the position and the balance of the objects and figures in the space, the interrelation of their size, coloring, shading etc. How exactly does all that impact your perception? Let's dig in. If you are grappling with the problem of choosing a woodwork colour to go with neutral walls, check out Architectural Colours by David Oliver, the founder of Paint & Paper Library. He arranged his off-whites for ceilings, cornices, walls and woodwork in chromatical groups and the concept has been so well received that chromatically arranged colours, such as soft greys, greens and pinks, have been introduced. Also, when checking the paint, be realistic and don't ignore areas just for the sake of convenience. It will cost you more in time and money later. Typically if one area of the paint is cracked or peeling, then the paint on the entire car is suspect. Maybe the rest of the car just hasn't quite reached that point of decay, but it will shortly. So if you only fix areas that look bad, you'll likely find that you wasted a paint job when the other areas start to crack or peel in a year or two. THE NARRATIVE. First look for the narrative, simply describe what you see. Who or what is depicted, what's going on? If you see people and things, the painting is figurative; if you see lines and splashes - go for non-figurative. The name of the painting might come in handy, especially when it comes to Dali. What seems to be more important for the artist - representation or expression? Compare the paintings in the styles of hyperrealism and expressionism - you can always tell if the images look idealized or expressly distorted. Notice the feelings you get looking at the painting, the general impression produced by the entire painting and its elements - later you will dig deeper to understand what inspired those emotions. There is a reason why you like one painting more than the other. Your taste in art is as unique as your taste in food or clothes, inspired by your background, upbringing and even professional expertise.

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