Art Techniques
Various Techniques used in the Visual Arts


Code D10: (DVD ONLY)

This DVD contains 4 programs

Program 1
How to Draw a Mural

It could be said that mural painting is the continuation of a style of painting that humans have done since the dawn of time, cave painting. With early humans’ attempts to capture their world on the walls of caves, using line art and pigments, a tradition was born. During the Renaissance they covered their walls with fresco paintings, while in the modern day it is mural paintings.

A mural is a painting that is usually applied directly onto a wall. Murals can be very large works and to tackle any large work everything needs to be well planned out beforehand. Murals are usually ‘site specific’ which means they must conform and respond to the physical boundaries of the wall or area to be painted. Other considerations, such as how people move through and utilise the space where the mural is painted, must also be taken into account.

A successful mural requires many careful considerations and there are many stages to go through. If the mural is to last, the surface where it is to be painted must first be stabilised, cleaned, and depending on the final paint used, sealed with a suitable undercoat.

Planning is paramount and it is important to sketch through as many ideas as possible, before tackling the final work.

Program 2
How to Draw Caricatures

Doing caricature portraits can not only be great fun but they also demand all the drawing skills needed for more traditional portraiture. A caricature is not a cartoon. A cartoon will represent a character very generally whereas a caricature is based very much on a single personality. The individual characteristics of that person become the study for this artwork.

Careful observation and clever drawing are needed in all drawing, caricature included. The proportions of the face need to be understood in detail for a basis of the likeness to form. Most people’s proportions are very similar and it is the small details that need to be exaggerated for a good caricature to work.

Program 3
Techniques of Airbrushing

In a way, painting with air has been around for a very long time indeed. In pre-historic times people used a hollow deer bone to blow a mix of water and pigment against the walls of caves to paint their pictures. The modern airbrush was developed by British artist Charles Burdick, in 1893 and is a precision instruments that can work very finely but needs to be looked after.

The modern airbrush can produce extremely fine lines and softly gradated tones as well as solid areas of even colour. They were first used by artists and photographers for retouching, but their full potential was quickly recognised and they are now widely used – principally by commercial artists – to produce paintings and illustrations

Airbrushed portraits, figure paintings and landscapes are easily recognised, tones and colours blend softly and almost imperceptibly into one another in a way which can only be achieved with an airbrush.

Program 4
The Basics of Perspective

Artists have used perspective in their art to show the illusion of space since before the Renaissance, but we had to wait until then before it was formalised into the system of drawing that we know today. Pre-Renaissance artists, such as Giotto (1266-1337), often ran into problems when showing multiple objects in space. It wasn’t until the introduction of the single vanishing point by the Renaissance artist Uccello (1396-1475) and others, that these problems were overcome. Now perspective can be used as a powerful tool, by the artist, to create the illusion of three dimensional space on a two dimensional surface.

For the Renaissance artist, perspective allowed everything to be drawn in the correct proportions, something seen as important at the time. The use of perspective meant the artist could fool the eye by painting an illusion of a real thing. This eventually leads to ‘Illusionism’ and a style of painting called ‘Trompe l’Oeil’, where fooling the eye and the illusion was everything.

A perspective drawing can use just one vanishing point to create simple three dimensional forms or multiple vanishing points to represent more complex shapes, and show them from different viewing angles. There are always problems associated with representing three dimensional forms on a two dimensional surface but perspective drawing is one tool the artist can use to tackle the issue.

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