Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Top 10 Flame Tree Calendars | Photography | NPG and Others

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

This week it’s the turn of our fabulous photography calendars to take to the stage. Including stunning images of our awe inspiring night sky, to intimate portraits of Hollywood’s golden age stars, and the beauty of ‘The City of Love’. Here are 10 of our best photographic 2018 wall calendars.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, Flame Tree Calendars, photography

Top 10 Flame Tree Calendars | 19th and Early 20th Century Art | Van Gogh and Others

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries encompassed some of the most exciting periods in the history of art. With an explosion of new styles and movements, the variety is duly reflected in our 2018 calendars. Take a look at this week’s Top 10!

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Topics: Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Gustav Klimt, art of fine gifts, Flame Tree Calendars

Top 10 Flame Tree Calendars | Gothic & Fantasy Art | Celestial Journeys and Others

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

With the end of the year fast approaching, we are returning with the Top 10 calendars series for 2018! This week we are taking a look at the range of gothic and fantasy art calendars. Be it sci-fi monsters or colourful unicorns, we have something up our sleeve for everyone.

 

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Topics: Flame Tree Calendars, art of fine gifts, Gothic Fantasy

Painting Techniques | Pastel

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

In this week's Painting Techniques blog we'll be taking a look at pastel. Used mainly for portraits and occasionally landscapes, pastel is known for its vibrant range of colour and ability to blend. Its versatile nature also allows it to be mixed with other mediums to create richer pallets and textures.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, how to paint, pastel

Painting Techniques | Tempera

Posted by Laura Bulbeck
Similar to Fresco, Tempera was a medium popular among Renaissance painters before the emergence of oil painting. The popular medium for religious-themed works, these paintings were often done in neutral tones to reflect the nature of their subjects. Such famous works as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper are among the most well-known tempera paintings today.

What is Tempera?

Broadly speaking tempera (Italian for ‘temper’) was a process that involved some sort of binding material (other than oil). Traditionally this was egg-yolk, a substance that was also extensively used in fresco painting, but any albuminous, gelatinous or colloidal material could be mixed with pigments to achieve similar results. 

The terms fresco and tempera are sometimes used as if they were synonymous, but the distinction lies not so much in the mixture but the material to which it was applied. Thus tempera is more commonly associated with the paintings on mummy cases and papyrus rolls in pharaonic Egypt, or medieval paintings on ivory or wood panels, although some wall paintings in ancient Egypt, Knossos, Mycenae and Classical Rome probably relied on this technique.

Medium

Egg-yolk, sometimes diluted by a little vinegar, was the preferred medium, though a thin glue produced by boiling animal skins was also extremely effective, while Pliny mentions milk as a binding substance. Although tempera is mainly associated with relatively small paintings executed on wood panels, the paint was not applied directly on to the wood. The surface had to be prepared and this entailed a process that was not unlike the plastering of walls, but on a much smaller scale.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, painting, tempera, how to paint

Painting Techniques | Fresco

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Some of the most visually stunning works of art have been painted directly onto walls and ceilings. The amount of time and effort that must have gone into these pieces is reflected today in the care taken to preserve them. Understanding the history and method behind this technique can help us appreciate it even more.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, fresco, Michelangelo, Art Made Easy, painting, how to paint

Painting Techniques | Perspective

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

So often people look at a picture – the end-product of an artist’s endeavour – for the form and content, and do not focus on the technicalities. A knowledge of the methods, techniques and materials and how they interact provides an invaluable insight into the art of different periods and styles as well as a better understanding of the individual artist.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, how to paint, renaissance art

Top 10 Painters | Vincent van Gogh

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Vincent Van Gogh – the man, the legend and the artist – has become all but lost in propagated myths and romantic visions. He is perceived as the ‘mad artist’, the man who painted in a frenzy, the tormented soul, the artist who cut off his ear – all partially true – but factors that have nonetheless suffocated the actuality of an intelligent and reasoned man.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, Vincent van Gogh, Post-impressionism

Art Movements | Impressionism | An Exploration of Light and Colour

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Inspired by the RA’s new exhibition on Painting the Modern Garden, of which Monet’s stunning Garden of Giverny paintings are a big part, this blog takes a look at one of the most popular art movements: Impressionism. We put it into context – with a brief look first at Realism in France, and its move away from classical art; as well as an exploration into how it formed the roots of Post-Impressionism.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, Claude Monet, Impressionism, Post-impressionism, art movements

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