Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Graphic Art | Comic Books

Posted by Matteo Middlemiss

After looking at Manga we thought it would be interesting to also delve into the western tradition of comics too. Having spawned some of the most successful and most loved characters in fiction, comic books have earned a place as an important form of creative writing and art.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, comic books, art, flame tree art, graphic art

Graphic Art | Manga

Posted by Matteo Middlemiss

Following on from our blog post looking at Japanese woodblock prints, we felt it was important to look at what is arguably the modern progression of graphic art in Japan.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, Japanese Woodblock Prints, Manga, art, flame tree art, graphic art

Graphic Art | Japanese Woodblock Prints

Posted by Matteo Middlemiss

The history of graphic art is criminally under written and often not given the respect it deserves. Taken less seriously by the western artistic canon, graphic art is often relegated to commercial or juvenile art and rarely properly addressed for the powerful storytelling and cultural history it contains. In this new series of blogs we will be looking at the history and development of graphic arts and their influence on wider culture.

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Topics: art of fine gifts, Hokusai, Japanese Woodblock Prints, art, flame tree art, hiroshige, great wave

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, photography, Flame Tree Calendars

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

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

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, Painting Techniques

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, how to paint, tempera, Painting Techniques

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, Michelangelo, Art Made Easy, painting, how to paint, Painting Techniques

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, renaissance art, how to paint, Painting Techniques

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