Technique Tuesday: Pentimenti

What is it? A pentimento (the plural is “pentimenti”) is an alteration in an artwork that becomes apparent by the marks and traces left behind from the artist’s original strokes. Although it is derived from the (you guessed it!) Italian word meaning “to repent,” it’s not quite accurate to call these marks mistakes. For a long…

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Technique Tuesdays: Sight-Size

What is it? If you’ve ever amused yourself by holding up your thumb and noticing how someone across the room appears to be tiny and thumb-sized next to it, you’re well on your way to understanding the sight-size method of painting and sculpting. Sight-size is a technique long used in schools and ateliers to teach…

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Technique Tuesdays: Charcoal

Welcome back to Technique Tuesday! Today we’ll be looking at a fantastic substance that has been used to make art for thousands of years: charcoal! What is it? In the most basic sense, charcoal is the remnants of burnt wood. It’s likely that it didn’t take long after man discovered fire for man to also…

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Technique Tuesdays: Sfumato

What is it? This week we’re taking a look at a technique called “sfumato” (pronounced sfoo-mah-toh). This is also a word with its origin in -you guessed it!- the Italian language. The word is derived from the verb “fumare”, which means “to smoke.” The sfumato technique refers to a painting with no bold or harsh outlines. By blurring…

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Technique Tuesdays: Blocking In

Welcome back to Technique Tuesday! Today’s post is going to take a look at a painting technique commonly referred to as “blocking in.” What is it? Several of our Technique Tuesday posts will discuss techniques relating to what is called “underpainting.” Underpainting refers to the initial layer of paint an artist applies to a canvas, usually…

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