Traditional art techniques
|14 min read
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Published: December 11, 2013


Traditional art techniques I


Traditional Art Week continues! This article will give you a brief overview of most commonly used physical media techniques and their characteristics, featuring beautiful examples found all over DeviantArt and tutorials. I sincerely hope this will get you inspired to try something new and experiment, why not pick a tutorial and see what you learn! Don't forget, whilst techniques has their own regulations and principles, they still can be combined, you have to be no wizard (just a little creative) to find a new way to express yourself through them. Let's take a look  Singing 




1. Drawing media


Drawing is one of the major forms of expression within the visual arts, and is generally concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little color,  while modern colored-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. Drawing is often exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem-solving and composition. It is also regularly used in preparation for painting. A quick, unrefined drawing may be called a sketch. In fields outside art, technical drawings or plans of buildings, machinery, circuitry and other things are often called "drawings" even when they have been transferred to another medium by printing. (Wiki)


▲ Pencil, Graphite, Charcoal

We discussed these materials very closely in an Artist's Toolbox article "Pencil, Graphite, Charcoal". It seems these techniques are too simple, but pencil in hands of a dedicated artist turns into a magic wand. Tutorials to see > Basic pencil tutorial by leinef, Charcoal tutorial by variations, Basic pencil shading by Snigom

I don't have a title for this one yet by tdylan Fullsleeve Commission by Asfahani


▲ Colored & watercolor pencils

Unlike graphite and charcoal pencils, colored pencils' cores are wax-based and contain varying proportions of pigments , additives and binding agents. They can be used in combination with several other drawing mediums. When used by themselves, there are two main rendering techniques colored pencil artists use - layering or burnishing. Learn more about colored pencils from our Artist's Toolbox article written by Astralseed. Tutorials to see > Color pencil tutorial by Verlisaerys, Colored pencil tutorial by emperpep, Watercolor pencils tutorials by martinacecilia

Empath by JenniferHealy Hidden Smile by XRlS


▲ Dry / Oil pastel

Pastel is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation. Pastel techniques can be challenging since the medium is mixed and blended directly on the working surface, and unlike paint, colors cannot be tested on a palette before applying to the surface. Pastel errors cannot be covered the way a paint error can be painted out. Experimentation with the pastel medium on a small scale in order to learn various techniques gives the user a better command over a larger composition. We will talk more about pastels in future Artist's Toolbox articles. Tutorials to see > Pastel tutorial by Sarahharas07, Oil pastel tutorial 1 layering by TArthurSmith, Soft pastel dust tutorial by TeaKitsune

An Irish lady by portvoller WHITE BLOSSOMS by Badusev


▲ Ink

Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text or design. The reason I'm listing ink as a drawing medium is that it's most commonly used for drawing or writing, even though it's liquid form makes him suitable for painting as well. Ink can be a complex medium, composed of solvents, pigments, dyes and other materials - the components of inks serve many purposes; the ink’s carrier, colorants, and other additives affect the flow and thickness of the ink and its appearance when dry. For further reading > 9 Reasons to love your ink. Tutorials to see > Traditional Ink tutorial by kitton, Scribbly and Ink tutorial by ursulav, Coloring tutorial - ink - wash basic by judittondora

Miss Doubtful by PabloJuradoRuiz




1. Painting media

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes can be used. Painting is a mode of creative expression, and the forms are numerous. Drawing, composition or abstraction and other aesthetics may serve to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. Different types of paint are usually identified by the medium that the pigment is suspended or embedded in, which determines the general working characteristics of the paint, such as viscosity, miscibility, solubility, drying time, etc. (Wiki)


▲ Oil painting

is the process of painting with pigments  that are bound with a medium of drying oil. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppyseed oil, walnut oil and safflower oil. Different oils confer various properties to the oil paint, such as less yellowing or different drying times. Certain differences are also visible in the sheen of the paints depending on the oil. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired. The paints themselves also develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. For further reading > 9 Reasons to adore oil paints. Tutorials to see > Tools and tips for oil painting by Moliugele, Oil painting tutorial by ShaleseSands, How to oil paint - layering by PhilipBohlmann


Street by StudioUndertheMoon Tai Yang by SRaffa


▲ Acrylic painting

Acrylic paint is fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. Depending on how much the paint is diluted (with water) or modified with acrylic gels, media, or pastes, the finished acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting, or have its own unique characteristics not attainable with other media. The main practical difference between most acrylics and oil paints is the inherent drying time. Oils allow for more time to blend colors and apply even glazes over under-paintings. This slow drying aspect of oil can be seen as an advantage for certain techniques, but in other regards it impedes the artist trying to work quickly. For further reading > 9 Reasons to appreciate acrylics. Tutorials to see > Acrylics material Introduction by trenchmaker, Acrylic Demo - A middle ground by the-artists-cubby, Acrylic painting tutorial by miimork

Kuba + Kasia by yelou

▲ Watercolor painting

Watercolor is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water soluble vehicle. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper. Watercolors are usually transparent, and appear luminous because the pigments are laid down in a relatively pure form with few fillers obscuring the pigment colors, but can also be made opaque by adding Chinese white. Watercolor painting has the reputation of being quite demanding. Unlike oil or acrylic painting, where the paints essentially stay where they are put and dry more or less in the form they are applied, water is an active and complex partner in the watercolor painting process, changing both the absorbency and shape of the paper when it is wet and the outlines and appearance of the paint as it dries. The difficulty in watercolor painting is almost entirely in learning how to anticipate and leverage the behavior of water, rather than attempting to control or dominate it. We discussed watercolor equipment in quite a detail in our Artist's Toolbox series > Watercolor Equipment I and II, Additional Tools. For further reading > 9 Reasons to paint with watercolor. Tutorials to see > Tutorial - watercolor + Gel pen by Losenko, Walkthrough - Ozelot in watercolor by LittleMissRaven, Watercolor tutorial by cherriuki

Painted songs by RoryonaRainbow urban forest by koyamori



▲ Gouache painting


Gouache is a water based paint consisting of pigment and other materials designed to be used in an opaque painting method. Gouache differs from watercolor in that the particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much higher, and an additional, inert, white pigment such as chalk is also present. This makes gouache heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities. Like all watermedia, it is diluted with water.
Tutorials to see > Gouache tutorial by bratkitty

Venus Incarnate by SillyJellie in gouache by derekjones





What is your favorite technique? Do you like to mix different media?


Your thoughts and comments are welcome!


:frail:


:iconprojecteducate:




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Comments56
anonymous's avatar
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tailinyan's avatar
tailinyanHobbyist General Artist
I've got a serious question. How do i fix a soft pencil sketch before putting the watercolors on? I'm afraid it will blur when i apply the pain and i do not want to erase the sketch
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
You don't have to fix it, and applying fixative would do no good to a watercolor paper that should be absorbing water. I use a clean sheet of paper over my hand as I paint, first watercolor layer fixes the pencil itself.

Hope this helped :)
tailinyan's avatar
tailinyanHobbyist General Artist
What i meant precisely is, that soft graphite blurs with water (all B pencils),
so i was afraid to use it as an outline for a painting. I've tried it though and somehow
it didn't blur :D

Thanks anway!
Dragona15's avatar
Dragona15Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful article :heart:
My main media is digital drawing, but sometimes I enjoy taking a break with some traditional means. My favorite is watercolors or china inks, in which I apply wash after wash to gain a sort of foggy effect to my doodles for the funs :D
Ginryuzaki's avatar
Awesome tutorial. :love:
For me, color pencils! Though I love to try Watercolor & Copics someday. :hug::heart:
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
Thanks for reading :)
uchuubranko's avatar
uchuubrankoStudent General Artist
Thank you!! :faint: Breathtaking art as well! :clap:

for me, acrylic paint :la:
I'd love to try mixing things  :hmm:
and to try out everything listed here....... one day. :dummy:
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
:heart: Thank you for reading :)
DoreiShounen's avatar
DoreiShounenHobbyist Traditional Artist
awesome! I love traditional art I'm in love with colored pencils haha
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
:) Colored pencils are awesome and very practical to use :)
ViNa-Shiranui's avatar
ViNa-ShiranuiStudent General Artist
For me, colored pencil!
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
:thumbsup:
icytrus's avatar
icytrusStudent Traditional Artist
there is no tutorial on using tempera paste in the internet and i always wanted to know how to use it....:(

~for me is watercolour and pencil=D
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
Yes, very few tutorials regarding this - I even found the only gouache tutorial on da. There's something to work on :)

Thank you for reading :frail:
icytrus's avatar
icytrusStudent Traditional Artist
your welcome 
thanks for making this,really hepfull :hug:
DustinProvost's avatar
DustinProvostProfessional Digital Artist
A technique that can save a lot of time when an artist needs to shade a large area with pencil is to lay down a layer of graphite with gentle strokes, then to take a dry makeup sponge and lightly drag it over the surface, creating a smooth gradient of shade.

Be careful, its powerful, it can get out of hand really quickly and ruin all your hard work if you aren't careful, but with practice, it can save a lot of time without any degradation in quality.

And remember, once you smooth out the graphite into all the little imperfections in the paper, it becomes almost impossible to erase, so use patience when smoothing.

Hope that helps, I know it did a lot for me.
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
It surely does, thanks for the tip :heart:
DustinProvost's avatar
DustinProvostProfessional Digital Artist
You're very welcome, thanks for the great article.
IntrovertRabbit's avatar
IntrovertRabbitStudent Digital Artist
for me the best is pencil and markers
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
:thumbsup:
Riemea's avatar
RiemeaHobbyist General Artist
This is such a helpful article, thanks for writing it! :love:

I'm not that much of a traditional artist, but I like to experiment with mixing different media. :)
jane-beata's avatar
jane-beataProfessional Traditional Artist
Mix away, thank you for reading :heart:
Riemea's avatar
RiemeaHobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! :hug:
ITAFTRS's avatar
ITAFTRSHobbyist Traditional Artist
I am first and foremost - and have basically always been - a pencil artist. But as of late, I've started experimenting with markers as well, and I find it a lot of fun!
anonymous's avatar
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