Creative How-To Guides

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Find practical answers to your creative questions with our easy-to-follow guides.

  • Blick Student, Studio, & Artist Acrylics: What's the Difference?

    Learn the difference between the different grades of Blick Acrylics - and which you should be using in your current stage of painting!

  • Is Varnishing Necessary?

    Do you always need to finish your paintings with a coat of varnish? Learn everything you need to know about this protective coating - including when (and when not) to use it.

  • Will We Run Out of Pigment?

    Why do some pigments get "retired" or go extinct? Is your favorite color at risk? Find out everything you need to know about pigments' availability.

  • Watercolor Vs. Gouache

    Learn the key differences between these two travel-friendly mediums - and how to best use them!

  • Artists on Tape

    Learn the history behind adhesive tape and how it transformed from a practical medical supply into an essential tool for artists.

  • Water-Mixable Oils Explained

    Learn everything you need to know about water-mixable oils and how they differ from traditional oil paints.

  • The Evolution of Gesso

    Learn the history behind this primer and how it evolved into a fast, safe way to turn almost any surface into a universal painting support.

  • How Do Markers Work?

    Discover the magic of how markers work, including how they defy the laws of gravity with colors that flow upside down and sideways.

  • Dr. PH. Martin's History of Comic Book Coloring

    Find out why Dr. PH Martin's watercolors were the preferred choice of 20th century comic book publishers for coloring line art.

  • The History of India Ink

    Learn the fascinating history of this artist-loved medium, which dates all the way back to ancient China.

  • What is Paint?

    If asked to precisely explain what paint is, could you do it? Learn the fascinating qualities that all types of paint share.

  • Why Use Glossy Mediums?

    Glossy mediums aren't just for a glossy finish. Learn how they can impart brightness, add depth, and give you greater control over the application process.

  • Is Making Paint Right for You?

    Making your own paint can be time-consuming and costly, but it does offer a few advantages, too. Learn if this time-honored tradition is right for you!

  • The Truth About Oil Paints

    Intimidated by oil paints? Think they're bad for the environment? Forget the myths and discover what makes this medium safe to use and easy to get started with.

  • How to Restore Worn Brushes

    Learn techniques for making even the most worn and crusty brushes perform like new again.

  • Surprising Facts About Brushes

    Think you know everything about brushes? Our experts rounded up some facts about these ordinary tools that may even surprise experienced painters.

  • Drawing Pencil Basics

    From the hardness grade to the core material, learn what sets drawing pencils apart from ordinary writing instruments.

  • How Should I Organize My Palette?

    Learn different ways of laying out your palette to align with pictorial goals, mixing systems, and color schemes. Keep in mind that the palette works for the artist, not the other way around.

  • Make Your Brushes Last

    Get expert guidance on keeping your brushes performing like new. From cleaning and maintenance to best practices for use, these simple tips will ensure they stay in great shape.

  • How to Select the Perfect Sketchbook

    Learn what qualities you should be looking for when selecting a sketchbook for you or a friend—from the type of paper and binding to the shape/size and built-in storage options.

  • How to Deal with Loose Canvas

    Learn how to prevent canvases from sagging after being stretched and, if needed, reposition them on a frame.

  • Student Grade Paint 101

    Learn what makes materials “student grade,” who they’re designed for, and whether they can be used for professional art.

  • Oiling Out to Revive Dull Colors

    Learn how to restore dry paint to its wet appearance and promote fluid brush application between painting sessions!

  • Oil Shed from Tube

    Wondering why oil drips out of paint tubes? Learn all about “oil shed”, how to avoid it, and the best ways to deal with it.

  • All About Mat Cutting

    Learn the ins and outs of mat cutting, including basic cutter maintenance, calculating border sizes, and proper cutting techniques, from the pros at Logan.  

  • Choose A Drawing Pencil

    Discover what goes into the creation of a drawing pencil. Learn about the graphite grading scale, explore the benefits of different pencil shapes and wood types, and compare brands.

  • How to Make Art that Lasts

    Learn tips for making art that resists fading and yellowing, from choosing professional paints with high lightfastness ratings to using acid-free or pH-neutral papers.

  • Make A Gallery Wall

    Refresh your space with a contemporary gallery wall. Find a checklist of the supplies you’ll need to get started, preview your arrangement with a simple template, and shop frames that complement your artwork and your space.

  • Measure A Brush

    Find the brush size that best suits your goals. Our guide provides a standard that makes measuring brushes at home fast and easy.

  • Three Drawing Exercises that Will Make You a Master

    Take your drawing skills to the next level with three exercises from an expert artist.

  • Oil Painting Advice for Beginners

    New to oil painting? Learn the fundamental principles of measuring by thumb, working with color, and applying varnish to unlock the mysteries of this expressive medium.

  • Five Tips for Mastering Scale and Proportion

    Learn how to give balance to abstract compositions and make representational renderings more realistic using visual measurements, anatomical knowledge, page proportions, and more.

  • How to Present Your Artwork

    Get tips from our experts on showing off your artwork to its best advantage. When choosing a frame, consider factors such as color, texture, scale, and quality of materials to find a style that complements your art without overshadowing it.

  • How to Choose Watercolors: Tubes vs. Pans

    Find out what goes into creating watercolor pans, learn why some artists prefer pans over tubes, and get expert advice on choosing the right watercolor paints for your next project.

  • Should you Paint your Frames to Match your Artwork?

    Learn about famous artists who painted frames to match their artwork—plus, get tips for doing it yourself.

  • How to Winterize Your Studio

    When temperatures begin to drop, learn the steps you can take to combat colder studio conditions, like low humidity and less ventilation, to protect your artwork and paint supplies.

  • Host A Painting Party

    Find everything you need to spark creativity with a group painting party. Shop essential supplies for parties of any size and explore beginner-friendly tutorials that make learning to paint easy and fun.

  • Explore Art Stencils

    Discover how to use art stencils to add custom flair to artwork, décor, and more. Shop ready-made stencils or find the supplies you need to create your own. Plus, find inks, surfaces, tips from the experts, and inspirational project ideas.

  • Set Up A Home Office

    Set up a workspace that will keep you on task and organized. Find multi-purpose office furniture, storage solutions, and stylish accents to personalize your space.

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