About Bel Art
Feature Artwork
Consulting Services
Learn About Art
Useful Links
bel art flyer
How to find us

Bel Art Gallery
Learn About Art

Painting & Drawing Techniques
By Professor Karl May

Brush Drawings
Drawings are based on lines. It does not matter what kind of material is used, whether pen, charcoal or brush. I used oil thinned with turpentine. In special cases tar thinned with turpentine, resulting in a sepia appearance. When thinned with turpentine, the oil paint runes somewhat and makes the contour look larger and softer.


Basic techniques are:

these are transparent colours and water is added to the binding element.
water is also added to the binding medium, but the paint is opaque in special combination with Deckweiss.
this is a technique which can only be done with a soft-coloured pencil, resulting in soft, mat-looking tones in comparison with oil crayon, which is bright, fat, and shiny.

Handprints and prints
Handprints offer the artist a good opportunity to express his inspiration or abilities. The outstanding feature here is the use of a rough Japanese rice paper. The figures are cut from cardboard and painted with latex or oil paint. Starting effects may be obtained through individual techniques as the freshly painted cardboard is pressed by hand onto the wet Japanese rice paper. In this way the artist is free to bring out the finer shades where it is desirable, or screen or veil as required.

For many years tar has been taken out of the paint market because of its tendency to darken colours in their combination with other paints.

Oils and acrylics
Before acrylics were discovered, the painter could only use oil colour or a combination of egg tempera and oil. Acrylic is an invention of modern painting technique, with the one main difference that the thinning medium is water instead of oil. Acrylic is now being used by most artists.

Collage permits the use of any material, wood in combination with glass or textile or anything that has character, such as a piece of wood with a smooth texture or another one with a rougher surface. The important point in collage is that the artist be able to speak and feel the languages of the chosen material and to enhance its individuality and characteristics. In this way the artist can reveal his ability to combine various materials in a creative way. For example, the fashion designer would take silk, velvet, burlap, brocade, lace, etc.; the architect takes building materials like roofing paper, tar, sawdust, etc., and so also can the artist use all these various materials and many more to express his inventive talents in a collage.

Hinterglas or "behind-glass" painting is the sister of the art of glass painting. In the latter, the paint is translucent (as in cathedral windows) and in the former it is opaque. Although it is almost impossible to trace the origin of this form of painting, as an art of particular interest to the West it started in the 1500s in Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, and Spain. It reached its peak during the 16th Century. Essentially a folk art, the technique was practiced where glass was produced, i.e. in forest-rich areas where wood was an important heating element (Riesengebirge, Bohemia, the Alps). The paintings were usually made by workmen in glass factories during their spare time, as a hobby so to speak and, according to their way of thinking and traditions, the themes were usually religious ones.

Drawings and lithographs
It is in drawing that the painter shows that he really knows his art, for drawing is the basis of any painting. This might sound old fashioned or academic, but it has been proven over the centuries that the greatest masters in painting were always the most skillful in the execution of drawing. During my various artistic stages or periods I always went back to the study of animals, because there I had to draw movements quickly in order to express the animal's mood in a proper manner.


The Assessment of a piece of Art
By Art Historian Dr. Phil H.G. Buschmann

Which are the most important points when trying to asses a painting? Assessing a painting depends largely on the ability to actually see, perceive and understand. It is important to see the diversity of shapes, which are the rudimentary part of a painting. Geometric shapes such as the circle, the triangle and the square are the basics of painting-composition. Very much equal to geometric shapes is colour. Colour strongly influences the frame of mind, the mood and expression of comprehensive creation and variation. Many contemporary painters have used colours wildly and radically.

Which other features are important when looking at a painting?

Content, stylistic harmony, grace, charm and feeling, drama and movement make a painting complete.

Of course, also fashion and zeitgeist, the prevailing spirit of the times exert a strong influence on a piece of art. The upbringing, the artistic background of a painter as well as his reputation are, in addition to the already mentioned facts, a basis for art dealers to determine a realistic sale price.

It is also highly important for an artist to be marketed well and sucessfully. It is indeed most unfortunate that numerous exceedingly valuable works of art are never seen, because they are just not discovered to be shown to the public.

How is the content of an abstract painting to be understood? Each artist creates his own form of expression or as it were, his language which he recreates on the canvas. Every line, every space and the interaction of light and shadow are a direct expression of his art. He, who wishes to understand the painting must try and comprehend these forms of expression since an artist sees -"PAINTS"- that which others only feel or envisage but are incapable of actually seeing. What then really is art?

Well, since the fantasy of a painter often exceeds the narrow confines of our imagination, art cannot be constrained by set rules or limits and restrictions. More often than not, a painter is way ahead of our time and is a prophet leading to the future. These visions mostly elude the ordinary viewer since he is imprisoned in the reality of his own world. To be able to identify a contemporary painting as a valuable object, it is necessary to have fantasy, exhilaration and vision into the future.

For art lovers, art represents not just an investment but also it's an expression of beauty and inspiration with which he lovingly surrounds himself!