Monday, February 29, 2016

The Wescott House - Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Wescott House was designed by Frank LLoyd Wright in 1906, and was then built in 1908 for Mr. Burton J. Westcott and wife Orpha. It is located in Springfield, Ohio, and is the only house that Wright ever designed in Ohio. The house is a Prairie Style house, which according to Wikipedia is "usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament. Horizontal lines were thought to evoke and relate to the native prairie landscape."

The Wescott House's official website describes how the design "extended Wright's concept of relating the building to its site by means of a terrace, a lily pond, gardens, and other landscape elements."
The house is open to public to visit and tour, as well as to rent out for a gathering or event.

The Wescott House Foundation holds lectures, events, workshops, educational programs for both students/youth and adults, and features exhibits. Their website also states, "Westcott Center For Architecture + Design is an official PKN organizer in Springfield, Ohio."

To learn more visit the official Wescott House website:

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Value of Owning a Set of Koh-I-Noor Technical Pens

For those who own a set of Koh-I-Noor technical pens, they already know how valuable they can be for any precision placement of ink to paper. The pens are available individually or in sets with different nib sizes. Tiny lines can be drawn with a nib size of 0.13 mm to broader sketch strokes using the 1.2 mm nib.

They are also known as Rapidograph pens. Available in 10 line width sizes, each pen is color coded for nib size and has a refillable ink vial. The pens offer a steady flow of ink across the surface of the paper, vellum, tracing paper and drafting film when the hand moves in any direction. This results in consistent line width that is essential for technical drafting and quite useful in art.

The Rapidograph pens are part of the Koh-I-Noor product line that includes drawing accessories, mechanical pencils, and Rapidosketch pens. The sketching pens only come in three nib sizes. A full set of 10 Koh-I-Noor technical pens are often as attractive to artists as they are to draftsmen. A full set of 10 Rapidograph pens come in a plastic case with a bottle of ink and a nib tool.

Some of the uses for the Rapidograph technical pens include:

Cartoon and graphic novel art
Tattoo design ideas
Precision line work
Lettering captions
Technical drafting
Precision crosshatch shading
Ink portraiture

Regular cleaning keeps these pens functional indefinitely. Problems begin when ink is left to dry inside the pens. This can be caused by long periods between uses or leaving the caps off. Cleaning is easy if the correct tools are used. Koh-I-Noor makes a pressure bulb cleaning kit that includes a squeeze bulb, nib tool and cleaning solution for cleaning pens. It is important only to use Koh-I-Noor ink that is available in black, red and white.

These technical pens are precision tools that have been in use by artists and draftsmen for years. If being able to draw lines in ink with an engraver's precision is important, these pens get the job done. In the hands of an artist, they can bring a new look to cartoons and other graphic arts, taking the work to the next level.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Stand out with a Student Art Portfolio

When students are enrolled in art classes or pursing a career in art, making an art portfolio should be on the top of their priority list. Student art portfolios are one way of saving completed projects and efficiently displaying them to professors and other members of the art community.

Types of Student Art Portfolios

Most often a student art portfolio consists of original artwork. The artwork can be contained and organized into a large folder to make it easier for transport and viewing. This may be challenging when some of the original artwork is very large and does not fit into standard folders and binders. Fortunately, there are specially designed folders created with art students and professionals in mind. 

Art Portfolio Options

One efficient way to store and display artwork is with an art portfolio case. These cases come in a variety of sizes and styles to accommodate many types of artwork and projects. Art portfolio cases resemble a briefcase or tote bag and close securely to protect the artwork and any other contents inside.

The exteriors of portfolio cases are available in different colors and materials. For instance, if students will be outdoors regularly and will need to show their work, the best option is a waterproof and hard covered portfolio cases that can shield the artwork from the elements. There are soft fabric and mesh exteriors as well. Most portfolio cases also have a handle or strap and are lightweight making them easy to carry.

The interiors of portfolio cases are extremely versatile. There are pockets, compartments, and storage areas for classroom and office supplies. The dimensions of portfolio cases are listed for both the interior and exterior to ensure that the desired artwork or project will fit properly.

Benefits of Creating a Student Art Portfolio

One of the most obvious reasons to create a student art portfolio is to preserve artwork. Many students will soon discover that art portfolios are also an important part of art exhibit applications and interviews for jobs. Displaying artwork in an organized and professional way will demonstrate your desire for success and attention to detail.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Easy Image Transfers Using Tracing Paper

Tracing paper is a thin, semi-translucent paper that is used to transfer images from one surface to another. While it has sophisticated applications for professional artists and architects, hobbyists and crafters will also benefit from having tracing paper on hand.

Using tracing paper is simple, although techniques vary slightly depending on the task to be accomplished. The only materials needed are a sheet of tracing paper, a sharp pencil, tape and the image to be transferred.

The basic tracing technique begins with taping the original image to a table with the blank tracing paper taped on top of it. The image is traced lightly with a pencil. The tracing paper is then removed and the back of the sheet is covered with a light coating of pencil lead, which is accomplished by holding the pencil at an angle and rubbing the lead across the surface of the paper. The tracing paper is then taped over a clean sheet of drawing or watercolor paper, coated side down, and a sharp pencil is used to go over the traced lines again. This process transfers a light copy of the original image to the new sheet of paper.

A second technique is used to create an image that is symmetrical. For example, if artists wish to create a complex pattern that has identical right and left halves, they may begin by drawing the right half on tracing paper. The paper is then folded along the vertical axis and the right half is traced through the left side of the paper. The paper is then opened out and the left half of the design is traced again onto the upper surface.

A couple of tips that go beyond the basics are:

- If the final image is going to be in color, use appropriately colored pencils as a transfer medium. This avoids having graphite tracings showing through the color.

- Use a stylus instead of a pencil to transfer the final image. This is cleaner and saves the pencil for actual drawing.

Tracing paper is a valuable tool for artists in many different media, and using tracing paper correctly is a skill that is easily acquired.