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Tips And Techniques For Colored Pencil Artists

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 805)
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Colored pencils have become a very popular medium for budding new artists. Beginner artists using this medium find it much easier to express their creativity; mainly because of the control and convenience colored pencils offer. Other mediums like oil paint for instance, appear to present much bigger challenges for new artists. Working with colored pencil is a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

Let's begin our exploration of the colored pencil medium by explaining some of the popular techniques many artists use.

Hatching: Hatching is basically the drawing of closely spaced parallel lines. You can vary the length, angle and spacing of the lines to produce different effects.

Cross-Hatching: First lay down strokes in a horizontal direction, and then overlap in a vertical direction, followed by a diagonal stroke.

Scumbling: Using a sharp pencil move in a circular motion with light pressure, and begin to overlap the circles as you move along. This technique requires a lot of time and patience but the final result is quite rewarding.

Burnishing: When you place many layers of color over another using a lot of pressure until the "tooth" of the paper is no longer able to hold pigment, resulting in a smooth surface. Do not apply too much pressure as you can break your pencil point or damage your paper. This technique works best when using a paper with a good amount of texture or "tooth".

Shading: Use the side of your pencil and use back and forth sweeping motions to cover the desired area. Vary the amount of pressure to create different effects.

Colored Pencil Tips

The type of paper that you choose for your colored pencil art depends on your style of drawing. Every artist is different so it really is best to experiment. Paper comes in a variety of textures, otherwise known as its "tooth". There are rough surfaces with a lot of texture as well as smooth surfaces with very little texture. Rougher textures are better for applying multiple layers; where as smooth surfaces are excellent for blending. You should purchase a few different types of papers to determine the type of surface you are most comfortable working with. Some good choices to consider for your colored pencil drawings are Rising Stonehenge, Canson Mi Tientes, and Strathmore.

When choosing your pencils, it's best not to go for cheap pencils, because you may be disappointed with the results. Cheaper pencils do not have as much pigment and therefore will not produce the brilliance in color you are after. Many artists find the Prismacolor Colored Pencils to be a great choice. Prismacolor pencils have a soft lead that goes on smooth. When built up in layers they produce an almost paint like appearance.

Wax bloom, a build up of wax on the surface of your paper, is something you will more than likely become aware of as you work with the colored pencil medium. The wax in your colored pencil can rise to the surface and form a white hazy buildup that can dull your finished piece. There are two approaches for dealing with wax bloom. One approach is to try and prevent it from happening in the first place. Spraying a workable fixative over the surface after you have finished your drawing may help. There is some concern however that fixatives may alter the colors in a drawing, so it's best to try this on a practice drawing first. The other method is to actually wait a week or so after you complete the drawing. If you see the wax buildup, grab some soft tissue or cotton balls, and rub the surface to remove the wax. Don't apply too much pressure as you can smear your drawing.

Keep a large soft brush handy for brushing away unwanted scraps from your drawings. Artists use a number of things for this purpose, from horsehair drafting brushes, to 2? household paint brushes.

Experiment with various types of erasers to see what type you are most comfortable with. Artists use a variety of tools for removing pigment or fixing mistakes. Kneaded erasers, plastic erasers, electric erasers, and even tape may work well for you.

For softening hard edges or blending, purchase some blending stumps or a colorless blender at your local art store.

Try and avoid electric sharpeners as they tend to eat away too much of the pencil. Many artists keep a piece of sandpaper handy and use that to sharpen the pencil point.

Never be afraid to try different things with your colored pencil art. Try various papers, pencils, etc.

Look for some local colored pencil workshops in your area. You will be amazed at the amount of great information and tips you will discover from your teacher and classmates.

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Ipod Video Cases Become The Envy Of All Ipod Owners

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 364)
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Let's talk about you for a minute. Remember the last time you were telling someone that you just met that you don't really like following trends and that you are your own person? Haha, that was funny. But seriously, the only problem with being someone (which is to say everyone) who gives great attention to outward appearance, as if it's incredibly indicative to the what's on the inside, is not admitting it. I don't care if your shirt has a little guy playing polo, the World Industries skeleton, the promo logo from the last environmental conference you were at, or a picture of Trent Reznor; you are trying to tell the world who you want them to think you are. That bad news is that you do it, the good news is that you can continue to do it with your iPod video case.

So, what are you a scrappy new executive? Well you don't want your iPod case to clash with your handmade fine Italian leather daily planner. No problem, go with the Incase Leather Folio for Ipod. Its sophisticated and offers excellent protection.

Losing the style of your Ipod kind of bother you? You need to go with the Agent 18 VideoShield for 30G iPods. Its super tough, as its not the rubber skin-type, but hard cased. The other great thing about this is that the casing is incredibly thin and practically invisible.

Are you a complete lunatic, like my friend Steve? Then you're probably enjoying your iPod right now, but thinking that its just a matter of time until you destroy it in a moment of madness. Go with the Speck ToughSkin. It offers the ultimate in protection in iPod video cases for those who really put their stuff to the test. Its really rugged and you don't need to change an iota of your behavior issues.

These are just a small example of the variety of iPod video cases that are out there. There's some many companies that are utilizing (and complimenting) iPods' popularity that you're bound to find something to meet your exact needs and style...because you're an individual.

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Tv Blogger

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 174)
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I suppose it's a good thing when it's damn near impossible to choose the DVD of the month. Both Extras and Weeds are so brilliant shows you couldn't go wrong with either. I chose Weeds for the simple fact that it's comprised of 12 episodes as opposed to Extras' six.

DVD of the Month - Weeds: Season 2

The second season of Weeds took it to another level. Mary Louise Parker is absolutely amazing (although she refuses to marry me) as Nancy Botwin, the matriarchal drug dealer. Parker manages a comedic touch in the face of dramatic obstacles with an understated elegance. Meanwhile, Doug (Kevin Nealon), Nancy's business associate and accountant, proves himself one of the funniest characters in comedy today (He's Dwight Shrewt funny folks). The rest of the cast is wickedly funny

Runner Up

Extras: The Complete Second Season

Don't take this as a knock on Extras in anyway. It's as much a masterpiece and deserves all the credit in the world. In fact, I already gave it some love.

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How Myspace Layouts Can Help Businesses

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 481)
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Myspace is an extremely popular networking site, and it is not used only for making new friends. There are many people there who would even use it to promote businesses. When it comes to promoting businesses, there should always be good presentations. Layouts of a profile are thus very important. There will be various types of businesses that are posted on this site.

There are many layouts to choose from too. The layouts are of different categories and they will be chosen according to the need of the users. Myspace layouts are available in plenty and they are free of cost too, so there is no need to worry about changing it often too. This site allows for a lot of people to meet and look at profiles.

If any business is being promoted, it should sensible, and the themes and layouts should be according to the type of business one wants to promote. There are millions of users on the site, and there are several others who are joining every day. Someone or the other is bound to look at the profile, so it is good to pick good layouts.

Some time can be spent in choosing the layouts, as there are thousands of them on several sites. There will be many categories too, as there are updates every day. So if one really wants to promote the business the right way, there is no need to rush with the selection of the layout. The designs can be selected according to the needs, and the application is also very easy.

The user may select the layout and just use a simple code to apply the layout to the profile. The look of the profile will take the business to different heights. As long as the presentation is good, people will naturally be interested in the profile. They will be very keen on knowing what the business is all about, and ultimately they will also talk to other friends about it.

The Myspace layouts for businesses can be flashy, but they must suit the profile. For example a music business can have a flashy one, but other businesses will need sensible layouts. The types of businesses posted on this site are also not of one type, so there will be the need to explore the web sites a lot. There are many sites that have layouts for Myspace, and they are free.

All users who post their profiles on this site must take the time to present the site well. This will bring a lot of traffic to the profile, as many people will pass the word to others. So all it needs is a little time and effort to do the needful. All businesses whether it is small or big will only benefit if there is a good look and feel to the profile.

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Funny Baseball Quotes

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 389)
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Here are some funny baseball quotes that made me laugh.

Funny Baseball Quotes A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings. Earl Wilson

When they start the game, they don't yell, "Work ball." They say, "Play ball." Willie Stargell,

1981 When we played softball, I'd steal second base, feel guilty and go back. Woody Allen

A baseball park is the one place where a man's wife doesn't mind his getting excited over somebody else's curves. Brendan Francis

There have been only two geniuses in the world. Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare. Tallulah Bankhead

Baseball is very big with my people. It figures. It's the only way we can get to shake a bat at a white man without starting a riot. Dick Gregory

What does a mama bear on the pill have in common with the World Series? No cubs. Harry Caray

Confucius say: Baseball wrong - man with four balls cannot walk. Author Unknown

With the money I'm making, I should be playing two positions. Pete Rose, 1977

Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren't we all? Vin Scully

Cricket is baseball on valium. Robin Williams

Finish last in your league and they call you Idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you Doctor. Abe Lemons

The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing. Dizzy Dean

I managed a team that was so bad we considered a 2-0 count on the batter a rally. Rich Donnelly, minor league manager

Let no one accuse baseball of not being tough on drugs. During his baseball career, Steve Howe was given 7 lifetime suspensions. Bill Ferraro, baseball fan.

I could never play in New York. The first time I came into a game there, I got into the bullpen car and they told me to lock the doors. Mike Flanagan, Baltimore Orioles

On his own scouting report: "Very deceptive. Slower than he looks. Joe Garagiola

A lot of things run through your head when you're going in to relieve in a tight spot. One of them was, 'Should I spike myself ? Lefty Gomez

Three more saves and he ties John the Baptist. Hank Greenwald, on Bruce Sutter

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Oil Painting Tips Organizing Your Palette

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 432)
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You should have the right kind of palette to start off with. Your palette should be non-porous to prevent absorption of oil from the paint. Palettes come in a variety of different materials from glass to wood. My personal preference is the BOB ROSS Clear Palette. I have found this palette the easiest to clean and best for mixing colors.

When you are first starting out, it may be a good idea to start with a fairly limited palette of colors. If you purchase every color under the sun, you may find yourself mixing too many different colors, which will result in a muddy painting. Start off slow in the beginning, then add more colors as you become more experienced. Color choices for a limited palette vary from artist to artist. Here are the colors of my palette: Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Orange, Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Medium, Phthalo Green, Titanium White, Ivory Black. I recommend purchasing 1.25 oz tubes of all colors except Titanium White. Purchase a larger tube of Titanium White, as you will be using more of this color.

First, you should get into the habit of laying out your colors the same way every time you paint. This is just good practice and keeps the painting process flowing nicely. Arrange your colors along the edges of your palette leaving a lot of room in the center for mixing.

Don't be afraid to squeeze out a good amount of paint, especially your whites. You will be more productive if you aren't continuously stopping to squeeze out more paint.

Make certain to include all of the colors you think you will need to complete that session of painting as well. Again, this will make you more productive.

When adding paint to the palette, I have found that squeezing the paint out in long lines, as opposed to puddles, keeps my colors cleaner. When you have puddles of paint, they tend to get soiled by other colors when mixing. With a long line of paint, you can just take paint from the end as needed and not dirty the rest. Keep some rags or paper towels handy for wiping your palette knife clean.

It's a good idea to continuously wipe your palette clean during the painting process. There is nothing more frustrating then trying to remove dried up oil paint. Keep some alcohol handy so that you can keep the mixing area of your palette clean.

I hope these tips have helped. Happy Painting!

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Free Music Downloads

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 337)
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Audio Books 10 Frequently Asked Questions Part 1

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 479)
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My friends and colleagues consider me as the audio books expert. They tell their friends that they know an audio books expert and the outcome is that I keep getting dozens of audio books questions and inquiries each day. I have decided to gather the most frequently asked questions for everyone's benefit.

Here are the top five frequently asked questions about audio books (and the answers of course):

1. Are there free audio books? How do I get them?

In one word: NO. In two words: Not exactly. Depends of the type of audio book you are looking for (downloadable audio book are cheaper than the other types), and the audio book title (new audio books cost more), you could find low cost audio books.

I believe that one should pay for each product or service he gets. Yet, you could find free audio books mostly by signing up for the free trials most of the online audio book services give you.

2. What is better - Audio books rental or audio books buying?

I personally prefer audio books rental. Mostly because of the price - I read a lot of audio books and it will simply cost too much to buy them all. However, audio books that I really like, Ones that I want to listen to time after time, I buy and keep them on my audio books library.

Yet, I have friends who are more possessive - they are not willing to rent audio books and they must hold a remarkable huge audio book library.

3. What do you suggest - downloadable audio books, audio books on CD or books on tape?

Well, that's a tough question. Basically, I believe that the most worthy audio books format nowadays is downloadable audio books. You must own a media player (e.g. Ipod) to listen to it. Yet, it costs less than the others and has a better quality.

However, the widest collection of audio books could be found on the audio books on CD format. If you want to listen to old books you will find them only on CDs.

I do not recommend getting books on tape (also known as audio books on cassettes). They are expensive, low quality and not user friendly.

4. When can I read audio books?

The answer is - Anytime and anywhere. Here are a few examples: While cooking, cleaning the house, exercising, running, walking, driving, flying, before going to sleep, commuting, working etc.

5. Are audio books expensive?

Audio books are not expensive at all. In fact, Downloadable audio books are very cheap - they cost much less than real books and renting them is the most worthy deal. Audio books on CD cost about the same as real books and books on tape are the most expensive ones.

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The Modern And Traditional Anniversary Gift List

(category: Arts-Entertainment, Word count: 319)
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People have celebrated wedding anniversaries since antiquity, each culture having its own set of practices covering what presents have been exchanged. Over the years certain gifts have been set aside for specific years, creating a traditional anniversary gift list. The traditional anniversary gift list was created at a point in time when people had less starting out in wedded bliss, so the list is a somewhat practical one. This traditional anniversary gift list was actually comprised of items which would be of real benefit to the new couple.

As the years have gone by, a newer anniversary gift list of a more modern nature has arisen to appeal to the more affluent modern couple. With the newer trend of later marriages, there is less need for starter items for newlyweds, as each usually has a lived alone and acquired items on their own which will be added to the combined household. This is completely opposite the traditional way of staying home until a suitable candidate was received for marriage.

This newer anniversary gift list also allows for practical gifts within the first few years of marriage, but it also has diamonds showing up three times as opposed to the traditional anniversary gift list with its one occurrence of diamonds. There are instances though, where both anniversary gift lists name the same gift.

Anniversary gift lists are nice a nice reference to get ideas for your anniversary, but a gift that is given out of love and that comes out of the understanding of your spouse will outdo a listed gift on any day. So with that thought in mind, here's the traditional versus modern anniversary gift list. May all your anniversaries be happy and full of love.

1st year

Traditional List: paper

Modern List: clock

2nd year

Traditional List: cotton

Modern List: china

3rd year

Traditional List: leather

Modern List: crystal, glass

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