Years ago, paint was paint. One kind looked, smelled, was applied and eventually dried much like another. Things are different now. Besides oil paints, you can choose from a new set of paints. It'll pay you to know about them. • There are water paints you can use outside. (You clean your brushes under the faucet and use the garden hose to get spatters off the shrubbery.) • There are finishes so tough they withstand even attacks from the neighbors' children. • There are paints that dry so fast you start the second coat as soon as you finish putting on the first. • There are colors in glittering confusion. OK, let's get started. Step one...supplies. You need a flat brush, a fan, a small detail brush and a couple of Filberts. A filbert is a rounded edge brush that lets you maneuver the paint easily without going outside the edges. Ultimately buy brushes that you like though, and make them work. Fans allow you to blend, for example. I use fans a lot and it's how I graduate color throughout my images. Everything I paint is by hand....no airbrushing or assistants. I want it to be an expression of me and nobody else. You also need an oil painting medium to mix with the oil paint to make it more fluid, and to speed or slow the drying process. Whichever you prefer. Go to the art store and don't be afraid to ask for help....they'll love helping you! A medium is merely an additive liquid which increases gloss, makes it flow easily, preserves the finish over time, keeps it from yellowing. I personally love Galkyd and Galkyd Lite. If that isn't available, buy a medium that looks like liquid amber and is kind of thick. Don't buy watery looking mediums....too hard to work with. Which skills does play develop? Gross motor: This is the obvious area. People see children running and climbing and can clearly see that they are developing their muscle strength, coordination and balance. Parents want their children to quickly move from doing this in free play to participating in organised sports. While organised sport is good for children, if the child's gross motor activity becomes too regulated too soon, he is going to specialise in some movements (those specific to his sports) and miss out on the development of others (such as climbing trees). The more diverse a child's physical play can be, the more chance he has of developing his muscles and overall coordination in a balanced way. He is less likely to develop early tight tendons ( I see many children with tight tendons at the back of the knees) and less likely to develop weak core muscles (we are seeing more and more young children walking around with poor posture due to weak core muscles).
First consider the size of the painting. The more impressive the subject, the higher the emotions it appeals to, the bigger it is. Religious, mythological paintings are often huge - their massive energy makes you shiver. It is pretty understandable with figurative paintings like Rafael's "The Sistine Madonna", and more subtle with color field paintings of Mark Rothko. People are often overwhelmed with religious tremor in the presence of his artwork, and the size factors in. Also, the subject often calls for larger canvases - battle scenes need space and cannot be fitted into a smaller painting, while some subjects will get lost unless depicted in a smaller size. Take your time there is no rush. There is nothing wrong with having your project take a couple of weeks. Always use a sanding block for flat surfaces. Just your hand behind a thin piece of sand paper can leave grooves and low spots. It's also easier on your hands. For inside curves try wrapping the sand paper around a short section of garden or heater hose. This will help approximate the concave curve and help stay away from sanding through hard edges. On hard edges, like the top ridge of a fender or leading edge of a hood, you need to do this by hand. A sanding block will quickly dig right through the paint on a hard edge and take you down to bare metal. This means primer and more sanding. Malabar and Designers Guild offer some striking brights while the new Shades of Sanderson comprises 120 colours tailored to Sanderson's collections. If you are aiming for a more subtle backdrop that will flow through several rooms, it's wise to stick to neutral shades. Kevin McCloud's Elements of Colour for Fired Earth works especially well with our cool, northern light.