The Artist's Newsletter

ISSUE #9 ~ 2011-05-09

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Hi , welcome to issue #9 of the Tasart newsletter. This term's classes have started and there are a couple openings in each class if anyone would still like to sign up. Next month we will start holding free drawing and painting demos and will post the dates and times on our website and or send out a newsletter. We will show you how to use products giving real drawing and painting demonstrations. You may also get a chance to experiment with product that we have available in our studio. Since our last newsletter we were able to corner the market on Cremnitz Lead White paint in New Zealand and we have a tin or two in our studio if anyone wants to try some in The Saturday Workshop. This paint has been approved for import because it is currently in child-proof tins.

CGNZ was kind enough to ask Jim if they could interview him for their Website and Forum this month. CGNZ is a non-profit organization which serves as an online community for young budding artists and illustrators. Their aim is to bring like-minded young artists together and to create a resource of information about the illustration and creative industry scene in New Zealand. They focus on figurative art, concept art and illustration. They also have a forum where users are encouraged to post work from their sketchbooks for critique and feedback. To check out the CGNZ Network please click on Jim's CGNZ Interview

Product Spotlight

Artists around the world choose Arches because inferior materials are simply not worth the effort. Manufactured in the same French Mill since 1492, Arches Watercolour papers are produced on a cylinder mould with pure French stream water, cotton fibers and natural gelatin sizing to stand up to artists' most rigorous demands. Durable Arches paper is versatile, too, as well suited to acrylics, gouache, printmaking and digital printing as it is to watercolour.

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Le Stig test-drives products & reviews

"A poor craftsman blames his tools."

le stig

There is so much misinformation and half-truths out there, it can be pretty confusing for the artist. Since the majority of art supply stores in New Zealand own product agencies (which we do not), we've decided to commission a 'tester' who will test products and give unbiased opinions and results. This month, our 'Technical Support Champion' glazed the traditional "grisaille" painting he made in the previous newsletter and also made another piece of art using a similar technique, this time with acrylics. Here are the results:

Mr Hyde Before & After

Acrylic Glazes Using The Primaries with the addition of Dioxazine Purple

I lay out my acrylic paint on my favorite butcher tray that I have been using since my Atelier days. I place my colours on a wet paper towel to keep them from drying out as I paint.

I start with a light pencil sketch on a double weight illustration board. Then I lightly spray the drawing with a workable fixative before I start painting.

Using a diox. purple I begin painting in the areas of my darkest values.

I then mix colours and begin glazing gradually darkening up the underpainting.

At this stage I glaze a warm value over the entire painting to harmonize the palette. Finally I apply the finishing glazes, increasing the contrast between the dark and light areas.

Getting Down to Business

Last month New Zealand passed a new File-Sharing Act enabling serious repercussions for those who download copyrighted material from the internet. We were surprised by the outcry which to us, only showed a large number of New Zealanders, on the internet, are illegally downloading music, movies and other content. Suddenly NZ groups opposing the bill started popping up everywhere with some even claiming that "all information is free" or, the Act was a "violation of human rights".

Obviously people either do not know they are downloading illegally or don't feel they are doing anything wrong, but to campaign against it had us bewildered.

Although the language of the bill emphasizes music and movies, it was clearly a bill aimed to protect and empower all artists who place their work on the internet.

If artists see that their artwork has been illegally downloaded, we can now issue a warning. After three warnings, the perpetrator can have their internet service suspended for up to six months. Artists who could not ordinarily afford an Intellectual Property Lawyer can take an offender to a Tribunal and be awarded damages. If you approve of sharing your artwork free-of-charge it's your prerogative. What this means for visual artists is that the NZ government is empowering us; not policing anyone.

File sharing does not only pertain to music and movie sites like Limewire and P2P. In fact, there are probably more image sharing networks that visual artists should take note. Below is a short list of image sharing networks:


















    To read the Act in its entirety, visit:

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    Until next time,
    Sandy & Jim
    Takapuna Art Supplies


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This newsletter was written by Sandy Collins on 2011-05-09

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