Painting Tips and Tricks with Marianne Vander Dussen

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Paintings or Photos? How to Create Realistic Landscapes with Acrylic Paint on Paper

They look like photos! This is often what I hear when people flip through my landscape acrylic painting sketchbook, but that's usually because they're not looking too closely. If you were to take a careful look, the paintings have a loose, impressionist quality, focused on capturing the spirit of the landscape through colour and form. They're not so worried about the details, and instead hone in on a general impression of place. This is why I love sketchbooks; not only do they give me the opportunity to practice different techniques and strategies, but they force me into paring back detail and concentrate on what's really important.  After all, how many hours have we as artists wasted fussing over details that, in the...

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The Art of Memory: Crafting a Sentimental Landscape in Oil

Today, I'm excited to share the journey of creating a painting that's super close to the heart: it's all about bringing a client's beloved childhood memory to life. Her grandparents' cottage had undergone many changes throughout the years, and throughout the process of creating this oil painting, we worked together to make custom adjustments to honour those memories. 

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2023 Holiday Art Supply Gift Guide

  Happy Holidays!  If you're overwhelmed by the excitement of art supplies going on sale this week for Black Friday, don't worry! You're not alone. To help simplify your shopping, here is a comprehensive list of all of the supplies I am currently using in my own studio, with links to find them on Amazon (but please shop local if you can).  An important note: I'm really not a fan of acrylic or oil gift sets if you're planning to continue with your art in the long run. I'm talking about those paint sets that come with a million tiny tubes of paint in all colours of the rainbow. Predictably, you will quickly use up all of the anchor colours,...

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Art and the Algorithm

Do you ever feel like you're playing a losing game when it comes to sharing your art on social media? I do. All the time.  If you want to find success as an artist, the unpleasant truth is that social media is a necessary evil. Is it doable without? It's possible, but infinitely harder. I presently have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love it because it has allowed me to build my community (and write to all of you!) and is an excellent medium for teaching. Whether I'm using shorts and reels to teach concise power lessons, or long form videos on YouTube to educate on process, social media has proven to be an outstanding conduit for connecting...

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Creating Your Own Painting Sketchbook

Before we start this blog post, here's my latest YouTube video that breaks down the whole process of painting in oil on paper:  Regardless of your subject, painting into a multimedia sketchbook is an absolute blast. Here’s the steps I like to follow to create sketchbook entries that pop from the page. Insert the drawing. You can do this directly with ballpoint pen, or you can do a light contour with graphite pencil, before layering the ballpoint pen on top. When you do add the pen, make sure that it’s waterproof. Most ballpoint pens are, but some have a gel base that will bleed when wet. I usually do a test before using a new pen in my book on...

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