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Here's Starting Art Issue #010
February 28, 2008

Issue #10 - February 2008

Hi and welcome to the latest issue of Starting Art.

This is an exciting issue for me as it signals the start of some big announcements that I'm sure you'll be excited about too.

If you have any requests, suggestions or art-related questions please just hit the reply button in your e-mail software and send them in. While it's impossible for me to reply to everyone I do read EVERY e-mail that comes to me. I'll do my best to answer your questions and requests in forthcoming issues.

Best wishes & enjoy your painting and drawing!

Bob P.s. If this e-mail doesn't format correctly in your e-mail software (i.e missing images, broken links etc) you can always see the contents at the following 'Back Issues' web page:


1. Video Tutorial of the Month - How to Paint Layered Mountains in Watercolor

2. NEWS: Videos Now Downloadable

3. Featured Article - How to Use Reference Photos for Your Paintings

4. UPDATE: Remember MySpace For Artists? It's On Its Way!

5. Article Revisited: Choosing an Oil Paint Set to Get Started

1. Video Tutorial of the Month - How to Paint Layered Mountains in Watercolor

Click here to see the video...

2. NEWS: Videos Now Downloadable

Do you sometimes (or regularly) have difficulty watching video on the Web? Maybe it stutters, takes long pauses or just doesn't seem to play at all? The reason is nearly always due to 1 of 3 things:

    1. A slow Internet connection (dial up versus broadband)
    2. Your ISP's exchange being overloaded with a lot of people in your local area all online at the same time
    3. Lots of people from any location trying to view the same video at once

Not all of these things are under your control but there is a solution... and that's to download the video so you can watch it even when you're not connected to the Internet. Now it will take some time to download (anything from a couple of min for people with a fast connection up to an hour for someone on dial up) but at least you can go and have a hot drink while you wait.

From now on, all videos on will have the option to download (including the mountains video above). I'll also be adding this option to all the existing videos over the next few weeks.

3. Featured Article - How to Use Reference Photos for Your Paintings

Using reference photos as a basis for your pictures is great way to provide yourself with a good source of raw material - as long as you use them correctly! discover how in this new 2-part guide...

Click here to see the article...

4. UPDATE: Remember MySpace For Artists? It's On Its Way!

For new subscribers or anyone that missed the request for feedback late last year, I asked subscribers whether they would like the equivalent to a MySpace but just for beginner and amateur artists.

The idea came because the Visitor's Gallery really took off and is putting a strain on our ability to manage all the entries.

I also want to give you the opportunity to interact and support each other more easily... because as with anything in life, you'll improve and stick at it when you surround yourself with people who'll encourage and support you every step of the way.

Of course, it won't be called "MySpace for Artists" - but it will let you do these things:

  • Instantly upload as many pictures of your artwork as you like quickly and easily (even create your own galleries such as "My Watercolors" or "My Portraits" or any other way you want to group them)
  • Request constructive critiques from chosen friends or the entire community

  • Participate in welcoming, supportive forums... whether it's to ask for advice or offer up your own tips and experiences

  • Build a network of friends and like-minded artists that you can easily share photos, pictures, videos and message with (you can chose to share with individuals or a whole group at once)

  • Add and share your own videos - maybe you want to send one of my short tutorials (ahem!) or one that you found at You Tube to your friends.

  • Join and set up groups. Want to create an online group that has a passion for pastels? Maybe you'd like to request others living in your area to meet up for a monthly art class at your local town hall? New to art? Why not set up a "30-day Challenge" group where you all agree to paint a couple of pictures around chosen themes or photos and then share your work at the end?

Two important points that I'd like to make clear from the outset...

Firstly, providing a safe and secure community is priority number 1. You will be able to block any users at any time from contacting you or joining your own network of friends. You'll also be able to remove and moderate comments on your artwork and keep your pictures and resources completely private or visible just to your trusted friends if you choose.

Secondly, this service will be completely free of charge to use - both when it launches and for ever after. For the skeptics out there, yes it will cost money to set up and run. But these costs won't be passed on to you. Costs will (hopefully) be covered a small amount of tasteful and art-related advertising on the website and ONLY on the website - you'll will NEVER be sent promotional e-mails or letters EVER.

One more thing...

It's important that this is your site and your community. So I'd like to involve you all as much as possible in it's development. In the next week or two I'll be asking you to vote on a look and feel for the site (How To Draw & Paint is also being revamped). Please look out for an e-mail with the title "Have Your say On The New Site"

And keep an eye on the next issue for more details and a launch date!

P.S. my son, Phil, is the technical brains behind all of this so I'll hand over to him for future updates.

5. Article Revisited: Choosing an Oil Paint Set to Get Started

I'm aware the site doesn't haven't any oil videos on yet - something I plan to rectify in the near future. In preparation, why not take a look through this article that will help you choose you first oil set if it's a medium you want to try (and oil painting these days can be much less messy than it used to be).

Click here to see the article...

That's it for this issue. Best wishes and see you next issue.


Copyright Bob Davies 2008
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