Creating Paintings out of Photographs – tips for overcoming common problems

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Many artists out there live by the notion that no matter how impressive a photograph is, it cannot tell the full story of a subject. However, there’s no denying their use for many reasons, one of course being the fact that they provide artists with a great reference point for their work.

After all, photographs allow us to be transformed into settings from across the globe right from where we’re sat, and enable artists to capture the essence of a subject from different perspectives and angles. Therefore creating paintings from photographs is a huge artistic trend, but it’s not without its pitfalls. Here are some tips for overcoming the most common issues artists face.

Physical limitations with photographs

Regardless of how good your camera is, it will not be as good as the human eye at truly capturing a scene, person or object. There are a lot of distortion issues that arise in photography, and things like colouring, shadows and depths of field can all be skewed when taking photos of something. Therefore it’s a good idea to take lots of pictures from different angles and perspectives with the best camera possible to get the best representation of your subject to work from.

Copyright and permission issues

However, if you’re not planning on taking the photos yourself or have found a photograph already that you’d like to recreate through painting, you may face a lot of issues regarding copyright and usage limitations. After contacting the photographer, and if you’ve had no luck in gaining rights to use the image, why not see if you can come to a slightly different, compromised agreement? You could request to use the photo for a fee, or just part of the photo, or perhaps not the full, high resolution version, for example.

Artistic limitations

When recreating a photograph through painting, some artists may feel slightly limited, due to having such a rigid, complete form to follow. These limitations can hinder creativity and can have a negative impact on the final result. To solve this, remember that you shouldn’t feel obligated to show exactly what is depicted in the shot. Instead, an artist should feel free and inspired to manipulate or leave behind a reference any way he or she chooses.

Using sketches and words to fill in the gaps

Photos can often leave us with some blanks in terms of how an environment made us feel, which can then make things tricky when trying to recreate that feeling with a paintbrush. This is where notes and simple sketches can come in as you go out and take photographs, as these can provide handy references for the things you felt and want to portray that the lens may have missed.

The Biggest and Brightest Home Decor Trends in 2016

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Can you believe we’re almost 4 months into 2016 already? Neither can we! If you are looking to do up your home now that the weather is picking up a bit (no one likes doing up the place while it’s raining cats and dogs outside) then you’ve come to the right place.

Listed below are some of the hottest design trends that have already arrived in 2016, and some that are predicted to really hit it big before the year is out. So why not get ahead of the curve and be a bit of a home decor trailblazer? With these suggestions, you can do just that!

The Return of the Formal Dining Room

That’s right – it is time for the proper, sit-down family meal to make a comeback! A long overdue one as well, if you ask us.

You can expect more and more people to start eschewing media room conversions and downstairs offices in favour of keeping their formal dining rooms. Keep things simple and elegant and you’ll be onto a winner.

Turn up the Heat in the Entryway

Usually, the only room that would benefit from a heated floor (if any do at all!) would be the bathroom. But 2016 is the year that we are taking that lovely underfloor heating all the way down to the entryway.

Think about it – it’s brilliant! Imagine coming home after a day at work in December, with snow flurrying down all around you and wind whipping at your ears, kicking off your boots in the porch, and gently placing your feet onto a toasty warm floor. Blissful, no?

Black Is the New Polished

If you are into your kitchen design trends, then you will know that the hot property for appliances is polished stainless steel. It has been this way for a few years now.

However, polished’s time in the sun is coming to an end, and instead, we have black stainless steel coming to take the throne. Say goodbye to the dazzling gleam and hello to futuristic sleek chic.

Make a Statement in the Bathroom

Gone are the days of boring rectangular mirrors in the bathroom. And as for circular mirrors… well, let’s just say that those are well past their prime.

In their place will be the statement mirror. You can expect to see all sorts of wonderful shapes and designs coming to home decor stores near you in the near future, and you should definitely consider picking one up!

You would be surprised by just how much difference changing something as small and often overlooked as the bathroom mirror can make. Hanging a funky mirror over the bathroom sink can have a transformative effect on the room; really make the most of it by pairing with a bold pattern on the walls.

Our Top Ten Amazing Home Décor Tricks

For home interior decorating; I love my house

If you are looking for some simple but amazing tricks to make your home décor a little more stylish and a whole lot more unique, then you have come to the right place (or post).

Here are our favourite tricks, straight from the mouths of interior decorators. Why not give them a try and see what they can do to your home?

Add Custom Graphics to Your Furniture

Do you have light coloured furniture in the living room? Do you have a flair for the artistic? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you’ll love this trick.

All you need is a good permanent marker, a non-slip metal ruler, and a steady hand. Start off with some throw cushion covers first if you’re a bit worried about making mistakes.

Practise your patterns on some paper, and once you’ve found a design you’re happy with, you can go wild on the cushion covers. If you’re a little scared about going freehand, use that ruler to make some nice geometric patterns. Stripes and checks look great!

Open up Your Cabinets

If you have some free-standing cabinets in the home, you can easily glam them up. First of all, remove the doors from your cabinets, then get to painting the inside in some nice neutral shade.

Pin up a small piece of artwork at the back of the cabinet to use as a backdrop for your items. As for the items themselves, pick a theme and run with it – we like a nice, uncluttered collection of glassware, or a range of porcelain or similarly coloured earthenware.

Go for Space

Everyone knows that mirrors are a good way of making a room seem bigger. That much is common knowledge. But why not use this trick in a different way?

Hang a large, full length mirror on the wall. After you’ve done this, push a small table into the alcove until it is flush against the mirror. Lastly, go for broke with a focal piece – think a large bouquet of flowers or an impressive table lamp – this will add to the look.

Fake Some Built-In Cabinets

If you want to make it look like your room came with some fantastic built-in cabinets, there is a surprisingly easy way to do this.

All you need to do is to get the cabinets and tuck them into tight spaces like a corner or an alcove. Now all you have to do is to paint them so that they match the walls. Hey presto! – they look like they’ve always been there.

And there are a couple more things you can to if you want to make the illusion even more convincing. First off, get some trimboard from your local DIY store. You can add this to the cabinet doors so that they sync up perfectly with the architectural aesthetic of the walls.

Secondly, if you chose to go the dual cabinet route, consider doing something bold like mounting a desk to the wall between the two. This will make the whole thing cohesive, looking like a bit set-piece.

10 Super Simple Home Decor Tricks

Follow these super simple home decor tricks to give your home a bit of an interior design flair – without having to fork out for the designer. Most will agree that it’s the little things that make the difference. All of the small, elegant touches will add up to create a design that truly reflects who you are.

Take a look at this link for building supplies to help you get started.

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  • If you’re on a budget, scour the supermarkets for bedding – you can get some fab sheets for a really good price. To elevate them, and to make everything look a little more “done”, make your own cushions. It sounds complicated, but you can buy cheap cushions from most home furnishing stores, and then buy fabric for as little as a pound a metre.
  • Paint the back of open shelving units to make the items on display pop – plus, this shows that you’re really thinking about the design. Just don’t paint the wall white. Boring.
  • Be imaginative. Sometimes we get a bit stuck in a style rut, but if you mix and match accessories and use items for purposes that are completely different to their intended use – for example, teacups as planters or martini glasses as ice cream bowls – you can quickly create a cool and quirky look.
  • Dark furniture works best on pale floors and pale furniture on dark floors. Sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people get this wrong.
  • If you’re popping a rug under the bed for a bit of colour and texture, make sure that it sticks out by at least 18 inches on all sides – anything less and it’ll look very stingy.
  • Don’t get rid of old family heirlooms and bits and pieces your mum used to keep on her dressing table, for example. Give them their own home on a contemporary dresser, or mix and match your old pieces with brand new. Something from the 1980s doesn’t have to be kitsch and tacky – just make sure that you team it with cool contemporary items or antique pieces to offset the kitsch!
  • Keep a couple of tins of high gloss paint spray in the cupboard for when you feel like having a change of scenery. You can use it to re-do your kitchen cupboards, your wooden chairs, your dining table, photo frames – basically anything made of wood. High gloss white will work well in virtually any environment, plus, if you get any scuffs or scratches you can simply paint over them.
  • Don’t use a rug and full carpeting. It’s a little bit like wearing socks and sandals together.

Source: The Nest

Tips for Moving From a Flat to a House

It’s the big move. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest moves you’ll ever make. Taking all of your furniture, accessories and the minutiae that makes up your life – from your small flat, studio or apartment – and moving into a house (or merging it with someone else’s stuff) is super tricky. Moving house isn’t just about hiring a truck and getting your furniture unpacked. It’s about creating a home. Learn how to move from a flat to a house and create your perfect nest by following our tips.

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  • Look at what you already have. If you’re moving in with someone else, moving alone or moving into a room in a shared house, you’ll need to make an inventory of literally everything – and we mean everything that you already own. If you’re moving in with someone else, determine whose stuff is of a better quality (unless there is sentimental value involved). Think about where the heck you’re going to put everything and what you’re going to need to buy.
  • Have a serious think about your budget – i.e. what you can afford to spend on stuff for your house and whether you’ll need to beg, borrow and steal from friends. How much do you have coming in? How much can you spend? In an ideal world, you’d spend about six months getting everything just right, allocating around 40% of your disposable income (meaning money that isn’t allocated for bills or the mortgage or the rent or debts) towards decorating your new home. But if you’re not that fussed, or if your budget is very small, you can take longer.
  • What can you do with what you already have? Chances are, you already have something that can function as a table. Or as a desk. Collected a selection of mismatched chairs over the years? Not to worry – paint everything and it’ll look like it was meant to happen that way. Repurpose, recycle and reuse everything you can get your hands on and don’t be afraid to completely change something. A hulk of a worn mahogany dresser can easily be transformed into a light, bright, pastel bookcase with a few hours of painting and a little bit of elbow grease.
  • The easiest way to inject a bit of life into an otherwise bland and boring magnolia space is simply to buy a pot of bright paint (or some bright, bold wallpaper) and slap it on the wall and/or walls. White/magnolia/cream walls are often quite lonely-looking and can result in a scheme that looks as though you’re either renting, or like you never quite got round to decorating. So put some paint on the walls!
  • Go around the house and see if you can find any “gaps” – as in, places where there isn’t any stuff and where it feels like there should be stuff. What could you do with that gap? Could you use it as a home office? Reading corner? Crafting cove? Or would a bookcase/plant/squishy chair/beanbag look good there? Nothing says “I don’t have any furniture because I used to live in a flat” more than a virtually-empty house, so try to make use of all of that extra space.

Source: The Nest

DIY Tips: 5 Must Know Home Decor Tips

It can be tricky when decorating your home, especially if you’ve got to do the whole house from top to bottom. Follow these top 5 must know home decor tips to learn exactly what you need to do – and what you should stay away from – when decorating your home. In part one of our mini-series, we talk about keeping away from cliches, mixing and matching styles and keeping small spaces warm and cosy. Take a look at this link for decorating supplies to help you on your way.

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Don’t be explicit – be implicit

Being too OTT with your style will just embarrass you in years to come. If you live near the seaside, for example, it can be tempting to go all out with conch shells, ropes and plenty of sea blue. Although that decor might suit the location of your home, it’s far too cliched to ever really be considered stylish. Instead, be implicit. Give a nod to the ocean with sandy-coloured carpets. Use pieces of washed up wood to make accessories or hammer together to create one-off pieces of furniture. Choose bright, light hues as they’ll reflect the light, bringing the brightness of the seaside indoors, for a timeless look that won’t make you feel queasy in five years’ time.

Mix and match

Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles and time periods. An antique footstool can work beautifully with a minimalist coffee table and more often than not, these humble materials – an old bit of wood or a piece of antiqued leather will work brilliantly well with contemporary materials like stainless steel or a sleek expanse of glass. Source items from charity shops and antique fairs and try to see past how something currently looks – you can always paint it, stain it or repurpose it.

Hang artwork together

You don’t need to hang just one picture on a wall. Put them into a group. Generally, the rule is that design works best in threes, but this isn’t always the case. For example, four paintings hung together in a square can look super stylish. Collage style arrangements look lovely too. For a contemporary look, use the same frame for each painting and for a cool and quirky vintage look, use a number of frame styles – wood, matte black, steel, patterned, plain. Arrange them on the floor to find something you’re happy with before arranging on the wall.

Scrimp and save

Good design doesn’t necessarily equal lots of money. You can get good design by buying cheap – you just have to be savvy. In a kitchen, for example, keep the base units and drawers and just replace the door and drawer fronts. That way, you’ll be able to afford the smart gloss finish or 100% solid oak. Shop where you wouldn’t think to shop – supermarkets often sell excellent accessories and homeware for much less than you’d think.

Sorting out a small space

Often, the emphasis is on making a space feel bigger, but sometimes, you just gotta embrace what you’ve got. And that means unifying the space, rather than dividing it with colour and pattern. As an example, in a smaller bedroom, you could wrap the headboard in the same paper as you hang on the walls.

Source: House Beautiful