Category Archives: Art

5 Reasons You Want To Try STABILO Today for Drawing

From brilliant colors to long-lasting cap-off times, there are tons of reasons why we love STABILO’s products, and why you will, too! Check out some of their art-filled tips and tricks below, and get ready to let loose, unleash some creativity and have fun during your next art project. Enjoy!

1. It’s Freeing

STABILO’s campaign for 2017 is “Free Your True Colors.” The campaign’s name is a call out to how can we be the most colorful, best version of ourselves, expressed through creativity and color.

Check out this Flippists video where he animates a colorful transformation in the Free Your True Colors spirit!

2. It’s Colorful

Their Point 88 Fineliners are available in more than 40 vibrant colors, making them one of the most colorful fineliner brands on the market. Here is a demonstration on how to create a beautiful butterfly using these handy tools!

3. It’s Flexible

Their CarbOthello Pastel pencils are incredibly blendable due to their chalky pigments. They can also be used like watercolor pencils because they respond instantly to a wet brush or predampened paper. Check out the video below for some fun tips and tricks for using CarbOthello.

4. It’s Creative

If you want another creative art tool to add to your arsenal then you should check out Pen 68, which can also be used as a watercolor. Just grab your waterbrush and give it a try!

5. It’s Old School (But Up with the New School Styles)

Did you know STABILO was established in 1855? It’s an 162-year-old company! Belows a quick snippet of the company’s interesting history.

Added bonus: Many of STABILO’s products, like the Point 88 Fineliners and Pen 68 Markers, have over a 24-hour cap-off time. Hooray for no more dry pens!

Do you use any STABILO products? Tell us your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below. Happy art-making, artists!

5 Tips to paint for success

This Way of Painting Works for Everyone

It’s exciting to start something new. It’s especially exciting when you succeed at something new. If you are a beginner painting for the first time or someone with more experience who is still trying to find the best way to express your creative side, alla prima painting is the way to go. It is a “jump right in, the water’s fine” approach to art. It is all about creating a work in one live session, working wet into wet. Time is up when the paint dries. Success comes when you step back and you’ve got a finished work of art. You will learn soooo much if you commit to the process and see it through. It’s an exciting way to work. Here’s how to make that happen.

1.Spend most of your time looking

You’ve got to give yourself permission to sit and absorb. Observe, settle your mind, and develop a very clear mental picture of your subject. That’s the first step for alla prima. Be thorough with your looking. Squint at your subject and observe the light and dark areas. Notice the middle values that exist between them. Still squinting, make note of the general color in these areas. Look for the warm and cool color relationships. If the subject is lit by north light, the light side of an object will be cooler than the dark side. Also pay attention to halation, or how the light values of the subject bleed into the darks and vice versa.

2.Big brush first and most

Apply paint with a large, soft brush in the beginning and gently soften most of your edges. Elaborate on the transitions between the light and dark values, pushing one color into another to obtain the proper edge. Gradually reduce the size of your brushes, painting smaller and smaller shapes and details.

3.Focus on your focus

Start at the focal point of your painting. Don’t save it for last–attack it! Block in the main areas and then work away. That’s not to say your focal point is the literal center of the work, but wherever it is–start there and build out.

4.Don’t lock your eyes to one spot

Staying light on your feet is what they say at the gym. Stay light with your eyes too. Don’t lock into one thing. Constantly compare your subject and try to match the colors as you see them. That means shifting your focus constantly.

5.Be purposeful and stick to your plan

For the best results with alla prima, it’s important to paint deliberately and methodically. That way you can keep the light and dark values from mixing together on the canvas to prevent muddy colors. Use intermediate colors between the values to create the transition from light to dark. I recommend writing down your approach. It will act like your set list, so that you can just refer back to it if you get caught up or confused.

3 Insider way to Land the Art Your Dream Internship

Goodbye Summer, Hello Internship!

Richard Whitten’s intern, Ashley Pelletier, is working on underpainting for a series of small experimental paintings. We know how important it is to land an art residency or internship. We also know how hard it is to feel noticed, and we want to help.

It’s time to set aside the suntan lotion and perfect those resumes! Accomplished artist Richard Whitten is here with three steps to get you closer to your dream internship.

1. Research

To start, research your state arts council. These state organizations are partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and collectively represented by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.

State arts councils are great sources not only of grant monies but also of information. They provide seminars on artist professionalism, and they keep artist registries which are accessed by organizations across the country.

And, when looking for residencies, try This website is wonderful because it gives a comprehensive listing of residencies by country.

If you are more interested in an internship than a residency, you need to understand most professional artists use assistants. But the manner in which the relationship is made isn’t standardized. I usually cherry-pick students who have or could develop skills I need in the studio. But, more commonly, students write letters to artists offering to work for them.

Fingers crossed you get an interview, but be aware the artist will determine whether he or she can work closely with you. Respect the fact you’ll not be entering just any studio, but the artist’s private world of art-making. You’ll be living with his or her work habits, not imposing your own.

2. Apply

Manifest Creative Resource Gallery and Drawing Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, invites artists to apply for a residency that provides housing and studio space.

Applications to residencies and even letters inquiring about internships all include the same elements:samples of your work, an artist’s statement and project proposals. Submit the best possible images of your work. The standard number for a set of application images is 10.

Learn basic Photoshop techniques. The full Photoshop application is expensive, but Photoshop Elements isn’t. Take high-resolution images that can be reduced to the specifications of the grant.

Keep your artist’s statement simple and short, under one page. Avoid flights of fancy and poetry and clichés: “I could never have been anything but an artist;” “My paintings are a communion of my soul and yours.” Read your statement aloud, and make sure the sentences actually mean something. Be honest. Don’t brag, but don’t underplay yourself.

The best projects to propose are the ones that are already half finished. If you’ve completed a similar project in the past, so much the better, because you’ll be able to describe the current project accurately. Your objective is to show your project is worthwhile and you’re capable of completing it within the time and budget allotted.

3. Get started NOW!

One final bit of advice: Don’t wait until the last minute! Organize your images and write your three essays. Then the application process won’t be so daunting when an opportunity arises. You’ll easily be able to modify your essays and image selection to fit individual applications. Good luck, artists!

5 Tips on How to Turn a Coloring Book into a Handy Artwork

Coloring Book Creativity

Owls of a Feather, enhanced coloring book page, by Doreen Kassel. Learn how to make your own in Kassel’s adult coloring book, Lush Life Creative Coloring!

No longer an activity just for kids, coloring books can be relaxing, meditative and a great way to get in touch with your creative side. They are especially great resources for those of us who don’t yet have advanced artistic skills or a lot of free time on our hands.

And, because coloring books are pretty much one of the coolest inventions on the planet—at least in my opinion—there is even a national holiday dedicated to them: National Coloring Book Day on August 2.

Create a Mottled Background

Before you begin coloring, spray acrylic ink onto the page in various colors until you achieve the palette you want. Stand back to get a finer mist, and closer to get a thicker cover.

Be sure to cover your workspace to protect it from the spray. Give the page time to thoroughly dry before you move on to coloring.

Spray acrylic ink directly onto the page to create a mottled background.

Add Texture and Patterns with PanPastels

Create various textures and patterns by using a PanPastel tool to apply dashes of PanPastel across the page. White space can be left exposed or the whole page can be enveloped in color—it’s up to you.

Apply PanPastels across the page to create patterns and texture.

Add Details with Liquid Frisket

Create spiral designs, or any fun design you wish using Liquid Frisket and a Frisket Nib Tool. Be careful not to make it too intricate though, because the Frisket can be hard to control when painting finer lines.

Embellish with Highlights

Create select highlights on your coloring pages with white opaque paint and a fine-tipped brush.

Apply highlights with white paint and a fine-tipped brush.

Splatter It

Splatter liquid eraser or white acrylic paint across your coloring page using a palette knife and toothbrush. If you choose to use paint, it should be a loose consistency. It’s a good idea to experiment a bit with the splatter technique first to avoid any unwanted blobs. Create a splatter effect with white paint and a toothbrush.

Whether you decide to solely focus on trying to color within the lines, or try out some of Kassel’s creative tips, we hope you join us in celebrating this colorful holiday. Happy National Coloring Book Day, artists!

Ready to Draw a Good Cat? Colored Pencil Tips That You Will Use

Draw a Realistic Cat, Starting Meow!

Have you ever followed a bread crumb trail when scouring the internet which lead to watching hours-worth of funny cat videos on YouTube? It’s OK. We are all friends here. I have done it, too — and on more than one occasion.

Although this post doesn’t include any funny cat videos (though you may want to venture off to YouTube cat land after this), it will focus entirely on cats. Because when it comes to drawing our feline friends like a pro, forms and shares are everything.

If you want to learn how to draw realistic cats, or just practice your shapes and forms, then keep on reading! Below, artist Mark Menendez shares the most important aspect of drawing this popular subject. But if cats aren’t your thing, don’t worry. His tips can be applied to other subjects as well. Enjoy!

Colored Pencil: Understanding Basic Forms

Animal portraits created with colored pencil techniques are a popular subject in my classes and seminars, and many of my students want to learn how to draw cats. Whether shorthair or longhair, the feline form can be challenging.

The bulk of art instruction books and videos, especially those demonstrating colored pencil, focus on detail. I prefer instruction that focuses on basic forms. While the handling of detail is essential in any work of art, it is only one element in creating a drawing or painting of merit.

To me, the capturing of form, through a faithful rendering of light and shadow, is much more vital than detail. Therefore, as I teach, I have always put emphasis on first capturing form, whatever the subject, as revealed by the direction, position, quality and temperature of the light source illuminating the subject, and then applying the detail.

In Fox Hollow (colored pencil) by Mark Menendez, you can see how the same colored pencil techniques are applied to a different animal.

The use of basic forms is almost always included in the first few pages of every beginner drawing book or video. Yet I find students, whether my young artists or my “seasoned citizen” students, often want to skip past that section of the instruction.They prefer to get right to the details.

In my opinion, they’re skipping the stage of the drawing that renders the illusion of three dimensions. Why is this so?

Consider this: When someone sets out to bake a birthday cake, you wouldn’t start by mixing the icing and decorating by piping the borders, leaves and flowers. No, you would bake the cake first!

The two layers, one stacked upon the other, is the form upon which all the icing, borders, leaves and flowers is built. You can’t decorate without that foundational form underneath. And so it is with any three-dimensional subject you draw or paint.

Be One with Nature

The basic forms found most often in nature are the sphere, cone, cylinder and cube. When you observe the four basic forms, you may discover they each have a distinctive “shadow shape.”

Many times the shadow shape on a spherical form is in the shape of a crescent; the cone, a triangular shadow; the cube is identified by a quadrangular shadow shape; and on the cylinder, the shadow runs in a rectangular fashion, running along the sides of the form.

The feline form, as observed, can be created from the sphere (the head and body); the cone (the ears, snout and feet); and the cylinder (the legs and tail). After sketching a cat using the basics forms, you then observe the shadows and render the shadow shapes as observed on your subject,

With the shadows in place, then you can add the fur texture, features, and other details, As I repeat so often in my class, “Form first, details last!”

Want More Cat Drawing Tips?

It is easier than you may think to render lifelike cat drawings in colored pencil. In fact, in Mark Menendez’s video workshop, Colored Pencil Animals: How to Draw a Cat, he demonstrates techniques for making vibrant color, including scumbling, layering and blending; how to create form and shadow; lessons for drawing fur, whiskers and eyes; and more.

And speaking of eyes, check out the preview trailer below for an inside look into how Menendez captures that realistic sparkle, while getting a little creative with his color choices.

Breaking the Rules When You Come to Photography and Fine Arts

Want to learn the dos and don’ts for painting from photos? You’re in luck! Artist Timothy Jahn raises a few good points on why we should be open to painting from photographs, what kind of things to be watchful of when you do, and the different kind of images you can get from point-and-shoot, phone, and DSLR cameras.

And, if you love painting landscapes but haven’t mastered working with photos, Jahn’s insights serve as a great warm up to the Paint Along collection, Paint Stunning Landscapes from Photos with Johannes Vloothuis. Teach yourself alongside Johannes and see if painting from photographs is right for you and your art. Enjoy!

Painting from Photographs Makes Sense

It seems as though people have been arguing about the use of photography in fine art since it became an option. Many artists feel as though using photography or painting from photographs is cheating, or they are misled regarding the use of the tools.

I’m reluctant to learn new technology, but happy when I do. Yes, I use digital photography as part of my reference gathering techniques. And while it’s true digital photography was not available to Rembrandt, that’s not going to stop me. I also use Penicillin, multivitamins, and light bulbs.

Some inventions just make sense to utilize. We all have to make a choice between the tools available to us and our enjoyment of our process. If you get excited about only working from life, by all means, keep doing it.

Now that you all know that I am a big giant cheater, here are some of the tools I have used and some suggestions for those of you who are considering dancing with the dark arts of photography.

There are so many choices in cameras, looking at all the options can be overwhelming. Many websites about cameras are written for photographers or photography students.

While several artists quietly work from photo reference, they don’t often share opinions on the tools they use because they want to stay out of the debate on the subject.

Consequently, there is little sharing available to aid in your research. Your primary decision is between a point-and-shoot camera or a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

If you’re pursuing painting as a hobby and are looking to use photo references, a simple point-and-shoot camera may be a good choice for you. There are many wonderful choices and even some that work really well underwater.

There are advantages to a point-and-shoot camera. Due to the size, it’s easy to slip one into your pocket and head out looking for great subjects. You can get in the habit of bringing one along for any sudden inspiration (scroll down for another solution for this).

Another big advantage is price. For the most part, they’re cheaper than a DSLR, although some options are at the high-end.

With your point-and-shoot, you will also be able to take pictures in auto mode. While the quality of images produced varies greatly from camera to camera, they generally shoot quite well in this way.

Venice Love Letter (above) is a painting I completed from a series of photos taken with an Olympus Tough TG-310. During my honeymoon, I had a problem with my DSLR. I left the battery charger on my kitchen table.

Fortunately, my wife Holly always travels with a simple point-and-shoot. I was able to create a painting from photographs when I got back into the studio based on several nice photos I shot with her camera. As Holly and I walked around Venice, I found tons of fantastic spots and so much inspiration for paintings.

DSLR Cameras

If you’re pursuing an art career and are willing to take the time to learn how to operate a new piece of technology, a DSLR might be a good choice for you. Due in part to the larger sensor size, the DSLR camera has the advantage in image quality.

You also have the option to use a multitude of lenses, which makes a DSLR hugely adaptable and allows you to get a higher quality image for the subjects you’re painting. I use an 85mm lens to shoot portrait and standard 50mm for still life.

Likewise, if I were interested in doing wildlife images, I could use the same camera with a 500mm lens to shoot animals from a great distance.

Above is a figure in an interior I completed using photos from a relatively simple Canon 300D Digital Rebel. While I may have really enjoyed painting this from life, the situation didn’t allow it.

I had limited time in this space and my model was living in Atlanta, so it became necessary to work from photos. The camera I used was the first DSLR I owned. While it was not anywhere near as advanced as the current entry-level cameras are, it worked very well and was wonderful to learn on.

Many cameras have predesigned automatic modes that do a lot of the work for you. The DSLR, however, is designed with a photographer in mind and allows you to control your own settings in manual mode.

You will be able to fully adjust the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. This is really where the learning curve is, but if you invest the time, the control is worth it. As you gain skills and confidence with the camera, you will be able to minimize the adverse effects of creating paintings from photographs.

Finding a Balance: Photography and Fine Art

There are many wonderful camera companies, although I’m most comfortable with Canon. Some of my apprentices have recently purchased the Canon EOS Rebel T5, and it takes great photos. Nikon makes wonderful products as well. Our studio uses an entry level DSLR D3100 by Nikon and the images are easy to work from.

Keep in mind, if you buy a DSLR learn how the operating system works, and purchase lenses for that system. You are setting yourself up for the chance to upgrade within that company. So you may want to have a long-term look at the situation and pick a company that you can grow with.

I purchased my first Canon in 2004 and have gradually upgraded. After getting accustomed to the first camera, I purchased an 85mm lens for portrait photography, which I still use.

The final image I wanted to share with you was completed with a photo from an iPhone. You probably already own a piece of technology such as this, which allows you to become very reactive to your impulses.

While I had several methods available to complete this painting, including doing it from life, I wanted to see if I could get a good image with the camera I have at my disposal every day.

Art has always been intertwined with technology. There was a time when frescos were the best thing in art, and some crazy monk came up with oil paint. Could you imagine if Leonardo da Vinci was like “Nah, I’m not going to use that new oil painting stuff because fresco is the real art?”

Don’t feel guilty if you want to explore or utilize technological advancements or create paintings from photographs. Just remember why you started to draw in the first place — likely it was for fun and expression. If your artworks display what your true interests are, the viewers will enjoy them immensely!

Color Art Stability Machine

When you get the opportunity to go behind the scenes with paint-makers and manufacturers–you take it! Explore Winsor & Newton’s “Art Machines,” which pull back the curtain to reveal the company’s unique investment in craftsmanship, research and development of premium paints.

Stability in Your Work

The right materials matter to any artist. But how do you guarantee your paint performs well every time you use it? Winsor & Newton test their paint rigorously to make sure you can rely on a perfect finish. And now you can get a first look at how this level of precision is achieved. They’ve just released some must-watch footage showing the machine precision that goes into developing their Professional Acrylic range.

It’s thanks to rigorous in-depth research and development that Winsor & Newton can deliver such precisely engineered products. Their commitment to innovation in materials involves rigorous testing at their London laboratory.

It’s where the colour stability machine comes into play. Last post, we looked at how the Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic range is analyzed to ensure exactly the right level of opacity. This time around you have the chance to see the technology they use to guarantee colour stability in every one of their paints.

The colour stability machine is an advanced piece of equipment that helps ensure each batch will keep its vibrancy of colour for up to five years from purchase–while maintaining perfect consistency. Paints are incubated at extreme temperatures inside the appliance and carefully monitored for how they perform under duress.

To begin the test, wet paint is loaded into beakers. These are then placed in the colour stability machine on a sliding metal shelf. Once the door is closed, the temperature is turned up. Then the paint is cooled and tested. Next, the paint is frozen and thawed and checked again for any changes in its colour or texture. This test ensures the paint can perform after it’s been subjected to a range of different conditions.

It’s thanks to the Winsor & Newton “colour men” based at the company’s London headquarters that new paints are brought to this testing stage. These colour experts work on developing vibrant colours, and are helped in this by an in-house artist. Such a wealth of experience ensures the highest quality paint.

Making the acrylic paint itself is a four-stage process that begins with the pigment and wetting agent being combined into a pigment paste. The paste is then mixed with beads and ground. Next the ground paste is combined with emulsion and water to make acrylic; and, finally, any excess air is removed from the paint.

This is just one of the ways Winsor & Newton guarantee exceptional quality in their Professional Acrylic range. Check out their other test videos and discover more about their pursuit of perfection.

Instagram for Artists Why Hashtags are Important?

If you’re an artist, Instagram is great for sharing your artwork. This powerful platform can increase your exposure and allow you to engage with people who appreciate your art. This increased exposure and reach can lead to more sales of your art/

However, artists must know how to fully take advantage of this visual social space. And, using hashtags correctly is one such way to boost your chances of success. Here’s why.

What is a Hashtag?

Back in the day, the symbol # was primarily recognized as the pound sign. By now, you’ve probably heard that this symbol preceding a word or phrase is known as a hashtag. Hashtags (often referred to as “tags”) can be single words or phrases.

Capital letters may be used to make phrases easier to read, and hashtags can also contain numbers and even emojis (the heart is the most common) but never spaces or special characters. Basically, think of a hashtag as a keyword or search term.

How Do They Work?

Anyone who clicks on a hashtag is taken to a stream of all posts that have also included that particular tag. Searches can be done for anything created as a hashtag.

The right combination of hashtags helps expose you and your work to a larger but also targeted audience by making what you’re specifically offering easier to find.

Being searchable in this way also tends to impact the number of people who follow you. If you’re trying to increase your exposure and build your art business, this is always a good thing, too.

Where Should You Put Hashtags?

Hashtags can be included in your caption. But, some Instagram marketers feel this creates a cluttered look. And, as artists, we’re all about the visual appeal!

An alternate and equally effective way of placing hashtags in your posts is to put them in the comments. This way, you’re still getting the benefits of the hashtags without bombarding your followers with tons of pound signs in the initial caption. The ultimate win-win, if you ask me!

What Is the Ideal Number to Use?

The answer to this question is highly debatable. Instagram allows users to place up to 30 hashtags per post — that’s a lot of hashbrowns…er, hashtags! But, few experts advise using this many. Some say only two are ideal; others suggest using five to 11.

I recommend testing out both theories, each for roughly a month or so, and seeing which way brings you the most exposure.

Which Hashtags Should You Use?

This may sound obvious, but look to what you’re posting when crafting tags. If you’re posting a photo of your studio, consider: #studio, #artinspiration, #artiststudio, #creativetime or even #metime. A watercolor painting of a seascape might get: #watercolor, #watercolorart, #beach or #seascapes.

Simply be mindful that your tags are relevant. A handy tip is to wait for Instagram to recognize what you are entering because it will start to auto-populate the hashtag (and any that might be related to what you have typed thus far) and show you how many times it has been used before.

In addition to auto-populating tags within your actual post, you can also search for a tag in Instagram within the magnifying glass section at the bottom. As you type, Instagram will auto-populate results, showing existing tags and also letting you see a stream of the total number of posts in which the tag has been used. This is a quick way to see which tags are more popular.

Keep in mind, though, some common tags may be so popular your post has a good chance of being buried in the stream. Sometimes a less common but more targeted tag will draw exactly the people you’re trying to reach. Try experimenting with a combination of popular and more niche tags — #watercolorportrait vs. #portrait — as well as general tags such as #artistsoninstagram.

When Should You Make Your Own?

Creating a tag for your brand or art-business name is also a good practice to consider. Although this tag will not be too searchable when you first use it, in time those who follow you can find your work easily in one place. You can direct others to use your branded hashtag as well, such as in situations where they’ve hung your work, or when they want to share your art with others.

Moreover, if you’re running a contest or campaign, you can use an existing hashtag — such as #watercolorwednesday or #shareyoursky — or, you can create one specific to your campaign to engage followers.

We created #artistsnetspotlight to encourage our followers to tag us with their art for a chance to be featured in our ongoing artist spotlight campaign. (Check out an example of this campaign above.)

Popular Hashtags for Artists on Instagram

In addition to directly searching via Instagram, you can search “popular hashtags for artists” through search engines for articles and lists filled with options to consider. Also, two fun tools to use when deciding on hashtags are and RiteTag. These tools provide you with analysis of any hashtag and also give you the top related tags to consider, helping you with even more ideas.

Using hashtags in your Instagram posts increases your following, strengthens your art business and makes what you long to share with the world easier to find. Remember to keep your tags relevant, and use a combination of popular and niche tags.

Finally, spend a bit of time researching the most appropriate tags for your unique needs. And, consider using tag searches to see what other artists are doing and to engage with like-minded creatives.


How to Draw a Face Expression

One of the many challenging aspects of drawing is that if you want to learn how to draw a face, it’s not really just one subject you need to learn, it’s many. This is because faces showing different emotions hardly look the same.

A happy face looks very different than a sad face, or a surprised face. And on top of this, of course, no two people’s faces are the same to begin with. (No one said drawing would be easy!) To help, we’re here with advice about how to draw facial expressions that will “wow” your viewer.

In this article, you’ll discover how the face changes when it takes on six of the most universally recognized emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, anger and disgust.

For a much more in-depth lesson on this topic — including a breakdown of the all-important muscles that create these expressions — check out the Summer issue of Drawing magazine. This issue includes an article by veteran instructor Jon deMartin, titled “Expressions of the Face.”

Drawing Facial Expressions: Six Essential Emotions

post was adapted from an article by Jon deMartin, featured in Drawing magazine.

The facial muscles can produce an almost infinite number of expressions as they contract or relax. Some expressions are emphatic, others subtle. True expressions are involuntary and convey the emotions a person is feeling. False expressions do not; they can be used as a mask or cover.

You can become familiar with facial expressions by using a mirror to look for the action of the muscles on your own face. Many cartoonists keep a mirror handy so they can assume any expression they want when illustrating their characters.

To illustrate the most common facial expressions, I created several drawings of Christophe, a model who has a unique ability to transform his face.

I first drew Christophe in a neutral state, with no facial muscle contractions or discernible expression (see above). We can compare this neutral face to the subsequent expressive faces to determine what actions and movements have taken place.


When we express happiness, the corners of the mouth are pulled up, out and back. Additionally, thenasolabial furrow — the furrow of skin that passes from the top of the wing of the nose down to the corner of the mouth — is pulled in the same direction as the mouth and is deepened.

The fronts of the cheeks are raised and puffed, producing wrinkles under the lower eyelid. The eyes narrow, and the lower face is widened and lifted.


When we express sadness, the inner ends of the eyebrows are raised and drawn together, which usually inclines the eyebrow. Horizontal skin wrinkles develop on the center of the forehead only.

The medial ends of the folds covering the eye — that is, the ends nearer to the middle of the face — are pulled up. The lateral parts of those folds, closer to the edges of the face, are pulled down. The angles of the mouth are pulled down at the corners, lengthening the “long face” of sadness.


When our faces show surprise, the brows are raised straight up and arched. The upper eyelids are raised in more intense versions of surprise, and the white above the iris shows.

The lower jaw drops with the mouth open, the lips relax, and the face lengthens.


In fear, the brows are raised and drawn together; they become straight and horizontal, with a kink at the medial ends near the center of the face.

Wrinkles develop across the entire forehead. The mouth is usually open. The entire lower face widens and flattens, producing high, rigid folds on the front and sides of the neck.


When our muscles express anger, the medial ends of the eyebrows are pulled down and drawn together. The nostrils flare; the mouth squares, exposing the teeth; the lips tense; and the neck becomes engorged.


The last emotion we’ll study here is disgust. In this expression, the middle portion of each side of the upper lip is pulled up, and the skin on the bridge of the nose becomes wrinkled.The front of the cheeks rise and bulge, and wrinkles develop below the lower eyelid.

Because the lower eyelid is pushed upward by the rising cheek, the eye opening becomes narrower. Extreme contraction of these muscles will part the lips, exposing the upper teeth.

Facial expressions, like figure gestures, are fleeting. But with knowledge of the underlying muscles and plenty of thoughtful practice, we can draw them with conviction, widen our creative horizons and convey the entire spectrum of human emotion.

7 Paintings From Opening Described

The Young Pope is a new drama television series created and directed by one of my favorite directors – Paolo Sorrentino (known for Great Beauty) for Sky Atlantic, HBO, and Canal+. If you haven’t checked it yet, I highly recommend you to try. The young pope, Pius XIII (real name: Lenny Belardo, played by Jude Law) is an illiberal orphan who smokes like a chimney and drinks cherry Diet Coke. His mission is to restore the authority to the church. He installs the nun who raised him (Diane Keaton) as his chief of staff and proposes to boost the quasi-divine mystique of the office by rationing his appearances in the style of JD Salinger or Daft Punk.

Everything takes place in Vatican (of course…), so the sets are just beautiful. There are also a lot of references to art, architecture, culture… Just watch the episodes’ opening:

Do you know all the masterpieces shown there? No? It seems that they are the clue to the episodes’ narrative, but maybe we won’t give you spoilers, only a short info about them – that should be enough. So here you are, all of the paintings deciphered:

1. Gerard van Honthorst, The Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. In painting it is often combined with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title. This painting was destroyed in 1993 by Italian Mafia in Via dei Georgofili bombing.

2. Pietro Perugino, Delivery of the Keys

The scene, part of the series of the Stories of Jesus on the chapel’s northern wall, is a reference to Matthew 16 in which the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” are given to Saint Peter. These keys represent the power to forgive and to share the word of God thereby giving them the power to allow others into heaven.

3. Caravaggio, Conversion on the Way to Damascus

This painting depicts the moment recounted in Chapter 9 of Acts of the Apostles when Saul, soon to become the apostle Paul, fell down on the road to Damascus. He heard the Lord say “I am Jesus, whom you persecute, arise and go into the city”. Tge scene shows the very moment Paul is overcome with the spirit of Jesus Christ and has been flung off of his horse.

4. The Council of Nicaea

The First Council of Nicea was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom. Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the nature of the Son of God and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea, establishing uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law.

5. Francisco Hayez, Peter the Hermit riding a white mule with a crucifix in his hand and circulating through the cities and villages preaching the Crusade

Peter the Hermit was a priest of Amiens and a key figure during the First Crusade. The legend say that Peter the Hermit was the true author and originator of the First Crusade, although later Catholic historians disagreed with it. Everything happened because during an early visit to Jerusalem some time before 1096, Jesus appeared to Peter the Hermit and bade him preach the crusade among the paupers.

6. Gentile da Fabriano, St. Francis Receiving Stigmata

Here, St. Francis is receiving the stigmata of Christ, whom he sees in the form of a seraph (yes, this is how seraphs looked like in Middle Ages and at the beginning of Renaissance) while praying on Mount Alverno.  That’s a classic manner of representation of St. Francis – first time presented this way by Giotto around 1300.

7. Mateo Cerezo, St. Thomas of Villanueva Distributing Alms

St. Thomas of Villanova was a Spanish friar of the Order of Saint Augustine who was a noted preacher, ascetic and religious writer of his day. He became an archbishop who was famous for the extent of his care for the poor of his see.