Monday, July 16, 2018

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The lobby of V&A museum.


As usual, we are going to continue with the next place I visited in London, that is Victoria and Albert Museum or much popular with V&A. Victoria and Albert Museum is a museum dedicated to decorative art and now become the world’s largest museum by housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects. My visit to V&A just after short visited to the Natural History Museum for the first time. So the visit to this museum is around 4 hours (of course it’s not enough).

The history of this museum was closely related to the Science Museum as they share the same buildings in their early establishment in 1852. As the collection of arts getting larger and larger the Science Museum needs to separate itself to another location and ended up where it is now.

V&A is a very important museum of arts, even though there are many other art museums and galleries all across London and all around Europe. From its early stage, V&A actively collecting art from other countries includes Europe, North America, Asia, and North Africa. At some points, V&A still have their samples preserved in good condition compared to their original pieces.



Some of the laquerware from all around the world.

Here in V&A, they collected all types of arts from sculptures, paintings, ceramics, glass, textiles, woods, silvers, jewellery, ironwork, prints, photographs, furniture, and many others (yes, all types of arts). That’s what makes V&A one of important museum here in London. It’s opened up your eyes to the whole world of arts, and why it is so important to the development of human cultures.

As usual, you can join in any of their free museum tours conducted by knowledgeable friendly staffs or volunteers. This will speed up your learning process about the topics that they will share. As this museum is so big, you might, unsure where you should start and where it should end, unless you planned it in advanced.

With a total size of 12.5 acres (5.1 ha), V&A consist of 145 galleries - make sure you check the floor plan carefully, if you are looking for something specifics. Here, there are many things to see and learn about. Instead of just looking at the art pieces, here in V&A there always many things to do. Other than special exhibition, there are also courses, family events, workshops, talks and resources for you to learn more about the arts (library of books and items). The whole museum itself is result of beautiful architecture with lots of art on it.

Museum tour with Jeremy Strachan, educative and entertaining.

Important piece from Shah Jahan dynasty, India.

As usual, you are encouraged to visit their website to know more about V&A before you visit it. This will allow you to maximize your experience during your visit. You also can communicate with them if you have any question - so, they will be able to assist you (in case you require something not available on the exhibition).

At the end of the visit, what I can say is - I need to come back to V&A to see more of the things that I missed on my first visit. I also included another photo album of this museum on my fanpage, you can visit it through the link. Wish I have more time on my next visit to V&A.

Kindly share if you have anything to share about this museum in the comments section below, or send it to my email (check the contact form on the web view).


Coloured tiles from Islamic cultures.

Miniature pieces.

One of many sculptures.

11-metre high, blown glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly.


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Monday, July 9, 2018

World of Arts: Watercolour Painting

Great Exhibition - watercolour painting by LOUIS HAGHE (1806-85), by the time photography is still under development. - Photo by: royalcollection.org.uk 


It’s taking a while for me to work on my London visit’s articles and delay many other posts (for V&A and British Museum). Anyway, before I post the next article about Victoria & Albert Museum, I would like to come out with this article first - the watercolour paintings.

Many thoughts that watercolour painting not as good or as pricey as many other paintings especially oils or acrylic paintings. Not to mention about the watercolour techniques that highlighted, mostly showing that watercolour paintings unable to produce photo realistic effect (instead just an illusion of the subjects). In fact, watercolour paintings has been used to record many discoveries/events since long time ago, and I think it’s time again to bring back the watercolour painting to its glory.

Watercolour whether on its own, or use together with other media can really come out with better results. In some cases mixed media were chosen for a few reasons; to speed up the process, to bring out certain effect that cannot be achieved by using only watercolours. There’s no wrong in using the mixed media as long as it’s not ruining the result – or the painting still can last longer for future storage.

Great Exhibition – watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper, John Absolon (1815-95). – Photo by: vam.ac.uk

Botanical painting helps the identification of plant species, and also beautiful. Painted by Julia Trickey - Photo by: doodlewash.com

By using the right watercolour techniques, it’s still possible to show every detail in watercolour painting, especially on how important it is in recording information. Here we will see some samples of watercolour paintings that used to record botanical species of plants and also a painting to record an important event.

Types of watercolour paintings.

Watercolour has various techniques that allow it to produce different results. However, before we get more details on the watercolour techniques, we also need to know there are many types of watercolours. There are few types of watercolour itself (from student grades to artist grades). Other than that, beginner also might get confuse watercolour with gouache and also poster colour. One thing to remember is that watercolour has transparent quality that make it different from any other colouring media.

The good quality watercolour has better transparency and the same time have brighter colour from the colour pigments. Some artist grade watercolour can be very costly - so take your time to practice to make sure before investing on higher price watercolour.

These are some popular watercolour techniques to learn;

  • The wash
  • Wet on wet
  • Wet on dry
  • Dry brush
  • Glazing
  • Lifting off
  • Pigment saturation, pigment desaturation
  • Gloss
  • Mixed media


* Check this link for more watercolour techniques.

You will keep listening these techniques being mentioned when you learn the watercolour techniques through video tutorials. It’s easy to understand, but you need to try it by yourself to master the techniques. Usually one or few of the techniques used together to produce on paintings. We will see that in the next section.

Learn to use watercolour.

As many people think that watercolour is one of the hardest media to use for paintings, so we need to have proper training in mastering the watercolour techniques. Luckily, with the availability of YouTube, many watercolour artists share their techniques through video tutorials that make it easier for us to learn. So here, I will share few watercolour artists that I found through YouTube where we can learn so many things from them.

Before we go any further, all we need to remember is, there’s no limitation on the techniques that we should use with watercolour. So we need to explore as much as we can to know which one is suitable with our drawing styles.

Anna Mason

Anna Mason’s painting of apple blossom. Photo by: Anna Mason

Anna Mason from AnnaMasonArt is one of the best examples of watercolour painter. She wonderfully transforms watercolour painting back to how it was used to be. Anna, successfully producing photorealistic paintings with watercolour. Even though mostly focusing on nature, her paintings are so beautiful and lively – make her customers very proud to have her paintings (prints and the originals).

The best thing about Anna is, she also provided free video tutorials through her website; annamasonart.com, and it’s available to everyone. With Anna’s techniques, it is suitable if you like to paint the nature subjects. This is very important for natural and history paintings.

Mateusz Urbanowicz

Anime style watercolour painting by Mateusz Urbanowicz. - Photo by: Mateusz Urbanowicz

Mateusz is a comic painter located in Japan. He uses lots of watercolours in his paintings. Influenced by Studio Ghibli’s styles of paintings, Mateusz also paints backgrounds for animations, books and magazines. With his styles, we learn different techniques that using watercolours, mixed with black ink pen. You can watch most of his videos from his channel MateuszUrbanowicz on YouTube.

This type of paintings suitable if you want to produce comic style paintings, but it’s still nice for landscape and informational brochures. Mateusz also produced a book that illustrated of storefronts in Tokyo with his techniques – that’s I find amazing.

Laovaan

Digital anime styles using watercolour by Laovaan. - Photo by: Laovaan

Laovaan is a stylist watercolour painter. He uses mixed media with contemporary subjects. You will see his painting with bright colours because he used ink watercolours mixed, and sometimes also colour pencils and marker pens. He is popular with his digital style watercolour paintings with manga character styles – this is so popular with manga lovers. You can follow his videos through YouTube channel; Laovaan. He also has his own patreon channel if you want to follow his styles seriously.

Stan Miller

Landscape by Stan Miller using egg tempera technique. – Photo by: Stan Miller

Stan Miller is one of the popular painters in watercolour and egg tempera medium. Instead of just doing a painting he also conducted classes throughout US and sometimes overseas. His art not focusing on to be photo-realistic, but truly amazing to watch. To know more about his techniques you can visit his YouTube channel; Stan Miller, visit his website; stanmiller.net or search his name on the YouTube – because there are videos about his work on different channels too.

There are many other amazing watercolour painters out there where we can learn. Learning from different painters will allow us to explore as many possibilities as we can, to come out with styles that suits us. Even though we want to create the best art with our works, don’t forget the most important elements doing it - enjoy it! Sharing your works and your thoughts on the comment section below or send it to my email using the contact form (available on web version view).


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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Science Museum, London

At the entrance on the Science Museum


The Science Museum is another major attraction in London all together with few other museums that located nearby where it is located. Even though I thought I could not visited on my short visit to London, I actually stopped in this museum for 2 hours to get the ideas how is it looks like.

Same as any other museums, the Science Museum has a long history and how in ended on where it is located now. Start as part of the Royal Society of Arts and the surplus items from the Great Exhibition in 1851 in the same building that today known as Victoria and Albert Museum. It also was known as the Museum of Patents in 1858, and the Patent Office Museum in 1863. As the collection of the Art Museum became larger, the Science Collections were separated on 26 June 1909 and start to be known as the Science Museum.

One of the giant steam engines at the Energy Hall.

The Science Museum, where it is located today was designed by Sir Richard Allison, and open in a few stages over the period of 1919-28. The construction that has begun in 1913 was temporarily halted by the World War 1. However, it was resumed and keep on expanding with additional blocks to accommodate more galleries until 1980. The last additional Wellcome Wing was added in 2000 to extend it to the Queen’s Gate.

Same as many other major museums in London, this museum is very big. It is important to study a little bit about the museum before the visit. If there are any specific things that you want to see, it is more important to know where it is located (which gallery and which floor). It is also important to check on their website for gallery closures to make sure the item that you want to see is open to the public – or else you can contact the museum to get a permission.

Material used in producing products.

Interesting Invention - what is it?

On my short visit to this museum, what I can see is the different approaches of presentation in the exhibition. There are so many items in every gallery (and most of them are so important in order for us to understand about the development of certain technologies). There are few places where I wish more information to be provided (however, I can do extra research about it from the internet or some of it already available through this museum own online resources).

There are many interesting features available that also adds different experiences here in the Science Museum as there are many hands-on items to the IMAX 3D theatre. Different styles of presentation in order to enhance understanding of the viewers for the related topics. All of these features make it suitable for visitor of all ages - and make it guaranteed suitable for a family visit.

Historical item.

Time gallery exhibition.

There are many galleries available with different topics and different kind of approaches and for more details you can see it from this link. As I only visited a small part of the museum, I can’t tell the details of the whole museum (but base from the part that I visited) and at the same time I did go through their website to know more about this museum - and that’s how I know they have good online resources.

I do love science as I do love nature (as I spend more time at the Natural History Museum) and I wish to spend a whole day here if I can - maybe in my next visit. Here I also have some photos I posted at my fanpage. There is also few other post that you might find interesting of my visit to KewGardens, NaturalHistory Museum and Royal Institution.

If you are in London, don’t miss your chance to visit this museum as this is one of important attractions – located in the main attraction area. You also can make your donation to the museum, donate an object, join volunteering and many more to contribute to this museum. All the details can be found in their website www.sciencemuseum.org.uk. If there is any information you want to add to this article please feel free to write in the comment or send it to me through the request form (only available on the web view).



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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Royal Institution, London


The building of Royal Institution in the Albemarle Street.

There are lots of things that I want to do when I visited London (but I only have a short period of time). After taking a look at several places around the city, it was decided that other important places to visit in London will be Royal Institution of Great Britain (often abbreviated as the Royal Institution or Ri). There is another different organization that known as Royal Society - that actually different, as Royal Society more dedicated as learned society.

There are few important things that we need to visit this special place; for its histories of science development and also for notorious remarkable yearly events that introduce by Royal Institution that known as Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Since my visit was in May, I can only visit for the regular lectures that also interesting. The lectures held in its historical lecture hall; where Michael Faraday first introduced in 1825. Today, you need to become a member and then book in advance for the ticket ballot – it’s more like a lottery now!

The invention of Davy lamp safe coal miner’s life.

Different type of lamps.

The Royal Institution was founded in 1799 by the leading British scientist of that time. The main purposes of the establishment are for diffusing the knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements; and for teaching, by courses of philosophical lectures and experiments, the application of science to the common purposes of life.

The other thing that really inspiring me here is the Michael Faraday’s Lab in the Faraday Museum in the basement of the Royal Institution Building in the Albemarle Street. This is where Michael Faraday conducted his research about electromagnetism and electrochemistry that leads to many other discoveries. The truth is, his lab was not as good as the lab that we have today, but the impact of his research can be seen in every electrical and electronics devices today.

The Michael Faraday's lab in the basement of the building.

Status of important RI figures.

Thermos flask invented by James Dewer.

Michael Faraday was one of many other scientists and researchers from Royal Institution that contributed countless science knowledge that transform the way how our lives today. The invention of Davy lamp safe many lives of coal miners. While many other inventions and knowledge shared improved science and technology drastically.

Other than the museum, we still can walk around the historical buildings – where there are rooms that use as libraries, the alley that also located books and showcases the presentation by previous researchers explaining about electromagnetics, chemicals, anatomy and so on. There are many other things that happen here (at the time of my visit). For more details of the events, you can visit their website to get the tickets (for lectures); the admission to the Faraday Museum is free.

Historic lecture hall.

Same as my previous visit to Kew Gardens and Natural History Museum, my visit to Royal Institution has also come together with its own photo collection at my fanpage; make sure you visit it. It’s supposed to be another main attraction here in London since its contribution to advancements in human science and technology. All I can do is sharing part of my visit and hopefully it will inspire others to know more about it.






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