How-to Presentations for Artists

These presentations were given in a series of workshops for Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) members. They are free for personal, non-commercial use only; for any re-use of the content please cite Kevin Messer and this website as the source of the material.

Part 1: Computer Monitor Color Management (754k PDF)

Part 2: Printer Color Management (901k PDF)

Photographing Your Artwork (578k PDF)

Give it Your Best Shot, Part 1 (588k PDF)

Give it Your Best Shot, Part 2 (2.4mb PDF)

Digital Documentation (521k PDF)

Websites Workshop (1mb PDF)

All of the PDF files have been updated to display properly on the Apple iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices. Depending on your browser, you may need the free Acrobat Reader to print.


Digital Art

In 2003, I started to experiment with Digital Art. The reasons are found in the brief description of “Making it Better,” while a more general description of the process is found through the following: What is Digital Art?



When I was an art student, I received lots of encouragement to express my visual creativity. I read lots of books on techniques and I studied other artists. I did not, however, receive any practical guidance on how to make a living as an artist — I learned the hard way what “starving artist” means. In the September 19, 2005 issue of Newsweek, art professor J.D. Jordon wrote a provocative essay for the My Turn section of the magazine (now found on Medium) entitled, “I'm an Artist, But Not the Starving Kind.” With the subtitle, “We have as much training as other professionals. Imagine if we had their business sense, too,” the essay challenges artists to value their own work. The essay is recommended reading.

Upper Canada Stretchers I use stretcher bars made by Upper Canada Stretchers of Ontario for my paintings. Stretcher bars vary by manufacturer, including the quality of the wood, the precision of the corner miter cuts, the speed and ease with which the bars fit together, the size and fit of the corner keys, even consistency in the length of the bars matching their labeled size — these variations are a sad commentary on the quality of art materials because poor quality materials can be an obstacle to the vision artists strive to create. I discovered UCS bars after months of frustration with other vendor’s stretcher bars; I won’t name the other brands . . . I’m just glad to be using bars that are easy to assemble, the assembled corners form a perfect 90° angle, and the bars are actually the correct length! You can see a partial photo of an assembled Upper Canada Stretchers frame on the Support page.

NAIA logo></a><P><A title= The National Association of Independent Artists is a group whose purpose is to enhance the economic well-being of artists who exhibit their work at high quality outdoor and indoor art and/or fine craft shows, encourage creative expression and artistic excellence, and expand public awareness, appreciation and acquisition of fine art and fine craft.

Ohio Arts Council  The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. The Ohio Arts Council was created in 1965 to “foster and encourage the development of the arts and assist the preservation of Ohio's cultural heritage.” The Council believes the arts should be shared by the people of Ohio. The arts arise from public, individual and organizational efforts. The OAC supports and encourages these efforts.


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