Hello and Welcome to The Art Colony! 

If you're new to this site and you want to learn about all the site's features, you've come to the right place!  This page provides an overview of all the different things you can do here, and how.

First of all, what is The Art Colony?

The Art Colony is a fun, friendly online community for visual artists.

It is 100% FREE to join, and always will be!

The Art Colony is a place to...

  • Share your art
  • Chat about art
  • Improve your skills
  • Ask art-related questions
  • Share your art knowledge
  • Connect with other artists
  • Rejuvenate your creative juices
  • Receive valuable feedback on your art

A world of inspiration, creativity, and artistic expression awaits!

Here are a some tips to help you get started:


You can create a new Art Colony account or sign in with Google, Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo.  This makes joining super easy!  Once a moderator approves your membership and your email address is confirmed, you're in!


Personalize your profile

Start by uploading a profile pic that will represent you on this site.  For best results, make sure it is at least 183 x 183 pixels.  And be sure to click the orange "Save" button at the bottom of the page when you're done!

Your profile is your place to shine.  Tell us about you and your art, and show us what you've got!

By default, your member profile is viewable to the public (which makes it a great way to promote your art).  If you want to make your profile private, click here to find out how to adjust your privacy settings.

You can customize all of the following sections on your profile by clicking "edit" on the right side of each header:

Text Box

Latest Activity

My Artwork

Comment Wall


Once you write your first blog post, join your first group, and participate in your first discussion, the following sections will appear on your profile page:

My Blog

My Groups

My Discussions

If you don't want your blog, groups or discussions to display on your profile page, click the "edit" box next to each one and set it to "Show 0 items".

You can move each of these sections around on your page!  This allows you to choose what sections your page visitors see first.  To move a section, click on the header (the blue streak containing the title) and with the mouse clicked, simply drag and drop the section to where you want it.  You can move sections up and down, and move sections from the middle column to the left column and vice versa.  You can't move anything in the right column though.

Text Box – This is where you can put custom text (including images, links and embedded YouTube videos).  You can even change the words "Text Box" to something else, like "About Me".  This is a great place to promote your art, your website, your workshops, your exhibitions, and anything else you can think of!

Click here to see an example of a customized Text Box.  The whole section underneath the Latest Activity and above the Portfolios is a customized Text Box.

Latest Activity – Choose the number of events that show up, as well as what activities are displayed.

My Artwork – Click "+ Add Artwork" to start adding your paintings, drawings, and mixed media art to your profile.  Once you've uploaded a few pieces, you can display your art on your profile as a slideshow, thumbnails, or portfolios (which is a collection of related art, like an album). The artwork you upload here will be automatically added to the Site Gallery.

Add tags and descriptions so that other Art Colonists may easily find your art in the Gallery.

Please do not upload photographs to the Site Gallery.  While the Art Colony administrators do love photography, there are plenty of photography sites on the Internet and we aim to keep this site focused on arts and crafts.

Digital art is accepted, as long as it fits the following definition: "Computer-generated art that is created by hand (i.e. using a tablet, stencil etc), either from scratch or from a reference source."

Under this definition, photographs that have been slightly tweaked (photo-edited) are not accepted as "digital art" (i.e. running a photograph through a few Photoshop filters and displaying it as a finished work of digital art. We consider this to be photography).

Click here to read more about the distinction between digital art vs digital photo editing, to help determine whether your images belong on this site or a photography site.

If photographs are discovered in the Site Gallery, you will be asked to remove them or a moderator will do it for you.  This is to ensure that the Site Gallery contains only art and crafts.

Image uploads are limited to 5 images per day per person. The daily upload limit resets at midnight Eastern US time (GMT -04:00).

Comment Wall – This is where other Art Colonists can write comments on your profile. You can also write comments back! It's a great way to create a dialogue with visitors to your page. You can choose how many comments you want to appear on your page.

RSS – If you have a blog, a website or a shop that has an RSS feed, enter the RSS feed's URL here. Your most recent feed items will show up on your profile page.  Cool, huh?

Blogs – Blog posts are a great way to share your ideas on art, your works-in-progress, your finished pieces, or even write your own tutorials! Here's a sample blog post that contains several ideas for topics you can blog about.

The focus of blog posts should be about sharing art, ideas and techniques with other artists. Blog posts that include spam or advertising may get deleted or edited by a moderator. Click here to read about what constitutes "spam".

Update your status – At the top of your profile there is a box that asks, "What's new with you, artistically speaking?" This is just a prompt – you can type anything about what you're doing, thinking, or planning - as long as it's art-related!  Just type your current thoughts and hit "update".

Need help? If you need any help customizing your profile, please post in the Site Help forum.  Please note that the site administrators and moderators are not always able to provide one-on-one assistance, but if you post in the Site Help Forum, you have a greater chance of getting a response from your fellow Art Colonists.



You can control how much of your profile others are able to see.  To adjust your privacy settings, click on "Settings" in the top right of your profile:

Then click on "privacy" on the left:

And then adjust your privacy settings as you wish.  Be as incognito as you want - but remember the more things you hide, the less chance you'll have of other Art Colonists finding and connecting with you. 

Change your name and/or location

The Art Colony's pages (including forums and groups) are public, so most pages get indexed by Google. If you are concerned about privacy, you can change your name to a screen name, or use your initials or a nickname. You can also change your location (which appears on your profile page).

To change your name or location, visit your Settings page by clicking the "Settings" link in the top right of your profile:

Or by clicking this link: http://community.art-is-fun.com/profiles/settings/editProfileInfo

You can change your name, country, city and state. If you don't want to choose a specific location, you can change "Country" to "----------------" and then type whatever you want in the "City, State" box (for example, you can type "In the studio", etc).

When you are done, scroll down and click the orange "Save" button. Be sure to click the Save button for the changes to take effect.

Please note that it may take a few days for posts containing your original name to get re-indexed by Google to include your new screen name.


Adjust email settings

You can control the amount of emails you receive from the Art Colony. To adjust your email settings, click on "Settings" in the top right of your profile:

Then click on "Email" on the left:

The boxes that are checked indicate the types of emails you are currently set to receive from the Art Colony.  Uncheck any boxes if you do not wish to receive those types of emails.  Be sure to hit "Save" at the bottom for the changes to take effect.

If you do not want to receive any emails from the Art Colony, check the box at the bottom under "Turn off all emails".

Depending on your email settings, if you leave a comment on an image, a group wall, or reply to a discussion, you may be automatically set to receive email replies to that item. To turn this off, return to the item and click "Stop following" at the bottom:


There are many different ways to interact with other Art Colonists, allowing you to share, learn and help other artists:


The forums focus on several different art media: acrylics, colored pencils, mixed media, oils, pastel, pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor.  For each media, there is a forum for asking questions and sharing tips, as well as a separate "Show & Tell" forum where you can upload your art and ask the community for constructive feedback on your artwork.  There's also a section for Show & Tell on art that doesn't quite fit in with the other media categories.

There is also a forum for general art talk, as well as a Site Help forum for any questions you may have about using the site.

Please read the forum guidelines before posting.  Also familiarize yourself with the Show & Tell Guidelines before posting in a Show & Tell forum.


While the forums focus on various art media, groups are based on different styles and subject matter.  Browse the groups and join the ones that suit your interests.  Each group has its own forum for discussing techniques, asking questions, and sharing inspiration.

Got an idea for a group?  Post your suggestion here.

Monthly Themes

Each month in the General Art Forum, you'll find a Monthly Theme thread where members are given a specific theme to work with that can be interpreted any number of ways. Participating in Monthly Themes can help sharpen your creativity and spark your imagination, all within a friendly learning environment.

Site Gallery

See the work of your fellow Art Colonists in the Gallery!  You can use the search box to search for specific styles, themes, media, etc.  Friend or follow the artists whose work appeals to you. Why not leave them a nice message on their Comment Wall?

Reference Image Pool

Need a reference photo to work from? Got a great photo to share? Check out the Reference Image Pool for a collection of user-contributed photos that you can use in your art.  Read through the Reference Image Pool Guidelines and then jump in!

Make Friends

If you see an artist whose work you connect with, why not add them to your friends list? You can do this going to their profile page and clicking "Add as a Friend", in the left column underneath their profile photo. There are 2 benefits to adding someone as a friend:

  1. You will be able to send them private messages, which is only possible when someone is on your friends list.
  2. A link to their profile will appear in the left column of your profile page, which means you can easily find them again if you want to see their latest artwork, blog post, or other activity.

Plus, if you have the privacy setting for your profile or artwork set to "Friends Only", then the only people who will see them are the people on your friends list.


We each have a unique creative voice - a special perspective or experience that no one else has.  When you contribute to The Art Colony by participating in discussions, uploading your art, writing blog posts and commenting on the work of other members, you help to inspire and educate others!


Do you have artist friends who may be interested in joining The Art Colony? You can invite your artist friends to join the fun by sending them an invitation or a special sign-up link!  Just click on the "Invite" link located in the upper right, below your name.

Support this Site

The Art Colony is totally free and always will be, which allows us to welcome a wonderful variety of members from all over the world.  If you feel that The Art Colony is a real asset to your creative journey, consider supporting this site in the following ways: 

  • If you purchase art supplies from our affiliate partner after clicking on the link below, The Art Colony may receive a small percentage of the sale as a commission.

 Play nicely

Familiarize yourself with the Member Guidelines, which contains important info about what type of art can be uploaded where, as well as what constitutes spamming and what types of behavior may lead to account termination.

Are you seeing everything?

The Art Colony is best viewed with a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher (which is the setting used by 85% of all Internet users). The Art Colony will still function perfectly on a smaller screen size, but the background image will be cut off.  If you want to try adjusting your screen size, click here for more info.


Now that you've read through this guide, you are ready to get started!


Last updated by Thaneeya McArdle Aug 8, 2015.


New to the site? Check out our Guide to Getting Started.

Please take a moment to read our Member Guidelines. Thanks!

Need help?

If you need assistance with this site, please visit the Site Help forum where the moderators and/or other members will assist you.


The Art Colony is a fun online art community for artists of all abilities working in painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture and handicrafts! Join us and share your art, ask questions, receive tips, and make new friends!


It is 100% FREE to join the Art Colony and always will be!


Artist and Owner of The Art Colony                      

The Art Colony is co-run by a fabulous team of enthusiastic moderators:






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