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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Aug-17 > Brushes and canvas

Brushes and canvas

Ian Cryer, president of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, shares his thoughts on canvas and brushes, how one affects the other and how his techniques have developed over the years

There are many elements that affect the development of our painting technique and style, apart from our personality and conscious intentions. One of the things that keeps painting interesting and challenging is the gap between what we set out to achieve and the actual work that results. An intense and evergrowing knowledge of the craft of painting is a cornerstone in developing an ability to express freely the world around us, including an intimate familiarity with the materials we use.

Canvases

I have used the same Belgium linen canvas for nearly 40 years and I have only recently ventured away from it. Increasingly I find that I don’t have as much time available for making up canvases, although for me that is part of the actual preparation for making pictures, along with the mental process. There was also the realisation that many notable artists work on readymade boards and canvases and I questioned why I was going to all that expense and time just because that’s what I always do.

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About The Artist

Watercolourists will love award-winning featured artist Janet Kenyon's city scenes and learning more about her approach and working methods, whilst practical watercolour articles include Paul Riley's focus on the importance of the negative shapes within your paintings and Paul Talbot-Greaves' inspirational demonstration showing how to place the warm and cool colours for best effect in your landscape compositions. Paul also sets you this month's painting challenge. More watercolour articles by Judi Whitton show you new ways to capture the effect of summer foliage, while Barry Herniman reveals the contents of his plein air sketching kit and demonstrates a bright summer scene featuring woods and water. Jo Quigley shows how a systematic approach can help to achieve a realistic seascape in acrylics, Haidee-Jo Summers explains how to exploit shape and suggestion in your oil paintings to maintain a painterly style, Martin Kinnear demystifies perspective, and we welcome back Aine Divine who provides an infectious account of how to complete a mixed media flower painting that you'll definitely want to try for yourself! Ian Cryer suggests that a break with old habits can open the way to refresh your painting style, Phil Tyler encourages you to explore the art of the self-portrait, Liz Seward shares her love of working with watercolour pencils, and David Questa shares his love of busy urban scenes that will see you reaching for your drawing materials. All this and more to keep you inspired and full of new drawing and painting ideas over the summer months!
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