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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > October 18 > Painting the lakes

Painting the lakes

Following on from last month’s article, Ian Sidaway makes four watercolour paintings using his on-site reference material


Where do I begin? Even after years of painting pictures the question is not as clear, as formulaic, as you might think. The thought still hits me every time I begin a painting; I want each one to be better than the last and if I look back at a body of work I can see the progress. Technique inevitably gradually improves, visual acuity and decision making becomes more decisive, but complete satisfaction is elusive, and so I move onto the next always with high expectations. Starting a work or a series of paintings is always an enjoyable experience although it is, in my case, always approached with a sense of dealing with the unknown. Nothing is certain.

However, with each and every painting a point is reached, well before it is finished, when I know instinctively whether or not it is going to satisfy my inner critic. The problem comes when, after hours of work, the piece seems to be heading in a direction that I am not happy with; then the hard work really begins. As with all watercolours, the best guarantee of success is to plan ahead and work out a logical sequence of paint application.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the October issue in which many of our top-class artists celebrate painting in a variety of locations in all kinds of weather, from Pete the Street Brown in Havana, to Geoff Hunt who shows how not to let an unpromising day spoil your painting. Our artist-tutors also offer help and advice on colour mixing in oils, how to improve your compositional awareness, use gouache to paint atmospheric landscapes, create luminosity in your paintings by combining cold wax and water-soluble oils, and develop your skills by working in monochrome. Paul Talbot-Greaves suggests a simple exercise to help you loosen up, Julie Collins shows how to mix the right greens for your watercolour paintings, while Glyn Macey invites you to learn from the painting style of Lamorna Birch by following this month's demonstration. Plus, be inspired as we introduce many of this year's The Artist Open Competition amazingly talented prizewinners!