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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > September 19 > Sunlight in watercolour

Sunlight in watercolour

Jake Winkle demonstrates how to capture sunlight and shadows in watercolour to add drama to a scene
Early Morning Trees, watercolour on Arches Rough140lb (300gsm), 91⁄2x121⁄2in (24x32cm). When looking into the light, objects become more a collection of silhouettes than clearly defined details and it is essential to choose a subject that tells the story from its shape alone
Through the Trees, Sidmouth, The Village Green, watercolour on Arches Rough 140lb (300gsm), 121⁄2x181⁄2in (32x47cm). In this painting shadows create the contour of the ground and express the form of the trees

Sunlight and shadows add drama! Together they form stark contrasts and it is shadows that reveal form as they rise and fall with every contour. Shadows are where you will find colour, not in the bleached-out areas of sunlight, but in the reflected coolness and warmth of dark purples, reds and greens. Watercolourists often describe themselves as painters of light but it is truer to say that they are painters of the dark, because rendering a dark reveals the light.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our September issue, packed with inspiration, demonstrations and practical advice for all artists, covering all your favourite media. Our artist-contributors show you how to paint sunlight and shadows in watercolour, capture the effects of sparkling light on water in acrylics, create a balanced composition, while Amanda Hyatt shares her top ten tips for painting rivers and lakes in watercolour. There are also demonstrations on how to paint buildings, capture the texture of fur when painting animals, how to create a simple but dramatic linocut and showing why oils are great for developing still-life compositions in the studio. Seasoned exhibitor Nicholas Poullis offers advice on how to give yourself the best chance of selling your work, Steve Hall urges you to step out of your comfort zone and try a new medium and Haidee-Jo Summers encourages you to take up the #DrawingAugust challenge. Share your sketches with us, too, to win a prize and see your work published in The Artist. There's plenty more too, including the latest news, views, competitions to enter and our test report on the new Winsor & Newton Cadmium-Free watercolours.