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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > July 19 > PROVENCE


Ian Sidaway returned to Provence for inspiration for a set of paintings for a recent Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours exhibition. He describes how he painted them – and includes tips on entering open competitions
Cassis, watercolour on Saunders Waterford Not 425gsm, 141⁄4X251⁄2in (36X65cm)

Provence is exciting aesthetically, it looks good and the light is good, and there are good things to paint at every turn. But how to find a way to depict it that is unlike the countless images made of the place before? That’s the perennial problem that faces any artist visiting a subjectrich and readily identifiable place, be it Venice, Tuscany or Provence. I needed four paintings to make up my set for the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour exhibition in April.

Although I worked with an open mind, four images kept recurring; two were pretty specific, whilst two left room for a little experimentation. The first was of olive trees or vineyards, the second was a hill town, the third was of the ochre quarries at Roussillon and the last was of the dramatic rocky headland that overlooks Cassis.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the July issue of The Artist full of practical features by our top team of artist-contributors to inspire your own drawing and painting. Learn how David Taylor captures light effects in watercolour, perfect your brushwork with Hazel Soan, paint a summer rose in five easy stages, and street scenes full of life and colour. Enjoy demonstrations on how to create depth in your landscapes, use pastels to express texture, paint a backlit treescape in acrylics, and how to develop compositions from original reference material. Robert Dutton and Judi Whitton offer advice on how to avoid overworking and make the right choices to ensure successful compositions, while Martin Kinnear explains how to manage colour for visual design purposes. There's also a wealth of information about competitions to enter, exhibitions to see, special offers, art world news, courses and holidays and advice on promoting your own work. Whatever your preferred subject matter or medium, there's something for everyone and plenty of ideas to try in your own work this month.