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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > June 19 > Laundry day

Laundry day

Paul Talbot-Greaves shows you how to paint an everyday scene in watercolour with bright lights and pockets of shade in just three easy parts

I began by studying the lightest colours of the picture, which were in the laundry and the sky. In order to retain some white paper for the brightest parts of the washing, I decided to cut strips of masking tape instead of using masking fluid, which can often stick firm when spread over larger areas on rough, cotton paper.

Normally I would paint around a shape, but these shapes were numerous with a complicated background, so masking seemed an obvious choice and I was able to paint the background freely without having to work carefully around tight shapes. I used a small squirrel mop to apply semi-wet paint to the hills and distant field, ensuring the shapes didn’t blend or fuse too much. I worked into the wall, mixing colours on the paper and leaving some of the first wash as the light catching the top. I kept each shape damp, working next into the dark green shrub, then the small wall and the lawn, concentrating on the colours, shapes and values and using varying consistencies of paint. When the painting had dried, I used a size 4 squirrel mop brush to apply the cast shadows across the grass and with some thicker, stronger value paint I added the darks and details.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the June issue of The Artist. As we look forward to the UK summer Martin Taylor demonstrates how to paint a seasonal bluebell wood, whilst cover artist, Haidee-Jo Summers, invites us to join her in painting our gardens and focus on capturing light and colour. Learn how to control your watercolour brushwork with Hazel Soan, try sketching on the go with James Willis, bring your waves to life in your coastal scenes with Jenny Aitken, and know when and how to varnish your oil paintings with guidance from Graham Webber. Our top artist-contributors also offer advice, step-by-step demonstrations and inspirational practical features on working from different source material, painting characterful faces, how to select a core palette of colours for landscape painting, the benefits of working with water-mixable oils, the value of a positive wish list, and much more. Enter our various competitions with fantastic prizes up for grabs and understand how to use regular e-newsletters to promote your work with some great tips from our regular gallerist Mark David Hatwood. Enjoy developing your skills in all media with The Artist this month!