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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > March 18 > Exercises in line and wash

Exercises in line and wash

Quick still-life studies in the studio are a great way of keeping skills sharp for plein-air painting. Paul Weaver shares his approach, focusing on sketching in pen and wash
Old Barn, Windrush, line and wash on Bockingford Rough 140lb (300gsm), 10×14in (25.5×35.5cm).

A typical landscape subject with dark trees revealing a sunlit building. The composition is very similar to that of a studio still life, showing how one informs the other

My early attempts at finding subjects for plein-air painting were a struggle. I would arrive on location full of enthusiasm, and would still be searching for the perfect view an hour later. Of course, it takes time and lots of practice to develop creative vision, along with the skills and understanding of various media to express it. My eureka moment was going back to still life.

At the time, still life didn’t inspire me at all; I had received a new brush pen and wanted to try it out with a line and wash sketch in the studio before heading off outside. I simply drew what was laying on the table: tubes of paint, brushes, my coffee mug.

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About The Artist

Water-based media enthusiasts will find huge inspiration and masses of great advice from professional artists Hazel Soan, Jake Winkle, Cheryl Culver, Paul Weaver and Marie Antoniou this month. Hazel explains how to translate tones into watercolour on paper to maximise the effects of light and shade in your paintings; Jake reveals the watercolour techniques he recommends to paint texture and patterns in animals; Cheryl demonstrates a coastal scene in acrylics; Paul urges you to try quick studies in line and wash to keep your en plein air skills in tip top condition while Marie demonstrates how to use tube black to best effect in your acrylic paintings! Learn more from Adele Wagstaff about the structure of the lower limbs and feet to help improve your figure painting, and the colours to use for skin tones for your coloured pencil portraits from Alyona Nicklesen. With more features on pastel painting, detailed still lifes, a new technique to try and oil painting demonstrations from Peter Graham and Bob Brandt, whatever your favourite subject matter or medium you're bound to find loads to inspire you in this month's issue!
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