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Autumn inspirations

Paul Weaver demonstrates how the warm colouring, soft atmosphere and quality of the autumn light can create irresistible watercolour subjects, with tips on colour choices and equipment
Autumn Light, Chapel Cottage, watercolour on Saunders Waterford High White Rough 300gsm, 10X14in (25.5X35.5cm).

The grouping of buildings, trees, puddle and dramatic shadow on the road made a natural composition, unified by the warm glow of the low afternoon su

I’ve always been inspired by artists who say more with less – both with materials and the subject itself. This is especially important when working en plein air, as travelling light and getting the subject down before the light changes is key to success.

Simplifying

The autumn landscape can be interpreted with a very limited palette, including raw sienna, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson and French ultramarine. I occasionally add Winsor yellow, cadmium orange and cobalt blue, but find that most subjects can be captured with just three or four colours.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our November issue in which our highly talented, experienced artist-tutors challenge you to re-think your approach to complementary colours in watercolour, draw a sight-size self-portrait, capture an autumnal scene in watercolour, dramatise your skies, try graphite techniques, use negative spaces to your advantage, paint a light-filled interior in impressionistic style and master perspective for successful coastal scenes. And that's just for starters! Artist-judge in BBC1's The Big Painting Challenge, Lachlan Goudie, shares his experiences of painting Scotland's shipyards ahead of his forthcoming exhibition, Nick Poullis offers tips on setting up your own gallery, Julie Collins advises on colour choices for yellow, Michele Del Campo test reports Winsor & Newton's Artists' Oil Colours, including his top tips for oils painters, and Peter Burgess takes a practical look at materials for painting and how best to store them. Enjoy another inspirational issue packed with ideas and advice for all artists!