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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > November 18 > Paint a pumpkin

Paint a pumpkin

Paul Talbot-Greaves extolls the benefits of making study paintings as he demonstrates a pumpkin in watercolour in just three main parts


Part of the enjoyment of making study paintings is having the freedom to explore techniques, pigments and colour use without working too hard to achieve your next best painting. You can learn a lot by letting go in this way. Try using a limited palette for instance, or just exploring how colours can be manipulated in various ways.

Changing light

In this study I have chosen to paint pumpkins. Although they are clearly orange in colour, the hue shifts towards yellow, red and violet, depending on the effects of light and shadow. To keep my shades luminous, I refrained from using greys and instead chose to use Winsor violet, either mixed with orange or applied as a transparent layer to allow the orange to show through. When painting subjects that involve high colour saturation and strong light such as this, it is often best to mix violet with local colour to make shadows, as this will keep them dark but vibrant.

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About The Artist

There's a definite seasonal theme in this month's issue as we say goodbye to the UK summer and our contributing artists turn to working with a more autumnal palette in watercolour (Ian Sidaway and cover artist Paul Talbot-Greaves), and pastel (David Allen), whilst Geoff Hunt shows how it's possible to paint watercolours in the rain. Mixed-media enthusiasts will love the demonstrations by Chris Forsey and Soraya French, who shows how to create exciting textures in acrylic landscapes, whilst Robert Dutton urges us to embrace our 'mistakes' as we develop our creativity. For more detailed painting styles, be inspired by Lucy McKie's intricate paintings, and Tim Gustard's photorealist approach to creating the illusion of glass objects. We also include articles on line and wash techniques, 16 invaluable tips from female members of the Royal Watercolour Society, advice on painting the sea and sky in watercolour, how to create a strong focal point, and develop a style of our own. Plus, study our additional 16-page Art Courses & Holidays supplement for great ideas for some personal art tuition in the UK or overseas!