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A touch of body colour

Judi Whitton explains how to introduce opaque media to your watercolours to ‘produce timeless, subtle and harmonious’ paintings

Whilst perusing an old auction catalogue, I noticed a delightful watercolour with the caption ‘Graphite and watercolour heightened with opaque white on grey wove paper’. My heart leapt with joy at the charming picture and the uncomplicated description which evoked times gone by when ‘understated’ seemed to carry weight in the world of watercolour painting.

In my article ‘Enhance your Watercolours’ (The Artist October 2015), I introduced the use of gouache in traditional watercolour painting. I explained how it can either be mixed with the watercolour paints, can be used as highlights or as glazing, and gave a list of six advantages and nine disadvantages of incorporating it in your palette. I stressed that unpainted paper will always give a crisper white than any white media.

Judi Whitton

is a well-established watercolour artist and an enthusiastic plein-air painter. She has had many successful solo exhibitions and is a popular tutor. Her latest book Painting Venice was published in 2015, price £24 plus p&p. For more details and to order this and copies of her other books, go to www.watercolour.co.uk or email judi@watercolour.co.uk

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first of our new standard 80-page magazine, packed with even more inspiring practical articles to help you to improve and enjoy your own drawing and painting. In addition, this month we also include your free 16-page supplement with details of some of the best art courses and holidays available to inspire and inform your creativity, whatever your level or years of experience. So, whether you love working in watercolour, oils, pencils or acrylics, take your work to the next level with our team of passionate artist/tutors including Judi Whitton on how to use body colour in your watercolours, Haidee-Jo Summers with some useful exercises to help you loosen up in oils, Mike Barr's beachscape demonstration, Paul Talbot-Greaves on how to start with a watercolour mess and end in success, Peter Graham on why the rose makes such a wonderful subject for still-life paintings, Robert Dutton on mastering perspective for city scenes, and Peter Burgess with tips on composition and the Golden Section, to highlight just a few articles in this issue. Plus, there's so much more to guide and inspire your artistic development within our new 80-page issue - enjoy!