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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > October 19 > Beauty or beast?

Beauty or beast?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, as Ian Sidaway points out, landscape artists no longer feel they have to search out the ‘picturesque’. When he came across the Sound Mirrors on Romney Marsh he was immediately inspired to capture these majestic structures in watercolour

Watercolour sketch in Moleskine

sketchbook, 81⁄4 x233⁄4in (21 x60cm).

The first view of the mirrors is from across one of the flooded gravel pits. I moved the three mirrors closer together and added the post and barbed wire, which although off to one side, added an extra element to the scene

The concept of the picturesque was introduced by William Gilpin in his Essay on Prints, which was published in 1768. In the 18th century, landscape artists followed a fairly strict formula to find the picturesque; it was based on perceptions of beauty in the classical manner — a search that became something of a quest. It concentrated in general terms on three main precepts: beauty, the sublime and the rustic, which if used in the right combination, would result in a work possessed of the picturesque.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the October issue of The Artist, including an additional 16 pages full of ideas and suggestions about art courses and holidays that could help to inspire and develop your creative skills. This issue is also packed with inspirational insights into how professional artists approach their work, including a commissioned portrait in oils, and practical demonstrations in watercolour, oil pastels, oil-based pencils, acrylics, line & wash and mixed media. There's something for everyone, whatever your level or experience, from how to add a little magic to your watercolour still lifes, paint an autumn landscape in five easy stages, capture a sunset in acrylics, sketch people in line & wash, create a vibrant flower composition in mixed media, and more. Plus be inspired by some of this year's The Artist Open Competition prizewinners, who explain how they created their winning artworks. Enjoy your month of drawing and painting with The Artist.