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Plein-air adventures

On a visit to York Adebanji Alade discovered that the city is full of inspiring scenes that were perfect for a spot of plein-air sketching and painting
Morning Light, York City Walls, oil on board, 8×10in (20.5×25.5cm)

Iwas very fortunate to be invited to the City of York by Ann Pertherick, who runs Kentmere House Gallery, after she’d seen my paintings of London. This was a very good opportunity for me to explore a new city and paint whatever caught my attention.

The first thing I did was to travel around the city without my painting gear and make notes of places that looked interesting and I thought would make a good painting. There is always a tendency to paint what we think would sell, or go for the hot-spots of the city, but I think it should be a natural response to go for whatever scene leaps at us and makes us feel like painting it. Even though I can’t share with you here all the paintings and drawings I made while in York, I’ll show you a few and explain why I decided to paint them. This may help you to understand what goes through my mind.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our summer issue packed with ideas and tips for painting outside, including Paul Weaver's demonstration showing how to capture the spirit of the seaside in watercolour. Watercolourists will also love Paul Talbot-Greaves' focus on how to use neutral and dark colours to add impact to your paintings, Julie Collins' advice on using ultramarine blue, and our review of the fabulous exhibition of John Singer Sargent's watercolours at Dulwich Picture Gallery. There are inspirational features on mastering perspective, capturing a likeness of a family member in oils, painting the figure alla prima, how to create movement in wildlife paintings in acrylics, and why you should consider the use of digital technology to support your traditional painting methods. Our artists also share their views on the new Winsor & Newton professional canvases and Jaxell's extra fine pastels, while our cover artist, Eileen Cooper OBE, RA talks about her own work, as well as the organisation and decision making behind this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. All this and much more to inspire a summer of successful drawing and painting!