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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > May-19 > Painting project

Painting project

Part 1 Here are your first steps to painting an avocet in acrylics, with Jackie Garner
The photograph that introduces this month’s project: a swimming avocet, cropped from the image, below right. Monochrome is a good starting point for those new to painting water and is ideal for honing your tonal awareness, which will be hugely beneficial for future paintings.

This project takes the graceful, dramatically patterned avocet as an appealing subject for an acrylic painting. You will usually find them standing serenely, but a swimming pose gives interesting reflections and adds the challenge of painting water.

The photograph (below) gives several options to the artist. Emphasise the bird by dulling and reducing the reflections, or make more of the reflections to highlight the similarities in their shape and the bird’s patterned plumage. Cropping in tightly would focus on the symmetry of the bird’s head and neck. You could adjust the colours to give a sunny day feel and contrast the bird with colourful water.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the May issue of Leisure Painter. This month we have practical advice, step-by-step demonstrations and instructional features on drawing and painting with watercolour, acrylics, ink, oils and coloured pencil. Try 12 confidence-boosting exercises to help you draw and paint figures, be inspired by the travel posters of the 1930s to produce contemporary-looking poster-like paintings, and learn to paint a plethora of subjects, including landscapes, animals, birds, flowers, seascapes and more. Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.