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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > April 19 > Colour and order in the landscape

Colour and order in the landscape

Felix Rowe discovers how landscape artist and illustrator Jonathan Chapman developed his distinctive Edward Hopper-inspired style for his acrylic and ink paintings
St Paul’s Cathedral at Dusk, acrylic and Mitsubishi inks on Seawhite acrylic paper 360gsm, 11x15in (28x38cm)

Sat in his home studio, surrounded by sketches, photographs and pots of brushes, Jonathan Chapman shares his inspiration and the factors that led to the development of a distinctive personal style. Typically working in a mixed media of acrylics and ink, Jonathan combines painterly and graphic elements with bold colours, to create landscapes that are at once grounded yet dreamlike. Jonathan then led me through a workshop of a recent commission, Embreeville Mill, Pennsylvania (pages 16-17).

Northern soul: a burgeoning career

‘I always knew I’d do something creative,’ explains Jonathan, ‘though perhaps something more technical, like architecture. In the end, it turned out to be expressive!’ Jonathan’s professional career started in earnest with a degree in fine art at Newcastle University, lured by the school’s reputation and hefty four-year course. ‘It was an extremely vibrant city,’ he says, ‘with lots of galleries and artists’ studios opening up at that time. I thought it would be a good launchpad for my career, without the pressure of London.’

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About The Artist

Welcome to the April issue, packed with practical articles and demonstrations designed to inspire artists of all levels to develop their skills in all media. Our top artist-contributors this month include Hazel Soan, who suggests techniques for creating light and shade in your watercolours, Ian Sidaway who encourages you to paint a self-portrait, and Paul Talbot-Greaves who shows how to paint colourful boats in three easy stages in acrylics. Practise your skills as you learn how to loosen up and be more expressive in your drawings, use coloured pencils to create a found still life, simplify a busy harbour scene to create a composition full of light and colour, and achieve clean colours in your acrylic landscapes. This issue we also welcome back Geoff Hunt, who begins a new series documenting the results of his painting trips. Plus Roger Dellar offers tips on how to secure an artist-in-residence position and Mark David Hatwood explains how to reach potential buyers by working with partners. Enjoy trying new ideas in your own work with help from this month's artists and tutors.