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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > August 2018 > Atmospheric street scenes

Atmospheric street scenes

Robert Brindley advises how to use diffused, close-toned washes to simplify detail and create mood and atmosphere, and demonstrates the technique with a watercolour street scene


Robert Brindley is a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. He exhibits annually in Whitby, gives demonstrations and tutors workshops for art clubs. Robert¹s book Painting Landscapes in Oils is published by Crowood Press,; his four DVDS are available from Town House Films, telephone 01603 782888;

Street scenes make wonderful subjects, but because of their complexity they can be extremely demanding. However, they offer the watercolour painter a huge variety of interesting compositions. Movement can be incorporated by including vehicles and figures, and there is always an interesting variety of shapes, tones and colours to work with.

Choosing a subject

When selecting a subject to paint, whether on site or back in the studio, try not to be too overwhelmed. A street full of interesting shapes in the form of buildings and cars can be a daunting prospect, but there are many ways to overcome your apprehension. The following suggestions may be helpful:

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About The Artist

Welcome to our August issue packed with practical, how-to articles and demonstrations to help inspire and guide your drawing and painting over the summer months. Our top team of professional artists and tutors are passionate about sharing their ideas and technical skills to help you learn from their experience. The issue is brimming over with features covering all media and subject matter, including advice from Paul Riley on the advantages and benefits of using water-mixable oils and Robert Dutton on how to incorporate the use of acrylic spray paints to great effect in your mixed-media work. Watercolourists will love the different approaches and ideas shared by Vivienne Cawson (flowers), Amanda Hyatt (tonal impressions), Geoff Hunt (working en plein air), Robert Brindley (street scenes) and Julie Collins, who offers some great ideas about colours and colour combinations for painting trees. All this and more, plus look out for the 'swipe for more images' and hand logo to see even more images from our wonderful artists. And don't forget to enter the last of our summer sketching competition challenges set by Adebanji Alade, with prizes up for grabs from GreatArt!