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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > FREE Sample Issue > The big painting challenge

The big painting challenge

Following BBC1’s recent The Big Painting Challenge, Sally Bulgin caught up with winner Suman Kaur, who reveals the inspiration behind her ambition to become a full-time artist, and what she learnt during the competition process


It was obvious throughout The Big Painting Challenge that Suman is a passionate advocate of observational drawing, an interest ignited during her childhood. As well as taking a keen interest in drawing and painting as a youngster, she used to sit and watch her aunt drawing, and drew alongside her. ‘I remember getting good feedback throughout my schooling on my observational skills and creativity, and being influenced greatly by Michelangelo and Hockney’s work.’ After A-level art, Suman went on to pursue a degree in prosthetics, although she continued to attend occasional life-drawing day courses and to practise on her own.

The challenges

Aiming to develop her work and explore the possibility of pursuing a career as a professional artist, the call for entries to take part in The Big Painting Challenge coincided with Suman ultimately giving up her ‘day-job’ in orthotics to apply to Leeds College of Art. It made sense to apply to be considered for the BBC1 programme as it represented another exciting opportunity to develop her drawing and painting skills.

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About The Artist

Paint lively watercolour landscapes using the hard and soft edge technique, learn how to capture the movement of water in your watercolours, become a wedding sketchographer, depict the figure in pastels, improve your compositional know-how, develop your colour-mixing skills - all this and much more in this month's issue! Hazel Soan encourages you to you paint informal portraits, BBC1's The Big Painting Challenge winner Suman Kaur shares her top ten tips learnt during the series and David Gould explains how he combines digital and traditional techniques to create contemporary artworks. Soraya French is back to invite you to discover the joy of mark making and create a mixed-media landscape, whilst Jake Winkle reveals the importance of interpreting your subject for more creative results. Charles Williams talks about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Ian Sidaway tests the new Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Paper range, Glyn Macey shows how Andy Warhol's work can inspire new approaches, and Adebanji Alade offers his regular motivational tips to keep you painting with energy and confidence. Enjoy!