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Exploring the landscape with pastel

I have always been fascinated with structure and patterns in the landscape and I think my drawings reflect this. It is not a conscious awareness when making the drawing, but structure and patterns seem to be a powerful part of my landscape compositions. The landscape provides these patterns and, as an artist, I create an edited version, an interpretation that’s more a matter of some omissions than loads of additions.

Rocks in the landscape have a similar grain because generally they were all formed at the same time by the same geological event. They have facets and grooves, can be sharp and angular at the edges or softened by the flow of water or the prevailing winds. Lichens and moss grow on them, tufts of grass sprout from cracks where soil has settled. But when painting them don’t get bogged down with all that. Just believe you have painted a rock that feels and looks heavy and is definitely not anything else. I don’t subscribe to photographic imagery. Photographs never seems to tell the same tale as the one I see, and I do think I have some rights over my painting and how I translate the landscape. My wish is that the end result communicates with someone with enough conviction to make them want to buy it.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of The Artist - March 19
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About The Artist

Take your drawing and painting to the next level with inspiration, guidance and advice from this month's top contributing artists and tutors. Cover artist, David Parfitt, shares how it's possible to work through a non-productive period to paint your best painting yet. Haidee-Jo Summers invites you to paint everyday, unarranged objects to discover more about design and composition. We also include demonstrations showing how to apply the one-stroke watercolour method, use a variety of techniques to enliven your watercolours, paint silver objects and reflections in acrylics, achieve the texture of rocky landscapes in pastels, use photographs as a memory aid, bring a portrait to life in oils, capture animals' expressions, and much more. Whatever your subject matter or preferred medium, there's something for everyone, and when you've created your best work, enter our 2019 open competition for a chance to see your work exhibited, published in The Artist, and win one of 40 prizes worth over £17,000!

Other Articles in this Issue

The Artist
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Letters, emails and comments
Caroline Saunders talks to Aileen Wrennall, who reveals how she obtains the fresh, clean colours in her watercolour and mixed-media still lifes
Peter Kettle talks to Susie Hodge about recording the remote locations colours, textures and atmosphere of the Welsh landscape using paint and other media, poured, rubbed and splashed on to large canvases
Last year Adebanji Alade set six monthly challenges to inspire everyone to practise and improve their sketching skills, accompanied by his top ten tips for each challenge. Here we present the winners, who all win £50 worth of vouchers to spend with GreatArt
Check out the latest competitions to enter and make a note of important deadlines
Mary Newcomb’s drawings and paintings are masterpieces
Iceland’s landscapes, seascapes and skies are dramatic and on a scale that takes your breath away. This is a wonderful opportunity to capture the immensity, intensity and atmosphere of Iceland’s natural phenomena with the assistance of a very experienced guest artist. Richard Pikesley will be working in oil, watercolour and mixed media.
Meet this month’s editor’s choice winner from our PaintersOnline gallery, who receives a £50 Jackson’s Art Supplies gift voucher
Digital advertising and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are vital if you’re going to reach new markets, but should you pay for these? Mark David Hatwood provides the low-down
Some of the best art courses and holidays here and
Having been through a period of ‘not painting particularly well’ David A Parfitt shares how it’s possible to go from ‘failure to failure without losing enthusiasm’ and regain the confidence to prepare for a major exhibition
In the second of this two-part series Adele Wagstaffshows how the head can be described by using techniques that focus on tone
Tim Gustard demonstrates how he paints silver objects using acrylics, giving plenty of advice on how to achieve realistic reflections
Cheryl Culver demonstrates how to bring a landscape to life and achieve life-like textures and rock forms in pastels
Learn more about design and composition by painting unarranged everyday objects, with Haidee-Jo Summers
In the first of a new ten-part series on painting landscapes in acrylics, Jenny Aitken offers top tips on how to use photos as an aide-memoire
Kathy Barker advises on how to bring a sitter to life by focusing on shapes and values rather than detail when working in oils
Ruth Buchanan focuses on how to capture animals’ noses, ears and expressions in the third of her ten-part series on painting and drawing animals
Jenny Wheatley discusses the pros and cons of using acrylics and demonstrates a studio painting, with insights into her working practice
Francesco Fontana demonstrates that less is more with his one-stroke watercolour method, with exercises for you to try
Carole Robson shows you some techniques you can use to enliven your watercolour landscape paintings