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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > November 18 > The trees of autumn

The trees of autumn

After a summer of mixing greens Ian Sidaway enjoys expanding his palette. He offers his solutions for capturing the glow of autumn colours in watercolour

Barnes Common SW13, The Avenue, watercolour on Bockingford Not 200lb, 8x8in (20x20cm). The painting, which was made from the watercolour sketch (above) thins out and clearly defines the leaf shapes. The warm orange colours contrast nicely against the almost complementary greens and help the colours look bright

As August turns into September the once vibrant greens of early summer become lack lustre, then something remarkable happens – autumn arrives and the landscape takes on a new face which, in terms of colour, is debatably the most interesting time of the year to paint. The summer and winter seasons are relatively uneventful in material changes to the landscape, although nothing changes the landscape like a covering of snow. The changes brought on by spring can be over, depending on the weather, in a matter of weeks. But the autumn changes are slower. They can begin imperceptibly in late August and carry on through to December, giving the artist a full four months to enjoy and capture those changes. After spending a summer mixing greens it’s a joy to start expanding the palette to begin using more oranges and reds. As autumn progresses the landscape seems to glow and achieving that glow can be problematical when using watercolour, as mixes never quite seem to capture the intensity of the colour seen. My solution is to use a fairly limited palette, mixing as few colours as possible.

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About The Artist

There's a definite seasonal theme in this month's issue as we say goodbye to the UK summer and our contributing artists turn to working with a more autumnal palette in watercolour (Ian Sidaway and cover artist Paul Talbot-Greaves), and pastel (David Allen), whilst Geoff Hunt shows how it's possible to paint watercolours in the rain. Mixed-media enthusiasts will love the demonstrations by Chris Forsey and Soraya French, who shows how to create exciting textures in acrylic landscapes, whilst Robert Dutton urges us to embrace our 'mistakes' as we develop our creativity. For more detailed painting styles, be inspired by Lucy McKie's intricate paintings, and Tim Gustard's photorealist approach to creating the illusion of glass objects. We also include articles on line and wash techniques, 16 invaluable tips from female members of the Royal Watercolour Society, advice on painting the sea and sky in watercolour, how to create a strong focal point, and develop a style of our own. Plus, study our additional 16-page Art Courses & Holidays supplement for great ideas for some personal art tuition in the UK or overseas!