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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > October 18 > Unpromising days

Unpromising days

Geoff Hunt conquers yet another plein-air painting challenge. This time he’s making the best of those grey days when the light is flat and the scene unpromising


There can be an awful lot of unpromising days when you’re painting outdoors in Britain. You know the sort – dull, maybe a chance of drizzle, or the sun might come out for half an hour; more likely the light is as flat as a pancake and the overall colour ranges from light grey to dark grey. But you had planned to go painting on a particular day so there you are, outdoors. A shame it wasn’t yesterday, when the sun was so inviting, or tomorrow when it will of course be shining again. So you’re stuck with today, and you’re going to have to work just that bit harder to get a result. On the other hand you do have a great excuse for not producing a masterpiece, and that takes the pressure off, because you don’t set out with any very high hope of yourself. You may even be pleasantly surprised by what you can salvage from such a day. If not, too bad; just think of all the fresh air and exercise you’ll have had!

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About The Artist

Welcome to the October issue in which many of our top-class artists celebrate painting in a variety of locations in all kinds of weather, from Pete the Street Brown in Havana, to Geoff Hunt who shows how not to let an unpromising day spoil your painting. Our artist-tutors also offer help and advice on colour mixing in oils, how to improve your compositional awareness, use gouache to paint atmospheric landscapes, create luminosity in your paintings by combining cold wax and water-soluble oils, and develop your skills by working in monochrome. Paul Talbot-Greaves suggests a simple exercise to help you loosen up, Julie Collins shows how to mix the right greens for your watercolour paintings, while Glyn Macey invites you to learn from the painting style of Lamorna Birch by following this month's demonstration. Plus, be inspired as we introduce many of this year's The Artist Open Competition amazingly talented prizewinners!