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Acrylic highlights

Follow Colin Steed as he demonstrates how to smarten up old watercolour paintings

Watercolour

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

How to apply acrylic over watercolour

How to create light and form in your paintings

Easy solutions to brighten up dull pictures

Up to two years ago I was a purist when it came to painting with watercolour. In those days the white of the paper was my white. I either masked the highlights or painted around the area, leaving white paper, which I could tint with weak colour if necessary. In many ways I still like painting in this way. So why would I begin using acrylic paint on a small number of my paintings?

A couple of years ago I looked through some of my old work in my ‘may frame one day’ collection and wondered if some of them could be improved using acrylic paint. Many of them lacked important highlights that I had either failed to mask or paint around, but more importantly many of them could never be improved with watercolour alone.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the March issue of Leisure Painter. Winter is such a good season to practise and experiment with techniques and media that can be used to good effect when you are painting on the move this summer. Within this month's pages you will find a plethora of practical advice, demonstrations and tutorials to help you develop your skills and confidence in graphite and coloured pencils, watercolour, acrylics, oil, pastels and more. Whether you want to learn drawing skills for line and wash, paint animals in oils or seasonal landscapes in watercolour, there's something here for you. Further your skills as you learn the value of acrylic highlights on less-than-perfect watercolours, how to produce abstracts with collage and colour fields, and paint watercolour flowers with botanical accuracy. Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.