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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > December 19 > THE ART WORLD


William Orpen The Studio, oil on canvas, 383311/2in (96.5380cm)


Born in Ireland in 1878, William Orpen is best known for his portraits, becoming a commercially successful painter of affluent Edwardian society. He was also celebrated for his career as an official war artist during the First World War, depicting soldiers on the Western Front, as well as German prisoners of war, and portraits of generals and politicians.

This new exhibition at Watts Gallery near Guildford, Surrey, will feature a selection of portraits alongside closely observed pencil studies and anatomical drawings focusing in particular on the artist’s fascination with light and space. The exhibition situates Orpen’s work within the evocative space of Oriel – Orpen’s studio at South Bolton Gardens, London (now owned by The Artist’s consultant editor, Ken Howard OBE, RA). Special tours of the exhibition will run on Tuesdays, December 3 and 17, January 7 and 21, and February 4 and 18, from 2 to 2.45pm.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our December issue. This month consultant editor and acclaimed professional artist David Curtis reveals his approach to painting a recent portrait of his son, while Kathy Barker explains what to look for when painting lips in the second of her series on portraiture in oils. Amanda Hyatt shows how to simplify complex interiors and Paul Weaver advises on the colours to use and mix to create atmospheric greys to capture winter scenes in watercolour. Newcomers to pastel will enjoy the first in Robert Brindley's new three-part series on pastel techniques and landscape demonstration, Soraya French and Robert Dutton suggest myriad creative ideas for working in mixed media to paint flowers and expressive landscapes and Geoff Hunt and Michele Del Campo share how they work up a painting in the studio in different media and very different ways. Cover artist Bob Brandt shows why pattern is so important, while Richard Pikesley, Paul Brown, Charles Williams and Paul Talbot-Greaves all share their ideas to inspire your artistic development. Enjoy your painting with The Artist this month!