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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > March 19 > Compositions with colour and imagination

Compositions with colour and imagination

Caroline Saunders talks to Aileen Wrennall, who reveals how she obtains the fresh, clean colours in her watercolour and mixed-media still lifes
Pears on a Patterned Cloth, watercolour on Saunders Waterford 140lb (300gsm) stretched paper, 11x11in (28x28cm). ‘The bright green dish and red jug were my starting point for this painting, which was produced by building up the dark areas with several layers of paint, allowing each to dry before carefully laying another on top until I was happy with the tonal value in the dark areas. Colours used were: raw sienna, cadmium red, Winsor violet, mauve, cobalt blue, transparent turquoise, ultramarine blue, vivid green, perylene green, Payne’s grey and black.’

Former photographer and exhibition display designer Aileen Wrennall takes inspiration from flowers and her vast collection of ceramics, objects and fabrics. For over 20 years she has painted mainly in watercolour, but has now begun gradually to incorporate mixed media into her work.

A great inspiration for Aileen has been Arthur Melville and American landscape painter Winslow Homer. She loves the way Melville painted his watercolours, such Brig o’ Turk, using a technique called ‘blottesque’, where colour droplets are splattered onto paper saturated with Chinese white. She also much admires the exquisite intricate pattern work of Margaret MacDonald, Jessie M King and Annie French.

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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!