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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > November 2019 > Dahlias


Soraya French continues her new series on painting floral compositons in mixed media by demonstrating a colourful border of dahlias

Soraya French is president of the Society of Women Artists. She tutors occasional mixed-media workshops at her workshop in Hampshire, and overseas. She is the author of several books.

I have often associated dahlias with autumn as, unlike many of the summer flowering plants that gradually die down by mid-October, they last until the first heavy frost and they can really brighten an autumn flower border. Native to Mexico and central America they have been around in Europe for over 200 years and are amongst the most popular flowers in UK gardens. There are more than 40 species of this beautiful showy flower, with numerous hybrids. They come in so many different sizes, shapes and colours and provide artists with an endless store of subjects to paint. I remember them as somewhat oldfashioned flowers, but they have become quite trendy and often used in smart bouquets these days.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our November issue. This month Hermen Pekel shares his strategies for creating depth and Lucy Willis explains how to achieve perspective, both working in watercolour, while Aine Divine demonstrates how she painted a watercolour portrait of our editor. James Hobbs urges you to share your sketchbook on social media this month using the #inktober tag and Robert E Wells explains how he uses his sketchbooks as a creative tool. Kathy Barker begins a new series on portraiture with a look at eyes, Paul Brown reveals how you can learn from your mistakes, Paul Riley demonstrates how to paint mountains in acrylic and Becky Thorley-Fox sketches and paints wildlife from life, in oil. And of course our regular contributors Geoff Hunt, Jenny Aitken, Paul Talbot-Greaves, Charles Williams and Soraya French share their knowledge of painting. There’s plenty to inspire you in your November copy of The Artist!