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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Sep-17 > The illusion of glass

The illusion of glass

Paul Riley explains how to capture the transparenc y of glass using watercolour, with tips on how to depict cut glass, reflections, liquids (such as wine) and shadows
Glass of Water with Cornflower, watercolour on Saunders Waterford HP 300gsm, 13 × 9in (33 × 23cm). Note the dark tone of the reflections of the water in the glass; the tonal contrasts of the rim and base; the highlight at the base; the refraction of the stalk. Also, note where the rim has been negatively painted, where the stalk passes both behind and in front of the rim
Tomatoes in Cut Glass, watercolour on Saunders Waterford HP 300gsm, 9 × 13in (23 × 33cm). This multifaceted glass bowl has a scalloped edge. A series of pale grey dots positioned the various ellipses, which were then painted in using a good-quality flat sable. Even the shadow had complex issues. It was difficult to know when to stop but less is more in a situation like this. You will notice a few changes, made with the sponge, and several drawing corrections. Be brave – be ruthless when working on complex items such as this
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About The Artist

Welcome to an inspiration-packed issue with great demonstrations to follow in all media to help practise and develop your skills, from Paul Riley's focus on how to depict glass and reflections in watercolour, Chris Forsey's mixed-media demonstration of a light-filled Australian coastal scene to Rob Wareing's feature on painting skin tones and portraits in oils. With an insight into up-and-coming Richard Burger's approach to portraiture and Richard Pikesley's use of studio objects as tabletop still lifes, we also step into the shoes of professional artists to see what motivates them and how they approach their work. Young artist Marie Antoniou urges you to express yourself in acrylics with just one brush, Robert Dutton explains the rules of perspective while Paul Talbot-Greaves shows how to achieve depth in landscape compositions, Barry Herniman paints boats and harbours, and Liz Seward suggests the perfect antidote to painter's block by turning to collage. For help with colour mixing, Julie Collins turns our attention to the variety of whites available, and Catherine Strong tells us how to keep our greens clean and vibrant. Enjoy the issue and email your feedback and comments to us at We love to hear from you!
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