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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > September 19 > Buildings made simple

Buildings made simple

Follow Paul Talbot-Greaves as he shows how to paint buildings using watercolour and gouache, without worrying about straight lines and square windows

Buildings are strict geometrical structures, so it often follows that we try our best to emulate exactly that. The trouble is, when you put one brushstroke wrong, suddenly the painting looks wrong. My approach to painting buildings is to work loose and not worry about those perfectly straight lines and square windows. The only thing that needs to be correct is the perspective and even then, it isn’t essential to be 100 per cent accurate – just make sure the lines are going roughly in the right direction.

I drew out the scene, placing the shapes where they needed to be. My main focus with the building was to ensure the perspective lines were going in the right direction. Before starting to paint I made sure I knew where I wanted to place the lightest values, which in this case were to be on the gable end of the cottages, chimney stacks, the small extension, garden wall, field and boundary walls. With those in mind I was better prepared to put the right colours in the right places. I mixed fluid colours on the surface, roughly placing the shapes but allowing them to bleed and blend.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our September issue, packed with inspiration, demonstrations and practical advice for all artists, covering all your favourite media. Our artist-contributors show you how to paint sunlight and shadows in watercolour, capture the effects of sparkling light on water in acrylics, create a balanced composition, while Amanda Hyatt shares her top ten tips for painting rivers and lakes in watercolour. There are also demonstrations on how to paint buildings, capture the texture of fur when painting animals, how to create a simple but dramatic linocut and showing why oils are great for developing still-life compositions in the studio. Seasoned exhibitor Nicholas Poullis offers advice on how to give yourself the best chance of selling your work, Steve Hall urges you to step out of your comfort zone and try a new medium and Haidee-Jo Summers encourages you to take up the #DrawingAugust challenge. Share your sketches with us, too, to win a prize and see your work published in The Artist. There's plenty more too, including the latest news, views, competitions to enter and our test report on the new Winsor & Newton Cadmium-Free watercolours.