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Welcome from the editor

If one theme jumps out of this month’s issue it is the benefits of learning how to loosen up and add more bravura to our artwork. When you are still learning techniques, it can be hard to let go, but if you stop believing that every drawing or painting you make needs to be a masterpiece and spend time experimenting and following exercises and prompts you’re more likely to relax, feel less likely to give up when your painting doesn’t go to plan, and simply enjoy the process more. Setting yourself limits is one way to overcome the propensity to add too much detail and can help build that all-important confidence. Try: setting a stopwatch for five, ten or 15 minutes and complete a painting in that time; restricting the number of brushstrokes you allow yourself to use on one painting; or picking just two or three colours.

If you love watercolour and want to add a more lively effect to your paintings, follow Adrienne Parker’s advice and mix your colours on the paper, practise the wet-in-wet technique and loosen up your brushstrokes (pages 10 to 13). Steve Strode (pages 28 to 31) suggests you put down your brushes altogether and work with anything that makes a mark, from credit cards, tinfoil and tissue to crumpled paper, sponges and rags.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the April issue of Leisure Painter. From experimenting with watercolour and gouache to paint a winter landscape and a beginner's guide to acrylic painting to sketching animals from life and drawing trees using ink, this issue is packed with practical advice and information for the amateur painter. There is a plethora of demonstrations to paint in watercolour, acrylic, water-mixable oils, pastels and more to help build confidence and skills along with projects from photographs, tips and techniques and inspiration. Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.

Other Articles in this Issue

Changing Seasons at The Jerram Gallery in Sherborne
ORGANISED BY Leisure Painter & the artist
in partnership with patchings Art Centre
Visit and click on the link to books to buy the latest practical art books available from LP’s online bookshop
Loosen up and enjoy making the most of watercolour’s fluid and vibrant properties as you paint a winter landscape, with Adrienne Parker
Part 1 Jem Bowden introduces this month’s painting subject from a photograph – the beach at Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall
Part 1 Learn to draw and paint a portrait of an eagle owl, with Kerry Bennett
Part 2 Estelle Robinson completes her portrait of Poppy, the alsatian, by adding the eyes, fur colour and texture, and the all-important highlights
Part 4 This month Judith Heilbronn Crown looks at three fun techniques for you to try – sgraffito, embossing and frottage
Part 2 Explore and develop a raft of techniques to build your acrylic-painting skills, with Steve Strode
Part 2 After discussing the importance of tone last month, Jem Bowden goes on to look at the role of colour in your work
Paint a snowy landscape with water, buildings, foliage and land using a variety of water-mixable oil-painting techniques, with Murray Ince
How to paint wildlife in acrylics, from techniques to use to tips on painting backgrounds, textures and composition, by Jackie Garner
Part 4 Anne Kerr continues her six-part series demonstrating how to draw elements of the landscape with a look at drawing trees, leaves and foliage
Part 2 Ready for your first steps? Take a sketchbook and pen and head to the zoo with Liz Chaderton
Part 2 Put the advice learned last month into practice as you inject a sense of drama and intrigue into a painting of Haworth, with Mike Rollins
Build your watercolour confidence as you follow Alison Fennell step by step and paint a saddleback pig using just five colours and two watercolour techniques
Part 4 Find out what the humble graphite pencil can do for your artwork, by Linda Birch
Leisure Painter has great pleasure in presenting the winning paintings from the runners-up of last year’s exhibition. Both art groups won £250 worth of art materials vouchers, courtesy of Jackson’s Art Supplies
Hazel Soan said of Tadworth Art Group’s entries: ‘Tadworth
If you would like to see your art group’s winning paintings reproduced here, encourage visitors to your next exhibition to vote for their favourite work. At the end of the show, simply send us the details and we’ll do our best to include all paintings received. Full details are given below right
Jane Stroud’s selection of works from our PaintersOnline gallery WWW.PAINTERS-ONLINE.CO.UK