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View from the lake

Understand what your brushes can do for you before you combine trees, water and a building to paint a picturesque view of Sherborne Castle, by Murray Ince

Water-mixable oils


Make a considered choice of brushes

Build your colour-mixing skills, especially green

How to paint water and reflections

The skills required for painting develop over time. I have always maintained that anyone can learn to draw and paint, but you must give yourselves time to acquire the necessary skills, as many of these are honed by practice and cannot be mastered quickly. Some of these skills are observation, drawing, simplification, colour mixing and translating what you see into marks made with a pencil, pen or brush.

Much of the skill in fine art painting is in brush handling. There are many types of brush, each with its own advantages and with practice you will find what works best for you. Remember there is no right or wrong way if it works for you then it is entirely valid! Here are some of the brushes and methods of using them that work well for me. The best hog bristle brushes are made from Chungking bristle.

Round hog bristle

These come in a useful range of sizes, usually from Nos. 0 to 24, have a round belly coming to a nice sharp point and can be used to make a wide variety of marks. I have quite a number of middle price ranged brushes, which I abuse terribly! I stab them into the paint at 90 degrees to the palette, splaying the bristles out then gently touch them into the paint mix. This adds tiny dots of paint on the tips of the bristles, which I then gently touch to the canvas to place tiny pinpricks of paint. This is great for painting the highlights on distant and middle distant trees, and painting myriad meadow flowers, among many other applications.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the August issue of Leisure Painter. Aimed at beginners and amateur painters, this month's issue is packed with practical advice, demonstrations, tutorials and tips and techniques for drawing and painting your favourite subjects, from materials and colours to the techniques and ideas you need to produce beautiful paintings. Learn how to loosen up your style as you use outdoor techniques for painting at home, or how to transform a dull photograph into a vibrant sunset scene. Understand the value of edges in your work, how to inject life and character into your drawings and paintings of cats, and be inspired to paint summer-themed still lifes. There's a beginner's introduction to Brusho as well as demonstrations in watercolour, acrylics, water-mixable oils and oils.