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Pencils, paint and pixels

Mixed-media wildlife artist, Shelly Perkins, shares her unique methods of combining traditional and digital techniques to make her vibrant artwork


¦ Try a new way of working

¦ How to use digital technology to enhance your painting

The finished painting Clee Hill from High Vinnalls, mixed media and digital collage, 191/2x191/2in. (50x50cm). For the Photoshop phase of the image, I used the same watercolour wash (see the wash detail, above right) for the deep blues and purples of the bluebell meadow and the sky. At this stage, I layered the wash repeatedly to build up the layers of colour for the meadow and added some warmth to the saturation.

My work is inspired by my love of wildlife and being outdoors in nature both in the UK and further afield. Spending time in the countryside brings with it great potential for spotting wildlife in its natural habitat and inspiring ideas for new work.

To create my work I use detailed drawings, watercolour and ink as well as textures and textiles, all of which I scan into the computer and collage together digitally. I love the freedom that comes with being able to work with this combination of techniques. It leaves lots of room for experimentation and the ability to create vibrant and dynamic compositions whilst also retaining the organic and idiosyncratic nature of drawing and painting.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the December issue of Leisure Painter. As always, the issue is packed full of demonstrations and tutorials for you to follow, from watercolour, pen and wash and pastel to acrylics and oils. Liz Chaderton demonstrates how to add gold leaf to your paintings for that added wow factor and Julie King offers inspiration for this year's Christmas card. There are three quick practices to help you paint watercolour with more confidence and our cover artist, Shelly Perkins shares her unique methods of combining traditional and digital techniques in 'Pencils, Paint and Pixels'. Find out where some of the best exhibitions, art events and art club shows are running this month, books to read and so much more! Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.