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Inspired by the railways

Part 2 Alan Taylor takes you through the painting of one of his iconic images, inspired by travel posters of the 1930s


How to simplify a scene

Paint with a limited palette

Try an acrylic painting process

Most new acrylic painting begins with a well-primed surface. I prefer a stretched canvas for paintings that might go into a competition or exhibition. If you are not anticipating anyone other than yourself, family and close friends seeing your work, any rigid, porous surface is suitable. Avoid using paper. Even watercolour paper is not suitable for the sort of treatment it will receive from acrylics. Acrylics are much thicker than watercolour and are only flexible to a certain extent. They can still crack if folded tightly.

Ready-made canvases are usually only lightly primed. I always add two or three coats of acrylic gesso to seal the surface. To ensure full coverage, I use up any coloured paint from a previous painting - mixed with the new white gesso for the first coat. The colour shows where the brush has been and leaves no doubt about which areas have been covered and which still need covering. For the next coat, I use a different colour and, for the final coat, I add a pure white gesso or titanium white paint to provide a clear drawing surface.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the June issue of Leisure Painter, the best-selling practical art magazine in the UK, aimed at beginners and amateur painters. Watercolour highlights include how to paint: a colourful toucan, a complex interior scene, simple flowers and figures. Tim Fisher also begins a six-part series discussing the merits and uses of his favourite colours with a focus on cobalt teal in watercolour this month. Follow nine simple exercises and prompts to develop your painting skills with acrylics and follow a step-by-step demonstration to paint an avocet using heavy-body acrylics. Discover a new style as you paint an acrylic inspired by the travel posters of the 1930s and discover the power of coloured pencils and pen and ink . Plus lots more.