Autumn leaves |

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Autumn leaves

Be inspired by the colours of autumn as you glaze transparent colours, use Clingfilm and salt, and practise the wet-in-wet technique, with Tessa Spanton



Make the most of bright transparent colours

Practise glazing, salt and Clingfilm techniques

Be creative and play with your colours

Autumn trees put on a spectacular show as the greens gradually turn to scarlet, ochre, russet, orange and burgundy. On a clear day the light becomes golden as the days shorten and the sun is lower in the sky. The show lasts a few weeks and I often collect falling leaves for their colours and shapes. Unless I am quick to paint them they soon become like brown crisps. To make a quick record I scan them on both sides and save the digital images.

All the colours I have chosen for this project are Winsor & Newton’s Professional Water Colour. With the exception of cadmium yellow, which I only used in the base wash, they are all transparent or semi-transparent colours, unless used very thickly. If you don’t have these colours, use the nearest equivalent. To see whether a colour is transparent or opaque look on the tube or at the manufacturer’s leaflet.

Working with these transparent colours in layers gives a lovely glowing sunlit effect as one colour shows through the next. When one colour is glazed over another, the effect is similar to placing a piece of coloured glass over another piece of a different colour.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the November issue of Leisure Painter. Aimed at amateur painters, who want to make the most of their painting time, Leisure Painter is the UK's best-selling practical art magazine. Within this issue you will find tips and techniques for filling an illustrated journal and how to set yourself regularly painting challenges. There are painting projects from photographs to try, and step-by-step demonstrations for painting buildings, autumn leaves and landscapes in watercolour; still lifes, wildlife and trees in acrylics; and a detail from a ship's rigging in oils. Learn how to add colour to your sketches, follow a beginner's guide to working with oil pastels, and have fun using new coloured marker pens. Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.