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Welcome from the editor

Patchings Festival last month was packed with fun and interest, and it was wonderful to watch so many children enjoying hands-on sessions, not worrying about spoiling good paper or wasting art materials – just enjoying the action of drawing and painting, and focusing on the moment. Back at home I took out a stack of pristine sketchbooks, which I haven’t been able to resist buying over the years, and pondered on why I can’t bring myself to use them while I have a box filled with drawings made on scraps of paper and the backs of envelopes. These sketchbooks are simply too good to spoil! What if the first drawing doesn’t work out? What if the paper doesn’t take the medium? Watching the children attacking those pieces of paper with such relish inspired me to mark the first page of one of my favourite books, albeit with more restraint. The drawing wasn’t so bad and with the first page full, I turned to the next page with an easier heart.

I love sketchbooks – and especially looking at how professional artists fill them. I was particularly pleased to see Steve Strode’s sketches and images from his journals this month (pages 27 to 29). Steve has presented his latest project over the past couple of issues of LP – documenting the Mersey shoreline close to his home in Liverpool. He encourages us to fill our sketchbooks with photographs, images and colour swatches as well as daily drawings and colour work. Steve even finds the surfaces of bottles, driftwood and stones found on his walks acceptable as painting surfaces. You may not be able to take out your paints and easel today, but there’s no reason why a page from a little sketchbook resting on a knee can’t be filled using the Biro you picked up to make your shopping list. I think the lesson here is for us all to practise being artists, allowing ourselves the time to be creative and have fun, as well as honing skills and techniques.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Leisure Painter - Sep-17
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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the September issue of Leisure Painter, your practical guide to all things drawing and painting for beginners and amateurs. This issue is packed with tutorials, demonstrations and practical advice on the use of watercolour, acrylics, drawing media, acrylic ink, water-soluble graphite, mixed media and digital. There's plenty on how to paint from photographs, techniques, colour mixing, brush handling and more. Take advantage of special offers on practical art books, try your chance to win the latest books by Hazel Soan and Soraya French, and enter our 50th anniversary competition by painting a nocturne.

Single Digital Issue Sep-17
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Other Articles in this Issue

Visit and click on the link to books to buy the latest practical art books available from LP’s online bookshop
Art products to help you develop your skills
Jane Stroud’s selection of works from our PaintersOnline gallery
6 issues for just £15, saving over 40% on the cover price
Part 3 Practise your drawing and painting skills as you paint a moonlit woodland scene from a sunny photograph, with Ian Pethers
Part 1 Be inspired by the contents of your kitchen cupboard as you paint still lifes in acrylics with Rodney Kingston
Part 2 Develop composition, colour and application skills as you paint along with Jem Bowden this month
Part 1 How to plan a painting of a garden from a photograph, by Julie King
Part 2 Take time to walk and sketch small studies as you find inspiration in local scenes, by Steve Strode
Part 2 Follow Tony Underhill step by step as he demonstrates how to use digital art to expand your traditional drawings and paintings
Part 5 Use a limited palette of acrylic inks to achieve a variety of effects, from drawing to adding washes, with Tim Fisher
Part 2 Liz Chaderton discusses a variety of techniques and approaches to painting bird and animal textures in watercolour
Becky Samuelson experiments with a range of well-made, affordable synthetic brushes to produce a variety of effects and textures in watercolour
Part 2 Develop the basic techniques learnt last month to paint a landscape in acrylics, with Cat Croxford
Trudy Friend offers hints and tips on recording the history of a local building
Part 2 Paint along with David Webb as you practise his three-wash technique in colour
Improve your tonal awareness using water-soluble graphite pencils with these three exercises, by Colin Steed