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Welcome from the editor

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to drawing and painting? I often hear from readers, who want to know why they produce dull or insipid colour mixes so I have great pleasure in including Claudia Myatt’s article ‘Keep off the mud’ in this month’s issue (pages 12 to 15). Although she writes about watercolour, her ten top tips for producing bright and clean mixes are, in general, pertinent to all media. Sometimes it’s better to use your time to experiment, practise and play before beginning another painting in earnest, and this article certainly encourages you to become more creative with your colour. I hope you follow Claudia’s advice and let me know how your experiments feed into your artwork.

Another frequent question relates to painting from photographs and how you can move away from simply copying a scene to infusing the painting of it with your own personal response. This is an issue Leisure Painter tutors often talk about in our monthly ‘Painting projects’. Jem Bowden (pages 24 to 25) is no exception as he discusses how you can transfer elements from photographs of a harbour scene in bright sunshine, and in mellow early morning light, to produce one painting full of atmosphere and interest. Next month he’ll demonstrate how he painted the scene, but in the meantime please follow his advice and paint your own version. Don’t forget to share your work on our website and look at and comment on fellow readers’ work (see the end of the article for details).

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the September issue. You will find packed inside a wealth of practical advice, illustrated techniques, creative ideas and step-by-step demonstrations in watercolour, acrylics, oils and pastels. There's information for beginners, and prompts and inspiration for those with more experience. There's everything from how to paint from photographs and ten top tips for keeping your colour mixes clean and vibrant to painting cat's eyes in detail, filling a nature journal and painting landscapes, buildings, reflections, animals, birds and more. Enjoy your month of painting.

Other Articles in this Issue

Hydra is a perfect place for a short painting break and particularly appeals to artists because there are no cars, no scooters, no airport and it is only 90 minutes from Athens. Everyone arrives by sea and as you sail in to Hydra you are greeted by a beautifully preserved stone village that fills a natural cove and is surrounded by mountains.
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Leisure Painter
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to drawing
Here’s how to make friends with your watercolours, keeping them fresh and lively. Ten top tips from Claudia Myatt
Part 5 Tim Fisher discusses how the use of primary yellow can bring his oil paintings alive
First Light, Mill Lane
Part 2 Complete your painting of Flatford Mill using a variety of watercolour techniques, with Colin Steed
Part 1 Jem Bowden discusses composition and the effect of light as he introduces this month’s project from two photographs
Make the most of watercolour’s fluid properties as you paint a busy seaside scene, with Fiona Peart
Part 2 Christine Pybus takes you through the choosing and using of brushes and colours that could make or break a painting
Part 2 In the second article of a three-part series, learn how to paint the eyes of this stunning blue-eyed cat, with Paul Hopkinson
Part 2 How to paint two common summer flowers using two essential watercolour techniques, by Michelle Campbell
Practise techniques and colour mixing to develop your watercolour confidence, with Elena Parashko
Part 9 To conclude this series, Steve Strode offers advice and inspiration for persevering with acrylics
Part 3 Ready to try something different? Discover the joys of working in gouache on a black support, with Murray Ince
Here’s a beginner’s guide to painting watercolour on canvas, with Liz Chaderton
Follow wildlife artist, Julie Askew, as she explains the thought processes and painting techniques she uses to paint the story behind her subject, a grey seal
Add a new dimension to your work as you experiment with tissue paper and ground paste to paint a landscape in watercolour, with Sue Bradley
Part 10 Linda Birch discusses the uses of soft pastels and pastel pencils, advises on coloured grounds, and offers tips and techniques to set you on the right track
Support your specialist art retailer by purchasing your materials from the shops listed here
A watercolour instructional painting holiday in a spiritually enriched city, where art and religion are entwined
Visit and click on
If you would like to see your art group’s winning paintings
Jane Stroud’s selection of works from our PaintersOnline gallery