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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > December 18 > Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box

Yael Maimon urges you to think of alternative ways to approach your composition and offers some pointers that will help you make a more exciting painting

COMPOSITION: 4TH OF 5

The Breakfast Club 5, pastel, 16⨉211⁄2in (40.5⨉53.5cm).

The blue part on the top right can be perceived either as a shadow or simply as another cat. So there could be either four or five cats in this painting

Eyeing the Goldfish, watercolour, 16⨉12in (401⁄2⨉301⁄2cm)

Whether still life, pets, floral or figurative art, your subject matter must have been painted hundreds of times. The key to discovering exciting and original alternatives is to think outside the box. The following eight pointers should help you to be creative and discover a more personalised interpretation to elevate your art.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the December issue of The Artist, packed with inspiring, practical articles and demonstrations from top professional artists, all designed to help you improve your drawing and painting skills and techniques. Whatever your preferred medium, there's something for everyone, from how to use wet-in-wet watercolour to capture the mists of autumn, paint a still life in oils over acrylics, use aerial perspective to create distance and atmosphere in your landscapes, to advice on coloured-pencil techniques for botanical subjects. Learn how to glaze your acrylic paintings for greater impact, capture the shimmering light and movement of the sea in acrylics, choose colours for maximum effect for your flower paintings, plus why not try setting up a contemporary still life for something different this month. There's an insight into 'Pete the Street' Brown's approach to working en plein air, Charles Williams' questions what we want from art, and Sally Barton explains how to paint portraits of people's houses to commission. We also include the latest art news and a host of information about competitions to enter, books and art products, offers and more for your artistic enjoyment.