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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > February 18 > Game of tones

Game of tones

In the first of a new series, Hazel Soan explains why tone is so important and how you can train your eye to see and interpret the correct tones to represent three-dimensional objects in your paintings

LIGHT AND SHADE IN WATERCOLOUR: 1 OF 3

Light & Shade, RA Café, watercolour, 11×15in (28×38cm). A large portion of this painting is shadow showing very little definition. Another large portion shows bright sunlight, again with few details. In fact the activity is limited to a few brushmarks of mid-toned local colours and some dark and light exchanges around them that suggest a lot more descriptive detail than is actually painted. The viewer has no problem reading the narrative as a lively café with people out enjoying the sunshine. You can almost imagine the character of the waitress and perhaps where the ladies at the nearest table like to shop! Such is the amazing power of relative tone
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About The Artist

Welcome to our February issue with our extra 16-page guide to art courses and holidays for 2018, including Kevin Scully's article on what to take into consideration and what to pack to make the most of the opportunities offered by a structured course away from home. Our artists also offer plenty of ideas and inspiration for painting a variety of subjects in a broad range of media, including pastel pencil animals, a horse in watercolour, trees and an orchard in pastels, mixed-media collages inspired by old buildings, a photorealist self-portrait in oils and more. In addition, Hazel Soan starts her new three-part series on light and shade in watercolour by explaining how to train your eye to see and interpret tone, Judi Whitton demonstrates how to mix and exploit a wide range of lively greys in your watercolour paintings, while Paul Gadenne shows why and how acrylics can be the key to achieving greater spontaneity in your work. Be inspired and enjoy trying some new ideas under the guidance of our fantastic team of contributing artists!