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Sunlight in watercolour

Early Morning Trees, watercolour on Arches Rough140lb (300gsm), 91⁄2x121⁄2in (24x32cm). When looking into the light, objects become more a collection of silhouettes than clearly defined details and it is essential to choose a subject that tells the story from its shape alone
Through the Trees, Sidmouth, The Village Green, watercolour on Arches Rough 140lb (300gsm), 121⁄2x181⁄2in (32x47cm). In this painting shadows create the contour of the ground and express the form of the trees

Sunlight and shadows add drama! Together they form stark contrasts and it is shadows that reveal form as they rise and fall with every contour. Shadows are where you will find colour, not in the bleached-out areas of sunlight, but in the reflected coolness and warmth of dark purples, reds and greens. Watercolourists often describe themselves as painters of light but it is truer to say that they are painters of the dark, because rendering a dark reveals the light.

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The Artist
September 19

Other Articles in this Issue

The Artist
WELCOME from the editor
Want to comment on something you’ve read, or seen?
Letters, emails and comments
This intriguing book is an eclectic collection of information
Check out the latest competitions to enter and make a note of important deadlines
PaintersOnline editor’s choice
Meet this month’s editor’s choice winner from our PaintersOnline gallery, who receives a £50 Jackson’s Art Supplies gift voucher
Moments of colour and light
Susie Hodge talks to Sarah Butterfield, winner of The Artist Award in the 2018 Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition
How to sell your paintings
Nicholas Poullis offers advice, based on his personal experiences, on how to give yourself the best chances of selling your work
Observation, memory & imagination
Wildlife artist and traveller Mary-Anne Bartlett reveals how she captures wildlife convincingly in watercolour in situ and then works up a painting in the studio
Making a statement
I took my Aunty Megan to see the ‘Animals And Us’ exhibition
When I choose oil
Be inspired by Jenny Wheatley as she explains her approach to both on-site and studio oil paintings, and demonstrates how she develops a composition in the studio
Well composed
Paul Banning stresses that a painting needs structure, balance and proportion, whatever medium you use, and demonstrates his point with a plein-air watercolour of a coastal scene
Drawing August
Join Haidee-Jo Summers as she makes a drawing a day throughout the month of August and share your results on Twitter – you’ll see your work improve
Blinding sparkles
Jenny Aitken demonstrates how to suggest the effects of dancing sunlight on water
Same subject, different medium
Are you an oil painter, a watercolour painter or paint only in acrylic? In the first of two articles, Steve Hall urges you to move beyond your comfort zone as he demonstrates the same picture in oil and pastel
Geoff Hunt presents a selection of sketches made in Venice in preparation for a one-man show
Winsor & Newton Cadmium-Free Professional Water Colours
Julie Collins reports on Winsor & Newton’s innovative new environmentally friendly cadmium-free watercolours, concluding that they’re a pleasure to paint with
Make a linocut
John Scott Martin incorporates collage into his linocut prints to add both colour and texture, as he demonstrates here
Buildings made simple
Follow Paul Talbot-Greaves as he shows how to paint buildings using watercolour and gouache, without worrying about straight lines and square windows
How to paint lakes and rivers
Water is a perennially fascinating subject – Amanda Hyatt shares her top ten tips for painting rivers and lakes in watercolour, and demonstrates a painting of a river close to her home
Textures and edges
Ruth Buchanan worked and taught in graphic design and