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Painting project

Part 2 How to produce a stunning sunset scene from a dull photograph using just four well-chosen colours, with Stephen Coates



•Practise watercolour techniques

•How to paint a sunset, water and reflections

How to work with a limited palette

Your reference photograph, which was introduced last month

In last month’s issue I discussed how it was possible to create an effective painting from a rather insipid photograph. This month you will see how I converted the scene into a sunset, using warm tones of raw sienna, burnt sienna and a purple mix of ultramarine and light red. I used these three colours throughout the painting and practised a tried-andtested method for creating realistic water. This is the second stage of the painting and, perhaps, the most challenging.

How to plan the picture

As ever, a watercolour painting requires forward planning and this was no exception. The limestone rocks in the foreground needed to stand out against a darker background so I wanted to make the top of each rock white with a sharp edge. I realised that I was going to put quite a lot of paint, including some splattering, onto the beach area and that it was not possible to avoid the rocks while doing this. You can lift paint off afterwards by gently scrubbing with a wet brush and dabbing off with kitchen paper, but this is extremely time consuming and it is difficult to achieve clean sharp edges. It was necessary therefore to use masking fluid to protect some of the rocks. Here was my plan:

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the August issue of Leisure Painter. Aimed at beginners and amateur painters, this month's issue is packed with practical advice, demonstrations, tutorials and tips and techniques for drawing and painting your favourite subjects, from materials and colours to the techniques and ideas you need to produce beautiful paintings. Learn how to loosen up your style as you use outdoor techniques for painting at home, or how to transform a dull photograph into a vibrant sunset scene. Understand the value of edges in your work, how to inject life and character into your drawings and paintings of cats, and be inspired to paint summer-themed still lifes. There's a beginner's introduction to Brusho as well as demonstrations in watercolour, acrylics, water-mixable oils and oils.