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Girls of summer

Ready for sea, sand and sun? Follow Elena Parashko step by step and paint three figures on a summer beach


How to paint three-dimensional looking figures

Techniques and colours for painting sky, sea and sand

While enjoying a day at the beach, three girls set up their umbrella on the sand in front of me and magically created the perfect subject for a painting. I took a quick photo (right) of this lovely arrangement and used it as inspiration for a painting in my studio. However, I did make some changes to the reference photograph to create a more successful painting.

First, I deleted the rocks in the mid-ground as I felt they competed with the main subject. I also stepped the viewpoint back away from the girls to give a bigger picture of the landscape. I changed the colour of their clothing to complement the blues and greens of the scene and deleted some of their clutter from the sand. As this was going to be a smallish canvas, I decided to paint the whole seascape first then paint the girls and their umbrella on top later, rather than fussing with painting the movement of the wash and waves around them.

Amateur painters are often nervous about painting figures into a scene. This demonstration will show you how easy it is to create the effect of threedimensional figures by simply using shadows and highlights, and indicating textures.

Reference photograph for Girls of Summer
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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.