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Wisteria in focus

From materials and techniques to drawings and a finished painting, Rachel McNaughton takes you through the painting of this spring favourite



Colour-mixing practice

Make the right choices for your materials

Learn a new loose and lively method with watercolour

A few years ago I made a conscious decision to loosen up my painting style. Until then I had been careful to paint almost every petal. My painting, as a result, had become predictable and no longer excited me. Many, many sheets of paper later and I evolved my paint-itand- mess-it-up technique.

Having spent many years painting flowers in a more controlled and detailed way was a big advantage to loosening up. I have a wealth of flower shapes and colours locked in my head and as my new technique of painting doesn’t involve drawing, my mental filing system is invaluable. However, it is easy to make assumptions about any subject if you haven’t taken time to really look at it. The best way I know of making myself look closely is to spend time on drawing my subject in pencil. Obviously it is better to do this from the real thing but, if the subject isn’t available, photos are the next best option. I use my own photos as well as ones found on the internet.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to this month's issue of Leisure Painter. Within these pages you'll find everything you need to learn to draw and paint successfully from how to render beaches and landscapes, buildings, flowers, portraits and birds to how to develop your artistic skills as you work on composition, perspective, tonal values, painting from photographs and colour mixing. Do you want to loosen up your style or work on detail with the smallest brushes? Do you need to know more about which materials to buy, or are you simply ready to take out your colours and paint alongside some the of the UK's best art tutors? Each month there are projects and step-by-step demonstrations to try. Enjoy your month of painting.
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