Beside the sea |

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Beside the sea

Helen Elliott discusses her painting and thought processes as she creates one of her signature paintings


Mix colour on the canvas

Work with a limited palette

How to draw and paint with acrylic

For this demonstration painting I chose to use Golden Fluid Acrylics. I love their transparency and thin consistency, almost like single cream. This transparency is great for creating depth in a painting, as it allows each layer to glow through. If I want passages of opacity, or to cover up areas, I’ll add to the mix heavy-body titanium white, which is super-opaque.

For this painting I chose two yellows, two reds, two blues and one green, with the addition of black and white. The colours are Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue green shade, phthalo green, quinacridone magenta, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, hansa yellow medium, carbon black and a heavy-body titanium white.

Painting process

Before I begin a painting, I make a colour chart of the colours I intend to use (below left) then lay out the tubes, bottles, clean water, a damp cloth and a selection of brushes close to hand. I do not squeeze the paint out onto a palette, as I prefer to paint directly from the tube, mixing the colours on the canvas as I work. This keeps the mixes fresh and, as the nature of acrylics is to dry fast, it also means I have supple, malleable paint to hand for each passage.

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About Leisure Painter

Time to take out your brushes and colours as you peruse the November issue of Leisure Painter. This month, build your confidence and skill set with new ideas from acrylic painters, Brendan Smith and Helen Elliott. For the watercolourists, there are demonstrations and practical advice for painting flowers, autumn landscapes, trees, animals, buildings and street scenes. Oil painter, Martin Kinnear covers 'how to paint a winner' with advice on how to see and think like a professional artist, while Elena Parashko demonstrates the painting of tulips in the same medium. Tony Paul continues his look at successful composition ideas, Tim Fisher (who completes his seven-part line & colour series this month) also reports on new sketching sets by Caran d'Ache, and there's even an article on how to paint a halloween-inspired cartoon. Enjoy another month of painting with the UK's best-selling learn to paint magazine.