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Wisps and streamers

Add drama and interest to your work as you learn to paint special cloud effects in watercolour, with David Bellamy
Dettifoss , watercolour on Waterford 140lb NOT paper, 12x18in. (30.5x46cm). A fine cloud of spray rises to obscure the mighty falls. I painted this as I saw the scene, feeling that the spray was an important part of the picture, as it added atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to extend or reposition spray or cloud so long as it doesn’t appear odd, as not only will it break up long lines – as in the background horizontals in this instance – but it can also reduce repetition of detail. In this work these effects were rendered mainly by the wet-in-wet method with a little softening off with a damp brush in places.


Develop your compositional skills in watercolour

Practise wet-on-wet, wet-on dry and thirsty-brush techniques

Apparently few people actually go out with the sole purpose of painting or sketching wisps or streamers, a fact I find amazing as these are some of the most exciting and useful features in a landscape. These straggling, torn fragments of cloud might look unappealing in themselves, but used properly can be extremely effective in enhancing your landscapes, especially in mountain or hill country.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the Summer issue of Leisure Painter, where we aim to cover all your favourite media and subjects . In this month's issue you will find all the help you'll need for drawing or painting landscapes, flowers, animals, harbour scenes, seascapes, weather effects and more in watercolour, acrylics, oils, pastels and drawing media. Learn how to find the perfect view when sketching outdoors and find confidence-boosting tips for painting in public when you venture out this year. From how to make marks in graphite and reproduce textures in nature to three important considerations when painting from photographs, enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter