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Late spring on the riverbank

Richard Nichols visits the beautiful Canal du Midi to paint an iconic scene of life on the water using a limited palette

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Practise watercolour mixing and applying

How to interpret rather than copy a photograph

How to paint reflections

In the second of this seasonal series I am taking you on a trip along the waterways in France to explore riverside scenes and share some of the glorious sights I experienced on board a barge, Anjodi, which had been converted from early industrial use to cater for week long passenger comfort.

As we glided smoothly southwards along the curvaceous Canal du Midi, I saw how the flowers on the banks and buds of the plane trees, which lined our route, emerged more and more each day. There were countless subjects to observe and appreciate with an abundance of opportunities to draw or paint cameo scenes and details from the life along the riverbanks – endorsing my encouragement to get everyone carrying a sketchbook with them wherever they go!

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the summer issue of Leisure Painter. We've packed this issue with a variety of painting tutorials and demonstrations for landscapes, portraits, birds, nocturnes, harbour scenes, flowers and gardens. If you love painting detail in watercolour, look no further than Paul Hopkinson's portrait of a barn owl and Jarnie Godwin's beginners' guide to botanical painting. If you want to simplify the detail, look out for Paul Alcock's painting project of a busy harbour scene and Hazel Soan's watercolour portraits. From tips on work outdoors to how to paint successfully from photographs, there's something for all busy amateur painters in this month's issue. You'll find practical advice on how to use watercolour pencils and other drawing media, watercolour, acrylics and oils along with where to go and what to do throughout the summer. Enjoy your month of painting!