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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Game of tones

Having explained how to interpret tone and translate what you see to your paper, Hazel Soan brings her series to a close with advice on how to balance those tones throughout your painting

LIGHT AND SHADE IN WATER COLOUR: 3 OF 3

Since tone is relative, getting the tonal balance right in a painting is a matter of judgement. There are no hard and fast rules, save that darker tones bring out lighter tones (and vice versa), and strong, dark, defined and bright tones jump forward, while soft and pale tones recede. This month I offer solutions that have helped me, but as with all things creative, you often just have to trust gut instinct!

Dark against light, light against dark

To suggest a greater sense of depth or space in a painting bring the features in the foreground into focus with greater definition, stronger, warmer colours and deep or bright tones. Features in the background can be ‘sent backwards’ on the picture plane by softening or blurring the definition, decreasing the depth of tone (whether light or dark) and by using cooler bluer colouring.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our April issue, packed with inspirational how-to articles by our esteemed artist contributors and tutors. Improve your watercolour painting and colour-mixing skills with Hazel Soan, Paul Talbot-Greaves, David Howell, Judi Whitton, Julie Collins and Paul Weaver, plus learn how to make and use your own reed pen for expressive drawings with consultant editor Jason Bowyer. Enjoy Adebanji Alade's advice on how to sketch your children or grandchildren, and enter our fantastic new monthly sketching competition with great prizes every month and the chance to see your work publicised! If you haven't tried acrylics before, get started with help from Jo Quigley, and then capture the effects of sparkling light in seascapes by following Jenny Aitken's demonstration. We also include insights into how cover artist Paul Regan paints his atmospheric night scenes of urban streets, how to drive sales of your paintings in the digital domain, why you should consider using big brushes for small paintings and how drawing from the cast can be so important for your portrait painting skills. And don't forget to enter our 2018 Open Art Competition with over £17,500 worth of prizes to be won, and the chance to see your work exhibited! See pages 12-13 for full details