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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Enliven your paintings with figures

Jake Winkle shows you how to paint moving figures in watercolour to add scale, depth and movement to your watercolours

WATER COLOUR

Study One, watercolour on Arches 140lb Rough, 9¾×9¾in (25×25cm). Painting figures by painting the shadows reveals the lights

A painting may be about figures, or it may be about a place populated with figures. To capture figures in movement, we artists have to detach ourselves from the knowledge of what we are painting and concentrate instead on the shapes that we are making.

The essence of the figure

When I look around I see a lot of abstract shape and colour rather than detail, unless I consciously focus on a specific area, in which case I notice that the area in clear focus is actually very small. So, most of the time I am aware of objects that I don’t see clearly, unless I focus on them in the small area in the centre of my field of vision. Focusing in this way is useful when it comes to capturing the essence or gesture of the figure.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our summer issue in which our team of top professional artists and tutors offer a sparkling range of inspirational features to help you create your best work over the summer months. Capture the sparkle of silver light on water with Chris Rose, enliven your watercolours with moving figures with Jake Winkle, use contre-jour for dramatic effect with Jo Quigley, paint spring and summer trees in watercolour with Ian Sidaway, or a coastal scene in acrylics with Paul Talbot-Greaves. Julie Collins goes back to basics with a look at colour theory and pigments, Ann Witheridge suggests using an extended palette for portraits, Amanda Hyatt offers a variety of tricks to help you produce better watercolours and there is a host of exercises to try throughout the issue. All this and much more, plus don't forget to enter this month's summer sketching challenge set by Adebanji Alade on page 46, for a chance to win a £50 voucher to spend on art materials with GreatArt!