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Spray-on expression

Robert Dutton reveals his secrets for successful mixed-media paintings using acrylic spray paints

Working directly in the landscape encourages a really positive reaction to the subject that, for me, is not achievable by working solely in the studio, and it really doesn’t matter what media I use. I want to make my paintings evoke the experience and awe, the physical sense of being there in the landscape, in direct contact with nature.

Studio paintings

The process of drawing on site helps me to analyse my subject properly, and it’s through direct observation that decisions are made about what to include for a strong composition. I do take photographs on site but it is always the location field sketches that provide a way in to a larger studio painting. All the information is there, even though many sketches are small or medium scale in size.

I want my drawings and paintings to express the actual textures and the energy felt by being directly in the landscape – to capture a sense of place. Thus, finding a medium that allows me both to draw and paint at the same time, and express such ideas quickly and directly, was important. And that’s what spray paints did.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our August issue packed with practical, how-to articles and demonstrations to help inspire and guide your drawing and painting over the summer months. Our top team of professional artists and tutors are passionate about sharing their ideas and technical skills to help you learn from their experience. The issue is brimming over with features covering all media and subject matter, including advice from Paul Riley on the advantages and benefits of using water-mixable oils and Robert Dutton on how to incorporate the use of acrylic spray paints to great effect in your mixed-media work. Watercolourists will love the different approaches and ideas shared by Vivienne Cawson (flowers), Amanda Hyatt (tonal impressions), Geoff Hunt (working en plein air), Robert Brindley (street scenes) and Julie Collins, who offers some great ideas about colours and colour combinations for painting trees. All this and more, plus look out for the 'swipe for more images' and hand logo to see even more images from our wonderful artists. And don't forget to enter the last of our summer sketching competition challenges set by Adebanji Alade, with prizes up for grabs from GreatArt!