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Portraits with beauty and emotion

Red Monocle, pastel on paper, 391⁄2 ×391⁄2in (100 ×100cm). ‘A self-portrait wearing a monocle, studying the ageing me in close up. This was the first work I submitted to the Pastel Society Open Exhibition and I was delighted when they not only accepted this and another work, but it also won the Conté à Paris Award.’

Even during her successful fashion career, Melodie Cook always wanted to be an artist, and once she had made the decision to pursue it, she did not look back, ‘although from a financial point of view it was a difficult decision!’ In 1977, Melodie went to Italy for three weeks. She remained for 27 years, creating for the fashion industry, and did not paint or draw in the fine art sense for 20 years after leaving school. ‘Towards the end of my career, I attended regular life drawing, painting, printing and sculpture at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice. When I returned to the UK I did a full-time three-year course in Fine Art including sculpture at the Art Academy in London.’ She also recalls the grounding in fine art she received early on: ‘I was very lucky to have a fantastic art teacher at school who taught drawing the academic way, and gave me an excellent foundation which I still refer to.’

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The Artist
February 19

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The Artist
Email me at theartistletters@tapc.co.uk, or visit our
The Serengeti is the largest intact ecosystem left on earth. Its true boundaries are defined not by lines on maps but by the seasonal movement of millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles. They circle the great grass plains and thorn thickets east of Lake Victoria, following the rain and feeding on the succession of plants it nourishes. Nowhere else can you observe the daily activities of such a variety and volume of wildlife.
Email theartistletters@tapc.co.uk or write to The Editor
Caroline Saunders talks to Professor Chris Orr MBE RA about his complicated compositions rich in content, colour and humour
Susie Hodge reviews an exhibition at the Lowry Gallery in Salford that explores how and why Lowry developed his admiration for the Pre-Raphaelites
Idrew my friend the artist Arthur Neal the other day.
Check out the latest competitions to enter and make a note of important deadlines
If you want to get adventurous with watercolour, this
Meet this month’s editor’s choice winner from our PaintersOnline gallery, who receives a £50 Jackson’s Art Supplies gift voucher
One of the hardest things for an artist is to stand out from the crowd. Mark David Hatwood recommends some apps that will help your social media posts get some attention
Richard Schmid reveals the secrets of his selective method of painting and demonstrates a still life in oils
Learn how to create exciting, colourful expressive landscapes in mixed media with tips and advice from Soraya French
In this first of two articles Adele Wagstaff explores how artists have used dry media and drawing techniques to explore the structure and form of the head
Peter Brown is president of the NEAC and is fast becoming recognised as one of the UK’s leading figurative painters. Popularly known as ‘Pete the Street’ from his practice of working on location in all weathers, he has developed a vigorous en plein air style, and happily interacts with passers-by and fellow students while at work. He is best known for his detailed and atmospheric depictions of street scenes in cities in the UK and abroad. Peter has hosted previous painting holidays to Florence, Arles, Havana and Vietnam. Istanbul will be a new and perfect place for him.
Herman Pekel shares his strategies for creating beautiful clean watercolour washes
Follow Vivienne Cawson as she demonstrates how to merge delicate flowers with carefully chosen decorative backgrounds, working in watercolour with drawing media
Paul Talbot-Greaves demonstrates how to use cool and warm arrangements with complementary colour contrasts to add interest to an acrylic winter scene
When painting animals, it is very important that the eyes are ‘right’ says Ruth Buchanan. In the second of her 10-part series she discusses the different shapes and demonstrates how to paint life-like eyes
Having worked with a limited palette for a while, Paul Brown had to admit that it had its limitations. Here he shares some of the extra colours he has used with great success
Painting glass and anything transparent doesn’t need to be as intimidating as it may first appear – Maddine Insalaco demonstrates her layered approach in oils
Kevin Scully takes a fresh look at still life, and uses gouache to create some compositions from unusual viewpoints
Hester Berry demonstrates how to capture the landscape in oils, working alla-prima, and shares the details of her sketching kit
Be inspired by Jane Hope to step out of your comfort zone and paint unfamiliar subjects at different times of day – for a whole year