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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

The rules of painting


Iteach painting in the fine art degree programme of which I am also programme director. As well as painting, students can study sculpture, printmaking or, unusually for a fine art degree, ceramics, and they choose to study just one of these subjects or a combination. It’s one of the reasons why it’s such a good course, and why I am so sad that it is now over; the authorities thought it too expensive so they have cut the fine art degree.

Painting is a difficult subject to teach. I envy my colleagues in ceramics and printmaking because their jobs are, in a way, much more straightforward. If the student does not understand the mysteries of glazing, or does not learn the techniques of etching, then the student has failed. Sculpture is a bit different, but there is still the fact that any object a sculptor might make remains in the real world; it stands up or falls down, people can bump into it. In painting, everything is up for grabs. It is a sort of twodimensional patch or space in the world that follows a set of rules unlike anything else around it. I realise that I am taking a risk by writing like this in this magazine, where people are looking for tips about how to paint ‘properly’, but bear with me.

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About The Artist

Be inspired to get out and about with your painting kit this summer with tips and advice on sketching and painting en plein air from top watercolour artists Amanda Hyatt, Geoff Hunt and Ian Sidaway. Jenny Wheatley shows how to use your location studies to create exciting compositions back at home, while in a the first of a new series Yael Maimon explains how to select the best format for a successful composition. Aldo Balding demonstrates how to paint a full-length portrait, Robert Brindley shows how to capture the spirit of Venice in watercolour, Barry Herniman reveals how to use acrylics the watercolour way. Plus we focus on the rules of painting, how to paint figures on the beach, learn from the painting style of Christopher Wood, how to choose the best colours for different skies, and how to cope with the challenge of working from poor photos. We've included plenty to inspire you this month, as well as information about what to see and do and competitions to enter with great prizes up for grabs!