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A Complete Course On

Practical

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& Creative

Techniques

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artschool
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OLIVIA FRASF.R
SAFDARJUNG's Tomb

RMES

o U

This edition published by Hermes House


an imprint of

Anness Publishing Limited

Hermes House
88-89 Blackfriars Road

London SE1

All rights reserved.

No

part of this publication

be reproduced, stored
transmitted in any

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8HA

in a retrieval

may

system, or

or by any means, electronic,

mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,


without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.

A CIP

catalogue record for this book

is

available from the British Library

Publisher: Joanna Lorenz

Samantha Gray

Project Editor:

Designer: Michael

Morey

Photographers: Paul Forrester and John Freeman

Typeset by

MC

Printed in

Typeset Limited

Hong Kong

C Anness Publishing Limited 1994


Updated

2004

13579108642

Contents

DRAWING

WATERCOLOUR
OIL

& ACRYLIC

68

130

PASTEL PAINTING

192

Suppliers

252

Index

254

I)(,

BRIG

Stepping Oui

III

Introduction

Drawing
It is

not easy to define the

because

it

embraces a wide range of related

but different

At

activities.

be described as

all

its

simplest

marks made on

paper, and in this sense


basic of

word "drawing"

human

it

can

a sheet of

one of the most

it is

activities.

Young

children enjoy scribbling with a pencil or

crayon as soon as they have developed


sufficient

manual dexterity

to grip the

implement, and long before they consider


relating

what they

are doing to the

world

they see around them.

This enjoyment of the lines and marks

made by

various drawing implements

important factor

in all

is

an

drawing, and para-

mount in the work of some artists the


modern Swiss painter and draughtsman,
Paul Klee, described his drawing as "taking
a line for a walk".

For most

artists,

however, drawing also performs a


descriptive function:

it is

a direct response

to the visual stimuli of our surroundings.

Learning to draw
Drawing
and

it is

is

often regarded as a special

true that there are people

gift,

who seem

TED GOULD
Claire
(Above) Pastel
is

is

a lovely

medium for portraiture and

particularly well-suited to studies of children, as

creates gentle effects in keeping with the subject.

the face
lightly,

and clothing

it

On

the artist has applied the colours

rubbing them slightly into the paper to create

soft blends, reinforced with crisp linear drawing.

PIP

CARPENTER

Swans on the Thames


(Left) Pastel
it is

need not be a soft and delicate medium;

extremely versatile and responsive to the

artist's

and ways of working. Here the artist


has created energetic and exciting effects in the
visual interests

picture by laying heavy strokes of unblended colour,

using the

tip

of the pastel stick.

ROBERT

MAXWELL WOOD
Yesterday's
Nudes, Radishes
(Left) In his picture, this
artist uses

coloured

pencil in a completely

way to John
Townend (below). He
different

achieves meticulous
detail

and considerable

depth of colour with


successive layers of

coloured pencil, using


a delicate shading
technique so that almost

no

to be able to

drawing,
acquired;

draw

quite effortlessly. Yet

like writing,
if

lines are visible.

is

a skill

the motivation

is

which can be

there,

most

people can learn to draw accurately. In the


past, students

certain

were taught to draw

in a

way, with the emphasis on

mastering a specific set of techniques, but


this

ignored the essential fact that drawing

is first

and foremost about

seeing.

TED GOULD
Girl Sketchi ng
(Right) Wax crayon is a
less subtle

drawing

medium than
it

il

pastel, but

'wf f

has the advantage of

not smudging and

is

thus

it

useful for sketchbook

"Mi

drawings and quick


impressions. In this
lively

drawing, the

artist

has built up the forms

'irljW

and colours with a

JOHN TOWNI

network of loose

Su m m

hatching and cross-

(Above) This

hatching

lines.

bis subject,

Beyond

rHi

and finds oloured pent


<

pjrtn ulat appro

'

Pooi

out of doors dire* tlyfrom

artist icoiks

the

il

ideal fot bis

medium

instim tive manner, with bold hatching lines v trying


in diret tion at

rding to the forms he

is

dest ribing.

DAVID CUTHBERT
Polly Wants a Pot
(Left) In this delightful

and inventive drawing,

coloured pencil has been pressed heavily into the

paper to achieve areas of heavy, almost

The two-dimensional pattern element

flat colour.

is

stressed by

the use of coloured outlines.

Although technical
not the
as

it is

void.

first

stage in learning

You may produce


you have

of drawing, which

your

combination of pastel

and pastel pencil has


been used for

this

exploration of shapes

and forms. The

light

brown paper chosen by


the artist has allowed

him

to build

highlights

up both

and shadows

with light overlays of

white and brown pastel.


It

has also given a subtle

touch of colour to

what

is

essentially a

monochrome drawing.

draw,

beautifully even

own

failed in the
is

still

primary task

to describe the subject

satisfaction.

Such

failures are

do

is

to look at things, but

simple, because
a certain

you have

it is

not that

to learn to look in

way, analytically and objectively.

This can be a surprisingly hard


master, as

it

skill to

involves looking at a subject

with a fresh eye every time, abandoning


preconceptions.

Our

brains are cluttered

with information which can be actively

nearly always the direct result of poor

unhelpful in the context of drawing, leading


us to quite the

It

Still Life with

it is

observation, not of inadequate technique.

sounds easy enough to say that

want

Man- M a d e and
Natural Objects

how to

hatching and cross-hatching but

find that

PAUL BARTLETT

important,

pointless to develop techniques in a

lines of

to

skill is

to learn

how to draw

all

if

you

you need

to

to

wrong conclusions we tend

draw what we know from experience

rather than

what we

see with

our

own eyes.

GERRY BAPTIST
Bananas and Other Fruit
(Left) This lovely

done

drawing

in very soft pencil,

is

also a study of form,

which blunts

easily

and

thus provides broader, bolder effects than hard or

medium pencil. Both


carefully

this

and

Bartlett's still life are

composed, showing that a drawing

in

monochrome can make as complete a statement


as a coloured

PAUL

drawing or painting.

ARTLETT

Self portrait
(Below) A comparison between

this

Gerry Baptist's demonstrates the


pencil.

Here the

effect

is

drawing and

versatility

of the

almost photographic

minute attention to detail and texture and

its

in its

subtle

gradations of tone.

A classic example is relative size, which


can be hard to get

right, particularly

you are drawing familiar


place one large object

much

objects.

you

will

large because of

make

If

you

a table with a

smaller one in front of

are that

But

on

when

it,

the chances

the larger one too

your prior knowledge of

it.

in fact the effects of perspective will

have caused

it

to "shrink", so that

it

may

smaller than the object nearer to you.

only

way

subject,

to

approach drawing

whether

it

be

The

known

be a portrait, an apple on

TED GOULD
(i

Left

in

an Armchair

Pen and ink can achieve

effects,

but a

drawings. In

is

also a lovely

this figure

essentials of the

superimposing

pose

study the

in a

few pen

where the

lines

incorrect or needed

<

intrit

ate

medium

and elaborate

for rapid line

artist

has

strokes,

first

<

aught the

sometimes

drawing

larifying.

JOHN TOWNEND
Shunting Locomotive at Bow
(Below) For this sketch,

has used

oil pastel,

made on

location, the artist

an ideal medium for bold

and quick impressions, as colours can be

effects

built

up

rapidly. Also, unlike soft pastel, oil pastel does not

smudge and does not

require fixing.

The sgraffito

technique has been used to add touches of linear


detail to the side

ELISABETH

a plate or a tree,

HARDEN

to force yourself to

is

abandon preconceptions by pretending

Nettles

yourself that you have never seen

it

to

before.

(Above) The attractive

combination of pen

Only

in this

way will you

be able to assess

it

lines

and washes of diluted

thoroughly and draw

accurately.

it

ink (watercolour can


also be used) allows

Different kinds of drawing

tones to be built up with

A drawing can

greater speed than

is

few

possible with line alone.

Pen and wash

sketchbook,
is

be

many

lines of "visual

made

things:

shorthand"
to

it

can be a

in a

remind the

artist

both for broad

some

salient point in a subject;

it

can be a

step in painting, subsequently hidden

treatments and the kind

first

of delicate

by layers of paint and thus having no

this

effect seen in

drawing.

of

ideal

independent existence;

it

can be a finished

work of art in its own right, planned,


composed and executed with as much
thought as a painting.

of the coach.

P C A R P F N T
In ree Fishes

(Right) This

is

also a

mixed-media work, but


a more unusual

combination has been


used: oil paint, used
tbinly

&

on paper, and

coloured pencils. There


are no set rules about

mixed-media drawing;
only by experimenting
will

you discover which

work well together and


which do

not.

The kind of drawing you make depends


on how you view the purpose of the

why

are

you drawing? You may draw

simply because you love to do so,


case,

activity

in

which

once you have mastered the

"alphabet" of drawing you will find

it

means of self-expression. You

may have

aspirations to

you may simply want


skills

to

because

If

you view drawing


skill for

use, but for those

who

own

enjoy drawing for

its

sake,

it is

rewarding to experiment with different


is

now

a wider choice of

drawing materials than ever before, from


the traditional graphite pencil to a

whole

coloured pencils, inks and felt-tipped pens.

The word "drawing" no longer conjures up


an image of timid grey pencil marks on

you enjoy painting.


foundation

does not matter very

range of colourful and versatile pastels,

become an

improve your observational

it

much which medium you

media. There

satisfying

illustrator, or

be the main aim, and

as a necessary

painting, accuracy will

white paper

much more

exciting effects

than this are achievable.

JOAN ELLIOTT BATES


White Village, South Spain
(Right) In this delightful

drawing which could be

described equally well as a painting

used pen and ink with

light

These have spread the ink

work

together, or the

the artist has

in places so that there

obvious boundary between


using a mixture of media

washes of water colour.

line

it is

no

is

and colour. When

important that the two

drawing

will lack unity.

JOHN TOWNEND
East End Family Hoiisi
(Opposite) In this pen-and-ink drawing, tones have

been built up by hatching and cross-hatching, a

method which can

create a

somewhat mechanical

impression, but which has been used loosely here,

with the lines almost scribbled over one another


varying directions. Pen and ink
rapid location sketches like

is

this,

in

good medium

for

as the impossihilttx

of erasing encourages a decisive approach.


13

& Equipment

Materials

Monochrome Drawing Materials


Many people picture
in

drawing as

monochrome pencil, pen and

charcoal. In the past

work

ink or

most drawings were

indeed in one colour or perhaps two, largely

because colour drawing materials, with the


exception of pastels, did not arrive on the
art scene until relatively recently.

are a great

Now there

many, which are discussed

later.

However, because most people begin


drawing with monochrome materials we
will

look at these

first.

Pencils
These are the most basic of
tools, as well as being

sensitive

and

versatile.

all

drawing

one of the most

Few

artists

would be

without a selection of pencils. Although


they are sometimes incorrectly described as
"lead", pencils are in fact
a

made

of graphite,

form of carbon, and began to be

manufactured

in the

18th century after the

CONTE CRAYONS

discovery of a deposit in the north of

England. They are

from 8B, which

which

is

much

is

made

in different grades,

very soft, to about 4H,

too hard for ordinary

'V
SHARPENERS

drawing purposes. An HB, a 2B and a 4B

would provide

good

selection for the

beginner to practise with.

CONTE CRAYONS
These are square-sectioned

sticks, similar to

hard pastels in consistency.

They

in black, white,

and a

are

made

selection of "earth"

browns and red-browns. They are


capable of much bolder effects than pencil,
colours

and are excellent both


and

for crisp, decisive

for areas of solid dark tone, as

CARTRIDGE PAPER FIXED

lines

TO DRAWING BOARD

they can be sharpened to a point or broken

WTTH MASKING TAPE

into short lengths

and used sideways. The

INTERCHANGEABLE
NIBS FOR

PEN HOLDER

only drawback

that

is

Conte cannot be

erased easily.

Charcoal
This

is

one of the most popular of

monochrome media. Because


a bold, uninhibited

it

all

the

encourages

form of drawing,

art

recommend it to novices.
made from fired twigs of wood,

teachers often

Charcoal

is

such as willow, and


thicknesses.

is

sold in different

smudges

It

easily,

and
REED PEN

corrections can be
off;

however,

this

made simply by wiping


makes

it

less suitable

it

BAMBOO PEN

than

pencil for small-scale sketchbook work.

Compressed charcoal
both

stick

also available, in

is

and pencil form. This produces

QUILL PEN

deeper, richer blacks than ordinary


charcoal, but

less

is

Pens, inks

easy to erase.

and brushes

SYNTHETIC BRUSHES

There are a great many different kinds of


pen, ranging from
tips to

quills

start

modern

felt-

and

fibre-

"old-fashioned" implements such as

and reed pens. Perhaps

with one of the inexpensive wooden or

plastic handles sold

with a

drawing

implements, producing an expressive

line.

set of various

interchangeable nibs which will enable you


to practise your "handwriting" in pen

ink; this type of pen

always clearly labelled. Brushes are not a


necessity, but they are sensitive

best to

it is

may well remain

favourite item of equipment, as

it

and

Papers
The most common

surface for drawing

is

plain white cartridge (drawing) paper. For

does for

wash drawings, make sure

that

you buy
SPRAY FIXATIVE

many

good-quality cartridge (drawing) paper.

professional artists.

There

is

a variety of

Some

drawing inks on the

use a paper with a

artists prefer to

market, but they can be divided into two

texture for charcoal drawings. Textured

basic types: water-soluble and waterproof,

paper can also be used for Conte drawings.

the latter being shellac- or acrylic-based.

If

Water-soluble ink can be diluted with water

however,

and

is

therefore useful for

where you want


black.

Waterproof ink should never be used


it

clogs

them up.

and fibre-tipped pens are also made

waterproof and water-soluble versions check

in

your

solid blacks (or

stick to

browns),

smooth cartridge

(drawing) paper.

a range of greys as well as

in reservoir-type pens, as

Felt-

wash drawings,

you want

art shop, as they are not

in

Additional equipment
A

rigid

board of some kind

support the paper.

You

erasers, a craft knife


fixative

if

is

required to

will also

and

can

<>t

need
spray

you intend to use charcoal.

Monochrome Techniques

Pencil
As

the pencil

implement,

is

it

such a versatile drawing

allows each

artist to

cross-hatching.

develop

is

used in

all

The

which

latter technique,

the line media,

is

dealt with in

own "handwriting" in drawing.


There are so many different ways of using

pencil that

\X

techniques can really be singled out as

soft pencil

belonging particularly to this medium.

Conte crayon. These pencils are most

Line and tone

subsidiary role.

his or her

no one technique or

detail

under pen and

Soft pencils, such as

the subject

it is

pencil.

example, gives

pencil, for

heavy shading and smudging methods. This


hard pencil would be a good

choice for a subject such as flowers, where


fine lines

built

and

up by

ith

delicate areas of tone could be

light

2B

shading or hatching and

pencil

which

line plays a

are ideal for rendering

perhaps a face or figure seen


so

not suitable for broad effects involving

relatively

They

landscape or the modelling on forms

An HB

light, fine lines,

in

tonal effects, such as light and shade in a

you

choose to draw are both major influences

on the way you use the

drawing

can look very similar to one in

suitable for drawings in

The grade of pencil and

ink.

6B and 8B, can

create thick dark areas; indeed a

set of

N
G

more

side-lighting. If

in

strong

you are drawing or

sketching out of doors, rather than working

from a subject that you have


at

home, take

good

with you, as your

set

up

specially

selection of pencils

initial direct

response to

the subject will often dictate the kind of

drawing that you make.

Marks made with a 4B

pencil

Marks made with an 8B

pencil

Frottage
This

is

Collage of frottage textures

a specialist technique

worth knowing ahout.


to pencil

It is

which

1A

is

"

/.

These have been made

term "frottage" comes from the French

on
verb frotter, to rub, and the method will

thin cartridge

(drawing) paper, which

who has made or


A piece of paper is

be familiar to anyone

has given good


impressions;

placed over a textured surface, or one

with an incised pattern, and soft pencil

home.

in the artist's

crayon or pastel can also be used. The

rubbed over the paper. The method

:,"'

obtained from surfaces

drawing- charcoal, Conte

seen brass rubbings.

variety of frottage

textures has been

not restricted

it is

easier to stick
is

also

down

than thick paper.

is

often used to create areas of pattern or

texture in a

drawing-

patterns of

wood grain

for example,

taken from

a rough piece of timber could be

incorporated into a

still life.

The

effects

which can be achieved vary according


to the paper used. Brass rubbings are

done on

thin paper because this yields

the crispest

and

clearest impressions;

on

ordinary drawing paper, pencil frottage

2
light

A working drawing is made first


to plan the composition, with

shading indicating where the

dark and light tones are to be placed.

tracing has been

the drawing,

made from

and lines are

transferred to the back of each piece

of paper. The

first

piece

is

cut out.

produces a more blurred result which

may suggest a texture without being


specific as to

its

nature.

Frottage method

around for the

best

placing before gluing them


their final positions.

You need a

soft pencil

clear impression.

and fairly

is

down

in

At a

certain point, she begins to

depart from the shapes in the

master drawing, letting the collage


develop independently.

thin paper for a

Here a graphite stick

without the wooden casing)

The artist moves the collage


pieces

(a pencil

used to take a

rubbing from a piece of bubble wrap.

(Right)

The finished collage shows an

interesting use

difficult to use in a

of frottage, which can be

"normal " drawing.

17

Monochrome Techniques

Charcoal
Charcoal

is

a wonderfully versatile

medium,

achieve a denser coverage. For line

responsive to the slightest change in the

drawings or

amount

cartridge (drawing) paper

of pressure applied, depending on

how the stick is

held. Fine sticks of

fine, light effects,


is

however,

ideal.

willow

charcoal can produce either delicate effects

Erasing techniques

or tough, crisp lines resembling those in

Charcoal can be erased completely, but

certain pencil drawings, while at the other

is

extreme, a thick stick of charcoal or

with the boldness and immediacy of the

compressed charcoal used on

medium;

you

to build

up deep,

its

side allows

surface,

which does not hold the

charcoal well, so for drawings where tone

more important than


either to spray the

line,

more usual

is

fixative at

paper with more

texture, such as Ingres paper, watercolour

feature of drawings in charcoal, are helpful

from a practical point of view too, as

it is

amend a drawing when


wrong lines are still visible.
The ease with which charcoal can be

easier to correct or

the

rubbed down has given

charcoal dust more firmly and allow you to

technique

(Charcoal on watercolour paper

down any

which are often an exciting

paper or recycled paper. These will grip the

Charcoal on Ingres paper

to rub

keeping

with "ghost lines" which can be drawn


over. These,

you may need

work with

intervals or to use a

it is

in

this

incorrect lines, producing an area of grey

rich areas of tone.

Ordinary cartridge (drawing) paper has a

smooth

somewhat laborious and not

known

rise to

an interesting

as "lifting out". This

WILLOW CHARCOAL

Lifting out charcoal

Having covered a

sheet of cartridge

(drawing) paper with

it

cotton
hall) to

down

wool

cotton

(Right)

main

works on

light areas

of

The darker areas


have been defined

with further bold

For the finer

details,

the putty eraser

pulled into a point

is

and

the subject, using the

applications of charcoal,

used as one might use a

and

pastel stick or pencil.

guide for the highlights

broad strokes and the

eraser

to be lifted out.

corner for finer

create a

picture

produce grey.

the

Using a putty eraser,


the artist

side of the eraser for

the darker tones of the

with

(a

over the grey

background establishes

charcoal, the artist

wipes

A rough drawing

and provides a

detail.

the corner of the


is

now used to
new highlight.

The method encourages bold drawing

and dramatic,

painterly effects

the lifted-out

highlights look similar to brushstrokes.

reverses the usual

drawing procedure,

in

which the darkest tones are built up


gradually; here
light,

eraser. This

figure

you work from dark

to

picking out the highlights with a putty

method

drawing

often applied to

is

art teachers find

it

encourages an unfussy approach but any


subject

which has strong contrasts of tone

can be drawn

in this

The usual method


the

way.
is

to start

by covering

whole of the paper with charcoal, rub

it

down to produce an overall mid-grey and


then make a line drawing over this. The
drawing is in turn rubbed down to produce
a ghost image

which provides

the next stage

- that

highlights.

Once

the

a guide for

of lifting out the

main highlights are

in

place, the mid-tones are established by

working more

lightly

with the eraser, after

which the darks can be strengthened

if

necessary with further applications of


charcoal.

It is

not as difficult as

it

and you can achieve quite precise

sounds,
effects

with the putty eraser, which can be pulled


into a point for fine lines
flat for

and used on the

large areas.
19

Monochrome Techniques

Conte Crayon
Black Conte crayons and Conte pencils give
a less subtle line than charcoal or pencil, but

are excellent for bold effects.


are

made from

together with a binder, which


less

Conte crayons

natural earth pigments held

makes them

crumbly than charcoal, enabling you to

build up solid areas of black because the

colour grips the paper more firmly.


don't usually need to
they don't

smudge

fix

You

Conte drawings,

easily,

to erase mistakes cleanly.

but

it is

as

difficult

Conte crayon on cartridge (drawing) paper

The brown and

brownish-red crayons and pencils yield

more

delicate effects

and are perhaps more

sympathetic to use than the black

throughout the history of

art the so-called

"sanguine" (red-brown) chalks or crayons

have been much favoured for portrait and


figure drawings.

Paper texture
As with charcoal drawings,

the texture

of the paper plays a part in the final

appearance of the work, but here the

smoother the paper, the darker the drawing


will be.

A textured surface,

such as pastel

paper or medium-surface watercolour


paper, breaks up the strokes, allowing tiny

specks of white to
a slight speckling

show through

Conte crayon on Ingres paper

to create

which can be highly


: -'-=,'.

effective in a light- or

mid-toned drawing.

Conte crayon on water colour paper

WOR KING.

-4

TROIS

COULEURS
Drawings
often

sanguine Conte crayons are

in

done on

usually a

a lightly coloured paper,

warm cream

which enhances the


low-key

on

or light brown,

rich colours.

/',

For a

black Conte can be used

effect,

a grey or blue paper,

which provides

middle tone. Such drawings can be

left

as

IThe artist

they are, with only dark and mid-tones,

working on
but a traditional technique

to pick out

is

the highlights in white Conte, using, in


effect, three

colours

couleurs. This

is

- hence

trois

way

an excellent

off-

middle tone has

been established

now

beginning to take

and has begun

hatching lines of

dimensional form,

sanguine crayon; black

although the crayon

in

the

dark brown

model form, and the method was

black to strengthen

the

extensively used by the old masters for

some

the face

Areas of the paper are

\J

is

on

is

studies.

The face

with loose diagonal

Conte crayon. She uses

nude

white Ingres paper,

drawing
to

is

lines slightly.

again used lightly on

shadowed side of
and neck.

solid, three-

work
and

is still

light

delicate.

left

uncovered, while the light and dark tones


are achieved by shading with white and

black (or sanguine and brown) Conte


respectively.
effects

Very subtle and beautiful

can be achieved

Highlights have

been added

in this

in

way.

putty eraser

is

used to soften the

white crayon, and the

patch of dark shading

whole face comes

at the corner of the

alive

with the definition of

mouth. Conte cannot

the eyes.

be erased completely,
but

it

can be softened

and smudged.

(Right)

The finished drawing has the look of a

painting, although only three colours have been

used, plus white

and

the colour of the paper.

21

Monochrome Techniques

&

Pen
The

was

pencil

Ink

a relatively recent arrival

and ink have been

the art scene, but pen

with us for

were being
in

on

both writing and drawing. Reed pens,


pens

the

are now

artistic revival,

and are

worth experimenting with. They can be

bought from

specialist suppliers or

as

many

However, there are

you can

artists do.

also

many

different

types of ready-made pen on the market

latter

being the standard writing implement

well

make your own,

Ancient Egypt reed pens were used for

quill

19th century

until the

enjoying a major

many centuries; in China, inks


made as early as 2,550 bc, and

bamboo pens and

Europe

today,

in

all

of which create different effects.

Scribble drawing
You can

also build

up tones and forms

looser, less-organized

with the pen. This

is

in a

way, by scribbling

a harder technique to

handle than hatching and cross-hatching as


it

has a

let

random

the pen

quality

you must

freely until the correct density

was

a technique

in revolt

learn to

do the work, moving around

much used by

is

built up.

Picasso

It

when

against traditional methods, and

can give a dynamic quality to a drawing.

1A

fine fibn tipped

this self-portrait,

constructed
the pen

in a fre

moving

aln

pen has been used for

and

the forms have been

and spontaneous way, with


>st

randomly over the paper.

Here the same technique has been used for an


animal drawing. In

this case the artist

from a photograph because

scribble

worked

drawing takes

longer than a line sketch in pencil or charcoal, and


thus not ideal for a

live,

moving subject.

is

Hatching and
cross-hatching
As pen and ink
linearity

you

is

uncompromising

can't shade

in its

and smudge as

you can with pencil and charcoal - tones


must be described with
lines.

in

Hatching

network of

lines arc those

one direction, while

a further set of lines

which go

made on top

is

IThe artist

cross-hatching

in

of

are, the

using a fine, metal-

graphic designers, and

those in the opposite direction.

Obviously the closer together the

is

pointed pen of the kind used by

lines

is

working on a

She will introduce more of the


drapery at a later stage, but she

begins with the pears on the plate.

sheet of good-quality cartridge

Notice

(drawing) paper.

lines,

darker the tone will be.

dots

how she has varied the hatching

from long diagonals

to small

and dashes.

These methods offer numerous


possibilities, because,

although the lines

should be roughly parallel, they need not


be straight and even. The traditional

method of hatching was

to use a series

of slanting lines, and this

is still

commonest technique, but

the

the lines can

curve slightly to follow the shape of

certain objects. This can give a less-

mechanical look to the finished

lines,

drawing, and also helps to build up a

and

(Right)

The drawing

is

built

up

further hatching

which are denser and closer

where there

is

With pears and plate complete,


further

work

is

then carried out

on the drapery, with

together at the centre of the pear,

three-dimensional impression.

The forms of the pears are

more solidly with

lines

an area of dark shadow.

lightly scribbled

deepening the shadow

in the

foreground.

a convincing

rendering of three-dimensional form,


the variety of different lines creates a

lively effect.

Although

all

roughly diagonal,

they are only parallel and evenly spaced

where the artist wanted to describe the flat


plane of the table top.

You

really

need to

which ones you

good

art

shops

try

them out

to discover

prefer, but fortunately


will let

you do

this,

most

and

provide pads of paper for scribbling on.

To some extent your

choice will

on the kind of drawing you intend

a flower study, but

to

do and
a

pen would be unlikely

might be

quick outdoor sketches

in

red.

the

be

needed for

ideal for

the

countryside, as a bottle of ink

depend

where you are working. For example,


fibre- or felt-tipped

to provide the delicacy of line

town or
is

not

Don't neglect the possibility

humble ballpoint pen

a useful

drawing

either -

this

tool, with th<

advantage of being familiar to handle.


11

Monochrome Techniques

& Wash

Line
Another way

to build

pen-and-ink drawing
D

element with washes

up areas of tone
to

is

combine the

made from

line

diluted

water-soluble ink or black watercolour.

This method

painting,

but

it is

tone to

G
It is

is

when

Using brush and reed pens

in a

used in watercolour

fff

the washes are in colour,

equally effective for introducing

monochrome drawings.

an attractive and enjoyable tech-

work more

nique, allowing you to

and rapidly than you can with pen alone,


because you don't have to rely on the line to

IThis subject has


contrasting areas of
light

Nicolas Poussin in the 17th century

and shadow, so

artist begins

wash with consummate

in tone,

skill,

producing beautifully expressive

drawings. The technique

is

closely

associated with figure drawing, but

fc.-.

provide the tone. Both Rembrandt and

exploited line and

freely

the

by working

using a large

2
to

reed pen

is

used,

with undiluted ink,

draw

into the washes.

Line

is

not intended

to play a

dominant

so pen and brush-

role,

These pens give a bolder

work

are developed at the

but more

same

time, with darker

sensitive line

now painted

soft brush and water-

than mechanically

washes

soluble ink.

produced drawing pens.

over the pen

lines.

it is

equally suitable for other subjects, such as

landscapes, urban scenes and flowers.

Pens and papers


A varied line gives the best effect, so this
might be the time to
or reed pens.
felt-tips,

same

because the

line

is

always

thickness. Interesting effects can

bamboo pen

be created by working with a

on

bamboo

quill,

use drawing pens or

but these tend to create a slightly

rigid impression

the

out

try

You can

a slightly textured watercolour paper,

rather than cartridge (drawing) paper, as


this
If

produces a "dry", broken

you intend

to use a

you may need to


otherwise

and

spoil

line.

good deal of wash

stretch the

paper

first,

could buckle under the water

it

your work. Soak the paper

bath for a few minutes,

lift it

in a

on

drawing board and

(gummed brown paper

stick

tape)

it

reed pen

The drawing

if

possible,

it

it

in front

at a halfway stage,

to see

and the artist

which areas require further

definition. Notice that, because water-soluble ink has

damp

been used, the washes of diluted ink have spread and

to dry

vou put

is

this

assesses

softened the pen

turally

and

the

it

around the

edges, smoothing the paper with a

sponge as you work. Leave

further washes,

gumstrip
all

the

has been deepened with

out carefully

and shake off the excess water, then place

The shadow on

left-hand building

of

lines.

is

used again,

time with well-

watered

ink, to

make

light lines at the top

the steps.

of

the fire or use a hairdryer, the tape will dry

before the paper and

may

tear off.

Working methods

In order to

drawing,

produce a well-integrated

try to

develop the

line

and wash

together, rather than "filling in" a line

drawing.

One way

to

do

this

is

N
G

to use

water-soluble ink in the pen, as you can

spread

this

with a brush and clean water

in places to soften the line

more washes
some

as required.

and then apply

However,

artists prefer the line to

crisp; they use

remain

waterproof ink

and water-soluble ink

in the

pen

for the washes.

You

can also reverse the normal procedure


(which

is

to begin with the drawing)

some washes

first in

and

lay

order to establish the

tonal structure of the subject, using pen


later to

add

details

and touches of

definition. This could be a particularly

suitable

approach for

a landscape subject.

The steps play an important part

in the

composition, as they lead the eye in towards the

focal point, which

is

the church tower, so they are

defined carefully with a combination of washes and


decisive

pen work.

The bold, broad lines of the reed pen complement


the loose washes to create a well-integrated

drawing. At the bottom of the wall on the


artist

left,

the

has exploited one of the semi-accidental effects

known

as hackruns,

which quite often

and watercolour work,

)ccur in

wash

to suggest the texture of old

plasterwork.

25

Monochrome Techniques

Brush Drawing
In a

Ink and wash

pen-and-wash drawing, the pen

provides the linear element; you can,

however, dispense with the pen altogether

and make drawings


a

entirely with a brush,

method which takes you

The

of painting.

tip of a

into the area

good brush can

provide quite fine definition and,

if

this

combined with washes, the

is

similar

to that of a
softer,

effect

is

pen-and-wash drawing but

and the

line

and tone are

automatically well-integrated because the

same implement has been used

Having

laid

watered

some

light

ink, the artist

washes of

works

into

Still

working wet into wet, she

uses a piece of kitchen paper to

them before they have dried so that the

control the flow of the ink. In the

darker ink spreads and diffuses

foreground, the washes have formed

softly.

for both.

blobs with irregular edges, an effect

Rembrandt made some wonderful brush-

she likes and therefore makes no

and-wash

attempt to correct.

figure drawings,

and the great

19th-century English landscape painter,

John Constable, used the method


landscape sketches it

is

for

particularly well

suited to quick on-the-spot tonal studies.

A variant on

the method is to work on


dampened paper, which spreads and
diffuses the

washes to create

soft effects,

ideal for subjects such as misty landscapes

and certain weather conditions. The paper

must be stretched

first,

on the

as explained

preceding pages. Until you have practised


the

method

it

can be tricky to control the

flow and spread of the ink, so begin with


the larger areas of light washes

more

detailed

work done with

the brush until the later stages,

and save the


the point of

when

the

paper has begun to dry or dried completely.

(Right)

The brush-and-wask method allows you

to build

up an impression of the landscape more

rapidly than

is

possible with a pencil or pen.

finished picture also provides a good

The

example of the

way accidental effects can enhance a drawing

or

painting; the backruns in the foreground provide a

touch of interest and echo the shapes of the

trees.

The

original ink

trees

extent,

washes on the

have dried out to some

and

the undiluted black ink

For the final stages a crisp

was needed, so

the paper

to dry before further

effect

was

left

work was done

now introduced hardly spreads at all.

on the background, the foreground

The

ivall

artist

which

is

is

using a Chinese brush,

ideal for this kind

of drawing.

and now

the trees.

B rush

d)i

</

paint

II

1
1

'

*^"

iH

*n

Ilk

^H'-

IB

Pir
iK

..."

Kyi A
P
v.'**
HYm mtw

W ^B' ja

Nu

^^

<mp
^*f

(Above and

right) In these studies,

brush drawing has

been taken a step further towards painting, with a

combination of ink and watercolour used.

Brush and ink

The brush

as line

Another kind of brush drawing

done with

line alone, using the

is

that

brush

purely as a drawing tool. This also takes


practice,

and

slightly

is

unnerving

because you cannot correct

initially

errors; nevertheless

method

to try,

releases

some

drawing

freer

it is

an exciting

and you may find that

inhibitions

and

it

and makes your

You can do

less fussy.

almost anything with a brush, depending

on the type you


the
is

use,

how you

amount of pressure you

hold

it

and

apply, so

worth making some "doodles"

it

to

explore the possibilities. The Oriental


artists

and calligraphers, who have

exploited the potential of brush drawing


for centuries,

different

hand positions; somel

work with
Both these drawings were done
minutes, with slightly diluted

Chinese brush. The method


figure drawings

is

in

no more than

brown

ink

ten

and a

have evolved main

the brush verti<

loosely near the top of

than gripped firmly

tl"

al

and held

handle rather

at the ferrule.

excellent for quick

and studies of movement.


27

Drawing

in

Colour

Colour Drawing
Materials
Drawing with

pencils, charcoal

and pens

provides valuable practice and can be highly


satisfying too, but with the coloured

drawing media you can

really

experiment

and produce works which are


and

as polished as

artists are in the

as expressive

any painting. Today's

fortunate position of

having a wide range of high-quality


materials to choose from

problem being where to

- the

only

start.
OIL PASTELS

Coloured pencils
These make a good starting point for

anyone launching into colour; they are easy


to use, handling in the

same way

familiar graphite pencil,

as the

and you can

start

with a few colours and built up a more


extensive collection gradually.

Like

all

colour media they are

made from

pigment held together with a binder. The

differences in consistency between brands.

quantity of binder used varies from one

Some

manufacturer to another, so you

resembling pastels; some are slightly greasy,

will find

pencils are soft, chalky

and others are hard and

You

will only discover

fairly transparent.

which ones you

by trying them out, which

km Am

4 i J

A i

HARD PASTELS

and opaque,

is

like

one very good

reason for starting with a small range.

SOFT PASTELS

COLOURED PENCILS

Some manufacturers make


pencils as well,

water-soluble

which are particularly useful

because you can use them both wet and dry,


spreading the colour

drawing and using

in

some

parts of a

- they

inks, but others are acrylic-based

known

use very

much

like

If

in

water-soluble inks,

except that they are impermeable

lines in others.

s\

are

and they behave

as liquid acrylics

you want your work

to last,

when

dry.

guard

against the type of ink called "brilliant

Pastels
Pastels are

watercolour";

made

and hard versions,

in soft

with the former, sold

form of

in the

this

is

made not from

pigment but from dyes, which can fade and

The colours

discolour.

made

are temptingly vivid,

cylindrical sticks, being favoured by "pastel

but they are

painters". These are almost pure pigment,

work, where the discoloration of the

bound with

a tiny

amount of gum, and

are

original

in

between hard and

soft pastels in their

consistency. Spray fixative

any drawings

is

necessary for

felt-tipped pens are also

prone to fading and should be checked


carefully before buying.

made

broad wedge-shaped

either with

tips

sometimes called markers) or

(these are

with fine

These pens are

tips,

and the ink used

in

them can

be water- or spirit-based. They are ideal for

who

those

like a

bold approach to drawing.

in pastel.

Oil pastels have the great advantage of

not requiring fixative, as the pigment

bound with waxes and


in consistency

matter.

Some coloured

consequently very crumbly. Hard pastels,

made with a higher proportion of binder,


come in square-sectioned sticks. They
produce much crisper, clearer lines and do
not smudge as easily. Pastel pencils are also
good for linear effects they are somewhere

may not

for graphic reproduction

oils.

The

is

variation

from range to range

Papers
For coloured-pencil and oil-pastel work,

and ink drawing, good-quality cartridge


(drawing) paper can be used, though some

is

who

enormous, with some pastels being quite

artists

hard and others almost melting

oil pastel like to

in

your

specialize in coloured pencil or

use a rougher texture and

hand, but there are two basic categories:

sometimes a pre-coloured paper. For chalk-

wax-oil pastels and non-wax ones, simply

pastel

called oil pastels.

The former have

their

devotees, but in general they are less

malleable than standard


are a versatile

oil pastels,

so

which

and fluent drawing medium.

work, smooth paper

suitable, as the

best to use either

it is

made

to

Coloured drawing

paper, you can


tint

waterproof and water-soluble. They are

wash of water-

made

colour

wide range of

brilliant colours

with a light

it

first.

and can be mixed together to increase the


range further.

Some waterproof inks

are
i

bound with

shellac,

which means they can't

be mixed successfully with water-based

work Ingres or
- or watercolour paper.

work on coloured

can be divided into two broad types:

in a

fall off,

one of the papers

like the texture of the latter

Inks and markers


inks, like black inks,

not usually

specially for pastel

Mi-Teintes paper

you

is

pigment tends to

)l

c.l

HI

DINKS

but prefer

If

Drawing

Colour

in

Coloured
Pencil
Although coloured pencils are becoming
increasingly popular with fine artists, both
for sketching

and

works, at one

for finished

time they were mainly associated with


illustration

work, and are

widely used

still

for this purpose. In order to

Colours and tones can be built up by

Colours are often mixed by hatching

careful shading.

and cross-hatching.

accommodate

commercial demands, manufacturers


produce coloured pencils

in a

wide range of

hues and shades - some offer as

two hundred. However,


mixed on the picture

many

as

as colours can be

surface,

it is

not

necessary to buy a complete range and, even


if

you

did,

you would

still

have to

rely

on

mixing to some extent, particularly for dark


colours, which can only be achieved by

The

building up in layers.

been dipped

tip

of a water-soluble pencil has


in

water before laying the

Both pencils have been dipped

in water,

and a wet brush taken over

whole

area to produce this

colour over the blue.

the

effect.

Colour mixing
Colours can be mixed

in a

different ways, the classic

number of

Burnishing

method being

hatching and crosshatching, explained

under pen and ink drawing. This method


allows you to achieve subtle colour mixing
effects as well as considerable

depth of

colour. Blues lightly hatched over yellow

and then crosshatched

in places

with deeper

blues will produce beautifully varied areas

of green, while colour could be introduced


into

shadow

solidly in the part

crosshatching over black with dark blues

this

is

good method

finished, detailed

process,

added

work,

to

layers of hatching

make

to

of the drawing

be burnished. Here a white pencil

used to burnish highlights.

and purples.
While

IThe colours must be built up

areas by hatching and

it is

for highly

not a rapid

which too many

tight

and crosshatching can

drawing appear overworked and

lacking in spontaneity. For a looser effect,

As you can

see in

the finished picture,

tones can be built up simply by shading, the

white pencil modifies the

method you would naturally use with an

colour beneath, and

ordinary graphite pencil. Colours can also

therefore

works

better

on highlight areas. For

be mixed

in this

way, with yellow shaded

over red producing orange, and yellow over


.aking green, for example.

burnishing dark colours

a torchon
effective.

is

more

is

An eraser removes a

little

of the

pigment, but also pushes the

remaining particles into one another,


creating soft blends.

Impressed-line drawing

With water-soluble
mixing

pencils the colour-

you can
wash with water and a

possibilities arc increased;

spread colour into a

clean brush, overlay this with another

colour,

mix the second colour

into the

first

with more water, and so on. However,


don't overdo mixing wet washes of colours,

some of the coloured

as

when mixed

If you are uncertain

you can work

it

of the design

out first on

ordinary paper and then trace

pencil pigments

draws

this case the artist

have a chalky quality and leave a muddy,


colourless mess

it,

She places the tracing paper over


the working surface and, before

but in

starting the impressing, fixes

onto

top with a piece of masking tape to

directly

the tracing paper.

it

at the

prevent slippage.

wet.

Burnishing
This method can be used to increase the
brilliance of colours in certain areas of a

drawing, but

it is

not suitable for water-

soluble pencils used wet.

up

Having been

thickly, the colours are then

rubbed with

a plastic eraser or torchon (a rolled

stump sold

built

paper

for blending pastels). This

action pushes the particles of pigment into

one another so that no separate

marks are

lines or

visible; the grain of the

paper

is

flattened to produce a sheen.

She goes over

all

the lines with a

hard pencil. You can use any

pointed implement for


pencil

Impressing
If

you draw with coloured pencil on

lines

but a

the best choice for a

design, as

heavily textured paper,


will

is

this,

complex

you can keep track of which

you have drawn

over.

most of the pigment

The

lines

show up

clearly

through

the coloured pencil, which

is

applied quite heavily. The working


surface

is

smooth watercolour paper

which, being thicker than cartridge


(drawing) paper, produces more
positive indentations.

be deposited on the top of the weave;

impressing follows the same principle.

"Blind" lines are pressed into the paper


with a knitting needle or paintbrush handle

when coloured pencil is applied on top,


the lines show as white. The method is also
known as white line drawing.
You can use impressed lines simply for
and,

variety in a drawing, but quite intricate

pattern effects are possible too.


line
is

is

to play a

major

role in the

the white

drawing

- or draw

it

Draw up your design,

directly

lines

With several reds

and orange-reds

shaded over one


another, black

now

is

trace

onto tracing paper -

then lay the tracing on your drawing paper

and go over the

it

helpful to use tracing paper to place the

lines accurately.
it

If

with a hard pencil.

used

lightly to give

greater depth of
<

<

olour,

ontrasting with the

white

lines.

Drawing

in

Colour

Pastel Techniques

There

work

is

always argument about whether a

in pastel should be classified as a

drawing or a painting, but

this

underlines the fact that there

boundary between the two.

is

merely

no

real

In general, a

pastel with an obvious linear

emphasis

is

considered to be a drawing while those in

which colours are

built

up thickly

in

minor

layering techniques and line plays a


role, are clearly paintings,

done with

although not

a brush.

Pastel marks
In the context of drawing,

it is

the mark-

making capacity of pastels rather than


ability to build

up colours that

important, and in this

field

supreme among the media.

is

their

most

they are

A coloured

pencil can only produce lines and, although

these can be thick, thin, heavy or light, there


are few other possible permutations.
Pastels,

whether you use the hard or

variety,

have a

soft

far greater inherent range:

they can be sharpened to a point to produce


crisp, incisive
lines,

marks, used blunt for softer

or broken into short lengths and used

PASTEL PENCILS

OIL PASTEL

sideways to make strokes of colour.


Pastel pencils are less versatile in

making terms, handling very much

marklike

vivid, solid areas of colour.

them

prefer

coloured pencils except that they are

crumbly,

considerably softer. They are also softer

fixing.

less fragile

and do not require

make

which one layer of colour

with the

However, they are pleasant to

use,

stick.

and

artists

Furthermore, they allow you to

same

fine lines that are possible

Some

to soft pastels, as they are less

than hard pastels and cannot produce the

edge of a square-sectioned hard pastel

use of a technique called sgraffito, in

to reveal another.

is

scratched back

A variety of effects can

achieved in this way, from fine lines

with a sharp implement to more subtle

The colour can be

broken-colour

partially spread with

effect

and to soften

lines

where necessary.

Oil pastels don't

mak

but they are

achieved by scraping

back successive layers of colour with the


edge of a knife.

Papers

Oil pastels
either,

effects,

be

made

excellent for relatively small-scale work.

water and a clean brush to produce a wash

32

and

ide.

ery crisp lines


for

bold drawings

The

quality of the lines

make with

pastels,

and marks you

whichever kind you use,

Oil-pastel sgraffito

D
R

W
Working on a smooth-surfaced watercolour

paper, the artist lays the colours thickly,

sure that the oily pastel

is

making

pushed well into the paper.

2
left

Some areas of these first colours

will be overlaid

with darker ones, but selected parts will be either

uncovered or revealed by scratching, so the

artist

N
G

has chosen them with the finished effect in mind.

With dark green

now laid thickly on

yellow, the point of a knife

lines.

This has also removed a

is

top of the

used to scratch fine

little

of the original

4
is

The sgraffito

effect has

been built up

leaves, with varying pressure

used quite

of the

all

over the

knife.

Here

it

lightly.

colour, but the lines are not white because the

pigment has stained the paper.

is

considerably affected by the paper you

work

on. For a pastel painting, where

intend to build up colours thickly,


to

work on textured paper,

as

it is

you
usual

smooth paper

does not grip the pigment sufficiently


firmly. This reduces the solidity of the line,

breaking up the stroke slightly so that some


of the paper shows through. For purely line

work, where you don't intend to lay one


colour over another, you can use smoother
paper, which gives a solid, unbroken line

without the paper showing through. You

might also
for pastel

try

one of the

work - velour

provides a line which

is

special papers sold

paper. This

both solid and

with slightly fuzzy edges.

soft,

Although you can scratch into


ones

in exactly the

same

light colours to reveal dark

way, the technique

effective when worked dark to

light, as

m this

tit

is

most

awing.

13

Drawing

Inks
<?/?,

The

in

Colour

^Markers

idea of drawing with a brush can be

Markers and coloured

taken a step further by using several


different colours of

drawing

inks.

These can

be painted on straight from the bottle,

mixed

to

produce a wide range of colours,

or diluted with water

(if

Drawing with markers

you use water-

exciting to

draw

not capable of subtle

effects,

(the

they are

more

and quick impressions.

suitable for sketches

Both markers

felt-tipped pens are

with, but because they are

chunky implements with

based or acrylic-based inks) to form light

broad wedge-shaped "nibs") and

way you can


produce anything from a drawing made

are basically reservoir pens containing ink,

which may be

with several bold brushstrokes to something

Water-based inks are better for sketching

which

than spirit-based ones which tend to

washes of colour. In

this

closely resembles a painting in

felt-tips

either spirit- or water-based.

"bleed" into the paper so that some of the

watercolour.

Coloured inks can be combined with

colour comes through onto the other side.

black inks, applied either with a brush or a

The

inks are transparent, so colours can be

pen, or used in mixed-media techniques

mixed on the paper surface by laying one

with other painting or drawing media such

over another; they can also be used in

as acrylic paints, charcoal or oil pastels.

conjunction with drawing inks.

Markers on textured paper

Used on smooth paper, markers create a

solid,

uncompromising line, but here the texture of the


watercolour paper has broken up the strokes to

produce a

lighter effect.

(Right,

who

above and below) Markers appeal to those

njoy a bold approach, as they are not capable of

subtle effects.

They are, however, well suited to quick

sketc! es such as these.

Drawing with
coloured inks
You ntn make a

light pencil

drawing

as a guide for

pen

you wish, hut

in this case

lines if

the artist begins in inks

straightaway.

The purple flowers,

and some

She

lightly

drawn red ones behind

is

using a selection of different pens and has

swapped the

finer

one

in

original broad-nibbed

pen for a

order to vary the quality of the

lines.

them, have provided a

key for judging the other

and

colours,

the artist

now describes

the shape

of the patch of grass by

Wax

resist

making dark blue pen


marks over green.

One of the best-known

of the mixed-

media drawing methods

4
this

The broad-nibbed

which

pen

oil

is

used again, as

area of the picture

needs bold

effects.

Even

is

and water.

wax
(oil

is

wax

resist,

based on the incompatibility of

crayons,

A drawing is made with


wax

oil pastels,

an

oil

bar

paint in solid form) or an ordinary

with just one pen, the

household candle, then water-based inks

marks can be varied

are laid

how it is
held - notice how in the

repels the ink, creating a variety of

according to

small plant on the


the line changes

on top; the wax subsequently

fascinating effects.

left,

from

thick to thin.

The background

and right-hand area

of foreground have been


left until last,

artist

as the

wanted to

establish

the central area before

deciding

how to treat the

other parts of the


picture.

The contrast

between the

fine lines

used for the background

and the bolder drawing


of the foreground and

middleground helps to
create a sense of space as

well as adding interest to


the drawing.

\S

Techniques

Comparative Demonstration
j$

There

is

Coloured pencil on cartridge {drawing) paper

wide range of colour drawing

media on the market today, and you may


need to experiment with several
discover which one suits your
pictorial interests

IWhen there

in order to

own

style

and

pencil

which can be expensive.

However, you can learn a


and responding to other

lot

it

may like

work. For

the effects

you

see in

making sure

case

oil pastel, in

you would do well

response. Here

two

is

that

correctly

drawn before she

coloured pencil drawings better than those


achieved by pastel or

cannot be

begins by working very


lightly,

the skull

example, you

any

erased, so the artist

by looking at

artists'

is

build-up of coloured

continues.

which

to follow this initial

artists

demonstrate two

Having established
the overall colour

of the

skull, laying

one

colour over another in


places, she

now works

on the shadow, which


plays an important part
in the

composition of

the drawing.

Oil pastel on coloured paper


very different media in order to

IWith a very light

show how

pencil drawing as a

medium affects your way of working.


Elizabeth Moore creates subtle effects with
the

guide, the artist has

begun with patches of


white, dark

coloured pencil, while Judy Martin has

chosen

oil pastel,

much

bolder

medium

skull,

at

The darkest and


have

by the

reflected colours

capable of strong, vivid colours.

browns and

greys. Excited

now been

on the

she works on these

an early

stage.

brightest areas of the picture

established the vivid red

background and one of the animal's horns. The red

was particularly important because


difficult to assess the colours

without some of this colour

it

would be

needed for the skull

in place.

In

any

line

medium, whether pencil, coloured

pencil or pastel,

it is

important to vary the marks

you make, and here you can see a wide range, from
long hatching lines on the table top to shorter, curving
strokes describing the forms of the skull.

Here again, over earlier light hatching, the

artist

has applied short jabs, squiggles and curving

lines that

follow the direction of the forms. Notice

also the variety of colours describing the skull,

the subtle mixtures

and

produced by laying one colour

over another.

As

in the

coloured

shadow plays an
important part

in

is

in the

the

same

both cases, the

lighting

was altered to

produce a longer, more


angular shadow.

medium
it is

is

compare the finished drawing with the oilyou

will see the extent to

dictates the treatment

difficult to

which the

of the subject. Because

cover large areas with coloured pencil,

the artist has only suggested the red paper,

making

the

most colourful part of the painting.

The colours of the


skull are

intensified.

Although the

arrangement

If you

pastel one,

skull the

pencil drawing, the

picture.

now

Because she

working on coloured

paper, the artist uses

white pastel for the


highlights rather than
"

"reserving them

as she

would on white paper.

Oil pastel

is

much

bolder

coloured pencil and, being

medium than
soft,

it

covers

\a\

areas relatively quickly. These qualities have allowed


the artist to exploit the dramatic red, black

and white

colour theme of the subject.

37

The Mechanics of Drawing

Making Accurate Drawings


Having looked

at the different

media and seen the various


achieve, the next step

them

to

make

is

Working sight-size

drawing
can

effects they

to learn

how to

use

drawing that describes your

subject with the required degree of accuracy

so that

it

should

in

looks

Accurate drawing

'real'.

no way be confused with detailed

drawing -

likeness of a

few

can provide a better

lines

subject, whether

figure or a landscape, than

careful detail.

It is

first

an object

right,

and foremost

be a face, a

any amount of

largely a matter of getting

the shape, the proportion


scale of

it

and the

and

relative

this requires

careful observation

and

constant checking.

Learning to draw

the

basic skills

is

like learning to write

must be mastered before

you can make them work


to be put off

and

by early

to decide

gift",

for you.

failures in

It is

easy

drawing

you simply haven't got "the

but you can minimize such failures by

following some simple strategies, at least

when you

to draw.

first start

Drawing sight

size

Most artists use some system of measuring


when they draw, and this is easiest if you
draw the size you see. The term "sight size"
is self-explanatory, and many people draw
in this way naturally. Others don't - they

either

by holding up a pencil at the same

level as

IWith one eye closed,


the artist begins by

your drawing and moving your

thumb up and down

it,

or by using a ruler

making a

series

of marks

across the top of the

and reading the measurements.

paper so that he can

tend to try to draw as near as possible to


size,

and have

life

to force themselves to reduce

their drawings.

You can check


is

very helpful.
very easily

what

by placing an object such as a

sight-size

mug on a

table

and holding up a sketchbook

of

in the position

it,

draw

it.

Then

If

in front

and you

landscape or an urban scene you can

sake, accuracy

will avoid

qualities,

having to make

when you

paint.

Measuring by comparison
make

?ment marks" across


r.

example, rather

own

for each side of the

you are outdoors drawing a

the top of your pap<

for

its

more important than expressive

corrections

establish the horizontal


it is

you are making an under-

drawing for a painting,

is

from which you might

series of these "plac

If

than just drawing for

one eye and make two

close

marks on the paper, one


mug.

may seem a mechanical way of


drawing, but when accuracy is required
It

This can be done

Drawing

sight-size

scale objects
it

is

easier than trying to

up or down

doesn't always

in

your mind, but

work because

a sight-size

measurements.

When

drawing a small

still-life

group of this kind, you


need

to

be quite close to

the subject.

Making relative
measurements

If you are not

"key"

size,

and relate

the other objects to

measurements

unless your

With the

marked in,
worked

is,

eyes open.

out

the artist

in the

way, that

saw

drawing can be very small. You can

first

normal

same way

in the

test this

as before, but this time

mug first

metre away the mug will

hold the sketchbook close to the

and then about a

Only when he

that something

was

become very small


Drawing

in relation to the

paper.

as small as this can be inhibiting

in his

in a life class, for

example, the model

drawing did he take

be some distance

away from you and,

further measurements,

want to draw

such as the height of the

and

the ellipses.

it.

mug here,
Make sure

be accurate

exactly the

drawing some major feature

work out

relative sizes. In a

interior, for

same

the objects.

example, there

you

will help

drawing of an

may

be a table

or other piece of furniture which plays an

with both

not quite right

objects

will not

hand is always

from

distance

measurements

establish a

hold the pencil at arm's length each time,

to

as the

working sight-size,

such as the width of the

the width of

will place

boldly

may
if

you

in charcoal, sight-size

unnecessary restrictions on your

approach.

In

such cases you can

still

use

systems of measuring, but you need to


establish

one "key"

size

everything else against

and check

this.

drawing the head is taken as


measurement - there is more
about human proportions later - but in any
In a figure

the unit of

important part

draw

in the

composition.

this in lightly first,

If

you

you can then work

out the scale of other features, such as the


height and width of a

window behind

it,

again by holding up a pencil. Try this out

with the

mug on

the table again;

first

measure the height and then check the


relative width.
size,

When

not drawing sight-

you must hold the

length and

make

same position
change

as

soon

move forwards

sui
th

.is

yon

i
i

or

or backwards.
\9

The Mechanics of Drawing

Drawing
Shapes
Drawing

among other

involves,

means of its

defining a shape by
fact

Improve your

things,

observational skills by

outline, a

setting

which immediately establishes a kind of

falsehood because no object


are

no true outlines

still

have to invent

is flat

in nature.

and there

drawing them first as

However, we
because

this outline

up a group of

household objects and

positive

it

and then

as

negative shapes.

gives us the shape.

Drawing outlines

Making an outline drawing


It is

not a bad idea to practise drawing

shapes by setting up a simple group of


life

objects

bottle

perhaps

mug,

a plate

and approaching them

as

still

and a

two-

dimensional shapes, drawing them in


outline alone. This
to
it

is

not normally the

way

make a good drawing because, although


may be accurate in terms of shape, there

will be

IThis form of drawing


and you

However,

allows
it is

this.

a
a brush

useful exercise as
carefully

and

it

does force you to look

not easy

is

have to make

corrections, so use a

no suggestion of form and the

objects will not look solid.

will

medium

The artist

is

drawing with

against another and to check the relative


sizes, as

carefully at the

in white.

at the

way the

ladle

was not
is

now

used to paint out the incorrect

lines.

shapes

you have placed

relate to

one another.

them so

that they overlap,

If

The drawing of the

satisfactory, so white paint

explained on the previous pages.

Look, for example,

(Right)

spoon and

how and at what


how

point do they do this? Ask yourself

much

larger, taller or

wider one shape

than another, and in the case of a

tall

is

object

such as a bottle, what the proportion of

width to height

is.

A common fault is to

treat each part of the


is

no good drawing

if it is

drawing

a perfectly

in isolation;

it

shaped apple

too big for the plate on which

it sits.

The white paint does not completely cover


black,

and a ghost

helpful guide

when

40

the

which can be a

correcting the drawing. If you

erase completely, as

you are

line remains,

you would in a pencil drawing,

likely to repeat exactly the

more so

the top half.

managed

easier

begin to compare one shape

difficult at

However, by looking

Making comparisons
when you

is

subject, the artist has

to analyse the shapes.

Drawing outlines becomes much

ellipse

when you can only draw

that

and acrylic paint, which she

can correct by overpainting

Drawing an

the best of times, but even

same mistake.

well.

Negative shapes

Drawing negative shapes

Another useful way to check the accuracy

of a drawing

is

to look at the shapes

between and behind the objects, known

the artist
the

as negative shapes or negative space.

you are drawing

mug with

Again using a brush

and acrylic paint,


is

now drawing

still-life

group

"in

If

negative ", that

she

is,

is

a handle,

painting only the shapes

forget about the handle itself

and

try to

between the

objects.

assess the shape of the piece of space

between

it

and the edge of the mug.

It

can

be helpful to draw these shapes before

you turn to the positive ones; sometimes


you may not have to draw the actual
objects at

all.

Drawing

the negative shapes only

is

another exercise often set by art teachers


and, although
it

seems

slightly perverse,

it

forces

skills. It is

you

also enjoyable,

way and

of will, but

effort

way

it

can

Once

simplify matters.

you have trained

negative shapes, such as

those

to look at things in a

completely different

in this

involves an initial

yourself to look for the

helps you to sharpen your

observational
as

it

Drawing

made by

the

handles here, they can be

thus

abandon any preconceptions. When your

easier to recognize than

the objects themselves.

drawings become more ambitious, you


can

still

use these systems of checking

and comparing. Negative shapes are very

As

in the

previous

drawing, the

artist

make

useful in figure drawings, for example,

uses white paint to

when something has gone wrong but you

corrections.

are not sure what. In a standing pose

impossible to get every-

with arms akimbo, you

thing right the

may have

struggled so hard to describe the difficult

forms of the limbs that you have


relate

them properly

It is

in this

almost

first

time

kind of drawing.

failed to

to the body.

You

can often discover the mistake by


checking the shapes of the spaces

between arms and body.

Apart from helping you to observe


carefully,

drawing negative shapes has

another function -

it

teaches

you

to consider

the relationship of one shape to another,

thus to

and

compose your work. This drawing,

although not completely accurate,

is

lively

and full of interest because of the balance


between the light and dark shapes.

41

The Mechanics of Drawing

Drawing Form
So

far

we have looked

at systems of

For

measuring and checking to produce


d

more

of course,

than

but there

Drawing

you are portraying a three-dimensional

N
G

world

in

to

it

two dimensions, and

drawing must give

lit

from the

this.

a matter of creating illusions

is

you

objects,

preferably

rounded

accurate outlines, shapes and proportions,


is,

this exercise

need a selection of

side to create well-

defined areas of light

and dark.

good

a convincing impression

of the three-dimensional form of an object


as well as

its

outline.

Judging light and dark


Unfortunately no system of measuring can
help you to describe the solidity of an
object; here

you must

observation, and this

sounds.

Form

on an

falls

is

rely
is

on

less

direct

easy than

it

described by the light that

object,

which creates

light

and

-i,

^
I
3

'

f$

_-

.-.

The deep shadow

between the two

vegetables creates a dark


'

line,

^^r

-Jm

%.-.

so here the tip of the

charcoal

is

used. Because

charcoal

is

soft

and

smudgy, however,

it

does not give the


impression of an outline.

Working
stick,

line,

entirely with the side

and thus avoiding

the artist begins by blocking in the shapes of the

various vegetables.

42

of the charcoal

the temptation to use

Again using a short length of thick willow


charcoal held on

its

side,

she builds up the darker

area of the aubergine (eggplant).

dark areas whose shapes depend on the


character of the object.
If

we

lived in a black-and-white

would be

finger tip

is

used

to rub off some

of

The dimples

at the

top of the green

pepper create rapid

the charcoal, creating

dark, so the

deepened with the

tip

Because charcoal

differences in tone (the lightness or darkness

of a colour), but

smooth paper -

the artist

shadows are
of

the charcoal.

it

does not adhere

well to

transitions of light to

soft highlights.

world

relatively easy to assess these

is

working on

more or

less

choose to draw, whether

it

anything you

be a face or an

apple on a plate, has colour. This confuses

cartridge (drawing)

paper dark areas often

the issue, because our eyes register colour

need to be re-established

rather than tone,

and emphasized towards

the light

the end of the drawing.

close your eyes,


cuts out

and dark

much

more

see

making
areas.

it

It

difficult to place

helps to half-

which blurs the colour and

of the detail, allowing you to

clearly in terms of tone.

Form and outline


Outline can be distinctly unhelpful

when

building up the impression of form, because


a

hard outline around a shape immediately

makes

it

look

flat.

The

outline of a round or

cylindrical object, such as an apple or

mug,

delineates the boundaries of the form, that


is,

where

it

begins to turn

away from you;

you put more emphasis on

this

than on

if

the

nearest part of the object, then the illusion

of solidity

is

destroyed.

A good way to practise drawing form


to use tone

is

from the beginning, avoiding

outline altogether

if

you can, or drawing

just a light outline for guidance.

working with

Try

broad medium such as

charcoal used sideways, or try the

out method.
use charcoal

lifting-

Of course you don't have


- form can be described

to

perfectly well in pencil or even pen and ink

but charcoal will help you to avoid

linear approach.

Another danger with charcoal drawings


the highlights can

smudging, hut
technique.
highlights

It

this

is

become

easily

lost

is

that

through

remedied by the

lifting-OUt

has been used here for the two main

on the aubergine (eggplant) and the smaller

ones on the top of the pepper.

4*

The Mechanics of Drawing

Drawing with
Line
Having

how form

explained

just

may seem

with tone,

it

to say that

you can

is

built

contradictory

up

Observing edge qualities

now

create an impression of

combination of lost-

and-found edges can be

three dimensions with line alone.

It all

discerned in any object,

depends on the quality of the

and how

depending on the

you vary
solid

it

in

line

your picture whether

and dark,

light

and

lighting, the

it is

delicate or soft

shapes and

colour. If you can

and

reproduce them

scarcely visible.
accurately,

LOST AND FOUND EDGES


As we have

seen,

drawing

around something destroys

you

will

be able to draw with


line alone.

hard outline
its

solidity

because objects don't have hard outlines.

Some

of the edges

may

defined because there

be relatively well

is

shadow beneath,

but others will be very soft and sometimes


difficult to distinguish.

These "lost-and-

found" edges are an important concept


drawing, as they define volume.
the effect even

on the simplest

more complex ones, such

human

face, are a

in

You can

see

object, while

as flowers or the

mass of hard and

soft

edges caused by the different characters of


the forms
the light.

and the way they turn away from

By accurately observing these

differences in line quality,


a

you can produce

drawing which describes form without

using any kind of shading. Although not


easy to do,
results

it is

worth

practising, as the

can be very expressive.

(Right)

Although there

objects, the

is

no shading on the

drawing gives a convincing

impression of three-dimensional form, due partly to


the lost-and-found edges

and partly

to the accurate

drawing of the shapes, particularly the

ellipses.

Using

medium willow charcoal,

the artist begins with a light

drawing, and

is

now strengthening the

found edges on the sugar container.

She continues to

clarify the edges,

smudging the charcoal where

softer lines are needed, such as in this

shadow

area.

Edges at the bottoms of

objects are often almost lost.

Drawing with contours

u 1\

^
1
ITo make

this

of drawing,

kind

it is

helpful to restrict

yourself to a

medium

which does not lend


shading.

artist is

using a fine reed

pen and black

give a

Observing the

lines

made by the cuffs

and

elbows has allowed the

add details such

as the

and dangling

the folds at the bent

artist to describe the

arms with no need to


use shading.

spectacles.

ink.

Although not yet

beginning to

is

upper body, she begins

shirt collar

finished, the

drawing

in

the model's head and

to

The

itself to

Having drawn

the basic outline of

good impression

Pattern

is

a useful aid in the context of form,

here you can see

and

how the behaviour of the

the position of the arms.

exercises, this

of shape and form.

human

These are another way of using

same

as

outlines; they are lines that follow the shape

less

An obvious example would

be

curving around a piece of china;

obvious contours are provided by

clothing

- perhaps

forming a

the sleeve of a shirt

series of folds

and creases which

define the form below, or the criss-cross of


laces

on

a combination of

can be instructive to
all

restrict

kinds of drawing

one gives you valuable practice

in

figure provides a wealth of

contours, from the line of a waistband

line to

describe form. Contours are not the

a pattern

it

analysing your subject.

Contours

of the form.

and tone, but

yourself to line on occasion. Like

pattern helps to explain the curves of the shoulders

and

The majority of drawings are


line

a pair of shoes. Indeed, the clothed

indicating the curve of the body, to the cuff

of a sleeve or a watch strap explaining the

Not

structure of the wrist.

all

objects, of

course, provide such convenient clues to

form

it

would be

difficult to describe

apple with contour lines - but,


there, try to use

them

in

whether you draw with


line

if

an

they are

your picture,
line

alone or with

and tone together.


45

The Mechanics of Drawing

Sketching

There

is

no

real difference

between

word

sketching and drawing, but the


implies a quick study

made

sketch

either for

pleasure or for reference, while a drawing

can be a finished work with

There

pictorial aims.

a difference

is,

its

own

or can be, however,

between sketching for

its

own

sake and making studies to be used as


reference for another work, whether a
finished

drawing or

a painting.

Collecting visual material


Artists often

go through

their

sketchbooks

to get ideas for compositions or simply to

refresh their

scene.

memories on some

The more you

sketch, the

detail of a

more

reference material you will have, and

Choosing

sketching also helps to polish up your

(Above) The kind of sketchbook you require depends

observational

skills. In

some

but to gather material for a composition,

notes you wish to make.


three in different sizes

necessary to consider the

Some artists have two

or

and formats. John Townend

in
uses a large

it is

sketchbook

on your method of working and the kind of visual

cases,

however, sketches are made not randomly

which case

this,

book

for coloured-pencil drawings like

and a smaller one for pen-and-ink drawings.

kind of visual notes required.

Sketching for
painting
by

(Left) This sketch

Stephen Crowther was

made as

the first stage in

planning an

and

oil painting,

the artist has

made

copious written notes to

remind him of the


colours. Using a large

spiral-bound sketchbook
enables him to remove
the sheet

near his

and pin

easel.

it

up

Choosing the

medium
(Far

left)

When you are

out sketching

wise

it is

to take a selection

different

as

of

drawing media,

you may find that a

particular subject
better suited to

Townend

another. John
likes

is

one than

coloured pencil for

landscapes, but prefers

pen and ink for


architectural subjects,

where colour

is

important than

less
line.

Collecting ideas
(Left)

David Cuthbert

does not

make sketches

with a specific painting


in

mind, but he has

several sketchbooks in

which he notes down


anything he

sees, often

taking photographs at
the

Depending on the kind of work you are


planning, you

and tone

may need

is

tonal studies. Coloured pencils are tailor-

sketches in colour

as well as in line. Trying to

make

useful for small sketches, but less so for

made

painting from a line sketch in pencil or pen

and

and ink

is

is

virtually impossible;

you

will

for colour sketches,

oil pastels,

and so are

suitable for small-scale work.

which areas were dark and which ones

different colours of pastel paper, or

light. It is
all

wise to

make

a habit of including

the information possible

sketches if you

clip pieces

on your

Making colour
notes
(Below) Gerry Baptist

works mainly

you can

of paper to a drawing board.

Sketchbooks, usually containing

don't have time to sketch

ideas to hand.

latter

You can

buy large sketching pads containing

that he

pastels

although neither of the

have no idea what colour the sky was or

same time so

has a store of possible

cartridge (drawing) paper, can be bought in

in acrylic,

using vivid colours, and


his

watercolour sketches

reflect his artistic-

preoccupations; a

monochrome pencil

"green", but try to analyse the colours; as

many shapes and sizes. Unless you like to


work small, don't be tempted by a tiny
address-book size, as you may find that

long as you can understand the notes, this

it

in colour,

colours.

make

written notes about the

Do not simply write

"blue" or

can be more valuable than sketching


colour, particularly

medium

if

and

frustrates you.

would therefore

not provide the


information that be

needs for his paintings.

in

you intend to use one

for the sketches

painting.

restricts

sketch

and another

for the

sketch in coloured pencil, for

example, would be very

difficult to translate

into watercolour or oil.

Materials
For sketching you can use any drawing

media with which you


Pencil

is

good

feel

comfortable.

all-rounder, as

it

allows you

to establish tone as well as line. Pen

and ink
47

Focus

Figure Drawing

The old saying

that "If

you can paint people

you can paint anything"

reflects the fact

human

one of the most

that the

challenging of

drawing or painting. The importance of

W
I

N
G

figure

all

is

subjects,

figure study as a training

aspiring artists

whether you are

ground

was recognized

when drawing from

Checking angles

for

In a pose like this

in the past,

formed an

life

accurately the slope

important part of any art student's


education.

on

it,

at

Nowadays

any rate

of the shoulders and

there

less

is

life

classes,

professionals return to

them

emphasis

precise angle

and many

life

class

is

not essential

if

by hold-

ing your pencil at arm's

and adjusting

length

at stages

during their careers to brush up their


Joining a

hips. Establish the

but

in art schools,

amateurs flock to

it is

important to represent

until

skills.

take

you

it
it

to the

it

coincides, then
carefully

down

paper and mark

intend to restrict yourself to the clothed


in the line.

figure or to portrait studies;

find

someone who

or you can

However,

is

willing to pose for you,

draw yourself in
for

you can usually

a mirror.

nude studies you must have a

model

as well as a decent-sized

which

to

draw, so a

alternatively,

model with

class

is

room

in

the best answer;

you could share the cost of a

friends or colleagues.

Theproportions of
the figure
In the main,

drawing

is

learned by practice,

not from books, but books can provide


things you may
when drawing. Figure drawings
go wrong because the proportions are

some advice and point out

Checking balance

overlook
often

The centre of balance


vital in a

not properly understood and, although

human

figures vary greatly,

it is

and you can check

helpful to

is

standing pose,
this

either with a pencil or a

bear in mind some basic rules. These will

plumbline, as

prevent you from making heads and feet too


small

a common

analyse

what

is

error

special

and

here. This

help you to

holding up a pencil,

Although the general rule

human body is approximately


half heads high.
5

slightly

seven-and-a-

The mid-point of the body

above the genital area, with one

is

more accurate than

Proportions

Allowing for individual differences, the

shown

a slightly

laborious method, but

about the body you

are drawing.

is

is

that the

seven-and-a-half heads high,

remember
is

it is

body

is

about

essential to

that there are variations; this model's

relatively large.

where there
of tilting

head

Observing these individual

differences will give authenticity to your drawings.

it

is

a danger

away from

the vertical.

quarter point above the nipples and the

(Left)

other just below the knees.

will fall nearer

If

arms arc

line

one foot

than the other according

hanging loose by the side of the body, the

to the

below the mid-point of the

wrists will be

The balance

way in which

weight

is

the

distributed.

body, with the fingertips reaching to midthigh.

The hand

is

about the same length as

the face, from chin to forehead

by covering your own

- try

and the length of the foot

is

out

this

hand -

face with your

approximately

equal to the whole height of the head.

Foreshortening
In figure drawing, the
as the unit of

head

always used

is

measurement, enabling you

make comparative measurements.


Measuring systems become particularly
important when the figure, or any parts of

to

it,

are foreshortened. Foreshortening

is

the

perspective effect which causes things to

appear larger the nearer they are; in a


reclining figure, seen

can be

from the

feet end, the

be large and the legs very short.

feet will

It

difficult to assess the effects of

foreshortening accurately, partly because

you know a

leg

is

a certain length

hard to believe what you

see,

and find

it

and partly

because the forms themselves often change.


In a seated figure seen

thighs will be wide


flesh

is

from the front the

and

short, because the

pushed out by the body's weight.

Some degree

of foreshortening

is

generally present in figure drawing and,

because the effects created are often surprising,

it is

vital to

take measurements. As

you draw, hold your pencil out

at

arm's

length to check the relative lengths

and

widths of limbs and body, returning to the


(Right)

head as the basic unit of measurement.

is

Balance and weight


You can
method
problem

also use the outstretched pencil


to check angles, another
area.

Here the weight

mainly on one foot,

with a

little <>j it

by the

hand

taken

resting

on

the table.

common

The angle of the shoulders

or
49

Drawing
movement
(Right)

To

depict the

figure in motion, a
difficult

but rewarding

subject,

you need a

medium which

actively

discourages detail. In

Arms Swing

Hil Scott

has drawn with a brush

and diluted Chinese

ink,

adding touches of
charcoal

line.

definition

is

the drawing

The

minimal, yet
is

an elegant

description of the fluid


lines

of body and arms.

(Left)

Here the weight

divided between the

and

the right leg,

is

arm

and

the

shoulders and hips slope


in

opposite directions.

(Below) Very

weight

is

little

taken by the

feet in this stance, so

the balance line falls

some way outside them.

tilt

of the hips often provides the key to the

pose. In a standing figure with the weight

on one

leg, for

example, the shoulders and

opposite directions; whenever

hips slope in

one part of the body moves, another does so


in

compensation, to maintain the balance.

Hold out your

and align

pencil

it

with the

shoulder or hip line and then, very carefully,


take the pencil

mark

down

in the angle as a

In a

line.

you the position of the

feet in relation to the


is

guide

drawing and

standing pose, "balance lines" can be

helpful; these give

this

to the

correct, as

body.

It is vital

your drawing

will

that

not look

convincing unless you convey an impression


of the

way

in

distributed,

which the body's weight

and the

feet,

bearers of the weight.

of

is

urse, are the

Choosing the
right

Balance

medium

*\

(Right) Children are

very

of the neck in a front or back view, and

from the ear


If

drawn

the

model

in a side
is

view,

down

to the feet.

standing with the weight

evenly distributed, the balance line will be

thus wise

fast. It is

taken from the middle

and

notoriously restless
usually have to be

lines are

between the

feet,

but

which enables you to

on one

will

be considerably nearer the

work quickly and

weight-bearing foot. The most accurate

to choose a

broadly.

medium

Ted Gould has

leg

it

if

most of the weight

is

way

to provide yourself with these vertical

used brown Conte

references

is

to use a plumbline,

which

crayon for his lovely

Mother and

simply consists of a piece of string with a

Child,

weight at one end.

suggesting both form

The way

and detail with a few

in

which the distribution of

weight affects the body

deft touches.

seated pose, but


identify

it,

it is

is

less

obvious

in a

equally important to

or the drawing will look

unnatural. Here again

it is

stiff

and

essential to check

alignments, either with a pencil or a

plumbline.

You can

system of balance

either use the

lines or

mark

same

in a central

The standing
figure
(Right)

As explained on

the previous pages

it is

vital to

analyse the pose

and to understand how


the weight

and how
is

is

distributed

the whole

affected by

.'

body

any

movement. In

his

two

brush-and-wash
drawings James Horton
captures beautifully both
the swing of the body,

and also

its

three-

dimensional quality of

<

mass and weight.


"

31
51

Composing

the

drawing
Drawings can be

(Left)

made for practice,

or

they can simply be


sketches of something

which happens
your fancy.

to take

A drawing,

however, can also be


carried out with the
intention of producing a

finished work, in which

case

you must consider

composition. Paul
Bartlett's Father with

Lamp

is

as carefully

composed as any
painting, with the

sweeping curves of the


figure, chair

and writing

pad balanced by the


table

and

the dark

upright of the lamp.

vertical line to

which you can

position of the feet,

relate the

head and various parts

of the torso.

The clothed figure


Drawing people with

on

their clothes

is

perhaps slightly easier than drawing the


nude,

if

only because there

opportunity to practise.

is

You

more
don't need a

"proper" model because you can draw


people anywhere as long as you restrict
yourself to quick sketches. For

thorough and detailed


family

may

oblige, indeed

flattered to be

more

studies, friends

and

many people

are

asked to pose.

Clothing can be helpful in defining the

forms beneath
lines,

but

it

it,

providing a set of contour

can also disguise form and

confuse the issue in a bewildering way.

thin garment, for example, reveals the body,

while a heavy overcoat gives


the shapes beneath or to the
is

sitting or standing. In

must look

little

way

idea as to

its

wearer

such cases you

for clues, such ai the angle of a

protruding wrist and hand, the bend of

an elbow or the slope of the shoulders.

'

Whatever kind of garments your subject


is

wearing, try to visualize the body

beneath. Analyse the pose just as you would

v
x

in a

nude study, taking measurements and

checking alignments of head, shoulders,

and so on, and perhaps drawing

you can't

difficult to
'

shapes of

some

key points, even

light guidelines to indicate


if

in

feet

see them. Clothing can be

draw;

its

it

often forms complicated

own and you

V?
d
R

W
I

N
G

can become so

involved with drawing folds, or the pattern

on a

fabric, that

the figure

you

fail

to

make

sense of

itself.

Rounded forms
(Above) This simple pencil drawing by Elisabeth

Harden concentrates on

the

rounded nature of the

female form. The relaxed pose of the model and


raised

left leg

are depicted in a flowing outline, with

no sharp angles used at all.

Composing with shapes


(Opposite) In his pastel drawing, Elly, David

Cuthbert has made an exciting composition by


reducing detail and concentrating on the interplay of

shapes

- the curves of the

limbs counterpointing the

more geometric shapes of the clothing and chair.

Drawing
(Right)

light

Forms are described by the way

light falls

on them, so

in life

in

which the

drawing or portraiture

it

helps to have a fairly strong source of illumination.

In Gerry Baptist's simple but powerful charcoal

drawing, the light comes from one

side, slightly

behind the model, making a lovely pale shape across


the shoulders

and down

the hip

and leg.
53

Focus on Figure

Pastel Demonstration
James Horton
painter,

primarily a landscape

is

working mainly

in oils,

but for

drawings he frequently uses pastels, which


he finds particularly well suited to figure

work. Pastel

is

both a drawing and a

painting medium, depending on


used,

and he exploits

its

how it is

linear qualities,

building up colours with light layers of

hatching and crosshatching so that each line

remains

distinct.

He

avoids the techniques

closely associated with pastel painting, such

as side strokes, blending

and overlaying

layers of thick, solid colour.

Because pastels cannot easily be erased

it is

important to begin with an accurate drawing.

This

is

made

with a stick of compressed charcoal;

pencil should not be used for pastel work, as the slight

gr easiness of the graphite repels the pastel colour.

3
2

The artist begins by placing small areas of colour


all

over the picture, relating the rich background

colours to the subtler flesh


(Ingres) provides a

work up

tints.

The coloured paper

middle tone, making

to the highlights

and down

easier to

it

to the darks.

(Right)

the

first

The colours are gradually


colours are allowed to

built up, but

show through

each application, creating a network of lines and

marks which gives a

livelier effect

than smooth blends.

This stage clearly illustrates his

hatching and cross-hatching.

stick lightly

and takes care

they do not

all

go

in the

method of

He holds the pastel

to vary the lines so that

same direction.

At

this Stage

much

paper

is still

of the

uncovered, hut

it

does

not need to he covered


completely, as the light

greenish-brown

is-

very

close to the colour of the

shadows on the flesh.


Choosing the
colour

is

paper

right

an important

aspect of pastel work.

The compressed
charcoal

is

used

w
(Above) The process of building up the darker
I

colours

again to darken and

brown

define areas of the hair

arm.

and to sharpen up

drawing

the

drawing. Charcoal

mixes well with

and can be a

pastel

details continues, with

now used lightly to draw the side of the

On the shoulder, some of the original charcoal


is still

visible,

N
G

and has been strengthened by

curving lines of red-brown pastel behind

it.

pastel,

better

choice than black pastel,

which makes solid and


sometimes over-assertive
black

and defining

(Below) The artist has not attempted to treat the

background or foreground

in detail,

concentrating instead on the rich, golden colours of


the body. This vignetting method, in which the focal

lines.

point of the picture

is

emphasized by allowing the

surrounding colours to merge gently into the toned


paper,

is

a traditional pastel-drawing technique.

55

Focus

Animals
Drawing animals can be rewarding and
frustrating in equal measure. Whether
they are wild creatures, farm animals or
pets, animals make wonderful

it
is enjoyable simply watching
subjects
them but unfortunately they are not the

household

most co-operative of models. Even


which generally sleep
a tendency to

cats,

have

for long periods,

wake up and walk away

as

soon as you reach for your sketchbook.

However, many

artists

have portrayed

animals successfully, purely because

Rhythm and
movement

they were fascinated by them, and this

should be your sole criterion

in

choosing

(Above) In an animal

your subject matter.

drawing, as
study,

Observation and sketching


As with any branch of drawing,

it is

convey the

in a figure

important to
living quality

of the creature

the secret

way it moves,
lies in

careful observation of detail, the

determination not to be put off by failures


and, most important of

all in this

the ability to tailor your


subject.

You

methods

will certainly

to

medium which

you

context,

your

to

work

architectural subject, but

and

Judy Martin's Cat

Study

is

a large-scale
likes to

the

and has drawn

might achieve with a figure or an

allows

freely.

work "from

produce the kind of finished drawing you

the

rapidly

drawing: she

not be able to

and

so choose

elbow ",

directly

with a brush and acrylic

you can make

paint.

The diagonal

quick sketches, and a good sketch often says

placing of the animal on

more than any amount of detail and

the paper, together with

You may
it

find

it

difficult at first,

polish.

the sweeping curve of

because

the

does require some practice to be able to

grasp the essentials of a subject and get

them down on paper

maybe

in a

few minutes, or

few seconds. However, you

just a

will find that

even your

first,

perhaps not

very successful sketches will have sharpened

your observational

skills,

and the next

Sketching

become

is

a knack,

easier the

and

it

really

more you do

it.

all

suitable.

of a cat or the lustrous plumage of a

bird,

but you cannot concentrate on these qualities

medium you know you can control well and


one that enables you to work quickly in
both line and tone soft pencil, Conte
crayon or pastel are

Texture, whether the rough, shaggy hair of a dog, the


is

one of the most attractive features of animal subjects,

does

Use

Drawing texture
soft fur

sketches will be better for this reason.

tail,

give a strong

sense of movement.

you are trying


often have to

to

draw animals

in

when

motion so you

will

work from photographs or museum

specimens. In his pencil drawing Dead Bird Robert

Maxwell Wood has taken advantage of the mortality


of all creatures, to provide himself with an excellent
subject for close study.

Shape and pattern


(Right) This pencil

drawing

a preliminary

is

design for a print,

medium

which

in

three-

dimensional form

is

less

important than the

arrangement of shapes.

What

first

Elisabeth
subject

attracted

Harden

to the

was the shapes of

the animals markings,


'

which she has stressed


with firm outlines and
shading.

Multiple drawings
(Far right) Animals

tend to repeat their

movements, and another


approach

is

to

do several

drawings on one page

and work on them


same

at the

time, as Vicky

Lowe has done in

Repeated movements
There

her

is

drawing anything

brush-and-wash studies

the

movement

in

in

motion, particularly

if

rapid, because our eyes

is

of rabbits. Not only does


this

terms, as

on

simply can't keep up with

help in practical

to

you can move

another drawing as

one

split

"Ah,

second

that's

in

what

it.

There

no

is

which you can say

the legs are doing."

It is

interesting to note that even the great 18th-

moves, but

century British

also creates

an impression similar
an animated cartoon.

to

artist

George Stubbs,

specialized in horses,

was unable

them convincingly

motion.

until the era of

in

It

we know how

that

who

fully

Now

understood.

moves,

a horse

it is

much

easier to appreciate the repetitive nature of

most animals' movements. Look


repeated movements
sketching,

soon as the creature


it

was

galloping horse

an element of memory involved

the

making

when you

are

several small sketches

same page so that you have

visual record of

the legs

for these

on

a complete

the different positions of

all

and body.

to portray

was not

photography that the

sequence of movements made by a

Photographic reference
The advent of photographs was invaluable
to the 19th-century painters in correcting

misconceptions about movement, and they


play an important part

still

providing

in

reference for drawings and paintings.

If

you

draw wild animals - which seldom


appear
to order, let alone stay still even
want

to

photographs are generally the only option


available for reference.

Keeping up with movement


(Left)

their

Even when quietly grazing, animals

will shift

weight from one leg to another anil make

small changes

in

then position.

your drawing each time;


over another, as Karri:

Do

not

instt

coloured-ink drawing ofTrench

and

begun witl
has delayed finalizing the positions

with more positive

limbs

olours mini the lata

and

feet

././.

57

Focus on Animals

COLOURED-PENCIL DEMONSTRATION
Judy Martin

is

IHere the artist

not a professional animal

indeed she sees herself primarily as an

artist;

is

working with water-

soluble pencils on

abstract painter. She has, however, always

"

point in her career drew and painted

From time

else.

begins by laying

little

light lines

to time she returns to such

subjects with enjoyment,

from photographs but always

Here

own

inter-

pencil

is

jm
*m^

>

marks without

disturbing them.

compositions and colours.

photograph

~A

some of the
colour and softens the
releases

preting photographic reference in order to


create her

some

and then

washes over them. This

working mainly

:
>.

watercolour paper. She

been fascinated by animals, and at one

used as the basis for

the cat, but the background and foreground


are imaginary.

different effect

is

created by dipping the pencil

into water before applying

it.

As you can

see, this

produces a more solid area of colour.

3
it

With the dark and

easier to establish the dark tones at

light tones

established, the artist can

background.

With dry coloured pencils, dark colours have to be

deepened gradually, but water-soluble pencils make

of the cat

now consider the

solid area of colour

on the

left is

needed to provide a balance for the animal, plus a


contrast of textures, so here she uses the pencil dry.

an early

Warm

stage.

reddish

browns have been introduced with

a dry pencil to suggest the texture of the

wet grey pencil creates a

soft effect

on the

fur.

tail.

a slow process

easy to
to

up

(Right) Building

a complex pattern

make

and it

mistakes;

guard against

tracing

is

is

is

this,

made from

the

completed area and the


lines transferred to the

working

surface.

(Above) The dark

background has

been completed, with


black cross-hatched over
the blue,

and a patterned

cloth (which

was not

in

the photograph) has

been invented to create

some

interest in the

foreground. As
difficult to

it is

work without

visual reference, a piece

of fabric from the

artist's

collection of still-life

draperies provided the


basts for the pattern.

With the background and patterned cloth


finished, the artist returns to the focal point

the picture,

and

builds up detail

of

and texture with a

combination of wet- and- dry applications of pencil.

Finally, she uses white

brush to touch

in the

gouache paint and a small

whiskers. Coloured pencils

are less opaque than either pastels or gouache paints,

so clear whites cannot be produced by drawing over

dark colours with white pencil.

C\
\J

"1

_L

'" '" v /""^'''


i

'

drawing, the

composition

is

as

important as the
representation of the
subject; here careful

planning

h<is

balant ed

the elongated shape of


the

at's

body with

the

patterned doth and the

dark rectangle of the


bat kground.

S9

Focus

Buildings
The man-made environment of cities, town?
and villages provides a wealth of varied and
you are

exciting drawing subjects, whether

interested in architectural styles or simply in

atmosphere.

It is

sometimes thought that

drawing buildings

is

a special

skill,

but,

although detailed "architectural


renderings" are specialized and have a
particular purpose, buildings

and

townscapes present no more of a problem


than any other subject, and are almost
certainly easier than
figure.

word

drawing the nude

What puts many people off is the


most of us know that

"perspective"

linear perspective

is

and, for those of us

geometry

based on mathematics

who

at school, that

failed to grasp
is

quite

enough

to

cause alarm and despondency.

Converging parallels
It is

were

true that the laws of perspective

arrived at originally through mathematics,

but

it is

not true that they cannot be

understood by non-mathematical people.

The

basic rules are really very simple,

and

they always bear out the evidence of your

draw one

own

and another below the doors, they would be

eyes.

Most people must

have walked or driven

down

and noticed how the two

at

some time

a straight road

sides converge in

line

through the top of the roofs

receding parallel lines too, and


at the

same place

would meet

as those for the sides of

Central vanishing
point
(Above) The drawing
has been done from a
central position, so the

the distance. This apparent meeting of

receding parallel lines


tricks the eye plays

is

the road, with the houses

one of the many

with reality

the

and smaller. Again, the

lines

don't really meet, but in visual terms they


do, and drawing
see.

is

concerned with what

Without perspective

it

diminishing size

is

becoming smaller

effect of this

law of

something that everyone

must have observed.

we

is

also

with the

in the centre,

receding parallel lines


sloping

down

horizon

line,

to the

which

is

at

the level of the artist's

Vanishing points

would be

vanishing point

eye. In fact the receding

impossible to create the illusion of our

The place where

three-dimensional surroundings on a

called the vanishing point, for obvious

flat

piece of paper.

As

reasons,

parallel lines

appear to come closer

and closer together until they meet,

are.

Imagine a row of identical

uildings along the road.

If

you were

it is

to

line

is

your

imaginary,

all
it

This

is

the

most

because, although the

isn't arbitrary

own eye level. This

changes as

is

located on an imaginary

line called the horizon.

important fact of

it

follows that things get smaller the further

away they

and

the parallel lines meet

- it is

why perspective
soon as you move your own

lines at the top

of the

drawing are not entirely


correct they should

slope

more

steeply

but drawings can often

be the better for small


inaccuracies in the

is

perspective.

Moving position
(Right)
to see

The

artist

has

now moved to

the

more of the right-hand wall, and

left in

order

the vanishing

point has also changed position. The horizon,

however, remains constant, as

done from the same

this

drawing has been

level as the first one.

viewpoint, even from a sitting to a standing

You have changed

position.

sfs

the horizon, the

vanishing point and the direction of the


parallel lines.

There

of course, one further

is,

complication: there are often two or more


different vanishing points,

your angle of viewing.

If

depending on

you are drawing

house from an angle, both planes


receding from you, so lines

old

be

drawn through

and bottoms of each would meet

the tops
their

will

own

at

separate vanishing points. In an

town or

odd angles

village,

houses

may

be set at

to each other, resulting in

many

different vanishing points.

Perspective by eye
In such cases

you cannot possibly

establish

the exact position of each vanishing point,

important to mark

but

it is

line

and,

if

in the

horizon

possible, the vanishing point for

one key building of the scene before you.

You can work out the

other receding lines

by holding up a pencil or ruler and

tilting

it

Two

vanishing

points
(Left)

The majority of

architectural subjects

have

at least

two

different vanishing

depending on

points,

how many planes there


are

and the angle from

which they are viewed.

Here there are two, with


the converging parallels

sloping

more sharply

down

to the

on the

right

horizon line
<\ll

drawing

HUH *JMUUD

ZTIfuul/

W8
:

>

__
61

Perspective and proportion


(Left) In

Paul Bartlett's pen-and-ink drawing, a study

made for a painting,


accurate, as

the perspective

is

impressively

the observation of the building's

is

number
window and the exact size of each

proportions. Notice the care taken over the

of bars
brick

in

each

and roof tile.

Shapes and colours


(Below) Town scenes, which present a
different elements, provide

contrasts of shape, surface texture


his

sketchbook study

in

variety of

an opportunity to explore

and

colour. In

coloured pencil, David

Cuthbert's interest has been primarily in the lively


patterns

made by

the buildings, street furniture, flags

and shadows.

until

it

coincides with the angles of the roof,

Interiors

window

(Below) The inside of a

under figure drawing.

building

is

as interesting

draw

and rewarding

to

as the exterior,

and you

tops or other features, as explained

You do not have


points exactly right

the picture
bonus of being protected

and
his

inquisitive eyes. In

pen-and-ink drawing

The Church Organ

Townend has made an

indeed

the vanishing
this will

be

many of them may be outside


area but do make checks from

time to time

if

you

doesn't look right.

see
If

are

bad

will

at

become

something that

you misjudge one

angle and try to relate

drawing

Before Renovation John

all

impossible, as

have the additional

both from the weather

to get

all

the others to

distorted.

drawing straight

And

lines

if

it

the

you

don't be

afraid to use a ruler, at least at the start of a

exciting composition

based mainly on the


interplay of curves

diagonal

and

drawing. Vertical lines really do have to be


vertical in architectural subjects.

lines.

Scale and proportion


every bit as important as

Proportion

is

perspective

perhaps even more

it is

so.

While

correct (or reasonably correct)

perspective which
realistic

over,

it is

drawing look
to

fall

well-observed proportion which

conveys character.

draw

makes

and the building not about

a portrait

You would

not expect to

without paying attention to

the size of your sitter's eyes in relation to his


62

Buildings as a
setting
(Left) In

Gerald Cains'

mixed-media drawing

Open End, Ashton Gate


(in acrylic,

and ink)

who

watercolour

it is

the people

s?s

claim attention

rather than buildings,

which merely provide an


urban

He

setting.

has

created a very powerful

and

rather sinister effect

by playing with

scale;

the foreground figures

on the steps dwarf their


surroundings.

Composition
(Below)

Making a

finished drawing

or her face, but

it is

surprising

how many

careful with doors, as they will look


gives

people ignore the importance of the size of

structurally impossible

windows and doors,

and bizarre

or the heights of roofs

When drawing a

if

if

they are too small,

they are too large

doors

are

designed so that the average person can pass

in relation to walls.

designed building such

from

sketches or photographs

comfortably

in

and out without having to

as a historic cathedral or fine country

stoop or walk

house, such factors are naturally taken into

townscape give an indication of scale

account, because the grand scale of the

well as creating a feeling of atmosphere, but

building or the carefully planned balance of

make sure that the doors you put


accommodate them.

in

sideways. People in a

you more chance

adjust reality.

to

Ray Evans

sketches continually to

amass a store of visual


information,

and when

he makes finished

drawings he often

as

combines elements from

the architectural features are the principal


attractions of the subject. But scale

in

can

several sketchbook
studies.
in

His Port Isaac

is

pen and watercolour.

and

proportion are always important, even

when your

subject

is

an old wooden barn or

a higgledy-piggledy collection of cottages or

town houses;
which

these are the characteristics

will give

your drawing a convincing

"sense of place".
Relative sizes can be measured by holding

up

a pencil at arm's length

your thumb up and

drawing

sight-size

down

and moving
it,

but

if

you are

you can be more accurate

by using a ruler to read off the actual


measurements.

Work

out the height of

the building in relation to

its

width, the

proportion of wall to roof, and the number

and

size of the

windows. Don't forget that

the laws of diminishing size

make

the spaces

between windows become smaller as they


recede, as well as the
this

is

a trap for the

windows themselves

unwary. Be particularly
63

Focus on Buildings

Mixed-media Demonstration
Karen Raney

is

an

artist

who

IThe artist intends to

enjoys

use a version of the

experimenting with different media and


different techniques, in both her

sgraffito technique in

drawings

and her paintings. Her subject matter

combination with pencil


is

as

and Conte crayon. She

varied as her methods, but as a city dweller


she

is

has begun by scribbling

particularly interested in the challenge

all

over the paper with

and stimulation of urban scenes. She uses

an

oil bar,

photographs as a starting point when

similar to a thick, soft oil

it is

not possible to work direct from the subject

pastel.

which can be difficult in towns and cities


but does so selectively, rejecting any

over

which

Having drawn

this

with Conte

crayon, she

more

is

now applies

in selected areas.

elements in the photograph which she does

not require for her composition.

The Conte crayon

is

smudged with a

finger so that

it

mixes

V
-

into the layers of oil bar

beneath. The oil

and the

texture of the heavy

,(

watercolour paper have

broken up the Conte


.,

**

marks, creating a nice


-

'-.,

soft effect.

wLs

Vv_

HKZ.

'

V
.

'

Conte crayon
inscribed

is

now

more

heavily over the first

applications of oil

crayon.

and

The drawing

is

kept loose and free at


this stage,

with the

shapes evolving very

The Conte has been applied quite heavily over


the oil crayon,

and

the corner of a plastic card

is

gradually.

employed,

firstly to scratch into

it

and then

re-apply the resulting mixture of oil

has become rather like paint.

to

and Conte, which

0?

8
oil

further

application

<>/

bar again mixes

with the

'"'!'<

beneath top

Some of the

lines are

pencil. In this

effect

strengthened with soft

photograph you can

clearly see the

soft p

be manipul

and moved around.

of scratching and scraping with the plastic card,

particularly in the foreground.

Continut

65

'

!
!

v^

"*&

-^"^

f
V'.

'

'

,r

'^L-r'^M

IM&r^
r

li

J&5

#*#W.

9T/?e card is wsetf to draw mfo the paste-like


substance. The effect resembles brushmarks in

a painting, with the corner of the card

positive dark line.

-1

JL

f\
\J

is

for the artist to begin

the buildings,

and here she

sufficiently

work on

uses a

2B

advanced

&:^

the details of

"

To suggest the
:.

JL texture of the
building on the

left,

i&

pencil, applying

pressure to bite through the thin layer of oil bar.

1-i

s&

The picture

(Right)

making a

:-y^:

-1I

she
1

has applied a further


layer of oil bar

draws into

it,

'

and now
Ww

using the

pencil lightly so that

>

"
k

the oily underlayer.

flj

\m

-/^

it

only partially dislodges

r-x'

ft

'
i

i44^

mf

'*

\
1

A]

tWfJS jjR9

~^1|
-1

(Above)

v4

further hint of texture

JL ^- painting over the

lines

is

given by

of oil and Conte with

white gouache. This also lightens an area which was


previously rather too dark.

-|

With

-L

^y

details

all

the

of the

foreground buildings

now completed,
artist turns

the

her attention

to the details in the

background. Here she

(Opposite) The finished picture

an exciting evocation of a

is

not only

city scape,

it is

fascinating in terms of technique.

suggest distance, so

layering

she smudges the Conte-

have produced a wonderful surface texture and

and-oil mixture with


.ertip.

also

The repeated

needs a soft effect to

and scraping of the Conte crayon and oil

density of tone which give the drawing something

of the richness of an etching.

~WT

[Hi

~TW
\

^.

>,

tut
i)

W
I

N
G

67

Introduction

About Watercolour

&

Since the 19th century, watercolour has

been without question the most popular

medium among amateur painters, and


continues to hold

eminence today.
reasons for

this.

its

It is

The

it

position of pre-

not hard to find


rise

of the

medium

coincided with the Victorian love of scenery

and the natural world. Landscape and


flowers were, and

still

are, the

frequently painted subjects,


colour, with
sparkle,
It is

is

its fluidity,

most

and water-

freshness

from being a medium

far

and

perfect for both.


solely for

amateurs.

More and more

artists are

turning to watercolour, and their

subject matter

is less

professional

limited.

The medium

used for portraits and figure studies, for


lifes

is

still

and cityscapes - indeed anything which

can be painted

is

painted in watercolour.

Watercolour
In fact, there

is

in the past
new about the

nothing

medium's popularity with professionals.


Although we see mainly

oil

we visit historic collections

paintings

when

of paintings,

giving the impression that watercolour

was regarded
dictated

as a

poor

more by market

anything

else.

relation, this

was

forces than by

On the whole, patrons and


OLIVIA FRASER
Viceroy's House,

New Delhi

(Above) This striking painting, with


colours, quickly dispels

one of the

about watercolour - that

The

artist

it is

its

deep, rich

common myths

a wishy-washy medium.

has controlled the paint with great

assurance, taking the dark colour of the sky carefully

around the edges of the


itself,

laying one

building, and,

wash over another to

on the building
create a

patchwork of crisp-edged shapes.

(Left)

Most watercolour artists own a selection of

watercolour tubes and pans.

JOHN LIDZEY
With Candles

Still Life
(Above) This

artist enjoys the unpredictability

of

watercolour; he encourages colours to bleed into one


another, forming pools

although

both

in

this still life

and backruns. However,

appears free and spontaneous

arrangement and

the artist has chosen

in the

manner of execution,

and placed the

a pleasing composition,

and he

objects to

form

controls the

watercolour with equal care, using pieces of cotton

wool
lift

(cotton balls) to halt the flow of colours

and

to

out soft highlights such as those on the candle

flames and glass

RONALD JESTY
Kippers
(Right)

both

Although

still lifes,

this

painting

and John

they could not be

more

Lidzey's are

different in

approach and technique. Here there are no pools or


runs of paint,

and each edge

clear. Jesty likes to try


still-life

paintings,

is

meticulously clean and

out unusual viewpoints

and here he has chosen

down on the subject so that he can exploit


made by the fish and the dark triangles.

in his

to look

the pattern

71

ELISABETH HARDEN
Blue Interior
(Above) Painting interiors

is

a branch of still-life

painting, although the subject

is

wider - you are

dealing not just with objects but with their


relationship to the surrounding space, so the

perspective must be correct

and

the composition

well-planned. The artist begins with rough sketches to

plan the composition, then makes a careful drawing.

RONALD JESTY

buyers wanted large, imposing

Rock Pool

particularly for

(Above) This

artist

artists

achieves his crisp effects

their

and dense, glowing


colours by working wet

on

You can
the

on

background hills, the

dark areas of rock and

where small

patches of light-coloured
paint have been

uncovered by
'&

left

later

of colour.

paintings,

tended to reserve watercolour for

more

private works, or for sketches

used as reference for

was

around them.
see this effect

the water,

oil

portraits, so

oil

paintings.

A notable exception to this general

dry, reserving

highlights by painting
carefully

commissioned

dark

rule

a group of 18th-century English

painters

who worked entirely

in

water-

colour, painting landscapes

and seascapes.

Most particularly, the work


Cotman and Thomas Girtin

of John Sell

died tragically young)


at in

is

(a

well

books of reproductions,

genius

who

worth looking
as are the

watercolours of J.M.W. Turner, whose

unconventional and innovative techniques

KEN PAINE
Amelia
(Below) At

first sight, this

expressive portrait might

well be mistaken for an oil painting, but in fact

it is

watercolour with the addition of Chinese white. The


artist

made no

initial pencil

drawing, but started

immediately with a brush and thin paint, gradually


increasing the

amount of white.

JOAN ELLIOTT BATES

are an endless source of inspiration.

From the Mule Path, South Spain

giant of watercolour painting in America, at

(Above)

Opaque paint has

also been used for this

charming landscape painted on location, but


case

it is

white.

in this

a slightly later date,

The

was Winslow Homer,

whose magical landscapes

are

now

gouache rather than watercolour mixed with

The

effect

fairly thinly, as

is

it

achieve thicker,

very similar if the gouache

is

used

has been here, although you can

more solid colour

if required.

accorded the recognition they deserve


his

own

lifetime, his oil paintings

(in

were

better-known).

Myths and prejudices


For some reason, watercolour has attracted

more comprehensive - and often


inexplicable list of dos and don'ts than
a

JULIETTE PALMER
Birch Trunks
(Left) In this evocative

painting there

is

and intricately

detailed

a strong emphasis on the pattern

any other medium. People


a "correct"

way

feel that

formed by the intertwining trunks and branches. The

departure from

textures too have been described with great care, with

unfaithfulness to the m< dim

a succession of small, delicate brushstrokes used for


the trunks

and distant clumps of twigs. The fine

highlights in the foreground,

which play an important

we

are told that

white because

it

there

is

of working and that any

this constitu

we must

ol

nevi

will spoil the lo-

part in the composition, were reserved by painting

translucence of the colours; w hile good

darker washes around lighter colours.

painting aids such as masking fluid


^<

TREVOR CHAMBERLAIN
Still-life Session at the Seed

Warehouse
(Above) Figure groups are not the easiest of subjects
to tackle in watercolour, as

it is

not possible to make

extensive corrections, but this painting shows that in


skilled

hands there

is

nothing the

medium cannot do.

Each brushstroke has been placed with care and,


although the

artist

has worked largely wet into wet,

he has controlled the paint so that

randomly over the

it

has not spread

surface.

ELISABETH HARDEN

Making Marmalade
Here the contrast between warm and cool colours has
been

skilfully exploited to highlight the

dominant

colour orange. Although the colour scheme

is

deliberately limited, the artist has introduced a range

of greens, blues and

shadows

warm yellow-browns into the

to create variety

and form colour

which unify the composition.

links

KAREN RANEY
ST

LAUR

(Left)

NT-D

F. -

E R

A N

Watercolours are usually painted with the

board held flat or at a

slight angle,

on-the-spot painting the artist has

board upright on an

down
left

easel,

the paper at the

but

in this

worked with

the

causing the paint to run

bottom of the

picture.

the foreground otherwise undefined

She has

- the runs of

paint hint at reflections in water.

&

MIKE BERNARD

Cow Parsley and House


(Below) Bernard seldom uses one

medium on

its

own;

here he has combined watercolour with expressive

pen drawing. This has allowed him

to introduce

touches of detail into the foreground while keeping

both the drawing and the watercolour washes


unrestrained.
blots

The heads of the cow parsley are ink

dropped from the pen, which have spread in

places into the surrounding colours,


highlights

and

the linear

were achieved by scratching into dry paint.

described as "mechanical" and therefore in

some way immoral. Eyebrows


you

try

anything new

done. Interestingly,

all

it is

are raised

if

simply not

these theories of

up

correct procedure have only sprung


this century,

while the more rigid rules

surrounding

oil

in

painting were the product

of 18th- and 19th-century academic tradition

and have since been largely abandoned.

The

best 19th-century watercolours,

particularly those by Turner, reveal an

enormous
well as

variety in the

methods used,

as

many practices which might be

frowned upon today. Turner used opaque


paint; he

moved

picture surface

the paint

around on the

and allowed colours

to run;

he smudged paint with his fingers and even


scratched into
the

medium

it

in places. In short,

he used

as the servant of his ideas

rather than the other

way around.

The other myth about watercolour is that


a particularly difficult medium to use. It

it is

is

true that once

isn't

always possible to put

course,
that

you have made

it

else thinks

it

right, plus, of

it

can be hard to paint

someone

a mistake

in the

way

you should.

Producing a good painting

is

never easy,

whatever medium you use, but, once you


have found your
difficulties will

own way

of working, the

be minimized.
75

Materials

& Equipment

Paints

1*

One

of the

many

that initially

the

way

& Brushes

delights of watercolour

you don't need

is

a great deal in

of materials: a small paintbox of

colours, a few brushes,

some paper and

and you can make a

for water,

start.

a jar

The

materials

and equipment

basics; as

you become more experienced

and develop your own


working, you

listed

and way of

style

may want to

here are the

IIIM

out special

try

brushes or a particular kind of palette,


therefore

up

as

best to start simply

it is

WATERCOLOUR PALETTE

and build

you go along.

The paints
Watercolours are produced

in tubes,

pans

and half-pans; the only rather hard decision

make

to

which

if

you are

to buy.

starting

Both have

from scratch

their

is

advantages

and disadvantages. Tube colours enable you

make

to

up a

strong, bright colours

and

to

mix

lot of paint quickly (ideal for those

who work on

a large scale).

However, they

are slightly tiresome for outdoor sketching


as,

unlike pans, they don't

fit

neatly into a

paintbox. Pans are perhaps the most

popular choice. They control the paint


neatly so that colours don't run into one

another, but

it is

more

the paint; indeed,

difficult to release

you may have

to scrub

with your brush for some time to produce

enough colour

for a large wash.

ATERCOLOUR BOX

WATERCOLOUR
PANS

Whichever type you decide on, do make


sure that

known

you buy the best-quality

as "artist's" colours.

paints,

Most

manufacturers produce inexpensive ranges,

sometimes called "student's" colours and


sometimes given a name coined by the
particular manufacturer. These usually

a?

<?

contain a smaller proportion of pigment

than

artist's

with

fillers,

to achieve

colours and are bulked out

sometimes making

it

impossible

any depth of colour or to avoid

itchiness, particularly over large areas.

WATERCOLOUR TUBES

Paintboxes and palettes


The kind of paintbox or

you choose

palette

depend on whether you are using pans

will

For pans, you need

(or half-pans) or tubes.

paintbox specially made for holding them


place, either with divisions for each

one long
side. If

slot in

you opt

which they
for tubes

all sit

in

pan or

side by

you must buy

separate palette or several small ones

or

use an improvised palette such as an old


plate.

At one time you could buy metal

paintboxes with small compartments into

which the paint was squeezed; these have

now, though you might

largely disappeared
still

be lucky enough to find one.

Brushes
The

best brushes for watercolour

work

are undoubtedly sables, but they are not

recommended

as part of a "starter kit"

because they are prohibitively expensive, at


least in the larger sizes.

There are

synthetic brushes, as well as sable


synthetic mixtures; brushes

now many
and

invest in

You may

find

one or two sables

you want

later

on;

if

an investment they will

lifetime

if

you look

after

Most watercolour
which can be used

to

painters have a small

box of equipment,

for "lifting out" paint

mopping up

paint that threatens to

good

alternative to brushes

and

for

run.

It is

also a

for laying washes.

so,

take heart from the fact that they are almost


literally

Other items
natural sponge in their

made from

other soft hair such as ox and squirrel are


also available.

WATERCOLOUR SPONGES

SELECTION OF WATERCOLOUR BRUSHES

Of course, you

a jar to hold water,

also need

and paper.

last a

them.

made in two basic shapes:


round and flat. The former are essential,
Brushes are

and you

will

probably require three

different sizes: a small

two larger ones the


scale

one

for detail

size will

depend on the

on which you work. Large

are useful for laying washes, but

need more than one to

which are also good

flat

brushes

you won't

start with.

other types of brush, such as

and

mop

There are
brushes,

for washes, but like

sables these are expensive

and should be

regarded as a luxury item.

You may want

invest in

them

FLATWATERCOI

to

later on.

77

Materials

& Equipment
Stretching

Paper

watercolour paper
Stretching the paper before use prevents
it

Watercolours are nearly always done on

from buckling when you put on the wet

paint.

Colours laid over ridges and

bumps may

white paper; you can work on coloured

take a long time to dry out

and sometimes never do


paper, but this

the exception rather than

The luminous

the rule.

so

is

many people

result of the

quality that attracts

to watercolour

work

the

is

white paper reflecting back

through the layers of transparent paint.


Colours are made lighter by using the paper
as the white

much

heavily

of the paper to

thicker paint covers

diluted paint allows

show through, while

which

is

lighter

than about 2001b usually

needs to be stretched, particularly


use a lot of wet washes or
wet.

The paper used

for

if

you

work wet

into

on

will certainly buckle

a large scale

is

if

(300i

1401b,

you work

and build up many

it is

2WHTTEN

most types of

watercolour sketching pads

which

of colour, but

it.

so, thus spoiling

the effect of your finished work. Paper

layers

reasonably safe for

small-scale outdoor work.

Paper surfaces and weights


Basically there are three types of

watercolour paper: rough,

and smooth. They are

all

medium rough

machine-made

and are given names derived from the

method of production. Rough paper has no


alternative

known
as

name, but smooth paper

as "hot-pressed"

"Not"

(i.e.

is

and medium paper

not hot-pressed), or

sometimes as "cold-pressed". There are also

handmade
texture.

These are expensive and not always

easy to handle; they are best

left until

you

have gained a considerable degree of skill.

The

vast majority of watercolour

painters,

use

Not

texture,

ISoak the paper for a few


minutes

papers, which vary widely in

amateur and professional

in

a bath or sink.

When you are sure it has absorbed


the water evenly,

lift it

out by one

Cut four pieces of gumstrip,


one for each

cm

wide for an average-

2.5

moisture and place

sized painting

on the

and dampen

sponge. The gumstrip should be

corner, shake off the excess


it

side,

well by running them across a wet

(1 in)

and up

to

cm

(2 in)

wide for a larger one.

drawing board.
alike,

surface paper. This has a slight

which holds the paint

does not break up the colour.

in place

but

Rough paper

^ __

^^^^J

can be hard to manage, as the heavy texture


tends to interfere with detail, and smooth

paper can produce blotchy

on

the paint slides about


All these papers are

weights, expressed as
refers to the

500

sheets.

which

is

effects

because

it.

made in different
pounds

(lb).

This

weight of a ream of paper

Weights vary between 701b,

very thin, and 3001b, which

Place a piece of gumstrip along

one long edge of the paper and

smooth

it

out firmly from the

centre, to ensure that

it

so

resembles board. The thicker

the paper the

more

it

costs,

3aper must be stretched

but very thin

first.

makes

contact with both paper


is

at every point.

thick that

it

and board

Repeat the process for the


second long edge and then each

alternate short edge.

Don't worry if

the paper begins to buckle slightly;


it

will dry flat.

WHITE NOT

HOT-PRESSED

5,6, 7

AND 8 TINTED NOT

(90LB)

GUMSTR1P

^#

Colour

Making bright mixtures


The mixtures shown

Advice on Mixing

here have

all

been made

from two primary


colours which have a
bias towards each other.

The

The

first

and perhaps the most

difficult skill

any painting medium is mixing


Not only do you need to analyse

from blue and yellow; purple from blue and

to master in

red; orange

colours.

is

the colours

you

see,

you must also learn

think of them in terms of paint colours.

easy to say that a sky

is

to

is

would you

choose from your paintbox? Which other


colours could you mix in to achieve the
effect

you can

Most
it

see in your subject?

of this comes with experience and,

and

facts

error.

But

it is

useful to

know some

about the paint colours themselves

order to understand what

may

or

if

in

may not

happen when you mix them.

have an opposite bias

each blue and yellow and two of red.

combine

So before you begin to mix secondaries,


to

know which

Mixing browns and

shade you want. All colours have different

greys

biases, or leanings

Of the two

towards other colours.

example, one (cadmium red)

is

vivid

and

slightly yellow, while the other (alizarin

Red, blue and yellow cannot be produced

alizarin

by mixing other colours, so they are called

ultramarine and

make

the secondary colours: green

Different permutations
of the primary colours

reds in the starter palette, for

other.

these

make more

primary colours to choose to mix the exact

To mix

bright

primaries that are biased towards each

Thus ultramarine

(red biased)

can produce a wide


range of tertiary colours

- browns,
muted

and

more muted

red do not. For

secondaries, choose primaries

which have an opposing

The

colour will depend on


the mixture you are

aiming

crimson make a good purple, but

cadmium

greys and

greens.

proportion of each

secondaries you must choose the two

in pairs,

to

muted mixtures.

are the best

crimson) leans towards blue.

When mixed

subtle mixtures

Here primaries which

that there are three different versions of

Primary and secondary


colours

the primary colours.

green.

you

look at the starter palette below you will see

you need

has to be said, after a certain amount of

trial

primary colours are not absolute

at

and on the

strength of the
individual colours

some pigments

vast range of colours

stronger than others.

bias.

produced by

paint manufacturers can be very

bewildering for the beginner.

you choose from

many

How do

this profusion,

and how

colours do you need? In fact you

don't need very

many

generally have to

because you

mix colours

CADMIUM RED

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

CADMIUM YELLOW

LEMON YELLOW

to produce

equivalents to those you see in the real

world. This suggested palette contains

may be over some of the great

twelve colours, which

generous

ULTRAMARINE

PRUSSIAN BLUE

CERULEAN BLUE

V1RIDIAN

watercolourists of the past used no

more than

three or four.

SAP GREEN

YELLOW OCHRE

are

A Starter palette
The

all

vivid, excepting the olive

Making
It is

blue or that grass

green, but which blue and green

from red and yellow. But there

a slight complication here because the

resulting colours

(secondaries) are

RAW UMBER

PAYNES GRAY

(ADMIUMRH)

MIXTURE

ADMIUM YELLOW

MIX HIRE

<

AOMIUM YELLOW

ULTRAMARINE

ULTRAMARINE

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

MIXTURE

CERULEAN BLUE

MIXTURE

LEMON YELLOW

MIXTURE

PRUSSIAN BLUE

1P

LEMON YELLOW

w
A

T
E

O
L

CADMIUM
YELLOW

CADMJUM ALIZARIN
YELLOW CRIMSON

CADMIUM
ULTRAMARINE

RED

CADMIUM
YELLOW


CADMIUM

LEMON
YELLOW

ALIZARIN

CRLMSON

PRUSSIAN
BLUE

ULTRAMARINE

U
R

CERULEAN

RED

BLUE

<

\
Tertiary colours

buy

A secondary colour is a

would seldom have exactly the right colour;


furthermore, mixed colours are more subtle

mixture of two

when a third colour is added,


known as a tertiary colour.
the so-called neutrals the

other colours;
the result

These are

is

browns, beiges and "coloured greys" which


play an important part in painting. There

no

is

recipe for mixing these colours because

there are so

many

possible

whole manufacturer's range you

and more convincing than bought ones


simply because you are making them up
yourself, in direct response to a subject.
It is

not always necessary to mix

completely from scratch. The starter palette


contains two secondary colours (the two

ways of

two

ones (raw umber

achieving them, but an interesting and

greens) and

varied range can be created simply by

and Payne's gray),

mixing three primary colours

foundations for mixtures and can

in different

tertiary
all

of which form good

sometimes even be used as they are

proportions.

certain areas of a picture.

Why

mix

would be

You may wonder why

it is

necessary to mix

secondary and tertiary colours


there are so

many ready-made

purples and browns. But even

at all

when

you were

well advised to practise colour

mixing as much as possible, making charts


like the

ones shown here, as

this will give

you the hands-on experience for which

greens,
if

in

However, you

to

there

is

no

substitute.
HI

Exercise

A Painting in Six Primaries

*f

Making colour

charts like those

the previous pages will help

shown on

you

useful colour mixtures, giving

to devise

you valuable

Having begun
with a light brush

drawing
artist

experience in handling the medium; but the


best
is,

way

to learn to paint

is

to

do

it

that

to paint an actual subject, choosing

and

mixing the colours accordingly. The idea


behind

this exercise

you can make

all

is

to discover

the secondary

whether

and

tertiary

work by
primary colours two reds,

colours that you need for your

using only the


three blues

and three yellows.

in yellow, the

now paints in

shadow beneath
plate. This

the

the

warm

colour,

mixed from cadmium


red with small touches of

ultramarine and lemon


yellow, will later be

modified by other
colours laid on top.

The lemons present


no problems, and

the colours for these first

washes do not require


mixing. The lighter areas
are pale lemon yellow,

and

the darker ones a

stronger solution of

cadmium
shadows

yellow. Again,
will be

added at

a later stage.

Here the amount of


water added to the

colours

is

crucial.

The

paler pink at the top of


the apple

You can choose any subject that appeals


to you, but don't make it too complicated.
You could set up a simple still life like the
one shown here

or, if

you

like to paint

work from a photograph. Another alternative would be to


copy a painting you like from a book of
reproductions. There is nothing wrong
landscape, you could

with learning by copying. In this case, as

you are only using


won't be exact;

it

six colours,

will be

what

your copy
is

known

as a "transcription".

COLOURS USED cadmium red, alizarin crimson,


cadmium

yellow, lemon yellow, ultramarine,

Prussian blue

is

well-watered

alizarin crimson; beside


this is a slightly stronger

wash of the same

colour,

while for the body of the

apple the crimson

is

more concentrated.
a

little

blue

is

Now

added to

darken the red and tone


it

down

slightly.

6
to

(Below) Final

touches were added

darken the shadowed

side of the

lemon with a

well-diluted mixture of

ultramarine, lemon

n>

yellow and cadmium


red,

and

to build

up the

forms of the other fruit


with darker shadows.

The grey

for the plate

is

mixed from ultramarine

with small additions of lemon yellow and alizarin

The same grey as

washed over

that used for the plate

is

now

the original pinkish colour seen in

is

It

usually wise to avoid

combining more than


three colours, as this can

crimson, while the limes are mainly lemon yellow and

Step

Prussian blue, with light overlays of ultramarine for

mixed in

the shadows. These have been painted wet into wet so

modified and altered on the paper by laying one

muddy;

wash over another.

the mixtures here are of

that they

merge gently into the greens.

In

watercolour work, colours are not only


the paintbox or palette, they can also be

make

the mixture

the majority of

only two colours.

81

Techniques

Laying Washes

&

Basically, watercolour painting

is

the

to

process of building up a picture through a


series of

washes of paint diluted with water.

wash can cover

half of
part;

it

it

the whole of the paper,

(perhaps for a sky) or just a small

can be roughly defined as colour

make up more

colour, so you must

ensure that you have enough - washes use

up a surprising amount of paint. The paint


should be added to the water, not vice
versa, but don't start with a large

amount

of water, or you could waste a good deal

that covers a wider area than an individual

of paint achieving a strong enough mix.

brushstroke could. In the later stages of a

Instead, put a small

painting, definition

may

be added with

amount of water

saucer, palette or paintbox, pick

up some

small brushmarks or fine lines, but the

colour with a moistened brush and

washes come

into the water.

first

and, because they are

central to painting in watercolour, the first


skill

you must master

is

that of laying a

completely even wash of colour.

more

paint,

If it

and

if

looks too

into a

light,

stir it

add

too dark add more water,

repeating the process until you have the

depth of colour you require.

Stir the

paint in

well with the brush each time so that the

Mixing colour for


Washes must be

wash

laid quickly to prevent

hard edges from forming.

84

You cannot

stop

particles of

pigment are thoroughly

dissolved and there are none

left

on the

brush, otherwise you will have unsightly

DAVID CURTIS
Sailing Boats
(Below) The clear, pale

sky behind the boats


achieved with a

is

flat

wash of watercolour.

wash on dry paper

Flat

*t>
w
A
T
E

IThe

wash has been mixed in a

paintbox because

jar rather than a

intended to cover a large

it is

area.

Watercolour dries much lighter than

when

wet, so the colour

is

tested

appears

it

on a spare piece of

paper and allowed to dry before the wash

is

which the paper

Several successive

bands of colour

now been

have

with gumstrip,

angle of the board

encourages the paint to

flow downwards into

angle,

and

is

slight

the brush

is

laid.

streaks of colour. Before laying the wash,

taken smoothly from

each

check the colour by painting some on a

one side to the other.

are no perceptible

spare piece of paper and letting

Watercolour becomes much

it

has been stretched

propped at a

laid.

The board, on

new

The

band, so there

boundaries.

dry.

lighter as

Flat

it

wash on damp paper

and the colour may not be what you

dries,

originally expected.

Laying the wash


The kind of brush you use
large

is

Some

personal preference.

a matter of

artists like a

round brush, others prefer

a flat one,

and some eschew brushes altogether and

lay

IThe paper

washes with a sponge. Whichever "tool"

you use the method

the same. Unless

is

are using very heavy paper

it

should

you

first

be

which
in

stretched
angle.

on

board and propped

The brush

right across the

(or sponge)

band
first.

laid

brush

This process

The

tilt

is

This

is

but

it

will dry perfectly flat.

a quick, effective

method for

at a slight
covering large areas.

is

first

band of colour

is

recharged and another

Laying

a flat

wash with

sponge

is

repeated until the

covered.

the paper so that each

Some

artists like to

new

one

dampen

the

paper with clean water before laying

wash, to encourage the colours to blend and

It is

initially,

watercolour work.

the

of the board encourages the paint

down

to avoid

a vital piece of equipment

The way the paint runs down


damp paper can be alarming

then swept

"line" of colour mingles with the

above.

is

below, slightly overlapping the

whole area

to run

dampened all

paper from one side to the

other; as soon as this


in place, the

is

is first

over with a small natural sponge,

any

lines

forming between bands.

worth trying out both methods

to discover

which you

in

order

Again working on
the sponge

is

damp

to the other. At this stage

believe that

it

will

paper,

taken from
it is

dry flat.

hard

to

2
i

But it has. Because the papet was

dampened,

the darker areas of

olour have flowed into the lighter

ones,

and

the earlier irregularities have

completely disappeared.

prefer.
85

Gradated washes

Laying a
gradated

1A

and a colour wash should

strength colour

is

is

paper

brush

is

more

difficult

weaker or stronger can

band the

effect

dipped into the

if

you are not

water and then into the

from

paint mixture.

each band, but

For artists

is

most useful type of

called,

ones; the

it is

result in a stripy

careful.

You can work

adding more paint for

much

easier to control

you begin with the

if

you want a wash which

full-strength

which are usually


bottom.

is

in the

If

darker at the

down

bottom, simply turn the board upside

and work

wash, particularly for

lighter at the

flat

colour and add more water each time.

are interested in

skies,

light to dark,

the effect

who

landscape painting this


the

than laying

need to make the colours progressively

as usual; for each


successive

reflect this.

Laying gradated washes, as they are

band of full-

laid across the

bottom

Skies are darker at the top than the

wash

same way.

For each new band of colour, dip the


brush into the water before dipping
the paint in order to

weaken

the

into

it

wash

mixture by exactly the same amount each


time. For a

more obvious gradation, you

can dip the brush twice into the water, or

Laying

even use water alone for the second band,

which case the colour from the bottom of

variegated

the

wash

first

band

will

flow into the dampened

area, thus creating a paler

Three colours are


to

have been mixed up

itself.

of colour will even out.

touches the blue above

two colours

blend together with no

Variegated washes
Washes frequently contain more than one
colour. For instance, an area of grass in a

hard edges.

landscape might vary from blue-green to

On this occasion
the board

and

The

is

held

the paper

effect relies

yellow-green, or the sea could contain

is

dry.

on the

colours remaining
distinct;

they

would flow

into

distinct colour fluctuations. In this case

need to mix
require,

on damp paper

another and mix.

one

new

in

advance

all

the colours

you

you

washing your brush between each

colour to keep

it

pure.

Multi-coloured washes can be controlled


quite precisely as long as

you

test all the

colours on spare paper before you

you are aiming


colours, with
86

of

The green

separately.

flat

shadow

Gradated washes must always be done on


dry paper, otherwise the different strengths

be used and

so that the

in

start. If

for a perfect blend of

no obvious boundaries,

it is

work on dampened paper;

best to

Tricky edges:

frequent feature of such washes, however,


that they are not regular

and perfect -

it

is

method

depends on what you want. You can also

IThe wash
on

laid

make exciting random effects by dropping


new colours into a still-damp wash, a
technique known as wet into wet, which is

not the

hills,

has been

Laying a wash to cover a piece of paper


easy enough once you have got

hang of

to?

wash

lay a

but

how do you

wash

lay a

and stops exactly where you

that starts

want it

it,

You may,
for a sky,

want

for example,

below which

complex skyline of buildings or

it

reaches the

clean, because

it is

~1\

wash has dried

completely
is

The

flat.

now dampened

again, this time between


the sky

which

trees

Notice that the sky

paper

to

is

and a

and

the buildings,

loose multi-

coloured wash

must stay

The

edge of the dry paper.

Complicated edges

the

so the paper

dampened in

the sky area only.

soon as

is

to be

is

the sky but

paint stops flowing as

discussed later.

entirely

all

is

If

laid.

to be painted

in different colours.

In fact, this

but

it

is

much

easier than

it

sounds,

does rely on making a good drawing

to establish exactly

where to stop the wash.

There are two ways of working and the one

you choose depends on whether you


lay

washes on damp or dry paper.

prefer the former, simply

area of the

in the

wash

If

dampen

you

Lay the wash

as usual

want

IThe board

the paper

wet

only, taking a

and

stop obediently at the dry paper.

If

to lighten the colour slightly

like to

upside

it

will

you

is

turned

down and a

deep blue wash laid

around the

brush carefully around your drawn


outlines.

Tricky edges:

method

roofs.

line

of the

A round brush

with a good point

is

best

for this method.

and

ensure a smooth and even texture, then dab


it

with blotting paper which will absorb

some of the excess paint.


The other method is to work upside
down, taking the colour around the edges
first. If

you want

wash which

is

darker at

down
down -

the top, leave the board to dry upside

and

at

that

is,

an angle; the colour will flow

up

in

The board has been


tilted so that the

paint flows
that

is,

downwards,

to the top of the

sky area.

It is left

to dry

in this position.

terms of your picture.

87

Techniques

Making an Underdrawing
30*

Unless you are just making quick sketches

drawing on one day and paint on the next.

or coloured "doodles" to try out techniques

Changing

and colour

are

effects,

it is

important to start

means

a drawing. This establishes

place the

first

reserve for highlights. Bear in


it is

where

to

washes and which areas to

not easy to

make major

watercolours, so an

initial

mind too

that

corrections to

drawing

will save

frustration later on.

You may groan

prevents you from getting

most people regard


exercise,

which

Also, of course,

painting time

down

to

it

what

as the fun part of the

putting on the colour.

is
it

if

because

such cases that

Making

important when you

elaborate a drawing
it

is

faint,

unnecessary
otherwise the

marks may show through the

lighter

areas of colour. Avoid shading and try to


restrict yourself to outlines,

sure that

you have

wrong lines
that the

while making

you know what the


to
as

amend

outlines

the drawing, erase the

drawing

is

correct.

erasing as the surfaces of

become scuffed

Take care over

some papers

rather easily, causing

when

seems a waste of valuable

unpleasant blotches

applied. Use a soft plastic eraser or a

You may find


better to make the

it is

mean.

soon as you are confident

you are working out of

doors, every second counts.


in

less

and you should keep


pencil

If

at the idea,

is

drawing than when you are painting.

Too

your work with a plan of campaign, which

light

the paint

is

kneaded putty one, keeping the pressure


light to

avoid spoiling the paper surface.

pencil drawing

*\

A
I

IThe

artist

is

using a fairly soft pencil (4B).

Anything harder than a 2B could indent the


surface of the paper,

make a

and is

less

easy to erase

(Right)

The drawing has been kept

but the

lines are

to outlines only,

strong enough to provide a guide

for the applications of paint. If the drawing


it

88

if you

mistake.

will quickly

become obscured by

is

too pale

the first washes.

&

Squaring up

1A

grid of squares has been

drawn over

photograph, and a larger grid

is

on the paper. Numbering the squares


it is

easy to

make mistakes when

the

now marked out


is

important, as

transferring the

visual information.

(Right) Referring to the


artist

numbers and

letters,

the

redraws the image, taking care to assess

where each

line intersects

with a line on the grid.

If

you are working from

photograph

(and don't be ashamed, because


artists

transfer

it

to the painting surface by a

method

tried-and-tested

Using a

ruler,

draw

larger squares,

work out

called squaring up.

measured grid over

and then another one, with

the photograph

to

many

do), you can enlarge the image and

on the paper. You

have

the sizes of the squares

mathematically according to the

want your

will

picture to be.

size

you

For example,

those on the photograph are 1.3

cm

and those on the paper are 2.5 cm

if

{Vi in)

(1 in),

the painting will be twice the size of the

photograph. Once you have drawn the


grids, simply transfer the information

one

The grid lines are erased in the areas which are


be light in the painting because they would

through pale washes.

any

risk

putty eraser

of scuffing the paper.

is

to

show

used to avoid

to the other, checking carefully to

where each

line intersects a grid line.

well worth

the effort for

subject

is

wrong angle can throw ev< r> thii


actually much easier tor the ey< to
i

set-

This

any compile.

subject, such as architecture,

exact angles oi

from

judj

by com)

with the straight right-angles of a grid.


89

Techniques

Working Wet on Dry


Overlaid washes

Watercolour paints are transparent, and


consequently paintings are built up
layers,

working from

in

light to dark. It

seldom possible to achieve a

really

is

dark

colour with just one wash, because the paint

must be diluted with water

in

order to

spread, and the white of the paper will

always show through to some extent. Thus


the darkest colours are achieved by laying

one wash over another


depth

is

known

achieved. This layering method,

as

must be

until the required

wet on dry because each wash

fully

dry before the next

is

added,

the "classic" watercolour technique.

each wash dries,

it

is

When

forms hard edges at the

boundaries; these edges are a positive


feature of wet-on-dry painting, adding crisp

IThe

energy to the image.

The method

relies for its success

careful planning.

much

It is

not wise to

on

pile

reflective surface

among

on too

colour; as a general rule you should

grey-blue wash, slightly darker

more than

three

overlaid washes, as otherwise the colours


will begin to lose their clarity,

stirred

up and muddy. Thus when you begin

a painting

what

becoming

you need

the finished

only in this

to

have a clear idea of

work

is

way can you

to look like, as

estimate the depth

of colour you need for the

first

Overlaid washes should always be restricted

Each wash must be


completely dry

before the next one

is

painted on top, so a
hairdryer

is

used to

speed up the process.


This

washes.

is

a very useful

piece of equipment

when

working indoors.

to relatively small areas of the picture.

You

also need to plan the highlights.

you already know, the white

in

As

watercolour

comes from the paper. White highlights

are

achieved by "reserving", which means


leaving the shape as white paper

painting around

it.

and

Highlights are not

The same

light

brown used for

top of the teapot

is

bottom.

It is

best to

always white, but areas of a light-coloured

wash can be reserved

bottom whenever

in the

same way, by

washes. White highlights can be added in

opaque

paint, but for purity

and sparkle

you can't beat unblemished white paper.

the

now

introduced at the

work from top

leaving parts showing through overlaid

in the

shadow areas,

reserving the areas of pure white highlight by painting

around them.
limit yourself to not

produces blues and whites

the browns, so the artist has begun with a

to

possible, to avoid

smudging wet paint.

(Above) Shiny
surfaces reflect light

and shadow from

their

surroundings, creating
very sharp and distinctly

shaped areas of light and


dark.

The

crispness

produced hy using the


wet-on-dry technique

is

ideal for conveying these


qualities in a painting.

darker mixture of the same brown

the

shadowed areas. Notice

the pot, an area of blue-grey

painted over the blue

in

Step

that,

is

used for

on the

lid

of

formed by the brown


3

The darkest colours are

and placed very

<

left

until the final stages

arefully. These

the highlights, define the

form of the

shadows,

like

object.

has been carefully

reserved as a highlight.

91

Techniques

Working Wet into Wet


This method, which involves applying

new

colours before the

allowed to dry,

is

first

ones have been

often regarded as a

"special" method, quite separate from


the classic wet-on-dry technique. In fact,

although some
pictures

artists

wet into wet,

usual to see the

how thorough you want

perhaps more

it is

two methods used

Painting wet into wet

colour

One

is its

is

the wet-into-wet effect

in

to be.

top of the

and here the

medium is at its tantalizing best you


never know exactly what will happen.
Surprisingly, when you drop one wet colour
do not mix completely.

The weight of water


pushes the

first

in the

one another, while

new brushstroke
away slightly,

still

and "bleed" into

remaining separate

an extent. This can create very exciting

effects,

which vary according

the paint

is,

the kind of paper

to

how wet

you use and

Controlling the flow

IThe paper has been dampened, two colours laid


side
left

by

side,

and the paper

lifted

and tilted to

the

so that the red runs into the blue.

(Right)

the top

and

stronger blue has been dropped in at


the paper

colours run down.

hills,

and

Several applications

of paint have by

now made the paper


thoroughly damp, and
the green applied in the

foreground spreads out

and diffuses. To control

layers of paint

so that the colours mingle

to

artist

therefore uses dry paper.

of the delights of water-

into another, they

Here the

needs a crisp edge at the

enormously

unpredictability,

Whether you work


on pre-dampened or

dry paper depends on

do paint whole

conjunction with one another.

enjoyable.

Working on
dry paper

is

now tilted so

that the

The paper should normally be

stretched for wet-into-wet work, but this

paper which does not buckle.

is

very heavy

the spread of colour, the


artist applies the
lightly,

with the

the brush.

paint
tip

of

3
in

now
damped only

The paper has


been

one area so

that the

blue paint does not

spread below the

boundary of the cloud.

The

tip

of the brush

is

used to create a slightly

n>

streaky patch of sky.

(Above) The same

method is used

for the large cloud, with

dark mauve-greys intro-

duced into a

lighter

wet

wash. Smaller, paler clouds


are

now touched in above

the horizon, again

with the

tip

of the brush.

(Left)

The soft

effect

of the wet-

into-wet painting

is

enhanced by the
occasional crisp edges.
Parts of the wall

and the

small tree have been

painted wet on dry,


while the cloud has

formed a /agged edge


where the wet paint

met dry paper.

and thus "freeze" the

the colours themselves (different pigments

the drying process

have different "behaviour patterns"). The

picture at a specific

main problem with the method


can't control

that

you

it very precisely - the paint

continues moving until

you often

is

find that

a particular effect.

it

has dried, and

Wet into wet can

moment.
create a lovely soft

atmosphere and, for

this reason,

used for landscapes and weather

is

often

effects. It

you cannot preserve

can, however, look roo soft, giving the

You can

painting a distinctly woolly and nebulous

exert

some

control, however, by tilting the board so

appearance, so sharper details are usually

that the paint runs in a certain direction.

painted wet on dry as a final stage.

Artists
will

who

paint extensively wet into wet

sometimes move the board around

until

also

add an extra dimension

by working wet into wet

in

to

You can

any subject

small areas only,

they have achieved the flow of colours they

thus contrasting soft, blurred edges with the

want; they then use a hairdryer to hasten

crisper ones

made by wet-on-dry washes.

93

Techniques

Brushwork
People do not always think of brushwork
in

connection with watercolour. So

emphasis

is

much

placed on the importance of

laying flat washes that this aspect of

obvious
buttery

in

watercolour than

medium

Sometimes

in general

it is

like oil,

is

flat

artists lay

almost no

washes, constructing

whole paintings by means of

network of

Obviously different brushes make


different marks, so try to discover their

less

in a thick,

it still

Some

sky.

conventional

interconnected brushmarks.

painting tends to be overlooked, but,

although brushwork

windswept

capabilities

has a place.

restricted to the final

by practising "drawing" with a

You can make

brush.

with

just
it

one brush

wide range of marks

you vary the way you

if

and the amount of pressure you


Most people tend to hold a brush

defining details in a painting. In a mainly

hold

wet-into-wet landscape, for example,

apply.

some

though they were writing, gripping

light flicks of the

brush can suggest

foreground grass or the branches of


in contrast to softer

trees,

Brushwork
classic

is

more important

can limit the


it

artist's

nearer the

top and varying the pressure from heavy to

in the

wet-on-dry method because of the

possibilities presented

it

expressive style. Try holding

elsewhere in the picture.

firmly

near the ferrule, but, although this gives

maximum control,

blends of colour

it

by the hard edges

light, flicking

what happens

it

at the

if

end of

you use

a stroke. See

a flat brush

and

or draw out a

formed by overlaid washes. These "washes"

twist

can take the form of individual brushmarks:

brushstroke as far as you can so that the

perhaps small dabs to suggest the foliage of

brush

a tree; calligraphic squiggles to describe

This kind of doodling

reflections in water, or

sweeps with a broad

brush to follow the direction of clouds

as

in a

it

in mid-stroke,

is

time, as

progressively starved of paint.

you

is

never a waste of

will be training

your hand,

albeit unconsciously.

Drawing with paint

IThe artist has chosen to work on a smoothsurfaced watercolour paper, which enables her to

combine strong brushmarks with


painting. She begins with

softer wet-into-wet

broad strokes,

colours run together slightly.

letting the

The first applications of paint have now begun


to dry, but are

still

damp enough for the next

brushstrokes to spread slightly and soften.

3(

'.risp

strokes

<>/

almost undiluted
colour are

now worked

wet on dry over the


softer brushmarks.

Notice the position of


the brush; instead of

pulling

it

downwards

&

in

the usual way, the artist

uses an

upward flick.

A broader effect
suggesting the dark

green foliage

is

produced

by flooding dark green

(Above) At the top of the picture, the succession

of criss-crossing brushmarks, where the first

colours

show through

the later ones, creates a lively

impression of light and movement.

paint into lighter green,


in

a modified wet-into-

wet technique.

(Below) The small backrun at the top of the tree

and

the jagged edges

formed as

on the

tree trunk

and foliage

the washes dried out; these are typical

semi-accidents which occur during water colour work.

Experienced painters exploit such


trying to correct them,
lively,

effects rather

and here they enhance

than

the

edgy quality of the picture.

95

Techniques

Lifting Out

As we have seen

Lifting out

earlier, highlights in

clouds

watercolour are normally created by


painting around them. There

is,

however,

another method, which involves putting on


paint and then removing

made by

it.

Highlights

the classic reserving

crisp, clear edges,

method have

but often a softer, more

it

Having

to dry

and then

painted a multi-coloured

wash on
diffuse effect

is

required. For example,

laid a pale

blue wash, allowed

top, the artist

uses a crumpled piece of

clouds or matt-surfaced objects do not have

kitchen paper to dab

sharp highlights and would look unrealistic

into

if

painted in this way. In such cases,

out

is

It is

the

method you need.

beautifully easy;

all

you do

down

the paint and, before

into

or wipe

it

it

it

is

lay

has dried, dab

with a very slightly

damp

blotting paper

anything absorbent

you have ever worried about how

in fact.

To darken

the

undersides of the

clouds,

more colour has

been laid on, wet into


wet,

sponge, a rag, a piece of kitchen paper or

If

wet paint.

lifting

and

is

partially

removed again with


kitchen paper.

to

create the effect of white clouds in a blue

sky without laboriously painting around the

shapes (which looks unnatural anyway),

your problems are solved. Simply lay a


gradated wash and then dab into

it

or, for

windclouds, sweep across the paper with

your chosen implement. More complex


colour effects can be created by

lifting

one colour to reveal another. For the

out

soft

dappling of foliage, for example, you could


lay a

dark green wash over a lighter one

which has been allowed to dry, then

some of the darker

lift

out

colour.

Small, soft highlights, such as those

on

matt-surfaced objects or on distant water


in a

landscape, can be

made by allowing

cotton bud (swab) or virtually dry paint-

brush to suck up some of the colour where

you want the highlight


lift

out dry paint

to be.

in small areas,

firmer pressure and slightly


Alternatively,

You can even


using a

more water.

you can scrape into the paint

with a blade. This scratching technique

commonly used

is

for tiny, fine lines, such as

those created by light on blades of grass.

The

effect

with the

is

very realistic

and has been achieved

minimum of time and effort. The soft

clouds at the top contrast with the irregular edges

formed when the darker washes dried out.

Lifting out dry paint

&
2

(Right)

cotton

bud (swab) dipped

into water

work

is

now used to

into the green

paint, creating

much

softer highlights than

can be achieved by
reserving.

1A

series

of green washes has been painted over a

dry yellow one, with small areas of the yellow


reserved for the sharper highlights.

Finally, tiny highlights are

always be done at a final stage


it

made by scratching

into the dry paint with a scalpel blade. This


in the

breaks up the paper surface, making

lay colour

on

(Right)

must

painting because
it

impossible to

top.

The

lifting-out

method is

soft, diffused highlights seen

matt-surfaced objects, but

when contrasted with

is

most

ideal for the

on foliage or
effective

the crisper edges achieved

by reserving areas of the painting.

97

Techniques

Masking

Highlights
with masking

Reserving highlights by painting around

them

is

ideal

if

the required shape

is

fluid

reasonably large and clearly defined, but

may

often the highlights


intricate, in

masking

which case

fluid.

Some

be small and

it is

IHere the artist

helpful to use

is

using masking fluid

watercolourists

to reserve small areas

disdain the use of such methods, regarding

suggesting dappled

them

She

"mechanical" or "tricksy", but

as

great advantage of masking

removes the worry and allows you

more

freely. If

about not taking the paint over

masking

is

that

it

to paint

little

reserve, there

work may become

fluid allows

you

is

tight

work

to

broadly and splashily as you

like,

fluid

small bottles.
latter

see

is

It is

danger

and

fussy;

as

either white or yellow, the

top.

When

when

plastic eraser.

applied

washes are

laid

remove from the

is

a finger or a

the brush immediately

because, once dry, the fluid


to

It is

these too are dry, the fluid

Wash

hairs

paper for highlights, but


can also be used

in

more positive way

a
to

make distinctive
on.

it

dry,

removed by rubbing with

provides a convenient

means of reserving white

a viscous solution sold in

where you are putting

Painting
white shapes
Masking fluid not only

knowing

being the best choice because you can

with a brush and,

on

fluid

with a small brush.

shapes

that those areas are protected.

Masking

on the masking

you have to think constantly

which you want to


that your

light.

with a pencil

drawing and then paints

others find them indispensable.

The

starts

is

very difficult

and

don't use

brushmarks of white.
Being thick,

it

holds the

marks of the brush very


effectively, as

see

you can

from these examples,

where the fluid was

removed after

the paint

had dried. You

your most expensive brush.

are thus

virtually painting with

white, in a

way

that

is

otherwise impossible
with watercolour alone.

n*

wash

light blue-grey

is

taken over the whole

area of tree trunks and foliage

before further greens

and allowed

and yellows are painted,

to dry

largely

wet into wet.

(Above)

When

masking

fluid

taken

off,

the

is

you often find

some of the white

that

highlights are too stark.


In this case the\

been
the

left

hare

as white on

two left-hand

tree

trunks, but slightly

darkened elsewhere;

The colours of the foliage must be kept separate


from those of the

tree trunks, so the first colours

were dried with a hairdryer. Browns are


over the masking

4
is

now painted

centre

and on

the lighter

removed by rubbing with a

(Right)

The

finger.

The paint must be perfectly dry before

is

yellow washes were

laid over the leaves in the

patch of foreground.

fluid.

fluid

light

this

done, so again a hairdryer was used.

99

Techniques

Using Opaque Paint

Watercolour has not always been used as a


transparent

medium

in the past,

nor

Working on tinted paper

is it

always used as one today. Artists such as


Albrecht Diirer

in the

and J.M.W. Turner

Renaissance period

in the

19th century used

watercolour which was similar to today's

gouache

Many of today's

paints.

use

artists

gouache and watercolour together, or mix


with a

their colours

little

opaque white,

which gives them body while

much

preserving

still

of their translucent quality (opaque

watercolour

is

sometimes referred to

as

"body colour").

Opaque paint, like masking fluid, is


frowned upon by some purists, who regard
it as cheating, but this is nonsense. The
point of painting is to exploit your medium
to the full, to gain the effects

you can do

this

then go ahead and do

method

you want;

if

by adding opaque white,


it. It is

for atmospheric

IThe artist

weather

effects, for

example, such as cloud-shrouded

or

hills

is

using a paper whose surface

is

rather

similar to the Ingres paper used for pastel work,

the perfect
but

it is

makes a

thicker

and does not buckle when

careful

wet.

He

drawing of the buildings within the

landscape before putting on any colour.

the soft lights

on water.

You can add an


work by

extra dimension to your

using coloured paper, whether or

not you are adding white to the paint.

Working over

a base colour gives

start in the process of building

colours;

it is

you

particularly well suited to

It is

any

now

possible to buy coloured watercolour

papers, but they are not easily available,


so

you might consider trying some of the

papers
in

made

for pastel

work, which come

an extensive colour range. Stretch them

first,

however, as they are thinner than most

watercolour papers.

effective

opaque-

to

add white

is

to the paint

only where necessary,

up the

without bright highlights.

The secret behind


an

watercolour technique

paintings which are to be relatively dark


overall,

2
and

to use

sparingly.

it

Here white has been


used for the sky, but
the darker paint

being applied

is

now
pure

watercolour.

For the houses,


white with a small

addition of crimson

is

painted into pure white,

wet into wet,

to create

a slight blending of
colours. Wet-into-wet
effects are less

dramatic

and unpredictable with


opaque paint, because
runs

less freely.

it

Xk

^
fciM
w
^ ~^MW
i

--

-y

ri
6

(Above) The
finished picture

delightfully delicate

is

and

fresh, retaining the

translucent qualities

associated with

watercolour. The colour


of the paper, deliberately
left to

show between

brushstrokes

in the

background and

Again opaque white

is

mixed with watercolour,

was for the roofs of the houses. The white


used is gouache paint, which the artist finds more
as

it

In the final stages, a small brush

outline the roofs

and paint

now the foreground foliage

is

111

was used

details of

built

up with small

satisfactory than the Chinese white sold for

washes and overlaid brushstrokes of pure

watercolour work.

watercolour. The darker

<

to

windows;

foreground,

impoi
overaL

olours have been kept

transparent tbn tughout.

101

Techniques

Texturing Methods

know where to start when


describing texture in a fluid medium like
watercolour. How, for instance, do you give
It

can be hard to

the impression of a shingle beach or a


cornfield without painting every pebble or

cornhead? In

fact there are a

special techniques to hand.

that

it

One

is

dry brush

name implies, means working


minimum of paint on the brush so

which, as
with the

good many

its

only partially covers the paper. This

method

is

often used for grass, the hazy

effect of distant trees or the fur of animals.

The

best brush to use

is

a flat one, with the

hairs slightly splayed out

between thumb

Dry-brushed
grasses
1.4s the name of the
method implies,

the

brush must be fairly dry


so, after

dipping

it

into

the paint, the artist dabs


it

onto a piece of kitchen

paper to remove the


surplus paint.

Using a square-

ended brush, she

splays the hairs out


slightly

and then gently

and forefinger and then dabbed onto

drags the brush over the

blotting paper or absorbent kitchen paper

paper, creating a series

to

remove the excess

Another popular method


flicking paint

of fine

paint.
is

lines.

spattering or

onto the paper with an old

toothbrush. The toothbrush

is

loaded with

colour and held above the work; the handle

(Left)

One layer of

dry brushing has

been laid over another to


suggest the different
directions in

which the

marsh grasses
102

lean.

Toothbrush
spatter

of a brush, a knife or your thumbnail

drawn quickly across

it

is

to release a spray of

droplets. This technique

is

very effective for

suggesting texture without describing

1A

toothbrush

pencil

is

too

but

should

look too obtrusive.

it

you are

If

spattering over a pale wash, perhaps for a

is

loaded with paint,

and a

it

should not be overdone, nor

literally,
it

pulled

sandy beach, don't make the spattered

across the bristles to


release a fine spray.

The spatter
lying

is

fairly close in

tone to the under-

wash and avoids being too obtrusive -

easy to overdo this method.

it is

colour too dark or

it

will

look

artificial.

Spattering can also be used in a purely

decorative way, to create an area of colour

with a stippled appearance.

Paintbrush

A particularly exciting method,

spatter

ideal for

the texture of old pitted rocks or crumbling


walls,

is

salt spatter,

which involves

dropping crystals of coarse sea


paint.

The

salt

salt into

wet

granules absorb the water

while "pushing away" the pigment, leaving


a pattern of pale, crystalline shapes

they are removed.

according to

The

how wet the paint

colours you use

is

some pigments

"heavier" than others and do not


readily.

IThis time dark paint


is

light

For the best

just after the

spattered into a

green wash using

a bristle brush tapped


against a pencil, prod-

As the spattering was done wet

into wet, the

darker colour has spread out and blended to

some extent with

the lighter one.

indicates that
itself

results,

wash has
it is

when

effects vary

and which
are

move

apply the

lost its sheen,

salt

which

beginning to dry. The

takes a long time to dry, but

so

it is

salt

worth

persevering with the technique.

ucing larger droplets.

Salt spatter

IThis technique
works

best

on a

non-absorbent paper,

and here smooth

(hot-

pressed) watercolour

paper

is

used.

The

salt

is

dropped into a wash and


begins to absorb the

water immediately.

(Right) These examples


different effects

show some nf the

which can be achieved; they vary

according to the colour used, the wetness of the wash

and the

closeness of the crystals.

103

Techniques

Wax

In

one way

Resist
technique

this

masking

that of using

Watercolour
and oil bar

similar to

is

Both involve

fluid.

which prevents the paint

creating a block

from reaching the paper, but wax

resist

IThis artist uses wax

It is

based on

the mutual antipathy of oil (the

wax) and

gives a very different effect.

water (the paint).

If

resist

you scribble over paper

wax crayon and

with a household candle or

then apply washes, the paint will slide off

masking

the wax. Unlike

fluid,

wax

effect.

however,

is

because watercolour paper

wax

textured, so the

effects

by means of a

layering technique. She

has begun with loose

and now

scribbles over

the dry paint with a

transparent oil bar.

creates a subtler, lightly speckled

This

good deal in

watercolour washes

which leaves perfect shapes when removed,


the

her work, building up

is

adheres only to the top

draw very heavily

of the grain, unless you

indeed with the candle or crayon.

Wax resist is a simple technique which


can yield quite beautiful

results. It

is

often

used in landscape, for skies lightly broken

Types of

wax

by clouds or the gentle gleam of water on

and

lakes, rivers

way

another

provides yet

seas. It also

of describing texture.

The final results


depend on the

The

roughened surface of an old building, a

texture of the

paper, the

crumbling

cliff

or an ancient gnarled tree,

for example, can be quickly

and

easily

suggested with a light application of

wax

you want a coloured

wax-oil crayons or the

resist,

new

serve the purpose very well.


the

wax underdrawing as

complex

as

you

like.

you can use

oil bars,

which

You can make

simple or as

Some

artists build

up

more crayon, sometimes

even scratching into the

on more
try as

it

paint.

It is

wax

before putting

an exciting method to

contains an element of surprise

you never quite know what

will

the kind of

wax

used.

was used for the


first

an

example and

oil

bar for the

other two.

More

delicate lines can

paintings in layers, applying crayon, then

paint and then

and

household candle

under loose wet-into-wet washes.


If

pressure applied

happen.

be

made

with a

wax-oil crayon.

^
2

As the watercolour

method is

is

applied on top,

the wax, leaving small blobs

slides off

While the paint

Dark

is

in the

foreground

is still

further application of oil bar has been followed

by another watercolour wash, which

down

often used to suggest texture.

craft knife

paint.

it

and speckles. This

is

smeared

the paper to create an effect of brushstrokes.

wet, a

wax and
wax is

used to scratch into both

lines are created

where the

removed, as the paint seeps into the

slightly scuffed

paper surface.

lighter scratching

but in

method

this case the effect

is

is

used for the sky,

different because the

knife removes the layer of watercolour on top of the

wax, leaving white marks.

The

(Right)

artist

has not attempted a precise

representation of the landscape features; the

resist in the

describing

wax

foreground suggests water without

it

literally.

Her approach

is

impressionistic

and, to a large extent, she allows the painting

itself to

dictate her procedure.

ins

Techniques

Wash

Line &

This technique, which combines drawing

and painting, has been


time, but has lost

Traditionally
illustrators

it

as

in use for a

none of

appeal.

its

was employed by
today as a means

it still is

of introducing colour into

what were
and

basically drawings, usually in pen

Nowadays
line

artists exploit the

and wash

Pen and watercolour

long

in

ink.

technique of

more personal and often

highly inventive ways.

Line and wash

is

essentially a

media technique and, as


it is

in all

mixed-

such work,

important to try to integrate the two

media to create

a unified image.

Thus

it is

not always wise to begin with the drawing,


or at any rate to take the drawing to a
finished stage, before putting

on colour.

Generally the best and most "painterly"


effects are created

side by side,

adding more colour and more

line as the picture

You

IThe

don't have to use pen for line and


is

often

combined with

pencil drawing, the pencil lines providing


detail

and touches of definition. Pencil and

watercolour marry very well together, as


pencil gives a gentler
line

and

develop

drawing

to provide

With the washes

now dry,

he draws

with a pen, using

waterproof ink.

He

keeps the line drawing


to a

less assertive

than pen.

However, on the whole, pen

is

the

implement most often used, so

if

you want

you

minimum

at this

will

need to

experiment with different pens, of which


there

is

market.

a bewilderingly large range

You can

on the

use fine fibre-tipped and

felt-tipped pens (but

make

sure they are

The drawing has


been considerably

strengthened with bold

non-fading), fountain pens or dip pens. For

lines

the beginner, the latter are probably the best,

hatching and cross-

as a holder with interchangeable nibs


relatively inexpensive.

normally used, but

is

Waterproof ink

it is

is

worth trying water-

and areas of

hatching.

To avoid

giving too

much

prominence

to the linear

element, the artist

soluble ink too. This runs slightly

when

the

watercolour washes are laid on top, which


can be an effective

and colour

some guidelines for

stage of the work.

to try this technique

line

begun by making a pencil


the first

washes, which he applies loosely, wet into wet.

demands.

wash watercolour

artist likes to

together, so he has

by developing the two

way of softening the

line.

now

applies darker colour.

3*

(Above)
entire

When

drawing

the
is

done at the beginning,


pen-and-wash work can

become

rather tight

and

fussy, giving the effect

"filled-in

of

drawing ".

The artist has avoided


this pitfall

and

integrated the drawing

and painting media,


while still providin

good

The area

in front

of the house

further pen work. Notice

washes

in the

is

defined with

how the wet-into-wet

foreground have dried with hard,

irregular edges,

complementing the pen

lines.

our,.

applied

succession of washes

large tree, again with the paint used

freely; final

l<

touches are added with a finer

nil

that used previously.

107

Techniques

BACKRUNS
If

you have ever

before
the

it is

dry,

tried to

work

into a

phenomenon

of the backrun.

blotch with hard, jagged edges


call

reasons.

it

in the

in

mind,

foreground might provide

the perfect touch of additional interest. In

odd

flower painting, backruns are particularly

- some

useful, often resembling the shapes of petals

and flowers.

a cauliflower for obvious

Normally backruns cause alarm

and despondency because you may have to

abandon

wash

from the one you originally had


while one

The new

paint seeps into the old, creating an

people

wash

you may have come across

whole piece of paper, or

the area

down

at least

with a sponge and

Mill

begin again.

However,

watercolour work

is

learning

how

important part of

a very

PALETTE

Backruns cannot be controlled with much


WATERCOLOUR PANS

you are not altogether

watercolours are never totally predictable.

precision, but

Some

mercy of events. You can make them

induce backruns deliberately,

at the

you always use paint which

or simply allow them to happen and then

happen

leave them alone because they improve the

has a higher water content than the original

painting.

The

different

from those made by more

effects they create are quite

at will

if

colour (thick paint on thin will not work).

You can

conventional means, and the strange shapes

tilt

the board, as in any wet-into-

wet work, and then use

a hairdryer to

are often highly suggestive. For example, a

"stop" the run

when you

are satisfied with

backrun

the effect, but

remember

that wet-into-wet

paint goes on

moving

in a

sky can often look like a cloud,

possibly suggesting a different treatment

Accidental backruns

These examples show what can happen when you


panic and try to work back into a wash. In the
the

wash was very wet;

but

was

not.

in

the second,

it

to

exploit accidental effects of this nature

artists

WATERCOLOUR

first,

appeared dry

until

it

dries.

Deliberate backruns

1A

dark indigo wash

is

n>

laid first,

and a

slightly

more watery solution of alizarin crimson


then dropped into the wet paint. It begins to

is

Yellow

is

now dropped into

turn pushes the crimson

the centre; this in

away

(Right) hinally the paper

and a

light

to create a pale

is

allowed to dry out

crimson applied wet on dry, followed

by a darker crimson worked wet into wet.


flower-like effects can be

will continue to

this stage the first

move

until

it is

wash has begun


is still

wet,

fully

to dry

and

the

crimson continues to bleed into the darker colour.

area within the darker colours.

At

at the edges, but the central area

spread immediately.

The paint
dry.

produced

in this

variety

way.

of

Techniques

Paint Additives

The pigment used


bound with

to

gum

make watercolours

called

gum

arabic,

which

can also be used as a painting medium;


sold in

most good

art shops.

mixed with water (known

makes

more

the paint

runny, giving
to build

it

it is

IThe artist began

A little gum
gum

as

lustrous

water and paint washes,

less

and has painted

extra body. This allows

up an area of the picture

with conventional

water)

and

you

mixed with gum water

in small

(about two parts of

water to one of gum).

thus useful for any area of a

It is

the trees

with dark green paint

separate brushstrokes which do not merge


together.

gum

Using
water

is

Notice the richness of

picture

where you want

detail, particularly

if

a lot of precise

you intend

colours, which can otherwise

muddy and

dull. It

out dry paint.


with

and
a

gum

let it

If

is

you

become

remains separate.

also useful for lifting


lay a colour

mixed

dry before working into areas with

away very

and how

each brushstroke

water over another paler wash

wet brush, the top

the

the colours

to use dark

layer of paint will

easily because the

Gum arabic also


facilitates the

lifting-out technique.

The gum

come

water-

is

soluble, so a

water dissolves

dabbed

gum, revealing the paint beneath.

wet brush

into the paint

removes the top

layer.

^Ulfl<*k

*.\

Jj
'jMr irfM^^JIM

map -'"rr

Me*

<

#$8 IWk&
%*-

Vwr>-$\
*

^1

'*

m&B

HWVa^^Kj^H

^Mj^jfj

A damp

rag

is

create softer,

dabbed

more

the original yellow

lightly into the paint to

diffuse highlights.

wash remains

Note how

intact; this

because gum water was not used for the

first

is

colours.

'

'M

JS

'^^B'Lii

\
ffifS

(Left)

You may find

that gum water adds an

extra dimension to your work; the effect of the

lifted-out highlights

is

unlike anything achieved by

standard methods. The

artist herself,

who had never

used the technique before, was delighted.

W ater colour and

turpentine

Mixing paint with soap

1#
IThe brush has been dipped into a strong
solution of colour

and rubbed over a bar

of soap. This thickens the paint so that


the

it

IThe brush has been dipped

holds

marks of the brush without sacrificing the

transparency of the colour.

into turpentine

and then

first

into

Here turpentine has been


scrubbed over the whole surface of

paint, thus creating a striated effect as

the paper with a bristle brush before

the paint withdraws

paint

from the

oily

is

applied on top.

substance of the turpentine.

bristle

brush gives a different effect

because the soapy paint can be used more

thickly, in swirling strokes so that

ridges

it

forms

and bubbles. These remain when

the

paint has dried, creating an intriguing

impression of specks and small

circles.

for this

another

for watercolour

sold specially

work, has the opposite

and

is

therefore

known

as a "water-

water-and-paint mixture

then pushed outwards to form


a pale shape.

scratchy texture.

effects

So much for the conventional additives.

and could be

ideal for a

You

can also create interesting effects

is

used which, being an oily substance, repels

you

lay

down some

ones too, such as soap. This has a similar

turpentine and then paint over

it

arabic, thickening the paint

holds the marks of the brush, but

with an added dimension

- the

bubbles,

which form as you work, leave intriguing


rings

and blobs when

in

watercolour by exploiting a variation of the

There are some interesting "alternative"

so that

dramatic

stormy sky.

the watercolour.

gum

is

wax-resist technique. In this case turpentine

tension hreaker".

effect to

In this case turpentine has been

dropped into a wet wash; the

having been drawn out to produce a

This makes the paint flow more

effect.

freely

medium

example, but the

brushstrokes are not as close together,

light,

Ox gall,

The same method has been used

dry.

Soap

is

particularly useful for creating texture

and the

oil will

If

it,

the paint

separate, but only partially,

giving a streaky or

marbled appearai

Alternatively you can mix up sonic paint

and dip your brush into turpentine I"


applying it. Like all such methods, this one
is

unpredictable but fun to

try.

Ill

Techniques

Comparative Demonstration
3*

Non-professional watercolour painters

Watercolour

sometimes

on smooth
paper

restrict

themselves unnecessarily

by following, or studying under, one


A

particular artist, trying to paint in exactly

the

same

style.

This can be valuable

- artists

have always been influenced by their

teachers or by artists of the past

admire but

it

is

only one

u
R

way of doing

somehow wrong. To show that no two


people work in the same way, we have
artists to

paint the

same

subject using their preferred method.

John Lidzey uses

combination of wet-

into-wet and wet-on-dry methods, painting

on smooth (hot-pressed) paper, because he


likes to

encourage the colours to run into

each other and to form pools and backruns.

Rosalind Cuthbert, on the other hand,


paints

on medium (Not

bowl, the

silver

artist begins

the background.
careful pencil

things and that certain techniques are

asked two different

easier to

by

laying light washes over

it

judge the colours

needed for the

whom they

can mislead you into

thinking that there

ITo make

drawing

was made first

in

order

keep these early

to

washes away from the


edges of the objects.

For the main body

of the vase, a soft

effect

has been created

by painting wet into wet,


but the white highlights

must be sharply defined,


so these have been
reserved by painting

surface) paper,
carefully

using the classic wet-on-dry technique.

around them.

Parts of this orange-

yellow wash will

in turn

be reserved as highlights,
together with the small

patch on the

right,

has been

white.

left

which

The artist's method


is

to use wet-into-

wet techniques only for


certain areas

of the

painting; both here

on the

silver

and

pot he

produces clean, clear


edges by working wet on

(Above)
glass

An attractive still life of blue

and silver objects

is

assembled on

dry, drying the picture

with a hairdryer between

a checked tablecloth.

each stage.

&
4A

darker wash laid

on the apple

is

The background
colour

is

taken

around the

To

soften areas of

the background

and

carefully

wool

edges of the glass.

in tone

Although the glass and

damp

vase have been painted

(a

mainly wet into wet

employed to

you can

some of the wet paint.

dry.

cotton ball) to

create a softly diffused


highlight.

Cotton wool

(cotton balls)

and a

hairdryer are both

important items

in the

artist's "tool-kit"

see the effect

provide a slight variation

and colour,

ball) is
lift

laid

on

the apple in

Step 2 has been reserved

cotton wool

cotton

for highlight effects,

again

with the darker colours

out

painted over

it

clearly in this

Granulation, one of the

shadow gives

attractive accidental effects

extra solidity.

painting has been dried

which watercolourists

new

colour from bleeding

wet on

The added dark

photograph - the

to prevent the

see

how the original

wash

dabbed with cotton


(a

Here you can

the apple

like

to exploit, often occurs

on

smooth paper.

into the blue.

The combination of
soft,

effects

edges

wet-into-wet

and crisp,

is

clean

very attractive.

The treatment of the


silver

bowl and the top

of the vase shows the


importance of a
preliminary drawing

in

watercolour work each


,

highlight

ard patch of

reflected coi

the obfi

Continui

in

Wet on dry on medium paper

A.
h>

_ s
IAs

in the previous demonstration, the

artist

has

begun with an underdrawing, although here the


lines are lighter.

Unlike the other

artist,

she does not

begin with the background, but establishes the


colours of the glass

and vase immediately.

(Above) As blue
painting,

Two main

duced.

for the vase

is

the

dominant colour

no other colours have yet been

and Winsor (phthalocyanine)

(Right) Light yellow

washes are

the cloth

laid

on

and apple and,

where the yellow

is

painted over the light

The artist plans

to key the

background and

foreground colours to those of the vase and

bottle, therefore she concentrates

dark ultramarine
over

on these first. The

now being used has also

much of the glass,

with

some of the

been laid

lighter blues

reserved for highlights.

blue, the

mix

to

two colours

produce green.

warmer, more orangey


yellow has been painted
over the blue at the

bottom of the

vase,

which

colour

reflects

from the apple.

(Right)

The broken

colour of the apple

and the
silver

inside

of the

bowl have been

achieved by stippling, a
version of the dry-brush

technique, which

By completing the vase before


the artist

is

once more for


the other objects,

able to evaluate the strength of the

colours needed for the apple

and its

is

used

this

shadow. Taking up the

minimum of paint with

reflection in the

the brush, the artist dabs


silver

bowl, which she paints next.


it

lightly

intro-

blues have been used - ultramarine

cooler, greener colour, for the glass

in the

onto the paper.

blue, a

and cloth.

W
A

T
E

O
L

In the final stages,

a few further light

washes were

laid

on the

O
U
R

tablecloth to strengthen
it

slightly,

and the area

of background behind
the table

was darkened

with a

warm

This

the one area of

is

blue-grey.

the painting in which

colours were blended

wet into wet, to achieve


the required soft effect.

7
not

Leaving the background until


idea in

still-life

last is

often a

painting, as sometimes

good

you do

know what kind of background is needed until

in give objects such as the blue glass extra


definition

and impat

where edges catch the

t.

fine highlights are

added

light.

the objects have been painted. Here a yellow similar


to that

of the cloth

upside-down to

is

chosen; the board

facilitate the laying

is

turned

of the wash.

115

Focus

Landscape

&

In

most people's minds, watercolour

is

Unity and contrast


shown

perhaps more closely associated with

In the landscape

landscape than with any other subject. This

below, Juliette Palmer

may

has created visual links

be because there

is

a long tradition of

between the sky and the

sketching in watercolour but, whatever the


reason, there

and
its

is

no doubt that the

fluidity

brilliance of watercolour, together with

portability,

make

it

an excellent medium

from

life all

don't have to

the time

- we

similar shapes for both

and the

the small clouds


trees.

This has given an

overall unity to her

for on-the-spot painting.

Of course, you

land areas by using

work

will be

directly

looking at

composition, with the


straight lines

of the

houses providing

alternative

methods

later on. If

you are

interested in landscape, however,

advisable to do at least
as there

to

is

no substitute

some

it is

location work,

for a direct response

your subject. Before you begin to

translate your response into paint,

make some

initial

decisions about

you must

how you

are going to organize your picture in terms

of composition.

contrast. In

The

Conservatory

(left)

she

has exploited this kind

of contrast more
thoroughly, using the

geometric shapes and


light colours

of the

architectural features as

a foil for the free forms

and bright colours of


the flowers.

Placing a focal point


(Left) If there is

one

particular feature in

your chosen view which


catches your attention,

such as a dark tree


against a light

background or a vivid
area of colour,

become
in

it

will

the focal point

your painting, and

you must decide where


to place

it

and how to

emphasize

it.

In Juliette

Palmer's Peak District -

Springtime the focal

point (the white house)


has been placed slightly
off-centre,

and the eye is

led towards

it

by the

curving diagonals of the

foreground field and


wall and the strong

shape of the

tall tree

Making the picture


Even though you are simply painting what

you can

see,

you

mean

picture. This doesn't

move

trees

what viewpoint

you do have

you

start,

interesting angle

walk around a

composition; often they are treated

and distance, making

the

Mule Path with

foreground with the

bit to

you the most

subject; once

you

have chosen the viewpoint you are halfway

visual links

(Above) Foregrounds are a frequent cause of failure

From

on the

of the

foreground and

find the position that gives

distance

to

to decide

how much

will devote to

so on. Before

Making

you have

which part of the

to take,

scene to concentrate on,

you

that

around or invent shadows where

there are none, but

picture

3*

need to compose your

still

in

more

in

landscape

detail than the

middle

the picture look disconnected. In

to

composing the

However, you

picture.
still

to place the horizon

need to decide where

and to consider

Fig Joan Elliott Bates has treated the

minimum of definition,

to link the fig tree to the rest

but has taken care

of the picture both by

branches overlap the buildings

letting the

and by using similar curving

lines

whether there are any elements

which you can emphasize

scene

for effect, or

any

which you can play down or perhaps leave


out altogether.

for the hills beyond.

in the

You

are not copying the

Creating movement
(Right) A good
landscape painting

should encourage the


viewer's eye to travel
into

and around the

scene, to create

movement in

the

composition. In

Road

to

Ronda Pip Carpenter


has achieved this quality

both through her


energetic

brushwork

and the way she has


organized the picture.

The area of trees and


barely defined grass on
the

left

leads towards the

curving path, which the


eye naturally follows.
Paths, roads, streams or
rivers leading

from

foreground to back-

ground are common


compositional devices.

117

scene;

you are making your own statement

about

it

and you don't have

everything you see. After

to include

all,

there

if

is

in,

thus removing

shadows and much of the colour


it

moves inexorably round

the sky, altering the direction of the

you would generalize to

create an impression of grass. So

the

from the scene,

you would

hardly try to paint every blade of grass in


the foreground

sun does not actually go


all

shadows and shining


a

small, featureless shrub in the foreground

a tree

first

and then on the

The only way

on one

side of

other.

to cope with this

is

to

work

which obscures your view of a grand

tree

as fast as possible without actually rushing;

further back, ignore

move

restrict yourself to a fairly small scale so

it;

your position so that

The golden

alternatively,

it is

less obtrusive.

rule of composition

avoid symmetry.

It is

to

is

that

you can cover the paper

possible.

never wise to divide

helpful to

It is

as quickly as

make

a note of the

direction of the light as soon as

you begin.

your picture into halves, with the horizon

Either put a small pencil cross in a corner of

exactly in the middle, particularly

the picture or block in the

if it is

a flat horizon line, as in a seascape.

Nor

in the painting, for

right in the middle.


static
life

and you should aim

and movement

example a

Symmetry
in

is

dull

- in

this

way, you won't be tempted to

change them.

should you place the most important


element

first

main shadows

tree,

and

for a feeling of

your work.

Do not try to work on

the

same painting

over a whole day, unless

it is

overcast,

because the scene you saw in the morning


will be quite different
in the evening. It

is

from the one you

Keeping up with the light

yourself a definite time limit

Changing

for

hours

or to work on two

the

at the

same

those

light

is

a constant

problem

who work out of doors. Even

if

see

better either to give

- say three

consecutive days

time. Experienced painters can

Human
(Left)

interest

You can

often give

additional interest to a
landscape, or stress a
centre of interest, by

including one or two


figures. In

Ronald Jesty's

A Wild Day,

the

men

shielding their heads

against the spray from


the breaking

the

her

wave and

woman pointing
hand

in

warning

introduce an element of
narrative,

and

and both

these

the surrounding

dark rocks provide


contrasts of tone which

draw attention

to the

picture's focal point.

&
A

T
E
R

o
L

O
u
R

often continue in the face of changing

later.

Even when making colour sketches,

conditions, but only because they have

try to

back these up with suggestions to

well-trained visual

memories and are

yourself-

what

sufficiently disciplined to stick to

You can

they originally saw.

it is

better to have too

information than too

It is

not really practical to paint big pictures

out of doors, but a good method


a series of drawings

is

to

make

much

watercolours in the
little.

studio from sketches:

also use photographs as a basis

You may have been told that


you should never work from photographs,
but this is not realistic. Most painters have
limited time at their disposal

this painting.

in

Landscape

La Crete Region,

Tuscany,

is

over five feet

wide. Referring to

sketches

and the

and drawings

done on the spot, and

weather often makes outdoor work

and small colour

(Above) Patrick Cullen


paints large-scale

for painting.

Working indoors

Studio paintings

sometimes making a

sketches on location, then to

compose and

paint the actual picture indoors. This has


the dual advantage of giving

you

direct

experience of the subject and allowing you


to paint at

your

own

pace, incorporating

any special techniques which you

improve the

Making

might

sketches for a painting, as

rather a special

skill,

as

you must

learn

to give yourself sufficient visual information,

from which to work.

Artists often

make

better to paint
at

from

is

seldom

Photographs also tend to

out perspective and reduce the

who

use photographs

on

composition. Sometimes they

make

memories when

and colour.

usually take several versions of the subject,


in their

they are recreating a scene

washing down the

gradations of tone

give themselves a wider choice of

possibilities, artists

overlaid brushstrokes

and occasionally

paint to achieve soft

feeling of three-dimensional space.

To

building up deep, rich

colours with a series of

reduces dark colours to a formless mass

which they can then combine

sketchbooks, to help jog their

paints area by area,


it

loses many subtle nuances and often

detail.

to plan

the composition, he

reliable over colour;

written notes about colours, shapes and so


in their

working drawing

all.

There are problems, however. The

camera

flatten

for the fun of

it is

photographs than not to paint

with no

picture.

opposed to simply sketching


it, is

feel

impossible, so

own

sketches as well.
119

Focus on Landscape

Demonstration

Hazel Soan

is

known

IThe artist generally

primarily as a

watercolour landscape painter, although

work

on occasion. She

likes

on the spot whenever possible

but,

she does
to paint

in oils

uses masking fluid


to reserve highlight

areas; here she begins to

paint
if

time does not permit

this,

she composes

it in,

referring to

the photograph

her paintings in the studio, making

guided by her

extensive use of photographic reference. She

pencil drawing.

seldom works from

just

and

initial light

one photograph,

but uses a combination of several, selecting


different elements

unwanted
put away
stage of

from each and editing out

features.

when

work

The photographs

are

she has reached a certain

so that the painting can

develop independently.

COLOURS
USED mauve,
permanent

rose, cobalt

blue, cerulean blue,

ultramarine, yellow

cadmium yellow,
new gamboge, Winsor
ochre,

green, burnt sienna

a tiny

and

amount of

cadmium red

She builds up gradually from


darker ones

in the classic

light

washes to

watercolour technique,

working mainly wet on dry but using wet-into-wet

methods
mixture

in certain areas.
is

laid over the

light rose

pink and mauve

masking fluid on the

left

of the

picture to be rubbed into later on.

The colours of the flowers and the

brown of the foreground set

overall
at

warm

an early

vivid red-

the key for the

colour scheme, so these are blocked

stage.

in

With the distant

trees

the lake.

Here the colours are stronger

relatively soft effect, the


lightly so that they are

now complete,

the artist

turns her attention to the area on the far side of


but, for a

wet colours are blotted

not so saturated.

After about an hour's work, the main colours

have been established, to be darkened and

strengthened in places with further washes. The wetinto-wet

method has so

background, where soft

To strengthen

far been used only in the


effects are appropriate.

the foreground, a dark mixture

is

painted over the light pink and red-brown

washes. This area

is

worked wet on dry

crisp edges, giving the

to achieve

foreground a sharper focus

than the more distant parts of the landscape.

(Right)

The masking fluid has been removed

from some of the flowerheads, which are now


touched in with pink. The fluid is removed at various
stages during the painting, depending

on how strong

the highlights are to be.

Continued

121

2*

The foliage of the

large tree

on the

right

had

previously been painted wet into wet to give

gentle blends of colour, with yellows merging into


blue-greens. Crisp brushmarks

now define those

The flowers are now painted

in yellow,

with tiny patches of the white paper

left

uncovered. They could have been painted over the


light blue
fluid,

of the water, without the use of masking

but even the palest of underlying colours would

have compromised the purity of this

removed from

The masking fluid

is

flowerheads

foreground by gently

rubbing with a putty eraser.


be

brilliant yellow.

the

X
in the

left in

place, creating

an

On

the reeds

1^1

it

will

attractive speckled

texture similar to the effect of wax

leaves nearer the foreground.

10

resist.

Touches of deep pink are added to the

_L flowerheads

in the

foreground of the picture.

'

&

^1

_L

j--i in the

this

")

the painting.

-L

foreground are strengthened to bring

area forward and increase the feeling of depth in

The artist drops

in

wet, using the tip of the brush.

dark colour wet into

-^ (Above)

-I

(Right) In the final stages, the tonal contrasts

xj

The

artist

deliberated over whether


to

make more

reflections,
c

of the

which u

learly risible in

ere

one of

her photographs o/ the


scene, but she dec ided

against

it.

empha

ize the triangular

preferring to

shape made by the pale

eof water.

123

Focus

Flowers
If

landscape

most popular subject

the

is

for

subject areas overlap.

it

simple

do not always make the

two

behind. Sometimes, of course, the

Keeping

(Below) The kind of elaborate groups beloved of florists

watercolour painters, flowers are not far

best paintings, so

begin to arrange your flowers see

When you are

if you

when you

can improve

the composition by limiting their number. In Poppies

painting flowers in their natural habitat,

perhaps

Elisabeth

garden or a park, you are

in a

painting a "mini-landscape", whereas


flowers in a vase or bowl indoors
a floral

new to

up

to you, but for those

flower painting

it is

unreliable weather

who

then

By

setting

It

to

up your own

you can take time to arrange

work

at

are

light,

and discomfort.

demands concentration and patience

still life,

floral

and

it

own pace.

your

Arranging the group


Arranging any

still-life

group takes careful

thought, and floral groups are no exception.


First

you must consider the balance of

colours

many

- in

want too

general you don't

different blooms, with all the shapes

and colours fighting

The most

for attention.

effective flower paintings are often those

You could

with one predominant colour.

choose

all

white flowers, for example, or a

selection of blue ones, perhaps with

one

yellow flower for contrast.

Choose a receptacle which

making them look


swamped. Aim

neither

suits the flowers,

cramped nor

for a natural look

and avoid

the kind of formal, official arrangement


that

you sometimes

public places. Let


overlap; have

see in churches

You

some higher than

it

will paint

and

some of the flowers

some turned away and others

Putting

and seedheads for contrast. As

others,

facing you.

on paper

more confidently

if

you

in the

and

start

with a good drawing, but, before you begin,

the red against

foreground makes such

a dramatic statement, she has wisely

background unpainted.

perhaps best to

avoid the problems of changing

paint flowers.

flowers

the dark green foliage

Whether you paint flowers indoors or out


is

to the shapes

flowerheads, including one or two small white

become

still life.

(or both)

Harden has given impact

colours of the poppies by concentrating on a few

left

the

Flowers
(Left)

in still life

Flowers do not have to be painted on their own;

they can form part of a


Life,

Still

more general still life,

Welsh Kitchen by Joan

as in

Elliott Bates.

The flowers are the main centre of interest, but the


and curtain have been carefully arranged, as they

objects

play a subsidiary but vitally important role in the


composition. Notice particularly the

way

the curtain

&

sweeps around and upwards, creating a strong curve

which provides a

foil for the

flowers

and vase. This

is

a mixed-media painting, in which watercolour has

been combined with Conte crayon and pastel.

E
R

O
L

O
u
R

consider

how to place the group

on your paper. Again,

try to

of flowers

avoid

symmetry; don't place the vase exactly


the middle of the picture unless there

in

this

can be done by making a positive

Colour unity

element out of the shadow cast by the vase;

(Above) In Daffodils and

other alternatives are to put the vase on a

Fruit Elisabeth

patterned cloth or to take out one or two of

is

Harden

has paid attention to the


colour schemes, ensuring

enough asymmetry

in the

to balance this. Decide

arrangement

is

the flowers

and place them

how much of the

side of the vase.

A device

Backgrounds

group you are going to include.


often used

itself

"cropping", which means

allowing one or two blooms and stems to go

out of the picture at the top. This can be

one

that links are established

between the flowers and


in

painting are often

watercolour flower
left

vague and undefined,

but they don't have to be.

window behind

in front, to

If

there

is

the group you could lightly

objects.

The lemon and

grapefruit echo the

yellows of the daffodils,

and similar

blues

greys appear 11

very effective

if

you are painting

tall

suggest

it,

thus giving a geometric

flowers, while a wider group could be

framework

cropped

could set the group against

at

one

side or the other.

The foreground and background need


consideration too. Avoid leaving a blank

space on either side of the vase. Sometimes

to the composition.
.1

and

r/>.

md

Or you

patterned

wallpaper, which might echo and reinforce


the pattern

As

made by

a general rule,

the flowers themselves.

however,

it is

best to

the whites, yellows

and greys.
125

Making
(Left)

pattern

There

a strong

is

element

built-in pattern

in floral subjects,

which

has been exploited to the


full in

Audrey Macleod's

Casablanca

Lilies.

Although the forms of

and leaves

the flowers

have been

up

built

carefully so that they are

completely

realistic

and

three-dimensional, the

painting makes

its initial

impact as a pattern of
light

on dark. The soft


on the leaves

effects

and

in parts

of the

background were
achieved by washing

down

avoid too

much detail in the background or


the flowers are the centre of

Using colour
(Opposite) The

foreground

interest in the painting, and,

too

many

the paint.

treat flowers,

by introducing

way you

or any

other subject, depends

other elements, you could rob

on what it

them of their importance.

is

that

particularly interests

you. Tor Gerry Baptist,

The painting

colour

The essence of flower painting

in

of touch;

if

you overwork

is

lightness

the

Try to

most of the

reds

work broadly and

freely, at least initially,

and reserving

can help you here.

If

dark greens.

mask

flower shapes, however,

and the pansies

you can

foreground

the flowers

and leave them

are clearly recognizable.

Single
set

up contrasts between hard and

soft edges, using the wet-into-wet technique


in

some

places

and painting wet on dry

in

blooms

(Above) Although flowers are more generally painted


as an arrangement in a vase, individual flowers

make

equally rewarding subjects. The artists of China

and

others to form crisper areas (perhaps for

Japan brought flower painting of this kind to a high

certain well-defined petals or leaves). Don't

art,

be tempted to put in small details until you


are sure that

working

all

the shapes

as they should

stages should

and colours are

only

you bring your

brush into play.

in the

in particular

until a

later stage in the painting.

Try to

He has also

paid attention to the

you are

painting white or light-coloured flowers


against a mass of green foliage,

brilliant

and yellows by

cool blues, mauves and

detail for the final stages.

fluid

made

contrasting them with

blocking in the main shapes and colours

Masking

all-important;

Flowers he has

the paint the

freshness of the colours will be lost.

is

Clandon Garden

in the final

tiny, fine

and Vicky Lowe's

lovely Sunflower

owes much

to

and

in

the Oriental tradition, both in the composition

the technique, with each petal described by one swift,

sure brushstroke. The soft effect where the dark


centre of the flower merges into the petals has been

achieved by dampening selected areas and dropping


in

wet paint.

Foregrounds and backgrounds


(Right)

When painting a tall floral group it can be


know what to do with the area below and

difficult to

beside the vase. In Elisabeth Harden' s painting of

poppies, Audrey Macleod's Casablanca Lilies

and

this

watercolour-and-wax-resist painting, Roses, by

Debra Manifold, the artists have solved the problem

by cropping the vase at the bottom of the picture.

Here, the
the dark

way in which

the flowers

merge into

background is also important

to the

composition, with the dark shape seeming to push

upwards away from the pale foreground area,

almost

like a

firework exploding.

127

Focus on Flowers

Demonstration

John Lidzey works

entirely in watercolour,

enjoying the challenge of

way

nature and the

its

painting to develop in

its

drawing

lifes

own way. He

with

the latter often including

and flower groups. He

and has evolved


at

is

still

self-taught

a highly personal style,

which he arrived through experiment

rather than the study of any other artist's

methods.

He

in

4B

He

pencil.

takes considerable care

paints mainly landscapes and lovely lightfilled interiors,

with a detailed

unpredictable

encourages the

it

IThe artist begins

measuring to

this,

check the relative


proportions of flowers
to vase

and so

on,

and

making small marks


across the paper to
establish key points.

enjoys wet-into-wet effects,

although he controls them carefully, and


usually paints

on smooth-surfaced

(hot-

pressed) paper to allow the paint to

around more

move

freely.

The vase and the

shadow beneath are

painted wet into wet,

COLOURSUSED
cadmium

yellow ochre, aureolin yellow,

yellow, ultramarine,

cadmium

red, carmine,

indigo, Payne's gray

with one colour dropped


into another so that they

merge and mingle. A

wool

piece of cotton
(a

cotton ball)

to control the

is

used

flow of

the paint.

The

initial applic-

ations of paint are

allowed to dry
darker colour

slightly;

is

then

painted on top and

dabbed with cotton

wool

(a

cotton ball) to

create soft highlights.

It is

unusual to

begin with the

darkest colour

- darks

are generally built

up

gradually. In this case,

however, the

wanted
(Above) To start with, the

artist

to establish the

deep blue of the vase


artist

contrasting flowers in a vase.

arranges

some

bright,

order to assess the


strength of colour

needed for the

leaves.

in

H<

The painting

is

at approximately the halfway

stage, with the darkest colours in place

and the

white flowers reserved as bare paper.

(Above) Finally, the


flowers

and

leaves

are built up with further

net -on-dry work. The


pencil marks on the

white flowers have

been deliberately

left

showing, to provide
further suggestions
of detail.

The artist

subsequently improves
the composition by
plat ing

A good deal of the paper

is

detail to suggest their structure.


is

to

he

left

uncovered

for the flowers, hut they must he given sufficient

fine-pointed brush

used to touch in the blue-grey shadow.

Carnations have a very distinctive petal


formation; only a few

toiii

bes

<>/

darker [mint

paper masks

top and bottom

doin:

at

I.

tl

over the original pink wash are needed to describe


then forms

on dry

and

harat

ter.

The

artist

here, to a< lucre the net essary

strong tonal t ontrasts.

is

<

working wet
risp

look hai k

ed
at St(

different e this

bat a

mal
129

Oil

& Acrylic

Introduction

About Oil & Acrylic

&

tempera had been, but the colours were

Oil paint, although often seen as the


traditional painting

medium,

is

younger than watercolour or

much

in fact

at

than a form of watercolour. The tempera


paints which preceded oil
for both panel paintings

and

ceiling paintings)

pigments suspended
with some

(wall

Rembrandt's paintings, for example,


demonstrate a love for the paint

oil is

what

Van Eyck

Impressionists, the

it is

origins of the

popular.
use,

15th century, but

probable that other

imented with similar

artists

ideas.

medium,

Tempera was

it

had exper-

a difficult

medium

to

In the early days of oil painting, the paint


in

in the

works of the

brushwork and manner

the subject matter.

quickly became obvious.

was

can do, while

and

became

and the potential of oil-bound pigment

the main used

it

itself

of applying the paint are inseparable from

Whatever the

rapidly

its

an important part of the finished picture.

often credited to the Flemish painter Jan


in the early

appreciation for

brush (and sometimes of the knife) became

form of glue, usually either egg

idea of binding pigment with

medium with more

inherent qualities, and the marks of the

water and mixed

yoke or casein, made from the curd of milk.

The

Later

visible.

on, however, artists began to use the

were made from

in

by a layering

smooth, with no brushmarks

and were used

and frescoes

richer, achieved

technique called glazing. The surface was

any rate

thinly, rather as

Oil PAINTS TODAY


A walk round an exhibition

of

oil

paintings

instantly reveals the versatility of the

medium, and

made

it

it is

this quality

so popular from

its

which has

inception to the

DAVID CURTIS
Red Lane,
near dronfield
(Left)

Brushwork

is

important element
this oil

an

in

painting on

canvas; the brushstrokes

follow the direction of


the tree trunks

and

branches, describing

them with great

economy of means.
Depth and recession

are

suggested by the contrast

between thick and thin


paint:

on the right-hand

tree the paint

is

thick

and juicy, while for

the

area of blue distance

it

has been brushed lightly

over the surface.

GERRY BAPTIST

Pines on Bhauvbai.la

(Below) This painting

also acrylic on canvas, but here the paint

slightly diluted

paint.

is

is

with water to a consistency similar to that of gouache

The artist controls

the juxtapositions of colour carefully, using

complementaries such as yellow and mauve to create


impact while giving a

realistic

maximum

account of the landscape.

TED GOULD
Snow Scene
(Above) While David
Curtis has juxtaposed

warm golden browns


with the blues and greys

of the snow, the colour

scheme

in this

painting

is

cool throughout; the

yellow of the hat and


scarf provides the only

touch of contrast for the


blues, blue-greens, greys

and grey-browns. The


painting

is

in acrylic,

used thickly on canvas.


This artist works mainly
in oil,

and applies

same methods
acrylic

the

to his

work.

PATRICK CULL EN Church,San Donnino


(Above)
paint

is

canvas

Some artists

used

like to paint

on a coloured ground, but when the

thinly, as in this lyrical oil painting, the white of the

reflects

hack through the colours to give a luminosity nunc

often associated with watercolour.

133

BRIAN BENNETT
Malvern Hills
(Left) This artist, well

known for his sensitive


portrayals of the English
countryside,

works

the traditional

in

medium

of oil paint on canvas


but, instead

of the usual

brushes, he uses painting


knives,

which he has

"customized" to create
particular effects. Knife

painting can achieve


bold, dramatic effects,

but also surprisingly


delicate ones, as can be

seen in this painting.

present day.

Any

painting

medium should

be seen as the servant of the

artist,

paints behave in such an obedient


that

no two

artists

need paint

and

oil

manner

in the

same

way. Oils can be used thinly or thickly,


applied with knives or brushes

or

even

your fingers and you can work on a large


or a small scale.

You can

also

move

paint

around on the picture surface, and, best of


all

for inexperienced painters,

you can

scrape the paint off and start again.


In times

gone by,

artists

had

to

employ

assistants to grind the pigments laboriously

to

make up

the paint, but today

we have no

such chores to perform. The paint comes to


us in convenient tubes, so that outdoor

work
all

presents

no problem. The colours are

manufactured

possible

to the highest standards

and there

is

a wider choice than

MADGE BRIGHT

ever before. There are ready-made canvases

Victorian Roses

and painting boards,

(Above) Once more,

suit all styles

as well as brushes to

and ways of working.

lovely painting,

new mediums to use with oil


have made it possible to revive some

Furthermore,
paints

of the old techniques, such as glazing, which

had been largely abandoned by the


century.

The

oil

late

19th

painter has never been in

such a fortunate position.

oil

in

Glass

paint

is

the

medium used for this

which provides a perfect example of

the skilful exploitation of a limited colour

consisting almost entirely of pinks

scheme

and dark

greens.

In spite of its apparent simplicity the painting

is

meticulously planned and composed, with the

mass of the flowerheads creating a strong,

irregular

shape across the picture, and the stalks arranged


to introduce a contrasting linear pattern.

PAUL BART LETT


Room 5 Kathmore House, Falmouth
i

(Left)

Light

painted in

is

oil

the primary theme of this picture,


on canvas. The colour scheme is similar

to that of Karen Raney's painting (below), but here

the artist has used a very different technique.

The

brushstrokes are almost invisible and every detail and


texture

is

described in minute detail.

w>

KAREN RANEY
Clairmont Road
(Above)

Room interiors can make exciting painting

subjects, providing opportunities for exploring the


effects

the

of light. In

this painting, also in oil

shadows thrown on

the curtain by the

on canvas,

window

bars have created an intriguing pattern of light on


dark, which the artist has

made her central

She has chosen a tall-format canvas

in

theme.

order to stress

the vertical thrust of the composition.

STEWART GEDDES
Rose-Colouri
(Left)

/;;

!)

House, Provenci

certain lights, brick

appear surprisingly

rich

and stonework can

colour; the bu

which might have looked dull


provided the
colour.

contrail,

enham
done

artist

with

thi

'

Uttdt

inspir

nl<,:.

and he

< thi

in oil

on board.
135

OLIVER BEVAN
Sharp Corner
(Right)

Bevan paints

both landscapes and

urban scenes, using


colour in a

not

W/

way that is

strictly naturalistic

but which invokes a

powerful atmosphere. In
this oil painting,

strong

contrasts of tone

and

colour produce a highly

dramatic

effect,

slight sense

with a

of menace

reinforced by the

two

dark figures and the


gravestone shapes

in the

foreground.

ANNE VANCATO VA
Blue Interior
(Left)

Painted

in oil

on canvas,

this evocative

intriguing painting of an interior

colour.

An

intense sky blue

the canvas,

and form

is

is

is

and

a celebration of

used to cover most of

picked out with a

minimum of

dark, linear

marks which convey the composition's

perspective

and touches of yellow-green, red and

white which hint at details of the scene such as the


evening light outside the windows.

TIMOTHY F.ASTON
R

TO RATI ON
The degree

(Right)

of

control in this oil


painting

is

breathtaking,

with every detail and


texture minutely

described -notice
especially the peeling

0fr

paint on the open doors

and

the leather jacket

worn by

the figure in the

doorway. When figures


are included in a

painting they generally

become

the centre of

interest,

but here the

power of the geometric


pattern of brilliant blue,

near-black

brown

is

and golden

such that the

figures play a

minor
can

role; the painting

almost be read as an
abstract composition
in colour.

Acrylics
A by-product of the new plastics industry,
acrylics

were invented

way, but there are differences between the

Perhaps

in the 1950s.

because they are such newcomers to the art

amount of prejudice

scene, a certain

ROSALIND

them

CUTHBERT
Chrysanthemum
One of the

beauties of acrylic
that,

because

oil-based,
in

it

it is

some

quarters,

which

pity, as they are as versatile as oil paints

Giant
(Opposite)

exists in

still

against

is

not

can be used

conjunction with

other water-based paints

have some unique qualities of

One

of these

standpoint
so that
like.

is

vital from

the

own.

much

as

you

is

creating a

Working on paper, the


artist

has used acrylic

with gouache paint,


exploiting the contrast

of thick and thin paint

and adding touches of


texture

and detail

muddy

mess. Acrylics, once dry,

are immovable, so that each

new

layer

completely covers the one below without


picking up any colour from

advantage
less

is

made from

it.

suspended

fine-ground pigment

in liquid

acrylics the liquid

is

form of plastic

using the effective

Another

that you can paint on more or

oil-based and,

anything, from paper and board to

if

polymer

oil.

Likewise, brushes

used with acrylics come clean


white

The disadvantages of acrylics

sgraffito technique.

same

are that

changes to the picture can only be made by

it

cannot be moved around on the surface

any degree

like oil paints can. Also,

must always be

left in a

However,

the

\\

ill

be

vil

new

to painting could find

medium with which

to

brushes

container of

or washed regularly, othi

outweigh these min<

the

water, not

overpainting, and the paint dries so fast that

preparation, or "priming".
Acrylic paints can be used as "imitation"

in

spirit.

ruined.

much

is

resin to be

they need to be thinned,

you use water not

canvas, and the surface needs no advance-

oils because they behave in

and bound

water and the binder

to the

flowerhead and vase by

All

with a glue of some kind. In the case of

churning up the colours and

as well as with various

drawing media.

paints are
particles

make-up.

in

precise. Acrylics are thus water-based, not

can, of course, overpaint with oils

risk of

in

amateur

but, because they are slow-drying, there

always a

and

that they dry very quickly,

you can overpaint as

You

their

is

handling and

two, both

them

tl

to begin.

137

& Equipment

Materials

Paints, Brushes &

Both

oils

and

acrylics

come

in tubes,

some manufacturers of acrylics


produce them

in pots, of

though

When

Prf*

f f

fl

-&

l-hiiix

w$

OIL
COLOUR

COLOUR

smooth areas of paint.

(and very easy to ruin), so start with one of


the

many

synthetic substitutes, or a sable

OIL
COLOUR

is

an excellent

range of white nylon brushes specially

&4

(Ml
OIL

COLOUR

flat,

and synthetic mixture. There

are the usual choice, but pots have the

advantage of minimizing wastage.

well as for any

Sables are the best, but they are expensive

also

about the same

used for poster paints. Tubes

size as those

Mediums

Q>4

OIL
COLOCR

OIL
COLOUR

tuvn

cfe

alow
conufuii
<*"<

h
,

NYLON BRUSHES FOR


acrylic paints are squeezed
at the beginning of a

paint

is

usually

onto the palette

working

left at

session,

the end which

some

tubes and

is

is

lid

AND ACRYLIC

for oils.

Mediums

unworkable. With pots, you can dip

However, the paint

and these can also be used

OIL

is

wasted, having become hard and

needed and replace the

formulated for acrylic painting,

in as

immediately.

thinner than that in

thus less effective for thick,

Both

oils

and

acrylics

can be used straight

from the tube, but often some medium


used to thin the paint or change
Acrylics are water-based

its

is

quality.

and are thus

oil-painterly effects.
A SELECTION OF MEDIUMS FOR OIL AND ACRYLIC

Brushes
Long-handled

bristle

brushes are

traditionally used for oil painting

equally satisfactory for acrylic.

made
and

They are

in three basic shapes: flats,

filberts, all

of which

make

and are
rounds

a different

kind of brushstroke. Only experience will


tell

you which ones you

paint colours

it is

prefer, so as with

wise to begin with a small

perhaps two of each type.


Most artists' kits include one or two

range

soft

brushes, which are used for small details as

thinned with more water, while

oil

paints

initially,

but you

we

may want to try them

are diluted with turpentine, a mixture of

on, so

turpentine and linseed

in the section dealing

oil,

or with linseed

However,

alone.

oil

Various special mediums are made for


particular

will

there

methods of painting. For both

is

useful

one

if

later

be looking at their uses

with techniques.

you intend

from the

to try acrylics,

medium you may

special

start.

fiffij
"
fr

This

is

find

a retarder,

*
TUBE ACRYLICS

POT ACRYLIC

oil

and

glazing

acrylic, for

mediums which make

more transparent and

thin

it

time of the paint, allowing

the paint

without causing

BRISTLE BRUSHES FOR

become runny. For those who like to


paint very thickly, impasto mediums bulk

OIL AND ACRYLIC

the paint out.

it

which slows the drying

example, there are

to manipulate

it

more

easily. It

is

used for thick paint, as water affects

to

You won't need any

you

performance, but

it is

its

a great help for

acrylic used in the "oil

of these

only

mode".

'

I
r

If

139

& Equipment

Materials

Palettes & Painting

The
of

palettes normally used for oil are

wood and

made

are either kidney-shaped or

rectangular (to

fit

into the lid of a

paintbox). Both have a hole for the

thumb

you can hold them comfortably

so that

when you work


position. But

in the traditional

you do not have

to

standing

work

standing up, nor do you have to hold the

Many

palette.

artists prefer

an improvised

palette such as a piece of thick glass or

hardboard, which they place on a surface


beside them, such as a low table or stool.

Glass

is

popular choice for

Wooden oil-painting palettes

acrylic.

are not

KIDNEY-SHAPED

suitable because the paint cannot be

removed

easily

when

dry;

you need

WOODEN PALETTE

non-absorbent surface. The palettes sold

RECTANGULAR

Some

especially for acrylic are white plastic.

people find these satisfactory, but others


dislike

them, as the glaring white surface

makes

it

difficult to

judge the colours

in pairs.

is

for acrylic

useful

if

when

special palette

work, which

is

made

particularly

is

is

a shallow plastic tray

a top layer of

non-

sheets)

to stick the

onto a

Water

is

with animal skin glue

stiff

board

You can do

(size)

or with

PVA medium diluted with water.


A primer, or ground, is a layer of paint on
top of the canvas or board which, in the
case of

oil paint,

prevents the

oil

from

seeping into the material and damaging

absorbent paper and a lower layer of


blotting paper.

you can use old

this

you are painting out of doors. This

which there

is

such as hardboard (Masonite).

one other

"Stay-Wet" palette
in

Another method

material (which does not have to be canvas;

mixing them.

There

by the metre, and stretchers can be bought

Most canvases and

poured into the

tray

below the blotting paper, the paints are

laid

out on the top layer, and enough water

made

There

is

and

now

painting boards

are intended for both oil

and

it.

acrylic.

a variety of different boards sold

seeps through from the blotting paper to

for oil

keep them moist. There

which are canvas-textured. They form an

plastic lid that

paint fresh

fits

is

also a transparent

over the tray, keeping the

more or

acrylic painting, the best of

inexpensive alternative to canvases.

You

can also paint on hardboard (Masonite) or

less indefinitely.

tough cardboard, but for

oil

painting you

Working surfaces

need a primer. The best all-purpose one

The best-known

acrylic gesso.

(also

that

surface for oil painting

used for acrylic)

is,

is

stretched canvas

some form of cotton or

linen material

supported by a wooden frame. Canvases are


not cheap, but you can stretch your
quite easily.

The

own

larger art shops sell canvas

You can

is

paint on paper too. For acrylic

applied fairly thinly, ordinary cartridge

(drawing) paper
acrylic built

more

solid,

up

is

fine,

but for

thickly, use

oil,

or

something

such as heavy watercolour paper.

WOODEN PALETTE

Stretching unprimed canvas

\J
PAIN

INC. KNIVI'S

IWhen you have assembled

the stretchers, use a piece

of string to check both diagonal


measurements, taking

it

across

one way and then the other.


If the

is

(2 in)

round at

least

cm

from the stretcher, and

cut out the canvas.

Hammer a

tack into the

centre of the

first

long

and then another one on

side,

the

opposite side; continue

from the centre outwards.

You can use a staple gun, but


tacks are easier to

out of alignment.

remove

if re-using the stretchers.

There are various ways of


dealing with corners, but

this is

one of the simplest. Fold

in the

corner of the canvas

neatly

and then hammer in a

tack to hold

STRETCHED AND PRIMED CANVAS

the ivay

make pencil marks

from the first, the

rectangle

canvas,

second measurement

differs

all

Place the stretcher on the

it

in place.

Fold

in the

again.

remaining flaps of canvas and tack

Unprimed canvas should not be stretched

too tightly because the priming will shrink


stretch ready-primed canvas,

CANVAS STRETCHERS

it.

To

you need canvas

pliers.

RAW CANVAS (UNPRIMED)

Mixing

Primary &
Secondary colours
Mixing secondary

W/

Most non-painters know something about


colour, for example many people can name
the colours of the spectrum (which are those

you

any colour under the sun from the three


primary colours alone: red, yellow and
blue.

The colour

pictures in this

book

are

colours

(Opposite) The top row

shows mixtures of
primaries

see in a rainbow).

There are seven of

indeed produced from just these three

"like"

those with

these: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow,

colours (plus black), but paints simply do

and

orange and red; they are produced by the

not work

shows the more muted

dispersal of white light through a prism


different colours have different
lengths. But while this kind of

may have

its

wave-

when

it

it

knowledge

colours of light are absolute, there

one

red, yellow, blue

The

to painting.

just

is

and so on, but

pure colour mixes in

to be physically combined.
still,

cannot be applied

comes

series of tiny dots of

the eye (optical mixing), but paints have

uses in photography

or colour printing,
usefully

way. In colour printing a

in this

The

first

would you

step to successful colour mixing

to recognize the differences between the

how to mix

belief that

it is

left,

the right and

and the mixtures

The mixtures

nearest to the primary

colours have a higher

proportion of

this

colour, while for the

rise to the

possible to

mix

mixtures of two primaries.


the reds, yellows

If

you look

and blues on the

at

starter

colours have been mixed


in

equal proportions.

A Starter Palette
As
as

a general rule

it is

wise to begin with

few colours as possible and build up

gradually.

As you become more

experienced you will discover which


colours you find difficult or impossible to

mix, and you can add to your range


accordingly.

It is

CADMIUM RED

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

CADMIUM YELLOW

LEMON YELLOW

ULTRAMARINE

PRUSSIAN BLUE

CERULEAN BLUE

YELLOW OCHRE

RAW UMBER

IVORY BLACK

TITANIUM W HITE

virtually impossible, for

example, to achieve good purples and

mauves by mixing colours, so

who

artists

specialize in flower painting usually

have

one or two purples as well as some


special reds.

The colours shown here

will

be quite adequate to begin with. They are


available in both oils

and

acrylics,

although some acrylic ranges use


different

names

for the colours.

For

example, some makes of acrylic do not


include viridian, but there

is

in

the three central

central division the

The spectrum colours have given


well-known

the best secondary colours

mixing unlike pairs of


primaries. In each case

divisions.

primary colours; only then can you discover

Mixing secondaries

bottom row

colours produced by

shown on

choose for mixing up another colour?

is

the

the primary colours are

different versions of each primary colour,

artist's

pigments are not.

More important

pigments are not pure; there are

so which red, blue and yellow

bias towards each other

a similar

colour called phthalocyanine green.

|||Ml|

1IIIIII
-"

16

IS

ADMIUMRED

2,3

LKMONYELLOW

27, 28

30

15

14

17

17, 18

AND

BROWN

18

PLUS BLACK

Adding black and white


(Above) These

17

16

PLUS BLACK

19

of the large range of

BROWN

PURPLE

palette,

biases.

"swatches" give an idea

made by adding

12

24

7, 8

LEMON YELLOW

CADMIUM RED

21

27

26

10

ULTRAMARINE

22,23

11

29

28

CERULEAN

AND 24 MIXTURES

15

II

111

25

AND 9 MIXTURES

14

13

12, 13

AND

30

14

ULTRAMARINE

25

MIXTURES

26

CERULEAN

blue,

you

One

ORANGE

is

WHITE

PLUS WHITE

PURPLE ALIZARIN CRIMSON AND ULTRAMARINEl

GREEN 12PLUSWHITE
21

GREEN

will see that they

is

22 PLUS

13

BLACK

have different

more orange; lemon

greener than

ultramarine

11

red leans towards purple or

and the other

yellow

20

19

is

cadmium

yellow;

slightly redder than cerulean

MUTED ORANGE 14PLUSBLACK


23

GREEN

24

15

PLUS BLACK

MUTED ORANGE

Making
their

50:50 mixtures of
primary colours shown
chart above have

been taken as the basis,

own

charts like the ones

black and then

make

which are

muted

good, bright orange, for

crimson, or a good purple with

white added.

red and ultramarine.

cadmium

shown

here,

first

on

and then with the addition of

about colour. As well

discover

example, with lemon yellow and alizarin

PLUS

black and white, will teach you a great deal

colours are

cannot make

PLUS WHI

16

using the six basic primary colours,

or Prussian blue.

The most vivid secondarymade by mixing primaries


biased towards each other. You

PURPLE

PLUSWHII1

bright secondary colours,

some

how
you may

as finding out

black or

white to mixtures. The

first

20

18

20 PLUS

colours which can be

with

MIXTURES

19

23

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

GREEN (CERULEAN AND LEMON YELLOW) 10PLUSBLACK

PURPLE

in the

10

CADMIUM YELLOW

ORANGE (CADMIUM RED AND YELLOW)

WHITE

CADMIUM YELLOW

ALIZARIN CRIMSON

16

AND 29 MIXTURES

13

22

IIP

IIIIII

2]

20

AND 4 MIXTURES

is

IS

||||||

to

useful mixtui

effects. If so, tT)

iny paintings

ly,

characterless neutral
interesting grey

is

often

mple, an

made from

mixture of colours, not black and white.


145

Exercise

Using

Restricted Palette

Painting with a limited range of colours

an

is

Still life in six

hues

exercise often set in art schools. In this

case the idea

to use only the six basic

is

primary colours: cadmium red, alizarin


crimson,

cadmium and lemon

yellow,

ultramarine and Prussian blue; plus white.

You

are not allowed black because,

although a useful colour,

you may

seductive one;
the easy

also a

tempted to take

way out by adding it whenever you

want to darken
muddy,

to

it is

feel

a colour,

dull mixtures.

because there

is

and

this

White

no other way

is

can lead
permitted

to lighten

when you are using opaque paints,


but you may discover that white is not
colours

always the answer. Adding white to red, for


instance, turns
better to

it

pink, so

add yellow

it is

sometimes

IThe colour used here, which looks very similar to


yellow ochre, has been mixed from white, lemon

instead.

yellow and a

little

cadmium

For the tomatoes,


the artist uses a

mixture of both reds,


with an added touch of

lemon yellow for the


lighter areas.

He leaves

the white of the board to

show through

for the

highlights.

Choose

a simple

still-life

group

like the

one shown here, but make sure you have


plenty of colour contrast and

some good

The basic green for


the pepper

is

your

ability to

make dark

ultramarine and

colours without black.

You can

use either

cadmium

dark areas to

oil

or acrylic

test

the

exercise

is

about mixing

colours rather than handling paints.

yellow,

two

colours which can be

mixed

in

varying

proportions to produce a

good range of greens.

COLOURS USED

(OIL PAINTS) titanium white,

Prussian blue, alizarin crimson, ultramarine,

cadmium

red,

lemon yellow, cadmium yellow

red.

(Above) The
all the

artist

has had no difficulty in mixing

colours in the group from these

could even have reduced the number to

six,

five,

and

by

excluding the Prussian blue.

The brown for

the loaf of bread

colour used in Step

is

similar to the

but slightly darkened with

small additions of alizarin crimson and ultramarine.

(Right) Prussian blue, a very strong, dark colour

which must be used sparingly,

is

now mixed with


A similar

both reds and yellows for the background.


mixture, but with
the leaves

more Prussian

blue,

was used for

on the tomatoes.

145

Colour

Colour Relationships

Establishing

how to mix

you observe

the ones

is

colours similar to

a vital step in the

business of learning to paint, but you

need to understand something about


colours relate to each other.

it

exists in isolation

also

how

No colour

Warm

and

As can be seen

all

the indeterminate ones in between,

are often dismissed as unimportant. But, in


fact,

defined by

An orange or lemon

as a foil for the bright colours

framework

placed on a

and provide

that,

is

they are often difficult to analyse,


to

on an orange or yellow cloth forms no

The

and thus creates

fruit

little

impact.

on a dark cloth would make use

know which

because

it is

hard

much on warmer

Furthermore, they are only neutral by virtue

Relative values

The colours

that takes a definite back seat

in

centres of the

when

blue.

the

two

first

squares are cool, but do

juxtaposed with red can look quite vivid

when

contrasts are important in painting, but

mixture of black and white.

colours can contrast with neutral ones, and


colours with "cool" ones.

set against the ultimate neutral

Apart from the

there are other kinds of contrast too. Bright

colour at

latter,

used

in painting, all neutral

their

own colour

biases.

not recede because the

surrounding colours are


cooler

which has no

and should seldom,

all

if

ever, be

colours have

In the

still.

second

pair, all the colours are

warm, but

the alizarin

crimson and lemon


yellow are cooler than

Greys are

the orange.

Temperature

yellowish, brownish, slightly blue or

Artists often describe colours in terms of

tending towards mauve. This means that

"temperature", a visual and partially

they must

subjective quality that cannot be measured.

and blue-greys are

Blues, blue-greens

as

of contrast; for example, a greenish grey

lightness or darkness of a colour. Tonal

"warm"

However, the

orange does not advance

colours to start mixing.

of contrasts of tone, which means the

so-called

front of

in

the cooler greens and


blues.

neutrals

because of the strong contrast, but the same


fruit

for them.

The trouble with

here, the

colours, the reds,

oranges and yellows,

they have a vital role to play: they act

neutral-coloured or dark cloth shines out

contrast,

warm

and cool colours

push forward
is

juxtaposition and contrast with other


colours.

Neutrals
These colours, the greys, browns, beiges

cool,

fit

in

with the colour bias of your

A useful

painting.

device

is

to scrape

your

palette with a palette knife halfway through

Neutrals
All the colours

shown

in

the swatches are neutral,

made from

black and

white with small

while reds, yellows and colours with red

and yellow

in

them are warm.

Warmcool contrasts are a way of


creating the impression of space
recession in a painting. This

warm

is

and

working session and use

colours tend to advance to the front

colour

additions of other
colours. Seen in isolation

neutrals, being a mixture of

they do not seem to be

used, will

because the

this subtle

mixture for neutrals. This ensures that the

painting.

all

the colours

work in the context of the


You can do this only in oil,

unfortunately, as acrylic dries too quickly

any particular colour,


though some have biases

towards
blue.

of the picture and the cool ones to recede

in

colour

is

relative;

colour ordinarily described as cool


its

recessive habit

contrast of

warm

if

there

is

even a

may

lose

an insufficient

To complicate
are warm and cool

colours.

matters further, there

versions of each colour. Ultramarine, which

has a red bias,

is

warmer than cerulean or


cadmium yellow is

Prussian blue, and

warmer than

the slightly acid

which leans towards green.

palette.

squares at the bottom

Another good way of neutralizing a

further into the background.

But everything

on the

lemon yellow,

colour

is

to use

its

complementary.

Complementary colours

are those that are

opposite each other on a colour wheel: red

and green,
blue.

violet

When

red, green or

However, the

and yellow, orange and

show how

differently

they appear depending

on

their surroundings.

In the first

and

is

shown

against a vivid

these pairs of vivid opposite


background, while

colours are mixed together they cancel each

background

according to the proportions of the colours

grey

used. Successful neutrals always give a

and white.

much more

impact.

in the

second and fourth the

other out, making subtle neutrals that vary

painting

third

squares a neutral colour

is

a neutral

made from

black

m,

ORANGE ON ULTRAMARINE

ULTRAMARINE ON PRUSSIAN BLUE

NEUTRAI BROWN ON CADMIUM RED

CADMIUM RED ON BLUE-GREN

YELLOW-GREEN ON BLUE-GREEN

SW1I (Olol RON<.RI>

ORANGE ON CERULEAN BLUE

ORANGE ON ALIZARIN

NEUTRAI (.KM ON

IRAUARINI

LEMON YELLOW ON GREEN

CADMIUM YELLOW ON LEMON YELLOW

>-\\1l

OIOI'RONC.RI

"I

147

Exercise

Painting White

There

is

no

better

way

of learning

how to

analyse and mix neutral colours than by


painting one or two bright-coloured objects

on

a white background.

how

discover

Dark colours absorb


reflective, so

object

you

You

will also

radically light affects colour.

the light but white

when you look

at a

is

white

see a marvellous range of subtle

colours and probably very

or even none at

all.

little

pure white,

The colours vary

according to the kind of light you are

working under, and on the

objects,

which

can throw colour into the nearby shadows.


Unfortunately, as the light changes so do
the colours

-a

group

up near a window. But

is

set

particular

problem

if

your

it is

challenging task and well worth trying.

COLOURS USED
Indian red,

black, ultramarine, cerulean blue,

cadmium

red, Venetian red,

!+

burnt umber,

yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow,


titanium white

IAs the orange


the group,

it

is

the brightest colour in

has been blocked

in first.

This provides a key, enabling the artist to


assess

the grey-greens and blue-greens

the plate

and background.

for

He moves on

to the area

of strongest

tonal contrast, drawing in the pattern

of the cloth with a fine sable brush.

As he works, he

carefully assesses

one

colour against another. The greys of

the cloth are far from being colourless,

although they are neutral


with the orange.

in

comparison

W
4

The middle tones of the cloth have been


established before the lightest areas, where the

folds of the cloth catch the light.

Here the artist has

used pure white, but has painted

lightly so that the

brushstroke

and a

little

is

broken up by the texture of the canvas,

of the underlying colour shows through.

The artist has worked on


stretched over board

and

with a wash of water colour.

coloured ground makes


tones of his mixtures,
this,

it

fine canvas
lightly tinted

He finds

that a

easier to judge the

and in a

subject such as

with a predominance of light tones,

it is

particularly helpful.

The orange and the plate have been


up and final touches are note given

solidly built
to the

background. The tonal contrasts here must not be too


strong, so the white

red to darken

is

mixed with a

and warm

little

yellow and

it.

149

Techniques

Working Alla Prima


'

know how

Students often want to

up an

The

to build

painting- where should they

oil

direct

start

different

ways

worked out of doors


abandoning the

their subject,

complex layering method

and what are the stages? These are not easy

many

questions to answer, as there are so

Impressionists

from

known

This method,

of doing things. Oil-painting

as

prima", which means "at

centuries; besides which, individual artists

became

own

the

IN

TECHNIQUE

The most important change


was brought about by

in

which

many

earlier ideas,

art.

been built up

Previously, oil paintings


in layers,

structure of the work.

added only
were done

one

mid-toned

Working in
artist begins

oil

prima" does not describe

ways of

starting

painting in one go. There

and completing a
is,

however, one

paintings: that of blending colours

wet.

These paintings

When paint is

brushstroke

is

wet into

allowed to dry before

further layers are added, each

with location work

crisp

new

and well-defined, but

laying one colour over

restricted to small studies.

Working wet

"alia

feature that characterizes alla prima

and the whole tonal

as a final stage.

underpainting, a method

specific technique because there are

different

The colour was

in the studio,

artists prefer to

discussed on the following pages.

The term

had

ground. This established the composition,


the modelling of forms

outdoor

Wet into wet

beginning with a

monochrome underpainting on

rapidly

for

who

not only

about methods but also about the whole


nature of

is

session.

"alla

However, many
now being revived

modified forms and some

work over an

technique

the French

Impressionists in the 19th century,

overturned

in

and

one

is vital.

of the older methods are

A REVOLUTION

first",

norm, particularly

work, where speed

methods.

in

working

techniques have changed through the

have their

entirely

always completing a painting

and

Vi

into still-wet

into wet

on canvas board, the

with the paint used thinly,

Having blocked in the flowers,

still

with fairly thin paint, she blends dark

A soft,

blurred highlight

by wiping

green into the still-wet paint beneath. She

The first

can also be used, but turpentine, being

uses a sable rather than a bristle brush, as

dry, remains in place.

more

lustrous surface.

this

makes a

softer impression.

now created

layer of blue-green, which

diluted with turpentine alone. White spirit

slightly oily, gives a

is

into the paint with a rag.


is

now

(Left) In

any oil

painting, but

particularly for wet-into-

wet methods,

it is

best to

begin with thin paint

and build up gradually


to thicker applications,

otherwise the paint

becomes unmanageable.
Here the thickest colour
has been used for the
red flowers.

4 now

(Right)

The paint is
\

thickly, slightly diluted

'^i

^H^m vUHi^EB

with a mixture of linseed


oil

and

one another.

new

colour

jjk

^n?
*|^*j|

1*.

u%

effects

you

soft, slightly

blurred

Monet's beautiful

in this

The method

way.

is

not quite as easy as

sounds; you need a light touch and

it

best

it's

much overworking. Too many

is

applied lightly over

two colours mix

together on the surface,

produce a gentle

pink highlight.

modified by the one

paintings of water and foliage were

achieved

see in

to avoid too
(Right) White

is

below. The Impressionists painted wet into

^Jjj

\%

the wet red paint so that

to

each

wet extensively - the

are gently blended into

the

^^i

vV

turpentine,

and the brushstrokes

paint creates a gentler, less decisive effect, as

used more

colours laid one over another can result

in a

churned-up mess of paint, with no colour or


definition.

If

this

happens, scrape

back with a palette knife am!


is

only possible to worl

acrylic

if

retarding

you use

medium

tin
in. It

in

made-for-the-purpose
to

keep the paint moist

and workable.
151

Techniques

Underpainting

Most

artists

make

drawing on

their

working surface before they begin


this

to paint;

Underpainting
in acrylic

can be a brush drawing or one made

with pencil or charcoal. Some take

framework

for the painting

this

IThe artist begins


with thin washes

one step

of diluted grey-green

further,

making

a full-scale underpainting

monochrome. This allows them

in

the composition

to plan

and the tonal structure of

the picture before putting

on the colour.

A monochrome underpainting need not


be in shades of grey

- monochrome simply

means one colour. Another function of the


underpainting

is

to provide contrasts of

colour; sometimes areas of underpainting


are

left

to

show through

work, or the paint


to be modified

is

in the finished

applied thinly enough

acrylic, gradually

building up the basic

forms of the face and


head. She

is

working

on canvas board.

The underpainting
is

now complete,

providing a tonal basis

on which the colours can


be applied. Although

working

in acrylic,

she

uses the traditional

by the colour of the

underpainting - a method often used in

method of beginning
with thin paint.

conjunction with glazing techniques in


either oil or acrylic.

The Renaissance

painters liked to use a green underpainting,

building up

warm skin tones with

layers of colour. In the

same way

thin

warm

red or yellow underpainting could be


tried for a subject in

which greens and

blues predominate.

More than one

colour can be used

underpainting simply means a layer of paint

below the top

layer.

Some

artists

begin their

paintings by covering the whole canvas with

"washes" of very thin paint, heavily diluted


with turpentine; they allow

this to

dry and

then build up gradually to thicker paint.

Because

oil

paints can be used over acrylic

(but not vice versa), acrylic

is

sometimes

used for the earlier stages of paintings built

up

in this

way, although

oil

3
it

She

now turns to

paint,

still

oil

4m*Z-

using

thinly for the hair

and then

slightly

thickly for the

more

^BBl

-.*

warm

colour of the forehead.

paint thinned

with turpentine also dries quite quickly.

W
*

^M

Ji

*f

'

w.
O^f

^V

'

iff

l|

(Below) The colour

chosen for the

underpainting depends

S*','

on the

effect

you want

to

achieve. This dull green

>

is

-'

\r/
4

The

oil

details

paint

is

thicker for the highlights

of the features, but

a traditional choice for

portraits

and figure

work, as

it

and

helps to

in places the

establish a contrast

underpainting

is still

visible;

you can

see the original

grey-green on the hair and beneath the

between shadow areas


left eye.

and warmer

highlights.

The colour used for the forehead has been


blended lightly into the underpainting to give

a soft gradation of tone.

The mauve-blues of the

background have been kept

by diluting the

thin

oil

paint with turpentine.

From lean to fat


Nowadays

there are few hard-and-fast

rules in oil painting but,

if

you are

building up a painting in layers, you must

always work from "lean" to "fat", or

When

from thin paint to

thick.

(lean) paint

over thick, oily

is

laid

paint, cracking

may occur due

layer drying before the

which shrinks

diluted
(fat)

to the top

bottom one,

slightly as

it

dries.

Apart

from these technical considerations,


saving the thick paint until

minimizes the

risk of

last also

churning

it

up by

subsequent painting over the top.

153

Techniques

Working on

Up
it

until the

overall tint, called an

many

given an

imprimatura. The

abandoned

Impressionists

browns, greys and blue-greys. These are

oil-painting practice to

work on canvas which had been

others,

this practice, as

and worked on

white canvas, which they found increased


the brilliance of the colours (though

Tinted Ground
choices are neutrals such as browns, yellow-

middle of the 19th century

was standard

they did so

Monet

useful base shades

brighter colours.

on which

Some

to apply

artists like a

warm brown

scheme, for example

others prefer one which harmonizes. In


either case, small areas of the

stages in his career).

are sometimes allowed to

but there

is

artists are

no doubt that

ground can be very


artificial

white

makes

first

may make them

White

is little

is

an

light,

show through

between brushstrokes, which has the

it,

or no true

by creating a

way
like

effect

You

because any

of colour links. In this

series

ground can

a coloured

act very

much

an underpainting.

Laying a ground

judge the

colours you apply.

too

ground colour

of pulling the picture together, or unifying

beginning with a white

difficult to

it

strength of the

a coloured

helpful.

colour (there

in nature) so

surface

divided on this issue,

for a

painting in which blues will predominate;

returned to coloured grounds at various

Today's

ground

which contrasts with the overall colour

is

very easy and you can

use either acrylic, watercolour or

thinned with white

two

spirit

oil

paint

obviously one

you are working

of

colour looks dark against white. Colouring

the

the canvas provides an average tone,

Spread the paint over the surface either with

allowing you to
areas and

down

work up
to the

The choice of colour

Acrylic on

will influence

if

your

The most usual

doesn't matter

you create an uneven, streaky

completely

flat

effect; a

colour tends to look

mechanical and unappealing.

oil

paintings

is

most frequently an unobtrusive brown or grey,


but acrylic encourages a bolder approach; a deep blue

used here. The

It

in acrylic.

blue ground

IThe ground colour chosen for


is

if

a large brush or with a rag.

to the lightest

dark ones.

painting from the start.

first

artist,

working on watercolour

She begins with the

light area

of sky, painting

boldly with another large, square-ended nylon

brush.

The paint

is

used quite thickly, mixed with just

enough water to make

it

malleable. She has not

made

paper, applies the ground with a large nylon brush for

a preliminary drawing because acrylic can easily be

quick coverage of the surface.

corrected by overpainting.

Ja

HV^BT''

"-%_-

^^M

~
w

!*

lff-^^rt

-*-"
-

U'

Dark green

is

now painted over the blue,

time using a smaller bristle brush to

W*

this

^JH

make

dabbing brushstrokes which do not completely cover


the blue ground colour.
thinly to

The paint

is

also used quite

modify the blue without obscuring

it.

(Above) Tfe? <for


reflections beneath

were

slightly blurred

by

glazing over them with

well-watered paint,
applied with a large,
soft brush.

To

create the blurred effect of the water, black

paint

colours,

is

lightly

which are

to cover all

scrubbed over the underlying

now dry.

Again, care

is

taken not

In the final stages, a definit

ntre of inter*

created by mtrodut ing a rind yellow-green into

the small tree.

of the blue underpainting.

155

Techniques

Brushwork

As the natural consistency of both


acrylic paints

is

thick

and

oil

and creamy, they hold

marks of the brush very well and,

the

any paintings except those

smooth

layers or glazes,

built

up

integral part of the painting.

The

brushmarks

for

Working

in

brushwork

Exploiting the

is

an

idea of

on

in oil

oil-sketching paper,

the artist uses her bristle

brush as a drawing

exploiting the physical presence of the paint

implement, making

began with

sweeping strokes to

artists

such as Titian

16th

in the

century and Rembrandt in the 17th;

was

it

developed further by the Impressionists and


further

two

by Cezanne and Van Gogh - the

still

one automatically associates

artists

with brushwork.
are spoiled

by inattention to brushwork. This

It is

not necessary to

use thick paint to

when

there are so

here

it is

quite thin

and

(it

many

turpentine). This gives

the brushstrokes an

uneven striated quality,

how

to

drawing

mix

right,

the colours, getting the

with the white paper

and the general business of

depicting your subject. But brushwork

much

needs as

showing through

in

some areas.

consideration as any other

aspect of the painting; in fact,

you

hills.

has been diluted with

is

other things to consider, such as working

out

of the

exploit brushmarks,

Many promising paintings


understandable

describe the shapes

it

in the task of description. If

can help

you are

painting a tree trunk, for example, or you

want

sweep of a

hill

and

easier to use a large brush

it is

the

to suggest the

work by following

directions than

it is

the forms

to build

or

field,

let it

do

and

up the shape

with a series of small, fussy strokes.

One
is

thing you need to guard against

inconsistency of brushwork.

brushstrokes do not

all

Your

have to go in the

same direction or be the same

size

they can be), but you must use the

Brushes are

made

in different

shapes as

(though

well as different sizes, and

same

experimenting with them to discover the

it is

worth

here, but the


is

approach throughout.
landscape

is

painted

If

kinds of

the sky in a

flatly,

and bold,

mainly large

sweeping brushstrokes are used to depict


trees

and

hills,

the picture looks disjointed.

Skies can be problematic because they

appear

flat,

but here you must use

licence. Paintings

individual
veil

do

artistic

by Cezanne clearly reveal

brushmarks

in the

sky area as

as a variety of different colours.

mark they can make. Cezanne used


flat

brick-like stroke,

brushes, which give a

whereas Monet favoured

pointed ones, applying the paint


dabs. Try out

them

all

in different

pressure to

make

in smaller

your brushes, holding

ways and varying

the

different kinds of strokes.

This kind of doodling will help you to


discover your

own painting style.

(Above) The paint

is

used more thickly

brushwork

similar to that

depicting the land area.

The artist uses

long,

sweeping strokes,

letting

the brushmarks follow

the direction of the

hills.

n>
6

(Below) The

brushwork

is

consistent throughout

The paint was used


the

first

thinly in the early stages

applications are

now dry;

and

consequently,

the painting,

The brush

is

used

in a different direction,

and not

with

more upward strokes, again of thicker paint,

only describes the forms

of the landscape but also

brushstrokes of thicker paint can be laid without

suggesting the stone wall in the middle distance

disturbing those below.

without describing

imparts
it

movement and

literally.

energy to the picture.

1S7

Techniques

IMPASTO
Impasto means thicker-than-usual paint.
For some

artists,

one of the main attractions

and

acrylic

is

of

oil

up

Using
thickened
paint

that they can be built

thickly to create a range of exciting

IThis photograph

surface textures.

shows the

Impasto techniques are

far

from new.

oil

paint

being mixed with special

Both Rembrandt and the great 19th-

impasto medium (the

century landscape painter, J.M.W. Turner,

brownish substance on

used thick, solid paint

in

some

areas of their

paintings, contrasting this with thinner

Rembrandt's

portraits, too, the faces,

particularly the highlight areas, are so


solidly built

sculpture.

up that they resemble a

Van Gogh was

the

relief

first artist

to

use uniformly thick paint, applied in


swirling or jagged brushstrokes; since then

many

left).

mediums

Similar

in acrylic.

some of

applications elsewhere. In

the

are available for working

Sometimes impasto
is

reserved for

certain areas

of a

painting, usually

added

in the final stages,

but

here thick paint

used

is

throughout. At this
artists

have exploited the expressive

and dynamic

qualities of thick paint,

sometimes squeezing

it

on

tube and then modelling


applying

it

it

straight

stage, each area

colour

from the

with a brush, or

is

to avoid

of

kept separate

mixing and

muddying.

with a knife or even fingers.

Impasto of this nature requires a great


deal of paint, so

it is

good idea

to bulk

it

out with one of the special media sold for

impasto work
is

in

both

oil

and

acrylic.

This

particularly necessary for acrylic, as

than

slightly runnier
effective,

oil.

The media

it is

are

enabling you to produce two or

three times the

amount of paint without

changing the colour. The only other way to


bulk up paint

is

Impasto used

to

add white.

selectively, for specific

areas of the painting,

is

usually reserved for

finishing touches, highlights or

any small

areas of vivid colour in the foreground.

There

is

good reason

for this: thick paint,

having a more powerful physical presence


than thin paint, tends to advance to the
front of the picture.

In this sky area, the

brush

is

taken in

different directions,

creating ridges

and

swirls of paint

which

reflect the light in

varying degrees.

(Left) Finally,

deft touches

with the

tip

with

made

of the brush,

darker colours were laid


over and into the light

yellow-browns on the
tree trunks. Paint

applied as thickly as this


takes several days to dry

out thoroughly.

(Right)

To produce

a soft blend of

colours, dark green

worked into a

is

lighter

one, wet into wet.

The

top and edges of the

dark green foliage have


also been softened by

painting over the light

grey of the sky.

Again, the artist takes care to keep each

new

colour separate. If the thick dark green paint

were allowed to mix with the

lighter colour, both

would become muddied.

159

Techniques

Knife Painting

A brush

is

most obvious implement

the

applying paint, and the most

commonly

used, but paint can also be put


knife
is
it

made

for

Knife-painted
flowers

on with a

for the purpose. Knife painting

ITo provide a
background for the

an exciting and expressive technique, and


creates effects quite different

which can be achieved with


knife squeezes

and

from any

a brush.

flattens the paint

the surface, producing a

The
on

smooth plane

paint catch the light and,


built

leaves, the artist

has begun with thin

which she has allowed to


dry before putting on the

These small ridges and

is

and

"washes " of oil paint,

with ridges at the edges.

painting

colours of the flowers

lines of thicker

when

first

knife strokes.

whole

up with knife marks, they

create an energetic

and

lively effect.

Like

brushstrokes, the marks can be varied

according to their direction, their

size,

amount of pressure you apply and

the

the

thickness of the paint. But take care not to

overwork; too many knife strokes

one another

laid

over

will sacrifice the crispness

which characterizes the method, creating


a

muddled impression.

Using the point of


the knife, she

flicks

on

painting can be used selectively to

emph-

asize certain areas of the painting. For a

you might use

knife to suggest a highlight

a flick of the

on the vase or a

leaf catching the light, while in

some

fine strokes

dull

The flowers are still

of colour, achieved by

scraping
side

it

of the

landscape

1
H

the side of the

small dabs with the point of a knife

to create colourful flowerheads.

Painting knives are surprisingly delicate

and

sensitive instruments.

They

are not to

A light blue-green is
laid over the darker

colour with the

flat

the knife. Notice

of

how

be confused with the ordinary straight-

this flattens

bladed palette knife used for general

the paint so that

cleaning up. These knives are specially

thinner in the centre of

made

for the job; they have cranked handles

and pushes
it is

the stroke, only lightly

covering the canvas.

and highly
are

flexible forged-steel blades,

produced

shapes and

in a

sizes.

and

wide variety of different

Aril

back with the


knife.

foreground with

made with

on paint and then

knife, depicting long stems of grass, or

make

essentially a thin veil

laying

you could enliven a

now

dark

colour for the stems.

Like any other impasto technique, knife

floral subject,

thick,

T
^^^^^^bb

-"

(Right)

The flowers

are built up with a

combination of strokes
using the point

and side

of the knife. This small


triangular knife

for

is

ideal

chrysanthemums and

similar flowers, as each

W,

petal can be quickly

created with a single

sharp

flick.

(Above) Grey-green

5
is

background colour

now

"cut in " around

the stems

with the

and leaves

flat

of the

If the flowers

knife.

and leaves

had been painted over


thick,

wet background

paint, the colours

would

have mixed together and


lost their brightness.

(Left)

The flowers

and leave*

arc

convincingly depicted,

and

the liveliness of the

picture

is

increased by

the ontrast betwt


i

The

thick

and

knife

work stands out

from

t'<

in

some

thin paint.

vhiU
areas

background
is

<>/

the

the canvas

only lightly stained

with colour.

161

Building up
colours

Techniques

Glazing

Instead of using
strength

from the start,

&

full-

opaque colour
it is

possible to build up with

Glazing
that

is

is

one of the traditional techniques

regaining popularity

reason, as

it

- and

can create beautiful

for

good

effects.

The

a series of glazes.

are in acrylic, but similar


effects

painters of the early Renaissance used oil

oil,

paints very thinly, building up layers of

The

"swatches " shown here

or

can be achieved
oil

in

can be glazed

over acrylic.

The

transparent colour.

you

reds

saints

see in the

brilliant blues

gowns

were achieved by

madonnas and

Changing

method.

colours

of

this

and

Glazing used to be a slow process because

One

each layer had to dry before the next one

was

applied, so

when

prima painting

alia

colour by modifying the

became the most usual way of working,


glazing

was

largely

colour glazed over

another produces a third

abandoned.

one

Now,

beloii'.

Here the top

colours have been

however, the paint manufacturers have

thinned with acrylic

brought out special glazing media which

medium, which makes

down the drying time of oil and


make the colours more transparent.

them more transparent.

cut

In acrylic, glazing takes

because the paints dry so

method

is

painters.

at all

and so the

particularly popular with acrylic

The paint can be thinned with

water, or with acrylic


gloss).

no time

fast,

The

medium

If colours

(matt or

matt

latter is usually preferable, as

finish,

while the

a slight or high gloss

medium

gives

painting they can be


neutralized by laying a
it

depending on which

one you use which enriches the colours.


Glazes can also be laid over thick paint,
as long as

it is

dry. In acrylic particularly,

thick impastos

made with

a brush or knife

are often modified by glazes,

also a

good way

to suggest texture,

because the colours


If

to consider buying

extra colours. Although both


acrylic are technically

oil

some
and

opaque, some

pigments are relatively transparent. As the


essence of glazing

is

the

way one

layer of

colour shows through another, the best


results are

of acrylic

diluted with water.

Water glazes cannot, of


course, be used in oil
painting, but oil paint

can be thinned with


glazing medium.

Glazing over

monochrome

settle into the crevices.

you intend to experiment with glazing

you may have

light glaze

which give a

touch of delicacy to the heavy surface. This


is

appear too

bright in one area of a

paint thinned with water alone dries to a


dull,

Toning down

achieved by sticking to the more

transparent colours.

In either oil or acrylic, a

picture can be started in

monochrome - black
and white or shades of
one colour and glazes
subsequently laid on top.

Techniques

Broken Colour
When you drag oil or acrylic paint lightly

Dry brush

over a textured canvas or a layer of dry

acrylic

paint,

it

adheres only to the peaks, thus

breaking up the brushstroke and allowing

some of the
visible.

in

earlier colour to

remain

IThe artist has begun


with an underpainting of rich blue-

This method, called dry brush,

is

green for the land, with

particularly suitable for creating veils of

transparent washes for

colour or for suggesting texture.

the sky. She

employed

frequently

It is

in landscape, for

example, for light on water, distant trees or


the texture of grass, while in portraiture
useful for hair
trick

it is

and textured clothing. The

to apply the

is

brush and to use a

minimum

of paint to the

dry mixture.

fairly thick,

A similar method, scumbling, gives you


less

control and

is

more

suitable for large

areas than for fine detail.

It

now drags

thick paint lightly over.

For the foreground


she uses the same

brush but makes shorter,

more upright strokes,


varying them to suggest

both the texture and

movement of the grass.

involves

scrubbing thick, dry paint over another


colour, either with a rag, a

or even your fingers.

stiff bristle

brush

You can scumble dark

colours over light, but light over dark


usually achieves the best results.

use the

method

You might

for skies in a landscape

(scumbling light blue over deep blue to

produce a shimmering

effect),

or for richly

The field in the


centre

is

the deepest

area of colour in the


picture; not

cover too

wanting to

much of the

underpainting, the artist


uses a colour which

is

only slightly lighter,

coloured fabric in a portrait or

still life.

applying

The

effects of these

methods are

it

with

horizontal sweeps.

sometimes described as "broken colour"


a term

which has an alternative meaning,

referring to an area built

up with small

brushstrokes of separate colours. This

technique was more or


Impressionists,

make

less

invented by the

who found that they could

areas of grass or foliage appear

brighter by juxtaposing blues, yellows,

greens and sometimes purples, which from


a distance

would be interpreted

As well as being the

(Right)

ideal

as green.

method for

suggesting texture, dry brush also creates a

livelier effect

than

flat

areas of colour.

work on a textured surface -

It is

this picture

best to

has been

done on canvas board.


163

Techniques

Scraping back

Removing Paint
The

#2,

first

two methods described here

are

not suitable for acrylic, as they rely on the

canvas could be

slow-drying nature of oil paints.

damaged by scraping the artist lays thick paint

Scraping back
When

on the sky and hills and

something goes wrong with an

painting,

oil

scrapes over

you can scrape back the offending

area or even the whole painting with a


palette knife

as long as the paint

wet and repaint

If

it.

you have ever done

the scraped painting

is

effect of

rather attractive

it

with the

side of a palette knife.

is still

you may have noticed that the

this,

Working on canvas
board stretched

Having begun with


a wash of yellow-

green which has

now

dried, she then laid

darker, thicker colour

which she partially

misty ghost image of the original picture.

scrapes away. This time

Scraping back need not be limited to

she uses a plastic credit

correcting mistakes;
in

its

own

several

right. It

it

can be a technique

has been employed by

well-known

artists,

most notably the

19th-century American-born artist James


Whistler,

who

often scraped back his

portraits at the

card, a useful if unusual

painting tool.

end of each day's session

in

The foreground
has been darkened

with successive applic-

order to avoid overworking his paint and,

ations of paint, each

on one occasion, observed that

subsequently scraped

him exactly

the effect he

gauzy dress of his young

this

wanted

gave

back. The artist

for the

now

uses the card first to


girl sitter.

apply paint and then

Scraping back

is

a layering technique,
to scrape

similar in

some ways

to glazing, as each

new

application of colour, after scraping, reveals

something of the colours below. You can


use

it

to build

up subtle colour

effects,

or to

create the impression of a misty landscape.


If

you work on a textured surface such

as

canvas or canvas board, the knife removes


the colour only from the top of the raised
grain, leaving a deposit of paint in

between

the weave.

(Right)

The technique

is

particularly useful for

and subtle blends of colour.


Finger smudging has been used in places, and the
atmospheric

shapes

in the

effects

foreground were made by using the

plastic card as a painting knife.

it

back

diagonal strokes.

in

oil

paint

Scratching into paint

0fr

Having

laid a

foundation of

The point of a
scalpel removes the

more

and

Drawing

wet

into

paint with a pencil

relatively thick oil paint

paint

on canvas board, a

thoroughly, revealing

The pencil makes

the surface of the canvas

dark

beneath

similar indentations to

paintbrush handle

used to draw into


creating ridges

is

it,

and

cleanly

in a series

of

paintbrush handle.

Sgraffito
This involves scoring or scribbling into the
paint while

it is still

wet the word comes

to scribble into thick,

wet

into thick

paint in this

way produces an

indented

textures

Invented by Sir Henry Tonks, one-time

London, tonking

is

another correction

technique.

An oil

utilized as a

where

there

such a heavy build-up of paint

is

new

it is

has been pushed upwards. This can be a


for describing textures.

to

add

of grass or tiny

twigs catching the

light.

muddy,

churned-up mess. Tonks recommended

removing the top layer of paint by laying

Sgraffito can also be used in a purely

way

with

a paintbrush, such as

colours simply mingle with

that any

decorative

which are

unworkable because

a stage

the earlier ones, producing a

method

making the kind of very

stalks

painting often reaches

furrow, with slight ridges where the paint

useful

useful for

and ideal for

difficult to achieve

method which can be

moustache or the pattern and

Working

TONKING

(Above) This

method is

professor at the Slade School of Art in

paint with a brush handle to suggest the

texture of clothing.

fine lines

Italian sgraffiare, to scratch.

Rembrandt used
hairs of a

lines as well as

those produced by the

fine white lines.

indentations.

from the

is

a variation of sgraffito.

a pattern element to

a sheet of

newspaper over the painting

and rubbing gently to transfer the paint

your work.
thin,

If

the top application of paint

you can scratch into

it

is

with a sharp

implement to reveal the white of the canvas,


or another dry colour below. For example,
the objects in a

still life

could be outlined

to the paper.

The

image can be

a basis for further

resulting softened

but often the effect

is

work,

pleasing in

itself;

you can leave the tonked painting alone,


or perhaps add touches of further

with fine white lines or you could create the

definition in certain areas.

pattern on a piece of fabric by scratching

particularly useful for any painting in

back to another colour. Although sgraffito

which you have

is

easier in oil,

too, as

it is

it

can be done with acrylic

possible to scratch into dry paint

providing you work on a rigid surface such

tried to

Tonking

is

add too much

detail too early on, such as a portrait,

where the eyes and mouth tend

to

atl

a concentration of paint.

as a painting board.
165

Focus

Comparative Demonstration

W/

Oil and acrylic paints can be used in


different ways.

One

many

of the best ways of

learning, at least initially,

emulate the methods of

is

to attempt to

artists

whose work

you admire.

In order to provide a stimulus

as well as to

show something of the

variations in approach,
artists to

paint the same

James Horton

is

possible

we have asked

working

on

in oil,

three

subject.

still life

fine

canvas stretched over board, primed with


whiting and rabbit-skin glue and tinted with
watercolour, giving a slightly absorbent and
lightly

also

coloured surface. Patrick Cullen

working

board. Rosalind Cuthbert


acrylic

is

but on white canvas

in oil,

is

painting in

on paper, making considerable use

of glazing methods.

Oil on primed and tinted canvas

^w.

IThe

artist

drawing

has begun with a brush

(in

and raw umber)

a mixture of Venetian red


to establish the shapes

position of the bottles,


the

warm

and

and now works on

colours of the background.

important to have some of this colour


place before painting the bottles.

It is

in

His method
colour

all

is

to place small patches of

over the picture surface

in

Darker tones have

now been

introduced into the bottles, and he

work on

the background, using a

order to assess the relationships of colour

returns to

and tone

lighter colour to bring out the

at every stage in the painting.

dark greens.

(Right) Various artists' palettes give an interesting


insight into their various

case the "brushstrokes


reflect those in the

"

working methods.

In this

used to mix the colours

painting

itself.

0fr

With the painting at about the halfway

brushwork

fully covered.

is still

stage, the

loose, with the surface not yet

The paint

is

used at the same

consistency throughout, slightly thinned with a

mixture of turpentine, linseed

Ellipses are
initial

oil

and Damar

always tricky and,

in spite

varnish.

of careful

drawing, have to be maintained through

the course of the painting.

Here the edge of the label is

defined by cutting in darker paint around the bottom.

(Right) In the final stages, details

were added,

such as the suggestion of printing on the

the cork of the bottle

Notice

and the

ellipse

how varied the brushwork

label,

of the glass.

is,

and the many

different colours used in each area of the picture.

'ontinued

167

Oil on canvas board

0fr
IThe artist began with a drawing in soft
from time

pencil, erasing
it

was

correct.

He uses the paint quite

thinly, diluting

synthetic

to time until

it

with a 50:50 mixture of

medium and turpentine.

bottle

and the second one

is

is

difference in approach in the early

stages

artist takes

is

immediately apparent. This

each part of the painting close

to completion before beginning

on the next;

here he works extensively on the bottle.

now virtually

The first
finished,

painted

With the background and the wine


glass

before the background. The white board

are given

shows through the

is

thin paint in places to

suggest the transparency of the glass.

now painted, finishing touches


to the bottle. A soft highlight

created by rubbing into the wet paint

with a clean rag.

The artist prefers a

large kidney-shaped

palette to the small rectangular type


fits

which

Once more,

into the lid of a paintbox.

the brushwork in the painting

is

echoed

in

the palette.

When painting transparent objects


vital to

it is

ensure the continuity of the

background, so

this

has been painted

glass until last.

6
this

The biggest
difference between

and the previous

painting

is

in the

consistency of paint,

which here has been

wiped off to create


highlights rather than

added as thicker paint.

The brushwork
paintings

first,

and shadows of the

leaving the highlights

is

in

lively

both

and

varied, but each artist

has a distinctive

style.

Acrylic on water colour paper

IThe

artist begins

with a thin under-

painting diluted with water, lightly

sketching in the shapes of the bottles. She

seldom makes an

initial

drawing when

Her method is

Paint mixed with matt

medium

still

becomes more

looks opaque, but

it

transparent as the

medium

is

laid

wet the colour

dries.

she uses blue for the bottles and a

effect of the glazing

the paint has

method clearly -

now dried and each

shows through the


is

These Stay-Wet palettes look far from


attractive after a day's work, but they are

ideal for preventing acrylic paint

from

drying out.

background.

On the left-hand bottle you can see the

paint

up the more

layers over a brightly coloured base, so

rich red for the

over the blue. While

to build

subtle colours by glazing in successive

initially

using opaque paints.

colour

other. Slightly thicker

now used for the background.

As

in the

the glass

on the

previous two demonstrations,


is left

until last.

ellipse are painted,

The

highlights

again with a fine

sable brush, but this time with thicker


paint, straight

from the

tube.

This artist has taken


a less literal

and

more personal approach


to the

group than the

other two, inventing a


blue background

and

keying up the colours.

She has also deliberately


distorted the right-hand
bottle to

improve the

composition.

169

Focus

Still Life
Throughout the

history of painting,

still life

has gone in and out of fashion, mainly

according to the whims of buyers.

Still-life

paintings were particularly sought after in


16th- and 17th-century Holland, while in

France and England they were

less

popular

were certain

nationally, although there

areas where this branch of painting


flourished. In the 19th century,

when more

humble, down-to-earth subject matters

began to replace grandiose


still life

many

came

artists

into

its

own;

have painted

historical

still life

addition to other subjects, and

made

it

in

some have

their speciality.

There
skills

works,

since that time

is

no

better

way

of practising your

and working out ideas about colour

and composition than by choosing and


arranging your

own

subject.

are painting landscape

When you

on the

spot, the

arrangement of shapes and colours


dictated by nature, but with

is

still life

you are

the one in control you have a captive


subject. You can set up the group in any
way you choose, decide on the best lighting

and take

as long as

you

like

over the

Setting up the group


(Above) In
is

still-life

painting,

done before you begin

much of the composition

to lay paint

on paper, so

it is

wise to take time at this stage. In James Horton's oil


painting

Still

tablecloth

Life with Narcissi the objects, the

and the background drapery have been

arranged with great

and

care.

By overlapping the mortar

the flower vase, a link

is

established between

them, while the pattern on the tablecloth draws the


eye into the composition.

Repeating colours
(Left) Elizabeth
(oil) is

Moore's lovely Objects on a Table

also carefully arranged, although she has

aimed at a more natural-looking effect. When


painting a wide assortment of objects,
factor

is

some unifying

needed, and here she has created

relationships of colour by taking the mauve-blues

through the painting.

Pattern and
viewpoint
(Right)

n@ m

The viewpoint

you choose for your still


/(/<

'

Most

depends on your
XL TfHJ^HflL

personal approach and


interests.

"^

l^^<^E&

in

extent,

Life with
(oil)

Aubergines

iljfejp

'"'^L'

^Klflt^

Wood has exploited this


element to the

creates an uneasy feeling

is

^\iH

r*^-

lifes

with a culinary theme are a

choice: for example, fruit

odd

juxtapositions for this very reason.

Robert Maxwell

M>

Still

common

and vegetables

placed on a kitchen table.

But the theme can be simply one of


full,

colour or shape. For example, you might

choosing and arranging

choose a group of predominantly blue

the objects so that they

echo the bold motifs of


the fabric

common

the Surrealist painters used

level. In Still

An

group of objects with nothing

ill-assorted

creating a clearer pattern

than at eye

have some kind of theme,

with the objects linked by association.

above, objects become

some

still lifes

theme

Seen from

flattened to

Choosing

- notice

^^

the

(^S^S^^S

Wb\

pansy, which appears

objects, placed

for contrast.

on

a yellow or pink cloth

You might

be attracted by

the vertical emphasis of bottles, or long-

both as living flower and

stemmed flowers

as printed pattern.

interested in an arrangement of plates

in a tall vase, or

and bowls which make


intersecting circles
Still lifes

Composing with
(Below
in

right)

light

Light and

vital role

any still life illuminated by natural light, and in

Lilies

and Straw Hat

shapes

made by

the

(oil)

by Timothy Easton the

shadow of the window

bars

and

flowers are as important as the objects themselves.

The use of carefully

controlled, pale colours, with the

only dark tone being the foliage glimpsed through the

window,
which

is

beautifully expresses the

further illustrated

can also

one. Artists

shadow can play a

theme of light,

by the hat

in the

and

a series of

ovals.

tell

a story, or hint at

may choose

to their hearts, or

be

a subject close

something which has

associations for them, such as favourite

books, or a hat worn during a successful


holiday.

Van Gogh, when he was

working

as a peasant in the fields,

painted a pair of battered, work-stained


boots, which spoke volumes about the

desperation of his

life at

the time.

foreground sunlight by association.

painting.

You

are not at the

mercy of the

weather, as you are with landscape; indeed,


still life is

something you can always

back on when

it is

fall

too cold, wet or dark to

paint anything else.

Arranging the group


It

must be said that

option.

You have

still life is

to take as

not an easy

much

care over

choosing and arranging the objects as you

do over painting them. Cezanne, who


produced some of the most beautiful
lifes in

still

the history of art, sometimes spent

days over the

Try to aim

initial

arrangement.

at a natural-looking

of the objects; although


artificial,

it

still life is

grouping
highly

should not look that way. Let


171

Floral
(Left)

still life

The foreground can be a problem

in floral

groups, as the spaces beside and in front of the vase

can become dull and empty

some way.

if they

are not filled in

Common devices are to introduce some

other object or place one or tivo of the blooms in


front of the vase,

and in Ben Baker's colourful


he has done both.

Life with Flowers (oil)

n>

Still

He has

treated the foreground very broadly, however, so that


the objects are

mere suggestions and do not detract

from the painting's centre of interest, which

is

emphasized by the use of a dark background.

some of the

objects overlap, but be careful

how you do this. Avoid obscuring one

for example,

is

pointing outwards instead of

inwards towards the other objects, the eye

shape with another or leaving too small a

Unusual treatments
(Above)

will naturally follow its direction.

life

part of one showing, as this can create an

awkward, cramped

Consider too the spaces between things wide gaps between objects may make them
look disconnected, in which case some kind
of link needs to be established. Depending

on the source of light, shadows can provide


a link

device

between objects; another well-known


is

drapery, often seen in

still lifes,

It

start to paint, or to

drawing.
object

is

You may now

too

that there are too

of objects to unite them.

adjustments;

good

many

it is

objects

chose

of onions for

terms

this

bunch

his acn'lic

painting Red Onions

or

because he liked their

crowded

rich colours, but their

shapes suggested

movement, so he has

better to get things right

before you have gone too far than to paint

something you don't

painting,

notice that one

it,

new

in

treatment. Gerry Baptist


initially

You can always make

to the front.

to the group. In any

preliminary

area of background on both sides of

approaches,

both of composition and

giving you a featureless

tall,

curving round behind, between and in front

Drapery also gives a sense of movement

make your

when you

that the

is

you choose can

often suggest

often happens that a group that has taken

time to set up causes problems

painting

objects

Planning the painting

feeling.

One of the

exciting aspects of still-

arranged them

way

in

such a

that they appear to

like.

be rushing across the

whatever the subject, the composition

is

Once

satisfied

with the arrangement, you

arranged to lead the eye from one part of

must consider how you are going

the picture to another. For th's reason,

on the canvas. This means deciding what

avoid placing objects so that they "look"

angle to paint from,

out of the picture.

and how much space

If

the spout of a teapot,

to place

what viewpoint
to leave

it

to take

around the

paper, an effect he has

played up by using
strong shadows and
long, sweeping

brushstrokes.

Found

still life

(Below) Although most

still-life

result o/ planning, occasionally

paintings are the

something makes a

natural painting subject. Examples could be clothes


left

on a

comer of a room - indeed

chair, shoes in the

almost anything

in

your home environment. In

painting, Decorated Tree, Robert


studies shapes, colours

associated with

objects. If

and

still-life

his oil

Maxwell Wood

textures not normally

painting.

your group

the front of the table

is

is

on a table top and

in the picture,

it is

best to avoid a straight-on view, as this


creates a horizontal in the foreground.

Horizontal lines give a static impression,

whereas diagonals lead the eye inwards, so


study the group from different angles.
It

can be interesting to look

down

slightly

on the group you are painting, particularly

when

circles (plates

Outdoor

and bowls) are an

important part of the theme. From a high


viewpoint, you see a rounder ellipse

term for a

do

circle in perspective

at eye level.

- the

- than you

The viewpoint you choose

depends very much on what you are


painting; experiment with high and

it

helpful to settle

all

that

is

still life

still life

can be broadly defined as anything

not capable of movement, so

it

follows that

you may find ready-made groups outside as well as

in

your home. Stones on a beach, plant pots, a group of


chairs in a garden, or glasses

and bottles on a

cafe

some of the many possibilities. In East


(oil) Karen Raney has found an exciting

table are just

low

viewpoints as well as different angles.


artists find

(Above)

Some

these

End Pipes

and unusual subject which has allowed her

to explore

strong contrasts of tone and relationships between

shapes and colours.

questions before they begin to paint by

making a

scries of

group, seen

in

rough sketches of the

various ways.
173

Focus

Still-life

M<

Demonstration

James Horton regards himself primarily

as a landscape painter, although he also

paints portraits

and often turns to

still life

it

He enjoys still-life painting


him

He works in

on a small

on canvases he

scale, painting

which

will help to

colour scheme. For the


initial

drawing,

made

with a fine sable brush,

over board. They are then primed with a

he uses an equally

recipe consisting mainly of

whiting and rabbit-skin

Yr

establish the overall

oil

prepares himself by stretching cotton fabric

home-made

with

yellow ground colour

work out ideas on

to

composition and colour.

it

wash of water colour.

He has chosen a warm

allows him total control of the

subject, enabling

working on

priming, he tints
a

because

The artist

white canvas, so, after

when the weather does not permit outdoor


landscape work.

(Right)
dislikes

warm

red-brown.

size.

Light and dark tones must be related in the same

way, and the highlight of the grapefruit provides

a key for judging the strength of colours needed for


the apple.

(Above)

He begins

by placing brush-

strokes over the entire


picture surface,

working

up the foreground and


background at the same
time in order to relate

one colour to another.

Here, a painting knife

but to scrape

the colours

it

off,

is

used, not to apply paint

thus blending and softening

on the edge of the plate.

The pattern of the plate

is

drawn

in

with a fine

sable brush. This stage also demonstrates the

positive role played

by the coloured ground, patches

of which show through the

light, cool,

neutral colours.

With the pattern


complete, highlights

have been added to the


plate,
still

but the ground

is

and

visible in places

will not be completely

covered, even in the


final stages.

W/

Too much

detail in

7,the background
would detract from
in the

that

foreground, so the

artist suggests the

pattern with small dabs

of the brush. The pattern


of holes

in the

the basket

weave of

was created

by working small
brushstrokes of light

green over the brown.

m
/Kl

For the

final details

on the basket, the painting

turned upside-down to give better access to

area,

and a fine sable brush

lines

of the weave.

is

used to touch

is

this

in the

(Below) In the finished painting, small patches of


the coloured ground are

still

clearly visible,

particularly in the blue-green foreground. This has


the effect of linking this area with the

warm

colours

of the background and objects.

175

Focus

Landscape

Landscapes need not be painted on the spot

made from sketches


and photographic reference but when
weather permits there is nothing more

many

fine paintings are

enjoyable than working direct from the


subject out of doors.

Both

oil

and

acrylic are excellent for

outdoor work. With

acrylic, of course, the

paints could dry out

on your

you are halfway through


Stay-Wet

but,

palette, this will

advantage

is

palette before
if

you use

not happen. The

that the painting will be

completely dry

when you want to

stop

work; you can also work on paper instead


of canvas or board

if

you

prefer.

With

oil,

Leading the eye


(Above) A good landscape gives you the feeling that
you can walk

into

and around it, so

the artist

must

consider ways of leading the eye into the picture.

common

device

is

to use a curving path or river

travelling

from foreground to middle

Vineyard

in the

used the

lines

Languedoc

(oil)

of the vineyard

distance,

and in

Madge Bright has

in the

same way, so

that

they act as signposts towards the painting's centre of


interest: the

group of houses.

Restricting the space


(Left) The word landscape generally conjures up an
image of a wide panorama or perhaps a dramatic

mountain view, but anything that is out of doors


a landscape; for those
countryside, parks

is

who have no access to open

and gardens are an

excellent

choice. Restricting himself to a landscape in

microcosm

in his

View of Back Gardens, Ben Baker

has achieved a lively composition in which he has

explored contrasts of colour, shape and texture.

Human

interest

(Opposite) Another

painting

is

way of drawing the eye

into the

to introduce a figure or figures in the

middle distance, as David Curtis has done

Peppy field over Misson

(oil). It is

in

a curious fact that,

because of the way we identify with them, fellow


humans always attract attention. The other function

of figures

in

landscape

is

to provide scale; here they

emphasize the wide expanse of poppy-strewn

field.

Creating space
(Right)

if

you arc

[hunting a small section

of landscape

close-up

in

you do not have

to

worry unduly about


creating a sense of space,

but in a panoramic

landscape like Timothy


Easton's

The Ploughed

Edge

it is

done

this in

ways:

He has

vital.

two main

firstly

by

exploiting the

perspective effect of the

converging

lines

of

ploughing; and secondly

by using paler,

slightly

cooler colours in the


distance.

you

will

carry

always have a wet painting to

home, which can be

the painting

is

large

and

it is

problem
a

if

windy day.

sometimes even professionals get


First

painting should take and, secondly,

much

Planning the picture


One of the commonest faults

in paintings

done on the spot is poor composition -

it

wrong.

you must decide what format your

how

of the view you should include.

A further advantage of working with


on paper

acrylic

is

that

you can

let

the

composition grow "organically". Without

much

time for planning, because of

changing

light

easily occur;

and so on, mistakes can

when you

are well into a

painting you often find that you should

have included a certain


for example, or

made

instead of horizontal.

tree

The answer

a larger piece of paper than

leave generous margins

work;

this

on the

right,

the picture vertical


is

to take

you need and

when you

begin to

allows you greater flexibility and

the freedom to

make any

necessary changes.

You cannot do this with

oil

paintings,

unfortunately, because they have to be


fitted into the

board.

It is

confines of your canvas or

wise to take several working

surfaces with

you so that you can decide

which one best

suits the subject.

Using a
177

The foreground
problem area

(Right) This can be a

in

landscape

paintings. Because this part of the view

you

it is

to treat

is

closest to

seen in sharp focus, so the natural tendency

is

however, be unwise, as

it

in detail. This can,

it

can act as a block, discouraging the viewer from


looking beyond

M/

Easton's
the

Dwarf

it

into the picture. In

Firs

and Cottage

(oil)

Timothy
he has solved

problem by contriving a strong focal point - the

figure in front of the

house so that although the

foreground flowers claim attention


travels over

first,

the eye then

and beyond them.

Cropping the
foreground
(Above) Sometimes
the foreground in a

viewfinder
to decide

is

good

also a

how much

This device

easily

is

idea, to help

you

of the scene to include.

made by

cutting a

rectangular aperture in a piece of card; you

introduce the view

it

up

at different angles

from your eyes

and

at

different distances

to isolate various sections of the landscape.

distance, but

it

can be

the raison d'etre of the

painting, as in Gerry
Baptist's

On the Coast

of Provence (acrylic). In

This can help

when you

are faced with a

employed a

traditional

of bringing them

to the front

of the

picture, while everything

J recedes.

to orchestrate the painting so that

set

up a

series of visual signposts

towards the focal point. These

will

although you

may

centre of interest

curves invite the eye to follow them, and a

lies.

exist,

device frequently used in landscape

The focal point


Most landscapes have

a centre of interest,

Examples of an obvious

is

drawn.

focal point

might

include a group of buildings in a landscape,


a tall tree, or

some people

sitting

down

having a picnic people always grab our


attention because

we

lines or

is

curving path leading from the foreground in

How obvious this is depends on the scene.

effect

a lake or river, or a light

darker ones.

have to exaggerate them. Diagonal

that of cropping the trees

the picture. This has the

probably already

or focal point, to which the eye

and bottom of

hill,

decide which bit to focus on, or where the

compositional device,

at the top

Try

a pattern

wide panoramic view and you cannot

order to create space

and recession he has

tree set against

you

making

field

middle distance, a particular

gleam of light on

order

beyond, with a focal


point in the middle

in

might be a ploughed
in the

landscape serves to

can then hold

A less obvious focal point

fellow humans.

identify with

our

towards the middle distance - where the


focal point

is

often located. Alternatives are

receding lines of trees, lines of ploughed


fields or the stripes

Do
If

not

make

of a newly cut hay

field.

the foreground too dominant.

the focal point

is

in the

the far distance, too

foreground will

middle distance or

much

detail in the

detract from

it.

Controlling tones

Creating space

(Left) Patrick Cullen's

is first

Landscape

landscape will not look convincing

in

Provence

and foremost a

unless you give the impression of space,

painting of light, with

and there are two principal ways of doing

the landscape illuminated

this.

One

is

perspective correctly. Everyone

soft,

pearly glow

of early morning. This

knows

reduces contrasts of

become smaller

that things

by the

to ohserve the effects of linear

the further

ffl,

tone, so the relative

away

they are, but

or a far-away lake

you

fail

easy to under-

it is

You know

estimate this effect.

is

a certain size

to realize that

it is

and darkness

of colours must be

and

controlled extremely

actually tiny in

your picture.

relation to the rest of

lightness

that a field

carefully.

there are

It is

Notice that

no dark colours

even

wise to measure such landscape features

here

when you make your

foreground

preliminary

it;

in this

and

whispers of golden

arm's length and slide your finger and

thumb up and down

tree

railings are pale

drawing. Hold a pencil or paintbrush up


at

the

brown and green, and

way you

the composition

is

size of the distant lake

can establish the

unified by the repetition


in

comparison, for example, with a

which

is

of delicate mauves,
yellows and golds.

The other way

to create space

is

to use

Tiny particles of dust

aerial perspective.
in the

field

closer.

atmosphere create an

Light and colour


effect rather

(Below) The effects of light can completely transform

like a series of ever-thickening veils, so

a landscape: colours that looked vivid on a sunny day


that far-away objects are paler than

nearby ones. There

is

may seem flat and dull under an

far less contrast of

tone (light and dark) and the colours

Le Rocher Dongle, Evening

Again, this effect

light as

easy to under-

You know that a

trunk on the other side of a

brown, so you paint


fact,

it

be

will

would be

When

if it

it

much
were

comes

it

that

field is

way

it is

(oil) is

about the landscape

as

much about

itself,

and the artist

tree

landscape features very broadly to give

dark

to the golden evening colours.

full rein

but, in

lighter in tone than

in the

the

has wisely treated both the buildings and the

estimate, particularly for features in the

middle distance.

and

and a high midday

sun are equally striking. Stewart Geddes's lovely

change, becoming cooler and bluer.


is

overcast sky,

differences between evening light

it

foreground.

to far distance, colours

can be very pale, although sometimes


they appear dark
lighter sky.

The

in relation to a still-

contrasts of tone are

minimal, sometimes barely


distinguishable.
lighting

ray of sunshine

up part of a distant

hill

dramatic, but the tonal contrast


relatively limited.

looks
is still

These subtle nuances

of colour and tone can be tricky, but with


practice

you

will

master them.

179

Focus

Landscape Demonstration

Karen Raney

works

in a

is

an experimental

number

artist

who

of media and paints a

variety of different subjects

indeed,

anything which excites her

interest.

Although

she works direct from the subject whenever


possible, she also uses

photographs as an

extensive reference; here she re-creates a

landscape from her

own

photographs, aided

by memories of the place, which she has


painted

many

times. She

is

working

in oil

on a commercially prepared stretched and


primed canvas.

IBrushwork
landscape,

is

an important element

and the

artist

immediately, employing a

in this

has begun to exploit

flat bristle

brush to

it

make

sweeping strokes of paint diluted with turpentine.

Once

the composition has been established with

the diluted paint, she begins to use

thickly,

adding a

little

it

more

linseed oil to the turpentine

and painting darker colours

into the thin washes.

Colours are smeared and blended together with


a fingertip. She likes to

she works, and

oil paint,

move paint around as

which remains wet for a

considerable time, encourages such manipulation.

(Right)

To

create the

a bristle brush

the picture surface

then built up
is

marks

way

from
in

trees,

and twisted slightly. The paint

more solidly all over

used straight

Notice the

rounded blobs of the

0fr

loaded with paint, pushed onto

is

the picture; here

the tube, with

which the

to describe the shapes

is
it

no added medium

artist uses the

brush-

of the roof tiles.

(Above) She takes a


painting than

dictate
to see

less deliberate

some artists,

what she should do

next,

what happens. Here she

approach to

letting the picture

and experimenting

uses upward-sweeping

brushstrokes once more, later modifying them slightly.

(Above) The

now reinforces
works
lines

artist

has wiped into the thin paint

with a rag to create a striated effect, which she


with thick white brushstrokes. She

instinctively, seeing that the

need to be echoed

(Right)

Having

in this

built

sweeping roof

area of the painting.

up the middle ground and

distance, she returns to the foreground

and

introduces darker, richer colours into the roof, using


the side of a flat bristle brush to suggest the
divisions

between the

tiles.

shadowed
Continued

O
181

&/

The distant
which

is

I'illage,

the focal

point of the picture,


left until

now treated in
way as

is

a late stage;

it is

same

the

the rest of the

painting, with bold

brushstrokes describing

and forms.

the shapes

The brushwork
depicting the houses

can be seen clearly here

vertical strokes for the

walls

and horizontal for

the roofs.

The

behind are

more

*^~
w^9

hills

0- "^

now built up

decisively.

-1

/~\

-L

\J

scratches into

>

A.

fingernail

the light paint to reveal a


little

of the darker colour

beneath, which

is

now

completely dry.

11
links

It is

important

to create visual

between one part

of the picture and


another,

and a

little

of

the light green in the

middle ground

is

now

taken into the blue

of the

hills.

pm

"~ *~~-

^ftT*i

<

"

lJ^-^

12

(Right) Strokes

^i

(Above) The finished painting

of thick,

_L

^}

beautifully

light

what

is

illustrates

meant by creating a sense

composition. The eye

and

paint are swept across

of movement

the sky, with sufficient

around

pressure applied to the

foreground roof and by the directional brush work.

broad flat brush

in a

is

led into

the painting by the wing-like shape of the

to

create a series of tiny


ridges in each stroke.

183

Focus

Figures & Portraits


The human

whether painted as a

figure,

portrait, a full-length study, a clothed figure

or a nude, presents a greater challenge to


the artist than any other subject.

A still

may

the ellipse

on

be quite satisfactory even

a vase or plate

top

is

if

life

not right or the table

out of perspective. But in figure

is

we

painting such things do matter

are

all

and

familiar with the general structure

proportions of our fellow humans.


It

has to be said that the

human

figure

is

not easy to portray; the interaction of forms

complex and

is

work

relies

a painstaking

and then

in,

fill it

as

and detailed drawing

but you must think about

the underlying structure


all

the time as

to

make

paints

With

is

oil

and portrait

much as on
does not mean that you must

painting. This

make

subtle. Figure

on drawing

the drawing

you work and be prepared

corrections.

Working

a considerable

in

opaque

advantage here.

you can scrape areas back and

repaint them, while with acrylic


easily correct the

you can

drawing by overpainting.

Studying the subject


Drawing the nude

is

one of the best ways of

studying the figure, and even


to paint only portraits

pays to join a

however.

if

you intend

and clothed

life class. It is

figures

it

not essential,

What is important

is

to practise

drawing people whenever you can. Ask


friends to pose for you;

draw yourself

take a sketchbook with

in the mirror;

Form and brushwork


(Above) As the

you and make

studies of people walking

in the street, sitting at cafe tables,

reading

or simply relaxing.

Whether you

are painting a head-and-

nude
;r

figure study, never lose sight of the

that

you are

also producing a picture.

and head are complex and

how to achieve a

likeness

tendency to draw

lines

satisfactory,

destroy the form. In

of the

sitter,

there

is

with a small brush. This

however, as hard

Ted Gould's Sue

lines
(oil),

is

can
the

features, although perfectly convincing, are described

with the

shoulders portrait, a full-length portrait or

face

even before you have considered

seldom

Planning the picture

human

difficult to paint,

minimum of detail and no

use of line,

and the forms of face, hair and clothing are


up with broad directional brushwork.

built

Form and colour


(Right)

As a general

are cooler, that

is,

rule, the

colours in

shadows

bluer or greener, than those in

the highlight areas,

and Gerry

Baptist has skilfully

ex/dotted this wamtlcool contrast to give solidity to


the head in his acrylic Self Portrait. Although all the

colours are heightened, they are nevertheless based

on the actual colours of flesh, and the picture


successful in

its

own

is

0fr

terms.

Painting

monochrome

in

(Left) In this

unusual

oil painting, Self Portrait at

32 Years, Gerald Cains has taken a diametrically


opposite approach to Gerry Baptist and ruled out

colour altogether, while using highly expressive

brushwork. The

effect

is

extraordinarily powerful.

can be a useful discipline to work


as

it

in

It

monochrome,

helps you to concentrate on composition

and

tonal balance without the distraction of colour.

Colour and mood

In a portrait, particularly, the desire to

(Left) Portraiture involves

achieve a likeness can be so all-consuming

you may forget about

that

all

than simply achieving a likeness

the other
i

same

the

paintings.

applies to figure

The model

is

vWH|

~yi*t

aspects of the painting.

Much

-*

~*~

still,

the shapes of noses, eyes

~^^^H

would not

fit in.

Too much

a feeling of atmosphere and

l^^wT'^T

with

attention

express something of the

vl

David a sense of melancholy and

is

introspection

in

background. This
figure

but

it

is

the

most

difficult thing to paint,

is

one

in

- a good

which everything

is

conveyed

through the sombre colours and


heavy, downward-sweeping

understandable, as the

gives a disjointed effect

composition

H|

g jfk

the picture, such as the


is

sitter's

character. In Karen Raney's

given to the figure and not enough to any

other elements

and

mouths. The best portraits give

the feet cropped off at the ankles because

they

through correct observation of

igfc

often placed right in

the middle of the canvas or, worse

more

J.

brushmarks as well

i SPA

is

MM

sitter's intens*

as

by the

but inward-

looking gaze.

^m\\\\\\a\\\\

i,

given equal consideration.

It

IP
IKS

Composing

figure study
(Left) In a figure paint-

ing

you must decide

where

to place the

figure, ivhether or

to crop part of it,

W/

not

and

model, thus

whether you need to

slightly to the front of the

introduce other elements

lighting three-quarters of the face

as a balance. Peter

If

Clossick 's Helen Seated


gives the impression of

spontaneity because

you can control the

and body.

lighting set-up,

think also about the strength of the

Those

who paint out of doors will

light.

have

it is

so boldly and thickly

noticed that bright sunlight casts very

painted, but

positive,

it is

composed,

carefully

light

with the diagonal thrust

of the figure balanced by


verticals

heavy shadows. Although strong

can create dramatic effects

and many

artists deliberately

not suitable for

and opposing
a

all

young woman or

in a portrait

choose

it, it is

subjects. In a painting of
child, for

example, a

diagonals in the

diffused light

background.

is

more

suitable, as this brings

out the subtlety of the flesh tones.


Before you start to paint, consider

you are going


looks

stiff

A central placing generally


Heads

as does a direct,

Over-hard shadows on one side of the face


can also be lightened by using a reflector.

by the side of your

side

more space

towards which the

is

often

is

little

and

it

will

preserving tonal contrast.

how
Painting children

much space to leave above the head. Too


much and the head can appear pushed
down; too

(Right) Painting an adult

engaged

seem cramped.

in

some

typical

pursuit can enhance

your interpretation, but

Lighting

in the

Lighting

is

is

vital in portraiture

work. The play of

and

figure

and shade not only

remain

describes the forms but also provides the

all-important element of tonal contrast.

you look
light,

it

at a face

looks

depth, but

if

flat

added

If

look

under a harsh, direct

and

the light

comes from one

side

it

The form of

anting most favoured for po rrait


e

work

is

and

called three-quarter lighting

tion

comes from

<

ne side,

to

seldom

for long,

which they

when
posed. In her

delightful, light- suffused

study o/Samantha and


Alexis

others into shadow, immediately creating a

it

stiff and self-

artificially

throwing

interesting configuration.

still

conscious

dull with very little

strikes parts of the face while

more

case of children

a question of

necessity; they

light

face, giving

touches of colour to the shadow while

sometimes

cropped by the canvas edge. Consider

opposite the

back onto the dark side of the

left

sitter is

looking, and the near shoulder

sitter,

source of light, you can bounce some light

one shoulder thus appears higher than the

on the

By-

propping up a white board or piece of paper

viewed from a three-quarter angle;

other. In this case,

as a net curtain

or tracing paper placed over the window.

usually placed slightly off-centre, with the


sitter

you are

in portraits are

and unnatural,

face-on approach.

If

window, you might consider

some form of diffuser, such

head or figure

to place the

on the canvas.

how

painting by a

(oil)

Karen Raney

has worked rapidly to


capture a

moment of

communication between
her two young subjects.

still

THE FIGURE

IN

CONTEXT

In a head-and-shoulders portrait, the

background

is

frequently

vague and undefined

in

left

attention on the face, but a

must be put

deliberately

order to focus

whole

figure

into a believable context, so

some of the room should be


you are painting the nude

included.

If

in a life class,

you may not have much control over

background and other elements, but


clothed figure painted in your

for a

own home

or theirs, you will have a wider choice.


Particular props are often used in

portraiture to help describe the character

and

interests of the sitter.

A writer or

someone fond of reading might be shown


with a selection of favourite books, or a

musician with his or her instrument. Try


to convey something of the atmosphere

surrounding your

sitter.

Full-length portraits
(Above) When you intend to paint the whole figure
rather than just a

head and shoulders, you must

consider what other elements to include

and what

props will help to enhance your description of the


sitter. If you

are painting the subject in their

home, you can show them

in familiar

and with personal possessions,


done
is

in his lovely Interior

as

David Curtis has

with Jacqueline

both a portrait and a visual essay on

Outdoor

(oil),

which

light.

settings

(Right) Light

Easton's

own

surroundings

is

also an important element in

The Summer Read and,

has described the

sitter

like

David

more by posture,

Timothy
Curtis, he

clothing

and

general shape than by detailed depiction of features,

indeed the features are barely


observation, you

visible.

will find that

it is

to paint a recognizable likeness

showing the face at

With careful

perfectly possible

of a person without

all.

187

Focus

Portrait Demonstration
Elizabeth
portraits

Moore
and

paints landscapes,

still lifes,

working

in all the

(Right)

pencil

painting media, but with a tendency

pastel,

towards

oil.

She often works from

ones, which leave her free to interpret an

initially

own way.

This

oil

two

and one

in

in oil

were made to

explore possible

photographs, particularly black-and-white

idea in her

The

sketches,

painting

compositions and work


out ideas about the

was

general colour scheme


for the portrait.

based on a photograph, but the

colours are the product of her imagination

and experience.

The

artist

is

working on primed

and stretched canvas,


which she has coloured
with a rich yellow-

brown

to provide a

foundation for the flesh


tints.

She begins with a

brush drawing

in green,

the colour to be used


for the dress.

(Right)
is

The deep,

painted first,

needed for the

face.

working blind in a

in

rich purple

of the background

order to assess the colours

Without a

sense,

live sitter, the artist

and must

to each other rather than to reality.

is

relate the colours

(Above) At

this

stage in the

painting, the artist takes

a break for assessment,

standing well back from


her easel to check

whether the colours

work when viewed


from a

She proceeds to lay


the face, neck

lightest

down patches of colour on

and garment, concentrating on

and darkest

tones.

pure as possible, doing the

the

distance.

Having used a modified version of the


background purple for the shadowed eye

sockets,

To avoid these

She keeps the colours as

she builds up the light side of the face.

minimum of mixing and

pinks merging into the darker colour, she places them

employing an unusually large palette of colours to

carefully with a small pointed bristle brush, whit b

capture the subject accurately.

gives

more control than a

flat

brush.

Continued

___
189

7
in

In

any portrait, but


one

particularly

which the subject

is

looking straight ahead at


the viewer, the eyes are
the focal point; the eyes

and eyelids

are defined

carefully here with


delicate touches

of

a filbert brush.

The face

is

sufficiently well-established for

the artist to turn her attention to other parts

of the painting, and a small round brush, held

lightly

towards the end of the handle, traces the pattern

on the

dress.

The purple of the


background was too

warm a colour and


needed some variation,
so deep blues are

introduced. In the classic


fat

over lean method, the

paint

now used is

and oilier than

thicker

in the

early stages.

1-i

The top of the

_L eye socket

-'I

JL

is

f\
\J

The green of the

dress,

parts of the face

and

darkened with deft

neck,

touches of a small brush.

clothing are linked by a

Although the painting

is

which

the deep

is

mirrored

shadow on

in

the

repeated in the hair, so that the head and

common

colour.

is

nearing completion,

much of the ground


colour has been

left

uncovered, and the small

dabs of pink, red and


green on the face remain
separate

and unblended.

^i

*\

(Opposite)

One

_L Zmd composition
are

made

is

to be broken,

of the golden rules of

to avoid

and the

symmetry, but rules

artist

has deliberately

flouted them to produce a painting which has almost


the quality of an icon.

The central placing of the head

on the canvas and the solemn outward gaze impart a


sense of strength

and dignity

to the image.

191

Introduction

About Pastels
Pastel

and

is

unique

in that

it is

medium.

a painting

It

both a drawing

tends to be

associated with drawing because the

colours are not applied with a brush, but


the

medium's malleability and richness of

colour invite a painterly approach.

Many of

today's artists exploit this effect in pastel to

produce works which at


almost

first

sight look

like oil paintings.

Pastel

is

rapidly

becoming one of the

most favoured painting media, vying with


watercolour for popularity.
reasons for this

is

of the

probably that pastel sticks

simply look so beautiful

boxed

One

sets of pastels in

- open one

of the

an art shop and you

will see a rich array of colours,

which seem

to offer a direct invitation to the artist.

tube of paint

is

poor thing by comparison

because you can't see the colour until you

have squeezed

it

out.

JAMES

CRITTENDEN
Summer Hillside
(Left) Pastel

is

often

associated with delicate


colours, hence the term
"pastel shades ", hut this

powerful landscape

shows

that considerable

depth of tone can be


achieved by laying one
colour over another. The
artist

has given a lovely

feeling

of life and energy

by the way he has used


the pastel strokes; in the
trees, particularly, the

effect

is

very

much

brushstrokes in an
acrylic painting.

like
oil

or

PATRICK CULLEN
Window in Provence
(Opposite) The colours are also built up thickly in this
painting, hut the technique

is

short pieces of pastel used to

very different, with

make broader marks. To

create the gentle but luminous colours, the artist has


restricted himself to light

them

carefully,

and mid-tones,

and changing

controlling

the direction of the

strokes to give variety to the different surfaces.

KEN PAINE
Head of a Young Woman
(Right) This artist exploits the directness

and

expressive qualities of pastel in his portraits.

He

works with great

by

rapidity, usually beginning

building up the tonal structure with a

"underpainting"

made with broad strokes of short

lengths of pastel. Linear definition

accents are

paper

left until

is still

monochrome

and bright colour

the final stages.

The coloured

visible in areas.

MAUREEN JORDAN
Rose and Geranium Textures
(Below) The artist has exploited the whole range

of pastel techniques

combining

in this vivid

solid, thickly

places, with fine-line

flowers

and petals.

can become dull


decisive

marks

in

and lively picture,

applied colour, blended in

drawing to pick out individual

In the foreground, an area which

a floral group, a series of strong,

creates

its

own pattern and interest.

Pros and cons


The immediacy of pastel
These

sticks of colour

also appealing.

is

form

a direct link

between your hand and the paper. You


don't have to mix colours on a palette and

you need no brushes. Like any drawing

medium,

pastels are responsive, easy to

manipulate and quick to use, which makes

them

ideal for

outdoor work and rapid

effects; but because of their loose, crumbly

texture and brilliance of colour

- pastels

are

almost pure pigment - they can also be built

up thickly

you

in layers just as paints can.

will see

paintings

As

from the small gallery of

shown

medium and

here, pastels are a versatile

there are

many

different

ways

of using them.

No medium
those

may

who

is

perfect,

however, and

are not accustomed to pastels

experience some problems until they

become

familiar with techniques involved,

and learn what

pastels can

and cannot do.


195

GEOFF
M ARSTERS
Landscape
Auvergne
(Left)

up

When

pastels,

he

in

the

first

took

Marsters was

determined to use the

medium

as a painting

rather than a drawing

technique,

and through

constant experiment he

has evolved his

own

methods of working. He
achieves his rich, dense

colours by working on
abrasive (pumice) paper,

rubbing the pastel into


it,

fixing

and then

applying further layers

on

top.

He loves the

brilliance

of pastels, and

exploits this quality by

"keying up " the colours.

One

that you

of the advantages of pastels

do not have to pre-mix colours can

work

against you.

Any mixing has

done on the working surface


not possible to

is

as

you can with

make

mistakes.

easily,

try

paints,

it is all

pastels

although you can correct mistakes to

some extent by laying more colours on


If

it

you can frame and glaze

carefully, laying

top.

it

flat

it is

vital to store

it

with pieces of tissue

paper on top.
Despite these minor problems, pastel

too easy to

You cannot erase

they rub up against another

your work immediately,

advance

in

if

surface. Unless

also

to be

but, because

out mixes

especially

is

a wonderful

have taken

it

medium

to use.

Few who

up, whether amateur or

professional, feel inclined to

abandon

it.

you do too much of this, however, you

will clog the

paper surface and

with a tired-looking,

One

muddy

may end up

painting.

of the greatest exponents of pastel,

the 18th-century portrait painter

Maurice

Quentin de La Tour, mentioned the


possibility of spoiling

work by over-mixing;

he had one or two other complaints, too

about the dust generated by working with


pastels, for

that

it is

example.

not a

It

medium

keep their floors clean.

hands too,

has to be admitted
for those
It is

who

like to

hard on the

become covered with


you pick up a stick.

as they

colour as soon as

A more serious problem is the fragility of


pastels, in particular soft pastels.

The

sticks

break very easily under pressure, added to

which

it is

very easy to smudge finished

work. Even when sprayed with


>e

pigments tend to

fall

fixative,

off the paper,

PATRICK CULLEN
Casa

df.

Lido

(Left) In this

atmospheric

painting, the

approach

colour
in the

is

more

to

naturalistic than

landscape opposite, but

there are

some similarities

in

technique, with the pastel

again applied thickly and


layered in places. Cullen
usually works either on

sandpaper, or on heavy

water colour paper on

which he first

lays a

ground of water colour.

GEOFF M ARSTERS
Interior of Boathouse
(Right) This subject, with

its

angularity

might not seem suitable for a

of detail,

medium such
better for

as pastel,

broad

effects,

which

is

and profusion

soft,

crumbly

usually considered

but the artist has treated

it

with great assurance. If you look closely you can see


that the lines
free; the

and edges

are in fact quite loose

impression of sharp linearity

the strong contrasts of tone

is

and

created by

and colour.

JACKIE

SIMMONDS
Still Life with
Blue Spanish
Glass
(Left) In this gentle

and

tranquil painting the


artist

has

made clever

use of pastel's capacity


for creating a variety of
textures.

For the glass,

deep blues have been


blended to imitate the

smoothness of the
material, but the central

area of the plate has

been

left slightly

rough,

while in the background


several colours have

been dragged

lightly

over one another.

197

___

J.

JACKIE SIMMONDS
Tea on the Patio
(Above)

TTn's delightful

painting probably comes closest to most people's idea of

pastel the colours are light

and fresh,

handling

however, these qualities owe more to the

is

delicate. In fact,

in controlling the

medium than

to

its

in

keeping with the airy subject, and the

inherent properties;

it

artist's skill

needs a light touch and

a sound knowledge of both colour and technique to achieve such

effects.

ELIZABETH MOORE
Still Life

With Pears and Plums

(Below) For this


it is

still life,

the artist has

related to oil paint, the

medium

controllable than soft pastel. Here

it

worked

in oil pastel,

which she

likes

because

she uses most frequently. She also finds

it

more

has allowed her to build up deep, rich colours

as well as very subtle effects, notably the

bloom on

the plums.

MAUREEN JORDAN
Pansy Textures
(Above) The characteristic crumbly texture of pastel

can benefit from contrast with a smoother medium,

and here

the artist has used pastel in combination

with acrylic. The acrylic underpainting has also

allowed her to establish deep, rich colours from


the outset without a heavy build-up of pastel.

JAMES CRITTENDEN
Orange Grove in the Evening
(Left)

As

skilfully

in

most of his pastel paintings,

this artist

combines the drawing and painting

qualities

of pastel to produce an interpretation of the landscape


that

is

both

appear at

realistic

first

sky and grass - are


overlaid lines
stick,

and highly personal. What

glance to be solid areas of colour - the


in fact a

complex network of

and marks made with

the tip of the

while the leaves of the trees are expressed by

rapid calligraphic dashes and squiggles.

PIP

CARPENTER

The Sun-Dappled Table


(Right) This painting,

worked on a

dark, greenish

paper, gives the initial impression of oil pastel, but in


fact

is

soft pastel pressed

hard into the paper and

fixed between stages to allow one colour to be laid

over another. The

by the
the

effect

of the

artist

light

was particularly excited


on the

different surfaces

volume of the fruit and the flat plane of the

ornamental iron

table.

JUDY MARTIN
Bandstand Series
(Left) Vivid

colour was

of primary importance
in this painting,

and here,

too, acrylic has been

used

in

combination

with pastel. The


underpainting, which set
the colour-key for the
picture,

was mainly

in

shades of red and


yellow, with contrasting

colours of pastel applied


Ott

top in vigorous

strokes.

You can

sec this

effect clearly in the sky.

where strokes of blue


pastel overlay bright

red paint.

199

& Equipment

Materials

Pastels
There are four main types of pastel: soft
(also

known

pastel pencils

made

in the

and

oil pastels. All pastels

same way. Ground pigment

bulked out with a

"filler"

held together with

some

traditional

graphite

as chalk pastels), hard pastels,

one being

are
is

such as chalk and

is

softness

on

somewhere

binder

is

pastel pencils

lie

The colour ranges

in the middle.

are similar to those of hard pastels.

Oil pastels

tragacanth.

in

combination with

ordinary pastels, as they are bound with

used

in the

manufacture

rather than

gum. They

are,

capable of very exciting and painterly

Although the

texture.

effects.

What

is

particularly intriguing

majority of pastel painters use soft pastels,

about them

you may

"melted" with turpentine or white

form

find hard pastels

a useful

complement

and

pastel pencils

a finer consistency.
easily

dip a brush moistened with

turpentine into the sticks of colour and

more binder and have

They do not break

and can be sharpened

for detailed

spirit,

then spread across the paper with a brush.

to these.

Hard pastels
pastels contain

that the colour can be

is

You can even


Hard

OIL PASTELS

and are

excellent alternative to soft pastels

pigment, hence their brilliance of colour,

and powdery

oil

however, an

of soft pastels, which are almost pure

fragility

any

sort of binder, the

gum

Soft pastels
little

will repel

top. In terms of

and hardness,

These can't be used

Very

and

slightly greasy

pastel colour laid

work. Some

so

to a fine point

artists

use the side

of a hard pastel stick to block in large areas

apply

it,

just as

you would put on

paint.

The

colours are rather more restricted than


those of soft pastels but, as the

grows

in popularity,

medium

PASTEL PENCILS

1U

manufacturers are

beginning to respond to demand.

of colour in the preliminary stages of a


painting. Because they are less
soft pastels, they are easier to

crumbly than

work over

Different shades
In oil, watercolour

and

acrylic painting,

with other colours as the work progresses.

can manage with very few basic colours

They can

because you can obtain so

also be used

on

their

own, but

in

means of mixing.

general they are better suited to pastel

drawing, where the approach

is

more

linear,

Pastels,

sticks of pastel than

colours

paint.

is

also quite limited, at least in

comparison with

soft pastels,

where the

colour variations are truly awesome.

many more by

however, can't be

premixed, so you will need

than to pastel painting. The range of

gives

Choosing

you

you

many more

you would tubes of

a range of colours

which

sufficient scope for colour

matching, without incurring vast expense,

can be a problematical business. Some

Pastel pencils

ranges contain

These are also more of a drawing than a

so

painting tool, but a few pastel pencils will

form

a useful addition to

your

kit;

they are

ideal for small areas of detail in a painting

as well as for

making preliminary drawings.

literally

where do you
Fortunately

hundreds of colours,

start?

many manufacturers

you here, producing "starter"


to particular subject areas.

help

sets tailored

There

example, large and small boxed

are, for

sets,

Ordinary graphite pencils should never be

range of suitable colours for either

used for underdrawings for pastel, as

landscape or portrait work.

One

with a

of these

CRUMBLED SOFT PASTELS

SOn

PASTELS

could

make

good

starting point.

You can

add more colours when you know which


ones you need

all

pastels are sold singly as

you already know something about

colour, you can simply rely


eye.

on choosing by

you

will notice that

colours bear a
latter

a light or dark version of

are

made

in a

pure hue plus

name and

white and the

latter

light

and dark

by adding black.

Unfortunately, there

or numbering system

As you look through drawers of

pastels,

it is

ultramarine, for example. All pastel colours

versions, the former achieved by adding

well as in boxes.
If

whether

some of the

number. The

but, as

no standard naming

among manufacturers

you become more experienced, you

will be able to pick

want

denotes the tone of the colour,

is

out the colours you

quite quickly.

Variations
There are considerable differences

*
\*r *

in

colour from one range of pastels to

another so,

when you have reached

stage of adding colours,

the

always worth

it's

trying out several different kinds.

Experienced

artists

the different ranges

two

become

familiar with

and often have one or

made only by one


manufacturer. They will thus

favourite colours

particular

have a selection of different makes

in

their "paintbox".

The

textures vary too.

Some

"soft"

pastels are relatively hard, while others

are so

crumbly that they break as soon

as

you pick them up and have to be spread


with your fingers.

You can

find these

things out only by experience, but

it's all

part of the learning process.

I'VMII

IM

N(

II

>

201

& Equipment

Materials

Papers
The choice of paper
in pastel

extremely important

is

work because both

the colour

and

picture.

done on

texture in order to hold the pigment

(this is

known

as "tooth").

If

you work on

too smooth a surface, the pigment will tend


to slip

about and

fall off,

making

work

like to

in

There are two standard papers made for


pastel

work: Ingres and Mi-Teintes

(these

are not manufacturers' names; they describe

Both are made

a type of paper).

wide

in a

range of colours and both have a texture to

it

impossible to achieve any layering of colour


in

who

artists

the minority.

coloured surface; the paper must also have

some

There are

on white paper, but they are very much

the texture play an important part in the


overall effect. Pastels are usually

with the overall colour scheme of the

your picture.

hold the pigment

in place. Ingres

is

a laid

paper, with a pattern of fine, even lines,

while Mi-Teintes has a pattern of dots

Paper and texture shade

slightly

The reason

worth trying both of

is

that

it is

for

working on coloured paper

very difficult, sometimes

impossible, to cover the whole surface with


pastel.

Even

heavily on
still

if

its

you use a

side,

pastel stick fairly

some of the paper

show through. Small

will

jumpy

the colours.

effect, as well as

Thus

it is

colour that either complements or tones

AND 2 MI-TEINTES
AND 4 INGRES

on experience. You can also use the

SANDPAPER

"wrong"

side of Mi-Teintes paper

if

6AND7SANSF1XPAPFR

you

find the grain too obtrusive.

involves

look

like

s\\

more

difficult, as

knowing what your

picture will

is

Some

before you start.

choose a paper which


in

It is

will only

The choice of colour

you

it

devaluing

work on

usual to

these, as

discover which one you like best by hands-

flecks of white

paper appearing between pastel strokes


create a

resembling fine chicken wire.

\TERCOLOUR PAPER

artists

be one of the key

will

colours in the painting, and leave areas of

it

Fixative
Although some
use

it

all,

you

as

little

artists dislike fixative

and

as possible or even not at

need

will certainly

it

when you

thickly in layers,

it is

essential to spray at

regular stages, in order to

new

colours without disturbing earlier

you can

are starting out in pastel. Unless you can

ones.

frame and glaze your pictures

several sparing applications are better

immediately, there

than one heavy one and don't continue

smudging them

if

a serious risk of

is

you

fail

to spray

them

with fixative before putting them away.

Even

after fixing,

you

sheet of tissue paper


to protect

will

still

need a

on top of the picture

it.

The problem with

fixative

is

that

does tend to darken the colours

it

slightly;

Keep the spray

working

until

as light as

you are sure the

You can

either use a bottle of fixative

now "ozone

all

and produce

a suitably fine spray.

They

fefen^ft

are quite expensive, however, so you

might

However,

ingredients are

up

friendly"

the latter are

hairspray as an alternative

built

*>

is

with a mouth diffuser or an aerosol can;

delicate, fragile texture of pastel pigment.

any painting

fixative

completely dry.

you may also lose something of the

for

SPRAY FIXATIVE

overwork with

like to

consider using odourless

much

LIQUID FIX A

IVF

- the

the same.

MOl' H DIFFUSER
I

uncovered. For example, a blue-grey might

while also allowing for heavy build-ups of

be chosen for a landscape or seascape seen

colour.

under a cloudy sky, with parts of the paper

can

left for

like to

and water. Other

areas of sky

work on

artists

snow

scene consisting mainly of blues and bluegreys.

To

start with,

it is

probably best to

choose a neutral mid-toned colour such as


light grey or beige; very bright or very

colours are hard to

what you

manage

until

dark

you know

are doing.

Other papers
You can

also

work on

a variety of papers

not actually designed for pastel work, such


as

medium (Not

surface) watercolour paper

(CP paper). This has


texture,

a very

which breaks up

If
it

you use watercolour paper, you


in

advance by laying

pronounced

the pastel strokes,

watercolour wash. There are also three


special papers

a contrasting colour,

choosing, for example, yellow for a

tint

artists

who

produced for

like to build

pastels, used

by

up colours very

thickly: sandpaper, velour

paper and

Sansfix paper.

Sandpaper

is

the

same

as the fine

sandpaper sold for carpentry and other

work around the home, but the artist's


version comes in much larger sheets. Velour
paper, as its name implies, has a velvety
texture and gives an attractive soft line. The
third alternative, Sansfix (also called

Rembrandt paper depending on who makes


it), is

similar to sandpaper but slightly less

abrasive. There

is

no need

for fixative

when

using any of these papers.


203

Techniques

Line Strokes
Pastel

is

drawing medium as well

painting one, in as
like a pencil,

is

much

as a

as the pastel stick,

bluntness of the point and

the direct intermediary

between your hand and the paper. Although


it is

possible to produce a pastel painting in

which

all

the colours are smoothly blended

and there are no


is

something of a

way

in

which

marks,

visible lines or
lost

this

between drawing and painting

gap

is

the stick.
try to

pastel painting

artists

draw

practise

hold

mark-making, don't

actual objects, but just doodle

or scribble as the

mood takes you. Try

applying heavy pressure at the start of a line

twisting the stick in mid-stroke so that

one of

trails off in a

its

narrow

Although pastel

major attractions. In the 18th century,

when

To

how you

and then tapering off towards the end, or

opportunity, as the

pastel bridges the

wide variety of different marks, depending

on the pressure you apply, the sharpness or

became very popular,

such as Jean-Etienne Liotard and

will find that


lines

if

is

it

tail.

soft

and crumbly, you

you can make surprisingly

you break

a stick in half

fine

and use the

Maurice Quentin de La Tour produced

edge of the broken end. However, hard

works whose smooth

pastels are the ones for really crisp details,

contemporary

oil

nowadays most

finishes

paintings.

emulated

However,

mark-making aspect of pastel,


rein to

its

do

this successfully,

need to develop your

The

tip

own

if

you have these

pastels,

in

addition to soft

experiment with them too.

to give free
(Below) These swatches

Side strokes

energetic, linear quality.

In order to

pastel.

so

artists prefer to exploit the

you

The way

will

"handwriting"

in

of a pastel stick can produce

show the

to cover large areas of the paper in

pastel painting

is

to

sweep the

side of the

stick across the paper, thus depositing a

marks

variety of

that

make with
side

you can
the tip

and

of a pastel stick.

>?

MAUREEN
JORDAN

however, be much more than

Nude Against

of "blocking in"

broad band of colour. Side strokes can,

Pink
A

classic

line

beautiful
combination of

and side strokes can

be seen in

this lively

figure study. Notice

how the artist has

used

the pastel sticks in a


descriptive way, follow-

ing the directions of the

shapes and forms

- they can

and expressive

Many different effects

just a

means

be as varied,

as line strokes.

can be created by

varying the pressure and direction of the


stroke, by laying

by blending

in

one stroke over another,

some areas and by

laying one

linear marks.

The other

factor

strokes, even

length of the pastel stick also affects

the kind of stroke you make. Unless

texture of the paper.

you are

weave.

On

heavily,

try to

make

with the whole length of the

side strokes
stick,

it

will

probably break under pressure anyway,

added

to

which

is

the

texture such

up the

smoother paper, the colour

tough, you will nearly always have to break

you

A heavy

colour deposited only on the top of the

be denser and,

If

affects side

linear ones,

as watercolour paper will break

using hard pastels, which are relatively

the stick.

which

more than

stroke, producing a grainy effect, with the

colour over another.

The

cm (2 in), but you can use


much smaller pieces of pastel than these to
make short, jabbing strokes, similar to
be more than 5

a short length

is

more

controllable. Usually the length should not

it

will

Be warned

you apply

if

means
laid

should be kept
will c|iiickly

will

the pastel

cover the paper thoroughly.

that,

strokes as a

one colour

if

you intend to use

side

of colour mixing, with

over another, the pressure


light initially,

or the paper

become clogged.
205

Techniques

Mixing Pastels
However many

you have - and

pastels

Lightening

professional pastel painters may have

hundreds - you

mix them

to

Nature provides

far

more

IWhen very pale

always have to

will nearly

reproduce the colours you


subtle

pastel colours are

see.

and varied

required,

sometimes

it is

necessary to mix on the

nuances of colour than could be matched by

any manufacturer of

pigments.

artist's

paper surface by adding


white.

Here white

is

laid

over a mid-blue.

Lightening and darkening


colours
As mentioned

made

in light

earlier, all pastel

colours are

and dark versions. Further

The pastel pigments


are gently blended

variations of tone (the lightness and

together with a finger-

darkness of colours) are produced by

tip.

controlling the

amount

apply to the pastel stick


pressure, the

more

Be prepared to use

of pressure you

your fingers a good deal

- the

in pastel

heavier the

solid the colour will be.

work; they are

the best "implements

"

for blending in relatively

However, you

have to

will frequently

lighten or darken colours by mixing.

blue sky, for example,

may

small areas.

A pale

call for a

combination of blue and white, or blue and


pale grey; dark areas of foliage or heavy

shadows may need

a mixture of

Darkening

dark blue

or black with green and other colours.

Black

is

particularly useful in pastel

the colours are brilliant

very dark, so

work

as

and generally not

hard to achieve any depth

it is

Black

a useful

is

colour in pastel

work, as

it

can be

difficult to achieve really

dark colours without

of colour without using black.

Here the black

Methods

One of the best-known


colour mixing

down first,

of mixing
is

blending.

Two or more

specially for the purpose). If


sticks carefully,

almost any colour and tone

is

stump made

you choose

you can achieve


in this

However, although blending

effect,

fingers, a

wool or an implement

called a torchon (a rolled paper

areas of a picture

is

way.

ideal for

where you want a

you should not

with the

techniques for

and rubbed together with your

your pastel

it.

laid

green on top.

colours are applied to the working surface

rag, a piece of cotton

is

rely

on

it

With experience

you

will discover

which colours can be


successfully

darkened

with black. In this case,


the mixture

is

rather

muddy and the light


green has lost much
of its character.

soft

too much,

over-blending gives a bland impression.

Mixing greens
Vo reproduce the wide
range of greens in
nature,

you generally

need to mix colours

to

some extent. Here,


ultramarine

laid over a

is

/f

lemony yellow. The two


colours are blended

produce a

lightly to

strong green. Yellows

and blues can

also be

added to ready-made
greens to modify them.

Mixing oranges
To mix a pure orange,
choose the strongest red

and yellow
set,

and

in

your pastel

lay the yellow

over the red. Even


the

when

two colours are

blended, the darker

colour will dominate


is

if it

laid over the lighter

one. Experiment to

discover the effect of


light-over-dark

and

dark-over-light

mixtures.

Mixing grey
Most pastel ranges
include a

good selection

of greys, but they can


easily be

mixed from

black and white. Other


colours, such as blues

and greens, can be added


for interest.
will

The

result

be affected by the

order in which the


colours are laid: white

over black will produce


a lighter mixture,
particularly if the

colours are only

blended gently.

207

Blending large areas

Feathering

IFor a subtle blend which


would be suitable for a

large

area of sky, blue and black are


first lightly

The rag used

particles

scribbled together.

This

to blend the

colours knocks

some of the

is

a useful

method for

Jftnj

rejuvenating an area of colour

which has become flat and dull, or

of pastel off the paper,

down an

producing a lighter mixture than

for toning

finger blending, which pushes the

colour.

pigment into the paper.

strokes are

Here

over-bright

light feathering

made in green over

an area of red.

light,

unblended application of one

producing an attractive sparkle. Pastels are

colour over another makes a more vibrant

opaque, and so

and exciting alternative because the

over dark ones as well as the other

first

colour shows through the second,

light colours

can be laid

way

round, to modify the tone of colours.

For

many

artists,

attractions of pastel

Choosing paper

quality, with the

Fen Light

one of the main


is its

(Above) Rich painterly

vigorous linear

marks of the

GEOFF
M ARSTERS

pastel stick

effects

have been

achieved by laying one


colour over another,

forming an integral part of the image

When one

colour

is

laid

over another

it

produces a third colour yellow over

brushwork

orange and so on. Thus

it

follows that the

colour of the paper will influence the


applied colour.

If

you choose

mid-toned paper the

a neutral

effect will

It is

yellow over blue pastel.

important to remember

this, as

the
in

two-colour mixture, unless the pastel


applied heavily.

you can

see

On

effects of the

paper colour on mixtures.

method

is

feathering,

A related

which

is

often used to

which has become

flat
It

and

dull

through over-zealous blending.

involves dragging light strokes of colour

over the offending area with the


pastel stick

and provides a

tip

useful

of the

means of

any

modifying colours which do not look quite

is

right.

the following pages

some of the

seen from a distance.

with the work fixed

between

stages.

For the

bright patches of
highlight in the fields,
the artist has used the
tips

of the pastel sticks,

applying thick colour

over softer blends.

yellow on a rich blue paper has a similar

paper always acts as a third colour

this reason,

network of linear strokes which merge

when

revive an area of colour

not

be dramatic, but a light application of

effect to laying

For

colours are sometimes mixed by building up

makes green; red over yellow makes

blue

in painting).

(like

For example, a solid area of red which

seems too bright

in the overall

context of

your painting can be feathered over

lightly

with strokes of green, or a too-blue sky can


be transformed with greys or pale mauves.

Using the paper colour

&

Overlays
(Above) As you can see
pastel

is

show through,
colour.

in these

examples, even

when

applied thickly, small specks of the paper will


affecting the appearance of the applied

The colour of the paper also influences the

way you work,

acting as the "key

"

against which

must judge the first colours you put

on.

black or very dark blue paper makes

it

you

Working on

difficult to

assess the lighter colours, because even a brilliant

green or red will look pale

in

comparison. Until you

have gained some experience,

it is

wise to choose

a mid-toned neutral colour, thus avoiding the


possibility

(Left)

of the base colour working against you.

Thoroughly blended colour mixtures may

In-

necessary in certain areas o\ a painting, hut the effects

of unblended colours are often more exciting. In these

examples you can see

how one colour shows through

another to produce a

lively,

sparkling effect.

209

Techniques

exercise: experimenting
with Different Papers
It

good

requires a

know which
it is

deal of experience to

colour of paper to choose, so

not a bad idea to start by painting the

same subject on two


up

Painting on
toning paper

a simple

different colours. Set

group, making sure

still-life

in

you choose have a

that whatever objects

Working on dark

green paper, chosen


order to represent the

dominant greens of the

predominant colour theme. You might

still life,

decide on blue, in which case you could

with the opposite colour,

paint a bunch of blue flowers, perhaps with

making a

one or two yellow ones


might

set

up

bottles, again

contrast

still life

for contrast.

Or you

consisting of green

with one other colour for

perhaps an orange

or apple.

in

the artist begins

drawing

light

red-brown

Initially,

pastel.

she

concentrates on

covering the green paper


in the

non-green areas,

establishing the

contrasting

warm

browns and blue-whites.


Notice that she does not

attempt to cover the

paper

entirely; the

paper colour still

shows through.

Painting on
contrasting

paper
Paint the

still life first

on a colour which
i

is

the opposite of the

group. This

is

main colour

orange-yellow

if

in the

if

you have decided on

this case the

paper picks up the

you have

chosen blue as the predominant colour, and


red or red-brown

Iln

yellow-brown of the
board, but

is

in

opposition to the greens

green. These opposite colours are called


of the vegetables.

complementaries; there are three pairs of


them: red and green, blue and orange, and
yellow and

violet.

For your second painting,

choose a paper which represents one of the

To counteract

the artist has to use a

colours in the subject. For the blue flower

different selection

group you could use

greens

blue, or a blue-grey.

You should

you don't have

dark or mid-toned
find that

to cover the entire paper

with pastel colour.

the

colour of the paper,

of

and yellows from

those she chose for the


first

painting.

Here the

colour scheme

is

warmer

and the greens are also

Some

artists

always use a complementary

coloured paper, while others prefer one

which tones with the key subject colour.

less

dominant.

Leaving the paper colour to stand for the


mid-tones of the vegetables, she

up both the dark shadows

(the

now builds

pepper

in the

background) and the brighter green highlights.

Touches of the

warm browns and yellows used for the

chopping board have also been introduced into the


vegetables, so that the

green-brown theme runs

The finished picture shows the importance of the


role played

areas have been

by the colour of the paper. Large


left

uncovered on the vegetables;

elsewhere in the painting, streaks and flecks of the

green base colour

show through

strokes. Repeating colours


in

another area makes a

an overall unity

through the picture.

in the

the light pastel

from one part of a picture

series

of visual links, creating

composition.

In the first painting, the greens of the vegetables

were applied quite

lightly

because the paper did

not need to be covered completely. Here, however,


the greens have to be built

up heavily

to prevent too

much of the paper from showing through.

There are a number of differences between


the first painting.

brown

this

The dominant colour here

is

and
orange-

rather than green, with the paper colour showing

through most clearly on the board and

in the

background.

The method of working has also been affected by

the need

the greens heavily; the vegetables look darker

to build up
and more solid, forming a stronger contrast with the wooden
board. Both paintings are on the "wrong " - smoother

side

of Mi-Teintes paper, chosen

obtrusive texture of the "right

in

preference to the

more

" side.

211

Techniques

Tinting your Paper


The two standard
colours.

However, some

who

those

range of

in a vast

artists, particularly

up

like to build

thickly, prefer to

and

pastel papers, Ingres

Mi-Teintes, are produced

their colours

Laying
wash

1A

knife

dry

is

used to

scrape the side of

work on watercolour

the pastel stick,

paper, which has a distinctive texture,

and which they generally

tint in

producing a fine dust.

advance

The method may seem

with their chosen colour.

wasteful, but in fact

you

don't need a great deal

Laying

tinted ground

There are two ways of doing

this.

of colour.

One

is

by

laying a wash, either of watercolour or

thinned acrylic paint, which


easy.

However,

pastel

if

is

quick and

you work exclusively

in

to hand,

you won't have these paints

which case you can prepare the paper

in

with what

do

this

by holding

wash of pastel. To

called a dry

is

you

first
it

reduce a pastel stick to dust

This dry wash

two

for

colours: blue for the

sky and yellow for the


land.
is

The blue powder

applied lightly on

watercolour paper with


a piece of cotton

over a bowl or plate and

is

a landscape, using

(a

cotton

wool

ball).

scraping the long edge with a sharp knife.

When you

have sufficient colour, simply dip

wool

a piece of cotton

rag into

it

and spread

(a

cotton ball) or a

over the paper

it

surface, using an even pressure.


If

you want an

all-over colour, spread the

pastel dust evenly across the paper. This

method

also allows

you

to introduce tonal

variations by applying the colour


thickly in
also use

some

areas than others.

more than one

You can

blue has

been taken into the

land area, and the yellow


applied on top, so that
the

more

Some of the

to

two colours overlap

produce a yellow-

green mixture. Before

colour, perhaps

starting the painting

using a blue dry


scape and a

wash

for a sky in a land-

brown or yellow ochre one

the ground. Indeed, dry

for

washing need not

be restricted to colouring the ground or sky,


it is

also a useful

method

effects of soft colour.

If

for creating

you intend

over the wash, however, spray


fixative first.

this.

hazy

work

with

The advantage of the water-

colour or acrylic method

not do

it

to

is

that

you need

proper, the dry

wash

should be sprayed
with fixative.

Wet brushing with

d bristle

brush

Working on watercolour paper, the artist began


by sketching out the composition. Having

blocked

with side strokes, she then

in the large areas

used a pastel

tip to

sketch in the shapes of the trees.

brush dipped in water

bristle

used to spread

is

the colour. This type of brush, being harder than

a watercolour brush, creates a more thorough spread

of colour, dislodging more

particles.

Wet brushing with

a soft

brush

Clean water taken


over pastel marks

>>

^ ^^JaJr&fc&r

W^*0?

J&j&^

with a soft brush

J&r

some of the

releases

JJB

colour to form a

watercolour

^JeSe&SS'

"'

_rr^^k.

effect,

'-~*diir^~

leaving the

Wf^j^0^^
AtfsF^Fr -&MBEM r*
]xRBg&F^
J;

marks of

the pastel stick intact.

Watercolour paper

She proceeds
with the

tip

to

draw over the wet-brushed areas

crisp definition to the tree trunks

places, she has also

create softer lines

drawn on

'

'a

rather than pastel

of the pastel stick to add touches of

^*^

.ijrjffr

1/

.^^^'^^^J'

paper should be used

and branches. In

for this method, as

still-damp paper to

the latter

may buckle.

and strokes.

Wet brushing
If

you go over

brush dipped

soft pastel

marks with

in clean water,

it

You can

somewhat

releases

some of the colour while leaving


strokes clearly visible.

landscape. Over linear strokes, the effect

the pastel

in

similar to that of line

and wash

watercolour, with the wash a paler

version of the original

use this

line.

Wet

brushing

technique only on watercolour paper, as the

often used to "pull together" lines and

standard pastel papers are quite thin and

marks made with

would buckle under the water. If you like to


work on watercolour paper, however, wet

pencil;

tinting the paper in advance.

It

allows you

it

is

soft pastel or pastel

can also create

light

and shade

effects to suggest form.

The

brushing forms a useful alternative to

is

idea of wetting pastel colour

new. Edgar Degas,

who

is

not

took to pastel

to cover the surface quickly with colour,

painting

when

obliterating the distracting white specks

was one

of the greatest technical innovators

see

you

between strokes on white paper.

Wet brushing over


a granular

side strokes produces

wash, which

is

ideal for

suggesting the texture of objects such as


rocks,

cliffs

or the barks of trees in a

in the

his eyesight

began to

medium. He would make

his pastels,

spraying

sometimes steaming

warm

fail,

a paste of
his

board or

water over the colours and

then working into them with

stiff

brushes,

before overlaying further linear marks.


213

Techniques

Underpainting
\N

The

working over an under-

practice of

painting, usually

or acrylic,

is

done

in either

Pastel over paint

watercolour

rapidly gaining acceptance in

pastel-painting circles.

It

stems from the

same idea as colouring the paper in


advance, but goes several steps further. By

making

a full-scale underpainting,

introduce as

many

you can

colours as you like

before laying on any pastel, and so relate


the colours to the shapes in your picture.
Alternatively

you can make a monochrome

underpainting to establish the drawing

and main tonal structure of the painting,


perhaps choosing a colour which contrasts
with the overall colour key of the subject.

The advantage of a multi-coloured


underpainting
at least

is

that

you can carry out

some of the colour mixing

at the

painting stage. This helps to avert one of the


potential dangers of pastel painting: over-

mixing and clogging the surface of the


paper.

You can

also

Working on medium-surface watercolour


paper, the artist begins with watercolour.

He allows the brushmarks to show in


complement the pastel strokes.

work on smoother

paper than usual; as you will not be laying


so

many

be

less risk

layers of pastel colour, there will

of the pastel pigment slipping off

the surface.

As

a general rule pastel

should be textured, but

work on

it

paper

can be exciting to

smoother surface, such as Hot-

pressed watercolour paper. This does not

break up the pastel strokes as

much

as the

medium-surface (Not, or CP) paper


normally used for watercolour work, thus
allowing you to lay thick, solid areas of

smooth colour.

Light pastel marks

now overlay the

paint in the foliage

and

sky areas, and pale grey


is

used to draw into the

darker blue-greys.

order to

*?*

(Above)
artists

Some

use a water-

colour underpainting

much

as they

would a

coloured ground, covering most of it with pastel.


In this case, however,

the

two media work

together, with the water-

colour playing an

important part

in the

overall effect

The artist works from

the centre of the picture

outwards, and now lays

down more watercolour,

again using brushstrokes which suggest the

of the foliage.

movement

The

railings

have been reserved as highlights,

with the watercolour painted around them

and later

light applications

of grey pastel giving a

suggestion of modelling. The

now darkened so

<

entral area

<>f

that the whites stand out

<

foliage

is

learly.

215

Techniques

Wet Brushing Oil Pastel


Oil pastel

although

is

it is

very different in character from

bound with

soft pastel, being

gum.
that

oil

rather than

dense, rather greasy quality

Its

it fills

means

the grain of the paper relatively

making

quickly,

Oil pastel and white spirit

an exciting medium to use,

it

less suitable for

colour

mixing by layering.

medium
used "dry" like conventional pastel. The
However,

is

this

is

great advantage of

only true

if

oil pastel is

the

V:

that the

colour can be melted with an application of


turpentine or white spirit and spread with a

brush or rag over the paper (with canvas or


oil-sketching paper as possible alternatives).

This allows you to lay broad areas of colour


very quickly and you can then
these with

more

work over

linear strokes, building

the picture with a succession of

up

wet and dry

paper becomes clogged, you

layers. If the

_,

Working on
in the

pastels.

oil-sketching paper, the artist blocks

composition

You can

also

lightly

such as Ingres, but there

can remove whole areas of colour by

oil in the pastels

with very soft

oil

work on ordinary pastel paper,


is

a slight possibility of the

causing deterioration over time.

applying more turpentine and rubbing


gently with a rag.

you can make


you

like,

as

On oil-sketching paper

many such

corrections as

without harming the surface.

come

Oil pastels

in a

more

range than soft pastels, but

limited colour

this

wet-

brushing method allows you to achieve very


subtle colour mixes

As with

paints,

on the working

a palette before putting

moisten the

dipped

of a pastel stick with a brush

oil pastels

make an

sketching.

colour

this to the palette.

are quick to use, easy

to correct and, best of

they

them on. Simply

in turpentine to release the

and transfer

As

tip

surface.

you can even mix colours on

ideal

all,

do not need

medium

for

fixing

outdoor

However, they do have a

tendency to melt under a hot sun, becoming


very soft and buttery, which makes them

hard to manage;

it is

best to

shade wherever possible.

work

in the

bristle

brush dipped

in

white

spirit

is

used to

spread and mix the colours. The mixture

relatively transparent

applied

because the

lightly. If colour is built

early stages,

first

up too

is

colours were
thickly in the

mixtures can become muddy and dull.

3 now

Further brushwork over the whole picture has


firmly established the form

the trees. Again,

and colours of

you can see how the artist has

avoided over-mixing and churning up the colours;


blues

and yellows can be

clearly distinguished in the

dark and light green areas.

The beauty of this

method is

that

the

works

dark red

off colour with a rag,

area with firm strokes of

used to draw over the

the pastel stick. This

earlier colours.

in

white

spirit.

is

and slight

wiped down prior

to re-working.

series

of

the colours are beautifully luminous, an effect

enhanced by the white paper


colours.

When

into a still-wet

creates distinctive

to

be softened, so the whole

m oil painting,

For colour contrast

and a suggestion of
trunks and branches,

the foliage, the artist

area

As the pastel has been used in a

made simply by wiping


dipped

thin washes, rather like glazing

amendments can be

The foreground needs

To produce

textured effect on

marks

ridges rather

artist

oil pastel is

very broad and free;

her approach

of sgraffito.

impressionistic.

through

The

keeps the marks

similar to the effects

reflecting

now

is

ti

using oil pastel in this way, white

paper can be a better choii

than coloured.

217

Techniques

Charcoal and Pastel


Making

Charcoal and pastel are frequently used

charcoal underdrawing

together; they are natural partners because

both have a similar texture. As under-

drawings for pastel work should never be

done

in pencil

- the

greasiness of graphite

repels the pastel colour

used to

Any

make

loose dust

the charcoal

charcoal

is

often

the preliminary line drawing.

is

is

away and

then brushed

fixed before the pastel colour

applied on top.

is

In this case the charcoal

largely

is

obliterated by the overlaid colours and

plays

no part

However,
positive

it

in the finished

work.

can also be used

more

in a

way, with the charcoal complement-

As charcoal

ing the pastel colour.

gives

a clearer, crisper line than soft pastel,

sometimes used to define

it is

and wash

the broader colour areas (like line

tones, so the charcoal

drawing

Another approach, sometimes used for

work and

portraiture,

is

to

make

With the

underdrawing

complete, the excess

charcoal stick to establish light and dark

charcoal dust

areas. This

off the paper with a

suitable only for paintings

which are to be
colour, as, even

relatively

when

"low-key"

in

bristle brush.

drawing

the charcoal

is

fixed,

little

of the

is

is

flicked

The

sprayed with

fixative before the pastel

the pastel laid

on top picks up

black dust. This has the effect of muting the


pastel colours,

which can be very

effective

colours are applied, so


that the charcoal does

not

muddy

the colours.

for certain subjects.

Charcoal can also be used hand


with pastel colours and, because
dense than black pastel,

it is

in

it is

hand
less

particularly

The
is

artist's

to build

method

up her

colours gradually with a

useful for the subtle mid-toned colours

series

which are often hard to mix

bright pink used for the

successfully.

The grey-greens or grey-blues seen

in

the middle distance of a landscape, for

example, can often be achieved by mixing

sky at

dragging a light
astel

veil

of charcoal over a

colour to tone

it

down.

of overlays. The

this stage will

be

modified by later
applications. Although

dark

charcoal and green or blue pastel, or by

made on

a mauve-

The paper is Mi-Teintes, used on the smoother side.

tonal underdrawing, using the side of the

is

is

blue paper chosen to set the key for the later colours.

watercolour painting).

figure

this picture is

sombre, with a predominance of dark

relatively

and provide

detail

a linear structure, with the pastel used for

in

IThe colour scheme planned for

in tone, the

colours

chosen for the buildings


are very rich.

The

highlights have been left until the final stage,

because pastels are opaque and

it is

therefore

possible to cover dark colours with light ones. Notice


the variety of colours used for the walls of the houses,

from deep greens

to reds

and pinks, plus a mauve

produced by the paper colour showing through the

The side of a short length of white pastel is now


dragged

is still

lightly

visible, as

is

original charcoal drawing.

over the earlier pink; some of this

some of the paper colour. The sides

of the buildings nearest to

this

sky area have also been

lightened slightly.

Finishing touches

have been added to

define the details of the

buildings with fine lines

(made with the edge of a


broken pastel stick), and
to suggest the large tree

behind the houses on the


left.

Both of the

trees

arc important to the

composition, but play a

minor part, so they have


been treated

lightly,

smeared strokes,

merge them

with

to

partially

into the sky.

219

Techniques

Building Up Pastel
Working on
Sansfix paper

Although the standard pastel papers are

amount

versatile

and allow

layering,

you cannot build up colours

thickly

for a certain

on them. For those who

painterly effects,

it is

of

really

IThis paper grips the

like truly

colour more firmly

worth trying one of

than the standard papers

the special papers produced for pastel


painting: sandpaper, velour paper

and is

and

Sansfix paper.

pastel. Here, the artist

These papers handle very differently from

particular grips the pastel pigment so firmly


it is

virtually impossible to blend

colours by spreading them with either your


fingers or a rag; for the

begins

work on

the

lightest areas.

the normal pastel paper. Sandpaper in

that

ideal for creating

painterly effects in

same reason you

A solid line of black


is

now pulled down

the paper to define the

pole leaning against the

cannot move colours around on the surface.

windowsill, which

However, the paper's firm hold on the

provides a visual balance

pastel

for the artist's easel.

pigment means that you can go on

layering colours

more or

less indefinitely.

This creates very subtle mixtures and great

depth of colour as well as effects similar to


that of impasto in oil painting,

where the

brushstrokes stand proud of the surface.


In fact,

some

pastel paintings

paper look very

These papers

much
all

on sand-

like oil paintings.

The colours on
face

the

and body have

been built up more

have one disadvantage:

thickly,

and both grey

they are very "greedy" with the pastel

and yellow added

colours and you will get through your

original application of

pastels at a faster rate than

white on the window.

when working

on Ingres or Mi-Teintes paper. This

The paper allows for a


is

considerable

partially balanced

by the

won't need much is

if

fairly expensive. If

fact that

any -

you

you

fixative,

not normally necessary.

It is

which

layering methods.

it

best not to

fix the finished painting, as this will

darken the colours.

amount

of building up by such

find the paper

beginning to clog you can use fixative, but


is

to the

tend to

Using a small piece

of pastel, the

now lays

light

the white.

artist

grey over

hP

4fe4L

He has

deliberately allowed

small patches of the dark

grey paper to

show

through to create a
broken-colour

lively

effect.

la

j^
j9^Hl3

The finished picture,


with

its

thick

and

heavy pastel marks,

is

reminiscent of an oil
painting. This paper

is

not suited to very


delicate approaches or
to blending techniques.

_
221

Techniques

Laying
The underlying

Textured Ground

texture of the paper

always an important factor


paintings.

Some

texture of their
relying

A tinted and

is

textured

in pastel

artists like to

own making,

work on

ground

rather than

on the mechanically produced

Acrylic gesso, which


is

A "home-

overall texture of the paper.

made"

texture can take any form you like,

but the most usual one

is

sold primarily for

preparing boards and

a series of

canvases for

oil

acrylic painting,

and
makes

irregular diagonal or vertical brushstrokes,

an excellent textured

which give a directional emphasis

ground for pastel work.

to the

overlaid pastel strokes. Such grounds can be

It is slightly

thicker in

consistency than tube

laid

with acrylic paint, used

that

it

fairly thickly so

holds the marks of the brush, with

heavy texture,

acrylic gesso, or, for a really

with a substance called acrylic modelling


paste, thinned with water.

The

sold in large pots, however,


costly, so

make

sure

you

and

The advantage of using

in

it.

only

quite

way

and it dries

Here

has been mixed

it

fast.

with black acrylic paint

and applied

to thick

watercolour paper with


a large bristle brush.

of

it.

acrylic paint

you can colour the ground

texturing

is

like this

working before you invest

that

latter is

acrylic

is

as well as

You can even combine

the

texture element with a coloured underpainting, varying the colours

and textures

The

deliberately

uneven application

of the ground creates a


surface which will break

from one area of the painting to another.

up the pastel strokes

Don't overdo

interesting ways. This

it,

however, as you don't

want to introduce too many

in

gives an exciting element

different

elements before you even begin to apply the

of unpredictability,
allowing you to exploit

pastel.

This method

is

applications of pastel;

work on

best suited to thick

you

will

need to

a tough paper, such as heavy

watercolour paper don't try to lay a

ground on ordinary

pastel paper, as

it

buckle under the weight of the paint.

will

semi-accidental effects.

As colour is scribbled over


acrylic gesso,

it

the brushstrokes of

catches only on the raised areas,

creating a series of strongly textured marks. This

method which

is

is

best suited to broad, impressionistic

approaches; with a heavy underlying texture

it is

not

possible to achieve fine detail.

w
4

(Left)

Here the

artist uses

broad

(Above) As the pastel cannot completely cover


the brushmarks of the gesso ground, in the final

strokes of pastel to

stages the artist turned to a painting method, dipping

capture the essential

a brush into gesso and painting over the pastel. This

colours

and shapes of

the flowers.

mixed with and spread

the colour, giving a broad

painterly effect.

,w
223

Techniques

Sgraffito
This technique,

which one layer of colour

in

another one below,


painting.

It is

is

sometimes used

now also one of the

ized techniques in oil pastel,

paint in solid form.

oil

soft pastel, too,

in oil

recogn-

which

You can

is

really

scratch into

provided that you work on

tough surface, such as watercolour paper,

and spray the

and exciting

more dramatic

effects are

in oil pastel

and, because

oil

and do not need

a fairly

smooth

paper which doesn't break up the pastel


strokes, lay

one colour thickly over another

and then scratch

into the top layer with a

sharp point, you can


line

make

a fine, delicate

drawing. Working on a more heavily

textured paper and scratching into a layer

generalized effect of broken colour, as the


knife will

remove only some of the colour.

You can work

pastel colours cling to the surface very

firmly

you work on

other hand, will give a broader, more

fixative before applying the second.

However, the

if

of colour with the side of a knife, on the

layer of colour with

first

texture of the painting surface. For

example,

scratched or scraped into to reveal

is

either dark over light or light

over dark, building up several different

fixing, they are

tailor-made for the method. The effects that

layers of colour then scratching into each

you can achieve are many and various,

one

depending on the tool you use for the

colour combinations from one part of the

scratching, the

amount of pressure you

in turn; alternatively

picture to another

apply, the thickness of the colours and the

you can vary the

the possibilities

of this

technique are endless.

Sgraffito landscape

'

w 1

4
j

>

...

*3

flUi
,

t
'.'-'

Working on heavy watercolour paper, the artist


has laid a foundation of light, bright colours

which she

will partially reveal

by scratching back

later

colours with a knife or scalpel.

2 now

(Right)

Dark

greens, blues

been laid over the

and red-browns have

first

colours,

and a

knife

used to scratch into the central area and the tree at top
left.

To

reinforce the broken-colour effect,

the yellow has been left


g <-een. This gives

"

'3F*r*7
I

much of

{yd**

showing between strokes of

added vibrancy.
1 -

>

..'

jfifejl

'

Ht ^

Bp*
^ m^fit^k
r

U
i

Heavy diagonal strokes of deep blue are now


over the green area

technique.

in

laid

a loose cross-hatching

The pastel marks follow the same direction

as the earlier scratch

marks

in

order to integrate the

sgraffito technique fully into the picture.

(Above) The
successive layers of

scraped-back colour

combined with the


vigorous pastel marks
create a lovely effect of

shimmering

light.

The

sgraffito has been

carefully handled so that


its

effects are neither

over-obtrusive nor

self-

conscious; this technique

should never be allowed


to dominate.

4
is

With the point of a loosely held scalpel, the artist


lightly scribbles into the layers

of oil pastel.

There

now a considerable build-up of different colours,

and the scratching

reveals brilliant blues

as well as the original yellow.

and greens

Although the technique


with fine

lines,

broader

is

most often associated

effects

can also be

achieved; here, the side of a palette knife

down

is

pulled

the tree trunk. The palette knife has also been

used to remove parts of the lop colour


foreground beneath the
of strong sunlight

in the

trees to suggest patches

filtering

through the

leaves.

225

Techniques

Comparative Demonstration
If

you

visit

an exhibition of pastel paintings

you may well notice an amazing


of styles, even
similar.

when

the

would probably bear

used.

Too

painters feel that there

often,

is

and wrong way of doing

really

things.

no

to tone

wash was

dry, he

(Above

down

right)

When

the

careful charcoal drawing.

His method of working

instead of laying

the outset

the white of the paper and

made a

is

unusual:

down broad areas of colour at

and modifying them

later,

he proceeds

methodically across the picture, treating each area


separately.

which

He is now completing the tablecloth,

will provide a context for the other colours.

To link the tablecloth to the bottom of


windowframe, which was painted next, the

(Right)

the

same grey was

used.

The cup and saucer provide

the

warmest colour area; the artist begins work here by


defining the ellipse at the top

colours with his thumb.

in oil pastel

is

and then blending

shown

the

artist,

on oil-sketching paper,

more conventional

Teintes paper.

It is,

assess the first colours.

whose work

The

while Hazel Harrison uses standard pastels

and

right

IThe artist began by laying a light watercolour


wash

paint the same simple subject.

Patrick Cullen,

works

Pastel on water colour paper

make it easier to

to each person to develop their

paper. Debra Manifold, the second

amateur

which must be followed, but, although

hints can be given, there

artists to
first,

a definite set of

is

up

on these pages, paints on watercolour

resemblance to each other, except in

medium

rules

is

Three pastel landscapes by different

artists, for instance,


little

the subject matter

instead,

own methods and artistic "handwriting".


To demonstrate this, we have asked three

diversity

surface

Mi-

(Below) In spite of
the simplicity of the

subject

and

the limited

colour scheme, the


picture

is

satisfying

and

well-balanced, with the

dark shapes of the

The

highlights

on the saucer,

the top of the cup, define

been drawn in firmly

in white.

white, however, so they are

strokes of brown laid

on

its

like the ellipse

Few highlights are pure

now modified with

top.

on

shape, so they have

light

Although the tablecloth was more or


plete in the earlier stages, there

contrast between the

and this

right

was

less

com-

insufficient

shadowed area below the cup

hand side where the

light falls. This

is

window and the boxes


on the

left

making

a frame for the cup

and saucer.

now lightened with pure white.


Continued

\>

111

Oil pastel and white spirit

The colours

(Right)

have been

built up,

and a brush dipped in


white

ffe^

spirit

is

used to

blend them. In order to


balance the

warm pinks

and browns of the cup,


similar colours have

been introduced into the

background.

(Above) Tfee

arfr'sf

begins with a rough

drawing
pastel

in

grey

and then

light veils

oil

applies

of colour with

the side of the stick.

Her

drawing need not be as


detailed as that of the

previous artist because


oil pastel

can so easily

be corrected.

This artist

is

always more concerned with the

colour relationships in her painting than with the

actual colours of the subject; here she chooses a vivid

blue to contrast with the cup

and saucer.

Having mapped out the grid of squares for the


tablecloth, she

now scribbles

white pastel lightly

over the blue, using diagonal strokes which blur and


soften the lines to avoid too precise an effect.

The painting,
with

its

vivid

array of colours in
the

background and

greenish blue in the

foreground,

quite

is

unlike the previous


artist's interpretation.

The style

is

very different

too; the tablecloth has

been treated

in

much

broader way and plays


a less important role in
the composition.

Pastel on Mi-Teintes paper

A
S

T
E

1A

dark blue paper has been chosen to pick up the

colour of the tablecloth. Working on the smooth


side, the artist

has begun with a charcoal drawing.

A
I

N
T
I

N
G

The cup and saucer are seen as the key colour


area, so she concentrates

on

this,

to assess the colours in the subject

finding

it

easier

when working on

a contrasting paper.

(Above) The

artist

changes the

composition from a
horizontal to a vertical

format by placing

masking tape around the


central area.

of the cup

is

The ellipse
then

re-

defined with white


pastel. Finally, the artist

grid of

At

this stage

it

perspective of the tablecloth

whole area

is

wiped down with a

is

it

possible to over-work.

to

wrong, so the

rag. Pastel

cannot be

erased completely, but removing the loose pigment

makes

squares on the

becomes apparent that the

ruler and white pastel pent

il

are

now used to

re-draw the grid of squares. Straight

lines arc

not

window

echo the tablecloth

and introduces some


tOUi hes Of

mauve

blue

into the background.

easy to draw, and rulers can save a

lot of frustration.

229

Focus

Landscape
Both soft pastels and

oil pastels

are ideal for

landscape work. The range of marks that

you can make from

soft blends

and

sweeping strokes made with the side of the


stick to sharp, linear

marks is capable of

matching virtually any

effect seen in nature.

Both types of pastel are quick to use,


allowing you to build up areas of colour
very rapidly, and are perfect for capturing
fleeting effects of

Best of
directly
less

all, if

weather and

light.

you are working outside

from the

subject,

you

will

need

equipment than you would with

far

paints.

The only

basic requirements are your box of


some paper and a drawing board.
However, there are one or two other items
pastels,

that

you may

find useful.

Landscape

in close-up
One of the most difficult
decisions to make when faced
(Left)

with a large expanse of


countryside
include

is

how much to

and what

You can

often

to focus on.

make a more

expressive statement by

moving

in close, as

Doug

Dawson has done in The Edge


of the Meadow. The strong
diagonal thrust of the tree
across the picture

is

balanced

by the horizontal bands


of colour formed by the
foreground and by the
field in the

light

middle distance.

Tonal contrast
(Right)

A common cause of failure

paintings
lightness

is

in

landscape

Ln k of attention to tones - the relative

and darkness of colours.

In

James

Crittenden's Spanish Landscape the contrasts of tone

not only convey the heat


create a pattern of light

and strong sunlight, hut

also

and dark which gives a

structure to the composition.

%f
Placing the horizon
(Opposite) In a wide, panoramic landscape

important to consider
space,

and how much prominence

The area of England


is

very

how to divide up

flat,

in

it

&QJ*

the picture

^*

******

"

to give to the sky.

which Geoff Marsters works

with the great expanse of sky one of its

most noticeable features, so


given

-.*

it is

in

Fen Landscape he has

three-quarters of the picture.

you

will

do

for soft pastels, as

smudge unfixed,
are carrying

it

finished

in

Even though time

work when you

advance

is

when

usually limited

you are painting on the


do some

easy to

home.

Planning

to

it is

spot,

it

always pays

planning: choosing the

initial

best viewpoint, deciding

how much

of the

scene in front of you to include in the


picture

and considering where

horizon. There

is

to place the

a natural tendency to

divide the picture into

sky and land. This

is

two

distinct areas of

not usually the best

approach, however, particularly


a central

if it

division over-symmetry

always be avoided as

it

makes

creates

should

pictures look

both dull and disjointed.

Varying the

If

you work on a

you may need

greens

pastel

(Above) Landscapes are

sketching easel.

frequently spoiled by

poor observation of

dust

in pastel

if

Give particular consideration to skies

large scale using soft


to invest in a portable

You
you

will quickly

try to

board propped on your

be covered

work with your

colours, particularly

additional advantage of an easel

is

step back

and you must further

periodically to assess

take into account the

many nuances caused


by

light

and shade.

In Patrick Cullen's

You

will get

you use an
or, better

wipes. For

it.

a packet of

oil pastel

you

some

rags

moistened hand

will

silver-greys

and creamy

yellows to near-browns.

spirit

and rags

brushes

You

if

will

to clean

you intend

creating

your hands, plus

oil pastels

in

panoramic landscape,

for

with a mountain scene


to express the

upward

in

it.

Conversely,

which you want

thrust of the land,


to the sky.

Foregrounds are another important area

to spread the colours.

not need fixative for

light source,

they also play a major role

you could give minimum spate

need white

Chickens, Petrognano,
the "greens " vary from

landscape;

not only are they the primary

perhaps three-quarters of

your hands dirty whether

easel or not, so take

still,

in

depth and space by letting the sky occupy


more of the picture area than the land -

from your painting

you can

important

example, you can often increase the sense of

that

greens. Greens are

extraordinarily varied,

vitally

space. In a wide,

and an

lap,

which are

but

-a

painting can be easily spoiled by

or over-dominant foreground. As

.1

weak

general
1\\

Mark-making
(Above) The marks you

make with your pastel


sticks are as

foregrounds should "introduce" the

rest of the picture

Too much

and lead the eye into

detail or very strong

it.

shapes in

As well as

dimension to the picture,

in

life

and

movement of its own


independent of the
it

represents. In

advance by choosing the best position

from which to work foreground you see

you look

Looking through the

sitting

Blue Trees, short

completely. In a

directional strokes play

a practical role in

describing the leaves of


the trees, but even in the

foreground shadow

marks are

visible, "lifting "

an area

which might have

become
in

dull if treated

is

how much

you think you

composition grow

some

is

high or low.

at a scene first standing

down, you

will notice

flat

it

changes

landscape, particularly,

feature in the foreground

need to - this

also

which

re-assess

make changes

in

no reason why you

it is

sky. If

When
later

not entirely

you are not sure

a compositional

problem:

much

you cut four "corners" of thick paper

the picture,

often better to stand at an

you

move them around on

will be able to visualize

possible improvements.

A small change

easel to paint, or to find a vantage point

such as taking an inch or two off the

such as a low wall.

foreground on one side can change the

whole

work

you may have placed some

or cardboard and

a flat way.

it is

feature too centrally or included too

a subject such as mountains

could be

feel that

satisfactory, although

should not choose a low viewpoint- for

- but it is

to the

your work a day or two

may

indoors, you

for example,

ideal

feel

of the picture and bring

it

to

Making changes

Some

As

composition when they are working on

pastels are

another quite

opaque and one colour covers


easily,

you

one of the many advantages

out which area of a negative to print.

you

becomes dominant, while objects

the middle distance are diminished in

it

if

device often used by photographers to

why. Usually

is

is

sides

of painting in pastel.

you may have scarcely noticed suddenly

importance. There

bottom or

the picture at the top,

composition afterwards by cropping, a


If

and then

how

you work. Leave generous margins

You can

of the

directly related to

whether your viewpoint

James Crittenden's

individual

letting the

around the edges so that you can expand

You

can often solve the foreground problem

subject

need and

opposite effect, acting as a block, or a

forms, they add an extra

larger piece of paper than


will

by taking a

as

closed door rather than an open one.

it

failure

the foreground can sometimes have the

helping to describe the

giving

guard against possible

important

as brushstrokes in an oil

painting.

rule,

you can often change

artists

life.

do not bother over-much about

location, but

do

it all

afterwards by

the composition in the early stages, perhaps

cropping. Don't actually cut the painting,

by lowering a horizon or generally moving

though -

things around.

However,

it is

good

idea to

just

make

mount

covers the unwanted areas.

(matt)

which

Painting water
(Opposite) Water

is

one

fainting subjects, but

seems. Although

be

dtSi

of the

it is

many

most attractive

not as easy to paint as

different colours

''

it

and tones can

erned, particularly in reflections, they

carefully controlled. In Jackie

must be

Simmonds's Waterlilies

and Reeds the strongest contrasts of tone are those


between the

lilies

A focus
(Right)

the foreground water - a deep,

and

rich blue reflected

from the sky.

mX&fr^

sp%\

for the eye

Not all landscape paintings have an obvious

centre of interest, or focal point, but often

find that

you are drawn

you

will

to a particular view because

of some dominant feature. In James Crittenden's

Almond Blossom
pale tree,

in

the Evening the focal point

and he has drawn

dark neutral colours for the

attention to

it

is

the

by using

beyond. To balance

hills

the light tone of the tree, he has introduced strong


highlights

on the grass on the

left

of the picture.

Preliminary sketches
(Left)

Some

landscape

painters always

work out

of doors directly from


their subject, taking the

composition as they find

it,

while others prefer to

compose

their paintings in

the studio from sketches,

notes

and sometimes

photographs. Patrick
Cullen's Landscape in Le

Crete

is

a sketch for a very

large-scale watercolour

painting, which

would have

been impossible to complete

on the spot. The directness


of pastel makes

it

an ideal

sketching medium.

Working indoors
As

it

can be so

difficult to

painting,

compose

paintings in front of the subject, a


traditional

way

of working

is

to

make

mix the colours and use the

range of pastel marks


a

in the

context of

the picture. Like brushstrokes in an

oil

marks are an important

sketch or a series of sketches on the spot

painting, pastel

and compose the actual painting indoors.

ingredient in composition; they are not

Often something you haven't quite pulled

just

off can

become

the basis for a successful

composition, so never throw away

an "extra". Vigour and movement

in

a landscape painting can be conveyed by

varying your strokes to include, perhaps,

them. Working indoors removes some of

some sweeping directional side strokes,


juxtaposed with more linear marks, short

the pressure, giving you the opportunity

jabs

sketches, even

to think about

if

you are not happy with

how

best to plan the

and calligraphic squiggles (made

with the tip of the pastel).

233

Focus on Landscape

Demonstration
Artist Patrick Cullen specializes in

landscapes, particularly the scenery of

Tuscany, the subject of

works

in oil

this painting.

and watercolour

pastel, usually

on

a large" scale,

his paintings in the studio

references

made on

He

as well as

composing

from sketch

the spot. This pastel

painting on sandpaper

was done from

colour sketches and a large charcoal

"working drawing"

in

which he planned

the composition.

Referring to his charcoal drawing, which

same

size as the painting, the artist begins

mapping out
works

the composition in pastel pencil.

carefully, as

it is

is

the

by

He

impossible to erase pastel

marks on sandpaper.

'ML

".

7
2

Sandpaper is unlike the standard pastel papers


in that

colours cannot be

moved around to any

To

create the textured effect of the foliage, he

pushes his thumb into the pastel colour and

He uses his fingers a good deal in the

great extent on the surface. Consequently, the artist

twists

works on each section of the picture separately,

course of a painting.

beginning with the mountains

in tb*> centre.

it.

The marks made by the pastel sticks are as


important as brushwork

in

an

oil painting;

you can see a wide variety of different


short jabs to tapering side strokes

marks. These impart a

lively

as well as suggesting shapes

strokes,

and crisp

here

*7

from

linear

energy to the picture

and

textures.

This illustration
clearly

artist's

shows the

method of

working from the centre


outwards. This pieceby-piece approach

is

unusual and is not

recommended for
beginners, as

it

involves

having a clear vision of

how the finished picture


will look.

The edge of a broken pastel stick

is

used to make

short, jabbing marks, contrasting with the long

sweeping strokes elsewhere. Notice

shows through between

how the paper

strokes, contributing to the

overall colour effect.

Continued

D>

235

A
S

T
E
L
P

A
I

N
T
I

N
G

Leaving the sky until a


artist to assess

it

in the

late stage enables the

context of the whole

He chooses yellows and pale blue-greys


which echo the colours of the mountains. A bristle
is

lightly

the house

painting.

brush

Further pale colours have

the right-hand side of the painting, the area

above the white

strokes of green

trees

is

developed with short

and yellow, following

different

directions to create a sense of movement.

drawn with

composition because

you can

9 On

is

'A

f\

The painting

JL

\J

but requires

is

outline

is

it

and bright

forward

in space.

used both to suggest leaves and to

some of the branches.

is

important to the

see this in the finished painting.

crisp touches

sky area, and

provides a focus for the eye;

now nearing completion,

some

colours in the foreground to bring

Vivid green

it

in the

the tip of a pastel stick.

Although small, the building

used to blend the colours together slightly.

now been dragged

over the original ones

1-1

(Right) Again the artist exploits the contrast

JL between hard and soft edges,


side

now using the

of a short length of pastel to drag colour

lightly

above and around the branches.

-1

(Below) Although the painting was virtually

J. ^- completed
re-assessed

it

in

one working

a day or two later and

session, the artist

%/4

made some

adjustments. The most significant of these was to


increase the height of the trees

on the

white branches lead the eye

towards the dark

in

right so that the

tree-clad crevice, thus creating a visual link

between

foreground and distance.

7\I

237

Focus

Flowers
When you open a new box of pastels you
see

brilliant colours

an array of

suggests flowers, even before

which

you have

begun to put them on the paper. The

soft,

velvety textures also seem to emulate

many

of those seen in nature.

Drawing
Flowers are certainly a wonderful subject

and there are few

pastel painters

who have

not at some time tried their hand at them.


But, of course, there are problems

always

are.

there

One of the most serious

that

is

flowers are quite complex in shape and


structure, both individually

and en masse

in

an indoor arrangement and, therefore, you


need to concentrate on the drawing. In a
vase of flowers, for example, where there
are

many

different shapes

well as the vase

and produce

itself, it is

a painting in

and stems don't seem to

and colours

as

wrong

easy to go

which the flowers

relate to the

container, or the flowerheads to the stems.


In a watercolour or oil painting

make

drawing

you can

in pencil first, erasing until

you are sure you have

it

do

colour won't cover

this in pastel as the

right,

but you can't

pencil marks.

You

of the shapes. Try to build up the painting


in large blocks of colour, leaving the details

can, however,

draw

until last. It

lightly in

charcoal or in pastel pencil; the latter

may

is

difficult to achieve a

high

degree of detail with soft pastels, and pastel

Unity through
technique
(Above) Pip Carpenter
has carried the shapes of
the flowers

be preferable in some cases as the charcoal

could pollute the pastel colours.

When

working on coloured paper, choose

pencils or hard pastels

you come

may

be helpful,

when

to the final stages. Meticulous

and leaves

through into the

background by using the

attention to detail sometimes proves

same kind of strokes

coloured pastel pencil for the drawing, or

unnecessary anyway; pastel

both. This sets

one that tones

medium

in

a light-

with the overall colour

scheme, and keep the drawing as simple as

enough

for

broad

effects

just to crispen the

is

and

essentially a
it is

often

edge of a leaf or

for

up a

lively pattern all

over the

picture surface which

enhances the feeling of

possible.

If

you are painting flowers

vase, don't try to

draw each

bloom and stem; look

made by the group.


Once you start to
keep

it

in a

lay

on the

you

movement. Jackie

individual

for the overall shape

light initially, as

stem, here and there.

pastel colour,

will certainly

Simmonds has used a

Pattern

different technique in

Flowers have an innate pattern element,

her

hence their extensive use as motifs

above), linking various

in all the

applied arts, from embroidery and printed

still life

elements by repeating
colours.

,;

nd you have

to

change and redefine some

fabric to ceramics

and china. Flowers

in a

(opposite,

Unity through colour


(Below) Although a large mixed hunch of flowers

makes an

attractive display,

tackle in a painting, as too

with each other.

It is

it is

not always easy to

many colours

tend to fight

often advisable to set up a group

which has one dominant colour, as Jackie Simmonds


has done in Blue Marbles.

To maintain

the coherence

of the composition, she has repeated the deep blue of


the marbles in various places

on both of the pots, and

has introduced blue into the background.

Avoiding overworking
(Above) The essence of flowers

is

freshness,

and

overworked or clogged colour can quickly destroy the


impression. In Orange

Lilies,

Maureen Jordan has

avoided the necessity of a heavy build-up of pastel by

working on an

acrylic underpainting. This has

allowed her to establish the main colours with thin

washes of paint, over which she has worked


linear pastel strokes

crisp,

which beau ttf idly describe the

convoluted shapes of the petals.

Flowers
(Left)

in

When

landscape

flowers form only one clement in a

picture they usually need to be treated

more broadly

and simply than they would in an indoor group. The


important features are the overall colour and the
growth habit of the flowers.

Maureen Jordan

there

is

In Bluebells at Isabella

very

little detail;

round are no more than small


and dashes of pastel,

yet they are

by

even the
dots

immediately

recognizable to anyone ich<> has seen a bluebell wood.

IV)

Light on dark
(Left) A traditional
way of painting
white or light-coloured
flowers

is

to set

them

against a dark back-

ground, which allows


the artist to

make

the

most

of their delicacy and subtle


nuances of colour. In
Jokers by the Pond,

Maureen Jordan has


used the same idea but
in

an outdoor setting,

with the sun and shade

providing both excellent


definition

and contrasts

of tone.

vase create a pattern through the interaction


of the various shapes and colours; you can
stress this in

your painting

and pattern of an elaborate


arrangement by setting

it

of

in a variety

ways. Attention can be drawn

to the colour

floral

against a plain

backdrop, perhaps even working on darkcoloured paper and leaving

some

areas. Alternatively,

uncovered

it

in

you can carry the

pattern element right through the painting,

choosing a decorated container for the


flowers,

and

setting

them against

wallpaper or some draped fabric with


its

own

patterns and textures.

The way

in

which you use the

also important in this context.

pastel

You

is

can

create pattern as well as a sense of

movement by
in

show

letting the pastel strokes

an active and positive way, rather than

blending colours together.

You might use

strong, directional strokes for leaves

stems and, in the background,

let

and

the pastel

stick follow the direction of the flowers to

create a

network of curving or vertical

in different colours.

and

delicate, there

is

As flowers are

lines

mind

is

to set

them against a white background and

exploit the tonal contrasts in the flowers themselves,


as Pip Carpenter has

done

in

White Daffodils.

Although the vase and the stems are the only


genuinely dark areas, she has cleverly

made

use of

in the

soft

that this

not always the best approach.

flowers

shadows on the petals and subtle contrasts

background, and has also played up the foreground

always a tendency to

over-blend, but bear in

Light on light
(Above) An alternative approach for white or pale

is

shadow

to balance the dark vase. It

many dark and middle tones

is

surprising

can be seen

how

in white.

Complementary
colours
(Above) The colours

Habitat

opposite one another on

Although the phrase "flower painting"

more closely, making one or two blooms

tends to conjure up images of indoor

the subject of your painting.

orange and blue are

arrangements, flowers in their natural

to

called complementaries,

setting

and they play an

subject.

a colour wheel - red and


green, yellow

and violet,

important part

in

when

used together. In Jackie

Simmonds's Tuscany
Steps, the red

Whether

wild flowers in a

painting as they set up


exciting contrasts

can also make a rewarding


it

woodland or

You

is

scheme

problem

in

in

effects very quickly, the

is less

watercolour or

cannot, of course, control

the set-up or plan the colour

you decide

the light but, as pastel allows you to build

up colour

patch of urban wasteland, the choice


yours.

If

"portraits" of flowers,

you must be aware of possible changes

be garden flowers or

field,

make outdoor

acute than

it

might be

in

oil painting.

Finally, don't ignore the fact that trees

advance, but you have a wide range of

have flowers too; few subjects have more

options with regard to composition and

appeal than an orchard or a single

and green

complementary pair was


built into the subject, but

she has also used yellow/


violet contrasts for

the plant pots

both

and the

steps to create areas of

vibrant colour.

blossom

general approach.

Flowers

in a

garden or

example, could be treated as broad

masses of colour or as colour accents


landscape; alternatively,
interested in the shapes

if

single
in a

you are

and colours of

individual flowers, you could focus in

tree in spring.

Here too you

could take a close-up view and paint a

field, for

bough of blossom

the Oriental

painters loved such effects. Trees with


large

and well-shaped flowers, such

as

magnolia, are particularly well-suited to


this

kind of treatment.

241

Focus on Flowers

Demonstration
Rosalind Cuthbert works in a number of
different

IThe paper has been


tinted using the dry-

media and subject areas flowers

are one of her interests, but she also paints

wash method. Yellow


the

portraits

and landscapes. Her

delicate pastel style

light

and

elegant and colourful arrangement t)f


flowers. She

is

artist

tall

working on smooth-surfaced

watercolour paper, which she prefers to the

medium-textured paper because

it

does not

break up the strokes to the same extent,


thus allowing for clear, crisp

Having sketched

two pink-and-white
stick.

Her method is

lines.

in the leaves lightly

strokes of blue, she

with linear

now draws the outlines

lilies

with the

to build

tip

of the

of the pastel

up colours with a

of light overlays; the blue leaves will

series

be modified later

using other colours.

(Right) It

is

important not only to define the

shape of the vase at an early stage but also to

establish a balance of light

and dark

area she works with the

of the

light side strokes


''ere

tip

can be seen

in the

softer effects are needed.

colours. In this

pastel,

although some

background,

is

in

the painting, so the

well suited to this

is

dominant colour

has chosen a

deep yellow for the


ground. She
the

now draws

main shapes

in charcoal.

lightly

The foreground, which had been


undefined,

is

now sharpened up

left relatively

with a crisp

drawing of the piece of crumpled wrapping.

The

frilly-edged petals of these carnations are

suggested by linear marks drawn with a darker

version of the original pink.

Continued

f>

243

/9

The

original blue used for the leaves

has been overlaid with other colours

and blended slightly


texture.

to imitate their

The pale grey, here used

the highlights, also appears

smooth

thickly for

on the

vase.

9
in

The dominant colour, yellow,

is

carried

right through the painting, appearing

a paler version in both background and

*A

JL

f\
\J

The colours of the vase were too


smoothly blended and were losing

their liveliness

and freshness, so small linear

foreground. The pale grey background

strokes are laid on top. This treatment has

allows these small flowers to stand out, but

also set

they are treated lightly because the central

and

up a relationship between the vase

the leaves above.

flowers are the main focus for the eye.

'A

(Opposite) Painting a group of tall

_I_

^J

flowers can cause problems of

composition unless there

is

something

the foreground to create interest

in

and to

balance the shape of the vase. The

has

artist

solved this by using the table top and the

shape made by the wrapping paper as


positive elements.

The background,

although lightly treated,


contrived, with the grey

is

either side both balancing

flowers

1"|

The flowers have been

built

up

_L with layers of colour and


occasional soft outlines,

some made with

-t

^\ A

_L

Z^

broken

stick

of hard pastel has been

used to create a
lines

series

of little

on the petals of the pink-and-

now toned

A soft deep yellow pastel is


now used to work carefully within the paler

white

lily.

down

with grey, which mixes with the

yellow edges of the petals.

underlying pink to form a delicate mauve.

hard pastel.

The underside

is

and

vase.

also carefully

and red shapes

at

and enclosing

the

245

Focus

Faces & Figures


Pastel

seems tailor-made for portraits and

figure paintings because of the


it

way

in

which

Using the paper


colour
(Right) In portraiture

doubles as a drawing and a painting

and figure work

medium. The range and

versatility of pastel

it is

particularly important to

enables you to build up forms with broad

choose the right colour

areas of colour as well as to exploit different

of paper, especially

kinds of lines and marks.

you intend

both to

full-scale finished

It is

also suited

compositions and

of it uncovered, as

Ken

to quick sketches.

in

Paine's superb

Young

Girl.

painting

Portraits

if

to leave areas

is

The

almost

monochromatic, with

medium for
18th century, when

Pastel has been a favoured

the lights

portraiture since the

up from the mid-tone of

artists

the

such as Rosalba Carriera and

and darks

built

brown paper.

Maurice Quentin de La Tour became


fascinated by

and

its

capacity for creating soft

delicate effects.

also find

it

Many of today's

artists

an excellent medium for faces

and

figures,

less

on

though the current emphasis

the subtle blending of colour than

is

on

the expressive quality of pastel marks.

Embarking on

that

proportion of your subject's features, there

a portrait in pastel does

require a degree of

skill

and confidence,

major changes cannot be made.

If

you

you have misunderstood the shape and

as

is

not, unfortunately, a great deal

do about

find

Light and
(Left)

mood

For a portrait or

figure painting in
it is

which

important to

describe features

forms accurately,

and
it is

best to choose side or

three-quarter lighting,

but backlighting can

it.

There

you can

however, some

are,

methods that you may

find helpful initially,

one of these being to work over a tonal


underdrawing

in charcoal.

many changes

as

you

You can make

like to the

drawing because charcoal

is

charcoal

easy to rub off

and re-apply. Once you are happy with the


drawing, you can spray it with fixative and
apply the pastel colour on top.

Working on one

create lovely effects,

of the pastel papers

silhouetting the figure,

which allows you to make corrections by

softening the colours

laying one colour over another

and reducing

boost your confidence.

the tonal

contrasts. In his lovely

Mother and Child Geoff

as

may also
You can do this to

some extent on any paper, but with Sansfix


paper or sandpaper you can make quite

Marsters has exploited


this

kind of lighting to

create a gentle

and

mood that is

meditative

entirely in keeping with

the subject.

major alterations.

Practising portraiture
One of the
is

finding

difficulties

with portrait painting

someone who

is

willing to

sit

for

Dramatic
(Left)

light

Maureen Jordan

has called her painting In


the Spotlight and, as the
title

is

light rather

than the figure

Painting flesh tones


(Below) In Seated Nude Robert Maxwell Wood has
also chosen the paper wisely;

it is

which

to use the pastel lightly

used blending methods

almost the same

over-doing

this,

as

it

can

make

&

generalization. She has

applied the pastel

and delicately. He has

in places,

itself,

treated as

is

a bold, broad

colour as the mid-tone of the model's flesh, allowing

him

main

implies, the

subject

thickly,

but has avoided

working on

textured watercolour

the image appear

paper, which allows

bland and dull. Instead he has contrasted soft blends

a considerable build-

with crisp diagonal hatching lines and fine outlines

up of pigment.

made with
light

the tip of the pastel to describe the fall of

on the head, neck and arms.

you and who won't be insulted by


possibly inept attempts!

early

and

You always have

one model on hand, however yourself.

Most

artists

have painted and drawn

self-

portraits at times during their careers; this

an excellent way of gaining practice

is

in

handling the medium, as well as acquiring


confidence in the basic

skills

of portraiture.

Another good way of learning


another

artist's

work; up

most

the 19th century

an essential part of

It is

best to

make what

in

If

you

copy of someone

end of

considered

are

known

as

means choosing

another medium, such as

your model.

try to

make

oils,

as

a faithful

else's pastel portrait,

will hinder the development of your


style,

copy

their education.

"transcriptions", which

work

until the

artists

this

to

is

it

own

added to which, colour mixing will


you are

create additional problems because

unlikely to have the

You can

same

palette of colours.

also learn a lot about

composition by copying.

Do

not only

concentrate on trying to reproduce the

forms and colours accurately; ask yourself

why

the artist has arranged the picture in a

particular way.

You might

try

making small

pencil sketches from several different


portraits,

which

will give

you ideas about

types of portrait composition.


portraits, for

Some

example, show the whole


247

Sketching
Although you can sharpen your technical
skills

and learn to analyse composition

by copying, the best practice of


gained by drawing - as
often as possible.

If

all is

much and

as

you are drawing

people purely for practice, you can use

any medium with which you

feel

comfortable; but sketching has another

purpose too: a

series of

made

can give you a good basis

in pastel

colour sketches

for a finished portrait or figure study.

Many

portraits are carried out

from

sketches, sometimes with the aid of a

photograph to provide more detailed


visual information.

Interiors with

figure, standing or seated; other

figures

or three-quarters of the body including the

(Above) If you are

hands, while

painting a portrait, the

many "crop"

show

half

below the

just

include a figure in a landscape, for example,

simply because you want a bright accent of


colour, or you might like the stark contrast

neck to show only the head and shoulders.

of tone provided by a dark-clad figure in

with other elements such

Figures

Mediterranean town or

as furniture playing a

Figure painting and portrait painting are

subsidiary role, but in

closely linked, but there

face or figure will be the

front of a sunlit

main centre of attention,

Sally Strand's Passing

difference.

Quietly the figures are

portrait

is

in a

setting
is

The dictionary

one

essential

definition of a

a "likeness of an individual",

whitewashed wall,

in a

village.

There are many reasons for drawing and


painting figures other than portraiture, and
the

human element can

be used, not as the

whole subject of the painting, but

as part of

fully integrated into the

interior

The

of the room.

real subject

painting
colour,

is

light

and

visual "furniture". This

is

where the

or outdoor setting, need not necessarily

People never remain in one place for long

perform

and you can seldom paint on the spot

still life

and

its

of the

the people

in the corner.

be a nude

and

as inanimate objects,

the counter

it

study or a group of figures in an indoor

have been treated almost

echoing the

while a figure painting, whether

this function.

This

is

not to say that

the figures should be unrecognizable as


individuals. Just as

you would want a

tree

value of sketching really becomes apparent.

landscape or townscape containing figures;


such paintings are usually composed from

on
in a

the chair

landscape to look different from

its

sketches. Photographs are also a useful aid

neighbour, some characteristic of a person

don't become

should be stressed, but

don't under-estimate their value either.

features

- it can

this

need not be

be posture, general shape

or even the colour of clothing.

You might

too reliant on them, but

Walter Sickert painted many urban scenes

and

figure compositions

from photographs.

Composing
(Right)
portrait

you need

paper and,
vitally

figure

the picture

Even when you paint a head-and-shoulders

in

to consider

how to place it on

important. In Maureen Jordan's

and sofa arm form a rough

slope of the upper

the

good composition

a full-length study,

Amanda

triangle,

is

the

with the

body balanced by the opposing

line

of the thigh. She has given only a hint of definition to


the feet, allowing
the

them

to "bleed" out of the

bottom so that the viewer's attention

the face

is

yf

frame at

focused on

and body.

Figure groups
(Below) In landscape painting, a distant figure or

group of figures

is

often introduced as a colour accent

or an additional focus for the eye, but where figures

form the whole subject, as

Crab Catch,
them
this

to

it is

in Sally Strand's

one another. Like many such compositions,

has an element of story-telling, with the boys

sharing a

common interest,

but the

artist

has also used

clever pictorial devices, notably the shapes

colours of the towel


link

charming

necessary to find ways of relating

and bucket,

between the two

and

to create a strong

figures.

249

& Figures

Focus on Faces

Demonstration
Ken

Paine, a professional portrait painter,

works occasionally

in oils

principally in pastels,
their spontaneity

and

and

acrylics,

which he loves
directness.

but

for

He has

remarkable talent for achieving a likeness


with no apparent

which he

but his paintings

effort,

also express character

and atmosphere,

sees as equally,

if

not more,

important. By building up his colours


thickly, in a highly painterly technique,

he

also achieves an almost sculptural feeling of

weight and

solidity.

For

this

demonstration

that is,

begun

chrome

in

is

mono-

to provide a

basis for the

he has worked on grey Mi-Teintes paper,


using the "right" side

IThe painting

shadowed

areas of the skin tones.

the

more

The marks appear

heavily textured one.

to be

almost a random
scribble, but already the

forms of the face are


beginning to emerge.

The monochrome underpainting, which

which

to build

up the colours. This method

suitable for a painting


relatively
artist's

The shadowed side of the head

will be consider-

ably darkened as the painting progresses, so the

artist first lightens the

background

to enable

him

to

judge the strength of colour needed. Tonal modelling


js

particularly important,

one tone against another.

and he continually

assesses

is

now

complete, provides a basic tonal structure on


is

only

which uses a limited palette of

sombre colours a

characteristic of this

work.

Blacks and darker browns are

and into

now worked over

the red-brown underpainting to build

up the forms of the head. The artist uses short lengths


of thick, soft-pastel sticks, which give the broad
strokes he likes

and enable him

of the colours together.

to

push the edges

4 ^M
Ih.

*^^**

Kffi

'

?n

With the darker tones established, further work


has been done on the

that the pastel

method is

is

much

lit

side

MM

"

of the face. Notice

thicker here; the artist's

similar to that seen in

many

J-

I
p

l!

,.

>

if

oil paintings,

where the paint

is

thickest in the highlight areas,


-

making them stand out from

the shadows.

>

',

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/
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1
1

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'mi
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3

"

iq^i

fT

complete transformation has

the

and red-brown, and

suggestions of detail

drawn

pastel (again, notice

what fine

is

in

with an edge of white


lines

can be produced

way). The lighter colours below the chin,

which suggest a

much

now taken place

hand has been painted out with heavy

applications of dark green

in this

'

shirt or cravat, balance the

head

better than did the hand, and the composition

altogether

more

satisfactory.

6T/?e artist had originally planned a hand and


wrist as part of the composition (see step 2),

now gives some additional definition

and

to this area.

However, he then decided to make a dramatic change,


eradicating the

hand completely,

as

you can see

in

the finished painting.

251

Stockists & Suppliers

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AUSTRALIA AND

Russell Sc Chappie Ltd

NEW ZEALAND

Canvas

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Karori

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UK

& Son Ltd

Cornelissen

105 Great Russell Street

catalogue

& Newton

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Whitefriars Avenue

Harrow

Pearl Paint Corporation

308 Canal

Street

New York, NY

10013

Utrecht Manufacturing Corporation

33 35th Street
Brooklyn,

(081)427 4343

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&

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London

Daler-Rowney Ltd

PO Box

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Southern Industrial Estate

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Extensive catalogue, special papers

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& Art Materials

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253

Index

learning,
line,

Animals, drawing, 56-59

Oil paints

materials, 13

monochrome, materials

for,

1427

negative shapes, 41

outline,

Brush drawing, 26, 27

40

shapes, 40, 41

Brushes

types of, 12, 13

drawing,
oil

8-12

with, 44, 45

and

for, 15,

and

acrylics, 132, 134,

prima, working, 150, 151

broken colour, 163


brushwork, 156, 157
colours,

142-147

comparative demonstration,

166-169

26, 27

acrylic, for,

alia

138

figures

watercolour, for, 77

and

glazing,

Frottage, 17

184-190

portraits,

162

impasto, 158, 159


knife painting, 160, 161

landscape,

Charcoal, 15

palettes

lifting out, 18,

removing paint, 164, 165

19

218,219

still life,

Conte crayons, 14
paper texture, importance

using,

of,

20

170-175

thinning, 138, 139

using, 18

trois couleurs,

surfaces,

140, 141

erasing techniques, 18

pastel, and,

176-183

and working

underpainting, 152155

Hatching and cross-hatching, 23, 30

working, 21

20

I
Inks,

Papers

15,29,35

for,

29

monochrome drawing,

Drawing
accurate, making,

38,39

56-59
buildings, 60-66

Line and wash, 24, 25

colour, materials for,

48-53

form, 42, 43

28-34

for,

15

pastel painting, for, 202, 203,

210-213
pastels, for, 32,

watercolour,

animals,

figures,

colour drawing,

33

for,

78

Pastel painting

building up, 220, 221

219

Markers, 29, 34

charcoal, and, 218,

Mixed-media demonstration, 64-66

comparative demonstration,

226-229

137

figures, 246-251
238-245
landscape, 230-237

faces

and

mixing colours, 80, 81


myths and prejudices, 73, 75

flowers,

line strokes,

Sgraffito, 224,

materials and equipment,

mixing,
oil,

and proportion, 62, 63

Scale

204, 205

200203

206210

paintboxes, 77
paints,

pros and cons, 195, 196

Tempera, 132

210-213

six primaries, using, 82,

83

underdrawing, making, 88, 89


washes, laying,

8487

Vanishing points, 6062

29

demonstration, 54, 55

marks, 32
32, 36
for, 32,

Watercolour

33

backruns, 108, 109

32

77

Pen and ink, 15, 22, 23

brushes,

Pencils

brushwork, 94, 95
comparative demonstration,

burnishing, 30, 31

colour mixing, 30

112-115
124-129

coloured, 28, 30, 31, 36, 58, 59

flowers,

impressing, 31

landscape,

line

72

popularity of, 70

texturing methods, 102, 103

underpainting, 214, 215

techniques,

77

past, in, 70,

224, 225

textured ground, laying, 222, 223

papers

76

palettes,

Pastels,

paint, using, 100, 101

paint additives, 110, 111

Sketching, 46, 47

popularity of, 194

sgraffito,

opaque

Sight size, 38

wet brushing, 216, 217

papers, 202, 203,

oil,

225

</

lifting out, 96,

and tone, 16

monochrome drawing,
Perspective, 6062

116123

for,

14

line

97

and wash, 106, 107

masking, 98, 99

wax

resist,

104, 105

wet into wet, 92, 93


wet on dry, 90, 91

Wax

resist,

34, 104, 105

White, painting, 148, 149

255

Credits

Cornelissen

& Son Ltd

105 Great Russell Street

London

WC1B 3RY

(071) 838 1045

Daler-Rowney Ltd

PO Box

10

Southern Industrial Estate


Bracknell
Berkshire

RG12 8ST
(0344) 424621
Russell

& Chappie Ltd

Canvas

&C Art Materials

23

Monmouth

London

Street

WC2H 9DE

(071)836 7521

Winsor &c Newton


Whitefriars Avenue
Wealdstone

Harrow
Middlesex

HA3 5RH
(081)427 4343

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how

to

A complete guide to artists' techniques and


Sections on drawing, watercolour,

Perfect both for the beginner and

oil,

acrylic

materials

and pastel

more advanced

Includes up-to-date information on

all

artist

the latest

techniques, materials and equipment

Packed with

practical guidance

classical subjects

on how to treat the

portraits, figures, buildings, landscapes

and flowers -

in

the most popular

At-a-glance, step-by-step photographs

mediums

show

clearly

how to

achieve successful results

A comprehensive artists'
of

many

manual which includes examples

different styles

and treatments

780681"303973

Cover printed

in

Hong Kong