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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback With flaps
  • Publication: 31 March 2024
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781800921276
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $44.99
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Painting into the Light


How to work atmospheric magic with your oil paints by Jenny Aitken

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Book Description

Work artistic magic with contre-jour: learn how to create the illusion of light in your oil painting.

Reknowned for her techniques for painting light on water, Jenny Aitken delivers perfect guidance to the intermediate artist on how to paint light in plein air and much more.

Learn how to successfully paint scenes that that capture magical effects of light from behind the subject. Good contre-jour painting into the light artworks cause the viewer to squint, with light seeming to glow from the canvas. They can look like a kind of magic, with their hazy light and colour singing out. This book demystifies lighting in oils, and provides a practical guide to the process, showing exactly how to create the illusion.

Inside, you'll find a wealth of information on simplification, tonal control, capturing accurate colour, working both indoors and outdoors, painting landscapes and still life, creating atmospheric depth, and even mastering the illusion of space. Through detailed step-by-step demonstrations and beautifully illustrated techniques, Jenny Aitken reveals how to infuse every painting with vibrant, lifelike light. A section on troubleshooting tricky paintings will show the reader every painting is salvageable, but with an understanding of light and colour, it’s much more likely that they’ll find success the first time round.

Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Introduction 8
How best to capture light 12
Exercise: Tonal seascape28
Where to start 32
The Sparkling Ocean stage-by-stage54
Simplification 72
Portrait stage-by-stage78
Woodland stage-by-stage92
Painting en plein air 100
Sparkle on Water stage-by-stage106
Still Life stage-by-stage114
Atmosphere 122
Exercise: Cold distance126
Mountains stage-by-stage130
Impact 136
Mevagissey Harbour stage-by-stage138
Brush Language 146
Oystercatcher stage-by-stage152
Afterword 158
Index 160

About the Author

About Jenny Aitken

For Jenny Aitken, teaching painting is an absolute passion her main aim is for students to be encouraged, informed and creatively enthused. She began tutoring and demonstrating ten years ago, and now runs online courses and art holidays around the UK and in Italy and France.

Since graduation in Art & Art History from seaside university Aberystwyth, she has exhibited all over the UK and won many awards. She was elected an associate member of the RSMA in 2021, and won the Topbond Marine Award in 2022.

She is currently represented by several galleries, including The Harbour Gallery in Cornwall and Peter Barker Gallery in Rutland. You can also view and purchase daily studies, paintings, prints, calendars and cards from her own online gallery on

Jenny is a regular contributor to The Artist Magazine, and an online tutor, with a series of 25+ modules on painting in oils and acrylics. She also produces shorter painting videos on YouTube.

Jenny lives in Derbyshire, not far from the beautiful Peak District.

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