31 March 2024


BC Paperback With flaps

216x280 mm



160 pages

Search Press

Painting into the Light

by Jenny Aitken

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.

Book 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

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