How to paint a traditional British village scene

Medieval churches, green pastures and slate-topped farm houses are synonymous with the villages that litter the British countryside. Here I'll use my own 'five C’s of painting' – Concept, Composition, Contrast, Colour, Completion – as logical steps to paint the beautiful medieval St Laurence’s Church in Weston Underwood, the next village from where I live in the Cotswolds.

The photograph of the church was taken on a sunny but cool day in April from the edge of a field at the back of the church. I put a 3x3 grid on the photograph to help draw my composition. To do this, draw a 14 x 10-inch border on your watercolour paper and this will be exactly proportional to the dimensions of the photograph. Once done, draw a 3x3 grid lightly with a B pencil on the watercolour paper, which will proportionately match the grid on the photograph and enable you to transfer the image accurately.

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Robert Newcombe has been painting in watercolour for over 30 years. In 2012, he was selected by the BBC as one of 20 artists to paint the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant from the Millennium Bridge in London.