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Book Review Watercolour Flowers by Julie King

ISBN 9781782216261, hardback price 15.99, available from www.searchpres.com

This hardback book is a combination of watercolour flower painting instruction and pre-dawn sheets of artist quality paper. I am a fan of Julie’s beautiful watercolour renditions of flowers. The 6 projects include different techniques and you will use wet-on-dry and wet-in-wet, painting fine lines, gradated washes, glazing and stippling, mixing on the paper, lifting out, negative painting, highlights and shadows, textures with salt and more. The flowers included are Tulips, Hibiscus, Day Lily and Rudbeckia, Clematis, Sweet Pea and Rose. Find out how to use the book, set up for painting, materials, techniques, colour and mixing as well as how to frame your work. Each project has detailed instructions with step-by-step images. In an easy to see box, you’ll see at a glance the colours and the size of brush used. Excellent clear photos are used throughout. Recommended for the beginner finding it difficult to get to grips with drawing.

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Book review Five Minute Watercolour by Samantha Nielsen

watercolourBook review Five Minute Watercolour by Samantha Nielsen, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782217046, price 8.99 available from www.searchpress.com

A tempting cover with the glorious qualities of watercolour for all to see and a mastery of the ever-difficult green. This book offers learners ‘Super-quick Techniques For Amazing Paintings’ claims the cover. Its small size belies the fact that this book contains 55 exercises to enhance your familiarity with watercolour. Practice is the key states the artist in her introduction and that is true of everything. As painters we tend to want to create a masterpiece straight away. Often with watercolour, we quickly become discouraged. It does not behave how we want it to. Will this book help? It begins with tools – you’ll find suggestions for choosing the right tools. The next chapter is about techniques. This is all about washes, blending colour, lifting colour, glazing, edges, blooms and brushwork. The book moves on to applying those techniques. I liked the pages on skies best in this section, especially the image of Pamela Harmois’ Beach Walkers, which is very inspiring. This section includes the essence of the book in that it gives five-minute chosen themes for skies, rocks, trees, water and waves, landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, floral. These are a little lacking in instruction and are just images with a short introductory text. There are more ideas for quick ways to paint night scenes, the four seasons, people. The final section is Take it Further, which gives suggestions for improving on your new-found skills. If you wish to make watercolour part of your everyday activities, this book might well show you the way. Yet I feel it is only old techniques dressed up as something different. You might be inspired by the numerous sketches, but they are hardly finished artworks. Interesting and worth a read. Any artist will improve if he paints daily, given he understands the techniques and how to apply them.

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Painting Book Review – Complete Guide to Watercolour by David Webb

Complete Guide to Watercolour by David Webb, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215738, price 15.99 available from www.searchpress.com

From beginners up this book, one of an excellent series, provides all the techniques and essential skills you need to begin to understand watercolour and paint your first paintings. There is no doubt that watercolour takes skill and understanding and that how it works is key to being able to use it. Understand the medium, learn how to mix, apply and more. This great watercolour primer will help you achieve success. Washes, resists, colour charts, design and perspective, texture, step-by-step demonstrations and fabulous finished art. The only thing it does not include is a loose style.