Thursday, 13 October 2011

Watercolour Challenge Practical Painting Course

This is a great instruction book for both beginners to working with watercolour and for those bored with a particular style or subject.  There is some wonderful material in this book.  Something I particularly like is the fact that it draws on the work of several artists to learn from.  The advantage over books by a named artist is that you invariably get taught how to paint how they work, which is probably the attraction in the first place.  It was published a while ago but I think it is still possible to find a copy – try Amazon.  It is a fairly large book, 288 pages in a large page format.  There are 10 chapters, going through: Paint Basics, Colour Theory, Brushstrokes, Using Sketches, Drawing Media, Drawing Techniques, Planning Pictures, Composition Skills, Special Effects, and Equipment.  Technique and step by step demonstrations are liberal throughout.  There is a surprising amount of material on drawing for a book which is billed as a painting course, however, I think this is a huge plus.  If you don’t have a good grasp of drawing skills then you are limiting yourself to the styles and subjects you can successfully tackle as a painter.  In fact, I learned more about drawing and composition from this book than from some others that were dedicated to those topics.  A few of the artist featured are: Charles Bartlett, Richard Allen, Kate Gwynn, Tony Porter, Anthony Matthews, Ian Sidaway and Glen Scouller; covering a great range of styles, approaches and subjects.  In summary, the book covers a wide range from basic to advanced topics, has work from a wide range of artists, but this is all brought together and done extremely well.

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