Saturday, 21 October 2017

Two 'Ready to paint in 30 minutes' in Watercolour - Book Reviews




Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3


Ready to Paint in 30 Minutes – Flowers in Watercolour 
 Author Ann Mortimer 
(Search Press ISBN 978-1-78221-519-6) 

Review is by guest contributor, Sue W from Leicestershire, UK

5*

Having just had a handful of ‘beginners’ watercolour lessons and finding them very challenging I was introduced to this book. Wow! I found it to be very exciting and inspiring. For people new to painting and to watercolour this is the book for you. You don’t even need to be able to draw! 

The book is full of ideas, tips and projects for you to work through. Each chapter leads on to new and interesting techniques to learn such as ‘spattering’, ‘wax resist’ and the use of salt. For those who find drawing difficult as I do tracings are provided of the flowers, leaves and seed heads featured so there is no excuse not to get started! Each ‘tracing’ is carefully cross referenced to the relevant project and page where you will find step-by-step instructions to lead you through the painting techniques needed to complete your chosen project. 

At the beginning of the book there is information about the basic equipment needed. A list of the paint colours used throughout is given but as well as their names there is also a colour chart. I found this a great help as it meant I could mix the colour I needed if I didn’t have the particular paint mentioned. 

As it is now autumn I decided to have a go at the leaf (see Pic 1). This involved painting ‘wet-in- wet’. I particularly enjoyed trying out the effect of ‘spatter spots’. Painting the ‘Anemone with shadows’ picture (pic 2) introduced the idea of using ‘negative space’ to keep areas white, and of using masking fluid to reserve areas of the paper from the paint in order to add a different colour at a later stage. The background to the flowers is achieved using the ‘wet-in-wet’ method whereas to deepen the shadow and add detail required ‘wet-on-dry’. My most successful picture was achieved using wax resist to paint a picture of Honesty seed heads (see Pic 3). I was very happy with the result at just my first attempt! 

If you love flowers and have always wanted to paint them then this book is for you.


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Ready to Paint in 30 Minutes – Street Scenes in Watercolour 
Author Graham Booth 
(Search Press ISBN 978-1-782-21415-1)

Review is by guest contributor, Cheryl H from Birmingham, UK  

4*

The artwork in the book is beautiful, and excitingly this step-by-step project book really makes the beginner believe they can achieve - and they can! There are 32 projects, gradually adding new techniques. I think in time, without perhaps realising, the beginner could produce some great pieces of art. I really appreciated the tracings which mean you don't feel pressure to become a great drawer and a great painter at the same time, and you don't have to face the daunting 'blank page' before you start painting. The pencil lines form part of the finished piece of work. The small sizes of paintings also help as a beginner as its easy to paint on your lap or a table, and there's no need to worry about mixing huge quantities of paint or stretching the paper. I have worked through the first 4 projects up to now, which varied in their outcomes but, while the finished pieces are reasonable, its important to remember the book is about learning, not making masterpieces. At the start of the book there is some information about equipment and colours but to be honest, I'd have liked a bit more info here, so I could identify types of brushes for example, and more on how to prepare and use a palette as I struggled preparing my colour mixes. I'd have also liked a page with a palette image of the colours which are used throughout the book, so when the artist states he uses Windsor Red, for example, I could find my closest match. One of the best things about this book is that rather than technique exercises you learn the technique within a piece of work, so you end with finished pieces of work, and you can see why the different techniques are important. I'm looking forward to continuing with the book, and it'd perhaps be interested to then go back to the beginning and compare my second attempts and see my improvements. I'd be very happy to recommend this book to a friend who wanted to learn to paint with watercolour, and learn the techniques ready to take on their own projects eventually. 

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