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Publisher: Search Press
Release Date: August 2004
ISBN: 1844480097
Format Reviewed: Large Format Paperback
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Genre:   How-To Books/Painting
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:  Visit the site at Search Press

Watercolour Fairies
By David Riche & Anna Franklin

      Fantasy art is enjoying popularity at the moment, so why not jump on the bandwagon and have a go yourself? You will need the usual watercolor materials, and of course some knowledge of the fairy realm. In here you can find out about all the different kinds of fairies, and work through some staged examples to hone your skills.

    If you think that painting fairies is basically about painting people with wings, then you certainly need this book. Learn how to make your sprites look like airy diaphanous beings and look at different kinds of fantasy paintings. The section on what materials you will need to obtain is helpful, and I especially liked the diagrams showing how to stretch watercolor paper. There is a color wheel in here too, and a section on how to do various effects such as a balance in the picture, foreshortening and creating atmosphere. There are notes on parts of anatomy and how ordinary human characteristics can be taken and altered to make fairy folk look more supernatural. Here too are several examples of various artists’ work which is discussed, talking about what the artist is trying to achieve in the picture and the methods used. I also liked the staged examples which are shown in several steps of execution, and there is a list of the paints used as well as some discussion of how to accomplish the effects. I certainly found it helpful to work through a few of these, and found it made me think about what I was aiming for in my work. You don’t need much to do any of the works in here, which is encouraging, and the authors don’t insist that you need a lot of expensive non-essentials, unlike some artists’ manuals. Accessible, and a lot of fun.