Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Atmospheric Watercolours
Jean Haines

Search Press
30 May 2012 (US 1 September 2012) / ISBN-13: 9781844486748
How-To Books/Painting
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Search Press doesn't publish many hardcover books, but when it does, I expect something a bit special. This is no exception to the rule, so prepare yourself for a large format coffee table book filled with sumptuous illustrations. Her is a book to get your creative juices flowing and make you abandon the coffee in favor of your easel.

Well, maybe that is overdoing it a bit, but the subtitle of this book is painting with freedom, expression and style. Ms Haines' painting style verges on the abstract in many cases, and comes across as being free and spontaneous. East meets west here as the author talks about her love of Chinese brushwork and brings some of that to her work, as well as a lot of sheer enthusiasm and a throwing away of the rulebook. I'm always keen on people who do that, and there are lots of exercises to try out to free up one's hand and generally have fun with paint. Of course, you can expect all the usual topics found in books on watercolor painting: working with color, mixing washes, choosing materials etc. But here they are explored in unconventional ways, and I can recommend this book to all those who think they can't paint and find most painting styles too rigid and structured. There is a lot in here and all of it is suitable both for beginners and those who have painted for years but want to try something new. A lovely book that should have wide appeal, I enjoyed Ms Haines' huge enthusiasm for her subject.

You find out more about UK reviewer Rachel Hyde at her blog: Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2012