What a pleasant change it is to read a "how to"
book on painting by an artist who is self-taught! Perhaps
it is not surprising that this is one of Search Press' rare
hardcover books as it is something rather special, and in
many ways, easier to learn from than a book on the same topic
by a college taught painter.
So how is this book different and deserving of its hard cover?
This artist does not merely tell the reader to buy the best
but explains why one item works better than another and explodes
a few old myths in the process. There is some very up to date
advice in here dealing with what is on the market now, and
no mention of expensive items like easels. Instead of color
wheels there are paintings using a limited palette and advice
on mixing, greens in particular to look lifelike. There are
exercises to try out to practice certain things such as tonal
values, washes, wet into wet etc., and various staged projects.
These include the usual types of picturesque country view,
an Oxford college, a still life of a cannon and a painting
of an old man; a nice mix of the invariable and the less obvious.
Each project demonstrates some aspect of watercolor painting
so you can learn by experience. Throughout the book the artist
talks to the reader rather as if he was there in person, giving
useful advice and explaining why it is useful. As a largely
self-taught painter myself I found this book easier to learn
from than those by the more formally trained artists and if
this is your background then you might agree with me. This
is one of the better books for the total beginner on watercolor