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Abstract Nature
Expressing the natural world with acrylics, watercolour and mixed media
Waltraud Nawratil

Search Press
25 August 2016/ ISBN 9781782212386
How-To Books/Art

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Inside this book is a liberating, freer approach to depicting nature that draws upon abstract styles and makes use of a lot more than just paint. Using acrylics, watercolors and mixed media, the artist shows you how to produce bold, imaginative work that brings the natural world to vibrant life.

This is not a book aimed at the beginning artist, but to those with experience who want to try something fresh and new. The artist uses a wide variety of materials beyond just the standard paints and brushes including stencils, pressed bark and found objects. Not only acrylics and watercolors are used either; airbrush paints, marble powder, pastes, binders and more are made use of, so anybody attempting this type of work might be advised to stock up on more than just the basics. Following on from this is a section on using the various media with plenty of examples and inspiration. The rest of the book contains twenty-two projects, not the usual Search Press type, with lots of photographic stages but briefer. These are organized in seasons, with each project covering two pages. There is a page-sized photograph of the finished piece, plus a list of what you need and step by step instructions in five to six written stages. Subjects include flowers such as dandelions, ferns, daisies, poppies (several of these), trees, a pond, meadow scene and more. Describing them as abstract stretches the term somewhat as it is easy to see what the paintings depict; rather they are a freer, looser style which gives a vigorous outdoor appearance suitable to the subjects. At the back is a gallery where the author suggests people utilize the pictures as inspiration for their own, concluding a refreshingly different approach to painting nature.

If you cannot find a good range of art materials locally, try for a list of suppliers.
UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2017