Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Learn To Paint In Watercolour Step By Step
William Newton

Search Press
9 March 2017/ ISBN 9781782215233
How-To Books/Art

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


If you want to learn to paint in watercolors and require a good basic primer, this is a good choice. Concentrating on landscapes, seascapes and portraits, you can build up your skills as you complete the exercises and finish with a starter gallery of six paintings.

This is the sort of book that Search Press does probably better than anybody else. Originally published back in 2013 as William Newton’s Complete Guide To Watercolour Painting (ISBN 9781844488308), this is a new revised edition. The artist is self-taught and wisely eschews the usual advice to buy too much; instead he has sensible suggestions as to what a beginner needs and the reasons why. His section on other materials does not feature anything expensive and contains many items you will already own. There is a section on color including mixing advice, mixing greens, working with a limited palette, and another on tone including painting light, shadows and implying distance. Learn the tricks of the trade such as wet into wet, dry brush work, using masking fluid, etc., and essentials like using a camera, composition and perspective. The rest of the book contains the six projects which are helpfully step by step, building up the picture a bit at a time with the aid of many captioned photographs. Unlike some other painting primers, this one has no traceable outlines, but each project features a small tonal pencil sketch which you need to replicate the basic outline of. How straightforward this is depends upon your drawing skills and I found it would be a good thing if it was larger, as seeing all the detail in it is not easy and the first stage showing the sketch on paper is very faint. Subjects include a lonely farm track, barges on the mud, a village street, an Oxford college, old cannon still life and a portrait. The portrait is sketched from a photograph so gives the budding artist some practice doing this. Each project has a few similar paintings as examples with short captions about their execution. If you want to try your hand at painting watercolors, this is a good place to start, particularly due to the sensible advice on what to buy (and what not to).

If you cannot find a good range of watercolor painting materials locally, try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and Craftsuprint.
Reviewed 2017