Paint lovely studies of fifty
popular flowers with this useful primer. Every book sold donates
money to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, funding their
vital work. Aimed at anybody who has some basic skills but
wants to extend their art repertoire to include flowers, there
is a useful lesson in every project.
As it says on the cover, this is an “illustrated directory
of techniques” and, if you work your way through all
the flowers, you will amass a wealth of useful watercolor
skills. Start by learning what colors you need to buy plus
a brief overview of other materials, and progress though some
short techniques which are particularly associated with painting
flowers. Most of these are common to all watercolor work,
but the examples shown are all of plants so you can discover
how to use them in context with floral depiction. A true beginner
will probably require more in-depth instruction for basics
such as wet-in-wet, dry brushing, masking out etc., but anybody
of at least improver level used to painting other subjects
will find it useful. The rest of the book mostly consists
of the fifty projects, taking you from agapanthus to zantedeschia.
Each project covers two pages, one showing a picture of the
finished work plus a few enlarged areas with notes and the
other the method. Colors are listed with a blob of each which
is helpful, although there is no list of other items such
as brushes or anything else. These are all mentioned in the
method, which is separated into a staged “Sequence”
and at the bottom “Special Detail” which highlights
a particular technique which you can learn or perfect with
the project. This is not a book with pages of captioned photographs;
instead only the special detail features three staged steps
and the rest is words alone. At the back of the book is further
help on composing floral groups plus a glossary and index.
The glossary contains both watercolor and botanical terms,
and each flower has a short piece describing it. Choose from
a large range of garden and house favorites such as roses,
sunflower, waterlily, poppies, tulip, nasturtium, passion
flower, bird of paradise, poinsettia, carnation and many more.
The print is on the small side and, due to the lack of pictorial
stages, anybody lacking experience is advised to read everything
through at least once. The rewards will not only include a
wealth of lovely paintings and new skills, but also the knowledge
that buying this book has helped Kew Gardens’ important
work including their Seed Bank. A good book for anybody who
wants to learn how to paint flowers in watercolor.
If you cannot find a good range of watercolor painting materials
locally try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.
Reviews of other titles by this author
Watercolour A to Z of Trees and Foliage