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The Watercolour Flower Painter’s A-Z
An Illustrated Directory of Techniques for Painting 50 Popular Flowers
BY Adelene Fletcher

Search Press
16 July 2018/ ISBN 9781782216483
How-To Books / Art

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


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 for a list of suppliers.

Reviews of other titles by this author

The Watercolour A to Z of Trees and Foliage

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2018