Richard Taylor is probably the best exponent of the art of painting buildings around at the moment. The built environment is a tricky subject to handle because it’s so instantly recognisable. Get it wrong and most people, even non-painters, will be able to tell you exactly how – it’s too tall, too thin, it leans over backwards, it’s flat, the windows are in the wrong place and if you tried to walk through that door, you’d bang your head. Experts, who needs them?
Richard’s style balances neatly the needs for reasonable architectural accuracy with the artist’s desire to capture the feeling rather than the detail of a subject. If his buildings were people, we’d say they had character. They aren’t and they do.
Superficially, this book looks a bit lightweight, but that’s an illusion brought on by the fact that Richard’s drawings are quite open and light, so that no page appears to be crammed with detail. Get further in however, and you’ll find that each page is either a practical project, a series of hints and tips or a lesson in capturing a specific building type or feature and the text, although by no means lengthy is very much to the point. To be fair, this is a book much more about drawing buildings than painting them. There’s some line and wash, but that’s about it as far as brushwork goes. If you want to paint buildings, Richard’s earlier Watercolourist’s Guide to Painting Buildings is what you need. At nearly eighteen pounds, this is a tad pricy for a book with not much colour but the content is solid and you’d be unlikely to feel short-changed by it on that count.
Year published: 2005
List Price: £17.99