Watercolour Moutains, Valleys & Streams || Terry Harrison

By concentrating on three of the main elements of landscape painting, this rather clever little book manages to cram enough information into 64 pages to form a basic watercolour landscape course.

Anyone familiar with Terry’s work will know that he tends towards the picturesque and this gives his work a slightly chocolate-box quality that might exclude him from the canon of great painters but will (and, indeed, does) find favour with amateur painters whose chief aim is to capture a reasonable likeness of what’s before them. The very undemanding nature of what Terry paints means that he has a very achievable style and even the most raw beginner is going to think, “I could do that”.

This is, in fact, the basis of good teaching. If you don’t have confidence in the teacher, you’re never going to believe that you can learn anything from them. It doesn’t matter whether they’re the greatest practitioner because that, in fact, can make them remote and more likely to inspire admiration than emulation.

This book, as usual, features Terry’s own range of brushes. These are available from him as a set (see www.terryharrison.com) or you may find that you can get equivalents in any good art shop. Like all magic brushes, they’re a bit of a gimmick, but they also serve a specific purpose in making you think and handle them in a particular way. On their own, they’re not going to make the slightest difference to your work, but anything that gets you round specific problems or, more to the point, stop worrying about them, can’t be a bad thing.

The book is packed with colour illustrations (and gives the impression of being a lot longer than it is for that) and step-by-step demonstrations. Terry is generous with his painting methods and this is one of the reasons that he is so popular as a demonstrator.

There have been many much longer books on landscape painting and these all have their place, but, as a clear and concise introduction that leads you by the hand, this one is a very good place to start.

Year published: 2006
List price: £8.99

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