Long ago, all the main materials suppliers sold printed outlines that came with instructions on how to complete the image using their colours. Broadly speaking, it was painting by numbers for grown-ups and, if your basic drawing let you down, it was a very good way to get over the first hurdle and start producing paintings that look reasonably enough like their subject. It’s easy to sneer at this approach, but it worked for a lot of people and, if it gave confidence, one can hope that skills and abilities followed.
In this book, Terry Harrison paints five scenes and gives you very detailed (far more stages than usual) step-by-step instructions. What he also provides is a tracing paper outline of the initial sketch so that you can get the relative proportions right without worry – and which you can use again and again. Once you start painting you’re on your own paper and at the same point you would be if you’d done the sketch yourself. You don’t put the colour down in blocks, but rather use all the same techniques of washes, blending and glazing that you’d learn from any other book.
No, it’s not for the serious artist, but for the beginner struggling to find the right place to start, it could be that revelation that gets them going.
Search Press 2007