The Acrylic Flower Painter's A-Z || Lexi Sundell

Acrylics have always been something of a Cinderella medium, bubbling under in the popularity stakes and held back really only by a slight, rather undeserved, reputation for being difficult because of their quick-drying properties. Modern retarder mediums have largely put paid to this and, with increased interest, books are starting to appear. Having got beyond the general introductions, these are also branching out into specific subjects and this is, as far as I’m aware, the first specifically on painting flowers.

The format belongs to a small series that includes watercolour flowers and also trees and foliage, both of which have gone down well. The approach is to devote a single spread to one particular subject, with a full-page finished painting with a colour chart and a description of the painting sequence opposite. Detail illustrations appear along the bottom of the spread. Before all this starts, however, there’s a good and concise introduction to basic techniques. Yes, the layout is formulaic, but the trade-off is that, once you’ve got the hang of it, you don’t have to re-learn it for every project.

The only reservation I have is that this is a book clearly designed for an international market. Yes, you get 40 popular flowers (it says on the cover), but you’d have to have a world tour ticket to see all of them. How much this matters depends on how adaptable you are. The basic structures are all there and the notes about colour apply whatever the shape is, so there’s still something to be learnt even if you’ll never encounter a Gazania, Rose Mallow or California Poppy in the wild. Make do with Apple Blossom, Gerberas or the Shirley Poppy instead.

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