This series just gets better and better and is branching out into areas that others don’t touch.
Having given us what is one of the best guides to painting trees there is, we now have this on those little details that can make a building, even one that’s really only in the background, believable. The thing about a window is that it’s not just a square hole in a wall. It has depth, which gives it shadows and the glass reflects in quite specific ways, which often turn out to be quite a complicated graduation of hues of Payne’s Gray. Doors are the same, except that, even closed, they have to give a hint that they lead somewhere. If you don’t give your openings character, your building will look flat, deserted and dead.
On top of that, doors and windows have all kinds of furniture – shutters, hinges, porches – often with flowers growing round them – and frames of brick and stone work. There’s a lot to get right and Wendy is well known for doing just that.
The Ready to Paint series is based on a set of very detailed step-by-step projects for each of which there is a pre-printed tracing that frees you from the need to get the drawing right before you can start and allows you to concentrate on the use of colours. It’s not a substitute for good draughtsmanship of course, but it does mean you don’t have to be learning two things at once. If you’re beyond the stage of what amounts to advanced painting by numbers, don’t dismiss this little book, though, because it contains a wealth of information that goes quite a long way beyond what it initially sets out to do.