Brilliant Color || Julie Gilbert Pollard

It’s difficult, from a first impression, to say what this book is about. That’s not a criticism, because bright, colourful outdoor paintings are always attractive and there’s an immediate sense of, “I’d like to do that”. I’d like to say it falls into the category of books about colour, but it’s not really that, even though the cover blurb tells us that it, “Reveals a new way of thinking about colour empowering you to push the envelope beyond ordinary realism into bold landscapes full of life and energy”. Well, yes, up to a point, although the impression from the illustrations is mainly one of not using sombre colours which could best be summed up in the advice, “Don’t use sombre colours. And don’t overdo the mixing”.

However, as I said, the results are attractive and, if you want to paint sunny, cheerful outdoor scenes in oil or acrylic, then this book is, at the very least going to encourage you. There are plenty of stages in the step-by-step demonstrations and the text is clearly and economically written without any of the over-philosophising that can bedevil this kind of book and which is perhaps threatened in what I quoted above.

I said it was difficult to say what this was about. Does that matter? It provides a good introduction to outdoor painting in oils and acrylics and does its job well. Do you want any more than that?

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