Creating Luminous Watercolor Landscapes – a four-step process || Sterling Edwards

Someone, somewhere in America has to be offering a prize for the longest book title! Sometimes, though, it’s no bad thing and hardly any of them leave you in any doubt as to what they’re about.

What this one offers is a fairly standard guide to landscape painting. There are introductions to materials, colour, techniques, including a few tricks and then chapters on composition and a series of exercises dealing with the main landscape elements. But what of this four-step process, what is this magic we are promised? Well, the final chapter is devoted to a series of demonstrations that have (you’ll never guess) four stages. How cool is that? Well, it’s quite nice not to have something that looks rather like watching an animated film frame-by-frame, it’s true, but it’s hardly the great revelation we’ve somehow been led to expect.

The results are pleasantly loose, the colours quite New England and the style not un-reminiscent of Zoltan Sazbo, something the author hints at in the introduction. I do hope he’s not trying to achieve greatness by association, though. All in all, it’s not a bad book and you can certainly learn from it. I’m just not sure it really brings anything new to the party; or am I becoming jaded?

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