Roses in Watercolour (Ready to Paint) || Janet Whittle

Some quite surprising developments have been taking place in this series of late. While it started off pretty much on-message with simple guides to straightforward subjects, some genuine little masterclasses have started appearing and this is definitely one of those.

This is amazing, not because the series is going off-message, but because it turns out to be possible to do it in a format that you’d think would always tend towards the elementary. You still have the pre-drawn tracings, but all of Janet’s final results here have the feeling of being freehand work. In truth, you couldn’t paint a convincing flower portrait without an initial sketch, but there’s absolutely no sense here of that having been filled in, which is really rather remarkable.

I’m not sure I’d recommend this to a beginner in flower painting, but if you’re looking to develop skills and you want a bit of help getting the shapes right so that you can concentrate on the colours and shading, then this book is unique. In fact, even if you don’t use the tracings at all, Janet still has a huge amount to tell you.

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