The Artist’s Essential Guide to Watercolour || Gerald Green

I hadn’t come across Gerald Green and, although this is a 2008 publication, I’m surprised I still can’t locate another book by him because, on the evidence of this one, he’s a real find.

Rather than being yet another technical manual, the book concentrates on methods of expression in the medium and lives well up to its subtitle: “Paint with freedom, expression and vitality”. It’s nicely broken up, with short individual sections such as Establishing a Focus, Achieving Power with Neutrals or The Vitality of Line being grouped under the main chapter heads like The Direct Approach and Enlivening With Colour. The main thing is that there are plenty of illustrations, but there is also quite a lot more explanatory text than you sometimes get with this approach and the compact nature of the sections has been slightly sacrificed to a smaller type size. I’m not suggesting that the text should have been cut, as it’s cogently expressed, but, if you wear glasses, you’re going to need them, that’s all.

Gerald has quite a loose style (we’re getting towards the Charles Reid level here), which will appeal more to the intermediate painter than to the beginner, but that’s really where the book is pitched, so I don’t think the target audience is going to be disappointed.

David & Charles

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