Light and Movement in Watercolour || Jake Winkle

Jake Winkle’s paintings are all about colour. These can frequently be surprising as, for example, in the front cover image of the boxing hares, where reds, blues and greens are used to give shade and depth as well as to impart vitality and movement.

It takes a little practice to get your eye accustomed to his style, which at first sight appears very loose. Well, it is very loose, but there’s more detail in there than you first realise and you’ll eventually begin to appreciate the way in which carefully placed and graduated blocks and splashes of colour are used to define shape and depth. The trick is in the juxtaposition of advancing and receding hues that give an almost 3-dimensional appearance. Look again at those hares: if they were done any other way, they’d be a magnificent image, but they’d be static and flat.

Not all Jake’s work is quite as avant-garde as this, but the sense of colour is always there, even if it’s sometimes more subtle, as in his more tranquil landscapes as well as interiors and flowers. The book is mostly about how Jake paints, although there are four demonstrations included so that you can have a go at a guided attempt at his style for yourself – and I’d certainly recommend that you try this.

This is without doubt a challenging book, but it’s also a rewarding one. As ever with a highly individualistic style, you wouldn’t want to copy it completely, but it’s certainly worth considering the way Jake uses colour and seeing if you can’t incorporate at least a few of his ideas.

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