Trees, Woodlands & Forests (What to Paint) || Geoff Kersey

As a simple guide to painting scenes in which trees are a major feature, this can’t be bettered. That seems like a rather restricted view, but it’s important to understand that this isn’t a guide to painting trees and it isn’t exactly a guide to painting them in the landscape either.

The What to Paint series is based around a series of 24 finished paintings with, on the opposite page, a general description of what they are and why and how they were painted, with detailed illustrations of specific features and a note of the colours used. Then, at the back of the book, you get outline drawings for each one that you can trace down onto your own paper. As these are printed on normal book paper this is a bit of a challenge, especially if you leave the sheets in the book. Remove them and, eventually, you’ll have torn out the whole of the second half, leaving it difficult to manage.

Although I get the general idea and I think it’s a worthy attempt, I can’t help feeling it’s ungainly and I’m really not certain whether this adds anything to the (in my opinion) much better Ready to Paint series. I presume that this is supposed to be the next stage up, but I can’t help wondering if the reader would have been better served with an extra page of technical instruction for each painting and ditch the tracings.

All that said, if you ignore those, I like the book and the work that Geoff has produced is nicely done and well varied.

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