Artful Watercolor – learning to use the secrets of light || Lou Bonamarte & Carolyn Janik

The climate of New England has much in common with the Old Country and its artists can therefore speak to a UK audience with little translation. In this case, that means that the colours, washes, mists and occasional bursts of sunlight will be immediately familiar and the subjects rarely, if ever, alien.

Light is the artist’s stock in trade and many books have been, either explicitly or implicitly, about it. Often though, they are really just a way of pegging a book about how a particular author, who may be said to have a knack, paints. This one though is soundly practical and has much useful advice. The downside of this (don’t I always find one?) is that there are a lot of words. This is no bad thing in itself and it isn’t a bad thing here, because the authors explain all the processes of design, composition and execution in not overfull detail. However, it does mean that some of the illustrations are smaller than you might like, in particular those that show progressive stages, and that details can be hard to pick out.

It should be said that this wasn’t what struck me on first looking through the book: what I saw then was how practical and comprehensive it was. Looking at it in more detail did throw the issue up, though. I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker, but it’s one of those things that, when you’ve noticed it once, you can’t ignore.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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