Matthew Palmer is an experienced teacher of beginners’ courses and also the engaging presenter of A Splash of Paint on the SAA’s Painting & Drawing TV channel.
This is an encouraging pedigree that augurs well for what purports to be an absolute from-the-basics guide that assumes no prior knowledge or experience and merely an enthusiasm to get started.
So, does it live up to its billing? Well, starting from an introduction to materials, we’re into simple drawing by page 12. These are easy shapes, but you will have got under way with buildings, boats, people and animals almost immediately, and this can do nothing but inspire confidence. Just a few lines and it turns out you can do it after all! It’s the same with composition and perspective, each explained in only a few pages and without any added complication. It’s not the full story, of course, but it’s enough to get you on to the next stage.
Before long, we’re into demonstrations of trees, skies and water. Things are beginning to take shape nicely and you’re ready for the first full painting, with a detailed step-by-step demonstration for which there is also a pull-out tracing in the manner of the Ready To Paint series. Further demonstrations (also with tracings) bring further subjects and techniques into play.
It’s all very gentle, very progressive and, above all, it proceeds by results, which can be nothing but encouraging. If you want to learn to paint, but don’t know where to start, start here.
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