This straightforward guide includes demonstrations covering 36 different varieties, each in a two-page spread. Some of them will probably be more familiar than others and I suspect that there’s been some internationalisation – my knowledge of plants being zero, I can’t confirm that, but the Baltimore Oriole (a bird) that crops up, does tend to confirm it.
The jacket proudly announces on the front that the demonstrations are “for all levels of artist from beginner up” and there’s certainly a sound introduction covering brushstrokes, foliage and composition that will help you get started. This being perhaps a less familiar technique, this will be useful to more people than many materials-and-techniques openers.
The demonstrations, covering two pages, are necessarily short, but do include a fair amount of detail: not much is required as the Chinese technique is very loose and certainly doesn’t fall into the category of botanical illustration. I suspect that you’re going to find the whole thing much easier if you have some basic experience, though. I probably wouldn’t choose this as an introduction to flower painting.
All in all, this is a thorough and varied guide, nicely presented (and I do like the fact that the editors have resisted the temptation to put the flowers in alphabetical order!). It’s unlikely to disappoint.
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