The What to Paint series is the grown-up cousin of Ready to Paint and includes larger drawings that need to be assembled and traced down. For me, the problem is that when you’ve taken those pages out of the book, you’ve removed half of it and weakened the spine. On the other hand, this is something to use, not keep on the shelf, so maybe that doesn’t matter. The series is maturing nicely and remains popular, so clearly plenty of people don’t share my reservations.
Peter Woolley includes an excellent variety of material and none of the 24 paintings could be said to be in any way similar, ranging from misty views to craggy hillsides and from snowy peaks to tranquil farmland scenes. Each painting is accompanied by the finished work, a note of the palette and breakouts of the important details. There are no step-by-step instructions and the main idea is that you work on your own with only a light guiding hand. The outline gets the whole issue of drawing out of the way, leaving you to concentrate on the colour, tone and shading.
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