It’s a brave artist who self-publishes. Quite apart from the technical expertise required and the expense, you still need a good designer and it’s easy to think you can manage without an editor (you can’t!).
This, though, looks and feels entirely professional and you might not even know it wasn’t a commercial product if I hadn’t told you. The format is a little larger than we’re sometimes used to, but not so big that it’s hard to handle. It’s also square, which provides flexibility in layout and doesn’t favour either vertical or horizontal illustrations.
The idea of the book isn’t to be a guide to Venice, or a guide to painting Venice, but rather some ideas for the travelling painter who might be going anywhere. That could be as far as the end of the road – it doesn’t have to involve air fares and passports.
There’s an excellent variety of subject material: buildings, water, people and boats, all presented in Judi’s pleasantly loose style that creates an impression rather than a defining image. As well as completed images and stages of completion (they’re mostly not exactly step-by-steps or demonstrations), there are photographs and sketches. The text covers a great deal of practical matter: technical in relation to things like washes as well as getting about and the need to have somewhere to shelter in the inevitable rain. It all has the feel of a pleasant evening spent with an old hand before making your own first foray.
There are many reasons why you should buy this book and the fact that it’s about Venice is arguably the least of them!
Click the link to view on Amazon or go to www.watercolour.co.uk