Archive for category Author: Bryan A Thatcher

Watercolour Painting Step-by-Step || Jackie Barrass, Richard Bolton, Ray Campbell Smith, Frank Halliday, William Newton, Wendy Tait, Bryan A Thatcher

This is a reissue of an earlier compilation, which I was convinced I had reviewed before, but don’t seem to have. It originated as a bind-up of Search press’s Leisure Arts series and makes available lessons from what was a very serviceable series from quite a long time ago.

Although I had reservations about the reproduction in its acrylic counterpart, and some of it here isn’t quite up to modern standards, it’s not too bad and not quite the stumbling block I found it in the other volume. At a shade under £10, it’s enormously good value and I think you could overlook any shortcomings simply in favour of the wealth and variety of material you get for your money.

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Watercolour Painting Step-by-Step

This is one of those bind-ups of smaller titles that Search Press does from time to time and does rather well. It’s not at all obvious that this is a collection of books which have previously appeared in the Leisure Arts series and material which would normally repeat from one to the other has been removed so that, for example, you only get one introduction to materials, not several authors saying virtually the same thing. I’d tell you how many different books you get for your money if I could but, frankly, I can’t spot the joins. At £12.99, they’re excellent value for money as long as you don’t already have a comprehensive collection of the originals.

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Wet-Into-Wet Watercolour Technique || Bryan A Thatcher

Search Press have pretty much perfected the art of the short art book. They’re not alone in producing competitively-priced 48 and 64 page paperbacks, but they avoid the cardinal traps of being either too trivial or too ambitious.

A bit like the time-limited painting, the short book concentrates the mind (or at least, it should). There’s no room for grand gestures or tours of fantastic writing. Say what you have to say, leave plenty of room for the illustrations and get on with it. The result isn’t going to be a definitive work that will have the professional artist absorbed for hours, but what you can produce is a straightforward beginner’s guide to single topics which, when they appear as a chapter in a larger work, often get lost.

Wet-in-Wet is, of course, the king of watercolour techniques, the one that no other medium can emulate and, as such, much larger books can be, indeed have been, devoted to it. However, for the beginner wanting to get a grip on the basics, this little book (originally published in 1995) will do just nicely.

Although he has a tendency to be formulaic in his technique, Bryan Thatcher nevertheless gives you reproducible results. Follow his demonstrations and you will, yourself, produce paintings which do what you want them to do. Go on doing that and you won’t progress, but the purpose of this book is to set you on the road and it does that very successfully. By their very nature, Bryan’s paintings are distillations which represent typical, rather than necessarily real, scenes.

In the short space he has, Bryan manages to cover landscapes, skies, people, trees and boats and to paint demonstrations which do adequate justice to the wet-in-wet technique and show how it’s done and how it’s used.

Year published: 2006 (originally published 1995)
List price: £7.99

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