Archive for category Author: Geoff Kersey

Watercolour Tips & Techniques || Arnold Lowrey, Wendy Jelbert, Geoff Kersey, Barry Herniman

This substantial tome packs an enormous amount of information into its 376 pages and covers basic techniques, sketching, perspective and mood & atmosphere. As such, it’s a sound course which will admirably suit those who are at an early stage in learning to paint and provides pretty much all the information they will need in order to progress. It also takes a lot of the head-scratching out of deciding which books to buy and an investment of twenty quid here is not only a solid one, but should also save money in the long run.

If you’re already a committed book buyer, though, have a careful look at the contents because this is not new material, but rather a bind-up of 4 titles which have already appeared in the similarly-named Search Press series. If you’ve already got some of these, be careful you aren’t duplicating. At twenty pounds for four books that, separately, would cost you ten pounds each, though, you can’t fault it for value.

Quite a lot of though has gone into the selection of material and the ordering of it, beginning with Arnold Lowrey’s excellent beginner’s guide (Starting to Paint) that covers all of the basics and goes on to look at techniques for capturing a variety of subjects including landscapes, seascapes, buildings and figures. Wendy Jelbert then covers the use of a sketchbook to make notes for later studio work, Geoff Kersey looks at the tricky subject of perspective and makes it easy to understand. Finally, Barry Herniman handles mood and atmosphere and shows you how to interpret your subject and use colour and brushwork to portray it in two dimensions.

If you want an introduction to painting, either for yourself or as a gift, you won’t go far wrong with this.

Search Press 2007

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Painting Skies || Geoff Kersey

It’s all John Constable’s fault. If he hadn’t been a Suffolk lad, English painting wouldn’t be so tied up in big skies. That’s the thing about a flat landscape: there’s not a lot of foreground and an awful lot of up there and, because we have an island climate, there’s a lot going on in it as well.

So, an English landscape is always going, more or less, to stand or fall on its sky and another book on the subject is always handy. This one comes in Search Press’s Watercolour Tips & Techniques series which is aimed at painters who have developed a reasonable facility but are still in the relatively early stages of the learning process. Lavishly illustrated and with plenty of detailed step-by-step demonstrations, there’s never any problem with seeing what’s going on and all of the books in the series are clearly written and presented and are easy to follow.

Geoff Kersey is a capable painter and he is particularly good at handling and demonstrating the use of washes and granulation to achieve a variety of effects that make for interesting and varied skies. If I have a quibble, it’s that maybe his foregrounds are a little bit flat and that the overall result maybe doesn’t scream “hang me on the wall” as loudly as it might, but that’s a personal preference. You’re not buying the paintings, you’re buying a book that’ll help you paint effective skies and that’s what this will do. It’s a book that’ll repay continued study and almost certainly will help you quite thoroughly on your way. It’s not one of those books that looks good but fails to deliver or one which you’ll admire like heck but know you’ll never emulate. It’s a tenner well spent.

First published 2006

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