Archive for category Author: Ray Campbell Smith

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 Landscapes step-by-step || Geoff Kersey, Wendy Jelbert, Arnold Lowrey, Barry Herinman, Ray Campbell Smith and Joe Francis Dowden

This is another of Search Press’s bind-ups of previous material and I’m still not sure whether I’ve reviewed it before or not – or maybe in a slightly different guise. They’ve got very good at this latterly and, rather than obvious joins where one book ends and another begins, the whole thing is now seamless.

The material may not be new, but it’s still sound and the reproduction is as fresh as it ever was, so this isn’t resurrecting a corpse but bringing excellent material to a potential new audience at a very affordable price.

As well as some technical pieces on things like perspective and composition, demonstrations from popular authors cover trees, water, snow, buildings and so on (and on). If you have other books by these authors, you’d need to check for duplication but, equally, there’s so much here, you probably won’t be getting too much cross-over.

If you only have a small library and are on a budget into the bargain, you could do a great deal worse than invest in this.

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Ray’s Top Tips for Watercolour Artists || Ray Campbell Smith

Ray Campbell Smith is an experienced and respected teacher as well as being one of the best watercolour technicians there is.

This is a slowly-developing series from Search Press that they’re so far resisting the temptation to stuff with every Tom, Dick and Harry who’ll put brush and pen to paper. It’s been a while since the first volume appeared and this second one is certainly worth the wait – when Ray offers you 85 pearls of wisdom, you’d certainly better sit up and take notice! And he doesn’t disappoint. Reading the contents list, you could be forgiven for thinking that the usual suspects (composition, use of colour, perspective. skies, foregrounds, etc, etc) are all here, and so they are, but seen from the unique perspective of a man who paints the best water and the best skies in the business, bar none.

Ray can do more in a simple sketch than many artists can in a multi-page demonstration and this pocket-size guide is far larger in scope than its format. Ray will show you how to use colour and shading to give objects shape and to suggest perspective as well as to balance composition. The truth is that there’s a veritable masterclass in here positively elbowing its way out.

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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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