Archive for category Author: Rebecca Balchin

Fantasy Art in Watercolour || Paul Bryn Davies, Rebecca Balchin & Elaine Hamer

I don’t normally review bind-ups; after all, I’ve been there and done it already and, in theory at least, I’ve said all I have to say.

However, they’ve caught me on the hop here because, although there are four books that have appeared previously, they’ve added 8 tracings in the manner of the Ready to Paint series and that adds something. Admittedly, without that context of the step-by-step guides that go with the dedicated series, this is somewhat limited, but does mean that you get rather more than you did with the original separate titles.

As a guide to four of the main subjects of fantasy art, this sits well and covers a lot of ground. I’m sure that, without the tracings, it’d have come in at £12.99, which would be an unbeatable price. At £14.99 it’s still good value, but it’s just dipping a toe into the maybe-a-bit-pricey.

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Painting Unicorns In Watercolour || Rebecca Balchin

This site normally has a policy of avoiding fantasy art. It’s not that I have anything against it, I simply don’t understand it and I find it difficult to be objective and to know whether the results are any good or not.

So why would I touch a book on unicorns? They’re the stuff of fairly tale, they don’t exist, missed the last bus to Noah Central and failed to make it to the Ark. Up there with the Dodo, except that the Dodo was real, so what kind of analogy is that?

Well, a very clever one, actually, because unicorns do have a sort of existence. Artistically speaking, they’re just a horse with a broom handle stuck on its head. Take the pole away and you’re left, plus or minus the odd cloven hoof, with a horse. And what this book is, above all else, is one of the very best books on painting horses you could wish for. Horses are a tricky subject and the proportions are hard to get just right, so full marks to Rebecca for some superb, sensitive drawings and paintings which get to the very heart of her subject.

If you want a book on unicorns, this is pretty much the only one but, if you want a book on horses, it remains the one you should buy. Of course it’s a bit fairytale, but that doesn’t get in the way if you don’t want it to.

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