Archive for category Author: Trevor Waugh
This is the second volume in this new series and it offers a perennially popular subject. I said of its predecessor on orchids that, while not perhaps the most obvious subject, those flowers nevertheless offered a wide variety of shape, form and colour. Well, the same is true of roses, but coupled with the fact that examples are available in just about every garden. Am I implying that this should have been the one that introduced the series? You know what, maybe I am.
Now that we have two volumes under our belt, it’s possible to take a broader look and it’s pleasing to say that, despite the Kew connection, these books are not heading in a botanical direction. That, while impressive, would be a shame because very few people want (or, perhaps, are able) to work in such precise detail. This, therefore, is primarily a Trevor Waugh book. If you’re familiar with his work, you’ll know that it’s primarily about colour and the feel, the character of the flower and not the minute details of its petals and stamens. I can’t claim to have audited every page, but I do not believe that the word “calyx” appears anywhere, and hurrah for that.
So, what you get are results that look and, above all, feel like roses. They have depth, both in terms of form and colour, they shimmer and, just maybe, if you catch them quickly, dance in the breeze. Simply, they’re a joy.
This is, of course, primarily a book about painting, not about roses. The usual preliminaries deal with colour and brushwork, with some deceptively simple exercises you really shouldn’t skip. These teach you far more than just elementary skills, even if that’s what they look like. For the reset, there are three full step-by-step projects that cover not only the whole flower, but also leaves, stems and the play of light. There’s nothing specific about perspective, but it’s in there – Trevor is very good at disguising the technical stuff and you’ll have got through it before you even realise it’s happening.
Is this perfect? Maybe. Is it too good to be true? Certainly not.
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This excellent series continues apace, bringing with it a welcome return by Trevor Waugh, whose loose, evocative style is admirably suited to a book where fine-detail work is not the main criterion.
Loose washes and broad brushwork create flowers that are about shape, colour and impression rather than botanical illustration. If this is what you want to do, you’ll feel right at home. Similarly, if for you flowers are more of an adjunct to a larger painting, you’ll be glad of the lack of intricate work with small brushes and of botanical information that’s irrelevant to you.
As is the series style, instruction is by example, with the text being mainly confined to guiding you through what you’re seeing. Exercises and demonstrations are short, but there’s plenty of information on shape, colour and composition, as well as foliage and backgrounds.
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This is not, you might have guessed, an in-depth guide to flower painting. Rather, Trevor Waugh uses the limitations of this rather excellent series to good effect, producing instead a book that concentrates on the look and shape of flowers rather than their every detail. As an introduction, it’s effective because it doesn’t get bogged down and the reader will find a lot of useful information that will help to put flowers in a painting rather than making them the main subject in themselves. If you then want to go on to greater, or at least more intricate, things, there are plenty of books which will take you all the way to botanical illustration.
In the way that Trevor Waugh’s other book in this series deals more with flowers in the landscape than as subjects in themselves, so this is much more about populating a painting than it is about portraiture. It’s not possible, of course, to do a detailed portrait in the timescale set by the title and Trevor doesn’t attempt to, rather concentrating on people as a series of shapes and colours that bring life to a landscape or townscape. He’s got some good tips on both posture and movement and, although it’s simply written this is really much more than a basic introduction to figure drawing.
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