Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: Just Add Watercolor

JUST ADD WATERCOLOR-  Inspiration & Painting Techniques From
Contemporary Artists
by Helen Birch

Watson-Guptill Publications
ISBN 978-60774-757-4

        A handy, colorful instruction book that uses contemporary art to
illustrate watercolor tricks and techniques. Each technique is
demonstrated in a spread, with the art on the right and the technique
that the artist used described on the left.  Instead of the usual
table of contents, there is a "visual index" which reproduces a square
from each painting, with the page number in the lower right  of the
        The examples are not strictly reserved to watercolor; other
categories include digital, mixed media, other water-based media, and
non-paper media. There is a brief chapter in the back called
"Watercolor fundamentals" that deals with materials, media & terms.
        Some of the artists and the techniques they demonstrate are Eleonora
Marton, (painting in monochrome), Leah Goren (bold and unusual
colors), Madara    Lukjanovica (glazed landscape), Charlene Liu
(stenciling), Simona Dimitri  (creating color shift), Sasha Prood
(creating movement), Peggy Wolf (painting from photographs),  Hornung
(creating a stylized painting), Marcus Oakley (using primary colors),
Kasia Breska (using "found" materials), Paul Bailey (mixing watercolor
and acrylic), and Jennifer Davis (painting on wood).
        The book is 7.5 x 5.5 in, making it easy to carry and refer to. The
artists are well selected for stylistic variety and give a good
cross-section of approaches to this versatile medium.

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