Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just Add Watercolor

At last an art book that is portable and light! The size is just a bit more than 5x7--something that easily fits in the hands of even a child and can easily be brought along on an outing to sketch or paint. The smaller book size makes the art much less intimidating and accessible to every age and skill level.  Pictures take up the full 5x7 page and text is reserved for a page of its own facing the print.  I love that the styles vary greatly throughout the book (the cover is a great example of the range of styles).  There is truly something here for everyone.

The table of contents was cleverly designed. Each painting style is assigned a color and on the top of the pages, the style is highlighted in that color so you can easily get to the section you want. And then, the real genius is also a visual index which shows thumbnails of prints in the book to help guide readers back to a style, color or background that they had previously seen in the book.

Each painting gives artist credit and their websites are listed in the back of the book. This makes it easy for readers to explore the works of artists they are particularly drawn to. The narrative tells about the technique and how to replicate. A running list of tips is shared at the bottom of each double spread.

Watercolor fundamentals are covered at the back of the book with explanations of various materials (types of paints & pencils, paper, and other accessories).  The book closes with suggestions for joining artist groups and starting to exhibit or sell works as well a complete index of topics.

This book would make a great book for any art enthusiast--perfect for coffee table display or working inspiration in the art room.  This is an excellent resource for any level artist whether beginner or advanced.  With so many styles and ideas, there are pictures to inspire and replicate at every skill level. This would also be a fabulous quiet book for a child to explore--size is not overwhelming, colors are bold and bright with enough variety to hold their attention for quite some time. This book is also an excellent resource for art teachers wanting to introduce varied techniques to students.

The can be purchased for $21.99--a steal at the price and cheaper than a beginning art class!  You can read more about author Helen Birch and sign up for author updates by visiting Random House.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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