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How to Paint


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About the Author

Gwen Scott lives in Nottingham with her husband and two daughters. She did a degree in Printed Surface Pattern and then worked as a designer and illustrator for major greetings card and ceramic manufacturers. Passionate about colour and light, Gwen has painted in watercolour for as many years as she can remember. She exhibits widely and runs painting holidays, watercolour classes and workshops.


Watercolour is given a bit of a pep with Gwen Scott's individual techniques, which include masking, sponging and stippling, along with more basic methods. In the book's introduction Scott emphasises her interest in colour, which sets the tone for the rest of the volume. After the usual 'what you'll need' pages, this is a fairly unique journey into how to use watercolour paint to its most vibrant effect. Not for Scott the washed-out subtlety often associated with the medium. Clear images of a textured sponge making cloudy trees, or masking fluid used beneath the fiery reds of autumnal foliage, show how unusual techniques can really make watercolour come alive.-Artists & Illustrators Gwen has taken the opportunity with this book to remind us how much colour can be found in watercolour landscapes and how beautiful they can be when the transparency of some colours are used to full effect. In this book she shows us how to simplify complicated seeming photographs we may have taken because we enjoyed something in that scene, and she shows us how to transform it into a stunning colourful painting. As with most of these books Gwen begins with a brief overview of materials and the techniques that she uses in this book. She mainly focusses on flat washes and wet in wet, both well suited to landscape painting. The wet in wet she shows us she illustrates by way of a small study of different autumn leaves and this technique is excellent for bringing out the beauty of the colours in them. She shows how to create loose trees by sponging and stippling and how to use masking fluid, a useful tool for flower heads and fine stems. Her section on complementary colours is well shown with a vibrant poppy field, the reds complementing the greens in the backgrounds perfectly. I found her section on creating a worksheet of small vignette scenes and recording the exact colours used very enlightening and its something i will try to do more of myself. I can see what a valuable resource this allows us to create. The two demonstration paintings comprise of an old cottage and a country lane, both full of easy to follow explicit instructions. This book will make an excellent gift for anyone beginning in watercolours with an interest in landscape painting and enable them to build confidence in the ability.-Jeanniezelos.com This is a book that stresses the colorA" part of watercolor painting, and also the sheer joy of the act of painting particularly well. The author conveys not only her deep love of the hobby but also what fun you can have doing it which is something that sometimes gets left out of other books on art instruction. Not that this book is long on enthusiasm but short on teaching as it is anything but. Unlike many other books in this series it only has two staged pictures but these have a lot of stages making it almost impossible to get it utterly wrong. The rest of the book is filled with shorter projects so you learn how to get various painting techniques right before combining them in a whole picture. I like the way it really does start from scratch, showing you not only what makes a good beginners' kit (and yes, it actually does include student quality paints) but also how to set up your palette. I have not often seen this in a book, most authors taking it as given that the beginnerA" will already know this but of course there is no reason to suppose it. Lay in a flat wash, get to grips with masking fluid, how to mix the landscape painter's colors such as a good gray, and make your own color wheel. I found that this makes the whole idea of color theory less daunting than merely looking at pictures of other people's mixed paints. Discover how to practice painting a new subject by making worksheets you can keep and refer to and what makes a good composition. I don't say it often but I would recommend this book to a complete beginner as well to somebody who can paint a bit but wants to learn more about landscape painting. It not only teaches what you need to know from the ground up, but it is also good at inspiring enthusiasm and stressing the fun part of painting.-Myshelf.com

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