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I know the color wheel by heart and I know the difference between a grade-school child’s tree and an actually “happy tree.” I can sketch something that looks vaguely like what I see rather than what I think I see. And I have practiced enough with brushes and watercolors to know that: (1) I enjoy watercolors, (2) it’s the best hobby ever and, (3) I really have no idea how to move forward from here. Now what?

In this book, along with numerous straightforward — and lovely — painting projects, great printing, excellent illustrations, and helpful palettes on each page, the book offers the kind of basic tips and hints that beginning to moderate painters really, need to know, but are not likely to learn anywhere else. For example, it explains how to remove color from a painting(!), how to actually express distance and perspective, and how violet can be used to darken, well, about anything. The points about painting from photos are very helpful, since I’m a bit too shy to paint outside in front of God, angels, and every person walking by. But, at last, I know how to get there, someday, and meanwhile paint with more confidence and more joy. Thank you! Very accessible and SUPER helpful book!

Last Christmas, I was shopping for my artistic children, once again, and looking for something affordable and that they could and would actually use. So I got a set of nice colored pencils, as I have for the past several years. And they loved them, and sketch with them, all the time. But, we needed a good colored pencil book to go with the pencils and give them some tips on how to improve their techniques.

I’m loving this excellent introduction to taking colored pencil sketching to the next level, from beginner to moderate levels. The book itself is beautiful, with helpful illustrations, engaging text, and practical hints and tips that you’d pay a lot to have an art teacher tell you. An excellent gift to accompany your next gift of a nice colored pencil set!