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This is a gorgeous book, with lavish photos on every page, showing how to use colors well, adjusted for today’s artists, using whatever kinds of physical media you care to use. It’s supremely helpful, with traditional principles, and advice when to break with that. It’s cleverly written throughout, too, with mini chapters like, “The Benefits of Making Mud,” alongside tip-filled sidebars, like “Complementary, Not Complimentary.” This is a super helpful guide for those needing advice for their artworks, without wanting to sort through fusty old theories that don’t take into account the media and colors available to us today. Wonderful book!

I once interviewed members of our area arts group for a special program on local television. Some artists were well-esteemed, others were aged folk artists, and a few were enthusiastic beginners. Over the course of interviews, I realized that only one used oils. All the rest: Acrylics. They rhapsodized about the colors now available, and their ease of use in a studio or en plein air. Since then, I decided that I better join the club! This book is proving so helpful since it’s contemporary with what we can work with today. It’s not only super helpful but beautiful, as well. The projects are simple, like the sunflower painting, yet the tips (including the dry brush technique), though concise, have elevated my artworks immediately. Plentiful, step-by-step photos and engaging writing, printed on quality paper and soft back binding.

How many watercolors have I made where everything was going perfect until — it wasn’t. Yes, I’ve learned to control my watercolors but somehow nature finds a way. Or not. This gorgeous little handbook is helping me to embrace the spontaneity that led me into watercolors in the first place, without wasting lots of time perfecting works that, in the end, only looked old-fashioned and too fussed over. With this approach, and the various projects within, doing the watercolors first, and then inking the details afterward, is such a simple-to-understand approach, yet in practice could easily become confusing. This charming book, it walked me through quick projects that helped me to grasp how to add a much-needed contemporary approach, using contemporary tools, while quickly and enjoyably creating contemporary artwork styles. Beautiful photos, top-notch printing, clever layouts, and super helpful instructions throughout.