Thursday, May 7, 2015

Just Add Watercolor-- A Book Review

Just Add Watercolor is a pint sized book by Helen Birch. With its punchy orange endpapers and distinctly modern artists, this book is a lot of fun.

There are many artists featured in this book. Despite its name, the book focuses on more than just watercolor. Birch has sections on gouache, digital, mixed media and other media. I thought the artwork selected in the book all flowed very nicely. Even with a variety of mediums, the art all had a specific feel. It is obvious that the author took her time curating the book.

Each piece is given a full page spread. The specific art showcasing one side of the page, while Birch's description is on the other. At the end of each brief description of the work is the "tip". The tips included are all relevant to the methods the artist used. Each tip is one or two sentences.

In the back of the book there is a section on watercolor fundamentals. Types of paint and paper are explained in more detail. There is also an equipment list that focuses more on brushes and other tools. Birch provides a lot of helpful information and tips. I certainly wouldn't classify this as a "how to" book though. There are no tutorials or step-by-step instructions. I wish she had perhaps gone a little more in depth with how to achieve certain looks. It's nice to have the information but after reading it I don't feel inspired to try the "tips" out.

I do, however, feel inspired to research some of these artists! Lucky for me the very back of the book includes the websites for the artists. One of my favorites from the book was Becca Stadtlander. She had a few pieces in the book, my favorite was "Lily Pads".

This is a fun little book to flip through and peruse. My children have enjoyed marveling at the images inside. This is not a book to put on the shelf and gather dust. Rather, one for the family to enjoy and gather finger smudges.

Book courtesy of Blogging for Books

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