Friday, November 13, 2020

Colorways: Watercolor Animals


Watercolor Animals is a technique and tutorial guide in the "Colorways" series - this volume is by Shaunna Russell. Released 3rd Dec 2019 by Quarto on their Walter Foster imprint, it's 128 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

Most readers are familiar with the Walter Foster technique paperbacks and this one follows the same format. The introduction (ca. 20% of the content) includes an overview of tools and supplies, some watercolor technique (wet into wet, masking, wet on dry, adding white), a short but info-dense chapter on color theory and mixing a palette, and getting started painting. The intro chapters are followed by 12 step by step tutorials. All of them are very colorful and appealing. The use of color is richly vibrant and different (see cover). The tutorials are explained clearly and the accompanying photographs (in color) are easy to follow. Each of the tutorials covers 6 - 8 pages of text and photos. The specific tools and palettes are not inluded but the tutorial photos are clear enough that readers won't have any trouble getting a similar result. 

I really liked the explanations for preparing and using a reference photo for inspiration. She includes a very short capsule summary of gridding and sketching as well. Each of the tutorials includes one or more extra technique building points in addition to the artwork itself. Readers will find that working through the book will provide a fair number of technical skill building exercises to add to their repertoires. 

This is not, strictly speaking, a book for beginning watercolorists; there's not a lot of hand-holding (palette choices, specific brush choices). There are several tutorials suitable for beginners however, and working through them, I would think that most readers will be able to do a credible job completing the rest without a lot of problems.

Five stars. I really liked both the style and execution.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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