by Jean Haines
Search Press Limited (2016)
OVERVIEW: A no experience necessary guide to painting with watercolor. Photographs and brief instruction guides readers through various watercolor explorations. Many photographs of the author's original artwork are included throughout the book and offer a great visual for how to expand on some of the techniques. Haines' gentle writing offers readers a peaceful introduction to the watercolor medium.
WHAT I LIKED: Watercolor has scared me for years! While I've always been completely mesmerized by the beauty and fluidity of watercolor, I simultaneously found myself frustrated and disappointed whenever I would attempt painting with the medium. The author's approach is peaceful and focuses more on the process than the product. More than half of the instructional sections result in abstract color-field paintings rather than specific images or objects.
WHAT I LEARNED: So much more than expected! In the exercise on creating obstacles, Haines encourages readers with the reminder that watercolor paint will only go where it has been invited into wet areas of the paper. This tip completely changed my approach to watercolor painting and I felt as if I had greater control of the paint. I've been using this book as a guide while I create visual journal pages for #the100dayproject on Instagram (photos below). This book has, dare I say, made watercolor painting enjoyable!
WOULD I READ/REFERENCE AGAIN? Absolutely! In fact, I think this title might be one for my personal library.
The calming influence on our emotions when painting can be quite incredible. -Jean Haines