Book Review: Watercolor Masters and Legends: Secrets, Stories and Techniques from 34 Visionary Artists

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Masters and legends are labels that are not easy to live up to. This book is bold to have a title like that.

Highlight of the book is the immerse variety of style from the 34 artists featured. They are all experienced watercolour artists. Interestingly, I don't know of any one prior to getting the book, although I would see that as something positive because it means I get to discover new artists.

The standard of work featured is generally quite high although there are selections that I feel are in the abstract or, for a more polite way of phrasing, contemporary genre. The techniques and styles can be considered experimental looking. There are more traditional looking pieces too.

Some of the paintings are quite stunning. For example the hyper realistic pieces from Lynn McLain really makes me wonder how she actually paints them. William Cather Hook paints like he's using oil paints. Judi Betts uses an uncommon high-key colour scheme. Stephen Quiller has a pleasant stylised look. Author Betsy Dillard Stroud also has her work featured.

What I find strange is the artists are separated into either masters or legend in this book, but I personally can't differentiate the quality of work between them, at least from those that are in the book. The legends are probably included because they are some form of inspiration to the author. Both masters and legends have profiles but only those from the masters section come with a two-page demonstration.

Overall, the book feels like a mixed bag to me, but thankfully mostly positive. It does let you explore other art directions possible with watercolour. If you want to explore other watercolour styles and artists, this could be an interesting book for you. If you have a pre-conceived idea of how watercolour paintings should look, you may find this book slightly radical.

The artists included are
Masters

Legends

Watercolor Masters and Legends: Secrets, Stories and Techniques from 34 Visionary Artists is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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