Book Review: The Complete Watercolour Course: A Comprehensive, Easy-to-follow Guide to Watercolour

The Complete Watercolour Course: A Comprehensive, Easy-to-follow Guide to Watercolour

John Raynes has authored a few books, and one of them is this one on watercolours.

There are two editions for this one. One's the hardcover published in 2004 by Collins & Brown. The other's the one I'm reviewing, a paperback published by Batsford (an imprint of Anova Books) in 2008.

This book is for the beginner watercolour artists. All the tutorials in the book are guided exercises with step-by-step pictures and instructions. It is very detailed and easy to follow.

There's an exercise on seeing and creating tones that I find to be very useful. In that exercise, several coloured boxes are stacked to create shadows, and the author goes on to demonstrate how physical form can illustrated with just tones. The exercise is really simple and is one of the most effective exercises on tones that I've seen in any instructional art book.

The first half of the book is on the techniques. It explores not just watercolour techniques like glazing and mixing colours but also some art basics like composition.

The latter half has a several lengthy projects on painting subjects, ranging from still life to landscapes to people. Everything is still step-by-step. The examples are pretty nice looking as well.

This is a helpful book. Highly recommended to watercolour beginners.

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Batsford publisher paperback edition (2008):
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Collins & Brown; First Edition edition (2004):
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