Book Review: The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifully

The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifully


The book starts with very basic drawing lessons that focus on teaching you to draw what you see instead of drawing what you think you see - very similar to Keys to Drawing and The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

The introductory lessons are great for beginners even for those who don't know how to draw. The step-by-step tutorials are easy to follow and they touch on the basics of drawing, which are useful later on for the figure drawing lessons.

There are lots of examples to try out in the book. They are simple, manageable and short. The instructions are always clear and insightful. The lessons focus on quick and loose drawings, aimed at capturing poses and gestures rather than representational likeness. It's interpretative rather than photo-realistic.

Charles Reid's style is characterized by very loose, free sketchy lines and use of spotty watercolors. That's how all his examples look in the book. The style might not be for everyone, but he has included colour mixes so you can develop your own style. You can apply the lessons learned to all sorts of figures, although the nude is primarily featured in the book.

If you're into loose watercolour figure drawings, this is a good guide to start with.

The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifully - 01

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