Do you want to paint quick, loose watercolours? This practical guide for beginners, in a handy sketchbook format, will show you how you can achieve attractive and successful paintings in just thirty minutes - ideal for today's busy amateur artists. Expert watercolourist, Fiona Peart, shares her tips and techniques for producing quick and effective paintings of beautiful flowers. Ten step-by-step demonstrations follow an extensive range of the best exercises and techniques for watercolour. Each demonstration is designed to be painted in half an hour; ideal for those short on time but high on enthusiasm! The projects range from stunning vignettes to bright, fresh stocks in a bundle on the back of a bicycle.
This is a new series that Terry Harrison (whose idea it was) is justifiably proud of. There's nothing new in the limited-time idea and I have in the past criticised some of its implementations for pandering to the "time-restricted artist". I'm sorry, but art is something you devote time to. The whole point of it, of any recreation, is that it gives you a chance to relax and recharge. If you're that busy-busy-busy, you probably have a time-management issue that bish-bosh painting won't solve. But enough of that, because that's not the matter in hand. The proper use of the half-hour painting is to discourage fiddling and promote the skill of getting things down quickly, as you see them. It's about spontaneity and freshness, and therefore to be applauded. The structure here is really rather neat. The first half of the book is taken up with a series of exercises, Quick Techniques as they're described here. These are all about ways of seeing and thinking, but also about methods of working - rocks and waves or foliage and petals in a few quick brushstrokes. The idea is to suggest your subject rather than capture it in every minor detail. Following that is a series of projects that bring everything together. There's always a slight contradiction when you have printed demonstrations in a book that's supposed to be about spontaneity, but you have to describe the process somehow and these short (4 page) sections are very effective at showing you how to work within the time allowed. I suspect the best way of making this work is to read the chapter through and then work with it as just notes. If you don't head straight for home, but keep looking at the map, the oven-timer is going to ring while you're still getting the tops off the tubes! There's a nice busy feel to both these books that somehow encourages the whole idea they're trying to promote and, price-wise, they're a steal.
* Artbookreview.net *
Painting Flowers in Watercolour (Fiona Peart) and Painting Water in Watercolour (Terry Harrison)
Half an hour is not a lot of time to paint a masterpiece, says Terry Harrison in his introduction. His advice on planning and preparing that follows is something that every artist should have tattooed on their forehead. The idea of a quick painting that captures the essence of your subject without fussing and fiddling is not a new one, but this series approaches it with simplified demonstrations that reflect the basis of the idea and offer some excellent hints and tips along the way. If I have an objection, Fiona Peart sums it up: 'Many of us do not have as much time as we would like to paint,' but if filling the odd half-hour gets you past the time block, then buying these imaginative guides is money well spent.
* Artist, The *
Developed especially for the busy artist who wants to achieve great paintings in just half an hour, this new 30 Minute Artist series claims to do just that. Fiona's book includes tips and techniques offered on such subjects as lifting and releasing the brush, scraping and moving paint, controlling shapes on dry paper, using masking fluid, and backgrounds. Ten step-by-step projects follow, with clear and concise instruction. These books aim to build confidence in your chosen medium and subject so that you have the ability to paint effective paintings quickly. In time, this will help you to develop a loose style and keep your paintings lively.
* Leisure Painter, The *
For those who don't have much time on their hands, but still like to paint, Fiona Peart shows you how to paint in 30 minutes. This book is part of a new 30 Minute Artist series from this publisher. Obviously, you will produce a more finished and polished piece of art if you have longer to spare. However, in limited time, it's amazing what can be achieved and it forces the artists to focus and to paint more freely and spontaneously. As a beginner, this book should boost your confidence because it shows you how easy it is to complete an acceptable painting. In this book Fiona concentrates on watercolour flowers. She offers expert tuition throughout the book through quick, lively studies from flowers in vases to studies. All your favourite flowers are probably included - lilies, iris, daffodils, tulips, roses and more. There are ten varied projects, each with step by step instructions.
* Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts *
In a fairly quiet issue for new books, I'm going to kick off with this little volume because it's just such a good introduction to flower painting. Actually, scrub that, it's much more than an introduction and Fiona produces some stunning results that would be good however long they took. There's a huge number of styles of flower painting, from the carefully placed but relatively shapeless blob that gives depth and scale to a landscape through the informal flower portrait to the highly technical botanical illustration. And here we have something that falls in the middle of all those: flowers for their own sake-a riot of shapes and colours. The idea of the quick, timed painting isn't new and it's always a difficult one to get across in a book. After all, you cant be saying, "are you still reading? Speed up dammit!" This is part of a new series that addresses that problem. The first half of the book is devoted to a series of exercises that will loosen you up ad get you working confidently with your materials and the subject. we have Lifting and releasing the brush, Controlled shapes on dry paper as well as Lifting out and Dropping in. The while point of the quick work is that you think about the subject and not the mechanics and these exercises give you the tools to do that. The second stage is a series of ten projects, each presented in just four pages. So, not a lot of individual steps then, but if you're with me, you'll have understood why. I'd maintain that you can't demonstrate a half-hour painting (except by doing it) but you can present an idea of how much can be achieved in the time. So, don't work through these sections slavishly. Read them, understand them, then put the book away and see how much you can achieve within the time limit. Can't do it all? Doesn't matter. It's not about a perfect result, it's about interpreting the subject, getting a flower that looks as though its just been picked, not hanging about for days. Want to extend your time to 45 minutes while you get the hang of it? Go on. I wont tell Fiona. I hope you can see that i'm genuinley excited about this book. It's not just excellent on what it claims to do, though. It's an exciting way of painting flowers that actually goes a long way beyond the simple exercises it presents.
* Paint *