Art Book Review! Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch


About the Book:

A beautifully illustrated, easy-to-navigate guide to creating contemporary watercolors, pairing full-page paintings with insights and tips for artists.

Featuring 200 of the best works of young, modern watercolor painters, paired with bite-sized painting tips and art instruction, Just Add Watercolor gives aspiring artists access to information about–and examples of–top work in the medium. Artist and instructor Helen Birch breaks down each painting by techniques, subject matter, and tools, providing art enthusiasts and painters with a one-stop resource and gallery of the best that modern watercolor has to offer. Its small trim size with one painting per spread provides a bold, but user-friendly alternative to traditional, process-heavy painting instruction texts. Just Add Watercolor shines the spotlight on featured paintings, while still giving readers all the insights needed to get started painting in this popular medium.

Book Details:

Age range: Adults and teens
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Watson-Guptill (March 3, 2015)

About the Author:

HELEN BIRCH is a journalist and prolific artist based in the UK. She is also the author of the highly popular blog DrawDrawDraw reaching
more than half a million readers. Birch teaches courses in art and
design, fine art, and illustration at Bradford College, UK.

My Thoughts:

This book is not quite what I had expected. It’s smaller than I thought it would be and it doesn’t have much by way of instruction. It focuses on analyzing different works of art from various artists and discussing their approach, inspiration, and techniques.  There are some helpful tips along the way and short descriptions of supplies and what they do, but no step-by-step photos or laundry lists of brush sizes or paint brands. It’s like attending a seminar on art rather than an instructional class. It’s a good book to browse through when you need inspiration or want to get lost in the world of watercolor.

There are a wide range of styles and approaches included in the book, so there is something for everyone. It’s definitely a book that I am happy to add to my collection so I can peruse it whenever I’m feeling stuck or need a change of pace.

Content: One image with partially nude (and very tiny) people.

Source: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.



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  • Reply
    March 14, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Ooh! I want to see this one. Thanks for the review and the heads-up about things you thought lacking!

  • Reply
    Claudine G.
    March 14, 2015 at 3:41 am

    I'm checking this book out rightaway!

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