I would say that this book is really not aimed at a flat out beginner. It assumes you are comfortable with the basics of watercolor. The "six steps" thing can lead to some pretty big jumps from one step to another (the author shows each painting from start to finish is six steps). However, the photographs are very nice and the steps DO give you a place to start on some fairly complex pictures. I like the spiral binding, the fact that you can see the photograph and the six steps all at once on two pages, and the large number of pictures. This is much better than most other books like it on the market. Similar books spend more time talking about what makes a good photograph, cropping, etc; this book focuses on the actual painting. I got it from the library and plan to buy my own copy.