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Watercolor Tricks and Techniques: 75 New and Classic Painting Secrets [Spiral-bound]

Cathy Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 18.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Feb 2010
Add life, color, texture and individuality to your work!

If you're ready to go beyond the basics, and see what watercolor can really do, this is the book for you! Inside, a wealth of "creative departures" will take you out of your comfort zone, making the difference between pigment on paper and original, expressive works of art.

Updated and better than ever, this edition of Watercolor Tricks & Techniques features:

  • 30+ new watercolor materials and applications along with fresh insights on many tried-and-true techniques
  • 15 step-by-step demonstrations showing techniques in action for beautiful finished paintings
  • 3 possibility-packed sections–Liquid Aids, Dry Helpers and Indispensable Tools–exploring the possibilities of powdered pigments, granulating mediums, liquid mask, Yupo paper and much more
Whether you're an advanced beginner ready to add a little zing to your repertoire or a seasoned painter looking to push your watercolor boundaries, this book will make the journey as exciting as the final destination.

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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 160 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; Spi edition (26 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160061308X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600613081
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 22.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 860,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Cathy Johnson is the author and illustrator of over 30 books. A contributing editor to The Artist Magazine and Watercolor Magic, she was a staff naturalist and contributing editor for Country Living. She has written for Sports A field, Early American Life, Sierra Magazine and others. Author of The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature and The Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature, she's taught sketching and painting for the Sierra Club and other nature centers.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More tricks than techniques 8 April 2011
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Spiral-bound
Length: 0:56 Mins
This book has an interesting design. It's spiral-bound with a cover that can be attached together to make the book stand - like a spiral-bound calendar. I guess you can read this book while you're watercolour painting at the same time.

Most of the tricks and techniques are one page descriptions on how you can use various materials with watercolour. A lot of unusual and unexpected materials are featured. Some examples include using alcohol, soap, liquid mask, salt, plastic wrap, crayon and other tools like erasers, sponges, wax, etc. The book's goal is probably to encourage experimentation of all these different mediums.

However, not all the new mediums featured come with actual application on a painting. Some of the examples are just quick splashes to show the possibilities and effects you can achieve.

The techniques-side of the book is not much. There are way more tricks and too few short demonstrations. It does talk about the usual techniques like glazing, wet-on-wet, etc, but again, it's missing the process between the tool and the finished work. And the examples don't look particularly inspiring, which is surprising because Cathy Johnson is a artist with lots of beautiful paintings.

There are interesting ideas and tricks in the book, but if you're looking for more techniques, you should look for dedicated watercolour instructional art books.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, brilliant format 4 April 2010
Format:Spiral-bound
This is the first review I have ever written on amazon, but I had to write it because I love this book. I admit I'm a fan of Cathy Johnson (though this is only the second book of hers that I've purchased). Her writing style is friendly, accessible, and encouraging. Her painting style is lively with just the right blend of detail and freedom. The images are large enough to see the materials and techniques she talks about, and she shows specific samples of each technique as well as full step by step demonstrations using them in larger paintings.

For the content alone the book is excellent, but it stands out because of its format. It is spiral bound on the long edge but the pages are in landscape format. You can stand it up like an easel, and keep it in front of you as you try the techniques. The book takes up less space and is more visible than if you had to lay it flat on a table while you are working. It took a little getting used to at the beginning, but because of this format, I have actually tried more of the techniques in this book than any other art instruction book I've read, and I'm only a little over halfway through it. All art instruction books should be in this format!

This is probably not a book for the absolute beginner. It is helpful to know the basics of how to create a wash, mix colours, etc. It's a great book for the slightly more experienced beginner, or the intermediate or advanced artist who is looking to spice up their paintings with some new techniques. If you're in a bit of a rut this might just spark your creativity and get you going again!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars painting tricks 13 Sep 2010
By reg l
Format:Spiral-bound
Far too many unecessry tricks and gimmicksand not enough content on actual painting and painting tips.Difficult to handle the actual "book" due to its pop up shape. However still very interesting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but limited 30 Sep 2010
By Porgy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
I notice that most of the 5 star raves for this book are from people who have written only one review - the one for this book. Friends of the author? In any event I overcame my doubts and got the book. But was disappointed. The book is a collection of mostly one page descriptions of various materials that can be used in combination with watercolours for various effects - aluminum, turpentine, gesso, etc. Excellent descriptions and somewhat useful and nice to have in one place. However the demos and step by step were few, and the quality of the exampled work not that inspiring. So I am giving it three stars for the usefulness of the lists it gives of really interesting materials that can be used with watercolours, but I feel a lot more of the book was filler, and much better examples of demos, step by steps, and wonderful watercolor work can be found elsewhere.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More tricks than techniques 8 April 2011
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
This book has an interesting design. It's spiral-bound with a cover that can be attached together to make the book stand - like a spiral-bound calendar. I guess you can read this book while you're watercolour painting at the same time.

Most of the tricks and techniques are one page descriptions on how you can use various materials with watercolour. A lot of unusual and unexpected materials are featured. Some examples include using alcohol, soap, liquid mask, salt, plastic wrap, crayon and other tools like erasers, sponges, wax, etc. The book's goal is probably to encourage experimentation of all these different mediums.

However, not all the new mediums featured come with actual application on a painting. Some of the examples are just quick splashes to show the possibilities and effects you can achieve.

The techniques-side of the book is not much. There are way more tricks and too few short demonstrations. It does talk about the usual techniques like glazing, wet-on-wet, etc, but again, it's missing the process between the tool and the finished work. And the examples don't look particularly inspiring, which is surprising because Cathy Johnson is a artist with lots of beautiful paintings.

There are interesting ideas and tricks in the book, but if you're looking for more techniques, you should look for dedicated watercolour instructional art books.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reference Book for Anyone Interested in Watercolors 20 Feb 2010
By Shirley Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book. There are many techniques and types of products that are reviewed and for every one there are original watercolor paintings prepared by Cathy to demonstrate what is in the text. The first section is perfect for someone just buying their first set of artist grade watercolor paints. The remaining sections carefully review many, many ways to create more advanced effects. It is written clearly and is both a basic and reference book for beginning and advanced painters. I read it through completely and now I'm ready to go back and try some of the methods that are new to me.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Resource Book 20 Feb 2010
By D. Goodrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
When I received this book, I grabbed a cup of coffee and settled in for a relaxing evening. Within ten minutes I was up in the studio, motivated by "Wow, I've gotta try this!"

As a teacher and an author, Cathy is always so generous with information and this book is no exception. She writes in a positive, easy to understand way that motivates you to try something that might seem unusual. Her innovative uses for common items and fresh ways of mixing media together are my favorite parts of this book.

Beautiful paintings, inspiring demos, and very clear step-by-step instructions, will ensure this book a place right on my work table as a dog-eared, well loved workbook. I highly recommend this book for any one working in watercolor, no matter their level.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Old(er), Something New 13 Feb 2010
By M. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Cathy Johnson's books for several years and have purchased several, so it was a delight to discover that she is also a terrific teacher. In this book, a revised edition of an earlier one, she brings you some innovative and excellent suggestions for watercolorists at any level. In addition to the great photos of her work, there are step by step tutorials and fabulous techniques for improving or adding interest to your work, as well as suggestions for using simple household tools you might find in your kitchen or otherwise around your house.
The color is beautiful, the illustrations are fabulous, the format is excellent to work by. I'm going to love using this book!
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