Top positive review
59 people found this helpful
on 28 July 2013
I only recently discovered Julie Prichard and serendipitously it was at the same time as she was releasing this book with Chris Cozen. (Who I had yet to discover.) At the time the book on Amazon was £16.99 and I will admit I thought that was expensive. I searched everywhere to try and get it cheaper. (I'd like to inject here that I'm not a Scrooge just really skint.) About the same time I won £10.00 online with one of those free birthday lotteries - it seemed the Fates wanted me to buy this book. So I did.
First impressions - the book is a nice size. Hardbacked and roughly 11x9" and 127 pages (incl index etc.) The pages are spiral bound and I have found this format excellent for working through the book. It either lays flat or, if I'm short of space I can stand it on end without fear of losing my place or it falling over.
The authors both very openly admit that they purely use only GOLDEN products. They also say that's just their preference and to experiment and see what works best for you. I have seen some reviews slamming them for this and I'm not sure why. I don't own a single GOLDEN product - never tried that brand, just haven't found any where I shop. I worked through this book with what I had on hand - this was Liquitex and the Winsor & Newton Galleria mediums, Kaiser Colour, Eco and Liquitex Basics paints plus my big old tub of white gesso. (I think that might be W&N too.) The techniques worked very well for me - so if you are put off the book because of the GOLDEN references and can't be bothered to see what is actually available to you - the book wont be for you. And it will be your loss.
The main body of the book comes in 5 chapters:
1 - The Basics: design, colour, materials and more
2 - Laying a Good Foundation
3 - Adding Structure
4 - Developing Complexity
5 - Finessing the Details
Every page of the book is scattered with beautiful examples from both Julie and Chris and there are various step by step exercises with clear pictures throughout the chapters for you to complete. Again - I didn't have all the colours they used and sometimes not all the different textured mediums. I just used what I have.
Hands up - I am still only two thirds through this book but I got to page 24 and realised this was not a book you just read. This is a book you work through. To me it feels like a workshop in book form. So I went back to the beginning and started afresh. I still haven't finished the book because I keep stopping to try everything out. I have been 'messing about' with Acrylics for a couple of years but never got past feeling like I was just messing about. No matter how I researched I never did understand what all the mediums did. Or how to blend and get depth. The mediums are explained clearly over and over again. What they do, how they work with other mediums, water, paint etc. Never again will I stand in The Range looking at the shelves and just... not know. I have a shopping list pages long of things I want to try, different mediums and tools. It's not all new - I love my texture and drips but I've learnt new ways of incorporating them, layering them, blending them. Bringing it all together - knowing when to stop.
This book, hand on heart, has already become the most used and abused art book I own. The cover and pages splattered in paint. I no longer think the initial £16.99 was expensive - although, already it can be bought much cheaper than that. I actually think the amount of information packed in here, for me, they have been incredibly generous.
Acrylic Solutions is a book I will refer back to again and again. It's been a game changer.
(Adapted from a review on my blog where I also include pictures of things I've done while working through the book.)