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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 February 2011
Most books on painting techniques are stultifying, as the artist is encouraged to copy closely the style of the author. This book, on the other hand, opens up new vistas to the beginner and expert alike.

Ann Blockley describes and illustrates various methods of affecting the interaction of watercolour and surface to produce unpredictable effects which, like Rorschach blots, lead the imagination of the artist to further development of the picture, and suggest to the viewer half-imagined things. In this way it is a serious stimulation to the creative mind and ideal for kick-starting new ideas in the artist who has hit a "block".

The techniques used involve, broadly, the following: special treatments of the surface before painting, to either break up the flatness or affect how the paint "takes"; mixing incompatible media such as inks with watercolour to create various kinds of "curdling"; and the use of wet-in-wet methods where the paint runs and blends. And, of course, all of them combined. The illustrations include some stage-by-stage demos, and finished paintings by a range of artists as well as the author, so one can see how different imaginations use the techniques in different ways.

This is not a "how to" book, but a resource for the artist who wants a lot more than other books convey. However, it will appeal just as much to the beginner and in some ways will be a better book to start with than the basic guides.
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on 15 April 2010
The first time I saw this book I was simply "flashed" by the strength and softness of the paintings at the same time.
As a painter myself, I took inspiration by the suggestions given by those paintings: a few brushstrokes at a first sight, which give the suggestion of a dandelion in a field, for example.
But if you look deeply in the watercolour, you can see the structure, the depth and see a small seed on the way to fly away.
I used those studies to paint on china too, using a tecnique called "Impressionistic", which was taught to me by Stephen M. Hayes, a great american artist.
It was really useful because I understood how certain things work, so I could paint them by myself in a more natural way.
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on 20 April 2014
Another book that just has to be added to any artists library. The presentation of the contents makes the reader want to start immediately exploring new techniques in the world of water-colour paints. It's an easily read and understood book which illuminates the reader in more ways than one. The choice of illustrations is both eye-catching and assists the texts perfectly.
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on 21 October 2007
I found this book very inspiring, different from most other books I have bought since starting to paint two years ago. Ann Blockley has given me a new dimension to my painting, now I try to be more adventurous.This book explains clearly how to incorporate different techniques, I certainly found no problems in trying them all. GREAT!
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on 21 February 2014
Love Ann Blockley's work and this book is no exception. Vibrant art created by the addition of salt, cling film etc to give an extra dimension - brilliant! Would highly recommend.
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on 3 February 2009
This is not a beginners how to do it book. I am not keen on all of this author's work. However this book is inspiring and a great help with ideas and possible surface treatments and techniques with water colour.
Lots of examples and a pleasure to browse.
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on 17 November 2010
This book by the daughter of the late watercolourist John Blockley, herself an accomplished artist, is truly inspirational.
For those who already have some experience of painting in watercolour it will undoubtedly encourage further development and experimentation.
The illustrations are stunning and there are lots of tips and demonstrations of the means to manipulate traditional techniques with freshness and originality.
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on 17 March 2016
Brilliant inspiration to use different mediums with watercolour, have done a little of this so with this book I can't wait to get started for amazing results. It will be such fun to experiment. Very impressed with seller it arrived the next day.
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on 3 March 2015
I love this book - it is so easy to follow and yet bursting with inspirational ideas for any artist who wants to develop their watercolour techniques further. Watercolour is such a wonderfully magical medium, and Ann demonstrates how to use it in semi-abstract paintings to create atmosphere and beautiful light effects for flowers, landscapes or mixed media pictures. Includes using cling film, and adding granulation, luminescence and other mediums to create the desired result.
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on 28 November 2014
This is a supurb book, the authoress and her late father are in my opinion the most supurb, subtle and satisfying artists, so the teaching books of these two wonderful artists are an inspiration indeed! I highly recommend this book and others by Ann Blockley to anyone wanting to enhance their painting methods and bring new and varied interest to their work, we are fortunate that she has chosen to share her wonderful ways with is! I own many books on painting and think if I had to chose only one this would be my first choice!
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