Top positive review
50 people found this helpful
A very useful source of new ideas
on 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.