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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
40
4.8 out of 5 stars


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This book has been on my shopping list for a while, but it's not a high priority. When I saw it selling on Amazon UK for far less than Amazon USA, I knew I had to buy it.

Hazel Soan's African Watercolours is essentially a watercolour travelogue. The paintings by Hazel Soan are beautiful. I love the colours.

The commentary talks about Africa, the animals, landscape, the people and tips on using watercolours to capture what you see. It's an interesting and insightful read about the place and watercolours.

Recommended to watercolour lovers.

(More pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 August 2005
Hazel Soan is a very gifted painter. Her unending enthusiasm shines in this book of fabulous paintings. The watercolours have great briliance and this book brings Africa to life. It is an encouraging book with poetry written by Hazel's son. It will make you want to pick up your paint brushes and strive to capture the light, the animals and the people that are Africa. Hazel makes it all look so simple, believe in yourself.
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on 24 September 2003
Hazel Soan is one of my most favourite artists and I have all her books in my collection.
African Watercolours brought "home" back to me as I am South African but now living in Australia. I miss the African wildlife and sunsets and Hazel has painted them with brilliance in her book.
I have tried to find watercolour instruction books on African scenes without any success and when Hazel informed me about her new book, I could not wait for its arrival in Australia and ordered it from Amazon Books and received it within 5 days.
I LOVE her book on African Watercolours from cover to cover - BRILLIANT - congratulations Hazel, keep up the exquisite work.
Lawvel Wall
Melbourne, Australia
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on 3 July 2008
This book was advertised as being for the more accomplished painter. Whilst I am not a brand new beginner, I am still new to watercolour painting. However I still decided to buy the book. I am so glad I did. What a beautiful book. There are various paintings which both the novice and more experienced artist can have a go at. What I also like about the book are Hazel's little stories about her African experiences. It makes the pictures seem real and explains were they came from. I love the book, thank you Hazel.
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on 24 July 2010
This is a book filled with beautifull images from Africa. It contains a lot of study images like single animals or an arrangement of wild flowers. It covers maynly the south of Africa. Images are mainly held in primary colours. The images look easy to paint and jet contain lots of details and shades. The beauty of watercolour is it's capability to "let the sun light shine".

I love the intensity of the colour, the easy and precise stile. They give a true feeling of the African wildlife in an intensity beyond the capability of photography.

I would recoment this book to all Africa lovers ant do all watercolour painters who like realistic painting to the motive in bright and shyning primary colous as a source of inspiration.
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on 29 June 2014
If buying this unseen, the first thing of note is that this is not a 'how to do it' book. I live in a small space and my book collection is really small, but my e-book collection is significant, so for me, books have to work hard to get onto my 'physical bookshelf' rather than my 'virtual bookshelf' and this book does exactly that.

From the moment that I picked it up in the book shop, I was captivated. It is heavily illustrated with vibrant and warm African scenes. The artwork is very competent, detailed but loose enough to be a beautiful alternative to a book of photographs on a similar african story. It is the painterly dimension that is so appealing with its perfect capture of motion.

The pictures take you on a tour of Africa with a very diverse range of subjects and the text is done in a conversational style, it is not instructional, but rather you feel like you are travelling in the artists company. Though not instructional in the sense of a step-by-step 'how to book', you will find yourself mentally taking apart the picture to understand the structure and the nature of the brushwork and there are enough guides in the text to firmly make this a water colourists book rather than just a lovely travel log. There is a sense that the artist is genuinely sharing something with you.

Whether you want to sit down and look at her works as a study or you just want to pick up the book and flick through it in a magazine sort of way, depending what mood you are in, there is a charm here that I think few will be able to resist.

I can't recommend this as a 'how to book', that is unlikely to work for you, rather buy it just for the sake of itself and to have something that sits outside of the 'typical' art book and something that certainly gives a feel good factor. It is more treat and pleasure than instructional. Frankly (and speaking as someone who needs and uses them) there are enough 'how to' books out there already, if we are to add one more book for the artists benefit, then something different and uplifting like this is in my humble opinion preferable.

Another immediate difference between this work and a 'how to book' is that the latter typically has 5 or 6 subjects in it, not all of which may capture your interest, but here there is a good diversity in subject and scene amongst the 127 pages.

Of the artwork itself, I love the sense of life and movement conveyed in the pictures. My own work feels a little wooden and I think this book will help move me on and I am left admiring the artists skill.

The book is also inspirational, After browsing the book in the shop, I bought it together with some extra materials because it made me feel like I wanted to have a go at these subjects and I suppose in one sense, that brings an instructional value all of its own.

If you want to treat someone (or yourself) who does watercolour, this would make an ideal gift, as it is different and just a nice thing to own. I just keep picking my copy up and flicking through it.

EDIT - I have gone back into this review to raise it from 4 to 5 stars. 5 stars should be reserved for something special, but as I reflected on this book, I wondered what else I would want to see to make it he ideal read and frankly, I can't think of anything. other things such as materials or brush strokes or basic introductions are in virtually every other book that I have bought. The book does exactly what it set out to do without distraction. The 'easy' style of the book makes it worth the entry price alone (I paid £12.99 shop price by the way)..
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on 7 June 2012
The quality of this book did not come as a surprise since I have other books by the same painter. Hazel Soan's African Watercolours are some of her most outstanding paintings. Her use of colour is superb but it is really her ability to push watercolour technique about as far as it can go that is outstanding. It takes considerable skill to produce paintings like these and so it will take courage for anyone to try to copy their style but the effort is worthwhile. Buy this book and dream.
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on 4 May 2010
A fellow artist at my Art Club had this book and let me look at it. I loved it, the pictures were lovely and inspired me to have a go. I also like the way she writes about her Safari as well, makes me want to go on Safari too. I liked the book so much that I decided to buy it. Lovely colours and techniques.
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on 8 May 2009
I LOVE THIS BOOK.IT HAS A VERY GOOD SELECTION OF AFRICAN PICTURES THAT I AM ENJOYING TRYING TO CREATE IN MY OWN AMATEUR WAY.THE MIXTURE OF COLOURS SHOWN IN THE PLATES ARE WONDERFUL,AND EVEN THOUGH ONLY "FINDING MY FEET"WITH DRAWING AND PAINTING,THIS BOOK GIVES SO MUCH HELP TO PRODUCE "FREE AND LOOSE"PICTURES.
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on 26 March 2011
Even if you do not paint this book is wonderful, as well as pictures very interesting reading and you could give painting a bash. It is a book one can look at over and over again and find something you have not seen before.
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