Watercolor Technique Books

by Katie Hurley in Book Reviews
One of the best ways I’ve been able to improve my oil painting, and watercolor techniques is to read, read, read up on methods. So to get the ball rolling and to make sure you’re getting the most for your money (and/ or time if you rent from the library) I thought I’d recommend some of my favorite art books.

Watercolor Technique Books: 

  • Color Harmonies: Paint Watercolors Filled with Light by: Rose Edin and Dee Jespen – a really great book that changed my opinion of watercolors. Prior to reading the book I though the transparency of watercolors made them a near impossible media reserved for  very detail oriented and regimented artists. After reading this I was finally brave enough to tackle watercolors with full force and without being petrified of the potential messing up. Not only that but it showed me how beautiful a watercolor painting done correctly is. Honestly the luminosity of a well executed watercolor painting is hard to compete with and it is thanks to the lively book. Also there’s are lots of great tips for spicing up your personal watercolor technique!
  • Watercolor Depth and Realism: 5 Simple Techniques to Add Texture to your Paintings by Lori Humble
     – another good watercolor book although it’s definately not on the same level as Color Harmonies. It is a good read in the sense that it shows you once again how manageable watercolors can be when done correctly. Throughout the book the author reworks various paintings she completed earlier in her career when she was less experianced. When a better developed method she goes over how to bring your watercolor paintings to the next level making colors much more lively and vivid.
  • Anything by Francis Dowden – he introduced me to a whole new method of apply watercolors…”splattering”. With this technique you tap water onto your watercolor paper (from a wet –> to slightly damp brush) and then you use a brush with a pointed tip (ranging from size 2 to size 12 or 16 depending on the effect you’re looking for). This creates a really nice relaxed look that is perfect for foliage. See the bottom of this post for one of my (work in process/ incomplete) paintings where I used the splattering technique:

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