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How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself: Experimental Techniques for Achieving Realistic Effects Hardcover – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823057089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823057085
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nita Engle, whose work appears in national magazines, is the subject of a PBS documentary, Wilderness Palette: Nita Engle in Michigan. She lives in Marquette, Michigan. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Nita, Thanks for sharing!!
C. S. Whitney (oscarw@stc.net)
I highly recommend this book to anyone (beginner to advanced)who works in this media.
LISAMGK@MSN.COM
I couldn't wait to try some of the techniques in this book.
P Gray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 197 people found the following review helpful By hamsterdance on December 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is definitely not for a beginning watercolorist and I don't think the author and publishers intended it to be. If you are just beginning to paint in watercolor in a realistic style I recommend starting with books aimed for beginners first. That said, for high-intermediate to advanced watercolorists who want to learn new ways to add life to their paintings this is one of the best books out there using the pouring process as the primary means vs. painting with a brush. That doesn't mean Ms. Engle doesn't use brushes, it's just that they are only one of several techniques at her disposal.
I got this book after having read Creative Discoveries in Watermedia. So I understand why the title says 'Experimental Techniques for Achieving Realistic Effects'. Many of the same techniques from the Creative Discoveries book are used here as well. Everything from squirt bottles to pouring the paints and tipping the board to let the paint run where it will to textural techniqes for added interest. All the chapters introduce fun methods for paiting but I'm glad design (aka composition) has a chapter of its own. All the techniques in the world won't save a painting with a poor design (that's when you just crop it and make it a mixed media experimental painting!) :)
My favorite chapter is the last one. It discusses experimental techiques, mediums, methods, etc. This is the only watercolor book I've ever seen that mentions W&N's Aquapasto medium, a product I love for adding texture elements to some of my more experimental paintings. If you're an intermediate to advanced watercolorist looking for new ideas you'll find plenty of them here.
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125 of 128 people found the following review helpful By T. Filarsky on June 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must have book for the library of any watercolor artist! Nita Engle has been in the business for years and has the added advantage of being a very popular workshop teacher. If you can't attend her workshop, buy this book! I am a professional portrait artist whose husband is also an artist specializing in watercolors. Don't look for portraits in this book-look for some of the most amazing watercolor landscapes to be found in any book! This lady explains with no holds barred! Everything is detailed with a wonderful carefree banter. She is comfortable in her medium and her attitude. The many photos are outstanding! We were captivated by this book as there are too many wishy washy watercolor books out there with no real subject matter. We are quite critical of "how to" books that don't have any "how to" in them. If you are serious about watercolor and are ready for some major changes, then realize that this book won't sit on your shelf. You will be immediately rewarded with that artistic excitement that comes with the discovery of a new method or skill in which to energize your work! This is a gem and we speak from our experiences of years of making a living as artists!
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By jim vowell on May 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
No matter what anybody says, watercolor painting is difficult. There are many instructional books out on the market that says they can help you become an excellant painter in ??? easy lessons. It just doesn't work that way. You can become a profecient painter by learning the basic techniques and,most important,paint, paint, and paint some more. Nita Engle has written a book that allows you to add some fun and spice to the time you paint,paint,and paint some more. Nita is a very respected teacher and painter and if you can't arrange to go to one of her workshops, buy this book! The effects Nita has evolved is amazing and she clearly explains how to get these effects. This book won't turn you into a wonderful painter in ?? easy lessons, but if you are a watercolor painter this is one book you'll use for years. Don't miss it!
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book intrigued me because I am new to watercolor and sometimes I see the paper sip the color without much help from me. Someone once told me that if an artist wants to understand painting, then learn to write. I studied that first and must congratulate Ms. Engle on her ability to take her readers (and viewers) on an adventure that feels both personal and inspiring. This may be the greatest book on watercolor that I have seen. I'll bet she is incredible at a workshop, stopping at nothing to achieve what she wants to express. Her vitality, interest, stamina, and creativity jump off of the pages and glow on my palette. I will carve into the wall of my studio her advice of "if something tips over on the rug, forget it. The painting is the thing." We've just got to remember our priorities!
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Claes Tegenfeldt on June 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This has become one of my favorite art books, it is different and it is inspirational. Nita has succeeded describing a more experimental/bold/chaotic/natural way of splashing water and color onto paper, observing what happens and then bring order out of that chaos, but also succeeding in not to drown in technique but inspiring the reader to try it! There are many books succeeding either in describing technique or showing of fantastic imagery, few books transfers the authors inspiration or forces the reader to put the book away to go on trying the technique immediately!
It is a fantastic book, it may transform your way of seeing and doing the next painting, and the next... I have returned to this book more times than almost any other in my now quite extensive collection, well worth buying!
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