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Watercolor Pencil Magic Paperback – February, 2001


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From Library Journal

A relatively unknown medium, watercolor pencils are a portable, versatile alternative to the traditional watercolor kit. Generally made of pure pigment in a water-soluble wax base enclosed in a wooden pencil, they are used dry for sketching but when moistened easily create washes and multiple layers of color. Johnson is a prolific author and artist with 25 books to her credit, including Sketching and Drawing. Here, she introduces this unique medium with simple mini-demos on the basics and fully developed compositions of landscapes, flowers, bridges, and buildings. Large collections will want to add this, though small libraries may want a more general book that includes a section on watercolor pencils, such as Janie Gildow and Barbara Newton's Colored Pencil Solution Book.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Cathy Johnson is the author of five North Light books, including Creating Textures in Watercolor and Watercolor Tricks and Techniques. She has also authored Sierra Club Guide to Sketching Nature and Sierra Club Guide to Painting Nature. She lives in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; First Edition edition (February 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158180119X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581801194
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cathy Johnson, sometimes known as Kate, has worked as a naturalist, writer, and freelance artist for the past 30 years, and was staff naturalist and contributing editor for Country Living magazine for 11 years. She is a contributing editor to the Artist's Magazine and Watercolor Magic and has had a regular column in Personal Journaling magazine, where she wrote on a subject she feels passionately about -- realizing the importance of creativity in our lives. She has written and illustrated -- her own work and that of others -- for a number of national magazines, including Science Digest, Harrowsmith Country Life, Sports Afield, Country Journal, Muzzlelader, Women's History, Early American Life, Sketchbook, Woodworker, Woman's Day, Threads, Mother Earth News, National Wildlife Magazine, Sierra and others. Her writing and artwork have been included in a number of nature anthologies and art books.



She has written and illustrated 34 books, and contributed to a number of others, working with a variety of national publishing houses. Those include North Light/F&W, Time/Life, Sierra Club, Random House, Scholastic, Globe Pequot Press, Gibbs-Smith Publisher, Tehabi, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Walker Publications, Prentice-Hall Press, Penguin, Stackpole and others.



Many of these books have been published in editions overseas, as well, in Russia, Japan, Holland, France and England.



In 1993, she founded her own small publishing company, Graphics/Fine Arts Press, which primarily offers books of interest to the reenacting community or others interested in history and material culture.



Her paintings are included in a number of private and corporate collections in this country and abroad, including Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO; F&W Publications/North Light Books, Cincinnati, OH; Early American Life Magazine, Harrisburg, PA; The Kansas City Life Insurance Co., Kansas City, MO; and Newcomers Funeral Home, Kansas City, MO.



Her original jewelry has also found its way overseas, to Scotland and Great Britain, and is included in the Images of the Archetype Collection in Glasgow, Scotland..



Her green man and fantasy paintings and sculptures are currently in a one-woman show online at http://www.greenmanreview.com/gallery-kate/index.html.



She is a longtime member of the Author's Guild and the Costume Society of America. She was chosen Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Burroughs Audubon Society in l987, and won the Thorpe Menn Award for Creative Writing (AAUW) for The Naturalist's Cabin; Constructing the Dream (Viking Penguin) in 1992.



Her website is http://cathyjohnson.info

Customer Reviews

She is a great teacher.
Sheila B Roddy
I am one of those people who are able to benefit from How To kinds of books.
VulpesFerox
Ms. Johnson is an excellent teacher!
K. Cushman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. V on November 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I first recieved a box of watercolor pencils as a gift, I had no idea what to make of them... I do passing fair work with colored pencils, but watercolors have always been beyond me. I muddled along, experimenting and tossing the miserable results, until I found this book. Oh, the joy! Finally, information on how to get the most out of my creations! How to balance the use of dry and wet, how to work the pencils to their best use, how to work in multimedia (which I do). This is most certainly a bible of sorts for the watercolor pencil artist!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 4, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a motivating guide! This has easy-to-understand directives and doesn't seem overwhelming. At the same time, the examples are so wonderful and varied the "student" cannot help but want to practice more and more, allowing it to become an urge to take a pretty scene and turn it into something that can be shared.

I purchased this for my teen daughter (and to enjoy learning along with her) as a rich addition our homeschool curriculum. We enjoy sitting out on the deck and finding inspiration in our many trees, garden, the birds and squirrels, our beagles, etc.

The author is very gifted and conveys her love of nature and capturing a fleeting moment very well. She is also instrumental in showing how to cultivate a reader's individual artistic tendencies, even if they may feel they don't have any. This is preseted in a non-intimidating manner.

Highly recommended!
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By I. Trejos on May 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I liked the book, but I wish it had more information or more examples, either by the author or by other artists in the medium. In order for me to really learn about the medium, I have had to buy not only this book but others about the same subject as well... It is not a problem with this book in particular, but a problem with ALL colored pencil books. All of them show a "part" of the what the medium has to offer. I wish there was a "compendium" of several authors about the subject, so we, aspiring artists, would have some sort of "big book" or "bible" about this.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By VulpesFerox on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am one of those people who are able to benefit from How To kinds of books. This particular book gives easy broken down steps to watercolor pencil techniques with plenty of room to explore and play with the medium in question. There is also a great balance of text and illustrations.

In my opinion the best part is the listing of different products and how they interact with each other and on different kinds of watercolor papers (it also discusses basic color theory and how to use it). It lists brand names so that you can purchase those products and experiment with them yourself. Most importantly is that it's presented in a fun and casual manner, so it takes away a lot of the fear if you're new at working with watercolor pencils.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Burch on July 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
This has to be the definitive book on watercolor pencil. I haven't read another book with as much usable information as this one. Cathy Johnson has a great way of explaining how to use the pencils to achieve a variety of textures and effects. Once I quit thinking of watercolor pencils as a watercolor medium, and began to think of them (and use them) as drawing tools with which I can then achieve a watercolor effect, my drawings greatly improved. If you can find this book, I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Anderson on May 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the best book on watercolor pencil that exists so far. I have read several other books and they are very few. Kate Johnson is a wonderful teacher for this mostly ignored medium. I also took her online class for watercolor pencil and this book was the main text. I highly recommend both. I was an amateur when I started and now I am very confident with my pencils. I cannot recommend "Watercolor Pencil Magic" enough. If you want to learn how to use the medium and become more comfortable and proficient then you must do Kate's exercises. The only way to become good is to practice with your watercolor pencils and this book really put me on the road to becoming the artist I know I can be.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joan in Metairie on September 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this to familiarize myself with watercolor pencils as I usually paint with watercolor pans or tubes of paint. The book gives you very realistic ideas what can be accomplished with pencils and various techniques. Have started using pencils for quick and less complicated paintings and also for use along with regular watercolor. Great for texturing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peatie on August 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought many sets of watercolor pencils and experimented blindly with them with disappointing results. Then, I found Cathy Johnson's book Watercolor Pencil Magic. I'm already a fan of Johnson's books, art and teaching methods, and this book was the answer to my watercolor pencil prayers. Her illustrations are inspiring, and many are broken down into several steps so you can understand blending, shading, value and other techniques to achieve something pleasing and not overworked. As with all Johnson's books, she encourages the reader to have fun with the medium. Thanks to this book, I am.
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