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Everyday WaterColor Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days Paperback – October 10, 2017
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“To the outside observer, Jenna Rainey’s work seems completely effortless, but it is in fact built on an extremely solid foundation of techniques, materials, and color theory. By pouring all of her hard-won knowledge into Everyday Watercolor, Jenna has created a wonderful resource for any aspiring watercolor artist.”
—NOLE GAREY, founder and editor, Oh So Beautiful Paper
“In this beautiful, inspiring, and accessible book, Jenna Rainey graciously breaks down her process and welcomes artists and enthusiasts alike to join her in the joy of watercolor painting.”
—SATSUKI SHIBUYA, watercolor artist
About the Author
JENNA RAINEY is the owner and lead designer of design agency Mon Voir, which specializes in watercolor, calligraphy, and other hand-drawn designs for various mediums. Rainey also travels the country teaching workshops on calligraphy and watercolor. Rainey and Mon Voir have been featured on various blogs and online magazines such as Style Me Pretty and Brit + Co.
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Each lesson lasted between 30-90 minutes, with the first few lessons being shortest. In the lessons, you learn how to paint various leaves, flowers (roses, paradise flower), plants (trees, cacti), fruit (papaya, dragon fruit), animals (chickens, hummingbird, toucan, elephant, macaw), and several landscape or collage-like paintings using these objects.
The book is aimed at complete beginners to watercolor, but she wants you to buy expensive, professional-quality watercolor paper, paints, and brushes. I really liked the idea of teaching the basics (color theory, basic strokes for round brushes, etc.) during actual painting practice, but I think a complete beginner would find the book confusing and frustrating at times.
Some examples: On page 13, she tells you to include both warm and cool colors without explaining these new terms (until a later lesson). The illustrations often had confusing subtitles, like two swatches of green paint with "Winsor Green + Lemon Yellow Deep" under them. The way the text was placed, I initially thought one swatch was supposed to be the green and the other the yellow rather than two greens that you can make using those two paints. She frequently urged "add lots of water," leaving it mostly up to the reader to figure out how to keep the paint from escaping the desired bounds. As her technique requires "lots of water" yet "not too much," more advise on this from the very beginning would have been useful to a complete beginner.
However, artists who are more used to the runaway tenancy of watercolor will probably turn out some nice finished lessons. As I have that much experience, I did turn out some nice results. However, I found deliberately courting runaway paint and unpredictable results day after day stressful rather than relaxing.
I received this book as a free review copy from the publisher through Blogging for Books.
I have been interested in learning how to watercolor for several years now. I had some time on my hands so I ordered the Everyday Watercolor book because it seemed easy to follow and understand. I’m so glad I did! The exercises are simple, but for beginners it’s perfect, it breaks down technique in the most conventional way. I attached some photos from one of the first exercises, I haven’t purchased actual watercolor paper yet because I’m still learning, so the page I practiced on is a bit wrinkled, but either way the guide is easy to follow and helps even the most inexperienced artist be creative.
I can’t think of any negatives for this text other than it focuses primarily on floral patterns; I’m not super into botanical art. It’s still a great place to start though, so I won’t complain.