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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.
The beginning of the book provides tips on what tools and materials to buy. I found these sections to be practical, as I don’t really know how to get started. Jenna explains the differences in the tools and the paints, in a simple, clear way. As a beginner, I found this very helpful.
Day One starts off with just simple brush strokes. Succeeding days add more detail and complexity—but it all builds up slowly and gently. The pace is gentle and easy. Day Two has the student trying simple curves and circles. By Day Thirty, we are finalizing our “Jungle Piece.”
So all in all, I found EVERYDAY WATERCOLOR to be an outstanding book. The lessons start with very simple techniques, and slowly build-up. The material is presented in a friendly, easy-to-follow format. The artwork and other illustrations are encouraging as well.
I especially liked the author’s vision of what it means to be an artist: “We all are made to be creators. All it takes is practice, a lot of passion, dedication, and most importantly, patience.”
The author concludes the book with this encouragement: “Keep painting and dedicating this practice to yourself as an artist and creative individual.” I appreciate the author’s helpfulness, and warm encouragement.
Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.