Thursday, 23 February 2012

Book ratings

As promised, I'm posting the first set of drawing book ratings today ^.^ 
While sadly, a wide range of drawing books are just as helpful as this:
(I love this picture xD ) they do exist - drawing books that are really assistant. I hope that these rating posts will help you discover books that you find auxiliary, too. If you also have any recommendations, please tell me. :)
The rating goes like this:

= not very helpful

= quite good

= highly recommended

 (hope you like the rating skala design :3)
I will also try to gather books of the same topic in one post where possible. Today's topic is watercolours. The next post will probably feature some fantasy drawing books. ^^ Here we go!

The first book is in german language only - sorry :( But I found it quite helpful, so I didn't want to withhold it.

Title: Aquarellmalerei - Basiswissen
Publisher: frechverlag.

What makes this book so great is that all the advice given is illustrated step by step with full-colour photographs and you get detailed instructions here of how to do all the techniques you read about it the introduction part. You also get to know more about materials and some general tipps on colour theory, composition and so on. In between there are example paintings done with the effects and techniques that were each shown earlier in the book. (The Amazon product page allows you get a little glimpse of the inside.)

I think even if you are an advanced watercolour painter already, this book might teach you some new ways of painting you haven't tried before. Or it will at least inspire you with it's beautiful pictures. 
It helped me a lot and among the watercolour books I've read by now I'd say it's one of the best. So I rate it with three of three hearts. 

On to book number two. Maybe the artist seems familiar to you ;) It's Meredith Dillman, who is quite popular on the internet for her watercolour fairy artwork. In line with the Watercolour Made Easy - series she published this tutorial book. 

Title:  Watercolour Made Easy - Fairies & Fantasy
Publisher: Walter Foster

Don't be put off by the fairy theme ;D This little book begins with a general tutorial on drawing basics, materials, colour theory and the like. It's really nicely designed, but a little superficial. That's why I'm not sure about the actual target audience. It features some really basic advice for beginners, but it's not detailed enough in my opinion. So it's probably for those who have experience in drawing but are just new to watercolors.The rest of the book consists of workflow explanations for several artworks. It's interesting to read the artists comments on her workflow, but I miss demonstrations of basic techniques. You may copy the lineart from the book and try colouring it, but for beginners this will be too hard.

So, alltogether this isn't a bad book. But beginners should probably start with more detailed instructions fitting their skill level. I'f you're an advanced painter already you might find the short summary of basics helpful enough. I'm not sure if it really helped me, but I keep it as an art book and enjoy the pretty pictures by Meredith (that's actually what I bought it for) ;) Two hearts out of three.

The next one is considerably bulkier than the others. It's also part of a series, the Step By Step Art School and written and illustrated by Patricia Monahan.

Title: Watercolours
Publisher: Hamlyn Group

(There have been several print runs and translations over the years. The original one is from 1987.)

Among all the watercolour books I've seen, I'd refer to this one as the best yet. The positives are the same as with the first book in this post. Only that this one is even more detailed. You get the usual general introduction and then many, many labs in which you are challenged to try out all the effects and techniques you read about. Very detailed and with a lot of illustrations! I also like how it's written. Reading it will surely encourage you to get creative and that's what's most important! Very recommendable. :)


  1. Tja, Wasserfarbe ist ja so gar nicht mein Medium. Wie ich das in der Schule gehasst habe... ;-)
    Aber finde ich klasse, die Buchvorstellung. Deine Einschätzung für wen die Bücher geeignet sein könnten, scheint mir sehr hilfreich zu sein.
    Ich bin schon gespannt auf die Fantasy-Buch-Vorstellung.

    P.S. Das Eulenbild ist so genial^^

  2. Bei mir war Acryl immer das Hass- aber leider auch das gängige Medium im Schulmalunterricht.^^ Aquarell bringt halt einen gewisses Risiko und einen Frustfaktor mit sich. Man weiß nie, wie es im Endeffekt aussieht, weil die Farbe jedes mal anders trocknet, verinnt o.ä. Manchmal frage ich mich auch, warum ich mir das antue xD Aber irgendwie mag ich es halt schon gern. ^^' Danke, ich hoffe es hilft jemandem. :D