Watercolor Art Books To Start The New Year

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You probably have a gift card or two just burning a hole in your pocket.

Treat yourself to a new art book, and start the New Year off right.

This month we’ll look at watercolor books.

These books are filled with inspiration, instruction and glowing illustrations to pique your interest in this often-overlooked medium.

Watercolor Without Boundaries

Watercolor Without Boundaries: Exploring Ways to Have Fun With Watercolor by Karlyn Holman ISBN-13: 978-0979221873
With over 50 different inspirations for painters of all levels, this book is sure to get your creative juices flowing. This cookbook-style book has instructions for still life, landscape, floral and mixed media, so there’s something for everyone.

Watercolor Without Boundaries is packed with illustrations, but it’s not a step-by-step recipe. It gently leads you to examine your own creativity and develop your own style.

Paint Watercolors that Dance with Light

Paint Watercolors that Dance with Light by Elizabeth Kincaid ISBN-13: 978-1600611933
With chapters like Composition Choreography For The Eye and Light And Shadows: Partners In The Dance, you know you’re in for a treat. This book explores traditional watercolor with a focus on bold, saturated colors and the importance of light, shadow and composition.

You’ll be enchanted with Ms. Kincaid’s examples and charmed with her writing style. This book allows an artist to explore and develop a style without cookie cutter instructions. It’s an excellent addition to any watercolorist’s library.

Watercolor Painting

Watercolor Painting: A Comprehensive Approach To Mastering The Medium by Tom Hoffman ISBN-13: 978-0823006731
This book is like sitting down with an artist over a cup of coffee and discussing art. Mr. Hoffman’s style is casual and easy to follow. He uses many of his own paintings to illustrate the point he’s making, and goes so far as to use his own failures to steer the reader in the right direction.

One reviewer of this book states that it’s a “what, when and why guide for the intermediate and advanced painter.” It asks the artist to find his own creative expression while explaining the processes and procedures for successfully painting in this exasperating and exhilarating medium.

The Complete Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook

The Complete Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook: A Treasury Of Watercolor Secrets Discovered Through Decades Of Painting And Experimentation ISBN-13: 978-1440309052 by Gordon MacKenzie
This book takes a beginner in hand to explore the wild and unpredictable world of watercolor. The hand you hold is that of a teacher with over 30 years of experience in both the realm of teaching and creating art.

If you’ve progressed past the ranks of the beginner, you will still want this book in your collection, as the author discusses planning versus intuition, composition, problem solving and developing your own style.

This is a special 10th Anniversary collection that brings together Mr. MacKenzie’s two most popular books: The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook and The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook: Landscapes.


Watercolour Artist’s Guide To Exceptional Colour by Jan Hart ISBN-13: 978-1844486786
Ms. Hart packs an extraordinary amount of information in only 128 pages. This re-issue of her original book, The Encyclopedia of Colour for Watercolour Artists, should be on every watercolorist’s bookshelf.

Divided into three major sections, Ms. Hart covers pigment properties, pigment aesthetics and choosing pigment for painting. She explores everything you could possibly want to know about your chosen medium, and she fills the pages with colorful examples and discussions on what colors to use, how different pigments work within color schemes and how pigment properties affect your color choices for different styles and subjects.

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