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Look inside Watercolour Landscapes for the Absolute Beginner
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback Plus 6 full-size gatefold outlines
  • Publication: 25 January 2022
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782219101
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 800
  • Pages: 200
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Series: Absolute Beginner Art
More Information

Watercolour Landscapes for the Absolute Beginner


by Matthew Palmer (Author)

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Book Description

In Watercolour Landscapes for the Absolute Beginner, artist and teacher Matthew Palmer guides beginners through their first steps in watercolour and shows what incredible landscapes can be achieved in this exciting medium.

Step-by-step exercises, mini projects and six longer projects help you to build essential skills and allow you to produce a range of landscapes you will be proud of. Vital drawing skills are explained and demonstrated, along with key techniques such as how to use resists; colour mixing; painting natural-looking foliage; using the dry-brush technique to create intricate detail, and using scratch-out techniques to add sparkle and movement to water. 

The exercises are ideal for beginners and the main projects will also build skills for improving artists. Matthew has an accessible style, with plenty of tips and tricks for beginners to make things easier. A huge wealth of finished paintings provide ideas and inspiration for your own future watercolour landscapes. Full-size pull-out outlines are provided for the final projects.

Includes material previously published in Matthew Palmer's Step-by-Step Guide to Watercolour Painting (2018), but with the addition of three brilliant new projects, many new illustrations and extensive textual revisions.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6, Materials 8, Inspiration 16, Sketching 22, Working outside 26, Useful drawings 28, Easy perspective 32, Colour 36, Building a scene 46, Top techniques 54, Painting skies 64, Painting water 68, Painting trees 73, Troubleshooting 82, The projects 86, Northern Lights step by step 90, Venice in Monochrome step by step 100, Hawaiian Sunset step by step 114, Night-time Snow Scene step by step 132, Waterfall in Summer step by step 146, Wildflower Meadow step by step 162, Index 176

About the Author

About Matthew Palmer

Matthew Palmer is a renowned demonstrator of watercolour painting, and his classes are particularly popular with beginners. He has been painting professionally for over 20 years and specializes in landscapes, still life and animals. He has his own studio at his home in Derbyshire, UK and teaches hundreds of people each week, as well as running watercolour workshops and holidays. He participates in several art shows and appears regularly on television as well as on his own internet-based art show at www.watercolour.tv

Matthew has now written his seventh book with Search Press, with total books sales of over 118,000 copies worldwide.


SAA Catalogue

In this thorough and enjoyable course, Matthew explains how to work from photographs, creating the basic sketch, the use of colour and washes and how to build a landscape in simple stages. Even if these are familiar to you, his simple explanations can provide new insights and he is particularly sound on the basics of perspective.

Leisure Painter

Using material previously published in his Step-by-Step Guide to Watercolour Painting, 2018, Matthew Palmer's Watercolour Landscapes for the Absolute Beginner includes step-by-step exercises, mini projects and six longer projects to help you paint convincing landscapes in watercolour.

Aimed specifically at the complete beginner, the instruction is clear and encouraging, with concise information on key techniques and plenty of tips and tricks to help along the way. Pull-out outlines of the main projects are included to get you started in colour straight away without the need for preparatory drawings.


There are no mistakes, only lessons, says Matthew Palmer. With that attitude, he aims to take the complete novice and turn them into a painter. Could that be you? There are only six long step-by-step projects in here, because instead Matthews focus is on laying the foundations needed to succeed in painting watercolour landscapes. He takes the opening section of every watercolour guide and expands it. Leaving no stone unturned, from brush hairs to sketching chimneys, Matthew sets out to prepare you for everything. 


Many artists tout their books as suitable for beginners; thirty-plus-year veteran watercolourist Palmer more than fulfils that promise. Every tool and material are scrutinized, with advice about buying the best, if possible. (One caveat: he tends to promote his own line of products heavily throughout.) Composition, through sketching, is first explained in terms of outlines and shapes, then expanded. Colour, of course, covers all the usual subjects (e.g., the colour wheel), then delves into the hues appropriate for water, sky, foliage, and the like.

After all the preliminaries (including top techniques like salt and splattering), the six projects appear with every step documented, aligned with his "absolute beginner" guide. Foldout pages with outlines to copy start the painting process. Select from familiar pictures such as the northern lights, a waterfall in summer, a field of wildflowers. Tips proliferate, ranging from how to avoid ripping paper to an illustrated troubleshooting section. Could anyone flunk this beginner's school? Unlikely, if all directions are absorbed and followed.

Customer Review

I absolutely love this watercolour book as I like to learn new skills or improve them when I get time to do so away from art college. The guides are simple and easily readable and as I am autistic so its important that all steps are clearly presented in order to further my understanding like everyone else.

Customer Review

This book has everything for the 'Absolute Beginner' and for those who have been painting for a while. It covers every aspect of watercolour painting from the beginning materials, sketching the outline, perspective, colour, techniques, painting skies, water and trees as well as troubleshooting. It takes the reader through each step, even giving outlines for the six projects it includes, so that if you do not know where to start it is all there for you. The quality of the tuition is second to none as is the quality of the illustrations.

Another quality book not only from Matthew Palmer, but also from the publishers, Search Press.

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Also by this author:

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner

By Matthew Palmer


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