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Look inside Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback plus 12 outline tracings
  • Publication: 21 January 2014
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781844488254
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 566
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Series: Absolute Beginner Art
More Information

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner


The Society for All Artists by Matthew Palmer (Author)

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Book Description

This book is a comprehensive course in watercolour landscape painting by expert SAA tutor, Matthew Palmer.

Matthew is renowned for his beautiful, detailed paintings and his ability to teach effective painting using simple techniques.

  • The book begins with excellent advice for the beginner, including, easy drawing for painting, composition, easy perspective, light and shade, colour, and how to paint skies, tree, water and figures in watercolour.
  • There are then six simple step by step painting exercises, and each exercise leads into a more developed step by step painting project, including a windmill, seascape, snow scene, mountains and lakes, bluebell stream and an all-rounder featuring a landscape with buildings and figures.
  • The exercises are ideal for beginners and the main projects will also build skills for improving artists.
  • A pull-out outline drawing is provided for every exercise and main project, and Matthew shows step by step how to transfer these onto watercolour paper.

Matthew teaches over 150 pupils per week and also appears regularly on TV. He has an accessible style, plenty of tips and tricks for beginners and his own range of brushes and colours to make things easier (though readers can use alternatives).

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials 8
Easy drawing for painting 12
Composition 16
Easy perspective 18
Light & shade 22
Colour 26
Watercolour techniques 30
Painting skies 36
Painting trees 40
Painting water 48
Painting figures 52
Your first watercolour 56
Seascape 70
Snow scene 80
Mountains and lakes 92
Waterfalls 104
All rounder 116
Index 128

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.


Kreative review

The good didactic structure of this book offers hobby painters who have never previously painted with water colors, an easy introduction to this technique. The artist makes the experience of years of teaching and personal development of its technique with many helpful tips.

This book can be broken down into two parts. The first teaches the basics of Watercolours. Matthew Palmer begins by introducing the basic equipment. Like most artists, he prefers a certain range of colors, which he also used in his image examples. An important point is the correct choice of brush. In addition to their mapping shows how the brush stroke looks and for which image details are used. There follows a detailed chapter on watercolor papers and tools that can alter the surface of the paper. This is followed by a section that contains the simple illustration of houses, people, dogs, boats and flowers. These details can be later seemingly boring landscapes more interesting. Composition and perspective are shown in simple examples, as well as the effect of light and shadow. In the chapter "color" mixing colors is practiced. This is followed by the presentation special painting techniques and their application as the appearance of the sky, trees, water and people.

After a thorough study, the novice can now turn to the second part of the book. Here you can  learn to practically apply the acquired basic knowledge. Six highly detailed step by step instructions in increasing difficulty lead the novice slowly through their own first  image. The combination of a slight pre-exercise, the detailed illustrations and helpful essays wear very to the success. At the end of the book you will be able to make simple landscapes.

This is a suitable textbook for absolute beginners. A very positive is the good educational structure, the simple style of painting and lots of helpful tips and tricks. After working through the book of budding artists will can show successful works even without visiting a painting course.



Feb 14

Matthew Palmer is an experienced teacher of beginners courses and also the engaging presenter of A Splash of Paint on the SAAs Painting & Drawing TV channel. This is an encouraging pedigree that augurs well for what purports to be an absolute from-the-basics guide that assumes no prior knowledge or experience and merely an enthusiasm to get started. So, does it live up to its billing? Well, starting from an introduction to materials, were into simple drawing by page 12. These are easy shapes, but you will have got under way with buildings, boats, people and animals almost immediately, and this can do nothing but inspire confidence. Just a few lines and it turns out you can do it after all! Its the same with composition and perspective, each explained in only a few pages and without any added complication. Its not the full story, of course, but its enough to get you on to the next stage. Before long, were into demonstrations of trees, skies and water. Things are beginning to take shape nicely and youre ready for the first full painting, with a detailed step-by-step demonstration for which there is also a pull-out tracing in the manner of the Ready To Paint series. Further demonstrations (also with tracings) bring further subjects and techniques into play. Its all very gentle, very progressive and, above all, it proceeds by results, which can be nothing but encouraging. If you want to learn to paint, but dont know where to start, start here.

Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts

Feb 14

Forget your fear of watercolour. Some artists never try this wonderful medium, others give up all too soon viewing their attempts as failure. This book includes six simple step by step painting projects with 12 full size outline drawings included. The emphasis is on simple, but this will help you gain confidence. The projects include landscape, mountain, bluebell wood, a windmill, seascape and snow scene. The book also includes illustrated techniques for skies, people, drawing and more.


Jan 14

If you have always wanted to try your hand at watercolour painting and didn't know where to start - this is the book for you. Matthew Palmer has created a really useful book showing how to get a good result from the very start. Getting confidence to start painting is always hard, but the six simple step by step painting projects explain clearly how to paint a stunning landscapes in watercolour. He has chosen the classic examples that appeal to almost everyone - the beauties of a bluebell wood, sparkling snow, mountains and the sea; as well as the gentleness of a Lakeland scene. All the main elements of watercolour painting are included such as how to achieve perspective, create a composition rather than just a collection of objects and places; and how to use light and colour. A good, basic introduction which will earn its place on an artist's bookshelf.

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Also by this author:

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By Julie King & Matthew Palmer


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