Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color

Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color - Felix Scheinberger I'm always on the lookout for inspiration to help me sketch. Confession: I do not sketch but all artists need to sketch. I know this and yet I still don't do it. *hangs head in shame* Since my primary medium is watercolor I was happy to review this book.

The book is wonderful for the beginner. It has some great information including some history of watercolor presented in a way that isn't boring. Plus all the illustrations throughout the book keep the book feeling light and fun. I even learned something. The author suggest using alcohol (yes the kind you drink) if you are confronting bad weather like extreme cold. While the alcohol might dull the colors a bit, you might get some interesting play on the paper. While this was a good epiphany, the rest of the book was a rehash of things I already knew. So, therefore, I would recommend the contents of the book to beginners on the watercolor journey.

I did have few criticisms of the book. One was when the author was describing glazing. This technique is often when you apply one wash of color over a dried wash of color. The author left out some important information in this chapter. One was knowing your staining colors. Those are excellent to glaze over since you won't be picking up paint while going over that color. The other is transparency of the colors. Some watercolor paints (like your cadmiums) are somewhat opaque and will affect your glazing ability. I also would have liked a section for water control. It is important to learn how much water your brush is holding to get the effect you want for your painting. My last criticism is that this book seemed geared for finished paintings and not sketches. While that is usually your goal, it isn't always with sketching. He did give some great advice toward sketching but it kept switching between that and finishing your painting. I think it would have been more effective the book was about sketching and have an ending chapter about finished work.

I give this book 3 stars. I recommend it to those that need a foundation course on watercolor in particular. More advanced artists might enjoy it for the loose sketching and artwork within.