Greg Mason Burns

Book Review: Watercolor Book

Watercolor, The Watercolor Book, David Dewey

The Watercolor Book by David Dewey

Bob MacEvoy has a lot of information regarding watercolors. Below is some text and a link to the site regarding his book review of The Watercolor Book by David Dewey. He has other book reviews, and if you click on his sitemap then you’ll see a lot of other watercolor related links.

Dewey – This is one of my all time favorite art books, a model of concise instruction, wise advice, deceptively simple exercises, and compact design. Like they say on TV: if you buy just one watercolor book, make it this one. Dewey gives equal emphasis to materials, theory, technique, the principles of design, and simple practice. He sees the whole art. He begins with an overview of paint manufacturers, brushes, papers and other supplies, and closes with an invitation to try mixed media and a step by step explanation of how to do a large studio painting. There are penetrating discussions on colors and paints, on selecting the palette for each painting, and on building a painting from value sketches.”

I’ve used this book a lot to develop, particularly the color mixing and painting techniques that are described in practice. Watercolor is a completely different technique compared to oils and acrylics. The transparency of the medium is what has challenged me the most. I’m glad I bought this watercolor book to help me along. As with all books, I’m sure it will become more of a resource or reference book than a how-to book, but it serves as both quite nicely.

One thing I would definitely encourage people to do is to try working in the abstract with watercolor. Most watercolor books focus on atmosphere, landscape, the figure, etc. Watercolor abstract is quite nice once you learn how. It is quite difficult, though, and it requires different approaches and techniques. Learning the techniques in Dewey’s book can help you get there. Just play until you find a technique that works. Then practice it and then perfect it.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with atmospheric landscapes. This book shows you all the techniques to do the classic and modern approaches. I recommend buying it for both the beginner and intermediate artist. Books tend to inspire me more than they teach me. I get into the teaching of the book and immediately come away with an idea. Then I use the technique from the book to try my own idea. The Watercolor Book has enough examples to do this for certain. But don’t just trust me, read MacEvoy’s review and buy the book for yourself. I don’t get anything for this review, so no worries there.