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The Best Watercolour Painting Instruction Books

Updated on January 17, 2015
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Katherine regularly reviews art books and has a very extensive art library (4 bookcases and lots of stacks waiting for the next one!)

Find out about how to paint in watercolour

  • Do you need an instruction book about how to paint in watercolour?
  • Do you want to develop your skills in painting with watercolour?
  • Find out about recommended instruction books which can fill in the gaps in your library of books about watercolour painting.

The problem with Amazon is that the book you are looking for does NOT always appear in the category you're looking in. I've been surprised again and again about where books get hidden - hence why I have developed The Best Watercolour Painting Instruction Books.

This site is also being developed as part of a project on my blog Making A Mark - see Which are the best art books about watercolour painting?.

I'm adding in my personal notes and the names of/links to people who recommend each book and their comments as the recommendations come in. Some descriptions relate to product descriptions - and are indicated as such.

See also Which is the best brand of watercolour paint for artists?

and Watercolour Societies - Resources for Artists - covering societies for watercolour painters all over the world

Some of my watercolour instruction books
Some of my watercolour instruction books | Source

How to Paint in Watercolour

Complete Guides to Watercolour Painting - RECOMMENDED Guides to watercolour painting

These books - which provide a guide to watercolour painting - were nominated by my blog readers when I asked them to tell me which are the best books about watercolour painting - and why. See Which are the best art books about watercolour painting?

The Watercolor Book

Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by 22 customer reviews
RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell (Making A Mark)
This is one of a series of books by Watson Guptill produced with the aim of creating the most thorough guide to different media ever assembled in a single volume. This is the book devoted to watercolor materials and techniques. It includes a very comprehensive section on art materials for painting in watercolour. When reviewing art instruction books for watercolour painters, there are a few aspects which for me always signify whether or not the book is for serious watercolour painters. One of them is a discussion of different methods for stretching paper is one of them! Another is a discussion about how colour harmonies can be created both in terms of colour theory and watercolour painting techniques. This book does not disappoint!

Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting (Dover Art Instruction)
Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting (Dover Art Instruction)

Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: Dover Publications (July 23, 2001)

 

Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting

Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars by 48 customer reviews
RECOMMENDED BY: Belinda del Pesco and Nita Leland

"Among the top ten in my library. Very strong on design." Nita Leland

Edgar Whitney provides a comprehensive guide on watercolour painting from learning the nuts and bolts of the basics of painting in watercolour all the way through to selling completed works. This is a popular book by a very experienced artist and tutor who does not mince words and has a lot to say.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Watercolor
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Watercolor

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Watson-Guptill; First Edition edition (May 1, 1992)

600 illustrations, 525 in full-color.

 

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Watercolor

An anthology of watercolor instruction from Watson-Guptill's recent bestselling authors.

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by 37 customer reviews

RECOMMENDED BY: Belinda del Pesco

Reviews of the tools and materials of watercolor, then proceeds with the color palette, color mixing, and applied color theory. Different artists explain how to work effectively with value, form, light and shadow.

Watercolor Bold & Free

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars by 8 customer reviews

RECOMMENDED BY: Charlene Brown (awarded 9/10 for great ideas)

Watercolor Bold & Free, Lawrence Goldsmith's manual on painting is a classic in its field.

The hardcover edition sold nearly 70,000 copies, and the book is now available in paperback.

Aquarelle : L'Eau créatrice
Aquarelle : L'Eau créatrice

Paperback Publisher: Editions Fleurus (October 21, 1999)

Language: French

 

Aquarelle : L'Eau créatrice

(Translated from the French)
Before painting, watercolor, it is primarily water. This book invites the reader to develop their observation of the water itself, but also to better understand and control its effects.

RECOMMENDED by: Ronell Van Wyk (African Tapestry)

Watercolor (Dover Art Instruction)
Watercolor (Dover Art Instruction)

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Dover Publications (April 14, 2006)

Illustrated with 166 paintings.

 

Watercolor

One of the most popular watercolor books ever written. John Pike was a student of Charles Hawthorne from the "Cape Cod School." Pike spent time in the West Indies, and later did illustrations for magazines such as Colliers, Life, Fortune, and Readers Digest.

RECOMMENDED by: Claudia Rosek (Time Passagesy)
If I should go to an deserted island, I would bring this book with me. It contains everything one should know about watercolors - and although it is relatively old, it is still a treasure and one of my most beloved art books.

Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused
Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused

Paperback: 112 pages

Publisher: Watson-Guptill (June 1, 1999)

 

Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars (based on 17 customer reviews)

Let Mel Stabin teach and inspire you to follow his "Big Three" watercolor concepts and go beyond technical proficiency in your painting:

  • simplicity is a powerful force;
  • the worth of your painting does not depend on how long it took to paint it; and
  • clarity of thought and emotion are essential in art.

RECOMMENDED by: Ronell Van Wyk (African Tapestry)

Watercolour for Beginners

Watercolour for Beginners - all the basics for beginners in watercolour painting

People starting out in watercolours want a book which is helpful in terms of teaching you the basics but not so technical that you lose attention or interest

Watercolour Painting Pure & Simple: Techniques That Work Every Step of the Way
Watercolour Painting Pure & Simple: Techniques That Work Every Step of the Way

RECOMMENDED by Robyn Sinclair (Have Dogs Will Travel) I recommend this book because it has a very thorough approach to Techniques well illustrated.

 

Colour in Watercolour

Colour in Watercolour - How to make colour work in watercolour painting - and even sing!

Colour is one of the most important aspects of painting and all artists find it a fascinating, but at times challenging, subject.

READ A REVIEW of "Making Color Sing" in one of my blog posts about Using Colour - Art Book Reviews for Artists #2 for a review

Making Color Sing
Making Color Sing

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars by 40 customer reviews)

Everybody who has ever read this this best-selling book seems to recommend it - which might explain why it's sold over 100,000 copies in hardback and is now available in paperback. My copy is a hardback of 1986 vintage! This book is for those who are prepared to shift their thinking, exercise their brain and leave behind old habits and 'copying' photos. I know at least one teacher who makes this book mandatory reading for her students!

Jeanne Dobie is an award-winning watercolourist who demonstrates in detail how to mix any colour and how to control colour and composition so everything works together to produce any effect desired. Her book, in no-nonsense plain English, sets out to stimulate new ways of thinking about colour in order to generate responses which stimulate personal creativity.

Readers are provided with numerous exercises which show

- how the interplay of complementary hues can trigger vibrations;

- how the push and pull of warm and cool colours can create a feeling of space;

- how to disguise one colour in a scene to accent another

- plus many more tips about colour.

Part 1 focuses on the colour exercises. Part 2 is about using colour to create compositions

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell, Vivien Blackburn, Belinda del Pesco

 
You Can Paint Vibrant Watercolors
You Can Paint Vibrant Watercolors

Dan Burt's paintings vibrate with pure, vivid color-exactly the look that so many watercolor artists strive for. The good news for them is that Burt can explain and illuminate his approach to creating such joyous paintings. Although they look loose and spontaneous, each painting is actually well-planned and thoughtfully conceived. Burt teaches his straightforward and enjoyable approach with the same enthusiasm he applies to his painting. Readers will learn how to paint with pigment puddles, work from light to dark in four stages, and other secrets for evoking the vibrancy of transparent watercolor.

RECOMMENDED BY: Charlene Brown (7/10)

 
Vibrant Watercolours (Collins Artist’s Studio)
Vibrant Watercolours (Collins Artist’s Studio)

Shirley Trevena's masterful use of colour is widely recognized. In this book, she explores all aspects of using colour in innovative and occasionally unorthodox ways, resulting in watercolours that are a riot of dynamic colour.

Colour theory is looked at through a series of simple exercises that illustrate how the principles work in practice, and there are fascinating sections on using just single colours and neutrals, and how to mix colours in unusual ways to create interesting and sometimes unconventional effects. The role of colour to evoke mood and atmosphere is also covered

Suitable for intermediate painters

RECOMMENDED by: Claudia Rose (Time Passages) and Robyn Sinclair (Have Dogs Will Travel)

 
Fill Your Watercolors With Light and Color
Fill Your Watercolors With Light and Color

How to use masking and pouring to create sparkling, atmospheric qualities in paintings and capturing the subtle color variations found in foliage, skies or water.

* More than 65,000 copies of the hardcover edition sold

RECOMMENDED by: Claudia Rose (Time Passages)

 
The Watercolourist's Year
The Watercolourist's Year

How to use seasonal palettes

RECOMMENDED by: Claudia Rose (Time Passages)

 

Colour for Artists

Find out more about Colour for Artists by reviewing my related "Resources for Artists" websites

Mixing Colours with Watercolour Paints - How to mix watercolour paint to produce the colour you want

Lots of painters find it really helpful to have books which guide you through the mixing process - particularly if you're after a particular shade and can't work out how to mix it!

See also my NEW website The Best Artist Guides for Mixing Colours

Watercolor Mixing Directory
Watercolor Mixing Directory

This is the NEW VERSION of Mooira Clinch's ever popular book about mixing watercolours

Amazon reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)

Published in 2006, Moira Clinch demonstrates a variety of colour mixing techniques - as well as how to get 2,000 colour mix and glazing options from 50 colours.

 

Light in Watercolour

Painting Light in Watercolour

Explanations of different approaches to interpreting and rendering light and colour in watercolour paint

Artists who produce watercolour paintings obvious painting obviously need to reserve their lights to signify highlights. But what's the BEST way of painting light and colour when using watercolour?

These books will help you get to grips with how to interpret and render light effects

Light and Mood in Watercolour
Light and Mood in Watercolour

Amazon reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars ( 11 customer reviews) | Like (10)

Curtis shares his methods for painting on location and in the studio, with sections devoted to selecting materials, developing ideas, choosing subjects and colors, and interpreting light effects. More than 100 paintings and sketches accompany in-depth instructions for each technique, along with invaluable bits of practical wisdom garnered from years of experience.

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell and Belinda del Pesco

 
Light in Watercolor: How to Create Light, Space, and Atmosphere in Your Paintings
Light in Watercolor: How to Create Light, Space, and Atmosphere in Your Paintings

Amazon reviews: 4 out of 5 stars ( 4 customer reviews) | Like (2)

Lucy Willis studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, then taught drawing and etching at the Aegean School of Fine Art in Greece. She won the BP Portrait Award in 1992 and now exhibits her work widely. She lives in Bridgwater, Somerset.

RECOMMENDED BY:Belinda del Pesco and Claudia Rosek (Time Passages)

This is one of the watercolor artists I admire deeply. It is not only her painting style, but her choice of motifs I like so very much. Absolutely recommendable!

 
Light: How to See It , How to Paint It
Light: How to See It , How to Paint It

Examines the use of color, tonal values, shadows, and reflected light to depict the moods and effects of light in paintings, and includes advice on using artificial light and outdoor light

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell

 
Colour & Light (How to Paint)
Colour & Light (How to Paint)

Amazon reviews: 3.8 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews) | Like (10)

Published 2010

This guidebook overflows with enthusiastic instruction for beautiful watercolors. Features three step-by-step projects

The consensus is that people who are disappointed with this book appear to be those who want more instruction and step by step demonstrations than are provided.

 
Paint Watercolors that Dance with Light
Paint Watercolors that Dance with Light

Amazon reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars (36 customer reviews) | Like (100)

This easy-to-follow guide offers proven techniques for painting dazzling scenes drenched in color. Readers will learn to paint beautiful flowers, foliage and landscapes, as well as learn to visualize before painting and to better perceive abstract form, value, line and color.

 

Breaking the rules with watercolour

Once you've learned how to paint with watercolour you can then learn how to break the rules and take risks!

Taking Risks and Breaking the Rules - Shirley Trevena, Burt Silvermanand Nita Engle show you how

Shirley Trevena has a huge following for her art instruction books on how to paint in a loose and creative style in watercolour.

Nita Engle has a tremendous number of fabs for her book. If just reading the Table of Contents leaves you feeling excited then this is the book for you!

Taking Risks with Watercolour
Taking Risks with Watercolour

Current ratings: 4.9 out of 5 stars (21 customer reviews)

This book was nominated for the 2005 Artists' Choice Award for art instruction book of the year.

RECOMMENDED by: Claudia Rose (Time Passages)

"Taking risks with watercolour" by Shirley Trevena is a completely new and fresh attempt to painting watercolours and using crayons, pencils and other supplies, too. I love her use of colours.Shirley Trevena is well known for her exciting watercolours which have strong designs and vibrant colours.

This is a practical book with excellent illustrations for the intermediate watercolourist who is looking for greater challenges in their work, wants to experiment and is prepared to take risks in painting in watercolour. Shirley explains and illustrates her techniques for producing exciting, luminous and colourful watercolours.

 
Breaking the Rules of Watercolour
Breaking the Rules of Watercolour

Current ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Shirley Trevena's third book is about breaks the conventional rules of watercolour and achieving stunning results by pushing the medium to its limits.

Breaking the rules covers compositions, perspectives, textures and colour combinations. In Breaking the Rules of Watercolour, Shirley explains all her painting decisions and demonstrates her techniques at every stage.

USA Publisher: Batsford (August 7, 2012)

UK Publisher: Batsford Ltd (1 Feb 2012)

 
Breaking the Rules of Watercolor
Breaking the Rules of Watercolor

Some artists love to have a set of rules for painting - while others love to break the rules.

This book by Burt Silverman is on my book shelves and is very helpful

Current ratings: 4.8 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)

RECOMMENDED BY: Belinda del PescoDemonstrates a technique developed by Burt Silverman, which utilizes unorthodox painting methods to expand the command of watercolour painting. The author gets the freshness and spontaneity desired in watercolour but has the ability to change his mind, make corrections and build up a watercolour as he might build up a painting in oil or pastel. This book uses step-by-step demonstrations of protraits and figures as well as landscapes to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique. This book is designed to be of interest to artists of all levels of ability.

 
How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself: Experimental Techniques for Achieving Realistic Effects
How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself: Experimental Techniques for Achieving Realistic Effects

Rated: 4.6 out of 5 stars (88 customer reviews)

This book is about how to play with paint - without any rules. For those who like the idea of spraying, sprinkling, pouring, squirting, or stamping paint.

 

Watercolour - Charles Reid's Tips and Techniques - art instruction books by Charles Reid

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Charles Reid is well known for his loose watercolour style -complete with drips! He's also a very popular teacher via workshops, instructions books and video/DVD.

I own copies of all Charles Reid's book and have always got excited when a new one is published. He is a fantastic watercolour artist - who paints figurative subjects working in a loose and impressionistic way. He also and writes superb books about how to paint with watercolour.

His style will NOT suit people who want to be meticulous about the way they paint.

Charles Reid's Watercolor Solutions: Learn To Solve The Most Common Painting Problems
Charles Reid's Watercolor Solutions: Learn To Solve The Most Common Painting Problems

As one of the most sought after workshop instructors, Charles Reid possesses certain skills that set him apart from his students. In Charles Reid's Watercolor Solutions, he shares that knowledge with readers, teaching them how to become better watercolorists. Through before and after photos of various paintings, the author clearly identifies the existing problems in the painting and provides a detailed action plan with solutions to rectify the issue. A variety of topics are covered such as still life, figures, landscapes and more. Readers will appreciate the clear step-by-step format, which makes the solutions easy to understand and implement.

Amazon reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars ( 20 customer reviews) | Like (9)

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell

 
Charles Reid's Watercolor Secrets
Charles Reid's Watercolor Secrets

This is rare look in the artistic life of artist Charles Reid. It's a fascinating book - the paintings on each page have been selected from the actual sketchbooks he has kept for the past 25 years.

These illustrations are accompanied by concise commentary and advice from the artist that explains the process behind his work. It's an education in basic art principles and an exciting glimpse into the mind of a master painter.

Amazon reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars ( 15 customer reviews) | Like (1)

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell, Belinda del Pesco and Claudia Rose (Time Passages)

 
Charles Reid Watercolor Secrets DVD
Charles Reid Watercolor Secrets DVD

This feature length video tackles a variety of topics the first being life drawing and painting. Exploring the possibilities of watercolor is when Charles is at his best and this is evident in abundance during this instructional video.

Amazon reviews: 4 out of 5 stars ( 1 customer reviews)

 

Advanced Skills for watercolour painters

Advanced Skills for Watercolour Painters - explanations of the techniques used by master watercolour painters

I'm personally a huge fan of Charles LeClair - and he also gets a huge thumbs up from a number of other artists and students of painting using water-based media.

Other books provide an insight into the painting methods of master watercolour painters - including members of the Royal Watercolour Society

The Art of Watercolor
The Art of Watercolor

Unique among watercolor instruction books, "The Art of Watercolor" presents a comprehensive course of study that combines studio lessons on the technical properties of the medium with art history and visual theory. 150 color illustrations.

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell and Isabelle

"Charles Le Clair presents watercolour as not only one technique but uses many methods comparing the work of famous artists represented by museums-historical and contemporary.

Content and alternative ways of producing art are dealt with in genre and contemporary art movements

I read somewhere that the book came about as part of his teaching watercolour at a university.The illustrations are inspiring and beautiful representations of watercolour as an art form. It is a superior text to anything else I have seen"

Isabelle

 
Watercolour Expert: Insights Into Working Methods and Approaches
Watercolour Expert: Insights Into Working Methods and Approaches

This book is a practical showcase of innovative ideas, working methods and tips from the highly skilled and experienced members of the Royal Watercolour Society from all over the world. The book begins with a brief history of watercolour, covering the work of illustrious past members of the Society such as Cotman, Palmer, Alma-Tadema, Sargent and Burne-Jones. Current members then discuss their own work, demonstrating and deconstructing some of the very best and most exciting paintings produced in this medium today. Each artist details a technique that they find particularly effective and reveals their working process, from concept and Initial composition to paints and equipment. Each explanation is accompanied by a sample of the artist's work, illustrating how their unique technique has been used to good effect.

The book will appeal to beginners looking for ways to create effects successfully, and more experienced watercolourists looking for methods to save time when working and for new ways to use the tools available to them.

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 customer reviews)

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell

 
Master Class in Watermedia: Techniques in Traditional and Experimental Painting
Master Class in Watermedia: Techniques in Traditional and Experimental Painting

Using the author's work as an inspiring point of departure, participants inhis master class learn to work with a broad range of watermedia, pushingeyond realism to build images that have urgency and power. Readers arencouraged to take risks that will help them to abandon usual methods andmbrace fresh ways of painting with watercolour, gouache, casein, acrylic,sing collage, brushless methods, and many other technique

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)

RECOMMENDED BY: Charlene Brown (awarded 8+/10

 

How to paint Wet in Wet in Watercolour

Wet on wet painting involves applying pigment to wet paper. How best to do that is the subject of this book which is the leader on this topic due to its in-depth approach. This is a masterclass in working wet and wet and learning about viscosity, how to read a wet paper and the need for patience!

Note that:

* this book has been translated hence some may find the language difficult

* this is a repackaged version of an existing book rather than a new book so if you've got the first one you don't need this one too

* a lot of booksellers are now listing this as unavailable - which in part explains the price of this book

Wet-on-Wet Watercolour Painting offers practical answers to the most frequently asked questions and provides clear and sound advice on all the wet-on-wet watercolour techniques. Ideal for those with a basic grasp of watercolour painting, this is the perfect follow-up to the previous book in the series, Watercolour Painting.

Wet-on-Wet Watercolour Painting: A Complete Guide to Techniques and Materials
Wet-on-Wet Watercolour Painting: A Complete Guide to Techniques and Materials

Features:

* overview and introduction art materials and tools and materials and how to use them

* an examination of different types of brushes, papers and paints.

an exploration wet-on-wet techniques using step-by-step stages and simple exercises

* reviewers comment on the excellence of the photographs for demonstrating different stages

RECOMMENDED BY: Ruth S Harris"Originally written in French, translated to English, this book tells you everything you need to know about the wet-in-wet technique. There are full colour photographs throughout, initially focusing on the absolute basics of the water cycle and how to recognise what stage your surface is at in the cycle; and on paint consistency, what each consistency will do at each stage of the water cycle. This in itself was a revelation to me, but the book goes further still with amazing demonstrations. Rated as 10/10"

 

How to Loosen Up your Watercolour Painting - for all those who don't want to or need to be precise when painting in watercolour

Loosen Up Your Watercolours
Loosen Up Your Watercolours

This is the first title in Collins' new Artist's Studio series for the intermediate painter. Judi Whitton shows how to loosen up your painting with practical exercises, projects, step-by-step demonstrations and numerous hints and tips.

You can see her watercolours at http://www.watercolour.co.uk/

RECOMMENDED by: Ronell Van Wyk (Africantapestry)

 
Aquarellmalerei. Landschaften. Städte. Architektur. Malen auf Reisen.
Aquarellmalerei. Landschaften. Städte. Architektur. Malen auf Reisen.

RECOMMENDED by: Claudia Rosek (Time Passages)

This is an exceptional attempt to painting watercolor. Loose and slightly abstract, his style is absolutely fascinating.

See his homepage at: http://www.bernhard-vogel.at/de/werk/ (recommended)

 

How to sketch in Watercolour - nominations received to date

Color in Sketching and Rendering
Color in Sketching and Rendering

RECOMMENDED BY: Kaylyn Munro

"An incredibly rich source of information on color, composition, and everything else you need to know. A lot about architectural rendering, stunningly beautiful examples. About watercolor but applicable to any medium. No tricks or gimmicks. Hard to find, though it does come up in used book searches.

I grew up with this book as my dad had it in his library. Recently found a copy of it and was so pleased to find that this early primer has not lost its value as a technical and inspirational source."

 
From Sketch to Painting (Watercolour Tips and Techniques)
From Sketch to Painting (Watercolour Tips and Techniques)

Wendy Jelbert begins this book by asking the question 'why sketch?'. Her answer is that it is the best way to record inspirational scenes and to capture special moments. Through a series of step-by-step projects Wendy demonstrates how to develop your sketching skills and to transform a sketch into a finished painting.

RECOMMENDED by: Ronell Van Wyk (African Tapestry)

 

New Books About Watercolour Painting

These are books have been published this year or are due to publish in the next six months or so

NEW Books about Watercolor for 2013

These are the BEST OF THE NEW BOOKS about watercolour painting and watercolour painters and due to be published in 2013

They vary from books on art instruction to books about famous painters in the history of art and books which highlight the watercolour paintings of different artists

For more new books about watercolour painting in 2013 see 2013: NEW Books about Painting

John Singer Sargent: Watercolors
John Singer Sargent: Watercolors

#1 in Books > Arts & Photography > Painting > Watercolor

Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by 30 customer reviews

This book is published in association with the major exhibition "John Singer Sargent Watercolors" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (April 5-July 28, 2013). Here's a review of the exhibition by the New York Times"Sargent fans and watercolor hobbyists will be in heaven with more than 90 watercolors, more than a third of which are from the Brooklyn collection, the rest from Boston."

Hardcover: 252 pages

Publisher: MFA Publications/Brooklyn Museum (April 30, 2013)

 
An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers
An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars (46 customer reviews on Amazon)

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: HOW Books (February 28, 2013)

 
Watercolor: Paintings of Contemporary Artists
Watercolor: Paintings of Contemporary Artists

Rated: 5.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer review)

Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 23, 2013)

 
Expressive Portraits: Watercolor and Mixed Media Techniques
Expressive Portraits: Watercolor and Mixed Media Techniques

Paperback: 128 pages

Publisher: North Light Books (April 30, 2013)

 
Splash 14: Light & Color (Splash: The Best of Watercolor)
Splash 14: Light & Color (Splash: The Best of Watercolor)

Hardcover: 144 pages

Publisher: North Light Books (July 19, 2013)

 

NEW Books about Watercolour Painting in 2012 - How to paint in watercolour and the best of watercolour paintings

These are new books about how to paint in watercolour - published in 2012 - for artists wanting to explore different styles and techniques and how to improve their painting of atmosphere

Also included are books which demonstrate watercolour paintings by the best painters using watercolour

Splash 13: Alternative Approaches (Splash: The Best of Watercolor)
Splash 13: Alternative Approaches (Splash: The Best of Watercolor)

Hardcover: 144 pages

Publisher: North Light Books (August 16, 2012)

Another in the very popular "Splash" series which feature the watercolor paintings rated by the publisher. I tend to find this series has a strong bias towards artists from the USA!

 
Jean Haines' Atmospheric Watercolours: Painting with Freedom, Expression and Style
Jean Haines' Atmospheric Watercolours: Painting with Freedom, Expression and Style

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: Search Press (September 1, 2012)

A practical 'how to' book by a very popular watercolour artist who is well known for her expressive use of watercolour.

 
Art of Chinese Brush Painting: Ink, Paper, Inspiration
Art of Chinese Brush Painting: Ink, Paper, Inspiration

File Size: 10120 KB

Print Length: 176 pages

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Hardcover with Jacket edition (March 13, 2012)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

This is the Kindle version of an existing book

 

How to Paint Different Subjects in Watercolour

Painting the Things You Love in Watercolor

Painting the Things You Love in Watercolor
Painting the Things You Love in Watercolor

RECOMMENDED BY: Belinda del Pesco

 

How to Paint Portraits and Figures in Watercolour

Charles Reid states, "that a painting needs to have soul and a sense of the models personality".

The books below are for people who like allowing their paint to run and be proper watercolour rather than for those who like hyperrealistic. Unless of course you want to loosen up!

David Bellamy's Skies, Light & Atmosphere in Watercolour
David Bellamy's Skies, Light & Atmosphere in Watercolour

Paperback: 80 pages

Publisher: Search Press (October 1, 2012)

Renowned watercolorist David Bellamy shows how to paint essential elements of landscapes-skies, light, and atmosphere

 
The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifully
The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifully

Amazon: Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by 25 customer reviews | Like (18)

Paperback: 144 pages

Publisher: Watson-Guptill (April 1, 2000)

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell "this is the man who really taught me about seeing shapes, tones and 'the big blur' - for which I am forever grateful"

 
Charles Reid Painter The Figure in Watercolor DVD
Charles Reid Painter The Figure in Watercolor DVD

Amazon: Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars by 4 customer reviews | Like (7)

Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.

Run Time: 57 minutes

 
How to Paint Living Portraits (North Light Classics)
How to Paint Living Portraits (North Light Classics)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars by 18 customer reviews on Amazon | Like (51)

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: North Light Books; 2 edition (April 26, 2011)

I once had the pleasure of having Roberta Clark as a fellow painter on a painting holiday. She's a delightful person and a fantastic painter. I rushed out to her buy her books as soon as I got home and was not disappointed. They've recently been reprinted in paprback

 

How to Paint Landscapes in Watercolour

The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook - Landscapes
The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook - Landscapes

Amazon reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars (69 customer reviews) | Like (23)

Published in 2006, this book has been topping the charts for a long time.

 
Travels with Watercolour
Travels with Watercolour

See how to travel light with a limited palette, make good use of a sketchbook, and properly carry watercolor paper. There are also tips on dealing with weather conditions, respecting other cultures, and completing a painting in the studio from sketches and photos.

RECOMMENDED BY:

Katherine Tyrrell and Claudia Rose (Time Passages)

 
Powerful Watercolor Landscapes: Tools for Painting with Impact
Powerful Watercolor Landscapes: Tools for Painting with Impact

Amazon reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars (24 customer reviews) | Like (23)

Published FEBRUARY 2011

The author's website is http://www.catherinegill.com. Check out her paintings to see if this is likely to be the book for you

 
Watercolour Landscapes
Watercolour Landscapes

The freshness and vitality of Paul Riley's watercolors have made him a highly successful artist, and his ability to communicate these skills is confirmed by his popularity as a teacher. His clear, step-by-step techniques teach the aspiring artist how to avoid the many pitfalls which so often beset the landscape painter.

(I was actually on a painting holiday in Greece with Paul when he painted the cover of this book!)

RECOMMENDED BY: Katherine Tyrrell

 

How to Paint Botanical Art in Watercolour

Watercolour is a traditional medium for botanical art. See The Best Books about Botanical Art for the best instruction books about painting flowers and plants

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    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 4 years ago from California

      So many great resources.....:)

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      angharad 4 years ago

      Thank you for the wonderful resources. I enjoy painting and I'd like to learn more about techniques.

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      maiterodrigue17 5 years ago

      good choices

    • Justinleon LM profile image

      Justinleon LM 5 years ago

      Very informative and useful stuff it is.

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      LindaRN 5 years ago

      NIce lens and a ton of resources

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 5 years ago

      I gave you (well this page) a shout-out, in the Amazon book section of:https://hubpages.com/art/original-watercolor-paint... -- since this is THE place to come if someone wants a book about watercolor painting.

    • jnstewart profile image

      John Norman Stewart 6 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      Great resource here....thanks for sharing this lens. John

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      You promised books and books we got! This is a fine list to remember! I love to paint too and am still learning

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 6 years ago

      Very nice. Thanks for sharing all this info.

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      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      I love watercolors and have a favorite from a NYC artist that hangs on my home office wall. Gosh, I sure wish I could learn to be a watercolorist, but alas I do not have that talent. Cool to see so many great books on it.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Another great resource.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Very interesting resource. I like the details you added to the Amazon modules!Dom.