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Watercolor Basics - Let's Get Started [Paperback]

Jack Reid
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 15 1998 Watercolor Basics
"After 25 years of teaching thousands of novice watercolorists the simple methods contained in this book, I firmly believe that anyone willing to follow the directions and do the world cannot fail to achieve a successful picture. If I can do it, so can you." - Jack Reid

In this beginner-friendly guide, Jack Reid will show you the hows of watercolor painting. He covers it all in clear, easy-to-understand terms - beginning with what tools and materials you should buy to get off to a good, affordable start. You'll find simple, step-by-step exercises to help you:

  • Control your brush with ease
  • Master the four basic watercolor techniques - the flat wash, the graded wash, the wet-in-wet and the dry-brush
  • Take the "Five Steps to a Painting" - step-by-step demonstration guide you from one color to five, to make your paintings "sing" with color
  • Use photography and photocopying to create paintings inspired by life
Then put everything you've learned into action by following along with seven painting projects. Before you know it, you'll be creating your own beautiful watercolor paintings!

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Product Description

From Library Journal

One might reasonably ask, "Why another basic watercolor book in an already packed market?" Simply put, most books fall far short?the beginner's book is perhaps the most difficult to write. Reid has taught more than 10,000 students during his distinguished career and has a unique understanding of how to transmit his knowledge. He neither assumes too much nor condescends. This is among a few such books?Mary Whyte's Watercolor for the Serious Beginner (Watson-Guptill, 1997) is another?that can be highly recommended.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book For Beginners May 15 2000
By A Customer
I had assembled nearly a dozen books on watercolor painting instruction and techniques. I wish I had bought this book first. While the other books do contain useful instruction, the demonstrations--beautiful, inspiring--are often too difficult for the beginning painter. Not so with this book.
The book begins at the beginning, with no assuptions of a certain level of skill. The book then takes you through a series of exercises, based on certain basic skill such as a flat or gradated wash, proceeding to still more difficult techniques. Yet the exercises are sufficiently simple, with easy to reproduce sketches, that you end up with a small work of art: simple, but solidly founded in an essential technique and its mastery.
There are also sections which focus on monochromatic studies to help the student think about and approach the concept of values. The exercises in these sections enable the beginning painter to produce lovely, sophisticated-looking pictures with just a few newly mastered concepts and techniques. I have never before been so pleased with the results of my exercise paintings than those introduced in this book.
I think this book would be an excellent, even essential, item for the beginning painter looking for a solid foundation in this often capriciously difficult medium. I cannot recommend this book more highly. Thank you to Jack Reid for this marvelous book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for an absolute beginner Sept. 9 2003
By A Customer
I just started with watercolor and am an absolute beginner, full of expectations and fears. I bought several books "for beginners" at the same time. All of them give you a list of supplies and helpful advises on what kind of paper, brushes, paints you need etc. That helps if you are a beginner. Most of those books then give a short review of different techniques. Than, many of them leave you alone in front of beautiful paintings with short comments. It obviously addressed to people with some experience in painting who may learn from it.
The book of Jack Reid is exactly what it says on it's cover: it helps you to get started. After usual introductions it gives you many projects to develop and practice your skills starting form easiest exercises. (You just play with your brushes and get use to watercolor paints first). That's encouraging and valuable if you can 't attend a workshop. I would recommend it for a beginner as myself.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Jack Reid does an excellent job of introducing the basic watercolor techniques to the novice. These include wash, graded wash, dry-brush, and wet into wet. He also provides insight on materials that will be valuable to those entering those intimidating art supply stores. The techniques are presented in the form of several exercises with limited palettes. This helps the beginner not only in learning the techniques, but having a direction in which to go for practicing them. The book also introduces painters to value, color, and composition. In the last portion of the book, there are more in depth projects that will challenge the reader who has begun to master the techniques presented earlier.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic way to get started. May 29 2001
By A Customer
This is a really fantastic beginner book that will have you painting very nice watercolors very soon. The instructions are easy to follow. You will be surprised at how easy it is to get started painting in this very demanding medium. Highly recommended for all beginners.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and great paintings Aug. 4 2001
I was completely captured by the reprints of Jack Raid's paintings included in this book. This book includes detailed examples and clear instruction steps, is the best Watercolor beginner's book I ever seen. Jack made the art of watercolor painting looks so simple yet elegant. I hope Jack continues to publish more advanced books for students who can't attend his workshops.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Novice or Not You Need This Book Oct. 23 2011
I have had the supreme fortune to have taken some of Jack Reid's watercolour courses. This book is laid out exactly as he taught: it's clear and simple. In his years of painting and teaching, he ran into every question, habit and fear a new watercolourist might have, and found ways to resolve or completely avoid problems when crafting his demos.
Few other watercolourists can achieve the wow factor with such eloquent simplicity as you find in Jack's paintings. Even if you have been painting for years, you will appreciate his limited palette, confident strokes, and clear composition. This book is a refreshing return to the basics.
Best of all, Jack Reid was purely Canadian! You'll see some familiar scenes in his work.
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