Step by Step Watercolor Painting

Let me first say that the Alexander Brothers have multiple versions of this book available. One is from 1994/1995 and features a top image of a building in Venice, split into four panels. The later version, from 1997+, has on its cover two images of paint kits on the top, then on the bottom another paint kit and a castle. This review here is of the 1994/1995 Venice building version.

Step by Step Watercolor Painting I've read and used many books on watercolor painting at this point. I know that different people take different approaches, and that is a very good thing. I adore reading about different techniques. Maybe a specific part of Person A's technique will be perfect for me - and then another aspect of Person B's technique will resonate. By having a variety of teachers, one then can build a style which fits them as a person. We are all unique individuals.

As much as Step by Step Watercolor Painting has "step by step" right in its title, I would not recommend beginning with this as a new watercolor painting. I'd go with one of the "for dummies" books that settles you more securely in all the basics. This one assumes you already have that grounding and launches you right into projects. There are fairly complex landscapes, projects with masking, and so on. The projects are a lot of fun! But I wouldn't call them for basic beginners. They are probably for people who have had at least a few weeks of working with one of the other books.

It does talk about paints and brushes, washes, mixing and layering, masking, mounting, and so on, but all of it is fairly cursory. It's as if they assume you've had someone go through those in detail before.

The book is large format, full color, glossy, and it is beautiful to look at some of these pages. Sometimes it's simply a wash that goes from sunbeam yellow down into a dusty orange. Very lovely. It helps you to appreciate the beauty of watercolor.

The style of these are all fairly similar. You'd expect that with this being the Alexander Brothers teaching their system. Again, though, it means I wouldn't have this as the only book in your set. Have it as one of many.

So highly recommended, for what it does, but don't rely on it to be the one-book-only that you need.

Rating: 5/5

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