Book Review+Giveaway: Water Paper Paint

Update: Quarry Books is giving away a copy of Water Paper Paint to one lucky reader! Leave a comment between now and Tuesday May 31st about how you have or hope to use watercolors in your creative process! Please make sure to sign in so your email address is available so I can contact you, the winner! Enjoy and thanks Quarry! And we have a winner! Sarah E White! Congratulations and thanks everyone for participating!

My BFA is in oil painting which is so completely different than watercolors. They don’t really translate well, except the color part. I have always loved working with watercolors, but I’ve never really read about how to “properly” use them. I’ve just always played. This book gave me such a great dose of inspiration this past week. Water Paper Paint is rightly subtitled “exploring creativity with watercolor and mixed media.” It’s filled with projects that help the reader explore working with this fun versatile medium.

Chapter 1 covers the basics–paper, paint, palette, and brush choices and what they are each good for. I forgot how important these details are since they’ve been part of my general pool of knowledge for so long. It was a fun refresher and I did learn and was reminded of a few fun details.

For instance, did you know that you can mix your own watercolors using powdered pigments? The author, Heather Smith Jones, shows you how.

Or did you know that all paints are labeled by the Color Index International that clues you in on if pigment or dyes are used, their color type, and their quality. It’s all described by a PBr7 (pigment+brown+quality of 7). Check out page 24 to read more about it. Neat, so that’s what that little sequence stands for.

Chapter 2 is the projects and takes up the bulk of the book. I think in many ways it could be more “Part 1, 2, 3” vs. chapters as you may normally think of them. There are 30 projects and many of them incorporate using watercolors to make fun home decor items, like project 1, which are these great wet on wet pieces made into ornaments (or a paper garland if you string them all together).

These great projects are a fabulous way to grow your knowledge and skills in regard to watercolors. They’ll open the door to play, incorporating this very affordable medium into your projects, sketchbook, and general making practice.

My absolute favorite project is the cover project: #25 adding water color to a monoprint. I’ve just never seen it done that way and I can’t wait to give it a try.

After browsing this book and absorbing some of the lessons, I did this piece last week (wrote about that day here). I then turned around and submitted to the local Community Gallery show. I had intended on just submitting my crochet/ink piece (the one I framed last week), but submitted them both instead. They both got in! Hooray!

I hope you’ll look this great book up at your local library, book store, or Amazon, and give watercolors a try. It’s really fun and it’s a great entry level painting medium. Sure you can go all nuts, but really, you just need a cheap pan set to start with, a brush, and some paper to start having some fun.


7 thoughts on “Book Review+Giveaway: Water Paper Paint

  1. I am getting into watercolors right now, I would love to have this book for more inspiration, thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Oh, my, what fun! My daughter (21 months) is just getting into art and I’m really wanting to play with the watercolors, so I’m sure this book would help me.

  3. i’ve only dabbled a little teensy bit with water colours but would love to learn more. this book sounds like a perfect place to learn from!

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