Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Book Review - Charles Reid's Watercolor Solutions

This is Charles latest book, first published in 2008 and still readily available. I was on his EPC course in Spain at Roses when I heard it was due out soon and pre-ordered on Amazon. Initially I thought it rather lightweight but that soon changed as I realized how much information it imparted in a very succinct way. Subsequently I have come to value it and rate it, in my opinion, together with `The Natural Way to Paint' and `Flower Painting in Watercolour', the 2001 book, in my top three of the ten CR books I have. I note that Henry Malt of Artists Choice book club says, in the latest newsletter, that this is `Charles  best book for ages'. I will soon add `Portrait Painting in Watercolor' . It's on it's way from the USA via Abebooks. I don't have  the 1986 flower painting book but have assumed his later one supercedes it.

At Urchfont Charles said he had put an awful lot into this book and was very pleased with the result. We often hear stories about artists keeping `secrets' to themselves and only imparting partial knowledge but Charles Reid isn't one of them. He reveals all and then some! Of course being able to emulate him is another matter. Again I make the proviso you have to buy into the Charles Reid way because he is different and many artists  prefer a more detailed approach. Nevertheless many of the things he emphasizes apply to painting in general so there is something for everybody if you care to look. The section on figures is brilliant and, as I've become very interested in his approach, am finding it most helpful. There are hundreds of books published on painting and they vary in quality but, again only my opinion, I believe Charles is right up there with the best. How I wish I had started painting much earlier in life!

All in all this is a brilliant book and I can't wait for a new one on portrait painting. I suggested this to Charles and Judy at Urchfont and Judy has since e-mailed to say Charles is receptive to the idea. Get writing Charles time is of the essence!

1 comment:

Robert P. Armas said...

I agree with you Peter,the book is packed with great information,tips and some techniques or Mr.Reid,but I find it a bit disorganized,maybe it's intended to be that way,a source of tips and secrets here and there.I received today The Natural Way to Paint and find the best so far in my opinion of the ones I own.
A new book on portrait painting will be a great addition to his published ones,the one dealing with this subject he wrote a while back is outdated with his new style and approach of more vivid and fresh colors.