Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Art of Watercolour

23cm x 29cm (approximately 9" x 11.5") 98 pages

First published in 2011 this is the 5th issue of this quarterly magazine. It is produced in France with an English edition. I had been looking for a specifically watercolour magazine and wondered if it might fit the bill. The magazine is beautifully produced with high quality illustrations on glossy, quality paper. I have one more issue coming. I am also evaluating Watercolour Artist at a third of the price.

To be blunt I was somewhat disappointed. Some very good artists are in this latest issue including Mary Whyte but frankly I had not previously heard of some of the others. This isn't necessarily negative as my knowledge is not encyclopedic, but to suggest they are amongst the worlds best is very subjective. In order to get other views I loaned my copy to both Jan and Yvonne of Avon Valley Artists and neither was particularly impressed. There seems, at least in this issue, of a strong leaning towards realistic to super realistic paintings. Many of the illustrated paintings verge towards photorealism which is not to my taste at all. They may be technically brilliant,and must have taken some time to produce, but is that what watercolour is all about? 

All in all I am disappointed with the magazine although others may take a different view. Unfortunately the largest negative I've left until last. PRICE! This magazine, at least in the UK, costs £9.55p per issue! This is very expensive. You can buy very good art books on watercolour for barely the cost of two issues. Is it worth it? From a personal point of view the answer is no. However if you wish to try it go to this link 


Anns Art said...

Goodness Peter, that is an expensive magazine! Nice that you have done a review - now I know what to avoid. Think I will stick with the SAA. Speaking of which are you going to their Show in Bristol in June, I would love to go, but time and distance may prevent it.

Peter Ward said...

It would have to be considerably less for me to seriously consider long term purchase Ann. £5 -£6 sounds just about right but £9.55? NO!

I'm aware of the SAA show Ann but the entry prices seem on the high side. I shall probably go though.

Peter Ward said...

I have deleted a comment from someone hiding under the `Anonymous' label which was objectionable. Whoever `Anonymous' is presumably took exception to the above review. I'll say no more.

Robert P. Armas said...

Peter,I think that Blogger should have an option to avoid "anonymous comments".These are very annoying to say the least.
Definitively a very expensive magazine to avoid.And to think that I was planning to subscribe to it.Thanks for your comments on this,I will avoid it and stick to "watercolor Artist" for now.
And you're correct,I can invest that money in some good books that I still need.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Robert. It's only my opinion and, as I said, others may disagree. Well obviously someone does, but makes an objectionable personal comment and is so craven they hide behind `Anonymous'. I have nothing but contempt for such cowards. There is an option to restrict those who can comment but I opted to let anyone who reads the blog do so.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed with this magazine. Something about it just irritated me. Maybe it came across as too high fautin'. One thing that bothers me about a lot of these magazines is that a lot of them seem to be glorified advertisements for galleries. Not all, but enough of them.

artist said...

That is a very expensive magazine. I feel that artists magazines in general have very little information/instruction/inspiration and a lot of advertising.

It seems that the lack of real articles and selling of art products should make them more affordable.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks Oscar and Artist. Obviously I'm not the only one with doubts about this magazine. It does come across as somewhat elitist.

Yvonne Harry said...

What an idiot to think that all things suit all people. Any right minded person would have written a reply giving us his or her take on the magazine to balance the views. Then we could all do what you did, purchase a copy and make up our own minds. I found too much photorealism - commendible but not to my taste- and too 'american'in choice of featured artists (even though I know they were not all American) I would never spend that amount of money on a magazine. I am with you all the way.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for your views Yvonne. As you actually read the magazine they are very relevant. You know what this so-called `Anonymous' actually wrote and
I still find such a response difficult to understand. The content apart price is a major negative.

Ingegerd said...

My attention was drawn to this post via wetcanvas but I wanted to go through all the issues I have before making a comment. This issue does have more of photorealism than the other issues. I did find the one with Alvaro Castagnet more intresting and in the last one there was a part about sketch book art that I liked, I have also bought a book that I read about in it. I like it better than "Watercolor artist" but I have only read one issue of that magazine.
So the price, well localy I can choose between
Art of watercolour 109SEK
Watercolor artist 95SEK
Watercolor 149SEK
So it is expensive but for me so are other imported magazines.

Peter Ward said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting Ingegerd.

I have the latest issue but it hasn't changed my mind of not taking out a further subscription.

I'm not sure what currency you're talking about but in my case The Art of Watercolour is £9.55p per issue, including carriage while I can get Watercolor Artist for a third of that. True it is a more modest magazine but I'm more inclined to buy it on a regular basis. I stress this is only my opinion and others may differ.

I only know of the two watercolour mags and have never seen `Watercolor'.

Ingegerd said...

The currency is Swedish krona. If the price diffence was the same for me as it is for you I might also choose "watercolor artist" but now the yearly cost for it is higher than that of art "of watercolour".
I'm not sure the title for "watercolor" is correct but it is what is called at the website of the store I buy my magazine at. I do remember seeing a magazine that was similar in size to "watercolor artis" but I thought it was to expensive.

Peter Ward said...

Excuse my ignorance Ingergerd. The cover price for the UK is supposed to be £6.50p but the company that sells it over here charge £9.55p including postage. I don't know how that compares with these variable exchange rates

I was told that there were only two magazines dedicated to watercolour and that Watercolor Artist had replaced one called Watercolor Magic.