Welcome to my first LovelyIAm Book Club article! Within the Book Club I will be reviewing books related to arts and crafts, weeding out the unhelpful and hard to read, and finding some of the best books that will help you on your own crafting journey! If you have a book that you’d like me to review, or have a suggestion for the club, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this review we will be looking at a glorious book on watercolours by Jean Haines. The tagline for this book on watercolour is “Painting with freedom, expression and style” and it definitely delivers. I bought this book back in 2014, and have found it to be a constant source of comfort and beauty whenever I flick through the glossy colourful pages.
I found Jean’s book when trawling through Hobbycraft one rainy afternoon. I was going through a bit of an art slump – I was tired of my watercolours – feeling despondent and generally unsure of whether or not I really even liked those terrifying little pans of unruly colour. I walked past the book section, saw the vibrant cockerel on the front cover and immediately fell in love.
I’d not seen Jean’s work until then, but the flashes of reds, oranges and golds on the front cover spoke to me, and I immediately wanted to know more.
Unlike some Watercolour books that focus only on technique and replicating paintings, this particular book looks at how philosophy that can be applied to watercolour, and embraces loose flowing styles, exploring colours and exciting techniques.
Jean begins by taking you through the tools of the trade, before looking at different styles and the ideas behind her artwork, all whilst providing a beautiful symphony of bright, colourful images for you to lose yourself in. Her writing is direct, easy to understand, and enjoyable to read.
“To paint as freely as I do, my mind has to be clear of clutter. I simplify. I see the most beautiful point in a subject and enhance it with the use of exciting colour combinations and directional brushstrokes. I have no room for negative thoughts as I believe these can have a strong influence on our decisions and results when we work.” Jean Haines p.34
With simple exercises spread throughout to aid you with your learning, whether it’s practicing controlling colour, or playing with cling film and salt, I’ve found that through using her book, my watercolour technique has definitely improved, and I’ve found new ways to be able to express myself through watercolours.
Throughout this book, Jean inspires you – whether it’s to try new colour combinations, or to have fun with experimental washes – you feel empowered to attempt new techniques and to become a braver artist.
I would recommend this book to those who are just starting out with watercolour, and want to try a new style of using watercolours, or are tired of their own watercolour techniques and want to inject new life into their work.
I give this book a solid 5 out of 5.
You can buy this book either on Kindle or Hardback here. I would strongly recommend the Hardback version as the Kindle/iPad will not do the paintings justice.