Watercolor: Canyon Theater (& 5 gift book ideas under $20 for watercolor & mixed media artists)

miniature watercolor cityscapes
Canyon Theater Guild 2.25×5.25 watercolor (sold)

I mentioned in the last post that I’m featuring a few little art-gift guides to help non-artist folks select goodies for their artist friends, or maybe to inspire artists with items to add to their own wish-lists. This is the second installment of my art-flavored gift-guide:

Five Art Books under $20 for Watercolor & Mixed Media artists

This is a great project-book for the mixed media artist craving paint-under-the-nails, splatter, layer and pour experimentation, and it’s all done in a fun, free form lesson plan. Alena Hennessy offers 5o projects in mixed media that encourage letting go of expectations, and expressing with color, texture and intuition instead of our ever-present art-critic.
This watercolorist’s guide is chock full of information on tools, techniques and process.  It’s organized with clear instruction and lots of photos, and the author is a very popular teacher, so you know he’s had lots of practice articulating clear directions, approach and process. Read some of the reviews on this one.
I’ve been a Danny Gregory fan for a decade, and this compendium of doodlers, illustrators and watercolor artists is a treasure trove of travel sketching in a wide variety of styles. Its always eye-opening to see other artists’ approaches to sketching, especially when the subject is places that may be familiar to us. This book (which is a follow up to the first collection he published in 2008) features 40 different artists and illustrators to enlighten and inspire you to take a trip, or go for a walk in your own yard, and bring your sketchbook.
This book is perfect for any young artists in your life, as well as adult artists who might feel stymied by the pressure to create super realistic faces and portraits. If you or someone you know could use a dash of encouragement to have a little less stress, and a lot more fun & experimentation with mixed media portraits, all rendered with a dash of frivolity and whimsy (because we all need a bit more of that at the art table, right?), this might be your book.  Jane Davenport is an Australian artist and a popular workshop teacher. She writes with a keen sense of humor and has a flair for color and she’s good at simplifying what appears to be complex into an understandable “I can do that” format. Check out the reviews on this one for more details.
If you enjoy boldly colored, bright still life and landscapes in watercolor, and you’re willing to venture into added layers with mixed media (example: oil pastel over watercolors), you might enjoy Shirley Trevena’s approach to painting in this book. Dynamic compositions and bold textures are demonstrated step by step, with personal anecdotes on the path to becoming a better artist.

Art Quote

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

~Harper Lee

3 thoughts on “Watercolor: Canyon Theater (& 5 gift book ideas under $20 for watercolor & mixed media artists)”

  1. Pingback: Linocut: Thistle (& gift ideas for beginner printmakers) - Belinda Del Pesco

  2. Oh Belinda, what a lovely painting…
    I’m following your book tips and they are great! Some of them I already have, and others I’m going to check.
    I watched your videos and they helped me a lot. Thanks!
    Have a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Cristiane! Thanks for your compliment – I’m so glad you’re finding the book tips interesting. I love art books, and its wonderful to hear about new ones from art-friends! I’m glad the video tutorials helped too. Happy art-making! 🙂

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