Friday, March 18, 2016

Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch Book Review

Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch 
Book Review

Watercolor has always been my favorite art medium. There is something special about the fluidity of watercolors. I love how you can produce fluid washes, as well as small, delicate details. 

Book Summary:

On the cover of the Just add Watercolor it says, "Inspiration and Painting Techniques from Contemporary Artists". Just add Watercolor features over 70 different artists and shares different tips and techniques the artists use in their artwork. The publisher stated this about the book, "Its small trim size with one painting per spread provides a bold, but user-friendly alternative to traditional, process-heavy painting instruction texts."

After flipping through a book for the first time (I am such a visual person that I love to see the pictures first), I like to flip back to the contents page to see what great things the book has to offer. I have typed up the contents of the book below, just so you can see another reason why I love this book. For a smaller book in its actual physical size, it is jam packed with with so much quality content.

Just Add Watercolor

  • Flipping through this book
  • Visual index (I love this feature in the book. It is a quick visual reference of all of the paintings featured in the book with the page number that you can find the painting on. Brilliant!)
  • What is Watercolor?
The paintings:
  • Traditional watercolor
  • Gouache
  • Digital
  • Mixed media
  • Other water-based media
  • Non-paper media
Watercolor fundamentals:
  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • What next?
The back of the book also gives a reference to where you can find out more information about each of the artist's featured. I loved this because I instantly had another tool at my finger tips to help me with my creative process. I think that by studying other artist's artwork and art processes, that it can help you in your own individual art journey. 

My Review:
I read every single page of Just Add Watercolor and I think that whether you are a beginner or an advanced watercolor enthusiast, you need to read this book.  
I also appreciated what a variety of artists Helen Birch featured when compiling Just add Watercolor. Birch shares your traditional watercolor artists, as well as more contemporary watercolor artists with the reader. 

Each of the paintings featured in this book are gorgeous. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite. I will say that I have been a fan of the artist, Yellena James, for several years now. You can see a sample of her artwork above. I love the uniqueness and inorganic beauty of her work. 

I love how you can simply pick up the book, turn to any page to start reading, and you don't necessarily have to read the book in order. You can simply start with the page that speaks to you, to continue your art journey. 
There are so many beautiful pages full of inspiration in this book. I was so excited to start implementing some of my favorite techniques and tips into my own artwork. The book helped remind me of why art has always been such an important part of my life. You can see one of my latest paintings and my art process in this blog post
Helen Birch's Just add Watercolor book inspired the fun art lesson I did with my daughters, nieces, and sister-in-law above. Specifically this page, pg. 84, "Setting the horizon line", featuring artist Simona Dimitri
You can CLICK HERE to find out more details and to see more pictures.

To purchase your own copy of Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch you can CLICK HERE to be taken to Amazon and CLICK HERE to be taken to Barnes and Noble.

                                        Helen Birch
     (Author Photograph Copyright:

Want to find out more about Helen Birch? You can CLICK HERE to go to her Twitter page, CLICK HERE to visit her on Pinterest, CLICK HERE to go to her Instagram Account, and CLICK HERE to go to her website.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions expressed in my review are unbiased and reflect my honest judgment and opinion of the book. 

This "Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch Book Review" first appeared on my blog, Artistically Shauna, on March 18, 2016. 

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Loved your review and it sounds like I'd love this book. Wish I could spend hours reading your library and having you teach me!