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Take Three Colours


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Using the colours 8
Using the brushes 10
Projects 12
Tulips 12
Japanese Anemone 16
Geranium 20
Buttercups 24
Poppies 30
Sunflower 36
Pansies 42
Passion Flower 48
Rose 56
Transferring a drawing 64

About the Author

After graduating with a first-class degree in textile design, Julie King worked as an in-house designer of household textiles before freelancing for several years, creating fabrics, wallpapers and ceramics, all inspired by her deep love of flowers.

A contributor to Leisure Painter magazine, Julie runs regular painting classes for adults as well as painting days in National Trust and privately owned gardens. Julie was awarded the Society of Botanical Artists Certificate of Botanical Merit, judged by the Senior Conservator at Kew Gardens, for her freestyle interpretation of an iris.

Julie lives in Kent with her husband and their two daughters.


Many readers will remember using watercolor paint in childhood, but fine-art watercolor is a whole different thing and can feel intimidating for someone just beginning. King recognizes this and starts with a minimum of equipment, the most basic techniques, and a very common subject: flowers. Using just the three primary colors of paint, three brushes, and one pad of watercolor paper, the novice painter can get started with a nominal investment in materials. Starting with a single tulip and progressing through nine increasingly complex flowers, King teaches the reader three techniques in each painting, encouraging confidence and mastery along the way, and adding up to a well-rounded knowledge base. For those who find the blank page daunting, King also includes instructions for using tracing paper and pencil to transfer the outlines of her finished paintings onto watercolor paper. Terminology is explained as it comes up in "jargon buster" feature boxes, and a preview of what the reader will learn in the following project is offered at the end of each set of instructions.

-- Anne Heidemann * Booklist *

Flower painting being the tricky subject that it is, anything that simplifies the painting process has to be a good thing, just as long as it doesn't over-simplify and trivialise. It's therefore something of a relief to be able to say that Julie manages her task with considerable success.

You will, I'm sure, be amazed by the variety of tints and hues she manages to achieve with just three base colours (the same ones throughout). Yes, if you look closely, the results lack some of the subtlety that could be achieved with more, but you wouldn't feel dissatisfied with the results, for all that. I also have a feeling that the reproduction may not be as sharp as it could be, and that what you see on paper might be better that it is on the pages of the book. I also wouldn't have chosen that sunflower as the cover illustration as it really doesn't convey the variety of what you can achieve. Please don't let it put you off.

In keeping with the series style, there are plenty of generously-sized stage illustrations, short captions telling you what's going on and sidebars that include a variety of tips and jargon busters.

With 9 projects and clear instruction, this is the ideal place to start on a rewarding subject. You might also find it useful if you've already had a go, but are struggling.

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Keen to learn how to paint in watercolors from scratch but don't want to spend too much in case it is not for you? Search Press' Take Three Colours series is ideal as you only have to buy a few materials and each primer takes you through several skill building projects ideal for the complete beginner.

I LOVE this idea and think you could do a series like this for most hobbies. Trying to work out the minimum amount you need to actually make something but worried you won't take to it concerns everybody taking the plunge with a new interest. With this series you just buy three colors, three brushes, some paper and a cheap palette. The author takes you step by step with nine projects, each one teaching you several essential skills. The final painting is shown life size (A4) so you can trace it off and transfer it to your paper (instructions included). As well as Search Press' trademark staged photographs there is a useful list of the skills covered, "jargon buster" boxes and even a closeup of a palette with the mixed colors on it. Also included is help on how to mix them and various tips. My only complaint is that the shot of the pencil tracing could be a bit easier to see; knowing how much detail has been included in a tracing is very helpful for a beginner. But this is a very minor gripe and the rest of the book gets an unreserved five stars for being a truly accessible primer a total beginner can actually learn from with no prior knowledge. Soon you can have a portfolio of lovely floral paintings including tulip, rose, passion flower, sunflower, poppies and more. At the front of the book is a helpful page showing thumbnails of all nine paintings and all for under a tenner (or under $15 US). More please, covering other types of paint and topics. Very highly recommended.

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Always wanted to work with watercolours but don't know how to begin? This book shows you how to achieve good results with just three colours and three brushes. In this way it limits what you have to spend on materials and concentrates on getting you painting. It shows how to mix paints and has step-by-step guides throughout covering those popular features of landscape painting such as skies, water, woodland and mountains. There are nine easy projects to build your skills. In just a few simple steps, you will feel like a painter. A confidence-building book for anyone interested in watercolour.

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August 2017

Watercolour Flowers by Leisure Painter contributor Julie King is part of the Take Three Colours series from Search Press (also includes Watercolour Landscapes by Geoff Kersey) which aims to encourage beginners to start painting using just three colours, three brushes and nine easy projects. Julie's book starts with a very simple picture of a tulip and works up to a more complicated rose. Jargon-free and pared down to the absolute essentials, this is the perfect book to get you started with clear advice and excellent step-by-step colour photographs.

* The Leisure Painter *

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