Friday, July 2, 2010

Capture the Charm of Your Hometown in Watercolor: Frank Loudin with Marcia Spees

Capture the Charm of Your Hometown in Watercolor: Frank Loudin with Marcia Spees; North Light Books, Cincinnati, Ohio 1998.

Two Thumbs Up!

Loudin presents six chapters on methods, tools, materials, composition, and presentation. His main emphasis throughout the book is to use the techniques he presents to tell a story with composition of elements in the watercolor.

Some of Loudin's work is available at his website. For good examples of what he demonstrates in this book consider "Gloria Minutia," "Piston Ring," "Katydid." While these works are not in the book, Loudin teaches the composition and techniques that will help aspiring watercolor artists to emulate them in creating their own works based on their own compositions.

L's introduction focuses on developing a story and accumulating photos, sketches, and other image scraps to use in a composition. L turns to techniques such as foregrounding, clutter, texture, and materials.

The first chapter is a very well illustrated discussion of creating the story, the nature of perspective and how to use perspective, using scale to create depth, how overlays can refine the composition: using tracing paper for elements in the overlays to identify the best placing in the composition; how mood is created through color values and color  both with the whole composition or with elements like the sky.

L then presents three variations of a specific composition, summer, autumn, winter and takes the reader through an illustrated step-by-step building another variation of the composition.  Through the guide L gives clear advice on techniques and special issues like landscapes, flowers and shrubs, puddles, vehicle tracks; pavement, road and ground texture. L then provides suggestions on other views for different compositions using other artist's works and different media.

This not all of what is in just the first chapter. The presentation and rate of information is well paced and makes great sense.

There are still five more chapters full of good information. Each chapter builds upon the previous with a wealth of advice and direction in building skills. The authors more than satisfy the title of the book.

I definitely want to add this to my library.

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