“The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook” by Gordon Mackenzie

Watercolourists Essential Notebook smAnother lovely guide to painting with watercolour.

There are practically no photographs in Gordon’s book. But it’s cartoonish style makes the book feel friendly and approachable. As a result it makes the perfect kind of book to pick up and dip into. You’re sure to find some interesting nugget. Gordon doesn’t lay down any hard and fast rules, as such, but more general information to help expand your creative process.

Gordon seems to excel in the wet-in-wet process and many of his paintings within this book demonstrate his skill in painting natural subjects such as foliage and natural shadow effects.


IMG_64391 – Tools of the trade – Gordon looks at the different forms of watercolour paints, brushes, paper, palettes and other materials.

2 – Painting techniques – In which Gordon looks at various ways of applying paint (with brushes and with other tools) and how the paint interacts with water. He discusses washes and glazes and the process of fading out.

3 – Putting your composition together – By far this is the largest section in Gordon’s book. Where he discusses the various elements which come together when creating piece . Amongst other things he looks at subject, movement, values, colour schemes and negative areas. He also looks at different ways of IMG_6440approaching the composition and how intuition can work in tandem with planning. Lastly there is a section in this part of the book which looks at saving compositions from various problems.

A lovely book to use as both a reference book and to just to browse.

144 pages