How to Paint Color and Light in Watercolour, by Jean Haines, is a lucious book full of the artist's vibrant paintings and her jewels of wisdom, as she shares her style and how she achieves it. And that style is unique, characterized by no pencil sketching before painting--just loose and joyful applications of color, light, and imagination.
While painting Jean likes to "break rules", letting the water and pigment flow, forgoing conventional efforts to control the medium. Instead, she aims for a painting that gives a fresh and unique interpretation of the subject leaving plenty of room for the viewer's imagination. This means blooms (watermarks) and drips are welcome, as well as, exciting and unusual combinations of color. She encourages every artist to practice, experiment, and above all, smile and enjoy the process of discovering their own unique style of painting.
For the eager artist student, Jean introduces her favorite materials, important things to know about using color, ways of seeing light and painting it, a range of watercolor techniques, and some basics to keep in mind while arranging a painting's composition. The last chapter is devoted to three demonstrations that the reader will find useful for practice and to get started. And throughout the book, you will find easy to read boxes with quick tips and "try this" exercises to get you started painting.
My favorite sections of this book are the two chapters on light: Light and how we see it and Painting Light. Jean introduces the topic of painting light, by saying: "If you think seeing light is exciting, try deliberately setting out to paint it! Put the subject completely out of your mind and focus only on where you can see light". That caught my attention! Put the subject out of your mind and paint the light---an intriguing idea that made me eager to get started. And in these two chapters, Jean suggests a number of ways to achieve this.
An exciting book you won't want to miss for its ability to loosen up your watercolor practice, and stimulate your thinking about color and light.