Book Review: 30 Minute Landscapes

Watercolor Made Easy: 30 Minute Landscapes by Paul Talbot-Graves is a compact book very nearly a pamphlet it is so thin and small. But, it comes packed with useful information. This is a book I highly recommend for a beginning watercolor artist and has been very helpful to me. It is a great little book for both beginner and intermediatory watercolorist as there is much to glean even with its compact size.

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My first attempt at a landscape painting.

The beginning of the book includes a basic introduction to watercolor supplies and techniques then dives into twenty-seven mini-lessons each taking less than 30 minutes to complete. The book is easily accessible being clearly written in a manner understandable to those with little art experience. My very first landscapes in watercolor were painted with the help of this book’s guidance. A beginner can pick up this book and the supplies listed at the beginning and basically have a nice little painting the first day. I didn’t even have the recommended colors when I attempted my first lesson (above). I just did my best to match up what I saw in the book with my little cheap travel Koi set I was using at the time. Not a masterpiece by any stretch but it was satisfying to put something together that actually looked like what it was meant to be. Learning to paint can be diffiuclt and often progress is slow. But, this little book can give you some low effort fun projects to keep you going in between rote brush practice. All but two of the images I am sharing here are from when I started watercolor painting about two years ago. All I really had to learn from was Skillshare, Youtube, and this little book. None of these are great but I do think they show that even a beginner can produce a recognizable scene.

 

Even though I have been painting in watercolor for about two years I find myself returning to this book on occasion as it has some of the best descriptions on how to simplify your paintings. Less time spent on a watercolor painting means less risk of muddy colors.  It is a great tool for maintaining your daily art practice if you are feeling short on ideas and inspiration.  Because it is so little I will often take it to the park with me. I practice one of the quickie lessons while my kids play on the playground equipment. As you can see above in the feature image for this post. I was painting on a park picnic table. It is a great addition to your mobile art kit and the book will sometimes sit in my little watercolor kit for weeks at a time. The lessons include practice on many of the major watercolor techniques, washes, blocking-off with frisket, wet on wet, wet on dry, and so on.

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The original lesson had a man here I subbed him out for a doggy.

Over time I have found I can apply the techniques in the book to my own art.  One need not stay inside of the formula of each lesson. Below is a little watercolor sketch in my art journal where I applied what I learned from the book to my own work.

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A watercolor sketch in my art journal from my trip last year to the Smoky Mountains.

Packed with information for multiple levels of ability and at only $10 Watercolor Made Easy 30 – Minute Landscapes is well worth adding to your art Library.

Happy Art Journey,

Justine

 

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