Watercolors are Sketchy: a book review

This is one of the few ‘non-theology/spirituality’ books I’ve reviewed here. I have done some non-religious business books and Susan Cain’s Quiet but for the most part my reviews focus on the Spiritual life, God and how to live meaningfully in light of God’s coming Kingdom.  But I have reviewed books on spirituality and art and so I thought I would explore a book which is more focused on craft and practice rather than meaning and significance.

Felix Scheinberger’s Urban Watercolor Sketching is written with both the artist and non-artist in mind. He explores the medium of water color (and mixed media, water color and pen drawings) for sketching. As someone who self-describes himself as artistically reclined, I really enjoyed this book and have used it as a practical manual to explore art. Sorry, I will not be sharing any of my ‘sketches’ online. They are not very good. I am still trying to get a handle on water color and against Scheinberger’s advice, I paint too much, and destroy the artistic value of my sketches.

But as Sceinberger demonstrates through out this book, Water color can be used effectively to add a splash of color to pen ink drawings, enlivening them and lifting them out of the drab black-and-white-world. He includes discussions on watercolor techniques, the use of colors (and how particular water-colors work and how to use them), and tricks of the trade.

Scheinberger has written two other books on watercolors, illustrated numerous children’s books and has had his work appear in several periodicals. He shares practical insights on artistic craft. I can’t say I have used this book as well as I would have liked, but I appreciate Scheinberger’s technical knowledge ad encouragement toward practice. I will keep this book accessible and refer back to it for it’s practicality. I give it four stars.

Thank you to Random House for providing me a review copy of this book through the blogging for books program.

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