• Leslie McCrea, artist

Book Recommendation: Watercolor Technique and Color Theory Essentials

Updated: Dec 13, 2021


It's almost Christmas and another new year has come around along with all its well intended resolutions. Five years ago I decided that sometime in the new year of 2017 I was going to take that watercolor class I had longed to take but put off as other priorities came up. I kept getting older but nothing else really changed. Then I took a course at a local fine arts center, and as fun as it was, I didn't feel I made much progress. By summer I was looking for something more and that's when I found Jana. She had just begun a watercolor course through Cottonwood Center for the Arts, so I signed up. I've been with her ever since.


In October, Jana published her first book, which includes everything I learned in that first course that got me hooked on painting. It's a step by step guide to the essential skills that any beginner must master in watercolor. Because that is the focus, the student/reader is given plenty of opportunity to practice those skills on any subject they want to paint. As an avid reader of painting how-to books, I can assure you that is rare. Most courses and books may say they will teach you the basics, but they really teach you to "paint like this."


The book is unique in another respect: every illustration is an actual watercolor painting. These days most publishers want illustrators to provide digital replicas of their drawings for ease in publishing, but Jana wanted a watercolor book with actual watercolor painting in it. The illustrations and photographs will show exactly what to expect.


If you or someone in your life wants to make 2022 the year you try watercolor painting I recommend you get this book. It has everything you need to make your start as an artist. You can purchase it here. If you love it and want to go further, sign up for that same class I took with Jana online or in-person.


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