Painting is something we all started off in life adoring and thinking we were amazing at. Then somewhere along the way we started doubting our skills. The wonderful Ken Done in his book A Life Coloured In (psst you can also read his newest book Art, Design, Life here) rightly pointed out that it’s around the time we start injecting rational thought into our work that the belief in our creativity starts to wane. While this is such a shame, it is heartening to see that so many adults are picking the paint brush up once again in an effort to spark painting’s original joy.
If you happen to be one of those creative individuals, then you are in luck! We have scoured the internet and have found six books to help you on your way.
Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers by Kyehyun Park
Learn how to draw beautiful flowers and add breathtaking watercolour with the easy step-by-step instructions in Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers. Drawing and painting realistic flowers is achievable! Create a wide variety of blooms and greenery using an easy step-by-step method, then add watercolour for gorgeous effects. In Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers, discover how to draw flowers such as roses, cosmos, daffodils, tulips, hydrangeas, lilies, daisies, and more from various angles, and learn about perspective and shading. Once you have the skills to draw a single flower, learn how to draw groupings, bouquets, and wreaths. Mix in grasses and wildflowers to create a variety of looks and dynamic scenes. Then, learn simple techniques to add luscious watercolour, using shading, blending, and gradient techniques for eye-catching results. Popular Instagram artist Kate Kyehyun Park shares her secrets for capturing realistic flower, leaf, and plant shapes. Artists of all levels love drawing and painting nature, and with these techniques they’ll confidently render lifelike botanicals in an array of lovely palettes.
Learn how to paint in one of the modern artist’s favourite medium: oil. Taking inspiration from iconic paintings in the London Tate Collection, discover the techniques of the masters and improve your own painting skills with 30 guided projects. Master brushwork and form with Cezanne; thin and blend with Turner and Whistler; and play with texture with Richter and Riley.
The Beginner’s Guide to Oil Painting by Craig Stephens
Craig Stephens has a simple motto for painting: With a brush, some paints and a willingness to learn, anyone can do it. With that mindset, Craig takes his most essential lessons, boils them down to their basics and teaches you everything you need to know to start oil painting, without any fuss or highbrow. Thanks to his experience teaching painting to high school students for over two decades, Craig is an expert at helping those with no experience pick up a brush and make beautiful art they are proud of. With his direction, you’ll create dynamic, vivid paintings and learn to capture your world in ways you never thought possible. Each project in this book is designed to highlight the important elements of using oil paints, helping you to practice new skills and get comfortable with the medium. And thanks to Craig’s helpful step-by-step directions that pair a picture with each stroke, you’ll get great results. Hone your colour-mixing eye as you blend the vibrant greens and subtle yellows in the Freshly Cut Avocado piece. Practice painting unique textures, like the small craters in the Simplified Strawberry or the glossy skin on the Smooth and Shiny Plum. Learn all the ways to capture natural light, like transparency in a glass of Refreshing Lemon Water or dazzling reflections on a Chrome Coffee Creamer. Oil painting is a timeless art form, and with Craig as your teacher, you’ll create 22 beautiful pieces for your walls and learn all the foundational skills you need to enjoy this hobby for years to come.
Modern Japanese Painting Techniques by Shinichi Fukui
This book makes it easy to create and admire wonderful Japanese-style paintings and portraits. Modern Japanese-style paintings are recognisable by their restrained use of three-dimensionality and perspective, reliance upon expressive lines, and the bold use of colour to direct the viewer’s eye. There are other ways that artists imbue their work with Japanese-inspired attributes, including through the skilful use of shape, texture, and facial expression. Author Shinichi Fukui introduces readers to 7 notable modern Japanese artists who specialise in shin hanga-style portraiture of Japanese women. He then presents instructions to create 21 different original paintings — from sketching models, preparing and mixing paints, blocking in colour, and rendering fine details. Using these techniques, and a bit of acrylic paint, readers will be able to create eye-catching works of art that express a timeless Japanese aesthetic.
Painting Happiness: Creativity with Watercolours by Terry Runyan
Painting Happiness offers playful, expressive watercolour painting techniques and projects that will help you find your calm. Combat stress and anxiety and release your own inner creative with this beautiful mindful watercolour book. In this simple and vibrant guide, hugely popular Instagram muse @TerryRunyan explores the art of watercolour through the lens of mindfulness, presenting activities and projects which you can paint along with as you allow your creative side to flourish. This watercolour guide is easy and accessible for beginners, as Runyan gently delves into the basics of the artform, starting with simple techniques which you can follow along with, as well as presenting some fun projects ideas for painters to explore. Alongside beautiful examples of the techniques and styles explored in the book, Runyan also encourages readers to practice mindfulness as they paint, and explores the ways in which art can be used to help improve mental health. Exploring the idea of perfectly imperfect watercolours, Runyan places emphasis on self-expression and allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Watercolour Painting at Home by Bley Hack
With Watercolour Painting at Home, artists can learn to find painting inspiration around their homes and gardens, and then paint beautiful, homey art. Easy-to-follow watercolour techniques and projects help you find inspiration at home and paint what you see around you, from seasonal decor to favourite recipes and the flowers in your garden. As we all spend more time at home, you may find yourself looking for a creative outlet that doesn’t require you to get out and about. That’s where Watercolour Painting at Home comes in, with ideas and inspiration for painting from your couch, front porch, backyard, and more. Painting your favourite things will make your home look more beautiful to you, and it will help you appreciate where you live and what you have. It’s easy to find inspiration at home; just look to your holiday decor, favourite recipes, plants, office, and more. Expertly written and illustrated by a professional artist, this beautiful book is filled with inviting and colourful large-scale art accompanied by instructions that are clear and easy to follow for any skill level.