Lessons in Realistic Watercolor
A Contemporary Approach to Painting People and Places in the Classical Tradition
Written by Mario Andres Robinson
In the tradition of American painters such as Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent, Mario Andres Robinson shows us how to create beautiful, timeless, classical watercolor paintings through the use of simple, yet sophisticated, contemporary techniques every watercolorist needs to know.
Many artists find watercolor difficult to control and are often disappointed with the results. The water meanders across the surface of the paper and, given the proper nuance by the artist’s brush, it will reluctantly settle. Robinson’s approach to the medium of watercolor is primarily traditional but his methods are unconventional. Robinson simplifies the process and teaches artists to layer colors from light to dark and to focus on the highlighted areas first. He teaches that the values should be established in the beginning stages of the painting, using a monochromatic block-in that allows you to glaze pure layers of color over a muted gray underpainting. The results produce more sophisticated, subtle paintings. Further, his “live in the moment” approach embraces watercolor’s unpredictability as part of the process, the end result being a painting with intensity, spontaneity, and beauty.
Inspiring, concise, and practical, Mario Andres Robinson gives watercolorists of every skill level—from beginner to advanced to professional—encouraging advice and the must-have materials and techniques information they need to take their realistic painting to the next level, such as:
Essential Studio Practices • Materials and Tools • Exploring Your Subject • The Importance of Drawing • Watercolor Techniques • Considering Value • Incorporating Color • Overcoming Watercolor Challenges • An Artist’s Life
Richly illustrated, the book features over 100 of Robinson’s luminous, emotive watercolors; works by past and present watercolor masters, including John James Audubon, Henry Casselli, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Michael Lowery, John Singer Sargent, and Stephen Scott Young; 8 in-depth step-by-step painting demonstrations; color charts; product illustrations; and diagrams.
Praise for Lessons in Realistic Watercolor
“Robinson's unconventional technique involves monochrome underpainting, thin layers of color, and unpainted portions of the paper used as highlights, delivering very realistic representations of people, texture, light, and space. A distinctively quiet, moody style is evidenced throughout, with numerous offerings of the author's completed paintings. Examples by American watercolor masters such as John James Audubon, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent are also provided. The individuals featured in Robinson's portraits are evocatively specific and diverse, showing a wide range of walks of life and shades of skin tone. Readers can try their hand at watercolor by following the eight painting demonstrations presented in each section. Artists of intermediate skill level are best poised to benefit from these lessons.”
“I love this book. Mario Robinson is a contemporary master. With humility and virtuosity he adeptly guides us through every step of how to make a painting. He is giving a great gift by sharing his working practices and secrets. Robinson follows a long line of American masters who have used the watercolor medium to capture the nuances of the fleeting moment and the soul of the American spirit.
In the end, with any great work of art, the medium disappears, leaving us profoundly changed by the encounter. This book is like that—we almost forget that we are looking at watercolors. But how we see and experience the world around us will be altered and filled with new possibilities. In the tradition of the great American classical watercolorists, Lessons in Realistic Watercolor offers an uncompromising approach to pushing the limits of the medium for contemporary artists of all levels.”
The Monacelli Press Also Recommends
Written by Stephen Talasnik; Foreword by Peter Halstead; Introduction by Lebbeus Woods; Essays by Phyllis Tuchman, Michael Sorkin, and David Wittenberg
Acrylic Painting Mediums and Methods
Written by Rhéni Tauchid; foreword by Alice Reichert
Everyday Sketching and Drawing
Written by Steven B. Reddy; foreword by Gary Faigin; afterword by Stephanie Bower
Written by Edited by Marisa Bartolucci; foreword by Hattula Moholy-Nagy
Mastering Colored Pencil
Written by Lisa Dinhofer