Author(s): Terry Harrison
The new What to Paint series is perfect for readers who already have some painting skills and experience, but are looking for inspiring painting subjects. Each book has 24 beautiful full-page size paintings, a colour palette for each one and informative captions pulling out details, tips and techniques used in various parts of the painting. At the back of the book there is a free outline for each painting for readers to transfer or scan on to watercolour paper. There are also instructions on transferring the images, and on selecting parts of the outlines to create new compositions.
This is the first title in a new series from Search Press and you'd have to say that the basic premise is a good one. As Terry explains in his introduction, it's all too easy to find yourself with a pile of paper, a box of all the colours and every brush you might ever need and to be completely stuck for ideas. As a photographic magazine once responded to someone who listed a suitcase full of equipment and asked what else he needed to take really great pictures, "How about a couple of rolls of film?" It's not hard to see how this book grew out of the Ready to Paint series and, if it lives up to its manifesto, it's certainly the next logical step. There are outlines, but they're not tracings. What you don't get are any step-by-step demonstrations and that's something to celebrate. These are alright in their place, but they can get a bit pedestrian and sometimes you just think, "enough". Instead, each painting gets just a single spread, with the finished result on the right and some details pulled out on the left, with notes about the subject and explanations of the most important elements. There's also list of the colours used so that you can practise working with a simplified palette and developing your mixing skills.-Artbookreview.net An exciting new book from Terry that will be welcomed by those who've mastered techniques but still aren't quite confident in their drawing skills or who struggle for ideas and competition. After all painting is something that comes over practice and time and many people get dispirited when they don't get it right and give up when with books like this one to help it can encourage the artist to continue to enjoy painting and to go on and learn further skills. Terry describes in the introduction about a conversation with an amateur artist friend whose done the step by step books, learned the techniques but still struggled for inspiration - that's something I think many of us have done over time - and books like these encourage people to branch out and move on and not just get stuck in the rut of following others ideas. I describe art as a Journey for me and the old saying about the journey being better than the ending holds true - I think I'll always be journeying and hope I never reach the end . There's always something new to learn. In this book there are 24 full size Landscape study outlines at the back and then Terry goes through each one - not in the usual step by step hand holding format but by saying what colours and brushes he uses and giving advice over some of the more difficult elements of the painting. I think this kind of book is a great bridge between the step by step ones that tell us each and every step and venturing out into the hard but very satisfying world of creating your own works. You are the one who works out where to start and what technique to use but Terry advises over bits you may struggle with. Finishing a painting like this means you have put into being some of the learning accrued via other instructional materials or just good old practice honing skills and when the painting comes out well you can feel that though some of the work has been done for you much of it comes from yourself. Ultimately that's what we all want isn't it? To create works we can be proud of by ourselves? Terry's landscapes take us back ( well - me anyway) to a world where days are long and carefree and remind me of my childhood ( I've always been an outdoors person) and when I look at the paintings I want to be on that bridge or sitting under that tree. In addition to the confidence building studies included Terry shows a few more paintings he has done by taking and mixing elements of different parts of the trace outs. So one can use trees or stream from one, cottage from another and background to a third, or change the aspect from high summer to deep winter and snow so learning about creating ones own composition which is so important in painting and yet still having that helping hand along the way. Terry very generously says artist are welcome to use copies done from his books to sell for charity with the addition of "inspired by Terry Harrison" - that's only polite of course but it amazes me how many people do sell works copied from others thinking if the change something simple such as the colour of the flowers it doesn't breach copyright. It does, its a real bug of mine this total copying of other people paintings and passing them off as one's own - if you want to sell works inspired by other artists either ask permission and credit them in the work as Terry says or don't do it - create your own. There's a world of difference between creating your own painting having seen something someone has done that makes you want to do something similar but your own, and slavishly copying everything but some tiny detail and passing it off as an original. O.K. Rant over - ..back to the subject :o) I think this type of book is a superb bridge between the hand holding step by step ones and taking that brave step out and creating your own. Having said on a previous review that I'd like to see more of this type covering different subjects I was really pleased to find this book and I'm sure there will be more to follow by other artists. I think they are such a fantastic inspirational idea for those who have done the basics but need a little help moving on.-JeannieZelos.com Search Press has given the beginning artist the wonderful and innovative Ready To Paint series (lots of titles reviewed on this site) and now unveils its latest range - What To Paint. This is suitable for the artist at the next stage, or indeed any stage if you like, who is faced with a sheet of blank watercolor paper and the dreaded "artist's block". In here is inspiration! The book contains twenty-four different and lovely watercolor landscapes,, shown as both full color paintings and outlines. Turn to the beginning to discover how to transfer them, and choose the one you like best. Then turn to the relevant page to find the whole page image in color, plus three or so brief stages showing helpful hints as to tackling various details. There is a palette of the paints you need to buy, shown helpfully in color, plus a description of the brushes and any other items such as masking fluid. There are various landscapes in here, mostly very English, but there are Continental and American views too including one of snow-covered mountains. Also included are a lot of woodlands, snowy Christmas Card-style scenes, cottages, farms, country towns, seasides, etc. In short, it is where you go after you have mastered those staged projects, and a halfway-house between that and your own work. Better still, you are free to do whatever you wish with the pictures you paint with these outlines. You can sell them for charity of course, but you can also sell them and keep the money! All you need to do is write on the back of the work "inspired by Terry Harrison". It's another great idea from Search Press and hopefully the start of a long, and wide-ranging series.-Myshelf.com
Terry Harrison grew up in Norfolk. His earlly art education was basic and he never dreamed that he would become an artist. At fifteen, Terry moved to Hampshire and was inspired by a brilliant art teacher. He took O and A levels in art, then won a place at Farnham Art School at the age of sixteen. He became a graphic artist, but continued to paint in his spare time. In 1984 Terry gave up his job to paint full time. He demonstrates to artists' groups and teaches on painting holidays. He has also developed a range of his own brushes and paints. He is the author of many best selling books on painting with acrylics and watercolours. Terry now lives in the Cotswolds.