13 March 2015

Watercolor was the first technique to free the
artist from the studio because it could easily
be taken outdoors. It required no tubes, easels,
canvases, or similar implements, only a box of
paints and paper. Even today, watercolor is a
tool that frees us from the studio, our laptops,
and countless charging cables.
  -- Felix Scheinberger

I recently read "Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting and Storytelling in Color."


This 156-page book by German artist Felix Scheinberger is a a "permission slip" for those who want to draw and paint the world they see without needing to go to Art School or spend years in tedious training exercises. Besides being filled with Sheinberger's lovely, whimsical watercolor illustrations, he provides gentle guidance to the reader for how to create certain effects with the medium of choice.

Scheinberger encourages the reader to see the whole world as a studio, and to eschew the perfectionism that typically limits the progress many beginners will make. Thankfully, the paperback format is lightweight enough to be able to tuck the book into a bag and keep it close for reference, and the reproduction of Scheinberger's sketches is superb -- readers get a good feel for how he achieves certain techniques with his brushes, pens and pencils. Thanks to this book, I now average three sketches in my travels every day, and several people have told me in admiring terms that many of them are "frameworthy."

Scheinberger does a great job of opening new avenues of expression for budding (and experienced) artists of all ages.

Excuse me. My fingers are itchy and my sketchbook awaits.

R.B.


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