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Books I Love ~ 'Painting Watercolours on Canvas' by Liz Chaderton

I discovered the work of Liz Chaderton on Instagram and was immediately drawn to her work as not only does she have a clear love of painting animals (like me), but also, like me, is a fan of gold leaf!

I had been thinking about painting on a larger scale, and when I saw that Liz paints onto canvas it was a bit of a light bulb moment, as I thought this could be a really good way of working larger, whilst still using watercolour.

If you are interested in using this technique, I think this book is the definitive guide! It is so comprehensive ~ covering not only the equipment and suppliers that you will need to get started, but most importantly it offers clear, unfussy instructions on all you need to know about how to prepare your canvas.

Unlike some artists, Liz doesn’t keep her trade secrets to herself, she is very generous with her information, and fully explains her process, giving unbiased insights into the different brands of materials she works with.

Don't let the diminutive size of this book fool you - it is absolutely packed full of information. This includes an introduction to different watercolour techniques, brushes and paints (making it a useful starting point for even complete beginners to watercolour), alongwith ideas about composition, scale and use of texture, including a wide range of ideas on different mark-making techniques which can be applied.

In order to achieve the best results with this technique, I think that a good background in drawing will help new painters develop this technique as an understanding of tone and how to create form is required. However, even as a beginner I think you will learn a lot of really good techniques that can also be used if working onto paper too.

In the book you can discover a range of Liz’s paintings and marvel at her modern approach to composition and use of mixed media. There are a number of demonstrations showing basic steps of how a painting can be developed, but they are not prescriptive, Step-By-Step techniques ~ instead, Liz encourages the reader to experiment and discover independently.

After buying this book, I noticed that Liz also offers one day workshops discovering the art of painting watercolour onto canvas, so with a little bit of trepidation I booked myself onto one of her one day courses (managing to secure myself the last space on one of her winter sessions). Having read through the book, attending the course was super useful as it actually gave me a chance to put the ideas into action (as to be honest, left to my own devices I probably would never have given it a try as I find it hard to give myself permission to spend a whole day playing and experimenting when there is always other work to be done!). As a testament to this I am ashamed to admit that the canvas which we prepared on the day (so we could take one home to work on) still remains blank (sorry Liz!).

If you fancy trying one of her courses (I travelled to Berkshire for mine), I would definitely recommend them as they are well organized, informative and packed full of opportunities to learn, experiment and create. You can find out more about Liz on her Instagram @lizchaderton or on her website: you might also be interested in some of her other books 'Painting Animals in Watercolour', 'Line & Wash Painting' and 'Painting Birds in Watercolour' she is also currently working on a portraits book too ~ so keep your eyes open for it!

Painting Watercolours on Canvas

Published by: The Crowood Press Ltd

112 Pages

Soft cover 17 x 24cm (approx)

ISBN-10 1785005898

ISBN-13 978-1785005893

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