"Thanks so much! Your book and website were referred to me by a fellow student in a watercolor class I'm taking. Your book changed her work completely. She went from stiff, formal depictions to passionately colorful, full-bodied flowers from one class to the next! I don't hope for such complete change, but even a little insight will be more than welcome. And that doesn't even take into account the joy of just looking at your work and admiring it!
Thanks again," Candy
paintings and excellent instruction!, February 5, 2009
“I bought this book on the
advice of an online friend, and I'm so glad I did!
My favorite aspect of the book is that it contains LOTS of
step-by-step demonstrations, and the pencil sketches for each demo
are included, so I can enlarge them and paint along with Ann Pember.
Admittedly, some of the sketches are quite faint and a bit difficult
to see, but I've managed to work with them. Also, a few of the
drawings are very detailed, so if you're more interested in learning
the basics of a specific technique than you are in completing a
whole painting, you may only want to reproduce a small section of
the sketch instead of the whole piece. Every project (even the
smallest,) includes a materials list, which I found quite helpful.
It was nice to know what I'd need before I started a project, and
there was no chance of getting halfway through a painting, only to
find out that I was missing some crucial materials.
I like it that Ms Pember starts us out with the basics, and
progresses to more complex techniques. She teaches you how to mix
and mingle colors, as well as different ways to add texture to your
paintings. She also discusses the use of triads and limited
palettes, and demonstrates lifting techniques and ways to vary your
edges. Of course, she applies all of this information to flower
painting, and she does a nice job of teaching how to paint the
different parts of flowers. I particularly enjoyed the section on
painting backgrounds, as those can be a real challenge for me!
After Ms Pember teaches you the basic techniques, she presents five
detailed "putting it all together" demonstrations of
complete paintings, which I found to be extremely helpful. Many
books teach the basics, but leave you hanging when it's time to
combine the steps into a complete painting, while others gloss over
the techniques and provide impressive-looking demonstrations of
gorgeous paintings, that turn out to have crucial steps missing so
there's no way for the reader to "paint along" with the
artist. That's not the case here -- I was able to understand Ms
Pember every step of the way.
I highly recommend this book if you want to paint vibrant, colorful
close-focus florals. My only warning is that you won't find large
bouquets here, and there isn't a vase or lace tablecloth in sight,
so if you're a more traditional flower painter, this may not be the
book for you. (You could still learn a lot of fun techniques and
could probably benefit from the information on color mixing and how
the details of a flower.”
"Your book and CD arrived yesterday and I have done little
besides read in the ensuing time. Your advice and great tips are
terrific, but the way you describe painting and walk other artists
through the process of applying paint to paper is invaluable. The
vivid colours and even wetness show beautifully in the CD and
understanding colour mixing becomes much simpler. I will certainly
recommend your book, CD and DVDs to my artist friends, as I believe
that learning is life-long."