Sunday, November 18, 2018

Paint Alchemy by Eva Marie Magill-Oliver

Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

Be warned that this is not a complete beginner's how to. It is a how to, but it covers a specific topic and assumes you know a little bit about what you're doing. It's much more of a guide to improved technique than a beginner's guide. For me, a beginners word here and there would have been useful.

For example, the author will mention using a specific brush by name, without explaining what that brush is, and although the illustrations are copious these are more of the finished work and of an assortment of painting tools than they are illustrative of the particular tools mentioned in the text at that point. An image of the brush just mentioned in the text would have been more useful to me, but that said, the book description does make it clear that this is aimed at "Exploring Process-Driven Techniques through Design, Pattern, Color, Abstraction, Acrylic and Mixed Media." It's not aimed at baby-sitting the reader!

From that perspective it does well - talking knowledgeably and from experience about techniques and materials and explaining how to work with them to achieve certain effects. It goes way beyond simple brush technique digressing into unusual topics such as blowing through a straw to move paint on a surface, and spraying the brushed-on paint with liquid to achieve a different effect than what the brush alone can offer. There's also an interesting mention of using thread soaked in bleach to achieve certain effects, so if you're looking for inspiration of a slightly different sort - in moving beyond simple brushwork, then this book is ideal. I commend it as a worthy read for budding artists looking for the next phase in their arsenal.