Watercolor Painting and Projects.com
Did you know?
       " F+W's Media Bookstore
        offers many other creative books
        at incredible discounts too."

This area of the website is relatively new, so for now I thought you might like to read a few of the comments written by artists, from around the world, that have purchased my book "Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Realistic Watercolors."

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Realistic Watercolors     

Book Reviews & Testimonials


The painting techniques on this web site, are the same as those found in the book. The only difference is the book contains a bonus of 10 wonderful step-by-step painting projects, mostly of still life subjects, with the exception of a cute pair of baby ducklings. Although the book has been out of print for some time now, you can still find copies available online.

If you would like to read some of the other reviews posted on Amazon.com, or perhaps purchase a copy of the book, this link will take you directly there   Amazon.com.

Book Reviews and Testimonials
Fantastic instructions!!!

- By Lady Leonardo
(State College, PA)
   September 28, 2009
I specifically ordered this book to learn how to paint watercolor. This is the best written book that I have ever found for an instruction manual. The examples are clear, materials are specific, and technique is extremely well written. I have never seen a more precise layout for a painting manual. The pictures are traceble so that artists can begin right away with good watercolor methods!! The way this book is formulated, beginners, intermediates, and pros can find informative material to perfect their painting methods. For me personally as an acrylic painter, I have learned valuable information on a new media.
  Amazingly Written!

- By Madonna Marie
(Chicago, IL)
This author is not only an artist, but more importantly a WRITER and a TEACHER! She assumes no knowledge on the part of her reader, to make sure that her instructions cannot be misunderstood. It's possible the most readable art instruction book I've ever owned. I sit and read it, like a novel, and can't put it down! The descriptions and illustrations are so thoroughly detailed, orderly and accurate, that I feel like I'm there doing it. I haven't even tried any of them yet, but I'm so impressed with the writing of the book, I must commend the author on THAT! Also, the subjects chosen as paintings to demonstrate may very possibly be the most appealing examples of beautiful watercolors at their finest that I've ever seen in a book like this. They make me WANT to learn the medium! Unlike other books, where I may buy it, only for one or two pictures in it that I'd like to paint...this book is loaded with pictures that I want to paint ALL OF! I've gone through every page of the book, to check the paint color list of each painting, and have already ordered them, exactly as described and recommended. I can't wait to get my art studio properly lit, and my paper ordered to produce the paintings that are in this book! I can't even pick a favorite!
  Takes a Mid-Level Beginner to High-Intermediate Stage

- By hamsterdance (TX)
This was one of the first watercolor books I ever bought when I first wanted to learn how to paint. First of all I'd like to list some of it's stronger points.
  • The projects are beautiful with the subjects being mostly still-life (although there is one animal project of baby ducklings.)

  • The author lists exactly the colors and brands she used in each project, the specific mixes of each colors and step-by-step directions for you to follow at each stage. Each project has stage-by-stage photos so you can see what your painting-in-progress should look like at the end of each stage.

  • The "Critique Your Work" tip section. She lists some questions to ask yourself as you examine the finished painting to see what you did well and what can be improved.

  • The "how moist is moist?" examination of loading a brush with color. This is one technique most other watercolor books either don't mention at all or if they do they don't explain it. The author gives photos and a detailed description of exactly what she means by a phrase such as "loaded brush", "moistened brush" etc.

  • The section on values and painting a controlled wash. There is a page devoted to common problems that beginners can run into when trying to paint washes - complete with examples of some of these problems (streaky wash, back runs, etc.) and how to correct them or avoid them.

It helps to buy the paints she recommends because it will eliminate one variable that might make it harder to lead to a satisfying result. It is possible to use other brands (I did) but I recommend at least try to use the same pigment, if possible, as she lists in the book. For some people who are on a limited budget or don't want to invest in a lot of paint to be used only for this book's projects they might consider this a drawback. Also, this book doesn't cover painting portraits, wildlife, landscapes, seascapes, etc. It will be of most interest to fans of still-life subjects.

Overall, I'm glad I own it as it is a big help to further development of techniques with watercolor.
  The best step by step book on watercolors on the market!

- By R.Harrison
(California, USA)
This book was obviously written with a lot of thought behind it. I could not believe the detail that I found in this book. I am not a professional watercolorist, but I have been painting for a number of years. This book is a great reference for the experienced painter, but also a concise easy-to follow book for the beginning watercolorist. Ms. Heim's variety of subject matter is also very exciting. Unlike some books that focus on one subject matter, she has given us a number of different techniques and textures to try. I was most impressed by the colors in this book. In the step by step directions, I could mix a color as directed and then take a strip of scrap paper and dab it with paint and then compare with the sample color swatch of the book. To my surprise, it matched perfectly. It is obvious that Ms. Heim also took great care with the publisher to make sure the book was published with "true color". I recommend this book to anyone interested in producing beautiful watercolors, especially you beginners! Just as many of you, I have bought a lot of art books, but I only have a few that I actually use for reference when I am painting. This book is one of them! I am looking forward to buying her next book!
  Excellent for the paralyzed beginner

- By annie.nz
(Wellington New Zealand)
I have been circling around watercolour painting for some time now and had gone so far as to buy some paints, brushes and paper, but was at a complete loss as to how to actually start. I bought this book sight unseen on the basis of reviews, and I think it is the best possible book I could have bought. (I have several other 'beginners' watercolour books which have left me more, rather than less, inhibited about starting.)This book concentrates on teaching specific watercolour techniques in a step-by-step manner, with very precise and detailed instructions on how to load your brush, how to use it, how to mix each colour, and how to do specific techniques such as laying a wash (best description I've read, by a country mile, and it worked - a perfect wash second time), softening edges, lifting out colour, adjusting your work if it isn't right first time, and so on. She takes the guesswork out by providing a series of interesting drawings to copy and step by step instructions on how to paint each, and by specifying exact paints and (cheap but good) brushes, which I bought. The exercises are graded - before I started each one I was sure I would make a total mess, but each time the results were very good (would have been excellent if I'd had the patience to do a quick trial of each technique on a scrap piece of paper before going for it). This is not a fast-and-free approach, but an interesting and fun book which teaches you the basic techniques you will need even if the fast approach suits your personality better. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
  Don't hesitate....buy it now!

(Bolton, Lancs
United Kingdom)
As a young chap, I visited my local Art Gallery here in Bolton (UK) and although I had virtually no interest in art, I found myself mesmerized by the watercolour paintings of Thomas and Paul Sandby (c1700's). Twenty five years later and I still haven't taken a brush to paper - well, not until recently. Browsing through a bookshop a short while ago, I thumbed through scores of watercolour books and made mental note of how simple the paintings seemed to be. Can't be that difficult can it? And then....I picked up Dawn's book and was simply amazed by the fine paintings contained therein. Wow! The "Strawberries & Lace" knocked me sideways! I figured that even if I couldn't follow the lessons, my money wouldn't be wasted, because I'd cut out these fine pictures and frame them! :-) Seriously though, I'd agree with one of the other reviewers and say that this book is perhaps not the ideal beginner's choice. Having said that, this book does serve to inspire you and that's worth more than any amount of "basics".

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