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Watercolor Success in Four Steps: 150 Skill-Building Projects to Paint (Design Originals) Beginner-Friendly Step-by-Step Instructions & Techniques to Create Beautiful Paintings as Easy as 1-2-3-4 Paperback – 18 February 2020

4.6 out of 5 stars 786 ratings

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Product description

About the Author

Marina Bakasova is the HR Brand Ambassador of OBI Russia, a multinational home improvement supplies company. She resides in Moscow, Russia.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Design Originals; First edition (18 February 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1497204496
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1497204492
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.51 x 1.02 x 23.37 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 786 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
786 global ratings
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recomendo
Reviewed in Brazil on 19 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recomendo
Reviewed in Brazil on 19 January 2021
Muito bom, chegou rápido, não dá pra pintar nele, ele só ensina como fazer, então é bom vc ter já a folha pra aquarela, mas é muito bom
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners
Reviewed in Singapore on 18 September 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners
Reviewed in Singapore on 18 September 2021
Pros: I’m a beginner at watercolor and Ms Bakasova’s art just has that oomph that makes you want to read her deconstructed annotated 4 steps to watercolor success diagrams for each exercise over and over.

The 150 skill building exercises cover Food, Vegetables, Drinks, Flowers, Plants, Natural World, Insects, Animals, Birds, Sea Life, Objects, Travels and Celebrations. I liked the desserts in her food category.

The exercises are rated by skill level: easy, medium, hard. The exercises I attempted were in the medium category but that doesn’t mean that I the exercises categorized as easy will be easy for me: I find that most artist-authors make the assumption that loose washes are easier for the beginner whereas I find that those are the most difficult to master. I find it easier to do smaller areas of detailed work because brush load is easier to manage as is eveness in application.

Cons: The diagrams are pretty tiny. I enjoyed them but if you wanted to enlarge them it would be a pain because they don’t appear all together in a section. You would have to scan or copy them from their exercise page (see picture, one diagram per exercise per page).

The diagrams are pretty simple so I guess you could just copy them.
For me, my drawing tends to be a little distorted so I preferred to trace them all on tracing paper then use a light box to transfer them to watercolor paper. I could have transferred the left facing page diagrams directly using the light box but the right facing page diagrams were too close to the spine so I decided to trace all the diagrams I wanted to try.
I contacted Ms Marina Bakasova by DM on Instagram to ask her if she had the .pdf of all the diagrams but she didn’t have them. I thought it was too much of a hassle to contact the publisher so I traced the diagrams myself.

It’s a small book; I have placed a sharpie pen in my picture to give a sense of scale.
Spiral binding would have been nice.

Other books:
Even better would have been a Dana Fox (of Watercolor With Me series) style of instructions on one page and pre printed watercolor paper diagrams on the facing page for you do try.

Watercolor the Easy Way by the brilliantly talented Sara Berreson also has a similar format as Dana Fox’s book abeit with color swatches but not names of recommended colors. Sara Berrenson is coming out with a new book on flowers in Oct 2021 and I have pre-ordered and am looking forward to it.

I do like Ms Bakasova’s exercises enough to go to the trouble of tracing them our myself though.

If not having the .pdf diagrams are a deal breaker for you, then maybe Watercolor Snacks by Volta Voloshin-Smith is for you. The author has a download link to the .pdf diagrams to the exercises in her book. The .pdfs in that book have one diagram per page but you could squeeze two exercises into one A4 page. Initially, I found the exercises a little big but was glad to practice my washes with them.

My interest is in flowers, food and dessert watercolors so it seems that besides Skillshare and books another option I have is to get Korean Watercolor books. These come pre-printed with diagrams on watercolor paper to paint.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Reviewed in Canada on 22 March 2021
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One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book for beginners
Reviewed in Canada on 13 May 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Fun to try these techniques
Reviewed in Canada on 15 June 2021
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