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Urban Watercolor Sketching: A Guide to Drawing, Painting, and Storytelling in Color [Anglais] [Broché]

Felix Scheinberger

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Description de l'ouvrage

25 mars 2014
A guide that shows painters, drawers, doodlers, and urban sketchers how to bring their drawings to life with colorful, bold, yet accessible painting methods.


Bring new energy to your sketches of urban scenes with this fresh and simple approach to watercolor painting. Whether you’re an amateur artist, drawer, doodler, or sketcher, watercolor is a versatile sketching medium that’s perfect for people on the go—much like pen or pencil. Accomplished designer and illustrator Felix Scheinberger offers a solid foundation in color theory and countless lessons on all aspects of watercolor sketching, including:

Fundamentals like wet-on-wet, glazes, and washes
Materials and supplies to bring on your travels
Little-known tips and tricks, like painting when water
isn’t handy and seeking out inspiration

Vibrant watercolor paintings grace each page, and light-hearted anecdotes (why do fish make great subjects to paint, you may be wondering...) make this a lively guide to the medium. With an open mind and sketchbook, you will be ready to capture the moments around you in luminous color with confidence, creativity, and ease—no matter what your skill level may be. 

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Descriptions du produit



When we think of watercolor, many of us immediately picture sentimental landscapes and paintings of ruins and picturesque scenes. Although eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English artists established watercolor as a sophisticated painting medium, it often yields strangely negative reactions from contemporary artists. An entire generation quickly relegates it to a hobbyist’s medium.

Yet watercolor is far more than an amateur’s medium, as it requires intense concentration and practice. Once it’s put on paper, mistakes are difficult to remedy, and only when it is applied with confidence does it have a truly successful effect. Watercolor involves a certain degree of uncertainty, but it also teaches us to see. 

Watercolor was the first technique to free the artist from the studio because it could easily be taken outdoors. It required no tubes, easels, canvases, or similar implements, only a box of paints and paper. Even today, watercolor is a tool that frees us from the studio, our laptops, and countless charging cables. 

Watercolor is, however, not just a technique; it is almost an attitude. Watercolor always does what it wants. In a way, it is willful and anarchical. Therefore, for me, the secret to using watercolor to create pic-tures lies in striking a balance between control and letting go. Pictures are often only “really good” when they surprise us—when they reveal what we sensed and felt, but could not have consciously expressed. If we sacrifice the right amount of control in the artistic process, watercolor’s inherent qualities begin to work to our advantage. 

This book has two goals: to teach you watercolor techniques and to tell you something about color.
However, it does not aim to explain, for example, how you can paint a certain sky in four steps. I seriously doubt whether readers learn more from such instruction books than they do by actually painting that sky. What if the sky should suddenly cloud over? Instead, this book wishes to show you the basic principles of watercolor paints, so you can flexibly apply them to whatever you want to achieve. 

I imagine it’s a little like learning chords on a guitar. For me, it seems important that you learn the finger-ings, but what song you play is up to you. 
And don’t worry, everything that we need to know about color can be learned with a simple box of paints.

Whether watercolor painting is sophisticated and legit-imate or not isn’t the point. Watercolor can go anywhere. It is an autonomous, free, and creative medium. It makes the world our studio.

Yours truly,
 Felix Scheinberger

Biographie de l'auteur

FELIX SCHEINBERGER is an illustrator, artist, and designer. He is the author and illustrator of two other books on watercolors and has illustrated more than fifty children’s books in the last decade. His work has appeared in magazines including Harvard Business Manager and Psychology Today. He lives in Berlin, Germany.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  13 commentaires
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Modern watercolor sketching 26 mars 2014
Par Jess Hayes - Publié sur Amazon.com
I was looking for more straight-sketching books (like The Technical Pen) when I came across this wonderful book by Felix Scheinberger. My mind has now been opened to an incredible new world of color theory and surprisingly to watercolor painting. This book of 156 pages is filled with playful drawings and splashes of vibrant colors that demonstrate a very modern and contemporary use of the 4,000 year old painting technique.

Not did the images inspire me to embrace my drawing style more and explore color in a new way, but I found the text most fascinating as well. Scheinberger is a really intelligent artist who can communicate his thoughts concisely in light-hearted conversation. I highly encourage you to pick up this book, which is a superb English translation of Wasserfarbe fur Gestaller (2011).
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 breathing fresh air 26 mars 2014
Par Kiku - Publié sur Amazon.com

Got a copy of this book yesterday. Flipped thru it, and found the illustrations very beautifully done. I don't like much how to books, I find them boring. This is not a how to book. If you're a figurative watercolorist like me, and struggle to paint realistically, the illustrations and the way they are executed will surely inspire you to be loose in your work. As for the text, the story on pages 8-9 is a great way to realise that we all struggle with our chosen craft, and that the finished product is the result of years of struggling at your chosen craft. Some of us don't realise how long the road's been.

My only regret is that it is a paperback. other than that, a beautiful book.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A lively, informative book 2 avril 2014
Par Tina K. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Any book with the words “urban sketching” in the title catches my eye, and this one by Felix Scheinberger was no exception. Translated from the German, the book is filled with the author’s watercolor illustrations (such as of suggested art materials) and many colorful examples of his whimsical work. The examples are not strictly about urban sketching (as in the Urban Sketchers manifesto), though, and the original title, Wasserfarbe für Gestalter, translates to “Watercolor for Designers,” so the English-language title may have been a marketing ploy to glom onto the current popularity of urban sketching.

Still, I think it’s an appropriate title because the author clearly expresses an urban sketcher’s attitude: “Paint what’s around you – things that you can easily reference. Artists ought to be authentic and tell something about their world.” He points out that of all the painting media, watercolor is uniquely suited for sketching on location: “Watercolor can go anywhere. It is an autonomous, free and creative medium. It makes the world our studio.”

If you are looking for a step-by-step, how-to approach to watercolor technique, you will not find it here. Scheinberger’s lively, informative book is more about expression and using the unique features of the watercolor medium to find that expression. An ancient Chinese parable that he relates at the beginning of the book sets the tone for using watercolor: Learn a few techniques that require much time and practice to fine-tune.

I’ve read numerous books on watercolor technique, and I think this is the first I’ve seen that spends several pages on the medium itself – its ancient roots, how it is made, why some pigments are more expensive than others – and provides this potentially dry and technical information with an irreverent, entertaining tone. (Kudos to translator Faith Ann Gibson for capturing the author’s intended voice.) Scheinberger knows his stuff, and he conveys it without sounding like he’s giving us a lecture.

Unlike most watercolor books that assume that the reader has taken for granted the use of color, Scheinberger takes time to tell and show how the addition of color to a line drawing gives it life:

“A drawing – and even more so a sketch done in pen or pencil – conveys something that is hard to grasp, something that seems indefinite. When color is added, in a manner of speaking, we enter the ‘real world.’ . . . Color is demanding and enriches our pictures with a sensual aspect. A drawing of a cake merely describes its shape, but a painting of a cake makes it mouthwatering.”

As far as watercolor technique goes, Scheinberger believes that by combining only two basic techniques – glazing (one or more transparent layers applied after the previous layer is dry) and wash – you can achieve nearly any effect. While glazing offers more control, letting colors mix serendipitously in washes allows the uniquely luminous properties of watercolor to shine. The two together enable you to apply a degree of control to what is a “willful and anarchical” medium. “If we sacrifice the right amount of control in the artistic process, watercolor’s inherent qualities begin to work to our advantage.”

While most of the watercolor techniques he describes were familiar to me, one was not! We’ve probably all heard about sprinkling salt onto wet paint to get interesting mottled effects, right? But did you know you can get a similar mottled effect with saliva? (Not quite as easy to apply with accuracy, but certainly more readily available!)

Especially enlightening to me was seeing Scheinberger’s examples of color used to unify a composition and using spots of color judiciously to bring the eye to the focal point – “less is more.” I read a public library copy of this book, but I may decide to buy a copy, if only to enjoy Scheinberger’s expressive, mood-infused sketches again and again.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful book on watercolour and a bit on sketching 8 avril 2014
Par Parka - Publié sur Amazon.com
The original edition for this book is actually in German and it's called Wasserfarbe für Gestalter. That was published in 2011 and is one of my favourite books on watercolour and sketching. And I can't read German.

The author is Felix Scheinberger from Germany and has published other books as well. I'm so glad that the English edition for this is finally available. It's really well translated.

There are two publisher for this book as I know, namely Watson-Guptill which seems to be distributing for the western market and Page One Publishing for Asia. They have slightly different cover art. The subtitle is also a bit different, one is "storytelling in color" and the other is "dreaming in color".

This is a paperback edition compared to the hardcover German edition. It's still 156 pages and the layout is the same. I prefer the hardcover format because you can open both pages flat, and there are quite a few drawings printed across the gutter. That's my only complaint about the paperback format.

The book features tips on using watercolour for sketching. The translation as I mentioned is fantastic. It's light hearted and conversational. It's a breeze to read through and the contents covers practical tips on using watercolours and colours. You'll read about the different hues, techniques, colour schemes, symbolism, mixing, materials, and more. You can tell the author is very knowledgeable about the subject, and would occasionally include stories on the history of colours as they were used centuries ago.

One reason why I like the book so much is because of the wonderful sketches. I really love the free and loose style, vibrant and energetic colours. I feel a sense childlike wonder coming from the watercolour sketches. I'll still keep my German edition just so that I can admire the drawings easier with the book flat.

Even though the title has the word 'Urban' in it, nothing in the book is specific about using watercolours in the urban setting. Hence the 4 out of 5 stars rating. With the tips, you can use them in any setting. I feel that the title is trying to ride on the wave of current popularity that comes from location or urban sketching. This book is different from those urban sketching books. This covers more on watercolour techniques which is more useful as it builds on your drawing foundation, in this case on using colours.

This as one of my 2014 favourite art books.

Highly recommended to those who love colours, watercolour, sketching and art.

(See more pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 An ok book 9 avril 2014
Par NelChan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
This book has plenty of colorful illustrations, but just doesn't pertain much to urban sketching which I feel should be the main subject. It covers too much on paint, pigments, paper & brushes, just like any other watercolor book.
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