Watercolortoday

Inspiration, Techniques and Resources

I bought the book «Painting the Way You Want to See» from Charles Reid in the 80’, some 30 years ago. Since than, our studio’s bookcases have been filled to the top. As I run a design studio with my wife, we have plenty of paintings, drawing, arts and design related books (plus all other kinds of books: novels, philosophy, poetry, etc.). Last time we moved, we had to carry about 275 boxes of books… I know it might sound a bit weird to younger generations that are on the dematerialised and lightweight side of life. But as we are designers, and part of our job is to produce books for publishers, we are still enjoying real, material books. Either vintage or brand new, we like them all.

We had read a huge deal of books, magasines and web pages on watercolor. And after all these years, «Painting the Way You Want to See» is still there and still relevant.

Charles Reid teaches specifically on how to see and think about your subject before painting. The book is a complete course on painting, and on seeing and making good paintings. The subject matter is broad, ranging from still lifes to figures and portraits, to landscapes.

The book include basic lessons on drawing, values, color and composition. It also includes tips on washes, subtle colors mixes and flesh tones, paint lights and shadows, uses of edges to direct the audience's eye, subject integration with the background, how to loosen and liven up your painting; and much more. A huge pack of 46 lessons.

Charles also includes numerous assignments to help guide your practice.

The book is good for artists of all levels of ability. The clear instructions, detailed tips, and innumerable illustrations and examples help you develop your own style.

Here is the table of content:

Introduction

PART 1. REVIEWING THE BASICS
Making a Contour Drawing 10
Making a Value Scale 13
Seeing Shape 14
Adding Value to Drawing 16

PART 2. WORKING WITH VALUES
Local Value vs. Light and shade 22
Controlling Values 24
Simplifying Values in Shadow 28
Simpplifying Values in the Light 29
Painting in a Low Key 30
Painting in a High Key 32
Planning a Basic Value Scheme: Portrait 34
Planning a Basic Value Scheme: Landscape 36

PART 3. HANDLING COLOR
Expressing a Color-Value 42
Learning to Use Strong Color 44
Seeing Pure Color as Value 4 7
Painting Local Color 4
Coloring Shadows 52
Painting Negative shape 57
Mixing Grays 58
Mixing Greens 62
Mixing Lights 68
Mixing Darks 72
Mixing Fleshtones 74
Using Analogous Colors 80
Using Complementary Colors 84

PART 4. DIRECTING THE EYE
Painting What You Want to See 88
Creating Emphasis and a Personal Point of View 92
Interpreting the Light 94
Composing with Color 98
Creating Emphasis with Edges 102
Making Edge Tie-ins 104
Relating Model and Background 108
Handling Patterns 114
Vignetting 116
Painting Against the Contours 118
Loosening Up 120

PART 5. CRITIQUES AND SOLUTIONS
Model with Large Plant 124
Keri on a Chaise Lounge 125
Tuftsie's Daughter 126
Converting Values to Colors 12
Saving a Weak Painting with Darks 130
Correcting a Divided Center of Interest 132

PART 6. LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS
Connecting Darks 138
Seeing shadows and Darks as Color 139
Using Local Color 140
Flattening th Picture Surface 140