Adding item to the basket

× Item added

This item has been added to your basket.

Proceed to checkout
Search the site...

NORTH AMERICAN CUSTOMERS North America US and Canadadian Customers
Look inside
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 09 March 2017
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215233
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 200
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP Price: £12.99
Download jacket image

Learn to Paint in Watercolour Step by Step


by William Newton

Add to Basket
Book Description

A thorough and inspiring guide to watercolour painting from bestselling artist William Newton

Learn how to paint relaxing landscapes, exciting seascapes and portraits with personality. Whatever you want to paint, William Newton can show you how. Starting from first principles, this thorough guide demonstrates the breadth and depth of William's watercolour painting expertise. In addition to beautiful detailed projects covering architecture, still life and other classic scenes, this book contains sections on colour and tone, the materials you will need, key watercolour painting techniques as well as vital information on perspective and drawing; all explained and illustrated for ease of use. This book was previously published as William Newton's Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting and is now made available in paperback.

Table of Contents

Painting basics8
Choosing your subject44
Step-by-step projects66
Farm Track68
Barges on the Mud78
Village Street88
Magdalen College98

About the Author

About William Newton

William Newton is a full-time professional artist. He paints almost any subject and works in most mediums, although specialising in watercolour and oil. A practising art tutor, with many years experience of teaching both adults and children, his paintings are held in collections all over the world.


SAA Paint

May 2017

This welcome re-issue of William Newtons guide to watercolour painting in the classic mould reminds us just how good it always was. Gently progressive, de-rather than pre-scriptive and thorough as well as comprehensive, it's not an excellent introduction, but also a handy recap and an opportunity to re-evaluate your skills. At first sight, it's one of the least technical books you'll come across and that is, in great part, what gives it its welcoming feel. Although there are plenty of demonstrations, the first impression is lots of paintings rather than a welter of diagrams, lessons and exercises. I've praised many books that take this latter and more modern appraoch and there's no doubt about its effectiveness if well done. However, in the hands of a skilled pracitioner, the more narrative way of doing things has considerable appeal and can feel less technological. If you like the idea of slow television you're probably warming to this already. Don't hink that anything is left out though. William explains colour and tone as well as the essential techniques of watercolour; wet-in-wet, drybrush and so on. He also covers a wide range of subjects from landscapes to buildings, water and people. His muted colours are very much in the english tradition.

Develop your watercolour painting skills. William paints traditional watercolours, carefully composed and realistic. There are 6 step-by-step projects and numerous examples of finished paintings to inspire you. Projects include architecture, landscapes, still life and portraiture. Sections include materials, colour, techniques, perspective and more. The colour reproduction looks a bit down, not as bright as it perhaps should be, but not enough to detract from using the book. This book was previously published as a Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting as recently as 2013. If you don't have that, it makes a superb guide to mastering watercolour with a variety of subjects to paint.

This isnt, as far as I can tell, a re-working, just a reissue with a new title of a book which first appeared in 2013 as William Newtons Complete Guide to Painting. To the credit of Search Press, I got that information from the copyright page.

I dont normally review reissues, but this is so good, and has stood the test of time so well, that I will at least give it a mention. Its a classic guide to classic watercolour and well worth a read.

Originally reviewed 17th October 2013

Theres an immediate sense of variety in this admirably comprehensive book that really does live up to its claim to be complete. In something such as this, the introduction to materials and techniques clearly has a place and its rightly more extensive than the cursory notes we could usually all probably do without. William is particularly good on the uses and handling of colour and tone as well as core techniques such as wet-in-wet. Although the beginner might feel the need for something more basic at this stage, as long as youve got the hang of how to use your materials, youll find it easy to pick up from where this starts.

William has a simple, relaxed and open style that relies on transparent colours, the use of washes and a constant sense of light that makes for easy and comfortable viewing that is immediately encouraging. The range of subjects is wide and includes landscapes, buildings, boats and people, and theres also an extensive series of demonstrations that put the basic lessons of the introductory section into practice.

Because of its simplicity, the clarity of the instructions and the quality of the execution, Id say this is the best work of its kind that Ive seen.

If you want to learn to paint in watercolors and require a good basic primer this is a good choice.  Concentrating on landscapes, seascapes and portraits you can build up your skills as you complete the exercises and finish with a starter gallery of six paintings.


This is the sort of book that Search Press does probably better than anybody else.  Originally published back in 2013 as William Newtons Complete Guide To Watercolour Painting (ISBN 9781844488308) this is a new revised edition.  The artist is self taught and wisely eschews the usual advice to buy too much; instead he has sensible suggestions as to what a beginner needs and the reasons why.  His section on other materials does not feature anything expensive and contains many items you will already own.  There is a section on color including mixing advice, mixing greens, working with a limited palette and another on tone including painting light, shadows and implying distance.  Learn the tricks of the trade such as wet into wet, dry brush work, using masking fluid etc and essentials like using a camera, composition and perspective.  The rest of the book contains the six projects which are helpfully step by step, building up the picture a bit at a time with the aid of many captioned photographs.  Unlike some other painting primers this one has no traceable outlines but each project features a small tonal pencil sketch which you need to replicate the basic outline of.  How straightforward this is depends on your drawing skills and I found it would be a good thing if it was larger, as seeing all the detail in it is not easy and the first stage showing the sketch on paper is very faint.  Subjects include a lonely farm track, barges on the mud, a village street, an Oxford college, old cannon still life and a portrait.  The portrait is sketched from a photograph so gives the budding artist some practice doing this.  Each project has a few similar paintings as examples with short captions about their execution.  If you want to try your hand at painting watercolors this is a good place to start, particularly due to the sensible advice on what to buy (and what not to).

The Leisure Painter

May 2017

Previously published as William Newton's Complete Guide to Watercolour Step by Step has been republished in paperback form. This book offers a complete guide to getting started in watercolour and developing your confidence with the medium, covering a broad range of subjects from still lifes to harbour scenes.

Add to Basket Printer friendly version

Customers who bought Learn to Paint in Watercolour Step by Step, also bought...

Also by this author:

This site uses cookies, if you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. Click here to learn how to change your cookie settings.