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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 12 March 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782216568
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 350
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £14.99
  • Series: Kew Books
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The Kew Book of Painting Roses in Watercolour


by Trevor Waugh

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Book Description

Roses have a special place in both art and culture across the world. Published in Association with Kew Gardens, this stunning book teaches you how to capture their character, colour and form in watercolour, and showcases both historical images from the Kew archives and the author's own extensive collection of inspiring paintings.

Guided by watercolour artist and rose enthusiast Trevor Waugh, this book begins with clear explanations of essential watercolour techniques followed by a short project that allows the reader to explore the nature of watercolour in a practical way. Particular emphasis is placed on mixing colours cleanly in order to reproduce the purity and variety of this much-loved family of flowers. This is followed by sections on how to gather reference material; how to compose your own paintings; and how to inject your paintings with colour and light. All are accompanied by three further step-by-step projects, each culminating in a stunning painting of your own. 

Table of Contents

Preface from Kew
History of painting roses
Exploring The Nature of Watercolour step-by-step project 
Finding Inspiration
Creating form
Portrait of a Rose step-by-step project
Rose Blush step-by-step project
Still Life Roses step-by-step project
Capturing the essence

About the Author

About Trevor Waugh

Trevor Waugh is an internationally renowned and highly regarded British fine artist living in Wiltshire, England. Working mainly in watercolour and oils, and occasionally in mixed media, his paintings can be found in many private and royal collections around the world. Trevor works in an impressionistic, loose artistic style that brings light and life to his chosen subjects.

Having studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, Trevor now runs successful painting workshops and holidays. Aside from his original artworks, Trevor Waugh's work is also known to a wide market through his greetings cards, prints and other merchandise.


Leisure Painter

Rose enthusiast and artist, Trevor Waugh, has worked closely with Kew Gardens to showcase historical images from the Kew archives as well as his own extensive collection of paintings. Painting Roses in Watercolour will show you how to capture the form, character and, most importantly, colour of a whole variety of roses, with clear explanations of the colour mixes, techniques used and projects to work through along the way.

Sections on gathering reference material, composition and adding light and colour to your work are each accompanied by 3 step-by-step projects.

The Artist

A new book by Trevor Waugh is always welcome and one on roses, which are always popular, and of which he is himself an enthusiast, all the more so. Add in the authority that the Kew connection provides and this has always looked like a sure-fire winner from the first proposal. For all this, devoting a whole book to a single species is a calculated risk. Are there enough people who want to study the subject in sufficient depths, and what about those for whom general colour and shape of flowers are more important than specific type? If you're still on board, you'll be rewarded with the whole gamut of colour, variety and a series of flower portraits - rather than detailed botanical illustrations - that explore colour, shape, petals, leaves and stems.

This is every inch a classic Trevor Waugh book that does full justice to a broad and fascinating subject.

The SAA Catalogue 19/20

The definitive guide to painting roses!

Trevor is well known for his flower paintings and his interpretations capture not just the look of a bloom, but its character and essence. In this comprehensive volume, he demonstrated individual specimens and arrangements, where colour, light and shade play as much a part as shape and structure.

There are exercises throughout that, as well as varying the pace of the work, also develop your skills with form, light and colourways. Each section concludes with a step-by-step project that brings everything together in a complete painting.

This is an informative, but above all enjoyable, look at the bright, fascinating and beautiful world of roses.


I have just started painting roses and I found this beautiful book easy to follow. It is ideal for new and experienced watercolour painters. It has beautiful illustrations. I adore roses and am looking forward to painting my first one.


This book is well written and informative. Lots of background information on the history of the rose, inspiring the reader to visit the rose section of Kew gardens for further study of these amazing flowers. Clear concise instructions about how to go about painting your own interpretation of the rose/s. Beautiful illustrations. A book to cherish.


If you're planning to paint flowers it's pretty much a racing certainty that roses will be high on the list. One of the most popular species, they offer an enormous variety of shapes and colours and there's a wealth of historical precedent to draw on.

This is not, it should be said, a book of botanical illustration, nor will you find tracts of information about varieties and their names, except in so far as they relate to colour and shape. This is a book about painting and about interpretation and, if that's what primarily interests you, feel free to offer a prayer of thanks!

Trevor is well known as a flower painter and his originals, cards and prints are in as much demand as his courses and workshops. His style is loose and painterly and is as much about interpretation as representation.

None of this means that the projects and exercises here aren't recognisable as roses, just that they convey the spirit of the flower as much as the precise look. Trevor's blooms shimmer and dance in the breeze as surely as if they were alive in front of you.

While the results may be short on fine detail, the structure of the book and the instruction most certainly aren't. As well as colour and shape, Trevor demonstrates how to handle stems, leaves and petals, He'll explain how to use colour to define depth and give body and perspective to your work. In the full demonstrations, he'll show you how to build up a complex subject in carefully-chosen stages.

This is a beautiful guide from an artist of consummate skill.


This is the second volume in this new series and it offers a perennially popular subject. I said of its predecessor on orchids that, while not perhaps the most obvious subject, those flowers nevertheless offered a wide variety of shape, form and colour. Well, the same is true of roses, but coupled with the fact that examples are available in just about every garden. Am I implying that this should have been the one that introduced the series? You know what, maybe I am.

Now that we have two volumes under our belt, its possible to take a broader look and its pleasing to say that, despite the Kew connection, these books are not heading in a botanical direction. That, while impressive, would be a shame because very few people want (or, perhaps, are able) to work in such precise detail. This, therefore, is primarily a Trevor Waugh book. If youre familiar with his work, youll know that its primarily about colour and the feel, the character of the flower and not the minute details of its petals and stamens. I cant claim to have audited every page, but I do not believe that the word calyx appears anywhere, and hurrah for that.

So, what you get are results that look and, above all, feel like roses. They have depth, both in terms of form and colour, they shimmer and, just maybe, if you catch them quickly, dance in the breeze. Simply, theyre a joy.

This is, of course, primarily a book about painting, not about roses. The usual preliminaries deal with colour and brushwork, with some deceptively simple exercises you really shouldnt skip. These teach you far more than just elementary skills, even if thats what they look like. For the reset, there are three full step-by-step projects that cover not only the whole flower, but also leaves, stems and the play of light. Theres nothing specific about perspective, but its in there Trevor is very good at disguising the technical stuff and youll have got through it before you even realise its happening.

Is this perfect? Maybe. Is it too good to be true? Certainly not.

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