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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 28 November 2016
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782214199
  • Stock: 26 in stock
  • Size: 216x292 mm
  • Illustrations: 350
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $36.99
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How to Paint Water in Watercolour


by Joe Dowden

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Book Description

Featuring tips and techniques by Joe Dowden to help artists better represent water.

A compilation of in-depth exercises and practical projects created by the artist Joe Dowden, to help seasoned artists master representing water in watercolour. With content selected specially from two of Joe's previous titles, the book features over 350 colour illustrations and inspirational photographs. A fresh new design breathes new life into established tips and techniques.

Table of Contents



Making water look wet


Six exercises
1. Using tone to paint low sunlight on water
2. Sunlit water
3. Deep water
4. Upside-down sky
5. Rippled water and boats in Venice
6. Waterfall

Painting projects
Flat, still water
Rippled water
Shallow water
Richness and depth
Sparkling sea



About the Author

About Joe Dowden

Joe Dowden turned professional in 1982 and has since written many successful books. He has sold out at numerous 'one man' shows and has exhibited his work throughout the UK. He lives in East Sussex, UK. For more information visit


This is another of the bind-ups and re-workings that Search Press are making something of a speciality of at the moment. I think that needs to be said, if only to alert buyers to the fact that it is not all new material. And, as ever, the job has been done so well that you might, at first glance, think that it is.

This is based on two previous volumes, Watercolour Tips & Techniques: Painting Water from 2003 and 2014’s Joe Dowden’s Complete Guide to Painting Water in Watercolour. Only a cynic would question why the latter needs any augmentation, so I will. The simple fact of it is: simplicity. The Complete Guide was encyclopaedic in its content and something for the more experienced practitioner. The Tips & Techniques title is perhaps beginning to look a little dated and was rather more elementary. There’s clear space for something in between and, while water is not a subject that books exactly ignore, if you have Joe Dowden on hand, why not make use of him?

Bind-ups often suffer from being exactly that. Every book has its own introductory material and ways in, as well as idiosyncrasies and shoving multiple titles together leads to repetition and ungainly jumps. What you need to do is extract the best, or most suitable, bits from each one and then re-originate so that the new work is genuinely new and has a coherence of its own. If you can see the joins, it hasn’t worked.

Search Press have, as I’ve remarked, form on this and it’s very good form. This has a nice progression to it and works perfectly as an introductory course in painting water that won’t blind the beginner with science or, for that matter, leave the more experienced tutting with frustration. Those amongst you eyeing up your backlists, take note.

Elizabeth Hardman

I was over the moon to win a copy of this book as I always have trouble with water. This book shows you how to bring all types of water to life. Would happily recommend to anyone and I look forward using the book

From pools to lakes and seas, Joe shows you how to interpret the effect of water using watercolour paints. He discusses materials, composition, tips and techniques so that you can depict water. There are six exercises to help you, many finished paintings and seven projects to aid your confidence too.The colour section is very good with a useful green and a grey grid. The section on 'wet' water is also very useful. I love the painting project - 'Flat, Still Water' portraying the setting sun, but the other projects are just as good and demonstrate puddles, reflections, ripples, seascape and more. There is also a gallery of work. Nicely produced book with excellent photography, great projects and practical information and professional tips.

Water forms a vital part of watercolors, but actually capturing the many moods and varieties of this element on paper is not easy.  Here is a whole book dedicated to showing all those tips and tricks that artists employ to make viewers think that they are looking at actual water rather than just a painting.

The book opens with a useful section on what to buy and why.  The why is very important, as it lets you know what you can do with each color including a section on mixing greens and grays.  This is not a book where the author wants you to buy the whole art shop and there are some thoughtful choices including economical suggestions on using household items like china plates, wax candles and old toothbrushes.  Following on is a useful chapter showing finished paintings explaining how each water effect was achieved, and six short staged exercises to get you started.  These show how to paint different types of water from deep pools to sunlight, reflections, a waterfall and more.  After this are seven full length projects for more complex paintings each with a list of what you need, plenty of staged photographs and a final section showing two more finished paintings that achieve the same effect.  This Techniques In Practice is a good idea as it gives the budding artist a look at what else can be done with the technique especially as it contains explanations.  Types of water effect covered include puddles, a seascape, ripples and four others.  Each project has a line drawing to trace as a starting point, making this an ideal book for anybody fairly new to watercolor painting as it contains enough basic information.  An excellent and very user friendly primer.

Leisure Painter

November 2016

Well-known artist, Joe Francis Dowden turns his attention to painting water in watercolour for this sparkling new addition to Search Press's How to Paint series. Aime at the more established publisher, Joe has put together a collection of in-depth exercises and practical projects that explore the ways of effectively painting water. The book features work included in two of Joe's previously published titles.

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