Colorways: Watercolor Animals by Shaunna Russell

Book cover

Hello hello! Have you seen those wonderful rainbow colored animal portraits?. I’m always amazed at how artists can use such bold and unbelievable combinations. If you like this style and want to learn how to paint vibrant watercolor animals yourself, this is a good starter book.

Dare to use colors

It doesn’t go deep into theory, just enough so that you get the idea bout watercolor techniques, color schemes and value. Basically, the three fundamental subjects to consider when working in this style. So most of the book focuses on teaching you by doing. Through Shaunna Russell’s 12 step-by-step projects, you’ll be able to paint a galaxy whale, a pair of parakeets in pastel colors, an iridescent beetle, a rainbow colored otter, among other animals.

Projects are for all levels. If a colorful dog portrait sounds too daunting at the moment, you can try a silhouette animal first. I really liked that the projects look different from each other in technique or level of difficulty, so you can learn and practice something different with each of them. I wish there were more projects for the multicolored portraits tho. Maybe different types of dogs and other pets. Also, a “troubleshooting” or “most common mistakes” section would be nice, specially for beginners.

This is my try at her unicorn project. The challenge this project focused on was to paint a white animal (with colorful shadows) and add imaginary features and colors. I failed at leaving white spaces and achieving high contrast, so I ended up with a dreamy blue unicorn…but hey, it is still magical! (and definitely added my own style to it, can you tell?).

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About Alicia

I enjoy sharing my love for good books with other people. I wish you can find the type of books meant for you. Art is my passion. Both activities allow me to travel to imaginary places, learn, grow and share my journey with others. Feel free to join me, I love company.

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