What’s your Watercolour Bible?

Most artists I know are devils for getting new art technique books.

Books give us hope and inspiration and impetus!

I have bought many, many books over the years and there are a few that I would never part with as they have become sacred to me.

Below I share my 3 top go to art books; my bibles as I call them. As you will see, I go to them for slightly different reasons but they all add grist to the artistic mill and lord knows we need it at times.

Please post below about YOUR art bibles! We may discover some wonderful unknowns!


1) More Joy of Colour by David Lyle Millard The loose jewel-like vignettes of Millard throughout this book encouraged me to paint in a juicy way.

In the book David describes his 40 colour palette and I drooled over his descriptions of his exotic hard to find colours – here is the picture


I envied him sitting there amongst all that exotic fruit and reading about him spending time in the Caribbean and the East coast of the USA – I aspired to do that!

P1150747David Lyle Millard in his element

WHAT I GET from this book

Most of all his encouragement to trust your wandering line of pencil on paper – your place for creative freedom in this world. Here are some Millard inspired mini watercolours in a Super Aquabee sketchbook (that he recommends for travelling artists as I was at the time!). Alas – the book in the link above has a ne cover design and is missing the original silver impressed bee insignia – such a shame!


2) The Art Spirit by Robert Henri I bought this a couple of months before going on an art trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA in 2005. I tried to keep my hands off it as it was meant to be read once I got to that famous art colony with its desert light. I couldn’t resist, however, and so cracked it open a few days before leaving and was lifted up by Henri’s commentaries about why we are compelled to draw and paint and how to have faith in yourself.


How this book IMPROVES my LIFE

Reading this book allowed me to experience someone of a different mind-set – one that values beauty and expression and is not ashamed of that. He gave me permission to dream and I read it when I want to escape into the word of art and feelings.

3) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards This book single-handedly taught me how to see and to draw. With Betty’s clear and encouraging voice I was guided into the joys of pure contour drawing – just letting the pencil doodle along the paper without even looking to loosen you up and enjoy that feeling.


WHY I read this BOOK

I go to this book whenever I need to feel purposeful about drawing.


It’s purposeful and enlightening exercises bowl you along and you see INSTANT improvement.

Well that is it from me – I hope you may encounter these books and get something from them  – bye for now

10 thoughts on “What’s your Watercolour Bible?

  1. Great post Alison and three neat book recommendations. The Art Spirit was just recommended to me this week and now you, so this is definitely on my list to get!

      1. Well they say that anyone painting or writing or dancing or in fact carrying out any creative act (including living) is showing a piece of themselves….the two are just inseparable parts of a coin!:)

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