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Recommended Drawing and Watercolor Books Watercolors, Urban Sketching, Color Theory, and Drawing

Over the years, I have collected books on Color, Perspective, Drawing Techniques, Watercolors, and Urban Sketching over the years and wanted to share with you my favorites. I will receive a small commission when you purchase through one of the links below but your price doesn’t change. These are books that I reference and learn from even today. Some are great for working on your techniques, and others are for inspiration. Browse through the books and see what inspires you. 

Local Color: Seeing Place Through Watercolor Includes a series of self-guided exercises and illustrated examples

Published in 2015 – See the colors around us but also how to capture and record them in watercolor. 

Mastering The Art of Watercolor Includes 20 step-by-step projects to help you to put the basics into practice

Published in 2003 – There are projects to challenge beginners, and others for intermediate painters, grouped by subject.

1,500 Color Mixing Recipes Including Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolors, Oils, and Acrylics

Published in 2012 – Make the colors you want! Tabbed for quick and easy reference with two removable color mixing grids.

Drawing Ideas: A Hand-Drawn Approach for Better Design Great techniques, tips, inspiration for creating compelling and original designs

Published in 2013 – A primer for design professionals across all disciplines that helps them create compelling and original concept designs by hand.

Watercolor School: A Practical Guide to Painting With Watercolor Includes 8 watercolor projects that are easy to follow, from beginning to end

Published in 1993 – Provides visual explanations and simple exercises to build painting skills.

The Watercolor Course You've Always Wanted Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists

Published in 2015 – Learn how to eliminate common barriers to achieve beautiful, captivating watercolor paintings. 

Artist's Color Manual The complete guide to working with color in oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, colored pencils, or inks

Published in 2003 – A comprehensive guide to mixing and creating each color of the spectrum, from primaries to tricky neutrals, flesh tones, and metallics. 

Perspective (Artist's Library series #13) This book is small but it packs a perspective punch!

Published in 1989 – Perspective shows you everything you need to know to make objects look three dimensional.

Watercolorist's A to Z of Trees and Foliage Includes easy-to-follow instructions for painting 25 of the most popular species of trees

Published in 2003 – An easy-to-follow instructions for painting 25 of the most popular species of trees.

The Complete Book of Drawing Techniques A Complete Guide for the Artist

Published in 2004 – This book will help artists to expand their understanding of available media. 

The Spirit of the Brush Chinese Brush Painting Techniques: Simplicity, Spirit, and Personal Journey

Paperback published in 2017 – Sungsook Setton learned ink painting techniques from Chinese and Korean masters in her native South Korea; now she brings them to you in this book.