Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Paint It: The Art of Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, and Watercolors

Paint It: The Art of Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, and Watercolors

Mari Bolte
Nonfiction art book
For ages 11 and up
Capstone Press, 2013   ISBN: 978-1623700096

Learning how to express oneself by creating images using paint is something that can enrich the lives of people of all ages. In this excellent book Mari Bolte shows young people how to use watercolors, acrylics, pastels, and oil paints.

   In each chapter of the book she begins by describing what the paints are made of, what forms they come in, what kinds of paper you need to use them, and brushes and other tools that you need for creating art with them.

   For example, in the watercolor chapter we begin by learning what watercolor paints are made out of, what kinds of paper one should use to make watercolor paintings, what kinds of “color palette” one can expect to find, and what kinds of brushes to use.

   This introductory section is followed by projects that the artist can try so that he or she can learn how to use the medium. In between the projects there are sections where the author provides further information with “tips and tricks” that show the artist how to use the medium  in unusual and creative ways. In the watercolor chapter we learn, among other things, the different painting techniques, such as dry brush and wet-on-wet applications.

   The projects presented in the book at unique in that they expose the artist not just to one method of using the media, but that they show the artist that watercolors, oils, acrylics, and pastels can create a wide variety of effects. The author also makes sure to offer a wide variety of projects so that there is something for everyone. For people who like realistic art there are still life projects of all kinds, and projects that require one uses a photo for inspiration. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are several colorful abstract art projects to try. There are also projects that go beyond creating a work of art on a piece of paper or canvas.  In one project artists are invited to paint on glass. In another one creates a collage, and the final project in the book is a mosaic.

   This book would make a wonderful gift for a young person who wants to try creating works of art using paints.