Sunday, July 16, 2006

The One-Hour Watercolorist by Patrick Seslar

Timesaving tips and exercises to make the most of your painting sessions. Don’t think you have enough time to paint, but you spend hours on the web being browsey or watching the boob tube? Then you have time to paint. The problem is you think you need hours available in order to begin. Patrick Seslar shows you how to break projects into tiny steps using his and other watercolorist’s portfolios. He’ll show you how to start with one-hour paintings then apply those techniques to much larger projects by breaking them down into one hour steps.

Why you should read this book: This book is an AD/HDer’s or procrastinator’s dream with its small chapters and non-linear progression. Do you waste time doing absolutely nothing instead of drawing or painting? Then get this book. It has various art styles and twelve different demonstrations to teach you how to organize your art time into manageable steps. I found some of the advice transformative because it embodies the adage “Begin with the end in mind.”

If you aren’t an artist, or use another medium, this book is worth borrowing from the library just to get some tips on time management for large projects. All organized people follow these steps without really thinking about it. Guys like Stephen R. Covey organize their garage, run multi-national conglomerates, and paint masterpieces in their sleep. For the rest of us we need it spelled out.

Favorite chapters: 4, 6, 8, and 12. Favorite artists: Janet Rogers, Robert O’Conner, and Luke Buck.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: I suppose this book would be a bit of a bore if you didn’t watercolor, liked wasting time aimlessly spinning in place, or just got the biggest kick out of full fledged procrastination. Another reason you might not like this book is if you didn’t enjoy reading long lists of supplies like “Bob used an off-white 3-ply sheet of Framistonian paper 5.342” x 7.456½, then spattered Bluvian Grey with a ¾” left-handed, imported Squirrel tail...” I found those passages tedious, but then I’m not a novice painter. I also didn’t enjoy Patrick Seslar’s work. His subject matter didn’t really inspire me. In fact, I found myself thinking over and over, “How’d this guy get a book deal? If he can do it, so can I!” Just wait for my “The One-Hour Napkin Scribbler” to hit stands soon. It’ll change your life.