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The clarity, precision and beauty of Paul Brent’s watercolors make his work instantly recognizable and garner national and international recognition. The talented artist, comfortable in the world of fine art, is equally at home developing designs that combine function and beauty. For all those who marvel at his work and wonder, “How does he do that?” the answer is here. His first how-to-book is appropriately named Wonderful Watercolors with Paul Brent. North Light Books, one of the premier publishers of fine art books in the country, is the publisher.

The Paul Brent Gallery in Panama City, Florida, will host a book signing and exhibit of the book’s original artwork on Saturday, March 13. Visitors can meet the artist from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. He will conduct demonstrations, and various products featuring the book’s art will be on display. Autographed copies of the book are available at the Paul Brent Gallery and through his Web Site. The book is also available at Amazon.com.

Brent enjoys teaching and believes that part of his life as an artist includes sharing what he has learned in his thirty-plus years of painting. In the book, Brent dispels fears that watercolor painting is difficult and unforgiving. He presents watercolor techniques to benefit the serious beginning painter as well as the advanced artist. Brent stresses practice, believing each painting is a compilation of one’s experience. He believes “observation and repetition” are fundamental to successful painting.
The book presents skills and techniques essential to mastering the medium.

Key in his decision to write a how-to book on designs for the home is the current interest in garden themes. The book’s artwork lends itself to many other applications, including house wares and decor. Brent’s artistic endeavors now include functional and decorative objects like wallpapers, towels, kitchen textiles, tiles, woven throws and more. Brent believes people should live with art: “Art is not only for walls. Wear it, cover up with it, and entertain with it.”

Each chapter opens with a few comments from Brent and provides a materials list. He leads the reader through a series of mini lessons that focus on different elements of the complete painting. Brent urges practice before undertaking the actual painting. In the Butterfly Samples project, he demonstrates the steps to paint a butterfly body, wing sections, leaves and flowers. Throughout he offers comments germane to each particular project. For the Butterfly Sampler, rather than applying a single wash and painting the veins, he suggests it is more effective to paint each wing section separately. The method “captures the reflective light on the wings.”

The chapters arranged into lessons, cover painting thirteen florals, from roses, tulips, daisies, tea roses, Oriental peonies, to cherries and grapes. The directions detail the specific mechanics of how to paint a variety of projects. In clear language and with systematic instructions he directs the artist toward more intricate and complex designs. While Brent’s says there are many different ways to paint, his approach consistently produces vibrant watercolors. He likens the discipline of painting to ballet. It requires practice to develop the control and techniques required to achieve that “effortless” look.

He covers choosing watercolor papers, the importance of drawing, how to transfer designs, light tables (and how to improvise without one) laying down color, over painting, removing color, background washes, paper preparation and brush strokes. Line drawings for each of the projects are also included. He also reveals the specific products he uses to create his work. Saunders Watercolor 300 lb cold-press watercolor paper and for sketching, he uses Strathmore cold-press 140 lb watercolor pad. His eighteen-color (plus white) John Pike plastic palette consist of Winsor & Newton and Grumbacher watercolors. He prefers the tubes of color to the cakes. “Art plays a much more important role in people lives than they often realize. An artist has touched everything you touch. I can’t imagine the world without artists,” says Brent.

The book guides both the serious beginning artist and the more advanced. Devotees of Brent’s work will delight in the book, and those curious about the process of watercolor painting will discover something magical about the transition of a blank canvas into art.

An affiliate artist with the LeMoyne Institute in Tallahassee, Florida, Brent’s work appears in many private and public collections. A signature member of the National Watercolor Society, he also belongs to the Southern Watercolor Society, the Florida Watercolor Society and the Society of Illustrators in New York. Currently he serves on the board of directors of the Greater Downtown Association and Bay Arts Alliance. He has also served on the Florida Humanities Council and the Board of the Florida Arts Council.

The Paul Brent Gallery is located at 413 West 5th Street, Panama City, Florida 32401.
Toll Free: 800-835-2787, Local: 850-785-2684, Fax: 850-785-1350
www.paulbrent.com Email: gallery@paulbrent.com

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