"The new book "Watercolor with an Eye for Design" by Ratindra Das is a wonderful
sequel to Mr. Das' first title "Watercolor Beyond Obvious Reality". Both of these
books are very impressive in what they are trying to achieve. They are aimed at
educating the advanced painter, or rather a painter of any level aspiring to get good at
what they do. Both of the books are focused heavily on design. These are not books
about nuances of applying washes, technical tips and tricks and so forth. That doesn't
mean that they are negligent to technique. It simply means that technique is not their
main focus. And that's what makes them special. Books like these are no longer being
published. They are not a presentation of Mr. Das's work. They are not the usual art
books that, let's be honest, leave you with more questions than answers. They
genuinely aim to impress upon you what's at the core of making a good painting.
The first book "Watercolor Beyond Obvious Reality" was already a great resource
and an excellent way to get acquainted with the most important principles behind
creating a strong painting. The new book is every bit as good as the first one and in
many aspects goes even further. Were you to simply glance over the table of contents
though, you'd find that the chapters are actually pretty similar, discussing shapes,
values, color and design principles. But each of the topics are discussed more deeply.
What I love about the way the topics are presented is the practical point of view. They
are not dry and theoretical. For the most part the information is presented in context of
an actual sketch or painting. It is very obvious to me that there's a mountain of
experience behind those lessons. On top of that, the book closes with a final chapter
titled "Three "i"s of Painting". These are Inspiration, Interpretation and Idea &
Imagination. I personally find this chapter to be a perfect addition to the book. It does
really add another layer of understanding and appreciation for the painting process.
There's a few chapters or topics that I personally found especially interesting, such as
"A 'Painting' Worth Keeping!" which is an example of an early work by Mr. Das. He
analyzes this painting and points out the usual errors that a beginner does. This is very
refreshing to see. Then there's a chapter titled "Evocative Patterns of Shapes" which
points out not only the visual aspect of patterns but puts them into context of mood and
atmosphere they convey. Finally "The Collage method of designing a painting" is a very
original way to design a painting to Mr. Das, as far as I'm aware, and it's an excellent
way to really understand the shape-making aspect of painting.
There's a lot more I'd love to talk about as there's a ton of great information and advice.
I had a great time reading through it and will be returning back to certain sections in the
future. This is one of those books that you use as a reference constantly, especially
when you're in the beginnings of your journey.
Mr. Ratindra Das is undoubtedly a master painter. His handling of the medium is both
playful and masterful and that's a balance that is hard to achieve. His work commands
respect especially because of his excellent design sense. The ideas in his paintings are
deliberate and that's how you tell good painter from a great one.
All in all, "Watercolor with an Eye for Design" is a fantastic book. My advice is pretty
clear and definite. You need this book. As I said, there's very few art books that deal
with what really matters. The price of $59.95 may seem a bit steep. However, it is a
hardcover of highest quality with great binding and paper quality.
And, of course theinformation alone is definitely worth it"….Daniel Novotny, Fine Art
"It is, in my opinion, the best instructional book applying design principles to painting.
This well designed book with succinct text and excellent illustrative diagrams, drawings
and paintings is a valuable gift to the watercolor medium and a great tribute to the art
world!"…Cheng Khee Chee, Artist and Educator, Duluth, MN
"Your beautiful book achieves your goal of getting beyond the mediocre eyesight
aspirations of so many painters. So the bait is in the water, we hope the response will be
significant. When I was in commercial art I was dismayed that there were so many
illustrators using the camera. Now it seems that the influence of that machine is still being
used without shame…
Thanks for sharing a copy. I will go back to it often"…. Frank Webb, Artist and Educator,
"In Ratindra's work he takes reality and turns it into a new personal vision
characterized by expressive color and strong design. This is what he teaches in
his workshops and has captured in this book…I recommend this book to any
artist developing creative paintings."… Jim Salchak, artist and educator.
"What a fabulous, breathtaking book. It is so beautiful and the paintings are
extraordinary. I like the format, color and design of the book as well as the
content."-Steve Quiller, Artist and educator.