I was thrilled today to receive my copy of Tom Hoffmann’s new book on watercolor, “Watercolor Painting: A Comprehensive Approach to Mastering the Medium,” just out from Watson Guptill. You may know Hoffmann as a painter of incandescent skies and inimitable backstreets, an artist who takes “the unpaintable” and transforms it– he can make the most ordinary extraordinary. Over the course of his career his work has moved through many phases, but always it holds an indelible signature. His paintings are about paint and how it wants to be, combined with wonderful leaps of reduction and abstraction. His best work captures the air and the time of “place”, with a haunting sense of both immediacy and reverie.
This new book provides a valuable and fresh approach to understanding the medium. It’s a big picture view that will fill in what is missing from the volumes that teach you how to render kitten fur or use frisket to paint birch trees in the snow. (Not that these techniques aren’t valuable for any painter’s repertoire……) I am happy to be included in the book with a study for “From One Tree.”
Hoffmann’s is the latest in a series of truly fine books written by instructors at Seattle’s Gage Academy of Art. Collectively they are setting a new standard for instructional books, many of which are becoming best sellers in their area of expertise. A list of other books by Gage instructors is included at the end of this post. Stay tuned for a book launch party and show at Gage in January. And if you would like to see more of Tom Hoffmann’s work you may visit him at his website.
A selection of books from Gage Academy instructors:
“Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice,” by Mitch Albala
“Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice,” by Juliette Aristides
“Contemporary Drawing, Key Concepts and Techniques,” by Margaret Davidson
“Lessons in Classical Drawing: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier,” by Juliette Aristides
“The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression,” by Gary Faigin
Follow the book and see more work by the contributors at the Hoffmann Watercolor Facebook page.