Marvelous Metallic Watercolors by Sarah Style is a book with 32 simple and easy-to-do projects.
I probably shouldn’t say ‘easy’, because that word varies according to a person’s knowledge and experience. But the book explains the techniques used and walks you through each project with clear instructions and photos.
Even if you are inexperienced, a little practice, and you’ll be whipping out these lettering and painting projects.
- Paperback : 168 pages
- Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.75 x 0.45 x 9 inches
- Language : English
The book has high quality, semi-gloss paper with six pages of heavier paper in the back (more about that later). The cover is printed with a shiny metallic ink. I had trouble photographing it because it changes in the light.
And having tried to capture metallic in a photo, I’ll say that I’m impressed with the photography in this book. The photos don’t always capture the shine, but they are always crisp and beautifully done.
Because of the quality of paper, the book is heavy for its size. Fortunately, it has a lay-flat binding so you can leave it open on your lap, a table or other surface to read or for reference as you work on a project. It will stay open on the page you want it be on.
Each project starts with a discussion of what you do in the project, a list of the supplies, and a thumbnail of the colors the author has used.
The instructions are given step-by-step with 2 to 30 steps depending on the complexity of the project. The one with 30 steps shows you how to paint a variety of leaves, so it is actually several related projects. You could do one leaf or all of them.
You can easily jump around and do the projects at random, but I strongly suggest reading through Part 1 first, especially if you are a beginner to watercolor. You’ll find explanations of the terms Sarah uses throughout, and know what techniques to expect.
I didn’t have the exact colors listed in the book and used what I had on hand instead. I think I came close. However, if you want to use the exact colors, the color and brand are listed by project in the Resources section of the book.
Getting Ready — Part 1
Part 1 prepares you for the projects, listing the supplies the author likes to use, and the techniques she uses.
Honestly, I love the projects, but I found the section on techniques the best part of the book. There is some very sound advice. It’s brief, but clear and explains the process clearly with supporting photos.
She discusses how to get your watercolors ready before starting to paint.
Next she explains wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and some brush techniques for both paintings and lettering.
Sarah describes how to gauge the best water-to-paint ratio to get the intensity of color you want, based on the physical hardness of the paint you are using. Learn this, and you are halfway to being an advanced watercolorist! It will help with all watercolors.
There is a page of 8 Basic Strokes for lettering practice, and then a page showing you how to put them together to form letters. There are also examples of four different lettering styles.
This part winds up with some brief troubleshooting that helps identify what the problem might be.
There are six pages of lettering styles to be used for reference or tracing.
The Lettering Projects — Part 2
The projects in Part 2-Magical Metallic Masterpieces are all lettering, not paintings. For instance, the project for Magnificent Mermaid shows you how to write out the word Mermaid while switching colors with each stroke.
You are shown how to blend colors for an *ombré effect, for alternating colors, and with a splotchy technique.
Next, you’re shown how to shadow your letters.
Then you’re given 10 projects that use the above techniques.
*ombré=a gradient effect where colors gradually change from one hue to another.
I chose to do the Adventure project which focuses on blending colors. I’m not very good at calligraphy and found the stroke exercises very helpful.
The Painting Projects — Part 3
Each of the painting projects includes an outline you can trace. Some of the outlines are numbered to show you where each color goes. With each project, you use one or more of the techniques covered in Part 1 as well as learning a few others.
Sarah lists the exact brand and colors she uses for each project in the resources section of the book, but you can use other colors. I don’t have the brands she lists, and didn’t have many of the same colors. For instance, her Gemstone project is done with five greens. I only have two, and then I just used blue to create the gemstone shown above.
The techniques covered with these projects:
- Softening edges
- Creating movement with color
- Painting different kinds of leaves
- How to paint different kinds of flower petals
What if there is a color you don’t have in metallic at all?
I didn’t have a red or pink, so I mixed a little Opera Pink with a White Pearl that I had for this Popsicle project, and ended up with a subtle shimmer. Substituting might give you a result that is a little different, but just as beautiful.
Two of the painting projects are done on black paper. This is the painting I did following the Northern Lights project.
The Ready-to-Paint Projects — Part 4
This section has six pre-printed pages ready to be painted — three lettering designs, and three pattern designs. They are printed on 250 gsm weight paper so they’ll hold up to watercolor.
The pages have dotted lines on the left so you know where to cut if you wish to remove the page for framing.
- How To Use This Book
- Part 1 – Toolkit Of Techniques
- Getting Started With Metallic Watercolors
- – What Are They?
- – What Makes Them Different From Traditional Watercolors?
- Materials To Create Showstopping Artwork
- – Watercolors
- – Paper
- – Brushes
- – Additional Supplies Needed
- – Optional Supplies
- Beginner Techniques To Set You Up For Success
- – Three Easy Steps to Prep Your Paint
- – Water Ratios
- – Basic Watercolor Techniques
- – How To Trace Onto Watercolor Paper
- – Metallic Watercolor Brush Lettering
- – 8 Basic Strokes
- Puddling Or Pooling
- Color Isn’t Showing Up Well
- Paint Isn’t Flowing The Way It Should Be
- Watercolor Absorbs Right Into The Paper
- Part 2 – Letter Like a Pro
- Blending Techniques
- Shadow Techniques
- Glazed Trichromatic Ombré
- Glittering Rainbow Ombré
- Whimsical Sunset Ombré
- Magnificent Mermaid
- Radiant Rainbow
- Twinkling Ladybug
- Glimmering Giraffe
- Luminous Leopard
- Never Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle
- Born to Sparkle
- Part 3-Magical Metallic Masterpieces
- Amazing Agate
- Bedazzled Bee
- Delightful Dragonfly
- Shimmering Shell
- Mouthwatering Watermelon Popsicle
- Gleaming Gemstone
- Sparkling Sea
- Beaming Butterfly
- Nostalgic Northern Lights
- Ultimate Unicorn
- Pleasing Patterns
- Lustrous Leaves
- Leaf Builder
- Flashy Flowers
- Flower Builder
- Part 4 – Sparkling Ready-To-Paint Designs
- Change the World
- Positively A-Z
- Tranquil Mandala
- Floral Explosion
- Rainbow Skies
- Acknowledgements/Thank you
- About the Author
About the Author
Hailing from California, Sarah Style has taught over 10,000 students worldwide, specializes in metallic watercolor and calligraphy, and shares her knowledge of the medium at her blog and shop Sarah Style Designs.
Want to buy a copy? The book is available now on Amazon!
You can learn more about Sarah Style at:
I received one copy of this book from Page Street Publishing for the purposes of this review. I received no other considerations, though this post may contain affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in