Watercolor Your Way

Techniques, Palettes, and Projects To Fit Your Skill Level and Creative Goals

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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 02 Feb 2024

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Watercolor Your Way meets you right where you are with watercolor. Whether you’re dipping your toe in, cannon-balling in, or honing your craft—this book is for you.
Written and illustrated by artist Sarah Cray, co-founder of the art education platform Let’s Make Art, Watercolor Your Way is designed to inform and guide you at your current skill level.
Each of four chapters focuses on different techniques and supplies, building on each other so you can bring your watercolor art to the next level. Instead of presenting everything about paints, color mixing, and techniques all at once, it’s offered in four small installments, with frequently asked questions, pro tips, and projects geared toward where you are on your artistic path, so you can get to the fun part—creating with watercolor—faster! 
  • For Those Just Starting Out. Focuses on just three fundamental elements: shape, the wet-on-wet technique, and primary colors.
  • Building Confidence and Skill. Spotlights creating value and form with watercolor.
  • Finessing and Enhancing. Centers on adding detailed lines and backgrounds, and adjusting values by hue.
  • Finding Your Style. Presents a process of how to develop a style that’s uniquely yours.

With Watercolor Your Way, you can explore watercolor the way you’ve always wanted to, with expert instruction on a wide range of exciting techniques, themes, and color palettes that fit your needs as an artist.
Watercolor Your Way meets you right where you are with watercolor. Whether you’re dipping your toe in, cannon-balling in, or honing your craft—this book is for you.
Written and illustrated by...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780760384664
PRICE $22.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Featured Reviews

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This was such a cute delightful book. I’ve been getting back into watercolor after years of taking a break. This brought back so many lightbulbs and techniques I lost over time or just was brain fogged about. The layout was simple that it didn’t confuse me as a dyslexic reader, and the author was clear with their delivery of information.

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"Watercolor Your Way" by Sarah Cray is not just a book; it's a visual feast and a gateway to the enchanting world of watercolors. From the moment you lay eyes on its cover, the book invites you into a realm where colors dance and creativity flourishes. Sarah Cray, with her masterful techniques, guides even the most novice artists to discover their hidden potential.

The first thing that strikes you is the book's visual appeal. The font choices and layout are meticulously crafted, making the reading experience not only informative but also aesthetically delightful. Each page is a testament to Cray's dedication to blending education with beauty.

But the magic doesn't stop there. The color combinations used throughout the book are visually pleasing, demonstrating the power of watercolors in creating mood and atmosphere. This is not just a book; it's a color palette that teaches and inspires.

One of the most innovative features of "Watercolor Your Way" is the inclusion of QR codes. These aren't just any QR codes; they unlock a world of tutorial videos, allowing readers to see techniques in action. This multimedia approach enriches the learning experience, making complex techniques accessible and enjoyable.

The artwork presented in this book is nothing short of stunning. Each illustration is a testament to Cray's skill and artistry, inspiring readers to pick up their brushes and explore their creativity.

The convenience doesn't end there. The book includes QR codes to download templates, making it incredibly easy for beginners to start their watercolor journey. This thoughtful addition shows Cray's commitment to making art accessible to everyone.

The book's cover deserves a special mention. It's not just a cover; it's a promise of the wonders contained within. Its design perfectly captures the essence of the book – simple, elegant, and bursting with potential.

Lastly, the way this book reads and flows is a joy. It's beginner-friendly without being condescending, informative without being overwhelming. Sarah Cray has achieved the perfect balance, making "Watercolor Your Way" not just a guide, but a companion on your creative journey.

In conclusion, "Watercolor Your Way" is more than just a book – it's a treasure trove for anyone wanting to delve into the world of watercolors. Whether you're a beginner or looking to refine your skills, this book is a must-have. Sarah Cray has not just written a book; she has crafted an experience that is as educational as it is delightful.

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I am just beginning to learn to water color so this book is a perfect find! The step by step instructions are super helpful. I like that there are sketched examples as well as painted ones. The hydrangea guide is my favorite part!!

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Lovely. I love attempting art and this is an excellent guide book. She has color palettes, how to accomplish what she shows on the page, and step by step instructions that give me the confidence to grab a paint brush.

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I received a copy of this from NetGalley.

I really liked this one! It gives progressively harder projects to create, from loose flowers to detailed subjects, like animals. The author also included other information about why she chose particular supplies and general tips about where to go from there. I found the parts about the paints and paint types interesting. Step by step instructions included pictures of the steps being done, which is really helpful. Plus, the artwork was really pretty, which I find to not always be the case when the book is focused on just teaching a certain technique in a lesson. But why would I want to learn to paint just to do something unattractive? No thanks. I think this is a good book for beginning to intermediate level watercolorists. (I'd consider myself intermediate, if that matters. )

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Often when you see intro books (and I love intro books) they try to throw everything at the reader right away and then the projects ramp up over the course of the book. This one takes a very different, and very lovely approach. It starts you off with "hey, let's mix primary colors" and has a whole first chapter with only those three paints and a simple brush. So great for the genuine beginner to get started. Each chapter then introduces one more fundamental thing (value, tone) and progressively more complex projects. There are even traceable outlines for the more complex projects, so that new students don't have to worry about drawing a tiger, and can instead focus just on the paint. This book holds your hands in the best way.

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Another wonderful watercolor book by Sarah Cray. Her instructions and projects are always inspiring! These are approachable for anyone to try, even beginners. You can use what you have and don't need special supplies to try these out, and the best part is the outlines are included in the back! But you can always challenge yourself and try to sketch it out first. Don't miss out on this if you are needing inspiration or just want to up your watercolor game.

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Thank you, Quarry, for the advance reading copy.

The book is a very detailed yet basic guide on how to use watercolours mainly for drawing flowers (when it comes to this guidebook) with a few basic guidelines on how to draw wildlife.

I find the techniques rather useful than any of the guide available anywhere else.

The book also answers some of the most asked and important questions regarding watercolours and their effects on how we apply them.

I really appreciate the templates provided towards the end of the book.

I believe you will get the most helpful and useful information from this book if you are learning about watercolour art and painting.

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Watercolor Your Way is an exceptional how-to guide for all levels. The book provides basic guidance for beginners and challenges more advanced painters. Highly recommended for individual artists--but especially for library and school collections.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC of Watercolor Your Way! This is such a great guide to watercolor. I'm speaking as someone who has minimal experience with this craft, but I want to make it clear how encouraging I found this book to be, especially while still being incredibly informative and helpful.

I think Watercolor Your Way is the perfect gift for anyone who wants to try watercolor. Or please just get this for yourself if you find this is something you're interested in. Beginners will adore this book, as its everything you need to feel comfortable trying something new. It will help with the basic foundations and each chapter will help you progress! I think that because there are those more advanced techniques included as well, this book is also perfect if you have worked with watercolors before and want to improve!

I think Sarah Cray did such a wonderful job all around making a beautiful and inspiring guide to watercolor! You absolutely want her to be your teacher as you explore this craft and I can't recommend her book enough!

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I love Sarah Cray and her ability to teach anyone how to paint. I have loved her video tutorials for years with Let's Make Art! This book is another great addition to her teaching collection. Thank you!

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This is a great book for those of all levels who want to try watercoloring. The author provides the color she uses and explains how to paint what she shows with detail instructions. From this book, it makes me want to get a paint brush and start and this is coming from someone who is not artistic.

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An incredibly delightful tutorial on watercolour and its many techniques and styles!
Written clearly, beautifully illustrated, and encouraging along every step of the way, it was a pleasure to read and an immensely useful reference. I recommend to anyone who desires to step into the world of watercolor, or those who have some experience under their brush but are looking for a good book to lay out many of the fundamentals.
Fun and unique, this is a refreshing and useful guide to those who wish to join the watercolour medium!

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Such a great book! I’m a total beginner at water color and this made it so do-able. The projects are easy to follow and I appreciated the videos that were available to accompany the book.

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I've always wanted to watercolor, and this fabulous how-to book is perfect for beginners and more advanced artists alike. The illustrations are stunning, the projects are easy to follow, and there are templates to help you get started. Highly recommended!

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This was a nice refresher for me. I've been wanting to get back into Water Color and acrylic painting. This was a great way to spark that love for it again and super easy to follow and understand.

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This watercolor book is a great book for all levels, especially beginners. Things are explained in such a friendly and encouraging way and gives you the freedom and confidence to get started. Anyone can learn to watercolor paint. I look forward to buying a physical copy when it is published.

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I've always wanted to learn how to do watercolors, so the ARC of Watercolor Your Way by @sarahdandelioncray came at just the right time! It's great for beginners and more advanced painters alike, and full of projects to try! It will be available in early March 🎨🖌️🖼️

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Watercolor Your Way
Sarah Cray
I’ve decided to attempt my hand at watercolor. I knew I needed guidance, so I turned to Sarah Cray. This is a beautiful book. Author Sarah Cray focuses on techniques and supplies. She doesn’t overload you with information instead offering it in bite size pieces. She has included in FAQ, tips, projects, information about paints, mixing color and techniques all at once.

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I've always wanted to watercolor...and this book was a great tutorial! Starting with easy strokes, work your way up from leaves, to flowers, to hills, to tigers and more...this book will tell you what you need along the way. Loved the easy instructions and pictures that went along with the steps. It even has outlines and templates in the back of the book to help guide you. Beautiful book!

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I enjoyed this watercolor book very much.
The drawings in the book were amazing and the way the art is being taught is very easy to follow and includes great techniques. Its will be a great book for people wanting to learn more of the art of watercolor

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Watercolor Your Way is a really beautiful guide to developing your skills with the medium. Probably best suited for beginner to intermediate levels, the four sections (Just Starting Out, Building Confidence and Skill, Finessing and Enhancing, and Finding Your Style) combine to form a developmental approach to teaching watercolor painting. The projects included are beautiful, and although they are all themed around nature, there is a lot of variance, from basic florals, to various styles of landscapes, to insects and birds, and even a stunning white tiger! The collection of projects is cohesive but still varied enough to keep you engaged.

You can really tell the author has experience teaching others. Her developmental approach is evidenced not only in the arrangement of chapters and projects, but also in her timing of presenting skills to practice. In my experience, a lot of times watercolor books will have a section in the very beginning that outlines tools and skills all at once, and then they will include the projects later. In Watercolor Your Way, concepts are introduced or expanded upon throughout and alongside the projects. For instance, the author included basic information about the primary colors needed in the beginning of the book and encouraged readers to learn by experimenting and painting. Then, in the third section, color theory is revisited, after the artist has time to play with the basics on their own. I find that to be somewhat unique to this book, and I really enjoy it.

I hadn’t heard of this author before, but now I am definitely inclined to check out more of her work. Definitely would recommend!

*Thanks to NetGalley, Quarto Publishing Group - Quarry, and Sarah Cray for the opportunity to review a free eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review!*

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I’ve so enjoyed learning from Sarah Cray through Let’s Make Art since 2020! Her work is beautiful and she makes water coloring so enjoyable for everyone! This book is just another grand slam from her! It was fun to preview it digitally and I can’t wait to order a paper copy!

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Watercolor your Way is beautifully done and very well presented m. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy and I can wait to delve into the beautiful tutorials. The pictures are breathtaking and inspiring. The directions are clear and easy to follow. I wish they were a bit more in-depth but they are well layer out, easy to follow and Will produce great results. I couldn’t be happier.

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This is a beautiful watercolor book that gives step by step instructions along with templates and outlines. I love how the book is organized and walks you through starting from with the very beginning of watercoloring. I am looking forward to spending more time watercoloring this year.

Thanks NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for this ARC.

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Loved this book, can’t wait to try out some of the ideas and techniques.

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.

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I have been following Sarah Cray's work for awhile now through Let's Make art and on social media. I love her art and her teaching style, so naturally I really enjoyed this book! I love the positive tone of the book, as well as the colorful, gorgeous images throughout. Sarah really breaks down the medium in a simple way to help even the least experienced painter feel comfortable with starting. I love her 'pep talk' sections of the book to boost morale and keep you going, and I find the shape guides for each project to be an excellent help when approaching a new subject. The book is filled with a wide range of projects from simple to more complex. All along the way, Sarah cheers you on & encourages you to continue trying and learning. As a lover of integrating elements of nature into my art, the botanical projects were my favorites! I did like the animal ones as well. This would be an amazing book to add to my art library and to gift to those interested in learning more about watercolor painting!

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Thinking of doing a fun event at our store with this one! Love love it for our corner of the market. Thank you so much for the inspiration & advanced read.

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I am absolutely in love with this book. It does a wonderful job explaining various techniques for watercoloring. I have put it on my to purchase list.

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As someone who is fairly new to watercoloring, I knew I had to check this book out! This book has some really helpful background information and tips around the basics of watercoloring.

Rather than focusing on specific techniques, this book serves as more of a how-to guide to watercoloring specfic images (rolling hills, carrots, leaves, flowers, etc.

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Watercolor Your Way is an excellent introduction to watercolor painting. Sarah Cray explains the basics without overwhelming the reader. Begin painting with just a three colors and two brushes! Basic strokes and easy to learn step by step techniques lead to lovely compositions. By the end, you will feel accomplished and proud of your work.

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What a great guide for beginner and advanced painters alike! I've dabbled in watercolor and am entirely self-taught, unless you count 8th grade art class. The tips, tricks, and skills laid out by Cray are incredibly well-thought out and each section guides the reader smoothly through each skill in a very approachable way. This is a book I will reference over and over as I continue to practice and grow!

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This is hands-down my favorite watercolor tutorial book I’ve come across thus far. First of all, I’ve been following Sarah Cray since the pandemic and have learned SO much from her and the other artists at Let’s Make Art. She made watercolor one of my very favorite mediums. This book is everything you could want, if you’re ready to start watercolor art. The pages progress from beginning information and projects, all the the way to bigger challenges for even the most seasoned artist. One of the aspects that really pushed this to my favorite tutorial book, was the barcode scan assistance! If a certain part feels tricky, she doesn’t leave you hanging in confusion. Simply scan the barcode and one of her wonderful videos comes up to help explain in detail the task. Her writing style is also easily digestible, personable, and fun. Highly recommend for all artist levels!

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"Watercolor Your Way" by Sarah Gray is an exceptional guide for beginners venturing into the world of watercolor as well as intermediate artists and beyond. Gray skillfully breaks down the intricacies of watercolor painting, offering a step-by-step approach that makes the learning process accessible and enjoyable. The inclusion of techniques such as "wet on wet" and "wet on dry" provides a comprehensive foundation for beginners to explore and experiment with various styles.

One of the book's standout features is its progressive difficulty, allowing readers to seamlessly advance their skills as they move through the chapters. Gray's thoughtful guidance is akin to having a personal instructor, making the learning journey both informative and engaging. This aspect is particularly valuable for those, like myself, who wish to apply watercolour techniques to creative endeavors like bullet journaling and reading journals.

What sets this book apart is Gray's emphasis on adaptability. She wisely advises on materials suitable for each stage of the learning process, advocating against the misconception that beginners must invest in top-tier supplies. This approach not only encourages experimentation but also helps individuals discover their preferred paints and papers, aligning with their unique watercolouring style.

As someone interested in incorporating watercolor into journaling, I found Gray's insights and practical tips invaluable. Her encouraging tone and user-friendly instructions make "Watercolor Your Way" an ideal introductory text for anyone looking to enhance their artistic expressions through watercolour, making it a must-read for both aspiring artists and journaling enthusiasts alike.

There were a couple of typos that I came across in the book, but these didn't detract from the overall readability of the book.

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Beautiful, amazing, detail book. Such a good job explaining everything to help you paint better and understand concepts. She puts great examples of what to do and it is just so beautiful. Definitely recommend.

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Watercolour Your Way by Sarah Cray is absolutely delightful and a different take on watercolour painting. There is good advice for the beginner and what I really liked was the section on shape. Cray has clear sub-headers and this immediately grabbed me as I like to be able to access a book as quick reference after I have read it

The Pep Talk section is a really nice touch. This book is more like learning alongside a friend than with a teacher

The Step by step guidance to create projects is very well presented, but I also like the "What You Will Need" sections, that give a shape guide, colours and supplies. The shape guide and colours is indispensable if you like ot keep things organised

This is more like a guided workbook that is not work? The next section focuses more on light as opposed to tone and I like this different perspective (I had chosen three different watercolour books for this very reason, to be comprehensive and cover a wide vareity of different perspectives)

The finessing and enhancing section was really helpful as this is something I do struggle with and there were a lot of useful tips. The author has also included a section to find your style. She encourages you to eplore and find your own techniques and I really like this gentle approach. Then on to FAQ's and templates

This book had a gorgeous aesthetic and was a joy to read

Thank you to NetGalley for this stunning eARC. This review is left voluntarily

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I enjoy watercolor books. I learn something new from each one I read.

The tutorials were detailed and the instructions were easy to follow. The projects looked better than simple beginner projects. When completed, you could have a framable piece of artwork to be proud of.

I would definitely want to add this book to my watercolor art instruction library. I would also recommend it to those artists I know that dabble in watercolors.

Thank you NetGalley, the author, and the publisher
for the opportunity to read and give an honest review of this book.

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I am fairly new to watercolor and was thrilled to get an ARC copy of Sarah’s book. Great information for beginners and some great projects to get you started. It is such a pretty book!! Highly recommended for anyone wanting to start their watercolor journey.

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