How to produce a children’s book

Leanne Maybury-Smith, is a friend and ex-student of mine who has written and illustrated a very good children’s book. I thought her story and process would be of interest to many others so asked her to write this article for you on how to produce a children’s book.

Written and illustrated by Leanne Maybury-Smith
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Watercolor Mud how to avoid it

New artists often have trouble understanding what watercolor mud is when we are talking about watercolor painting.

What it isn’t is the color of what we see in a puddle of wet dirt.

Mud, when talking about watercolor painting refers to a section of the painting which is not smooth and transparent looking. Instead, it looks dull and lifeless. If the paint is not allowed to flow on the paper, you will not see the colors softly merge with one another, which is one of watercolor’s beautiful qualities.

Understanding how watercolor mud is produced is the best way to avoid it.
Avoid creating watercolor mud with plenty of paint and water in your brush and quick light brush strokes
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Free watercolor course

This free watercolor course is based on one I ran online with Zoom. I have decided to post it all on YouTube and will be a prerequisite for any new students who want to join my advanced classes – subject to availability. You can find all my videos, including the ones listed below on my YouTube Channel.

Here is a list of the videos, which you can see on YouTube. I have also provided a brief outline of each one.

Free watercolor course

Watercolor class 1 – Materials

This video covers the watercolor painting materials you will need for this course.

When people first decide to learn to paint with watercolors, they are often put off by the initial set up cost, if they buy the correct materials. These materials include artists quality watercolor paint (not student grade), good quality brushes, and paper. Poor paints, brushes, and paper, are often the first handicap an new student has to overcome. For this reason, the first dozen or so videos only require two brushes and three tubes of paint. Also all the paintings are done on smaller sheets of paper approximately 11″ x 7.5″ – this is what we call an eigth sheet. Later on additional brushes and paints will be required – and the size of the paintings we do will be quarter sheet.

This is the first video in my free watercolor course covering the materials.
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Free Watercolor Beginner Classes

I am producing a series of free watercolor beginner classes on YouTube. These videos cover the subjects, exercises, and paintings I normally do with my new inexperienced students. The course is desinged for anyone from absolute beginner to someone who has been struggling with watercolor painting. Once they get through these sections they are able to join in with my more advanced class.

Video 1: Watercolor painting materials

The first in the series, which I expect to run for about 10 weeks, covers the needed materials. I have kept ths to a minimum so if someone is not sure they will continue with the medium, and I hope they do, they will not be too much out of pocket.

I aim to make watercolor painting as easy to understand as possible so everyone can benefit from this wonderful medium.

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Watercolor painting demonstration of Skies and Reflections

Watercolor painting demonstration of skies and water. This is a free, full demonstration. Available on YouTube

Watercolor painting of skies and reflections – Port Stephens, NSW, Australia

My latest watercolor painting demonstration on YouTube covers the subject of skies and their reflections. It is based on a demonstration I did for the Macquarie Towns Art Society in Australia.

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