Holiday reading: Mastering Mood and Atmosphere in Watercolour by Joseph Zbukvic

In an effort to shake off my current watercolour malaise, I’ve brought some inspiration on holiday with me in the form of Joseph Zbukvic’s brilliant book ‘Mastering Mood and Atmosphere in Watercolour’.

I find it a wonderfully insightful book, rich with practical advice and examples from one of the best watercolour artists working today. He shares a tremendous amount of his experience, all learnt the hard way through sheer perseverance and practice. While I’m wary of trying imitate such a recognisable style, his advice is relevant to watercolour painters of every level.

My holiday studio

Suffice to say then that I’m finding it a great companion as I try to find my feet again with my painting.

I’m currently in the Loire valley in France. A beautiful verdant, open landscape, characterised by little clusters of farmhouses, barns and outbuildings.

Here’s a closer look at one of my sketches. Still a little overworked in some areas but I’m finding little chinks of light in other areas – and at least I’m beginning to enjoy myself again!

A4 sketch of some farm buildings


Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do quite a few more of these and who knows, one of them might even inspire something larger back at home. In the meantime though, it’s just nice to feel some enthusiasm creeping back in!

Apologies if I’ve been slower than usual in responding to comments etc. The campsite we’re on doesn’t have any wifi and my phone signal is too weak to access anything at all! I’m writing this on a garage forecourt in the pouring rain waiting for it to open after lunch!

Thoughts on Holiday reading: Mastering Mood and Atmosphere in Watercolour by Joseph Zbukvic

5 thoughts on “Holiday reading: Mastering Mood and Atmosphere in Watercolour by Joseph Zbukvic”

  1. Pingback: Sketching – the perfect tonic! –

    1. Thanks so much for this, I really appreciate it, (and am jealous that you live somewhere that looks like this!) Apologies too for such a tardy response but am only just catching up with things!

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