For all the watercolor fans among you, today I present a beautifully illustrated book about various techniques to add texture to paintings created with this medium. This is:

“Watercolour Textures” by Ann Blockley. HarperCollins Publishers, Artist’s Studio Collection, London, 2007, 128 pages.

The book cover.

Book cover.

Is it for you?

This book has been thought for people who already have a good knowledge of watercolor but wish to experiment more with this medium. It is also for those who are open to use other mediums such as gouache and acrylic to complement watercolor.

Overview of the Content


The first chapter briefly reviews various basic watercolor techniques contributing to create texture with visual examples: wash, brush marks, drips, scratches, masking fluid, wax reserve, plastic film, salt, and more.

If you do not know these basic techniques, you may find that the author covers them too quickly to your liking. It depends on your level of knowledge and experience of the medium.

The Painting Surface

In the second chapter, Ann Blockley speaks of the painting surface, and how it plays an important role in the texture of your painting from the beginning.

One method that she particularly seems to love is to use mat cardboard and add acrylic gesso on it, not only to seal the cardboard, but also to create a textured background to work with. This is undoubtedly the technique which most seduced me in this book and which reminds me of tests that I did with marble powder as a background to a watercolor (look here for an example) .

The Creative Process

Probably the most ambitious topic for a chapter and strangely one of the shortest is the third which concerns the creative process. You’ll find the essential, but with only 11 pages on the subject, you must not have too many illusions…

Tips by Topic

The rest is a series of chapters devoted to flowers and foliage, animals, still life, buildings and landscapes, sharing tips on composition, shadow, tones… and of course, texture.

Link to my Pinterest board dedicated to the Ann Blockley’s paintings. 


If you love books offering lots of step by step tutorials, you may be disappointed since there is just a few in this book. On the other hand, if you already know most of the watercolor basic’s and wish to be inspired by magnificent paintings and learn to add more texture to your artwork, the book “Watercolour Textures” by Ann Blockley will please you.

As for me who fell in love with the author’s landscape paintings, I’m now dreaming to get her other book: “Experimental Landscapes in Watercolour”

Useful Links

  • Ann Blockley The official website of the artist and author.
  • Promotional video for “Experimental Landscapes in Watercolour” (book and dvd).
Thanks for your presence on the blog and see you soon,

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