Book review: “Four-Step Watercolour” by Marina Bakasova = 3.5*

I found it difficult to decide on a number of stars for this review as there were parts of the book that I thought were amazing but also parts that I felt were lacking…so I averaged it out at a 3.5* out of 5.

‘Four-Step Watercolour: 150 Skill-Building Projects to Paint’ is immediately enticing by the title and offer alone…watercolour projects in 4 steps? I’m in!

Following the contents page, the book starts with meeting Marina, the author and creator, before moving on to materials, tools and techniques.

The technique pages are amazing and I really, really love how Marina covers a range of techniques in a bitesize, accessible manner. Once you’ve had a play with the techniques, you can then move on to the four-step projects!

The projects are broken down into a variety of themes including vegetables, drinks, flowers, animals, and more! I think it is incredibly clever how each theme is assigned a colour so you can flick through the book and visually identify the theme by the colour on the page’s corners!

I also really like how each project says the ‘skill level’ as easy, medium or high. In reality, however, I didn’t feel the labels were that accurate as it very much depends how you classify “easy”.

The palm leaf is categorised as ‘easy’ so I presumed this would be suitable for beginners and it was my first attempt at watercolour. I found the “four step” instructions too simplistic and unclear. As a beginner, I really struggled to know what to do (how to apply it, what brush to use, what technique)…so whilst I tried to follow the instructions, I ended up being unable to, and did my own thing instead!

I had another go with the tulip too but I found the same problem…it just didn’t have enough instructions to make it accessible if you’re new to watercolour.

So, with that being said, I averaged this book at 3.5*. If you’re fairly confident with watercolour and you’re looking for an ideas sourcebook then this would be a fantastic book for you! If, however, you’re not familiar with watercolour and you’re looking for an easy-to-understand, accessible book on watercolour then I wouldn’t recommend this book (Search Press do have some amazing Watercolour books that are definitely more accessible so check out my other book reviews and, in particular, the Search Press ‘Love Watercolour’ and ‘Watercolour Plant Art’)!