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September 2013



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My currently best-selling books--14 years and counting!

Well, how cool! I just got my royalty report for all my North Light books currently in print, and was surprised to find that theses two top the lifetime sales, by a LOT. (They were both done in 1995, which has something to do with it, of course, but they're still going strong!)

First Steps Painting Watercolors (First Step Series) started from my in-person workshops--I'd done a few of these colorful demos for my students, and they often said "PLEASE tell me that's going to be your next book!" Soooo...I talked to North Light, and so it was! It ended up with a friendly, personal tone, dozens and dozens of illustrations and a lot of input from my wonderful students.

First Steps Sketching and Drawing (First Step Series) is one of my own favorites--I'm so crazy about drawing, and being able to combine my love of sketching in nature, sketching my animals and flowers and landscapes and more, in black and white and color was just lovely.

(Both these books are "Look Inside" books on Amazon--you can click on the title link to take you there, then choose the look inside option.  Do remember to hit "Surprise me" to see more than you would otherwise.)

I still remember working on these two, in tandem, at my cabin in the woods--an idyllic time for me. I enjoyed doing both of them..lots of hand-lettering, approachable demos, and just plain fun; I'm just delighted they continue to reach an audience!

And of course I had to say currently best selling--those two are still in print, and Watercolor Tricks & Techniques: 75 New and Classic Painting Secrets, my MOST popular book, is not. But it IS the one I'm currently revising and bringing the techniques and materials into the 21st Century!  Love that new cover...it's in pre-order status at Amazon right now, due out in February of 2010. 

Thank you, F & W, for a lot of years of supportive, responsive TLC--it is much appreciated!



Painting Watercolors

A fun memory, Kate. When I decided to retire, I took my vacation in the local library, dragged a chair over to the stacks, and sat there, many days, one after another, going through all the art books. I read yours through and was enchanted with a demo of your goats on a snowy hill on page 106. So I took a list home so I could stockpile while I was working and had the money. Lost the list, of course, and forgot whose goats I had been oogling and coveting, but had no chance to go back. A few years later, I found your Tips online and it was downhill all the way. The cover of Painting Watercolors looked very familiar so I bought it and-- glorosky!-- there were my coveted goats.

Re: Painting Watercolors

Neat story, Annie! I'm glad you found the painting, I'd forgotten what book it was in, myself!
I bought Sketching and Drawing at Michaels a couple years ago (do you have the chain store Michaels in the mid-west?). I went there to get some craft supplies for a class I was teaching at the nature center where I was working, and wandered into the drawing section. I immediately grabbed it, along with some colored pencils which were on sale. I look at it from time to time to get ideas for my nature journal, and hope that some day I will have the time to work through it from cover to cover.
Yes, we have Michaels here, too--and I was delighted to see my book there! I hope you enjoy working through it...
Yaaayyy, Kate! This is wonderful news!
Thank you, girl!

Art in books

Hi Kate,
As I said on your Facebook page, your books are the ones I refer to and refer my students to as the best on their subjects. And now that I'm working on a book project myself (commissioned to do 3 paintings for a book requiring multiple photos of in progress work) I have an even deeper sense of awe of what you've accomplished! I spent most of the day yesterday trying to find a way to take decent photos and then adjusting them in Photoshop. ARGH! Have you ever posted about your set up for taking your WIP photos? I'd love to learn from your experience.

Re: Art in books

Hi Miss Jana! Thank you! And congratulations, I'm so pleased for you!

I haven't posted about that, though I keep intending to. The current issue of Watercolor Artist has a quite thorough article about just that, though! I looks a tad more complex than what I do, but it's a good overview and looked very helpful.