Friday, October 11, 2013

TALKING ABOUT RON RANSON - and a few others.

I can't resist browsing in OXFAM bookshops and there's a good on in Hereford where I came across a clean copy of Ron Ranson's book 'Watercolour Fast and Loose.' He gained popularity by his using a 2in Japanese Hake to quickly dash in the main features of his watercolours. I remember he was a favorite with many Ludlow Art Soc members who often asked me  if I was going to buy a hake. I never did because one of our tutor members had directed me to Jack Merriot's 'Discovering Watercolour' - long out of print I found a copy in a second hand bookshop in Tewkesbury.

I always thought the title of Ranson's book was unfortunate - nothing of quality is ever executed fast or loose. For me dear old Ron doesn't rate alongside Trevor Chamberlain and I note he included some reproductions of Trevor's watercolours in later chapters of his book. In fairness to him though he did introduce beginners in watercolour  to a brush that develops confidence to boldly apply first washes and build on them.

I never owned Ron's book and I was tempted to buy it for old times sake but – no – I was seduced by 'Nature's Engraver' a biography of Thomas Bewick. Just shows I can rarely escape from an OXFAM bookshop without buying something.

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