A couple of new to me books are No Excuses Watercolor and No Excuses Art Journaling, by Gina Rossi Armfield. I requested review copies of these books after students recommended them. They are both enjoy very well done! I love Gina's style and her quirky expressive animal paintings. The materials and techniques are solid and take you from basics through more complex ways to make those paint work for you.
No Excuses Art Journaling is a fusion of Planner Girl and Mixed Media Journal Artist. This could be a great way to work for you especially if you are new to art journaling. There are a lot of prompts and "tasks" in the book that will help to keep you on track. Find color inspiration, writing sparks and different takes on these ideas from other artists such as Jenny Doh and Traci Lyn Huskamp. I have to admit that this book confuses me a little bit. I don't quite "get" it. But you may.
Alisa Golden's Painted Paper has been a staple in my studio for several years now. This is one of the books that I turn to if I'm scratching my head. I can leaf through for instant visuals that will light my fire or read about a technique. For bookbinders, there is the added bonus of Alisa's delicate, elegant bindings. (Note: This book looks to be going out of print. It's available for cheap now.)
Another long time favorite is Heather Jones's Water Paper Paint. This is a book I've turned to many times just to play with ideas. I love her color and pattern sense. Straight forward lots of examples, this is another book that you can leaf through and land anywhere for inspiration.
To sum these four books up, I'd say that they are all joyful books. The authors share generously and the photography is great. Every page is full of these talented artists' beautiful work.
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