ARCs Art Book Reviews Books Featured Nonfiction

A Field Guide to Color: Watercolor Explorations in Hues, Tints, Shades, and Everything in Between by Lisa Solomon


Play with paint, get creative with color, and discover your personal palette–a joyful, interactive workbook for creativity, self-expression, and deepening your understanding of how color works.

Color is one of the most profound ways we have to express ourselves. In this lively workbook for artists, graphic designers, hobbyists, and creators of all types, you will journal your way through fresh and enriching ways to develop a more personal connection to color in your art and life. Using watercolors, gouache, or any other water-based medium, dive into color theory and explore your personal style while playing with a balanced blend of experiments and color meditations. Discover a personal color wheel while exploring tints and shades. Experiment with color mixing while you make as many of one color as you can – and then name them all (honeydew green, avocado green, mint ice cream…). Through playful prompts and inspiring examples, and with lots of room for painting, this book will guide you to a new or expanded relationship with color and deepen your understanding of what color can do for you.

A Field Guide to Color: Watercolor Explorations in Hues, Tints, Shades, and Everything in BetweenA Field Guide to Color: Watercolor Explorations in Hues, Tints, Shades, and Everything in Between by Lisa Solomon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FTC disclosure: I would like to thank Roost Books for providing me with an advance reader copy via access to the galley for free through the NetGalley program.

Such a fun, hands-on way to learn about watercolor from a book! I’d recommend this to anyone, whether you’re new to watercolor painting or a seasoned artist. It would make a great gift and an excellent time at a paint party, family time, and small group crafting clubs.

I have only recently started to pick up painting about a year ago, something I hadn’t done since probably high school. I’d classify myself as more of a novice, especially when it comes to watercolor and understanding color specifically. I learned a lot going through all the color exercises.

This book is well organized with fun activities and clear instruction. The overall content of the book as far as communication of color concept and application was intriguing and easy to follow.

I enjoyed the author’s methods, pacing, and personality that she brought into the book. It was wonderful to experience learning from art book from someone who conveys as much enthusiasm as she did. It really felt like I was taking a class in person, built on solid theory with personal experiences and touches on topics such as color meditation exercises which I had never heard of before. It was really good practice for me, especially the color matching and graduated color exercises which also incorporated learning shapes and lines.

There were a lot of amazing resources in the back including additional book recommendations, tools, supplies, and shops. I am excited to check out the classes offered as recommended by the book which can be found at Creativebug.

Because it’s set up like a workbook and I received a digital ARC, I was not able to try painting on the pages that are included in the published book, so I used my own watercolor paper and therefore, I cannot comment on that neat feature of the book other than it’s a really wonderful idea!

Check out my and my sister’s watercolor art from our paint party below.


“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”

~My Heart Leaps Up, a poem by William Wordsworth

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My watercolor art.

Self Portrait (watercolor) | Erica Robbin
Self Portrait (watercolor) | Erica Robbin
Hibiscus (watercolor) | Erica Robbin
Hibiscus (watercolor) | Erica Robbin

My sister’s watercolor work from our paint party.

Piano Room (watercolor) | SillySallyMoon
Piano Room (watercolor) | SillySallyMoon
Sleeping in the Lily Pond (watercolor) | SillySallyMoon
Sleeping in the Lily Pond (watercolor) | SillySallyMoon
Morning Coffee (watercolor) | SillySallySomething
Morning Coffee (watercolor) | SillySallySomething
Evening Tea (watercolor) | SillySallySomething
Evening Tea (watercolor) | SillySallySomething

My sister is amazing at watercolor, you can see more of her artwork here. I hope to paint like her someday!

Do you paint or want to try learning watercolor painting?

Featured Thoughts for a Rainy Day ☂

2018: The Year of Just Realizing Stuff


“Like, I feel like every year has a new energy, and I feel like this year is really about, like, the year of just realizing stuff. And everyone around me, we’re all just, like, realizing things…” ~Kylie Jenner.

I can relate to a certain element of finding out what you didn’t know before. So here are 10 things I learned in 2018, some are more personal revelations and some are just interesting facts:

  1. This year I made a YouTube channel, started on Goodreads and Instagram, opened up a shop at Redbubble, and learned how to build this website!

    It’s amazing the things I did to entertain myself with while lying in bed with casts on both legs recovering from fractures the beginning of this year. I’m still figuring out a lot along the way but I’d like to thank the people behind the many resources available. For links to tips and tricks that have helped me along the way and my sites visit:






    Here is a YouTube video I made where I had some fun learning about cinematography:

  2. Did you know that Caesar is pronounced more like Kaiser instead of like seezer?

    Yup, the C is actually pronounced like a hard K in the original Latin.

  3. Are you wanting to learn a new craft?

    I highly encourage you to do so! I took the time this year to learn how to paint in acrylic, oil, and watercolor and I am loving it. Oils are my favorite so far since you can take your time painting with them. Here are my first paintings in each media:

And here is my latest oil painting project in anticipation of an upcoming partnership between Redbubble and Cartoon Network:

  • When did the dashes drop off of the word email?

    Apparently I missed this change last year. You can read more about it in this article From E-mail to Email: Is the Sky Falling?

  • Did you know puffins fly?

    Of course they do, makes sense… but have you ever seen one that wasn’t perched or waddling on the ground? Check out the Instagram posts by photographer Justin Hofman. He takes some stunning photos, including puffins like this one here. They look so imbalanced it just seems impossible that they would fly. Be sure to visit The Nordic Visitor blog for more facts about these amazing birds.

  • Speaking of birds, what is your interpretation of the Bird of Paradise flower? 

  • Wrong interpretation of the Bird of Paradise flower, photo courtesy of Reddit

    It’s called bird of paradise because it looks like the left picture, not the right.

    7. Did you know that the word “smog” is a combination smoke and fog?

    The word was coined and used to describe smoky fog, its opacity, and odor.

    8. Why are key number pads and telephone pads a different configuration?

    I’ve always wondered this and it drives me nuts. The article Why is the keypad arrangement different for a telephone and a calculator?  has some interesting theories.

    9. The world might actually be better than you think it is.

    I read (actually listened via audiobook) a book this summer called Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World – And Why Things are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling. Be sure to take the Gapminder Test 2018 to see how much you know ahead of reading the book.

    Factfulness by Hans Rosling book © 2018 | All rights reserved.

    10. Have you ever noticed a piece of clothing shift into a really visually distracting pattern?

    Well there’s a name for that and it’s called “moiré” and Lightroom has an editing tool to fix it. You can read more about this strange interference in the article Fixing Moiré in Lightroom.

    11. Bonus Review- I have a renewed passion for photography.

    It’s something I’ve always enjoyed as a fun hobby, but never took it any further than that. I’m really behind in understanding skills and techniques, gear, and editing for as long as I’ve actually been taking photos. But this year I have learned so much and I now shoot in raw which has been a major change for me. Here is my most popular photo of 2018 and prints are available at Redbubble:

    Wailea Sunset © 2018 | All rights reserved.

    12. Bonus Shoutout- An artist who inspired me in 2018.

    I would also like to give a shoutout to an artist who has inspired me along the way. She is amazing and you can check out her work here: SillySallyMoon.

    2018 has been quite the journey for me and I’d like to thank you for all your support in my endeavors!

    I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you learned in 2018 in the comments below and be sure to include your social media @username (links won’t be accepted) so we can all see your latest projects and works of art! And who knows? You could be featured next year!