Turner’s Apprentice

A Watercolour Masterclass


A unique artist’s manual that allows you to become an apprentice to one of the world’s greatest painters


ISBN: 9780500294499 Category:

Tony Smibert


How can a modern painter go about learning the techniques and methods of a longdead master? Drawing on years of research and practice, this book shows you how. Tony Smibert brings us a virtual ‘apprenticeship’, sharing a method and approach of his own that emulates Turner and yet is contemporary, original and innovative. Smibert is known for watercolours inspired by Turner and the golden age of British watercolour (1750-1850). His method of painting in Turner’s style, informed by a fifty-year journey into non-Western painting cultures, ingeniously draws together ideas and principles from East and West to bring out an entirely new perspective on Turner’s practice.

A working manual for artists, the book brings together elements of practice from historic masters including Leonardo, Claude Lorraine and Monet as well as Turner. This is a book for anyone aspiring to learn from any master, explaining the practice and philosophy of traditional apprenticeship from the point of view of diverse models. Even to those who may never paint, Turner’s Apprentice offers a tantalizing glimpse of the thrill of painting and learning, and an inspiring tool for art appreciation.

Additional information

Weight 775 g
Dimensions 24 x 26.9 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 23 January 2020
Number of pages 144
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 24 x 26.9 cm
Weight 775 g


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Tony Smibert is Visiting Artist Researcher at Tate Britain, where he explores and demonstrates Turner's technique. As an artist, he has had over fifty solo exhibitions around the world. He is also a trained specialist art teacher, with a number of books and articles to his name. His most recent book, Tate Watercolour Manual: Lessons from the Great Masters was published in 2014. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) by the Australian Government in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Ian Warrell was a curator at Tate for more than twenty-five years and is the leading authority on the life and work of Turner.