Having been at it for quite awhile I have had to figure out a lot of things for myself. I am not averse to instructional books, however too many just show a series of stages without an explanation. I recall many years ago when I read an explanation of how to make something look round. This was great because it explained how the shadows fell and where the highlights and reflections were. I’ve used this ever since, whether on apples, wings of noses, or fat baby cheeks(actually I don’t do fat baby cheeks, but this datum was fully applicable to that).
So what I think is valuable in an instruction book is clear examples and explanations of the Basics. A ground in the basics of drawing or painting will carry you through your artistic journey.
I’ve been backed off of watercolour because I didn’t know any basics of where to start. Now I may have just found what I needed. Check out:
Watercolor Secrets by Tom Lynch ISBN: 1929834012
From Sketch to Painting by Wendy Jelbert ISBN: 0855329955