Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Water Paint” as Want to Read:
Blood Water Paint
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Water Paint

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  6,112 ratings  ·  1,362 reviews
A debut novel based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint.

She chose paint.

By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome's most talented
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood Water Paint, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Konstantin Order it online, buy it in a bookshop, check if a library nearby has it.
The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackWar Storm by Victoria AveyardQueen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra ClareA Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa TahirObsidio by Amie Kaufman
YA Novels of 2018
1,054 books — 5,551 voters
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi AdeyemiThe Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertSky in the Deep by Adrienne YoungEverless by Sara  HollandAmerican Panda by Gloria Chao
YA Debuts 2018
153 books — 645 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,112 ratings  ·  1,362 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Blood Water Paint
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Content warnings: sexual assault, misogyny, suicidal thoughts, violence, brief physical torture, victim-blaming, slut-shaming, murder, betrayal

I will show you what a woman can do.

When I was given the opportunity to participate in a blog tour for this book’s release, I was absolutely elated. I didn’t know much about the writing itself, but I knew that it was historical fiction (check), feminist (check), widely beloved by a slew of my favorite authors (check), and about an actual human being (
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Those men.
These women who dare
to judge
your heart
by your body
will never have
an ounce of your worth.

Okay, okay, hear me out: a feminist young adult historical novel written in verse. About a female painter who wins a trial against her rapist - in 1612.

This is the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, a young woman living in Rome with her family. Her father sells paintings signed with his name, even though it is Artemisia who does all the work. Her mother, long dead now, once told her goodnight-stories
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a story
about a young girl
and her bravery to make a place
for herself
in a world of men.

with every stroke of her brush,
she created a mural of
her belonging;

rich with hues of purpose,
gradients of hope,
and pigments of resilience.

she knew that those men
who dare
to judge
her heart
by her body
will never have
an ounce of her worth.

and so she painted
a canvas filled with
the life
she desired.

the life
she deserved.

and it was as if the paint,
which created her masterpiece,
ran through her very bl
Hannah Greendale
Artful, passionate, harrowing. This book consumed me.
I've grown accustomed
to the lack of light
inside our studio.
But from this angle
of fatigue a ray
slants through
the window
to bounce across the surface
of the foul, gelatinous
potion I've just brewed.

Beneath the light, it's a golden sea,
tranquil but for the slightest breeze.
A place where magic hums
beneath the surface, mermaids,
water sprites, and queens
of gleaming realms
I really wanted to love this book. I studied art history extensively in college, I love Artemisia Gentileschi, and the promise of a story from her perspective was so tantalizing that I ended up ignoring my suspicions that this book was going to be too young and too heavy-handed for me. I really should have listened to my gut on this one.

Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter, whose works are often overshadowed by the fact that she was raped by her mentor, Agostino Tassi. She and he
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish men
would decide
if women are heavenly
angels on high,
or earthbound sculptures
for their gardens

But either way we’re beauty
for consumption.

This was really quite powerful and beautiful and devastating all at the same time. It is based on the true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, an iconic painter from the seventeenth century. Blood Water Paint is written in verse for the majority of the novel with the exception of the stories of Judith and Susanna which are told in prose by Artemisia's mot
Elle (ellexamines)
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction / feminist lit
Recommended to Elle by: Mackenzi
This is a hard book to decently review. It's a verse novel, first of all. I think it's nigh-impossible to review a verse novel well. And this is not just a verse novel; it is a book that gets its chief power out of emotionality and importance.

If you've read the blurb, you know this follows the story of 17th-century painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Or at least, the beginning of her story. When she was seventeen, Artemisia had taken on most of the duties at her father's studio and was preparing to m
I am all for feminism, but this novel is so blunt in its I-am-woman-oppressed-by-the-men-who-are-all-EVIL message, it hurts. I believe the feminist agenda can be brought across more effectively by tools other than woe-is-me-because-I-am-a-woman sentiment in every sentence.

Also, entirely anachronistic in its narrative voice. The language Artemisia uses is very contemporary and distracts even further from the historical context.

By all accounts Artemisia Gentileschi was a remarkable woman, I am e
alice (arctic books)
Simply put, BLOOD WATER PAINT is a stunning and heartbreaking novel. I finished this in one sitting, partly because it was in free verse so the pages went by incredibly quickly, and partly because the writing and plot were so captivating.

BLOOD WATER PAINT follows Artemisia, a young artist living in 17th century Italy, who lives to paint, paints to live. In the aftermath of rape, Artemisia tries to find solace in a couple of her painting’s subjects, Susanna and Judith, who ultimately brings an in
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: verse, 2018-releases
That was really incredibly done. It's so beautifully historical but thoroughly modern at the same time, and so skillful at its depiction and articulation of the male gaze vs. the female one. This made me want to go out and learn everything possible about Artemesia, which is my absolute favorite result of historical fiction based on real people., so good.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book.

Official blurb/review to come.
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Apr 10, 2019 added it
Recommended to Tucker by: Kai

Many thanks to Dutton Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

DNF - I think I'm gonna stay away from novels in verse. Let me just say that this DNF is not really a comment or review of this book. I just can't stand to finish it.

Poetry has never been my thing but when I discovered novels in verse, I hoped they would kinder a love for it but they really didn't. I just get so bored and almost irritated trying to read these. I guess they're just not for me.

Oh we

What you get out of this book, whether it speaks to you, is going to be entirely dependent upon who you are when you begin it.

That statement isn't a critique of reader or writer, it's just my assessment of the style chosen by the author and the message it presents to the reader. It's unlikely that any two people will have the same experience while reading it so to fill my review with how it made me feel seems almost pointless. Having said that, I will try to
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of "Female of the Species" & Art Historians
Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Michelangelo: just a couple of famous painters who made masterpieces. But where are the amazing female painters? What are their stories, and why do we know so little about them?
Blood Water Paint responds to that by introducing us to Artemisia Gentileschi, a female Italian artist who did manage to become famous, but not wholly in the way she wished.

Judith, I don’t have a sword.
She reaches out,
Her hands bloodstained,
And wraps my fingers
Around the brush.

Joy McCu
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this book is about art is art itself.

how do i describe how much this means to me? what about this -

i learn about artemisia gentileschi in class last year; i am in awe.
i learn about artemisia gentileschi at 3am today; i am still in awe.

i felt the outrage, the shame, the love, the hatred that she must've felt, that i still feel, over 400 years later. i am stumbling over my rage today as she did back then. i find comfort from her that i can't explain. just as much as she uses the stories of fierce
“And listen to me love, when a woman risks her place, her very life to speak a truth the world despises? Believe her. Always.”

Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman ever admitted into the Accademia dell’Arte del Disegno in Florence, the first to live and paint at the court of Charles I of England, and the first sexual assault survivor to win a legal battle against her aggressor.

Blood Water Paint is a feminist historical novel written in verse that recounts that violent moment in the life
Stella❤️ 孔凡星
The main character’s determination was inspiring
Dannii Elle
remind me who the painter is.
It's funny how the painter's not:
the one with pigment smeared into her skin
the one whose body
is a permanent fixture
in this studio as stool, palette, easel.
the only one whose heart is flung across the canvas.

No: the painter merely signs his name.

and takes his gold.
brillant, amazing, heartbreaking, empowering.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Catherine by: destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
"When a woman risks
her place, her very life to speak
a truth the world despises?
Believe her. Always."

Like everyone, I very often add books to my TBR list after reading a review that makes me think I'll like them. However, this is the first time that I ever bought a book right away after reading a review from a goodreads friend. This review I'm talking about was written by Destiny and you can read it here. After reading this, I knew I needed this book. Yet, when it came in the mail, I stayed away
Ella Heart
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish men
would decide
if women are heavenly
angels on high,
or earthbound sculptures
for their gardens

But either way we’re beauty
for consumption.

This was such a powerful read. I felt myself falling in love from the very first page.
A young adult historical novel written in verse; its about a female painter who wins a trial against her rapist in 1612. It was so raw, making it all the more beautiful and captivating because of it.

And you should realize, love, that even the simple act of a bath is p
Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys, McCullough's debut verse novel tells the story of Artemisia Gentileschi in the early 1600s. A young painter, apprenticed by her father -- who was, of course, profiting from her work -- she dreams of capturing the true essence of the women whose stories her deceased mother told her into her art. But when she is raped by a potential client, her life turns upside down and she turns to the strength of those women to find her voice and speak up and out about what hap ...more
Stephanie S
Apr 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I really, truly, utterly hated this book. Despite being picky, I try not to be super mean in my reviews, but this book was not at all pleasant for me to read.

I was way excited for Blood Water Paint at first. I love Artemesia Gentileschi, and couldn't want to read this, even though I don't usually read lots of YA. I special-ordered it from the library, and thought I would definitely get a book I'd enjoy and maybe even learn from.

Oh boy, was I wrong.
The author took on an impressive task, in writ
Faith Simon
I finished this book over a week ago, so please forgive me for my brief review, some memories and therefore thoughts of the story are a bit fuzzy.
I've heard nothing but great things about this book since it's been released, by pretty much everybody and their mother who's read it. So going in, I expected to be blown away by this story. In the midsts of thousands of 5 star ratings, I find I could only give this one a 3.
I had no idea this book was written in verse until I had begun reading it. I
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
“I wish men would decide if women are heavenly angels on high, or earthbound sculptures for their gardens.”

Wow. This book was so heavy and powerful and important. Blood Water Paint is a historical novel told in verse following the life of 17th century painter, Artemisia Gentileschi, from the loss of her mother at an early age to her rape and the trial that followed. Blood Water Paint is a moving story about women and power and resolve and it can’t be praised enough.

Things I Liked
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this heart-stopping debut and don't even quite have the words to describe it. Joy McCullough's verse is spare and evocative, and her rendering of Artemisia is compelling. But what really sets BLOOD WATER PAINT apart is the phenomenal exploration of women's stories and women's power (or lack thereof). The touches of surreal magic woven through add a depth and richness that turns this into the ultimate ode to a woman's incredible strength. Highly recommended! (This novel reads very ...more
Amanda Rawson Hill
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read an early version of this and Wow! I've read a lot of verse novels in my life, the poetry in this was one of the absolute best. I couldn't put it down and it stayed with me for days. Honestly, it's been six months since I read and I still find myself thinking about it. This will haunt you in the best ways.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This was quite good!

Some things I loved:
The story itself--Artemisia Gentileschi's life is fascinating, and I think McCullough did a fabulous job of picking just the right snapshots to focus on.

The family dynamics--we see some... not great (read: boderline if not outright abusive) behavior from Artemisia's family, and McCullough handles those dynamics with care and with nuance.

The female characters--beyond Artemisia and her family's servant, there are almost no real female characters in
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn't enjoy this has much, I thought it be a 4 star book but it's 3 starer.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
i will show you what a woman can do

the writing of this book is absolutely gorgeous, and i love how mccollough intertwined artemisia's story with that of susanna and judith.

this story is so passionate, stunning, inspirational and powerful. a female painter in the 1600s, insisting on going after her rapist, even if it will cost her everything
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Two quotes need merging 2 18 Sep 13, 2019 01:46AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • True Stories
  • Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe
  • What the Night Sings
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1)
  • The Poet X
  • Dig.
  • White Rose
  • Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam
  • Internment
  • With the Fire on High
  • Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
  • Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc
  • A Heart in a Body in the World
  • Clap When You Land
  • Hey, Kiddo
  • Patron Saints of Nothing
  • The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees
See similar books…

News & Interviews

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
13 likes · 2 comments
“And listen to me love, when a woman risks her place, her very life to speak a truth the world despises? Believe her. Always.” 59 likes
“Why, though, does it take a mother, daughter, sister for men to take a woman at her word?” 55 likes
More quotes…