Blood Water Paint

Dutton/Penguin Random House

Available in hardback, paperback, e-book, large print, and audio


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 painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost.

I will show you
what a woman can do.


“Haunting … teems with raw emotion, and McCullough deftly captures the experience of learning to behave in a male-driven society and then breaking outside of it.”—The New Yorker 


  • National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, long list
  • ALA Morris Award, finalist
  • Washington State Book Award for Young Adult Literature 2019
  • Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association 2019 Book Award
  • Publishers Weekly Flying Start
  • Starred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf Awareness


  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Indie Next Spring 2018 pick
  • Booklist Editor’s Choice Top of the List 2018
  • Boston Globe Best Books of 2018
  • Book Page Best of 2018
  • Bustle Best of 2018
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2018
  • Globe and Mail 100: Favourite Books of 2018
  • School Library Journal Best of 2018
  • Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children’s & Teen Books of the Year
  • Texas Tayshas Reading List
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2019