What books would you recommend for a beginning painter?

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  07 July 2005
What books would you recommend for a beginning painter?

What books would you recommend for someone that has worked mostly with ink and sable brushes, will not have an opportunity to go to college or a specialized art class, is looking to brush up on fundamentals, and wants to learn traditional painting techniques and color theory for the first time.

I just got myself a wacom and am looking to learn the concepts of traditional painting in order to apply them to the digital medium. I imagine that learning the fundamentals is the first step, but I don't know what books would be the most helpful -and there is a ton of reading material out there.

I've downloaded all the Loomis books that can be found online but am looking for something that specifically is meant to instruct a beginner painter. I am a TOTAL moron when it comes to painting but want to put in hard work and practice, practice, and practice some more.

Of course, it'd be nice to be able to go to the Art Center, but, for a multitude of reasons, self learning is my only option. And, no, I am not a prison inmate.

So what books do you think I should go after?
 
  07 July 2005
If you're just looking for books on good, solid concepts, then all you have to do is browse the bargain books at Barnes & Noble, or any other bookstore. Basic concepts don't change, so why pay $50 for a book when you can get the same information from a $10 book? People tend to brush the bargain bins aside, thinking they're full of junk, but I've found some gems in there! One thing I would splurge on, though, would be a very good anatomy book. I got Anatomy for the Artist, and it cost $50, but it has been an invaluable source to me ever since I got it.
 
  07 July 2005
Tom Browning's Timeless Techniques For Better Oil Paintings isan excellent book on oil painting and art theories in general. Easy to understand and contains excellent art foundation knowledge.

Richard Schmid's
Alla Prima: All I Know About Painting, is a must have for any serious artist. Tons of pearls of wisdom that are results of Schmid's decades of experience as one of the most respected painters in the world today.

Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure is similar to the Loomis books, but with his own spin on things. Gives excellent tips on not only how to draw, but how to draw attractive looking people.

Harley Brown & Lewis Barrett Lehrman's Harley Brown's eternal truths for every artistis another great all around book on art theories and drawing/painting instructions.
 
  07 July 2005
Nebbiestar, thanks for the bargain hunting tip; all of my purchases will be done online. Looks like full price books loom in my future! Luckily, Anatomy for the Artist is already in my posession.

Lunatique, thanks for the heads up. I have all sorts of packages to look forward to now.
 
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by Lunatique:
Richard Schmid's
Alla Prima: All I Know About Painting, is a must have for any serious artist. Tons of pearls of wisdom that are results of Schmid's decades of experience as one of the most respected painters in the world today.


I looked this book up on Amazon and its over $100! Wow....I kinda want to see this book before I buy it. Its too bad no bookstore near me has a copy to browse through.
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  07 July 2005
Well, that means it's twice as good as the others!

You can get the soft cover edition for half the price direct from Richard S.

Last edited by Ray Frenden : 07 July 2005 at 08:36 PM.
 
  07 July 2005
Lunatique, upon closer inspection of the Art Tutorials & Books sticky topic, I realized that the books you listed were already posted in another location. I totally missed this the first time through; oops.
 
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by Xevious: I looked this book up on Amazon and its over $100! Wow....I kinda want to see this book before I buy it. Its too bad no bookstore near me has a copy to browse through.


It's worth every penny. Every single person I know that's got one agrees that it's the best art book they've ever purchased and worth its weight in gold.
 
  07 July 2005
Books for the artist

Jeno Barcsay's Anatomy book is, I think, very good. Then you could go ahead and just look at paintings from different periods to see what artists have been trying to achieve with color. Theories are different from different periods, of course. All you absolutely need to know is that blue and unsaturated (is that diluted?) is far away, and warm, saturated, dark colors are in the foreground, as well as hard contrasts. If there is something else, I think it's mostly a matter of taste and due to what you want to achieve, and experience. Some other people will disagree, and if they have some good reasons, heed them, not me.

What you certainly need to do is draw a lot, go to a croquis class and also do some longer studies. I think the human character is the best and only thing you actually need to study at first - when you get that right, animals and other stuff are no problem. Use charcoal and ordinary pencils - I know there's a whole lot that can be done with a simple pencil, and it will teach you a lot. Never mind the clean stroke and stuff like that unless you are naturally bent that way - stuff like that just hinder the process. It will all come together in the end, anyway.

If you already have done all that, I have no further advice - you're at the same point as I am.
 
  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by Ray Frenden: Well, that means it's twice as good as the others!

You can get the soft cover edition for half the price direct from Richard S.


It doesn't look as if it ships outside US/Canada though? I looked and all prices quoted were for N. America.

Any Europeans here buy the book yet? Where did you get it from?
 
  07 July 2005
I just sent in my order for Alla Prima after reading every forum post on the Internet praising it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that UPS won't hose me with extra duty or custom charges.
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  07 July 2005
Just thought I'd one-up All I Know About Painting.

Best painting book ever. Get it at any cost.
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  07 July 2005
Best books

I'll second Schmid's Alla Prima book. The paperback is around 45 bucks. Some other good and inexpensive books available are
Robert Henri's 'The Art Spirit'
Hawthorne on Painting by Charles Hawthorne
Composition In Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne.

Also try checking out these guoache painting notes. Some very excellent oil painters and illustrators were trained from this material.
http://www.nasonart.com/writing/fixlerpainting.html
 
  07 July 2005
Quote: Originally Posted by Xevious
I looked this book up on Amazon and its over $100! Wow....I kinda want to see this book before I buy it. Its too bad no bookstore near me has a copy to browse through.



If you go to his personal site I believe it's roughly half that amount. Just Google it.
 
  08 August 2005
Wow. I got my Alla Prima book a couple of days ago and I can not put it down. It's a fantastic wealth of information on painting. If anyone is still on the fence about it, don't be, it's worth every penny.
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