Favorite art-related books?

Hello all,
Looking to expand my book inventory! Any favorites I should add? Either instructional, theory, art history, or art of books :)
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Comments

  • Alla Prima II Expanded Edition, Richard Schmid, I bought in May, and posted about that on here.

    https://forum.drawmixpaint.com/discussion/13265/alla-prima-ii-richard-schmid#latest

    Although the shipping inflated the already high price, I think the book is a treasure and worth every penny.

    Not only is it massively informative I find his style of writing with its wit and humour to be a bit like an old friend chatting with me.

    A great and highly praised book bu a great and highly respected artist who sadly died in April.



    Violet
  • Here is where I’m probably just ignorant on the matter, but will ask anyway… What makes this particular book so expensive?  I don’t know I’m willing to spend that much on a book!?!?
  • edited August 2021
    @buchmarshall, I guess its because its a book from someone who many would say was/is a modern day master. 
    He imparts his findings ways and methods from his wealth of years of experience.

    Sure there are things in there that are in other books, but much much more that isn’t, because its from him and his life and experience of painting.

    I bought the hardback and it is well made, the demonstrative photographs and ones of his works are also quite beautiful and of high quality as is the print and paper.


    Note: I have seen if for massively inflated prices other than the Richard Schmid website, which is where it is advisable to get it from.
                                                         
    buchmarshall
  • I did see some of those inflated prices! I still may consider the investment as my interest in painting has taken off more than I originally expected. I just love the process and it’s become my own form of therapy! I tell people it’s like going to a really good movie! My mind goes into the painting and away from the troubles of the day! Thanks for your investment in the completeness of your response. Much appreciated!
    Marshall…
    MichaelD
  • I did see some of those inflated prices! I still may consider the investment as my interest in painting has taken off more than I originally expected. I just love the process and it’s become my own form of therapy! I tell people it’s like going to a really good movie! My mind goes into the painting and away from the troubles of the day! Thanks for your investment in the completeness of your response. Much appreciated!
    Marshall…

    I have the book as well, and I think it's one of the books every painter should have. Not only are his works beautiful, but he gives examples of exercises to help with color mixing and everything. I would say save up for it, and treasure it :)
  • No problem @buchmarshall, I get what you say about painting. I find it highly therapeutic and the fact that you are always learning with it is precious.

     :) 
    buchmarshall
  • @tinafigartist, I figured when I was posting that you may already have it.

    I agree it is a book to treasure.

     =) 
    tinafigartist
  • MichaelD said:
    @tinafigartist, I figured when I was posting that you may already have it.

    I agree it is a book to treasure.

     =) 

    I tend to go through books slowly, especially with this one since I like to write notes as well. Even without having finished the book, I know its a good one!
    MichaelD
  • I don't have a favorite or even own many How To painting books. My interests and needs change over time, and the local library (I live in the US) is my best friend. If the library doesn't have the book, I request an interlibrary loan so they can get the book anywhere in the US. 

    I do own the Schmid book, and I find it valuable to go to every few years and re-read it. Stuff just jumps out at me as new because now I have a different perspective since the last time I read it. I bought it used, but it was not much of a discount. 
    tinafigartist
  • edited August 2021
    @tinafigartist

    Oh yes,

    I sometimes take it to a cafe with me and slowly mull over it.
    Its one I dont want it to end so will no doubt just keep reading.

    I think its a book I will never tire of.

     :) 
    tinafigartistArtGal
  • Do people still buy paper books?
    I went to high school in the 1960's and early 70's when Gombrich's The Story of Art and Canaday's Mainstreams of Modern Art were the prescribed texts. I've had these books for over 50 years and still look at them from time to time. I've been meaning to order Schmid's book from the website but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll buy it for myself for Christmas. He was a wonderful landscape painter. 
    ArtGal
  • Paper is the way to go. OH YEAH BABY!!! I like old technology, in case you didn't notice :)

    tinafigartistViolet
  • I have several Schmid's books. He was the best flower painter. I have many books on the Wyeths. Andrew Wyeth was the master of composition and limited color palettes. Jamie is also is a master. His birds are incredible.There are too many books to note. Many that I have are out of print. 

    A book that I refer to very often is Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis which is back in print. I have a set of Famous Artist School Binders. Mostly out of date production chapters but the drawing , composition and color sections are priceless. 
  • edited August 2021
    David Leffel. What an artist. Mark's work and style remind me of him a lot. The book is -
    Oil Painting Secrets from a Master - Linda Cateura (author) David A Leffel (Contributor).

    Google his works and you'll find paintings and youtube clips if you're not familiar with him. Brilliant observations in the book. In videos you'll find he has a way of describing things or making an observation that can bend your way of thinking about painting.

    MichaelDtinafigartist
  • @Abstraction, I agree. Its been in my collection for a few years too.

     :) 
    Abstractiontinafigartist
  • David Leffel. What an artist. Mark's work and style remind me of him a lot. The book is -
    Oil Painting Secrets from a Master - Linda Cateura (author) David A Leffel (Contributor).

    Google his works and you'll find paintings and youtube clips if you're not familiar with him. Brilliant observations in the book. In videos you'll find he has a way of describing things or making an observation that can bend your way of thinking about painting.

    buying this one right now!

  • @tinafigartist
    Leffel was a teacher at NY Art Students League for many years. He is at the pinnacle of this form of realism and art instruction.  Drawing is the foundation of his work.
    Abstraction
  • CBGCBG -
    edited August 2021
    @tinafigartist
    As a novice with only about 7 books, I recommend:

    Color and Light - James Gurney
    Mastering Composition - Ian Roberts
  • @Abstraction @KingstonFineArt I don't own that book, but I was lucky enough to meet with Davil Leffel around 1992. He visited at my RV in Ojai CA. one evening, because he was a friend of my younger brother who was visiting me, so David came to spend sometime that evening with us, I remember he said that two towns were his favorites in the USA: Taos, NM and Ojai, CA. What a kind person he was, we had a great time.

    Now for books, I have only few, but my favorite is The Natural Way to Draw, by Nicolaides, which I think is a classic book.

    AbstractionArtGalJcdrob
  • edited August 2021
    if you are interested in painting/drawing people, i have two suggestions:  for the fun of practice you can try "the human figure" by Vanderpoel (suggested by my instructor at the atelier). But if you want to get a copy, get one that is pre-1960s. the later ones the instructor said are no good as the drawings lose much of the subtleties. Ive practiced a lot from it.. it has drawings for you to copy with space given inside the book itself (but don't draw in the book :s ), from little bigger than thumbnail to moderate size. for the older version i would suggest Ebay. 
    The other would be Sargent's "Portraits in charcoal" book.... it has a closeup of the faces.. so again a great book to practice not only the features from, but how Sargent worked the values in a full lit face to a shadowed one... i just got it, just seen the pictures, haven't read it yet.

    If your town has used book sales anytime this year i would suggest you give a visit, you can get many gems there and hardbound in great condition too.. i got quite a few from there.. One is a Sargent book of his paintings for $5 which is ~ $50 in amazon  =)

    P.S If you have a good library nearby, and see a sizeable art inventory, give it a visit, that's how i decided to get the Vanderpoel, after checking it out in a library.
    tassieguyArtGal
  • anwesha said:
    if you are interested in painting/drawing people, i have two suggestions:  for the fun of practice you can try "the human figure" by Vanderpoel (suggested by my instructor at the atelier). But if you want to get a copy, get one that is pre-1960s. the later ones the instructor said are no good as the drawings lose much of the subtleties. Ive practiced a lot from it.. it has drawings for you to copy with space given inside the book itself (but don't draw in the book :s ), from little bigger than thumbnail to moderate size. for the older version i would suggest Ebay. 
    The other would be Sargent's "Portraits in charcoal" book.... it has a closeup of the faces.. so again a great book to practice not only the features from, but how Sargent worked the values in a full lit face to a shadowed one... i just got it, just seen the pictures, haven't read it yet.

    If your town has used book sales anytime this year i would suggest you give a visit, you can get many gems there and hardbound in great condition too.. i got quite a few from there.. One is a Sargent book of his paintings for $5 which is ~ $50 in amazon  =)

    P.S If you have a good library nearby, and see a sizeable art inventory, give it a visit, that's how i decided to get the Vanderpoel, after checking it out in a library.
    Thank you so much!! I spent a good two hours in my university’s library looking at all their painting and drawing books because of your comment. 
    anwesha
  • I have well over a hundred art books. My favorite one is “Art and Time” by Philip Rawson. 

    Art and Time is not a how-to book and there are no color pictures. It’s heady food for the mind.

    When it first came out, which it almost didn’t, despite Rawson’s books being very highly regarded, despite Rawson considering it his best book, it was around $65. Just checked and now it’s available on Amazon US for $11 - which I consider a tragedy.

    Chapters in Part 1 …

    1. Empirical Time and Imagination
    2. Artistic Imagery of Time
    3. Lived Time
    4. Performance or Reading Time
    5. Horizon Time
    6. Time as a Region or Era
    Conclusion

  • + 1 for allá prima 2 by schmid
  • To me Schmid’s earlier book on figure painting was much better than Alla Prima 2 and it’s companion book. 

    NO corny humor, better paintings, not peppered with all cap text, and a far less garish pallette which hurts my eyes and seems a regression back to breezy illustration formulaic mode from more touching onto fine art  in the earlier book.

    Schmid was a good teacher, and I’m grateful for that, but I doubt his work will stand the test of time in it’s own right. I like his wife’s insightful work, though. I also like the work of the companion book’s author’s mother paintings of which only a few were shown. For the most part, though, zzzz’s.
  • I have the Alla Prima II, Daily Painting by Carol Marine, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, The Art of Still Life by Todd M. Casey, and just got Art, Money, Success by Maria Brophy.  Thanks for this topic of discussion @tinafigartist.  Great responses to your question.
  • edited July 7
    Leffel has another book, A Painter Teaches, that is a much much better printing than Oil Painting Secrets.

    I would only get Schmids Alla Prima, if anything at all. Yes, it’s expensive but if I had to trade the rest of my library for it, I would. Besides, you could always throw it on eBay and get most of your money back... not sure I ever will because it’s the only book I actually revisit every now and then. 
    It’s not a ‘read and done’ as a lot of it will sound like silly babbling until you pick up a brush and get stuck on something that sounded so basic. That book is now like a grandpa who saw me grow up.

    And definitely check out used bookstores, the painting gods might just smile on you. I picked up a Mancini book for $11 this weekend — the darn thing is $370 on eBay! And got a $70 Velazquez for $5 once.
    Abstraction
  • VioletViolet -
    edited July 8
    So which is better.... Alla Prima or Alla Prima II?
    Definitely could not afford to get more than one.

    For anyone who loves highly detailed graphite (very time intensive), Mike SIbley's Drawing from Line to Life  is very thorough and a lovely book. I really admire his dog drawings.
  • @Violet
    I believe Alla Prima II is an expanded version of Alla Prima.
    Violet
  • edited July 8
    @Suez, Shhimd was a very great painter. His work has and will "stand the test of time".  Will yours? We haven't seen any of yours yet so it's hard to to know. It's been, "very zzz's" so far.  :) 
  • edited July 8
    I have lots of art books. They are very interesting, informative and full of lovely pictures. But they are not much use in terms of helping me to physically make paintings. Other artists can attempt to show and tell us in their books how to go about creating a good painting, but until we get down and dirty with the brushes ourselves, it's all just head stuff. It's the same with Mark's videos. Watching them is not enough. We have to go through he agony ourselves. It's the same in all the arts. You can read a thousand books about how to play piano but, until you get your ass onto that stool and start practicing those sales, creating music will be just a dream. It's the same with painting. 
    NotACatheartofengland
  • @tassieguy, What are you doing here posting on a resurrected thread - the kind you say you so dislike but are perpetuating? Start a troll thread on poster’s views, and ways, and where they wrongly post, that are not to your liking or something. Geez. Do you really want to be the chief guard dog Chihuahua snapping at ankles? 
  • edited July 8
    @Suez, this thread is less than 12 months old and in that time it has seen regular postings. It is still current.

    Can we expect to soon see some art work by you, @Suez? If not, why are you here and who would be the troll?  I read your post about the merits of gun ownership in a country with one of the highest death rates from gun violence in the world and thought, what has this got to do with art? Maybe you could do a nice painting for us of a high powered rifle and the aftermath of a school massacre? All subjects are permissible in art. The important thing is to paint. Go to it. Let us see what you can do. If not, then, again, why are you here? :)
  • If no one has mentioned it, you must have the Andrew Loomis books.  There are several, all are necessary.  He has a no-nonsense approach.  You're bound to learn.  His work was out of print for years, but not long ago, his family allowed the books to be reprinted and sold.  They are priceless.
    tinafigartist
  • @tassieguy, I do me and you can do you. I won’t be bullied. 






    CBGtassieguy
  • Really enjoying reading the book @KingstonFineArt recommended. “On Drawing and Painting” by John Sloan. He really knows his stuff and delivers it well.
  • Suez and tassieguy

    Your comments and criticism being exchanged are out of line with what is expected in this Forum.

    Please chill out and encourage new starters to re-energise old threads. My recent and well received topic on edges was ten years old and has 155 views in about a week.

    Remember Rob the old threads helped you get your brushes dirty. You may have moved on to more advanced topics but the newbies still need to know how big the shadow box light aperture should be.

    Suez, take your time and enjoy the journey. Rob will settle down when he gets his medication.

    Denis
    SuezArtGalCBG
  • Thank you, Denis. When I fist started here David used to jump on folks for resurrecting old threads. Anyway, I've decided to limit my time on the forum and confine myself to commenting only on threads that  I think are current. What others do is up to them.  I've upped my medication because I think I'm in danger of becoming a curmudgeon. 
    dencalSuezArtGalViolet
  • CBGCBG -
    edited July 11
    tassieguy said:
    @Suez, Shhimd was a very great painter. His work has and will "stand the test of time".  Will yours? We haven't seen any of yours yet so it's hard to to know. It's been, "very zzz's" so far.  :) 
    I hate Arnold Shoenberg's atonal music... very zzzz's.  I don't think it will stand the test of time.

    *waiting*    :)


  • CBGCBG -
    edited July 11
    Suez said:
    To me Schmid’s earlier book on figure painting was much better than Alla Prima 2 and it’s companion book. 

    NO corny humor, better paintings, not peppered with all cap text, and a far less garish pallette which hurts my eyes and seems a regression back to breezy illustration formulaic mode from more touching onto fine art  in the earlier book.

    Schmid was a good teacher, and I’m grateful for that, but I doubt his work will stand the test of time in it’s own right. I like his wife’s insightful work, though. I also like the work of the companion book’s author’s mother paintings of which only a few were shown. For the most part, though, zzzz’s.
    What was the title of Schmid’s earlier book on figure painting? 

    Do you recommend it?
  • edited July 11
    @CBG, I don't much care for Shoenberg's music either, lol. But I guess it takes all types to make a world, as the great southern female writer, Flannery O'Conner, in her short story, Revelation, has the self-satisfied Mrs. Turpin say.  :)
  • @CBG, The book is “Richard Schmid Paints the Figure: Advanced Techniques In Oil”. It has a lot of good info on making drawing that look like paintings that was left out of Alla Prima II. He goes a lot deeper into figure painting, too. His flesh colors are really good and he tells you how he gets them.

    The only significant change to his palette, other than it’s expansion, is he stopped using the old alizarin crimson. You have to get to his Alla Prima II Companion book to find out that he had to entirely restore a life sized portrait due to using Alizarin Crimson on Nancy’s dress, though. That’s like $300 later for we book buyers.

    At the time the book came out there was very little of the good info, which was almost lost, available to the public for painters. The info was still alive in private art schools and high end commercial art schools, but, so far as I am aware, Schmid was the only one spilling the beans into a book. It’s a great book at the time for that alone. There was no internet full of info back then and the art magazines of the time showed only glimpses here and there.

    I would recommend it over his other books. Be aware, though, he is a big proponent of lead gesso. He says a lot of the effects he gets in painting are impossible without it. A good deal of the Alla Prima II companion book is devoted to how he applies it and how to apply the rabbit skin glue, etc. Also in that book it says not to use acrylic gesso - that it can delaminate. I don’t know if these things are true or not.





    CBGdencal
  • I have some of the books others have mentioned. Another one I like is How I Paint, Secrets of a Sunday Painter by Thomas Buechner. I like that he uses a limited pallete - yellow ocher, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow light, alizarin crimson, and titanium white.
  • Regarding Schmid: The book "Alla Prima II Companion" was written by his student, Katie Swatland, and not Richard Schmid himself.

    I think it can be confusing to people when a non-gesso ground is called gesso. So, a white lead PW1 oil-based ground is what Mr. Schmid recommended. 
  • I also like books on famous artists. I like to study their techniques and works. One book that stands out is Van Gogh and the Olive Trees (several authors). I like the quality color images in the book. The book also covered the research they did on his olive tree paintings - which included an analysis of the materials he used - details on the canvas material, specific paints he used, etc. One pigment he used faded from the original blue to a pink due to sunlight exposure.A few paintings had finger prints in the paint - apparently he (like many of us) was testing to see if the paint was dry.
  • PlamenPlamen -
    edited July 19


  • Discover the story of colour through the significant scientific discoveries and key artist's works over 400 years. From Isaac Newton's investigations through to Olafur Eliasson's experiential creations, this stunning book documents the fascinating story of colour with an extraordinary collection of original colour material that includes charts, wheels, artists' palettes, swatches and schemes. "In 1704, the scientist Isaac Newton published Opticks , the result of many years of researching light and colour. By splitting white light, Newton identified the visible range of colours, or the rainbow spectrum. In Opticks , he built a colour system around his findings, and he visualised this system in a circular shape, making it one of the first printed colour wheels. The influence of Newton and his followers, combined with the invention of many new pigments as well as watercolours in moist cake form, had made painting with colour an exciting occupation not just for serious artists but also for a much wider audience. The colour revolution had begun." Contents Introduction 1. Unravelling the Rainbow: The Eighteenth-Century Colour Revolution 2. Romantic Ideas & New Technologies: The Early Nineteenth Century 3. Industrialism to Impressionism: The Later Nineteenth Century 4. Colour for Colour's Sake: Colour into the Future: Glossary Bibliography Index

    $35.74 at Amazon


    https://www.amazon.com/Color-Visual-History-Newton-Matching/dp/1588346579/ref=pd_sbs_1/135-0701238-7146902?pd_rd_w=WW6Dz&pf_rd_p=0f56f70f-21e6-4d11-bb4a-bcdb928a3c5a&pf_rd_r=4SYJK1A6ECMP5KG7GS26&pd_rd_r=19240f93-0dc7-49e8-bf41-91302e157619&pd_rd_wg=IbBps&pd_rd_i=1588346579&psc=1

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