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Thread: Oil Painting books?

  1. #1
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    Oil Painting books?

    Hey. I looked the middle class's book list, and didn't see anything about oil painting books. I was just wondering if any of you oil painters know of any good ones?
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    I hear Alla Prima is a really good book. Very expensive, though.

    Oil Painting Techniques and Materials by Harold Speed should also be good.

    Those are probably better for people who have a little experience with painting, however, so otherwise I'd suggest going to a library and checking out whatever books they have.
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    head painting in oil by john howard sanden teaches a good method, but there's a lot that you might disregard.. i dunno if you wanna spend your time premixing and tubing your own oil paints..

    Yeah, alla prima is very, very good.. probably the most thourough book on painting ever written.. but its 90 bucks..

    harley brown's book is a good book on creating art in general.. he makes pastel look like oil paint..
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    Originally posted by Main Loop
    but its 90 bucks..
    don't forget to add that this book is worth every penny of those 90 bucks.

    i orderered mine which included shipping fees to germany. it came to about 120 euros and i still think this book is wirth what i spent for.
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    Hmm, I've been looking all over the place some type of picture or description of the alla prima books but I can't find any! Can anyone please explain to me why its worth 90 dollars? (and do you think a library would have it?)
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    Originally posted by AnarchyAo2
    (and do you think a library would have it?)
    Mine does. I'm still waiting for the nine people ahead of my on the hold list to finish up with it.
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    Alla prima really isn't a how to book, like it may seem. Its basically a collection of schmids works, plus in each chapter he talks about various things. But the thing is, is he doesn't tell you anything on how to do them. In a nutshell, he tells you to do everything perfect, and you'll end up with a good painting. But schmid is very articulate, and his words are very inspiring. Plus its the only thing available in print on his work. The butler museum had a retrospective book on him a few months ago, which i got, but that was a very limited print run. The reason its 90 bucks is basically cause its richard schmid. And someone like that doesn't do books that often. Plus, the version of alla prima in print is like the 5th print run. The last books that schmid did came out in the 70's and they go for about 250. So in perspective, 90 bucks sounds pretty good. In the end, look at all your books as an investment in you education. Just as you would buy your materials, books fall under that same category. Plus, whenever they decide to stop printing that book, it will only increase in its value. And if you like someone's work, you might as well get it cause i think in the long run you'll be glad you did.
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    Originally posted by gekitsu

    don't forget to add that this book is worth every penny of those 90 bucks.
    true.. now if i just HAD 90 bucks to burn..

    "Its basically a collection of schmids works, plus in each chapter he talks about various things. But the thing is, is he doesn't tell you anything on how to do them. In a nutshell, he tells you to do everything perfect, and you'll end up with a good painting."

    he tells you a good lot actually.. it comes out perfectly cuz he's been painting for 50+ years, and he sticks to his methods.. learn your ideal method, then practice it.. his way might not be the best for you, but what he tells you NOT to do is most always dead-on, at least for my methods..
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    I think I'm going to go to the library today or tomorrow and see if they have it. And if I like it, I'll buy it with the money I get from my relatives. Also, I'll get a 25% discount from barnes and noble (they have it there) because my mom works there during the summer and she helps out over the holidays (shes a teachers so she gets summers off). So thats about...70 dollars for the book
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    Not to be a pessimist, but I doubt Barnes & Noble will have the edition that's in print and the other editions are highly marked up. The best place to get the book is to order it from his website directly. Even on Ebay, people will try to hawk it for at for around $140. If you order it from Stove Prairie Press (his company), it's a little over $100 and it takes about two weeks for delivery.

    A word of warning though, Schmid's approaches to painting are very unforgiving if your draftsmanship is even slightly off, so make sure you put in the mileage drawing-wise.

    There's a feature on portrait techniques in the current Artist's Magazine that just hit the shelves and Schmid is one of the artists featured with a short demo. The method he uses in the article is his most advanced one, but it gives a taste of what his methods are.

    Some other authors that are worth looking into for oil painting:

    David Leffel
    Dan McCaw
    Kevin Mcpherson
    Harold Speed
    Charles Hawthorne
    Wendon Blake
    Everett Raymond Kinstler
    Last edited by MadSamoan; December 22nd, 2003 at 04:42 AM.
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    ^youre definitely right about the method being unforgiving.. if you wanna talk about unforgiving methods, try painting like sargent: Get everything right the first time: right temperature, value, position, and hue. If you dont, wipe it off and do it again until you get it right. i dont have the discipline to paint like that, but soon enough i will attempt a painting of that sort..
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    I think you should only buy the book if his work inspires you. His techniques, like eveyone else said, are really advanced, and are beyond most people. But then again, he's been doing it for a long long time. I know after reading through the book myself, i didn't really learn anything. But i just want to have the book just a have a little reference of his work. To tell you the truth i don't really care for his work all that much anymore. Personally lots of images in the book are just head vignettes and landscapes. And after awhile, head vignettes get boring, no matter how well there painted. I think schmid is one of those painters that as he's gotten older he's gotten lazier. Maybe because of shear age alone or whatever else may hinder you as you get older. But i also think theres better painters out there who unfortunately don't have books out yet.
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    I forgot to mention an excellent book if you're just getting into oil painting

    'An Approach to Figure Painting for the Beginner' by Howard K. Forsberg. It should be about 20 bucks if you order it on Abebooks.com (www.abebooks.com)
    Last edited by MadSamoan; December 23rd, 2003 at 04:49 AM.
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