The best of the best books and videos on painting
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    rattsang's Avatar
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    The best of the best books and videos on painting

    Hi everyone,

    I come from a traditional painting background and still do most my work in oil paint and graphite pencil. I have been using painter since version 9, and find that most of the techniques i use in real paint to be applicable to this program. often on this fourm i see people posting asking about brushes or textures ect.... the basis of a good painting is not a brush or some other cheap trick. a good painting is good because of a good use of the foundational principals of painting (be it oil or digital)

    the point of this thread is to point people at the good resources to learn because there is so much out there much of it misinformed and ignorant. by watching these videos and reading these books you cannot but become a better painter no matter what media you use. so here goes....

    edit: i will be adding reasons as to why each item is on the list when i get around to it. most of the material here is what people would call expensive...... but don“t be put off by the price, buying a small amount of quality is a good investment compared to a huge amount of useless conflicting material.

    Must have books

    Alla Prima: Everything I Know about Painting by richard schmid
    this book covers materials and painting technique. it is based on the principal that good painting is achieved by putting the right value/color in the right place on the canvas and making it the right shape. it starts with some advice on attitudes towards art and painting then has chapters on the components of a good painting, which are, drawing, values, edges, color and light, composition and technique. the book isn't very "wordy" it is clear and directly to the point, making it quite short but is filled will many fine examples of schmid work. This is currently my most prized possession.

    Guide to Landscape Painting by J.F. Carlson
    this book is amazing. although it is a book on landscape many of the key principals inside are applicable to both still life and portrait painting. my favorite thing about this book is how carlson explains the need to change the values and arrangement you see in nature/life to make better paintings... in its essence this is a book on design touching on some specific landscape techniques, like how to paint clouds or trees. also on the plus side this book is dirt cheap- there is no excuse not to own it.

    Advanced Painter Techniques by Don Seegmiller
    here don shows how he creates some images in painter, including an oil portrait. this is a technique book and does not cover the basics of how to paint, but is rather about how to use painter as a tool to paint. recommended for people with experience in painting with real media looking to start using painter to go digital.... the information in this book is limited to using a program and if you cant paint before reading it you wont be able to paint after either.

    Digital Character Design and Painting (Graphics Series) by Don Seegmiller

    Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist by James Gurney
    this book is a wealth of knowledge. it covers many different aspects of painting that are not talked about in other books. alot of the chapters are glancing looks at a certain subject and novices will be left unsure. the best part of this book for me is gurneys take on color and palette layout and his procedure for getting texture. there is much information about design also, although much of this info can be got else where. another great book but not for novices.

    Oil Painting Techniques and Materials by Harold Speed
    this book is divided into two parts the first two chapters are a rigidly boring lecture on art history and "modern art" i myself could not finish this section and skipped straight to chapter three. this is a good book for beginners i think as speed goes through his proceedure step by step and he touches on all the important elements of paining except drawing (as he alreadly has a book on that). this is another book you have no excuse not to own as its cheap out.

    this is the first real book about painting that i ever read and i still go back over it every once in a while. loomis starts from the bottom up, teaching everything there is to know about the foundations of drawing and painting. i personally found some of his explanations to be unclear, only to read about the same thing in another book before it clicked. a good intro to image making but its long and quite hard to get your head around at times.

    Must have videos

    Jason chan painter sketch

    An Afternoon of Painting with Richard Schmid

    "Peru Colors" by Scott Burdick

    Painting Large Landscapes, by Scott Christensen

    When You Can't Paint Out by Jim Wilcox

    also some free info at:

    james gurneys blog and also another blog i follow by stapleton kearns

    Last edited by rattsang; May 11th, 2010 at 05:57 PM.
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