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  1. #1
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    Art History books worth reading

    Hi everyone. Long time no speak.

    I've always given art history books a wide berth because much like high school art classes, they don't teach you how to paint - they give you a history of the philosophy of artistic movements, what movements they were rebelling against, the personal lives of individuals and how that influenced their paintings, the religious influences and historical context.

    Most of this stuff doesn't help me. But what I'd like to ask is if there are history books worth reading that talk about the practice of art schools and the lineage between technique and fundamental drawing over the years. For example, [almost a decade ago](http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...art-education)) hummel1dane talked about the difference between the sculptural drawing techniques and the planar/observation techniques, their strengths and weaknesses, and what types of paintings they were capable of making. Great! This is the information I'm looking for. I'd love to know how the Baroque painters developed their sense of lighting/materialistic realism, which schools used wet-on-wet vs. wet on dry, glazing, how the mathematics of computer rendering influenced hyperrealist painters, and so on and so forth.

    Is there a book like this?


    Jordan Beeston
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    Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. - Camille Pissarro

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    We do transmutational yoga and eat alchemy sandwiches and ride flying unicorns of esoteric freudian solipsism while googling anthropology. Whee!


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  4. #2
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    Perhaps try The Practice of Oil Painting and Drawing by Solomon J Solomon (the edition I have has an intro by James Gurney)

    " Written by a distinguished Pre Raphaelite painter, portraitist and book illustrator....chapters illustrate these teachings with examples of images by The Old Masters including paintings from the Italian, Dutch, Spanish and British Schools."

    Basically a textbook of painting and drawing techniques through the ages. The heavy handed prose can be a bit unintentionally amusing at times, but the wealth of info inside is solid.

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  6. #3
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    You find that out reading about the lives of painters. Good in-depth biographies will talk about types of influence and approaches in a general way. How the outdoor painting movement started the different schools of painters and the influence the teachers in those schools had on their students. There are some books on the salons and ateliers of Paris but not many in English and most don't cover technique. You are better off looking at course books from the 1850's through the early 1900's like the Bargue drawing book and the Harold Speed books which are based on those schools teaching methods.
    Also, computers didn't influence hyperrealism, it was around for 100 years before computers.

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  8. #4
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    Thank you. This is great information to jump into and start researching.

    Also Dpaint, you're right, computers aren't influencing hyper-realism, I misspoke. The maths of optics from the 1700's being used in Computer graphics today is being used as study material for artists.


    Jordan Beeston
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    Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. - Camille Pissarro

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    We do transmutational yoga and eat alchemy sandwiches and ride flying unicorns of esoteric freudian solipsism while googling anthropology. Whee!

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  10. #5
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    Also James Gurney has made lot of post about Harold Speed so check those out http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/se...%20Book%20Club

  11. #6
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    I wouldn’t be so quick to say that philosophy of art movements and context surrounding them isn’t useful to you. It’s important to know why styles were created and what associations there are with them. It might help you decide between pulling elements of the sublime romanticism movement vs the baroque movement
    Sketchbook (last updated June 20th, 2018)

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