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Capturing Radiant Light & Color in Oils and Pastels Paperback – February 16, 2007

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Capturing Radiant Light & Color in Oils and Pastels + Painting the Impressionist Landscape: Lessons in Interpreting Light and Color + Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; Expanded edition (February 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581809999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581809992
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Susan Sarback's unique and fresh approach to teaching color fills a void that seems to exist in most art schools. I have found a significant change in my own use and understanding of color after participating in several of her workshops. She is extremely articulate and has a gift for making what could be a complicated concept very clear and easy to apply." -- Julie Johnson Olson, Instructor, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA

About the Author

Susan Sarback is the founder of the School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, California. She has lectured about color at over 100 art schools, museums, universities and art associations and taught workshops throughout the United States and Europe. Her work has appeared in The Artist's Magazine and American Artist, as well as other publications.

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Customer Reviews

This book is excellent and very helpful.
I am a pastel artist and have purchased many art books and always find things to learn and to enjoy, but this has been the best so far!!!!
D. Stein
You can see and interpret color in different ways and the book teach you how.
T. Johnsen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Pictora on February 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Detailed teachings from a master painter -- can it get better? This is the absolutely best how-to book on painting in the Hensche/Hawthorne tradition that is out there right now. It is a bit surprising that it is called a revised edition, as, IMHO, it is a new and even better book. The method is explained clearly and logically, easy to follow. Many step-by-step demonstrations with clear explanations teach how one can see and paint one's own still-life or landscape.

Although, in honesty, a book can't beat studying with a master in person, I'm convinced that Sarback's new book is so clearly written that a beginner in this method can learn as much of it as is possible. For those who already paint with the light-and-colour method, it is invaluable, and can take you steps and leaps further on seeing and painting light.

My impression is that master painter Sarback does gives it all, and does not "keep secrets". The very best teachers encourage students to become even better than they are, and does not hold back on advice and teaching. This book is a cornucopia of principles, method, and practical advice. I will wear it out, as I progress as a painter of light-and-colour.
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Vicente on March 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
In my opinion this book must be compared with "Painting the impressionist landscape", from Lois Griffel; the focus of both books is the same: explaining a simple step-by-step method to paint with full-spectrum color.

In Sarback's:

-The "block studies" (painting colored wood blocks) are not so well explained. Griffel gives a lot more insight in the selection of colors, and the cloudy day example is completely missing in Sarback's.

-There are more step-by-step "real landscape" demonstrations, but they are not so well explained as in Griffel's. Just 4 pictures of preliminary states of the painting. Nevertheless the final pictures of these demonstrations are much better in Sarback's.

-There is a comparison of different color approaches to painting that is interesting: expressionist, abstract, local, etc.

-She does not explain how to select colors (which warm? which cool?) or how to compare their values. There is nothing similar to Griffel's idea of a chart for comparing values.

-She gives tips about brushstrokes or using different types of edges. These subjects are not included in Griffel's.

-Portrait and figure paintings are not covered at all. Griffel's at least shows some beautiful paintings of this kind.

-The pages are almost full of text and beautiful paintings. There are no quasi-empty pages.

-The soft pastels coverage is minimal, but oils coverage is also lacking. The book talks about general principles: do not expect low-level (paint layering, I mean) advice.

A "must have" book? I am not sure, but I think that if you follow Sarback's tips, you will paint beautiful "masterpieces". If you are a beginner consider buying Sarback's DVD "The difference a day makes". The DVD is too short (30 min or so) and a bit dissapointing, but if you want to observe the way she paints wet-on-wet, may be it is cheaper than a trip to California to attend Sarback's workshops.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By GiGi on April 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent and very helpful. There are many tips and stages presented in a carefully thought out way. I have Susan Sarback's earlier book and this is a stellar update! She shares much of her immensely improved talent and knowledge. Although I am a beginner, I believe this to be helpful to artists of all experience. I highly recommend it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MEG on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased Susan's first book when it came out and recently picked up this second book. The book is really excellent. I have been painting for 40 years and have found the info in these books extremely helpful. Several years ago I purchased 'The Impressionist Landscape' by Lois Griffel. Also indispensible. All of these three books may be the most important books in my library of hundreds of books. If you want to learn basics in color application from pure color Griffel's book is a great book to start with. Sometimes I think that Sarback's books are a little more advanced because she is not specific about what colors to use when laying in a color. Lois Griffel spells out exactly what color she used. That is why Lois's book is important to mention.

Both of these painters learned from Henry Henche in the Famous Cape Cod School of Art and when you read these books you will find that they both have very different painting methods and color theory. And that's OK. Lois Griffel recently, just last year, sold the Cape Cod School building in MA and move west, and this is how close to the vest both of these astounding, living, artists are. Henche must have taught thousands of students, but these are the only books that I know of that teach oil painting in the original Monet method that was delivered to Hawthorn from Monet's studio apprentice directly.

All three of these books will start you painting color blocks. Copy the demonstrations, then set up your own blocks in real life. Start each book from page one and two and read each page. It is just like being at a workshop. I have done this with many books and have grown in leaps and bounds. Although it is not my style to paint like this, you will find that this color theory can carry over into any style or form of art you create. Color is so important, and if you are just starting out, or have been painting for years.......These books will blast you into a new direction in which you will never return.
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