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Hawthorne on Painting (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – June 1, 1960


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Art Instruction
  • Paperback: 91 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (June 1, 1960)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048620653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486206530
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Look around and select a subject that you can see painted. That will paint itself. Do the obvious thing before you do the superhuman thing.
It may have been accidental, but you knew enough to let this alone. The good painter is always making use of accidents.
Never try to repeat a success.
Swing a bigger brush— you don’t know what fun you are missing.
For 31 years, Charles Hawthorne spoke in this manner to students of his famous Cape Cod School of Art. The essence of that instruction has been collected from students’ notes and captured in this book, retaining the personal feeling and the sense of on-the-spot inspiration of the original classroom. Even though Hawthorne is addressing himself to specific problems in specific paintings, his comments are so revealing that they will be found applicable a hundred times to your own work.
The book is divided into sections on the outdoor model, still life, landscape, the indoor model, and watercolor. Each section begins with a concise essay and continues with comments on basic elements: general character, color, form, seeing, posture, etc. It is in the matter of color that students will especially feel themselves in the presence of a master guide and critic. Hawthorne’s ability to see color and, more important, to make the student see color, is a lesson that will aid student painters and anyone else interested in any phase of art.
Although it does not pretend to be a comprehensive or closely ordered course, this book does have much to offer. It also represents the artistic insight of one of the finest painter-teachers of the twentieth century.
"An excellent introduction for laymen and students alike."—Time
"To read these notes and comments … is in itself an education. One cannot help but gain great help."—School Arts

Customer Reviews

It's something you can read over and over.
Michael
I bought this because Charles Reid (well respected teacher and painter ) said in one of his books that this was his favourite book on painting.
M. Fuggle
This is a great book for the novice or professional.
Madison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Thomas La Padula on December 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the painters bible. No matter how many times you reread this book, you will always find something poignant. I have been teaching painting for over 18 years on the college level and I have found this book to be the best. It is the only book you will ever need to understand light color and design in realistic figurative and landscape painting. Forget those expensive, glossy, overpriced edtions. Hawthorne was a master and you have his wisdom for only ($$$). I am on my fifth copy. The other four just wore out.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a collection of notes from students of Charles W. Hawthorne, instructor at the Cape Cod School of Art. The Introduction alone is worth the price! Statements like "Beauty in art is the delicious notes of color one against the other" are strewn throughout. Mr. Hawthorne clearly wanted to teach his students to see more beautifully, to know that subconscious thought counts and that the only way to learn to paint is by painting. He critiques the students' work on subjects of an outdoor model, landscapes, still life, indoor model and watercolors. Although there are no pictures in this book, as an artist, it is not difficult to picture from his description what the student's work looked like. I learned so much from this book. My issue is thoroughly marked up with my own notes. This will surely be one worn-out book by the time I'm through with it! A very useful book, I read it into my tape recorder so I could listen to the wisdom on my way to paint on site. This has become a "bible" for me as a plein air painter.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Field on November 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having purchased Louis Griffel's "Painting the Impressionist Landscape," which illustrates Hawthorne's way of "seeing things", I was delighted to find this little gem which compiled Hawthorne's comments on painting. This small volume is packed full of wisdom. One can imagine sitting with Hawthorne as he describes the various paintings, their good and bad points. There are no illustrations in "Hawthorne on Painting" but Griffel's book provides ample opportunity to see what he was saying. The two together provide a wonderful look into Cape Cod Impressionism. Hawthorne models with paint instead of drawing with it on the canvas. Form is achieved through proper color value placed side by side. The book is truly inspiring for any painter.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Kasman on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are very few books to help painters (even fewer for sculptors) that are of any real use. This is the only book, of which I am aware, that sucessfully deals with the challenges of outdoor painting in an honest (i.e. non stylized in terms of hue and value) manner. Hawthorne encourages his students to de-emphasize drawing and focus on learning to see and mix colors of the proper hue, intensity and value. He insists that it takes very little drawing information to convey a figure or landscape (even the time of day and weather) if the relationships among the large regions of various colors are correct. Yes, Hawthorne does repeat himself regarding "the mechanics of putting one spot of color next to another - the fundamental thing". Obviously he considers this paramount, but there is so much more in this small, inexpensive book. Here are a few examples: "The only way to learn to paint is by painting. To really study, you must start out with large tubes of paint and large palette and not stint in any way as far as materials go" ... "Always be looking for the unexpected in nature" ... "Know when you are licked - start another. Be Alive, stop when your interest is lost" ... "Don't be too reasonable, get a little bit excited" ... "Put on one or two traces of pure color as pace setters" ... "hold up the black handle of your palette knife to compare it with the darks in the subject" ..."You are too careful-but, of course, you can never be too careful. I expect you were careful about the wrong thing." Bottom line, it's a great book packed with useful advice by a real painter/teacher. You will have to read it carefully, think, and be open to new ideas, in order to really learn from it, but you can't do better for advice on honest, representational, outdoor painting.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Judith Tobin on August 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Would gladly have paid more to see examples . While the statements are fascinating I needed to see more of what he did , not just what was on the cover.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read the entire book in one sitting and was amazed at the content. I can only imagine what it would have been like to study with Hawthorne. This book has Hawthornes narratives as well as his critiques. I wish they had included pictures of the works being critiqued, that would be so much more useful. but as it stands it's still a great book. It's something you can read over and over. I was suprised how much of his advice applies to life in general, not necessarily painting.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bluespace on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Charles Hawthorne was a very good painter in both oils and watercolors , and a very well respected teacher.In his book his philosophy and approach are made clearer and he gives a pretty good explanation of what he feels the difference is between the drawing and painting points of view in art, but unfortunately there is a complete lack of illustration except for the cover.You'll have to search the web to find some extra images of his work.His paintings range in style from realistic to expressionistic .I particularly like his watercolors and when I first read the preview here on amazon.com as i read I could imagine scenes in watercolor as illustration for the text and while my paintings vary considerably from hawthorne's personal style I think the lack of images in the book forces you to see what you would do with his advice.Not as a rehash of other's work, but your own personal vision.Can you put a price on that?
I recommend you read this book, work with it for a long time and then seek out hawthorne's work and that way you can see what your interpretation is like first .I think it's a really good book and it's inexpensive too!
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