8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Decent practical advice, intellectual dull, not on Aristedes level,
This review is from: Still Life Painting Atelier: An Introduction to Oil Painting (Hardcover)The main problem with this book is that it mimics the style and title of Juliette Aristedes two "Atelier" books (Classical Drawing Atelier and Classical Painting Atelier) but is not even in the same ball park as them in terms of depth of thought and insight.
The first half of the book is spent reviewing the most rudimentary of rudiments, at least for anyone with any experience painting. That's fine I guess... let's assume that we're trying to reach beginners. And I don't even mind reading basic material, because sometimes there is novel insight contained in someone elses review of it. Unfortunately, there was nothing beyond the most basic rudiments... there was NO take-away for the more experienced.
The second half of the book covers limited and full palettes, alla prima painting, and using glazes. This part seems solid and basic as well, and there were some good insights into technique. This second half works, then, for both beginners and experienced painters.
However, the author never strays from simply demonstrating a step by step guide to various lessons. Again, this is good for the beginner, but I was really hoping for some insights into the "WHY" that lies behind the "HOW".
For instance, the author demonstrates limited palettes of Orange/Blue, Yellow/Violet, and Red/Green... yet he never explains WHY these palettes are relevant. After all, you could construct palettes all day, using and endless variety of hues. What makes these palettes significant? In other words, what is the IDEA behind the palette? What is the theory of it? The author doesn't seem to have any. I suspect that he simply uses a collection of palettes that he has grown accustomed to through experience.
The strength of the aforementioned Aristedes "atelier" books was how she was able to delve into the ideas behind the practice. This author just demonstrates practice. For beginners, or those who are in love with step-by-step approaches, this is fine. But for anyone looking to think deeper about what is going on, you are out of luck here.
Overall, I just thought the book was decent. I wasn't angry at the book, or sorry that I bought it, because it isn't terrible. I was hoping that it would be on the level of the Aristedes books, but I kind-a suspected it wouldn't be. Unfortunately, I was right.