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Brushwork Essentials: How to Render Expressive Form and Texture with Every Stroke Hardcover – June 1, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This unique book deals exclusively with oil brushwork. Painters learn how to render expressive form and texture using the myriad shapes and types of brushes available. Mixing and loading paint, cleaning and shaping brushes for maximum control, and picking the right paint for specific types of strokes are all covered. As Weber writes, the book's purpose is to show "how to use your brushes to make that rascally oil paint do your bidding." Weber uses his own award-winning, highly refined paintings to illustrate the book. Recommended for large collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Weber spells out the fundamental differences between smooth brushwork and the calm mood it can impart, and the rough texture of a scumbled or thickly painted surface expressing an energetic aura. Photographs show the exact premise behind each of Weber's lessons, from what the paint looks like when you vary the consistency with mediums or solvents, to mixing with a brush or cleaning your brushes to best maintain them. Illustrations are followed by images of finished paintings, reinforcing the specific points discussed. Weber writes with humor and confidence, keeping things lighthearted whether he is teaching the mechanics of holding a brush or a wet-into-wet application of paint on canvas. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; 1st edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581801688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581801682
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In spite of an extensive drawing background (I actually majored in art) I somehow never really learned how to paint. I have long been able to "color in" ink drawings & create sort of expressionistic painting-like things...but even when I've been able to pull something off I've felt like some core knowledge was simply missing & always will be.

But this book has opened the door! He explains right away that this book has no intention of teaching everything about painting, but has been created solely to focus on the very practical issue of how to actually apply paint to a surface depending on your goal. In spite of all the instruction that is out there, there is mystery in the actual process of touching a brush to the canvas which is rarely discussed.

What brushes are out there and what EXACTLY does each one do? How does paint respond depending on how much you have thinned it? How do you physically mix paints? (there are different ways depending on what you are going for) How do you load the brushes with paint (again depending on what you want to achieve)? What angle do you hold the brush to create a smooth, blended effect & how for a rougher look? All this and much much more, including the one section less directly related to brushwork about light.

There is so much information in this book, practical and helpful. Mr. Weber has a clear respect for a wide range of approaches to paintings and also presents ones that he himself does not use.

The diagrams analyzing different brushstrokes in various paintings is very demystifying. You look at a fabulous painting & hone in very clearly on specifically how the petals of the daisies were actually physically done, or the flow of the water, or the striation (stratification?
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic! I have learned a few of the techniques through trial and error and others showed me why things weren't working for me. No oil book talks as much about HOW to paint with a brush. While primarily for oils, it is helpful for acrylics, too. Has great info on water-mixable oils, too.
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Format: Hardcover
DO NOT buy this book if you are beyond beginner's level.

Reading the reviews I thought I was getting something to show me how to render better texture - forget it!

To be fair, this would be ideal for a beginner, but not anyone over that level - essentially, it is only showing how to use a brush - i.e. how to load and make a stroke. Waiting for it on the other side of the world, it was a bitter disappointment indeed!
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Format: Hardcover
I am sorry to be the `nay sayer', and no doubt some will disagree, but in my opinion this book has far more fluff than significant information, (at least on the designated subject mater).
Sure, I have bought books that miss their mark no worse that this one. It is just that this book's title was specific and it was such a disappointment to have a title with such a promising topic turn out to offer less information than those tomes, which I have already bought that, did not profess any special "brushwork" insights.
All in all, this is a book that took itself a little too "unseriously" and turned out as an underachiever.
(Also, the author's attempts at humor eluded me entirely, just more fluff.)
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Format: Hardcover
I've never found another book or taken a class where the info
given was what i wanted -- this turned out to be it! how to
get the paint on the support, without just scrubbing it around!
Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a tough book to review. I give this book 3 stars (the above is inaccurate) I like the idea of learning how to apply paint to the canvas (or whatever) but somehow looking at photos and reading the text leaves something to be desired. In my opinion this would have been better as a DVD where a person could actually see the process taking place.

The review of materials (in every Northlight book) gets tedious. The author seems to assume the reader hasn't painted before; however, I doubt a beginner in painting would purchase a book on brush technique.

Brushwork Essentials does cover a lot of territory and it does demenstrate the importance of knowing what your combo of brush and paint can achieve. A lot of learning is included in the book. The problem is visualizing what the author is talking about. A couple of photos with text doesn't carry the ideas forward very well. Many people will benefit from this book, but it isn't something that is all that easy to grasp.

After buying and reading numerous art books I have become disappointed with Northlight books. They publish a ton of books on every conceiveable subject; however, they are very repetitious and often do not manage to put the ideas forward very well. Northlight should switch to DVD or other types of presentations because their books are not cutting it as far as I am concerned.

If you want to buy this book I suggest getting it used because I do not think it is worth the full price (which I paid). Cheated again by good advertising and poor execution.

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Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book for those who are trying to learn to paint. I've come to this hobby in middle age, and I've struggled to find high-quality instruction on the mechanics of the craft. Weber shares his secrets and knowledge generously, and I find myself reaching for this book again and again.
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