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The Oil Painting Course You've Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists Paperback – July 1, 2006
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How does an artist translate what she or he sees into a painting? It isn't as simple as plunking down two apples or looking out the window and then copying what you see.
This lesson is all about what goes into making an interesting painting. It will show you how to effectively arrange your subject, how to accurately sketch the subject onto the canvas, and how to successfully develop and finish the painting. Our subject will be a simple still life.
This lesson is divided into four parts. In the first part you will learn how to make your painting interesting and then apply what you learn to the arrangement of your chosen fruit or vegetables. In the second part you will learn how to draw your objects accurately onto the canvas. In the third part you will be guided in the painting of your still life; we will use what you have learned about color and shading in the previous lessons to paint fruit that looks as if you could pick it off the canvas.In the final part I will demonstrate standard painting procedures and paint a still life.
- Publisher : Watson-Guptill (July 1, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0823032590
- ISBN-13 : 978-0823032594
- Item Weight : 1.53 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.55 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #89,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2019
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Now, it IS for beginners, but it also says for "experienced" because she shows you tricks that maybe you didn't cover in other classes.
She incorporates drawing lessons with the painting lessons. If you can't draw and shade a sphere, how are you going to understand a bush? She doesn't just have list of brushes, but she has exercises on how to blend paint with them. Each exercise in the book builds on the next.
It is true that you are not going to paint a masterpiece with this book, but I do think you will say, "Oh, that's the problem", and then you can move forward with your own talent.
She has one whole page on Taming Thalo Green, which no one else has in their books. She has a shading lesson in primary colors, and in secondary colors. She tells you how to dull a color without changing the value (mix it's exact complimentary in the same value, then add it). She explains glazing and scumbling. All the exercises are simple, so that if you are talented or not, you can do them. For example, she doesn't have you glaze a portrait like Rembrandt, but an apple.
As she gets to harder things, she introduces more drawing. For example, when she gets to landscape, she talks about drawing perspective, as well as atmospheric perspective. In landscapes, she explains the tricks for trees and rocks (do the darks first). When she gets to portraits, then she talks about drawing the face. I don't think her portraits are all that hot, but she shows the steps then you can do them too, and infuse your talent.
You will not create a masterpiece with this book, but you will have tools to create your own masterpiece because you won't be stumped with atmospheric perspective, how to do trees, how to make a shadow, etc. Just like you can't play the violin if you don't know where the notes are and how to get a good sound out of the bow, you can't oil paint if you don't know things like how Alizarin Crimson is going to behave differently from Cadmium Red Light. She will help you with this.
She has taught beginning oil painting for 30 years, so she anticipates your problems and questions. Oil will not longer be something to fight with, but something that will do your bidding.
She opens with a good overview of the materials required: paints, brushes, supports, easels and a useful piece on mediums and cleaners. Staiger appears to acknowledge that of her audience some are merely curious as to what oil painting entails through to the serious beginner looking for a good foundation of knowledge. Hence economy is apparent with a minimal range of brushes being recommended along with using good student grade paints (Winsor & Newton - Grumbacher), along with old tuna-fish cans for holding the medium. This is followed by:
i) A fairly comprehensive and easy to understand section on rendering 3D form on a 2D canvas.
ii) 20 pages on colour and colour mixing (a further 4 pages on mixing greens appears later in the landscape section).
iii) The previous chapters are brought to a conclusion with an exercise in painting a cylinder and a sphere.
iv) Painting the Still Life is next (30 pages of info), covering issues such as composition, sketching, painting.
v) Landscapes (40 pages): linear and aerial perspective, a landscape palette, components of a landscape - sky, water, trees, grass, sand, dirt, and concludes with a landscape painting exercise.
vi) Painting Portraits - drawing the head and correct placement of features, mixing skin tones, finishing with a portrait painting exercise.
Overall there is a lot of information here that should benefit the beginner. The book is also aimed at Experienced painters although I'm not sure that there is anything major that an Experienced oil painter shouldn't already know.
The exercises are somewhat rudimentary in terms of the painting style (hence the 4 stars). I'd much prefer the exercises push the painter somewhat, possibly even have two exercises per subject matter - one to get across the rudiments followed by a second adding to it showing you various tricks, flourishes etc., that can give your painting that little "extra", elevating your work from the standard twee style that poliferates.
Watson-Guptill have produced another book worthy of place in the beginner artist's library. You might want to consider buying Brian Gorst's "The Complete Oil Painter" (also by WG) that compliments Staiger's book well.