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Spotlight: Stroke of Genius Artists
(also see Portrait & Figure Instruction: DVD's & Videos for instructional videos by our artists)
Traditional Oil Painting: Advanced Techniques and Concepts from the Renaissance to the Present by Virgil Elliott - Hardcover: 224 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1st edition (August 7, 2007) Best Seller

As more and more artists today look to the past, there has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in painting realistically—in creating convincing illusions of three-dimensional depth on two dimensional surfaces. How did the Old Masters create their masterpieces? What kind of education allowed these great artists to create such beautiful work, and how can an artist learn these lessons today?

Shortcuts & Artists' Secrets by Diane Cardaci - Paperback: 64 pages; Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (February 1, 2011)

Inside this helpful guide, accomplished artist Diane Cardaci guides readers through several shortcuts to drawing—from projecting and using the grid method to utilizing a computer.

Landscapes & Vistas: Learn to draw an assortment of outdoor scenes-step by step by Diane Cardaci - Paperback: 32 pages; Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (December 15, 2012)

From basic drawing techniques to tools and materials, this guide instructs the reader on how to draw a variety of beautiful landscape subjects, using a combination of drawing media such as pencil, charcoal, and ink.

Flowers & Botanicals: Discover your 'inner artist' as you explore the basic theories and techniques of pencil drawing by Diane Cardaci - Paperback: 64 pages; Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (July 1, 2007) Best Seller

With easy-to-understand information on tools and materials, basic strokes, and shading techniques, this 64-page book covers everything beginning artists need to start creating their own impressive works of botanical art.

Realistic Textures: Discover your "inner artist" as you explore the basic theories and techniques of pencil drawing by Diane Cardaci - Paperback: 64 pages; Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (January 1, 2007)

With step-by-step projects that are designed to help sharpen artists' skills and heighten their confidence, this book demonstrates simple techniques for rendering the textures of everyday objects, such as metal, wood, plastic, hair, fur, feathers, and more.

Capturing Soft Realism in Colored Pencil by Ann Kullberg – Hardcover: 128 pages, North Light Books, 1st edition (August 2002) Best Seller

Kullberg teaches artists how to faithfully capture the essence of any subject without wasting time on excessive detail work. Step by step she presents 35 popular subjects and describes techniques for adding rich texture, depth and form in the most simple and straightforward way possible. Insights on getting a realistic effect include: • Mapping out a complex subject to make it easier to paint • Changing pencil strokes to create different textures • Mixing hues for greater visual interest • Creating softer, more natural edges by varying the pressure of the pencil It's all the instruction a colored pencil artist needs to effortlessly add gorgeous details to every piece they create.

The Matzah That Papa Brought Home by Fran Manushkin, Ned Bittinger (Illustrator) – Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover: 32 pages Publisher: Scholastic (February 1, 1995) Best Seller

Bringing cherished Passover traditions to life, a new book by the author of Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story includes a short history of the Passover story, lively illustrations, cumulative verse, and an explanation of holiday symbols.

Painting the Head in One Sitting III ("Pam")

The presentation is specifically arranged to illustrate the 29-step method featured in Mr. Sanden's book Portraits From Life in 29 Steps (North Light Books, 1999). Like the other two, this video takes the viewer step-by-step through the painting of a head-and-shoulders portrait, this time specifically enumerating the 29 steps featured in the book.

The 29 steps are divided into six sections: (1) The Layout, or preliminary drawing, (2) The Shadows, (3) The Halftones, (4) The Lights, (5) Restating, in which the artist refreshes and improves on previous judgements, and (6) Particularizing, in which the precise details of the facial features are painted.

This division of the job at hand into six manageable portions, which in turn are completed through several precise steps (it may sound complicated, but it's really quite simple) gives the painter a logical plan of accomplishment.

...more painting videos by John Howard Sanden

Painting the Head in Oil by Margaret Carter Baumgaertner

Note: "Peggy" Baumgaertner won Best of Show in the Portrait Society of America 2000 portrait competition.

Margaret Carter Baumgaertner's internationally successful DVD's have enriched the lives of portrait artists world wide. Her DVDs take the artist from conception and drawing to the finished painting.

Each DVD series focuses on a particular area, such as Painting the Corporate Portrait, or Painting the Alma Prima Portrait. The DVDs are a valuable supplement to Baumgaertner's workshops. The beauty of the DVD is that the artist can watch it over and over again!

Learning how to interpret information from a photograph or a live model is critical to the success of a painting. Baumgaertner teaches the portrait artist how to see and how to translate that information and apply it to the painting. Her DVDs are thorough. Baumgaertner provides detailed information, describes painting techniques, and demonstrates them.


Painting the Corporate Portrait by Margaret Carter Baumgaertner


Painting the Ala Prima Portrait by Margaret Carter Baumgaertner


Drawing the Head in Sauce by Margaret Carter Baumgaertner


Classic Portrait Painting in Oils: Keys to Mastering Diverse Skin Tones by Chris Saper – Hardcover: 144 pages Publisher: North Light Books; 1st edition (February 13, 2012) Best Seller

Chris Saper takes the mystery and guesswork out of portrait painting while leaving its joy fully intact.

The Art of Portrait Drawing by Joy Thomas – Hardcover: 144 pages Publisher: North Light Books (June 12, 2006) Best Seller

Learn how to turn what you see into masterful, expressive art. With the practical instruction and advice in these pages, you can develop the skills necessary to draw fine portraits in the realist tradition.

In The Art of Portrait Drawing, skilled artist Joy Thomas passes on to you the lessons she has gathered from generations of the world’s greatest artists. Learn about the golden mean, the traditional three-color portrait, the secrets of proportion and more methods used by the Old Masters and today’s best artists alike!

Inside you’ll find: · An introduction to every commonly used drawing medium, including charcoal, Conté and graphite · An illustrated overview of the history of portrait drawing · Time-honored methods for drawing accurately · Insights on how to capture not only the likeness, but also the mood and essence of your subject · Advice on posing a subject, setting up lighting, choosing the right tools and composing effectively · 9 in-depth, step-by-step drawing demonstrations to develop your skills and your confidence Portraying the human face is the ultimate expression of art. Use The Art of Portrait Drawing as the road map for your artistic quest.

Faces & Expressions: Master the art of drawing a range of faces and expressions - step by step by Diane Cardaci – Paperback: 32 pages; Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (March 26, 2015)

Perfect for beginning artists, Drawing: Faces & Expressions offers a comprehensive introduction on how to draw faces and expressions - the most important aspects of an individual.

Painting Beautiful Skin Tones with Light & Color by Chris Saper – Hardcover, 128 pages (September 2001) North Light Books Best Seller

This beautifully produced intstructional book is a "must-have" for every portrait painter, from beginner to professional. This book provides the portrait and figurative painter a uniquely logical framework to make decisions about the painting at hand. This systematic, but non-formulaic approach emphasizes using the color of light to paint luscious skin tones quickly and accurately.

The Best of Portrait Painting by Rachel Wolf (Editor) – Hardcover, by North Light Books, 1997 Best Seller

Artists on this site featured are Margaret Carter Baumgaertner, Joy Thomas.

When the Root Children Wake Up by Audrey Wood, Ned Bittinger – School & Library Binding: 32 pages, Scholastic Trade, 1st edition (March 1, 2002) Best Seller

Gr. 2-4. An Edwardian classic gets a fresh lease on life with a recast text matched to eye-filling, lushly romantic art.

The Blue and the Gray by Eve Bunting, Ned Bittinger (Illustrator) – Hardcover, Scholastic Trade, 1996 Best Seller

A young white boy and his African-American friend explore the grassy fields near the construction area of their new homes, which is on the site of an 1862 Civil War battleground, and one boy's father reminds them of the war's lesson of freedom.

Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne, Ned Bittinger (Illustrator) – Hardcover, 32 pages, Published by Scholastic Trade, 1997 Best Seller

A rocking horse, outgrown by its little boy owner, faithfully waits by the attic window for his friend to return. This poignant tale, filled with magic and wonder, is sure to become a new Christmas classic. Full color

The Little Flower Girl (Pictureback) by Linda Tracey Brandon, Lynne Woodcock Cravath (Illustrator) – 24 pages, Random House (March 1997)

What exactly does a flower girl do? What's the most fun part of a wedding? Does a flower girl get to wear make-up? What if she messes up? Little girls can find the answers to all of these questions and much more, as they follow the adventures of one little flower girl. A magical book—enhanced by sweet, quirky artwork that captures the wedding spirit-and a must for any child who's going to a wedding, participating in one.

Oil Painting Videos with Margaret Holland Sargent

~ Getting Started in Oil Painting ~ Basic Oil Painting ~ Intermediate Oil Painting: Floral Arrangement ~ Intermediate Oil Painting: Metal, Glass & Wood ~ How to Succeed in Portraiture ~ Oil Portraits: Painting the Head. Buy the set or any individual video. Click here to contact the artist about ordering.

The Power of Positive Painting with Robert Maniscalco

This video covers everything from developing an effective composition, drawing and underpainting, to mixing an effective palette for luminous flesh tones, to completing a finished portrait in one session. Click here to contact the artist about ordering.

Drawing Secrets Revealed - Basics: How to Draw Anything by Sarah Parks - Paperback: 128 pages; Publisher: North Light Books (October 22, 2014)

Discover the artists' "secrets" that make drawing accessible for everyone. Sarah Parks shares with you her favorite materials and the basic techniques that make it possible.

Drawing Secrets Revealed: Portraits by Sarah Parks – Format: NTSC; Number of discs: 1; Studio: North Light Books

In Drawing Secrets Revealed: Portraits you'll find: Instruction for drawing eyes, mouths, noses, ears and hair

Drawing Secrets Revealed: Figures Step by Step by Sarah Parks – Format: NTSC; Region: All Regions; Number of discs: 1; Studio: North Light Books



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