Learning: Materials & Techniques
(also see Painting Materials & Techniques: Historical)

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1,500 Color Mixing Recipes for Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor Spiral-bound: 176 pages; Walter Foster Publishing; (Aug 1, 2012) Best Seller

This incredible collection comes in a user-friendly concealed spiral-bound format that is tabbed for quick and easy reference. Aspiring artists will also find two removable color mixing grids--one for oil or acrylic, and one for watercolor.

Making Color Sing, 25th Anniversary Edition: Practical Lessons in Color and Design by Jeanne Dobie – Paperback: 160 pages; Watson-Guptill; Anniversary, Reprint (Jan 11, 2011) Best Seller

In the 25th anniversary edition of Making Color Sing, Jeanne Dobie teaches you new ways to think about color and make it work for you, through 31 clear, easy-to-follow exercises. No color exists in isolation; colors are always interacting with one another. As this nationally recognized author explains, understanding color relationships is the key to successful painting.

Color Mixing Recipes for Portraits: More than 500 Color Combinations for skin, eyes, lips & hair (Color Mixing recipes) by William F. Powell – Hardcover: 48 pages; Walter Foster (Nov 1, 2006) Best Seller

From Caucasian to Latino and East Indian hues, this convenient book features master mixes for an arry of skin colors, plus recipes for hair, eye, and lip colors. The concealed wire-o bound book also includes a plastic color-mixing grid for measuring out paints, as well as a handy conversion chart for finding acrylic equivalents of oil paints and vice versa.

Pastel Book: Materials and Techniques for Today's Artist (Paperback) by Bill Creevy – Paperback: 176 pages; Watson-Guptill; 2nd edition (Aug 1999) Best Seller

Absolutely the most thorough guide to pastel materials and techniques ever assembled in a single volume, this is the book for anyone working with pastels, from beginners to experienced artists looking to develop more professional skills. 450 color illustrations.

Making Color Sing by Jeanne Dobie – Paperback: 160 pages; Watson-Guptill (Apr 15, 2000)

Through clear, illuminating exercises, this best-selling book stimulates new ways to think about color, generating responses that unlock personal creativity and allow artists to express themselves with paint as never before.

Readers are shown how the interplay of complementary hues can trigger vibrations; how the push and pull of warm and cool colors can create a feeling of space; how to disguise one color in a scene to accent another; and many more tidbits of colorful advice.

From SOG artist Chris Saper: "Hands down, one of the most well written and usefully illustrated book on color theory available".

The Simple Secret to Better Painting: How to Immediately Improve Your Work With the Golden Rule of Design by Greg Albert – Paperback: 128 pages; North Light Books; 1st edition (May 2003)

Composition is one of the most important elements to any painting, but it can also be one of the most intimidating. The long list of rules for designing and structuring a work is complicated, hard to remember and downright mystifying. In this simple resource, Greg Albert boils it all down to one golden rule: Never make any two intervals the same. He demonstrates this fool-proof technique with clear, concise diagrams, before-and-after student paintings and samples from today’s top painters. Readers will get to learn from the work of Frank Webb, Tony Couch, Zoltan Szabo, Tony Van Hasselt, Tom Lynch and many more! Artists of all levels with find this secret to great composition easy to remember and even easier to use. Greg Albert is Editorial Director of North Light Books. He’s also an artist, author and teacher who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Color Mixing Bible: All You'll Ever Need to Know About Mixing Pigments in Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache, Soft Pastel, Pencil, and Ink by Ian Sidaway – Paperback: 144 pages; Watson-Guptill (Apr 1, 2002)

Mixing colors accurately may be an art unto itself. In fact, many artists are discouraged by the time and expense it takes to mix and match colors, and achieve the right results. Even more frustrating is the vast range of colors available. Now there's a ready-to-use visual directory that takes all the guesswork out of mixing and matching colors . . . making every artist an expert! Color Mixing Bible provides a basic color palette for each art medium, demonstrating an array of two-, three-, and four-color mixes, as well as offering full explanations of various paints and pigments. This invaluable guide features scores of tips and techniques for color mixing with oils, acrylics, watercolors, inks, pastels, and virtually every other art medium. It also includes in-depth information on how to determine the opacity and strength of a color, choose a color palette, mix whites, arrange and organize colors prior to mixing, use optical and physical mixing techniques, and much more! Plus, hundreds of color illustrations make everything simple. Whether one is an aspiring artist or working professional, Color Mixing Bible is an essential addition to every bookshelf.

The Painter's Handbook by Mark David Gottsegen – Paperback: 320 pages; Watson-Guptill (Dec 1993)

A thorough resource presenting details on the vast array of materials available to the artist, including canvases, papers, sizes, grounds, pigments, binders, solvents, thinners, varnishes, and preservatives. Separate chapters are devoted to each painting medium—its composition, characteristics, and methods of application. A final section examines the different means for preserving works of art and for repairing and restoring paintings. Recipes for making art materials are included throughout, and health and safety issues are given their due. —Annotation copyright Book News, Inc.

Artist's Manual: A Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Materials and Techniques by Angela Gair (Introduction) – Paperback: 256 pages; Chronicle Books (Sep 1996)

A veritable bible for beginners as well as an invaluable reference for accomplished artists, The Artist's Manual is a hands-on guide to hundreds of techniques for painting and drawing. This easy-to-use manual clearly explains the artist's essential tools and material—how to choose them, how to use them, and to care for them. Includes 523 color photos and 234 color drawings.

A Treatise on Portrait Painting – An Exploration in Palettes & Styles by Cheryl Kline – Hardcover: 197 pages; ArtistsoftheRoundTable.com; 1st edition (May 1, 2015)

During traditional artistic training, so often the individual artist becomes honed into a style that has been repeated for centuries. And while during initial training that may be fine, eventually artists need to develop their own unique style. A Treatise on Portrait Painting – An Exploration in Palettes & Styles takes the artist on an artistic journey, exploring many styles of portrait painting based on workshops and personal studies of the author, Cheryl Kine. Kline guides you step by step from her own process painting and makes a world of information accessible to even a beginning portrait artist. For those artists who have been painting a long time, she challenges you to bend and break the rules as well as your comfort zone, to try to discover something unique in the description of the model you are painting.

The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer, Steven Sheehan – Hardcover: 761 pages; Viking Press; 5th revised & updated edition (May 1991)

An earlier edition of this classic is recommended by BCL3. This edition of the reference is revised by Steven Sheehan (Yale Art School). It covers pigments, oils, acrylics, tempera, grounds, watercolor, pastel, mural painting, gums, waxes, chemistry, conservation and various other topics including toxicity. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Color Mixing Recipes for Landscapes by William F. Powell – Hardcover: 48 pages; Walter Foster Publishing; Spi edition (Apr 30, 2012) Best Seller

In the latest addition to the Color Mixing Recipes family of books, artist William F. Powell provides instruction on color mixing as it relates to landscape painting in oil and acrylic.

The Oil Painting Book: Materials and Techniques for Today's Artist by Bill Creevy – Hardback, 176 pages; Watson-Guptill (Mar 1999) Best Seller

Offering information on the full scope of oil painting materials and how to use them to derive the best results from the medium, this indispensable encyclopedia compares leading brands of paints; describes mediums, solvents, and varnishes; and discusses brushes, palettes, and other tools. 335 color illustrations.

Portrait Painting Atelier: Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications ~ Suzanne Brooker (Author), Domenic Cretara (Foreword) – Hardcover: 208 pages; Watson-Guptill (Mar 9, 2010) Best Seller

"Portrait Painting Atelier" provides serious artists with a course of instruction that demonstrates in step-by-step detail the old masters' technique of layering paint over a toned-ground surface, a process that builds from the transparent dark areas to the more densely painted lights. In this method, the tone of the ground serves to unify the overall painting as well as optically influencing the thinly applied layers of pigment, creating the effect of a beautiful glow that illuminates the skin tones and achieves a soft blending of colour tones.

Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice ~ by Juliette Aristides – Hardcover: 256 pages; Watson-Guptill; 1st edition (Apr 1, 2008) Best Seller

Students of art hailed Classical Drawing Atelier, Juliette Aristides’s first book, as a dynamic return to the atelier educational model. Ateliers, popular in the nineteenth century, teach emerging artists by pairing them with a master artist over a period of years. The educational process begins as students copy masterworks, then gradually progress to painting as their skills develop. The many artists at every level who learned from Classical Drawing Atelier have been clamoring for more of this sophisticated approach to teaching and learning. In Classical Painting Atelier, Aristides, a leader in the atelier movement, takes students step-by-step through the finest works of Old Masters and today’s most respected realist artists to reveal the principles of creating full-color realist still lifes, portraits, and figure paintings. Rich in tradition, yet practical for today’s artists, Classical Painting Atelier is ideal for serious art students seeking a timeless visual education.

Hilary Page's Guide to Watercolor Paints by Hilary Page – Paperback: 160 pages; Watson-Guptill; 1st edition (Feb 1, 1997)

HILARY PAGE'S GUIDE TO WATERCOLOR PAINTS is now offered with regular, free, on-line updates . The web site for the updates is listed in the front of each copy of the book.

An Artist's Notebook: Techniques & Materials by Bernard Chaet – Paperback: 254 pages; Holt Rinehart & Winston (Mar 1979)


Painting Materials: A Short Encyclopedia by Rutherford J. Gettens, George L. Stout – Paperback (Jun 1978) Dover Publications

Their book, written when they were both affiliated with the Department of Conservation at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum, is not a handbook of instruction. It is, instead, an encyclopedic collection of specialized data on every aspect of painting and painting research.

A Painter's Guide to Design and Composition: 27 Masters Reveal Their Secrets by Margot Schulzke – Hardcover: 144 pages; North Light Books (Feb 7, 2006)

Design makes the difference between a decent painting and an unforgettable work of art. Learn from 26 modern masters as they bare their souls and their secrets for crafting magnificent works that delight the eye at every viewing. Daniel Greene, Albert Handell, Jan Kunz, James Toogood and 22 other award-winning artists share notable insights and practical advice for making a painting succeed no matter what the subject.

Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors by Betty Edwards Paperback: 224 pages; Tarcher (Sep 23, 2004)

Millions of people have learned to draw using the methods of Dr. Betty Edwards's bestseller The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Now, much as artists progress from drawing to painting, Edwards moves from black-and-white into color. This new guide distills the enormous existing knowledge about color theory into a practical method of working with color to produce harmonious combinations.

Using techniques tested and honed in her five-day intensive color workshops, Edwards provides a basic understanding of how to see color, how to use it, and-for those involved in art, painting, or design-how to mix and combine hues. Including more than 125 color images and exercises that move from simple to challenging.

Formulas for Painters by Bernard Stanford Massey – Paperback: Watson-Guptill (Dec 1988)

Reader review:This book is essential if you are interested in making your own style. Formulas for Painters is a cookbook full of sizing,paints,grounds, mediums, glazes, varnishes, fixatives, and adhesive recipes for the artist that wants more then what they can find in an over-priced art supply store.

Color Choices by Stephen Quiller – Paperback: 144 pages; Watson-Guptill; New edition (May 2002)

From SOG artist Chris Saper: "Hands down, one of the most well written and usefully illustrated book on color theory available."

The Artist's Handbook by Ray Smith Paperback: 352 pages; Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (Oct 1987)

In this handsome and substantial handbook, a classic approach to the technical aspects of art, British artist Smith presents a wealth of information on established materials that he organizes first by function—pigments, resins, solvents, and the like—then by media categorized according to discipline. For instance, his section on drawing contains detailed entries on oil pastels, charcoal, and conte crayon. Painting elicits descriptions and depictions of the uses of watercolor, oils, and acrylics. In the printmaking and digital media and photography categories, Smith focuses more on method than media, with subsections on intaglio, lithography, and screenprinting in the former, and, in the latter, a 10-page discussion of computer manipulation of digital images. Throughout, he amply employs full-color illustrations and demonstrations as examples and teaching aids. This excellent overall guide to the visual arts boasts multiple appendixes on color, perspective, health, and safety. With glossary and index, this far-ranging overview is hard to beat. —Whitney Scott Copyright © American Library Association.

Color Theory Made Easy: A New Approach to Color Theory and How to Apply It to Mixing Paints by Jim Ames – Paperback: 112 pages; Watson-Guptill (Apr 1996)

Artist Ames contends that the reason artists struggle with color is because the old primary color scheme is wrong. He advocates an alternative approach using cyan, magenta, and yellow, explaining his conclusions and why these three colors are so vital to accurate color presentation. Who cares? Well, Ames persuades and convinces by friendly text, diagrams, and colorful examples that the end result with his schemes are more lively and balanced, a really important attribute of successful art (and he also tells the reader how to select and mix paint too). No bibliography. —Annotation © by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.


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