Monday, May 30, 2011

Which are the best books about oil painting?

I wonder how many would-be oil painters start, like me, by buying books and trying to get to grips with the basics before actually starting to grapple with the paint?

I've been a long time coming to oil painting.  It's not for the want of buying books about it!  I do like to read around a topic before jumping in!

Today over on Four Go Painting in Provence, I will be lisitng the oil painting books I've bought and why - some of which will travel to France.  

Take a look below if you want to see some of the books I've bought.

Books about oil painting and oil painters
Working out which are the best books about oil painting

I'm a huge believer in the wisdom of crowds - when they are speaking from their own personal experience - and I'm very interested in your personal views about which are the best books about oil painting.   

I did a similar exercise on this blog in relation to water colour painting last year - see Which are the best art books about watercolour painting?  It was absolutely fascinating what that threw up as books people raved about (eg Making Colour Sing by Jeanne Dobie - which has just been republished) and ones which people recommended very highly - and yet were ones which could not be found in the shops.

I'd also emphasise that this is about the best books which are available and is NOT about which books are in print.  Many excellent books are available online as used books and are well worth purchasing for their content.

With your help I'm aiming to develop a "resources for artists" listing of:
  • 'The Best Books' of instruction in oil painting - for all types of abilities
  • 'The Best Books' about artists painting in oils - past and present 
If your recommendation is used, you and your website and/or blog will be accredited with a link which should generate repeat traffic to your site.

Which oil painting books do you recommend?
I know I've bought books on the basis of recommendations by other artists when doing similar exercises on this blog.  I'd like you too to be able to share those recommendations - both in terms of giving and receiving
Identifying the best oil painting instruction books

If you would like to share your views, please TELL ME and the readers of this blog the answers to the following questions about books which have taught you about painting in oils and/or helped you to improve your knowledge and skills in painting in oils.

If it helps you, try giving them marks out of 10 to indicate how good they are and how you rank them in terms of value.
  1. Personal preference: Which are your personal top three (or five or ten!) books about oil painting.  Ranking is good and reasons for your choice are most helpful
  2. Beginners:  Which is the best book for somebody starting to learn to paint in oils - and why?
  3. Improvers:  Which is the best book for somebody looking to improve their painting in oils - and why?
  4. Advanced:  Which is the best book for a more experienced artist looking to refine their work - and why?
Identifying the best books about oil painters

Please share the book or books about oil painters which you have found most stimulating and helpful