Thursday, November 29, 2012

Makingamark's Top 10 Fine Art Books in November 2012

I've reviewed the listings and updated Makingamark's Top 10 Fine Art Books and have identified the best art books in November 2012.

This is always a very long exercise  and one which I was getting bored doing earlier this year as the books had started to 'stick' and there were very few changes in the listings.

However, after people worked out how to "fix" Amazon listings,  it would appear that Amazon has changed its approach and it now seems likely I'll be back to doing an update on at least at least a quarterly if not monthly basis.

However right now - this is the one to inform your response to any questions from relatives or friends along the lines of "Would you like an art book for Christmas?"!

Here's the table of contents (with embedded links to the website)
  1. How this list is compiled each month
  1. *** TOP DRAWING BOOKS ***
  1. DRAWING - Top Rated Drawing Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. DRAWING - Best Selling Drawing Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. PAINTING - Top Rated Painting Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. PAINTING - Best Selling Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. The Best Books about Painting
  1. ARTISTS: Top Rated Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. ARTISTS - Best Selling Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. ART HISTORY: Top Rated Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. ART HISTORY - Best Selling Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. THE ART BUSINESS: Top Rated Art Book in NOVEMBER 2012
  1. THE ART BUSINESS - Best Selling Art Book in NOVEMBER 2012
Commentary November 2012

I've picked out a few of the book for comment below.


I think I maybe need to make it clear that I only list books for adults and refuse to list books which I think are:
  • either completely useless (even if they are on the top 100 list) and 
  • those which represent doodling pastimes for bored adults.  
Ideally I'm always trying to identify the best books for the person I was 20 years ago - somebody who wanted to learn a lot but didn't want to spend money on rubbish.  Hence if you don't see a book listed on this website that's the reason why!

It's great to see Andrew Loomis's Figure Drawing for All It's Worth back on the top rated list.  He was one of those people I learned about as I started to interrogate the Internet for good resources for how to improve my drawing skills - and his was a name which kept coming up again and again.  It's been really great to see all his books being reprinted in facsimile editions - since every second-hand book had been snapped up long ago!

I'm also seeing excellent displays of them in most art bookshops I visit - maybe because they make a coherent series of drawing instruction books?

A window display of Andrew Loomis books at Foyles earlier this year
The fourth edition of Betty Edwards 4th edition of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain has regained its best-selling position amongst well regarded books for adults (which means I ignored some books which are doing better as they're either for kids or they're nowhere near as good as Betty's book.


Two years after Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter was published, James Gurney's book remains the top serious book for the painter.  This book has rarely been out of the top rated or best selling charts from BEFORE it was published.  It's beginning to approach the stage where, like the Banksy book, I retire it if only to see what else is around an about and doing well.  (Do also take a look at James blog - Gurney Journey is one of the best there is!)


There are two new books about artists this month - one is a new biography of Cezanne which has been getting very favourable reviews.

The other is a book about the 3D pacement artists Kurt Wenner which was published last year.  I rather suspect that this has been on a slow boil for some time.

Art History

The categorisation of books about Art History on Amazon has now got to the point where it's worse than useless. I went through pages of books none of which had a remote connection to art history.  Amazon badly needs to limit the number of categories that a book can be listed under.

However I did manage to identify that the fans of Ross King's fascinating books about past Masters has a new companion Leonardo and the Last Supper

Art Business

Alyson Stanfield 's book I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion remains the top rated book.  Others have more ratings but Alyson has the best!
Plus the new 2013 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Art has been published and is selling well.

You can see more "best books" in Making A Mark's Art Book Lists

1 comment:

  1. you would think that being an artist that my family would always be asking me that question, but sadly no!! so i have to buy my own art books...i definitely will check out the new Cezanne, love, love reading about artists (that is, if it's well written!).


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of too much spam.
My blog posts are always posted to my Making A Mark Facebook Page and you can comment there if you wish.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.