This is a list of Ten Books on Oil Painting that I recommend to students in my workshops.
I am only going to be offering one five day workshop in plein air landscape for oil painters this winter.
There are a few more arrangements to make before I list the dates and enrolment info, but it will be the first or second week of March '08. Monday through Friday. Five full days of painting landscapes around San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
If any of you are interested you can email me at email@example.com. I will be posting the dates and more information here soon. Class size is limited.
I have read each of these books many times. My copy of "The Art Spirit" has been read so many times that it has fallen apart and is now just loose pages gathered together.
Emile Gruppe is one of my all time favorite artists and his book "Gruppe on Color" is the most cherished book in my oil painting library. His books are out of print but they are worth buying used.
1. "Hawthorne on Painting" Hawthorne - Dover
2. "The Art Spirit" Robert Henri - Harper and Row
3. "Gruppe on Color" Emile A Gruppe - Watson Guptill
4. "Gruppe on Painting - Direct Techniques in Oil" Emile A. Gruppe - Watson Guptill
5. "Brushwork - A Guide to Expressive Brushwork for Oil Painting" Emile A. Gruppe - Watson Guptill
6. "Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting" John F. Carlson - Dover
7. "Composition of Outdoor Painting" Edgar Payne -Payne Studios
8. " Landscape Painting Inside and Out" Kevin Macpherson - North Light Books
9. "Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light and Color" Kevin Macpherson - North Light Books
10. "Alla Prima" Richard Shmid - West Wind
I decided to limit my list to my ten favorites. Do you have other favorite books on oil painting techniques?
I have almost all of those books and I paid a hefty price for my Gruppe books. Well worth it too. He is one of many fantastic painters who's work I admire.
Do you know Ros Farbush? She's been regular in San Miguel De Allende for years and lives near me in Massachusetts.
One of my very favorite books is Oil Painting Pure and Simple, featuring Trevor Chamberlain an incredible UK artist who is equally proficient in both Oil and Watercolor.
Great values and shapes unite to form a picture. There's a second one called 'Oils'also by him, both in collaboration with Ron Ranson.
Hi Mary, Thanks for the comments. Yep, those Gruppe books are so worth the big $. I Made my money back with the improvement to my work.
At first I was mad that there were so many black and white reproductions in those. I felt, oh great, I just dropped $100. on a book on color and it is black and white. But then I read it. It shows the importance of accurate value. He really knew how to explain what he was doing and why. Would have loved a class or two from him.
I do know the work of Roz, but I do not know her personally.
I'll have to look for those books. Had not heard of them, thanks for the tip.
Luckly I own and have read all of the books on your list. Also in most cases they were bought at the original price or purchased used at bargin prices. Benefits of being around for a long while, I guess.:0) Richard Schmid Paints Landscape is beneficial but I prefer all the books of Emile' Gruppe. The 1983 revised addition of BRUSHWORK has over 100 color reproductions and you will find many are of previous ones that were black and white in the other books. This book really completes the series. Looking forward to more information on the workshop. Any thoughts on a total cost(workshop,room and board,etc.) coming from Dallas, Texas
The art spirit is my all time favorite. I read it over and over, it never fails to amaze me, I always learn something new, I always feel inspired.
Hi William, That's great that you have read all of these. I'll have to see what edition of Brushwork that I have.
You can sometimes find them at a good price if you are patient.
As far as the workshop. The room is separate. Probably three of the lunches are included and prepared by the owner's of the properties we will be painting at. They are VERY good. The other two days will probably be where there is a small restaurant available and everyone will pay their way on that.
Transport to the sites is included.
Some of the property owners are out of town until next week, so I can't finalize plans just yet.
Cost will be $480. or $500.
From Dallas flights are easy. Fly to Leon, airport code BJX. That is about an hour and a half from here. Transport can be arranged and is $80 or$100.
I don't include board because so many people are here or come for a month or more and already have a place to stay.
I may do one next year that includes all of that.
There is a lot to paint here and an you might enjoy an extra week to see the town.
I'll get all of this into another post for all to see.
I can recommend hotels if you would like.
Have you read "Hawthorne on Painting" Ambera. It goes hand in hand with the Henri book. Same as the Henri, each time I read it I come away with something new. You can just open it to any page and read for a while.
I would love to have you join a class some day. Does saying I am hanging the "Gone Fishing" sign in my window at the gallery today and going swimming at the hot springs with my family make you want to get away from that cold?
Any suggestion or recommendation or ideas about inexpensive lodging,prices. Maybe what you would estimate the daily cost above and beyond the workshop cost would be helpful?
I'm heading away from the computer in about ten minutes William. A quick guess for lodging would be from $80 a night up depending on what you are looking for.
Food is varried here, you can get real inexpensive and you can eat very expensive.
send me an email if you'd like and I can send some recommendations out tonight when I get home.
This link will take you to some good info on San Miguel.
Ambera lent me the Art Spirit and it's become such an important book to me.
Two books that gave me technical info I craved back in 1985 (not much was happening out west here in realism in the 70's when I was in college)are "Controlled Painting" by Frank Corvino (while I don't premix to the extent he does I do premix the main colors I am seeing, Whistler used a premixed palette) and "How to See Color and Paint It" Arthur Stern (focus on mixing the actual colors you are seeing, not what your brain is telling you (local color)after C.Hawthorne. I agree with your book list, have many of them. I think we all learn from the great artists, incorporate what works in our work or it may be that we can only learn so much at a time. Then rereading good books again we "see" and learn more. My favorite quote "When the student is ready the teacher appears". Another quote that goes hand in hand "You can't teach what you don't know". And the best of all "You can't revise a blank page" Leonard Wolfe
"The Art Spirit" is a great book Eric. I am going to need to get a new copy one day. Mine has fallen apart from so much reading.
Hi Jennifer, thanks for the comments. I will have to look for both of those books. Pre mixing is one of the things I emphasize in my classes. I'd love to see his ideas on that. And Hawthorne's mix what you see not what you know is another of my favorite principles.
Thanks for adding these to this post.
I have most of those on my bookshelf too. I only have Gruppe's brushwork book - I guess I'll need to work harder to find copies of the other two!
I've read most of these as well, except "Landscape Painting Inside and Out". Must be a new one. Great list!
Haha, don't tempt me Frank! It's pure misery here right now! Wouldn't it be fun if Eric and I came down for a class? I'm going to pick up that Hawthorne book, it sounds great. Thanks for the recommendation!
Hi Stacey, Try and find "Gruppe on Color", it is my favorite.
Ed, That one has been out about a year. It's worth getting. His "Brush with Life - Landscapes" is a good DVD to have too.
You guys will have to plan a trip Ambera. Get the Hawthorne book.
Frank--Your book list has a couple of additions since you gave it to me a couple of years ago. They are all great and I've read some of them several times. So I'll have to get the new ones plus look at the other suggestions made here. To me the Carlson book is "the bible." Fortunately all three Gruppe books are at the local library here. I tried to buy them from the library, but they didn't fall for it. So I check them out several times a year.
Also, Frank, I'd like to convey to your readers the very high value of your workshops in San Miguel and environs. I have had two of them and as you know, they have had profound effect on my work. So People out there, sign up for Frank's next one. You won't regret it. Not only are they important, they can be fun and you'll meet a whole other group of artists.
Thanks Jack! we'll miss you this year.
Thanks for the list Frank. I only have/was aware of one: the Macpherson book.
I'll be sure to add these to my collection-- especially after everybody else here has given such good recommendations...
Jason, you should add a lot of these to your collection. Even though most deal with landscape, the principles cross over. The Henri and Hawethorne books are just universal, inspirational books on painting. Get those, they are cheap.
I added them to my Amazon wish list, and will begin the process of collecting them.
With my days being more free, I had intended to do more landscape work-- so they'd be relevant to that too...
I know this an old post. But just to let anyone who enjoys Emile Gruppe works and Books The Rockport Art Association Is having a exhibit of about 40 of his paintings until Nov. 23, 2008. ALSO THEY ARE SELLING A REPRINT OF HIS BOOK "GRUPPE ON PAINTING"
FOR $34.95 Thats a great deal. It's hard to find the original for less than $100.. take Care, Paulo
Sorry here's a link to the Gruppe reprint book at the RAA http://www.rockportartassn.org/gift_shop.htm
Thanks for the heads up on that Paulo, Gruppe is one of my favorites. Wish I was up that way so I could check out the show.
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