Thursday, May 24, 2007

You Can Never Have Too Many Books

...especially art books.

I know I have been remiss in posting lately. I wish I had a good excuse, but truthfully I just haven't felt like dealing with the lame imaging software on the laptop. I'm also wishing for my scanner back. Hopefully all of this will be rectified soon.

In the meantime I thought I would tell you about some of my favorite art books. These are just my current favorites. I have a whole shelf full of books and I find I fall back in love with different books at different times.

My latest favorites, in no particular order, are...
Incredible Light & Texture in Watercolor by James Toogood. My faithful blog readers may remember that I took a workshop with Mr. Toogood back in January. I really enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot from it and the book. One of the best parts about the book is the section in the front that deals with "Color, Paint and Pigment". This section gives details about specific pigments. It was very eye opening for me and appealed to my engineering side. But even artists without an engineering side would benefit.

Dramatic Light by Patrick Howe. I love this book because I love paintings with dramatic light and strong contrasts. When I look at other artists works, I am attracted to paintings that have a lot of darks, a lot of lights and just a few mid-tones. This is also the first book that I've seen that talks about the wetness of paper, describes how to recognize the different degrees of wetness and shows an example of paint applied at each of the different degrees. Controlling and understanding the amount of water in your paper, your paint mix and your brush is critical for painting successful watercolors. And it's tricky too! This demonstration helps speed artists along the path of understanding.

Drawing from Line to Life by Mike Sibley. Mike Sibley is one of those great artists who is not afraid to share what he knows with other artists and this book is 287 pages of sharing! Now I have to admit that I haven't read this book yet. I've looked at it, skimmed it and drooled over the pretty pictures, but read every word - no, not yet. However, I did take an online course with Mr. Sibley on Wet Canvas. I read every word of that class and it was fantastic! This book is an extremely thorough discussion of graphite techniques with an abundance of images.

So these currently are my three favorite art books and the reasons I love them. Maybe I'll lose myself in them over the next few days while I wait to be fully functional.


Regula Scheifele said...

You're so right Stacy, you can never have too many books ;-)

From your descriptions we seem to like the same kind of art books (strong light/dark contrast). I'm tempted to buy one of the first two... I'm not working in watercolours but use acrylics a lot - which of the do you think would be better?
Since you're working in CP a lot, have you read "Painting Light with Colored Pencil" by Cecile Baird? - should be just up your alley! to browse Amazon now...

Stacy said...

Hi Amira! I would recommend the Dramatic Light book only because it deals with oils and watercolors and Jim Toogood's book only deals with watercolors. I'm thinking the information for oils would translate pretty well into acrylics.
Now I'll have to head off to Amazon to check out that colored pencil book. :D