If you happen to be an artist or even the slightest bit interested in painting or art, you have stumbled upon the right article! Below are 8 must read art books that you can’t afford to ignore. These books range from incredible people, doing incredible things, to the most useful and creative art books available. Please feel free to browse the list below. I am confident you will find some of these books extremely useful.
1. Problem Solving for Oil Painters | Author: Gregg Kreutz
Some paintings flow easily from beginning to end, while others feel more like a battle ground that one has to struggle through. Painters are often isolated in their individual studios and when confronted by a painting in progress that just isn’t “working”, how to handle these problems becomes an issue. Sometimes, even figuring out what the problem actually is isn’t even obvious.
Kreutz tackles these issues head on with concrete suggestions that help the artist look at their work with fresh eyes. Problem Solving for Oil Painters is a book you will want to keep handy on a studio book-shelf. You may find yourself pulling it out for a refresher when a painting has you stymied and you need a little help.
2. The Oil Colour Book: A Comprehensive Resource for Painters | Author: Winsor & Newton edited by, David Pyle and Emma Pearce
For artists on a budget, the price can’t be beat! This eBook is a freebie so it would have been silly for me to leave it off the ‘Must Read Art Books’ list. The ebook was published by the well-known art material company Winsor & Newton. While obviously this book is somewhat skewed towards the company’s own products, I include the eBook in this list because it is chock full of easy-to-assimilate and valuable information for anyone interested in learning about oil paint products and basic painting techniques. There’s even a brief history of oil painting included. The 91 page eBook is downloadable in pdf format here.
3. The Oil Painting Book: Materials and Techniques for Today’s Artist | Author: Bill Creevy
This book is another book that oil painters will want to include in their art book library. While seasoned artists will want to keep this book handy for reference, it is artists who are just starting to experiment with painting in oils who will find the material covered invaluable.
Creevy evaluates numerous oil paint brands and delves into the whole world of mediums in detail. It is a fascinating read.
4. Cities | Author: Stephen Wiltshire
I have actually written a detailed article about Stephen Wiltshire, who is a remarkable artist. I found some of his feats almost unbelievable. Cities is a book of Wiltshire’s geographical scope, filled with drawings of buildings and cities, whether real or fantasy. If you are looking where to pick up his incredibly interesting book, Cities, it is quite a hard book to track down. So most likely you just have to get lucky in an art book store, or if you can’t find it anywhere local, there is always Amazon which has a copy every now and again. Good Luck finding it!
5. Colour Mixing Bible | Author: Ian Sidaway
If you work with colours or just looking for a beautiful book to browse through, this is the book for you. Do you ever find yourself wasting time, trying to mix up the right colour to find that perfect fit for your latest masterpiece? The Colour Mixing Bible features endless amounts of tips and techniques for color mixing with oils, watercolors, acrylics, inks, pastels, and pretty much any other art medium you could possibly use.
I personally have this book sitting on the shelf in my art studio and it is completely covered in paint from the countless times I have drawn upon it. So if you are looking to kickstart your repertoire of art books, this is the perfect book for your new collection. If you are an established artist, I assume you already have this book or you are in the process of running to the store to get it. In other words, you can’t ignore number 5 on the list of “must read” art books–whether an artist or just looking for a beautiful book, this one is a “must have”.
6. Doing Art Together | Author(s): Muriel Silberstein-Storfer with Mablen Jones
Based on the famous Parent-Child Workshop art classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA) in New York City, USA, Doing Art Together outlines projects that were set up for classes that included children and their parents or guardians. The children and adults worked side by side each focusing on their own project. This book is aimed at art educators and parents alike. The lessons are beautifully illustrated with students work and include detailed instructions on:
- How to set-up either at home or in a class-room situation
- What materials to have handy
- How to encourage art makers while working on their projects
For parents who want to make art with their children and for art teachers looking for inspirational ideas, this book is a wonderful treasure.
7. Artists and writers colonies: Retreats, residencies, and respites for the creative mind | Author: Gail Hulland Bowler
For any artist interested in researching North American working retreat centres and artist colonies, this book is a fabulous resource. It is aimed at both artists and writers that are seeking a place to work. It focuses on opportunities that provide the time, the space and sometimes even the money for artists and /or writers to attempt new projects that they may otherwise not be able focus on due to the rigours of everyday life. Many of the opportunities listed are available to artists from around the world.
8. Art Fundamentals, Theory and Practice (edition 12) | Authors: Ocvirk, Otto; Stinson, Robert; Wigg, Philip; Bone, Robert; Cayton, David
This textbook was originally published back in 1960. It set the standard for art foundations courses when it first came out and has been required reading for art students for over 50 years in renowned art schools from around the world. Over time, the book has been updated and republished numerous times, most recently in 2013. This latest edition still guides the reader through the essential elements of artistic practice, while placing an emphasis on both knowing and feeling the basic and fundamental ideas of the creative process. This book has stood the test of time and deserves a place on the bookshelves of visual artists everywhere.