I took a few art classes in high school and an art appreciation course in college, but one of the ways I keep learning about art is through books like this one. This is my way of vicariously going to art school (wink).
The Acrylic Painter: Tools and Techniques for the Most Versatile Medium by James Van Patten
Summary: School of Visual Arts instructor James Van Patten draws from years of experience to show you how to use acrylics to achieve a variety of results—from watercolor-like transparency and the flatness of tempera and gouache to the buttery quality of oils. He presents an insider’s look at the most up-to-date tools, materials, and techniques used by top painters in the medium to produce highly expressive art. Van Patten offers guidance on materials, processes, balance, and composition, and focuses on effectively using color in painting. Replete with detailed step-by-step technical demonstrations and a catalog of inspiring works by notable past and contemporary artists, as well as the author himself and his students, The Acrylic Painter provides a complete, classic art instruction manual for painters of all abilities in one of today’s most popular types of paint.
My thoughts: For me, the fun part of the book starts when Van Patten writes about color theory, various schools of art, and basic techniques to get started. His advice about painting still life, landscape, and modern art provided a few “aha” moments, especially because I’ve been intrigued by abstract art lately. The way Van Patten explains how color theory and other elements are used in classical paintings, as well as in his own paintings, is instructional and interesting. I understand the importance of quality products, but getting through the in-depth description of the various brushes and paints at the beginning of the book was tedious and uninspiring for a beginner on a limited budget. However, that section could become a good reference for purchasing supplies in the future. As a beginner, I appreciated the techniques portion and thought it could have gone into even more depth. Blogging for Books provided a review copy of this book in return for my honest thoughts.
Have an artsy day!