Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting by Suzanne Brooker

The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting by Suzanne Brooker is a book walking through how to translate what you see in nature to what you paint with oils onto canvas.  She shows through pictures and words how to use the differing brushes/knives for painting the different techniques.  She also is not afraid to tell brands to buy for the best techniques as well as how to use up some of the lower quality paint that you may already have on hand.  This may be one of the most valuable information tidbits in the book.  Beginners can spend so much trying to save money when buying a more expensive product that works better would be cheaper.  Thank you for not trying to not hurt manufacturers feelings Ms. Brooker.   We beginners need that much help.  The author walks the reader through techniques for painting sky, terrain, trees and water in order to paint them more lifelike and less one dimensional.  The author has pictures in the book showing a photograph then shows the progress of putting it on canvas.  She also tells how not to try to make it just like the photo but to make it better and states that photos also have their drawbacks that can be improved on in the painting.  She uses her own illustrations but also uses other artist illustrations to show the techniques that she is trying to teach.  The book is absolutely filled with pictures to simplify the teaching of the technique including how to hold the brush in your hand.  This is a book to read from beginning to end however since she builds one chapter onto the former chapter.  It may sound like this is a book for beginners to read from the former chapter but I truly believe that the reader should have taken at least a few face to face classes in order to make this book the most usable and readable if for no other reason to be used to the terminology, tools and products of painters. 
I really liked this book and as a beginner (who has taken a few classes) I could easily read and put to use the techniques. This book is easy to understand without being childlike.  I think that this book would be useful for most beginners and the techniques shown would improve the work of any skilled artist as well.  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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