Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting by Suzanne Brooker

book cover
The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting
by Suzanne Brooker

ISBN-13: 9780804137553
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Released: August 18, 2015

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through Netgalley.com.

Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
Noted instructor/painter Suzanne Brooker presents the fundamentals necessary for mastering landscape oil painting, breaking landscapes down into component parts: sky, terrain, trees, and water. Each featured element builds off the previous, with additional lessons on the latest brushes, paints, and other tools used by artists. Key methods like observation, rendering, and color mixing are supported by demonstration paintings and samples from a variety of the best landscape oil painters of all time. Oil painters looking to break into landscape painting or enhance their work will find all the necessary ingredients for success.

My Review:
The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting is a "how-to" instruction book for oil painters who want to improve their landscape painting. The author broke the process down into the most basic steps, like closely looking at the subject, the different types of brush strokes used to make different textures, and choosing toned grounds that enhance the colors used over it. Since she went into detail before the demonstrations, I found them more useful than art books where it's more the artist vaguely explaining the colors and order that he used. Her demonstrations show how to put all the previous information together.

She started the book with the typical materials section. She assumed the reader has a certain familiarity with oil painting. For example, she did describe how to apply a toned ground but didn't provide a picture of the process. She gets basic with the landscape painting sections, and she devoted a chapter each to sky, terrain, trees, water, and then putting it all together. Within each section, she discussed observation, brush strokes, and colors, and then did demonstration paintings showing step-by-step how to put this information to work.

I felt like the author was both a good painter and good instructor. I'm still a beginner at landscape oil painting, and information in this book has helped me to improve my landscapes. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those--like me--who are trying to learn landscape oil painting without an instructor.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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