Monday, June 20, 2016

Oil Painting Essentials by Gregg Kreutz

book cover
Oil Painting Essentials
by Gregg Kreutz

ISBN-13: 9780804185431
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Released: May 24, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Many painters limit themselves to a particular genre out of habit or fear, but in Oil Painting Essentials, art instructor Gregg Kreutz reveals how connected oil painting techniques are no matter what subject an artist tackles. Arranged by essential artistic focal points, each chapter reveals the challenges and rewards that painters face when covering specific genres.

Through step-by-step lessons and examples from the works of oil painting masters past and present, Kreutz shows how artists can strengthen their skillset for one type of subject matter by painting in another area they may not be as familiar with. This comprehensive breakdown of oil painting provides all of the tools that painters need to successfully take on any type of oil painting.

My Review:
Oil Painting Essentials was about aspects of composition that the author then applied to painting portraits, naked women, still lifes, cityscapes, and interiors. It's not a "how to paint" book, and these principles apply to more than just oil painting. If you've got a decent painting but you feel like it's lacking something, he'll suggest how to add "drama" to your painting.

He teaches you to paint in the same style that he does. He paints backgrounds with little to no detail--and often very dark--then he spotlights his point of interest, which is painted in detail. Some of his favorite principles were about being selective about what to show in detail, using contrasting colors or values, and making light the main event.

He did include basic painting principles that apply to all styles of painting. He also did a good job of defining what he meant by a term so I wasn't confused. The paintings that he used to illustrate a point were good at showing that point. If you like his style, he'll certainly help you to paint that way.

But I didn't really care for his style as the subjects lack context. Also, I sometimes wondered about his tips when he'd say something like, 'this makes the fruit clearly look like a nectarine' and I'm thinking, 'oh, is that what it is? I thought maybe it was an apple.' So his tips didn't always work on me.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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