I picked this book up at the library earlier this week. I just thought it sounded interesting… and it is! It’s a bit of a “how to” book, but it covers a lot of information about materials and techniques. The author, Jonathan Stephenson, ties together historical information with painting technique without being dry or academic. He also really creates a broad perspective on how many different ways there are to paint! I am having fun with it and might even have to paint along with a few of the demos.
Paint with the Impressionists, Jonathan Stephenson, 1995, Thames & Hudson
I am working my way through Color by Victoria Finlay. This book explores the historical background of colors. I have thus far enjoyed the histories of ochre, brown, black, and white. Finlay does a nice job balancing between history and anecdote to make it an entertaining read. The book is dense at times, truthfully this is my second attempt at it. None the less, I find it well worth the effort. For example- I didn’t know yellow pencils were painted yellow because the graphite originated in China and the color yellow made them look “oriental” . I also just finished a section on how white lead paint was used in the early days for both painting and makeup. As we now know, many pale young women died of lead poisoning.
Color, Victoria Finlay, 2002, The Ballantine Publishing Group