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Building A Comprehensive Resource Library

If you're a serious student of oil painting, maintaining a well stocked library is a must. While it seems every time you turn around you're dropping another coin on an expensive brush or canvas, building your reference library is a solid investment that you won't regret. You'll find that your books will contain information that if not applicable today, might be vital a year or two later.

A day doesn't go by that I don't check in with one of my trusty resources. And if I know I'm going to be on a long car ride (I'm not driving of course) or stuck in a doctor's office waiting, I'll grab one to get some extra studying in.

Having said all that, the following is my current top go to books for information. Several of the artists have developed brush strokes that, although are beautiful and to be admired, are not of my style. Still, much can be gained by studying their various techniques, including color mixing, paint application and breaking down the process as a whole.

 Problem Solving for Oil Painters by Gregg Kreutz - If I lose this book, and I hope I don't,  I will immediately replace it, the information covered is that comprehensive and basic. Simple, straightforward, great examples.

Classical Painting Atelier - A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice by Juliette Aristides - Oh my gosh, I love this book. The paintings included in this book will make any art lover swoon.Aristides also includes an Appendix that lists the palettes of some of our most accomplished contemporary artists such as Jacob Collins and Steven Assael. How great is that?

Portrait Painting Atelier - Old Master Techniques and Contemporary Applications by Suzanne Brooker. Again, Brooker includes absolutely beautiful pieces to illustrate the techniques of the masters. I really appreciate the recipes for skin palettes included in the book.

Radiant Oils - Glazing Techniques for Paintings that Glow by Arleta Pech. Although Pech's style is not  my style, I really appreciate the glazing techniques she fully explores in this book. She breaks down the process step by step with quality examples that are extremely helpful.

Portraits from Life in 29 Steps by John Howard Sanden. Again, although Sanden's style is not exactly my goal, wow, he breaks down the process so simply and thoroughly, if you follow the steps it is amazing how much progress you see yourself making. And his palette recipes make producing beautiful skin tones achievable.
Portraits in Oil The Van Wyk Way by Helen Van Wyk. This is just a wonderful book, especially for beginners who need the process broken down into mangagable steps. I've relied on it countless times, and you can tell by all the oil paint on the pages!

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