During the course of a recent conversation with an artist friend about painting techniques and materials I made reference to a book I have found very useful over the years. It is 'Collins Artist's Manual' published by Harper Collins. There are many such books on the market but I have found this one to be particularly good. In addition to detailed technical information on all aspects of painting, well illustrated, there are some great paintings featured by leading contemporary artists. I am sure it is still in print and would recommend it.

Another book I have found useful is 'The Materials and Techniques of Painting' by Jonathan Stephenson and published by Thames and Hudson. This book is more technical than the Collins one and not quite so informative in certain areas but it makes a good companion to it and overlaps in areas adding additional depth to the information. Some of the illustrations are a bit primitive but they get the point across and most of what you would ever want to know about painting is here.

The third book I bought second hand many years ago and would think is long out of print by now is 'The Artist's Craft' by James Ayres. The original publisher was Guild Publishing London, the copy I have was published in 1985 by Book Club Associates. This is really a book on the history of studio practice and techniques and is a gem. It is, as it says in the title, a book on the craft aspect of an artist's studio and is a good read as well as a reference manual. Such books on the working life of an artist's studios through the ages are rare so I snap them up when I come across them. It is possible second hand copies are available through the internet.
Published by Tom King 24 - 8 - 2010

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