This morning I received an instagram message from a follower who asked, “For a beginning oil painter, what are your top 3 book recommendations? I’m trying to build a self-study curriculum for the summer.” I love this idea and wanted to post my answers in case others may also like to know. I’ve provided affiliate links to Amazon where you’ll be able to find more details.
1. The Creative Call: An Artist’s Response to the Way of the Spirit (Writers’ Palette Book), by Janice Elsheimer
Not a technical book about “how to” oil paint, but my favorite in my art personal library and one I recommend to everyone I meet who is even slightly creative! It is faith based and encourages some time for journaling and reflecting about your gifts to help you dig a little deeper. It’s great for writers and musicians too! It’s a great jumping off point for inspiration! I did worked through this book a chapter a week with a friend. It’s a great book for a small group or individually too. Click here or on the image above to view this book on Amazon.
2. Alla Prima II Everything I Know about Painting–And More, by Richard Schmid
A warning first. This book is expensive. But I have to list it because it is one of my very favorite painting books! And I know I did not pay this much for my copy. If you can find either Alla Prima book by Richard Schmid in new or used condition for an affordable price, get it! It is full of his gorgeous work and gives a real glimpse into his thought process and techniques. Check your local library and see if they have one you can check out if you can’t find a copy. Click here or on the image above to view this book on Amazon.
3. The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists, by Kathleen Lochen Staiger
I think this would make an excellent “text book” for a beginner oil painter. There are illustrations with explanations of supplies needed to get started. It covers basic drawing foundations, how to handle the brushstrokes, and a chapter guide dedicated for three painting subjects (still lifes, landscapes, and portraits). I think these are the foundations of any good workshop, but with a book format you may feel less pressure and can go at your own pace. Click here or on the image above to view this book on Amazon.
Do you have any art books that you treasure or would recommend? I’d love to know! If you do, please share them in the comments below.