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I had this book out on nearly permanent loan from my local library. It's the perfect starting point for novices. Well and simply written, it covers all the most important procedures and gives good basic advice that boosts the beginners confidence.
Ordered this book based on recommendations of other reviewers without having seen it. It's absolutely great! Full of original ideas. None of the usual, generally useless, preamble about materials which is usually coloured by one person's approach to painting and is included as a 'filler' to pad out the book's contents. Very good value for money and I would recommend this to anyone who is at the intermediate stage of painting and is looking to improve their technique and skill.
Well, where to start: I've painted in oils for more than 20 years and read many "how to" books. Some readers of this review will know and appreciate the likes of Uk painter, Trevor Chamberlain's evocative style. It's that style of capturing magical light effects that drives me on. As soon as this book arrived I read it from cover to cover in a few days and then carefully thought about the approach suggested. It seemed perhaps too simple an approach - limited palette of just four colours and a straightforward no nonsense use of paints and brushes. I followed the advice and have been delighted with the results. So much so that I have been prompted to send off this review ( I thinks its the first time that I have ever done such a thing).
Now then a word of advice to would be aspiring artists who will follow Kevin's style when they have read the book; Make sure that you only use artist quality paints for the palette. Lesser quality paints are inclined to give a rather chalky look to the finished work. Such a result comes about due to using the limited palette and being hampered by the poorer quality mixing abilities to achieve the necessary colours. I've experimented with differing limited palettes of colours - Kevin's original suggestion for the primary colours works best ! certainly for landscapes. Good luck Alex
In this book, Kevin explains how to paint relatively simple, but effective impressionistic paintings in a clear step-by-step process. There's a nice balance of tutorials with images of paintings in various stages of completion (so we can see how the technique is applied in real life scenarios). It's surprising how effective his style is, even in the small 6" x 8" 'pochade' paintings. He has a talent for making this style of oil painting look really simple, but whether it's possible to recreate this as an amateur is something else?