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These are a Few of my Favorite Things

Have you ever made a list or thought about your favorite things? If so

then I’m sure that somewhere on that list you will find a favorite book. Well

I have some books that are very special to me as well. Actually I have more

than just a few, I have many books about art that I read and refer to quite

often. However for now I’d like to share just three books that have been

very helpful to me and perhaps they may be of benefit to you too. They are

my favorite because I often go to their pages for help before and during the

painting process. Perhaps if you paint, or just like to read, they may be of

interest to you too.

The very first book that I purchased when I began painting was titled,

features painting animals using pastel. Beautifully illustrated paintings by

Ms. Harrison are inside its 125 pages. What I really like about this book is

that she teaches you her technique for achieving success with pastels.

Step by step instructions are given to help you learn about pastels and how

to correctly use them in painting. The viewer goes from, “How can I

possibly paint like Mrs. Harrison?” to thinking, “Ok, maybe I can really paint

with pastels!” Whether you are a beginner or more advanced in painting,

this book is definitely one to add to your library.Another favorite of mine is a book called,

with ideas on ways to achieve freedom in your watercolor paintings.

Blending control with spontaneity fill its 143 pages. Engle stresses

throughout the book to paint what motivates you. You must find your

deepest passion and go with it. Paint what you feel in your heart, not what

you think others are wanting you to paint. The driving force behind

successful painting is your desire. Techniques of painting with watercolor

are splashed onto every page. Each method, whether it be splattering,

pouring, painting with a knife, or using a brush, is more beautiful than the

one before. The finished paintings shown within the pages of this book are

sparkling with elegant beauty that can be achieved, and she shows you

how to accomplish this task. Within the pages of her book you will find a

complete chapter on strategies, problems, and solutions. This is an

example of one ways she helps you with a problem. Have you ever

looked at a painting and thought that everything seemed right, but

something about the painting was boring? Engle explains exactly what to

do to solve this problem. She suggests that the solution to this problem

could be that the light is missing. She says that “light” in a painting

becomes “Life”. A handy flashlight might just be the key to finding where

your art needs “life”. This is truly a book full of so many possibilities and

ways to achieve some remarkable art!

Color Mixing Recipes by William F. Powell is the last title that I’d like

share with you for now. Usually several times during each painting, I refer

to this informative book. After painting with pastels I especially found this

book to be very helpful. With pastels, there is no mixing of paint. The

colors are there for you in pencils or sticks and you can easily select the

color needed. It is true that layering color in pastel is the most successful

way to achieve the final look, but the initial color is already there in stick

form. However when painting with a brush, colors straight from a tube are

rarely used because they can be garish, or perhaps too light or too dark.

Some type of mixing is usually always necessary. Many times, especially

the color green, can ruin your painting if not properly mixed with another

color. So mixing is definitely required. Colors that are mixed incorrectly can

end up as the color of mud, which is not what anyone wants in a painting.

So this book teaches you how to mix warm and cool colors, tints, tones,

and shades. It teaches color values, color harmony, and ways to keep all of

your mixing lively and fresh. It is a rather small book having only 37 pages,

but one that is full of great information.

Although these three books are just the beginning of my long list of

favorites, they are at the top. If you are considering painting or perhaps

you already paint, I hope you will take a closer look at what these authors

have to offer. Believe it or not, each new painting presents itself with its

own set of issues and problems. So it’s wonderful to have a resource

handy with helpful suggestions and answers in finding a solution.

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