all artwork shown above is by Mary Knoblock

Our favorite
PAINTING BOOKS
 
 
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Powercolor - Master Color Concepts for All Media

What every artist needs to know about color. Way beyond basics! Important real vs. wheel color truths. Color theory evolution, mixing management, psychology, physics, optics, paint properties and manufacturing. Ten artists demo in various media/ subject/style.

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Shadows and Dreams

Two-time Emmy Award Winner and Art Director Christophe Vacher brings together a first compilation of his personal oil paintings, along with a selection of traditional and digital concept artworks for animation and major Hollywood studios.

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Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting

This book and instructional DVD provides step-by-step demonstrations that teach you composition and design theory. Use the basic principles of design to create more effective works of art with harmony and movement.

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Color Choices

Learn to use color in striking and unusual ways. Quiller explains the how and why of color theories and provides inspiration with his own colorful works of art.


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Painting Beautiful Skin Tones ...

Easy-to-follow principles for painting a variety of skin tones in three major mediums--oil, pastel and watercolor; many colors charts and demos.


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The Painterly Approach: An Artist's Guide To Seeing, Painting And Expressing

Learn techniques to improve your paintings and give them greater expression. By focusing on shapes and values, you'll learn to identify abstract patterns and evaluate their relationships in order to achieve a more painterly outcome.


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Brilliant Color: Painting Vibrant Outdoor Scenes

10 step-by-step demonstrations that teach you how to paint bold colorful landscapes. Includes detailed instructions and color charts to awaken your sense of color and help you achieve more luminous paintings.


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A Celebration of Light

Create watercolor paintings with a strong visual impact. Learn to set up better compositions, use a full range of values, bring out more color in your work, play up textures, and paint more effective backgrounds.


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Paint Watercolors that Dance with Light

Sun-drenched images that will make you want to pick up a brush! Artist and instructor, Elizabeth Kincaid, teaches you how to capture that elusive play of light that will make your watercolor paintings come alive with glowing beauty.


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The Dance of Watercolor: Beginners and Beyond (DVD)

Demonstrations of underpainting and overpainting, lighting effects, water reflections, and subtle shadow colorations.


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Watercolor in Motion: How to Create Powerful Paintings, Step by Step (Book & DVD)

Demonstrations help you learn different techniques such as wet on wet, soft and hard edges, and color blending.


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Exploring Watercolor: Creative Exercises and Techniques for Watercolor and Mixed Media

Are your paintings stiff - lacking vibrancy or character? Learn to paint with greater expression.


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All About Techniques in Oil

Step-by-step instructions for creating landscapes, still-lifes, portraits, and more.


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Oil Painter's Solution Book Landscapes: XX Answers to Your Oil Painting Questions

Practical advice and excellent, to-the-point instruction for landscape painting.


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Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light & Color

Kevin Macpherson, one of the nation's leading plein air artists, teaches you to see color, light and shadow and to simplify shapes for a stronger painting.


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Expressive Oil Painting: An Open Air Approach to Creative Landscapes

9 step-by-step landscape painting lessons will help you learn how to create a sense of light and depth that will bring your paintings to life.


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Celebrate Your Creative Self : Over 25 Exercises...

Playfully explore various aspects of visual art, such as light, color, texture and design through a series of imaginative art projects.


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The New Creative Artist

Inspiring ideas and projects for finding and developing your creative spirit. Explore several different techniques, expand your creativity, and have fun painting and drawing.


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PAINTING

DRAWING

PHOTO/DIGITAL

SCULPTURE

PRINTMAKING

 PASTEL

CERAMICS

Painting Techniques, Lessons, Tutorials, and Resources

General Topics | Watercolor & Gouache | Oil | Acrylic | Other | Matting & Framing | Art Supplies

 
GENERAL TOPICS:

Art, Design, and Visual Thinking -- This art course provides an excellent overview of the visual language of art and teaches students how to analyze design, thus giving a better understanding of what it takes to create a successful work of art. Learn about the design elements and principles of art, the various media employed in creating art, the history of art, and its most popular movements.

Essential Painting How To's -- About.com provides step-by-step information and essential techniques for beginner painters.

Free Art Lessons -- Free online art demonstrations in a variety of media.

Design: Instructional Notes, Tips and Techniques -- Keene Wilson provides key points gathered from instructors and professional artists on Mass, Shapes, Color relationships, Texture, Pattern, Theme and variation, Edges and more.

Plein Air Painting Concepts and Techniques -- Keene Wilson provides key points gathered from experts in plein air painting such as Elio Camacho, Edgar Payne, John Carlson, Richard Schmid, and Charles Sovek.

John Hagan's Art Lessons -- Includes excellent tips for painting aerial perspective, light and shade, and portraits. Though he works mostly in oils, his tips are applicable to all painting mediums.

Arty Articles by Nita Leland -- A multitude of great articles on color, paint, technique, marketing, setting up an artist's studio, and more.

Will Kemp Art School -- Over 40 articles and 10 hours of free art-instruction videos from Will Kemp, an award-winning professional artist and teacher. Will covers acrylic painting techniques, oil painting techniques, portrait painting, color theory and more!

Painting Tips (videos) -- Watercolorist Tony van Hasselt introduces color basics (hue, value, chroma) and shares tips for creating shadows, reflections, and figures.

Limited Value Monochromatic Paint Study -- Artist Tenaya Sims explains value relationships and teaches you how to accurately depict dark/light relationships in your paintings in order to acheive 3-dimensionality.

Artisan HQ -- Discover free video art tutorials in a wide variety of art media and styles - everything from grafitti lessons to oil painting demonstrations on how to create realistic portraits.

The Paint Basket -- Online Tutorials for Oil Painting, Watercolor Painting, Pastels, Pencil Drawing, and more!

Human Figure Proportions & Portrait Painting -- Don Jusko gives guidelines for the face and figure. He also references Elizabeth Vigee-LeBrun's thoughtful advice for painting portraits.

John Singer Sargent's Painting Techniques -- Examines John Singer Sargent's approach to painting portraits.

FineArtTips.com - How To Tips -- Lori McNee's fine art blog provides advice to artists for everything from creating your own compact, portable pochade box to guidelines for arranging your painting palette.

Color: Instructional Notes, Tips and Techniques for the Advanced Artist -- Keene Wilson provides key points gathered from instructors and professional artists on seeing, choosing, and mixing colors.

16 Lessons in Color Theory -- Learn all about primary and secondary colors, triads, and the fundamentals of color mixing. Learn how to use color to show perspective and how to create the color effects caused by both artificial and natural light.

Landscape and Marine Paintings (Watercolour & Oil Demonstrations) -- Alistair Butt gives demonstrations in both watercolor and oils, sharing his tips and painting techniques.

The Alphabet of Art -- A visual notation system developed by the late Robert J. McKnight that explains, in simple terms, the elements of visual design.

Tutorial on Composition -- We love this tutorial by Peter Saw. It teaches the fundamental aspects of composition in a fun, interactive way.

Art-is-fun.com -- With a delightful enthusiasm for art, Thaneeya gives advice for drawing and painting with acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils, ink, and pastel. She also provides an overview of artistic styles and subjects with wonderful examples of art to inspire you.

Optical Mixtures -- Jay Jensen describes the three basic methods of creating optical mixtures in painting: juxtaposition, scumbling, and glazing.

Art Appreciation -- Learn about some of the world's most wonderful artists and art movements.

ARTiful, painting demos -- Step by step free painting demos and tutorials in watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, pastels, oils, ink... by visual artist Sandrine Pelissier.

Making Waves -- Don Jusko gives guidelines for sketching and painting ocean waves.

Painting Tips -- William Scott Jennings helps beginning and intermediate artists by sharing his insights on: the stages of painting, how to decide how much foreground detail is needed, and painting on location.

The Power of Placement -- Donald Clegg discusses good composition and dynamic placement, demonstrating how to provide unity and guide the viewer's eye throughout the painting or toward the point of the interest.

Romantic & Real -- Donald Clegg teaches how important the backdrop or background is in your paintings, and how it can act as a complement or contrast to your still life subjects.

Painting Q & A -- Testing colors, lighting considerations, materials, techniques, and more.

Color Theory -- Questions and answers about color and color mixing.

 
WATERCOLOR & GOUACHE TECHNIQUES & LESSONS:

John Lovett's Watercolor Workshop: Brush Techniques -- Detailed instructions show you how to paint thin straight lines, broad washes of uniform color as well as graded washes and variegated washes, controlled splashes, and those wonderfully fractured brush strokes that give texture to your watercolor paintings.

Watercolor Painting Demonstrations, Techniques, and Free Lessons -- Roland Lee provides step by step watercolor demonstrations of his spectacular landscape paintings.

Learning Center Watercolor Lessons -- Yong Chen's website offers watercolor painting demonstrations with step-by-step instructions for still lifes, portraits, and landscapes.

Yong Chen's Videos -- Yong Chen also offers free instructional videos of watercolor painting lessons.

Watercolor Painting and Projects -- Learn basic skills and watercolor techniques, including supplies you will need and how to mix watercolors. Then progress to the watercolor painting projects for easy to follow tutorials and step-by-step instructions.

The Painted Prism -- This delightful blog from Pat Howard offers inspiration as well as helpful watercolor techniques and tips for painting in general.

Lessons in Watercolor -- Mary Ann Boysen offers free online lessons, beginning with advice about various watercolor papers, brushes, and paints - then continuing on with techniques for painting tricky subjects like glass, crystal, and lace.

Bruce MacEvoy's Watercolor Guide -- A wonderful resource that provides lots of information about watercolor papers, brushes, paints, color theory, palettes, techniques, and more.

Watercolour Equipment, Tips & Tutorials -- Peter Saw starts with an overview of artists' materials used in watercolor painting, providing some suggestions along the way. Then he provides brief lessons in painting trees, rocks, and clouds as well as some in-depth articles about composition and color mixing.

Abstract Watercolour on Yupo Paper -- Step-by-step instructions for creating an abstract painting with watercolors on Yupo brand synthetic paper.

Watercolor on YUPO Paper -- This online tutorial demonstrates how to paint a scene rich with color and texture using watercolor, a palette knife, and YUPO synthetic paper.

Knowing Watercolor Pigments -- Frustrated with the muddy colors in your watercolor paintings? Keene Wilson shares notes for various pigments, points out pigments to avoid, provides sample watercolor palettes, and gives tips for creating darks, glazing, and wet-into-wet techniques.

Wet-in-wet Watercolor -- Popular watercolor instructors Milind Mulick, David Taylor, Alvero Castagnet, and Cheng-Khee Chee each share their own unique strategies for this painting method.

Painting Landscapes, Cityscapes and Seascapes in Watercolor -- Keene Wilson compares the materials, philosophies and the painting techniques of 3 different watercolor instructors.

Painting the Figure in Watercolor -- Keene Wilson compares the the painting methods of watercolorists Alex Powers, Charles Reid, Mel Stabin, Don Andrews, Paul Leveille, and Burt Silverman.

Stretching Watercolor Paper -- This article by Daniel Smith explains how to stretch watercolor paper with tape or tacks.

Brushes for Watercolor Painting -- Alistair Butt discusses watercolor painting brushes, which brush to use for which job, how to clean them, and how to store them.

Watercolor Papers -- Alistair Butt discusses the 3 kinds of watercolor papers he uses.

Oriental Brush Care -- A great article by Daniel Smith on how to care for these unique brushes.

Deterioration of Artists' Papers: Causes and Prevention -- A very informative article for artists and collectors alike. Provided by Daniel Smith, manufacturer and supplier of fine artists' materials.

Paper and pH -- Daniel Smith explains the terms often used to describe a paper's acidity.

Useful Paper Terms -- Daniel Smith explains the terms used to describe paper and its various characteristics.

Gouache -- A good overview of the medium by Daniel Smith.

Experiment with Color Mixtures -- Sally Drew teaches you how to mix watercolors and become familiar with new colors in your palette. An excellent way to learn about color mixing!

John Lovett's Painting Lessons -- Beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions, techniques, and advice for watercolorists.

Pushing Watercolor to the Limit -- James D. Brantley's watercolor portrait of a "Southern Gentleman" is watercolor and portraiture at its best!

Watercolor & Watermedia Tips & Demos -- A wealth of information by Ellen Fountain, N.W.S.

Penny Soto's Hints and Tips -- A variety of online painting lessons covering topics such as painting backgrounds, using Frisket paper, lifting out highlights, and even airbrushing with acrylic ink.

Watercolour and Mixed Media Abstract -- Jane Hoed teaches some unusual mixed media techniques that can be used to provide texture and interest in your watercolor paintings, or combine them together to create an abstract work of art.

Watercolor Painting with Saltwater -- A new watercolor technique by Howard Relles.

Watercolor Floral Painting Demo -- Watercolor demonstration by Liz Fluehr.

Watercolor Painting Demo -- Watercolor demonstration by Lian Zhen showing his color pouring, blowing, and negative painting techniques.

Abstract Watercolor With a Twist -- In this demo Charissa Thomas uses a plastic wrap technique along with opaque watercolors and gel pens to create exciting textures and abstract shapes.

Watercolor Demo -- Cyrille Jubert shows step by step how he creates a painting of british staghounds.

Watercolor Tips from George Simmons -- George Simmons shares his advice for working with watercolors. The article primarily addresses the materials he uses.

Watercolor Floral Demo by George Simmons -- George Simmons offers a thorough step-by-step demonstration for painting the gladiolus flower.

The Difference between "Mixing" and "Visual" Complements -- Watercolor demonstration by Hilary Page.

How To Create Light with Layers -- Watercolor demonstration by Carole Katchen.

How to Paint "Backward" -- Watercolor demonstration by Ken Hosmer.

Painting Negative Spaces -- John Fisher demonstrates the technique of negative painting.

Misket and Masking Techniques -- In this watercolor demonstration, John Fisher teaches how to very effectively preserve the white of the paper, ensuring a bright clean area for the center of interest without resorting to opaque white.

Painting Metal -- In this demonstration, John Fisher teaches how to create a metallic effect (or look of shiny metal) in your still life paintings.

Floating Watercolors into Clear Water -- Barbara Nechis explains her technique for intermingling watercolors and creating, abstract organic forms.

Correcting Mistakes in Watercolour -- Johannes Vloothuis describes how to correct errors in watercolor paintings.

Watercolor Lesson: "Homestead" -- William Powell gives a step-by-step demonstration in watercolor painting.

Free Watercolor Art Lessons -- Step-by-step demonstrations of watercolor portraits, landscapes, flowers, and more.

WatercolorPainting.com -- Greg Conley's website is a great resource that includes free watercolor tutorials, step-by-step paintings, a helpful glossary, informative articles about selecting art materials, and a brief history of watercolor.

Choosing the Right Watercolour Paper -- Learn about the grain, permanence, and weight of watercolor papers.

Susie's Watercolor Tips -- Susie Short offers ideas for fun watercolor projects and tips for painting specific subjects, including demos for painting water drops, flowers, beaches, and trees.

Watercolor Painting Tips -- Joe Cartwright provides tips for anyone learning how to paint in watercolors, including advice on watercolor materials.

Watercolor Painting Demonstrations -- Joe Cartwright shares his watercolor techniques for painting flowers, landscapes, and seascapes.

 
OIL PAINTING TECHNIQUES & LESSONS:

Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting -- Oil painting lessons adapted from classes taught by Bill Martin at The University of California, Berkeley, The San Francisco Art Institute, San Jose State University and others. It is thorough in its scope and you can get your own painting questions answered.

"Oil Painting for Beginners" -- Download this ebook by Andrew Whyte to learn everything you need to start oil painting, including: types of oil paints, canvas types, pigments for landscapes, paint colors/colours, thick on thin paint application, fat on lean application rules, brushes and clean up, how to varnish a painting, and safety tips for your health.

Oil Painting Demonstrations by Susan Lyon & Scott Burdick -- Beautiful portraits and landscapes as well as one still life demonstration, provide helpful insights as the artists work step-by-step through each of the paintings.

Online Oil Painting Lessons -- Several artists share step-by-step demonstrations for painting in oils.

En Plein Air Painting Demonstrations for Landscapes in Oil (videos) -- Watch as Michael Chesley Johnson, artist and instructor, paints landscapes en plein air.

Sergei Bongart on Art and Painting -- Examines Sergei Bongart's approach to painting - particularly color, value, and edges.

Ovanes Berberian: Color, Paint Quality, Brushwork and Technique -- Examines Ovanes Berberian's techniques for obtaining accurate values and color temperatures and his approach toward both exaggerated and harmonious color.

Vadim Zang: Impressionist Drawing and Painting -- Examines Vadim Zangninian's impressionistic approach toward drawing and painting.

Brushes for Oil Painting -- Alistair Butt discusses different types of oil painting brushes, which brush to use for which job, and how to clean them.

Supports for Oil Painting -- Alistair Butt discusses different oil painting supports or surfaces: canvas, panels, and boards.

Other Oil Painting Supplies -- Alistair Butt discusses other oil painting supplies: solvents, mediums, and varnishes.

Resins and Varnishes: Definitions, Descriptions, and Recipes -- Artist Ron Sanders provides an excellent article with very thorough explanations.

Drying Oils and Mediums -- If you have ever wondered how to safeguard your paintings from yellowing or cracking, you will want to read this very informative article from Ron Sanders.

Classical Oil Painting Mediums -- Jodi J. Brody describes the various types of mediums and their characteristics. She also provides simple recipes you can make at home.

Limited Color Palette Portrait Painting -- Artist Tenaya Sims demonstrates the steps invloved in creating a portrait painting in oil with an emphasis on color temperature relationships. Helpful tips are given for achieving accurate values, softening edges, and oiling-out previously painted areas.

Painting Rocks Under Water -- William Powell demonstrates glazing techniques using transparent oil colors.

Oil Painting: Which White Should I Use? -- Learn the differences between the various white oil paints: Titanium White, Flake White, Zinc White, and Radiant White.

All About Painting Materials and Techniques -- Norihiro Matsukawa has created a great resource for learning about animal skin glue, drying oils, dammar varnish, resins, balsam, and more.

Working with Solvents -- Daniel Smith gives tips for using solvents and describes the characteristics of those most commonly used.

 
ACRYLIC PAINTING TECHNIQUES & LESSONS:

Tips & Techniques: Acrylics -- Douglas Purdon, a member of the Society of Canadian Artists, gives tips and answers questions about acrylics.

Online Acrylic Painting Lessons -- Several artists share step-by-step demonstrations for painting with acrylics.

Acrylic Demonstration by Charles Harrington, AWS

A Direct Approach to Acrylic Painting -- Acrylic demonstration by Greg Biolchini.

Acrylic Lesson: "Majestic Sunset" -- William F. Powell gives a step-by-step demonstration in acrylic painting.

Plein Air Painting -- Artist and teacher L. Diane Johnson describes the steps involved in her acrylic painting "From My Window".

Portrait Painting in Acrylics -- Follow along and learn techniques for painting a portrait using underpainting and glazes.

Painting Demonstration in Watermedia -- Mary Weinstein Backer combines watercolors and acrylics, using watercolor as an "under-painting".

Acrylic Painting Videos -- Golden Artist Colors, Inc. provides several video demonstrations of techniques using acrylic paints, gels, and mediums. Each video focuses on a different technique - explaining how these versatile acrylic materials can be used in image transfers, faux encaustic effects, printmaking, collages, airbrush applications, and more.

Acrylic Paint Review -- Find articles and reviews on acrylic artist paint brands and get tips and techniques for working with acrylics.

 
OTHER PAINTING MEDIA:

Digital Collage Painting -- Step-by-step instructions for transferring a digital image onto paper and incorporating the image into a painting.

Egg Tempera -- Lots of helpful information and links from The Society of Tempera Painters.

Making Egg Tempera -- Daniel Smith explains how to make egg tempera and gives recommmendations regarding its application.

The Basics of Encaustic Painting -- Daniel Smith describes the encaustic painting process as well as the materials, tools and equipment used in its application.

Online Videos for Encaustic Painting -- Enkaustikos, an encaustic paint manufacturer, offers several helpful videos for artists interested in encaustic painting. Learn how to setup your work area, how to use encaustic paints, and how to combine collage and mixed media with encaustic.

Murals, Trompe L'Oeil and Faux Painted by Art Effects -- Great faux painting techniques and tips for trompe l'oeil effects. The "Step by Steps and How To's" section leads you to techniques for creating faux stones, leather, marble, and more.

The Art and Nature of Fresco -- Sr. Lucia Wiley provides information on fresco techniques and mural painting.

 
MATTING & FRAMING:

The Benefits of Archival Matting and Framing -- Step-by-Step instructions and thoughtful advice from Sharon Yamanaka.

Framing Your Watercolour Paintings -- Lorraine P. Dietrich discusses mats, mounting, and backing materials.

Matting Your Art Work -- Daniel Smith's do-it-yourself tips for using Japanese paper hinges or paper corners; no instructions for cutting or choosing mats.

 
ART SUPPLIES:

Brush Glossary -- Daniel Smith explains the various brush shapes and hairs/bristles available.

Brush Care -- Daniel Smith explains how to care for your brushes - a must read!

Stretching Unprimed Linen -- In addition to explaining how to stretch linen, this article by Daniel Smith covers the differences between cotton and linen, addressing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Stretching Cotton Canvas -- Another Daniel Smith article.

Wood Art Panels -- Paul Solomon discusses the different types of wood used to make art panels, such as hardboard, MDF, plywood, etc, and the relative pluses and minuses of each type. He also explains how wood deteriorates, and how artists can take steps to prevent it. Moreover he provides important information about the adhesion of paint layers and explains why some types of primers are better than others.

My Canvas-Masonite Panel Support -- Susan Savad describes how to cut and prepare masonite panels for acrylic paintings.

Make Your Own Two-Sided Masonite Panels -- Durable, warp-free supports for artists who prefer painting on a rigid surface.

Preparing the Painting Surface -- David N. Kitler describes how he prepares birch plywood or masonite to creat a surface ready to paint.

Recipes from Sinopia -- Make your own paints, mediums, grounds, gessoes, and more.

Basic Guide to Artists' Pigments -- Daniel Smith explains how pigments are classified, their various characteristics, and why you need to know about them.

Maintaining A Healthy, Safe Studio -- Daniel Smith, manufacturer and supplier of fine artists' materials, addresses this very important topic.

Using Art Materials Safely -- Daniel Smith provides advice specific to each medium.