12 of My Favorite Art Books


An artist doesn't work out of a vacuum. My ideas come from things that I see or dream. Yet, the ideas need to connect to the technique. The creative process has been studied by many, for example, The Five Stages of the Creative Process. I don't dwell on this, but I am absolutely sure that I go through each of these stages. I don't analyze my process. I know that I do prep work, an idea "incubates", I do have "aha" moments, I evaluate what I'm going to do, and what I need for materials, and I carry out a physical process, combining materials, technique, visuals, and the final result.





I digress. I don't often head for the myriad of art books that I have. More than often, I have the images in my head before I start my work. A sketch, some pencil work, and I am off and running. I often work from my own photographs, even if I have the objects in front of me (a still life). But art books do charge my batteries. Flipping through pages sometimes is enough to give me ideas for how I am going to get a certain effect.


So here is my list:


1. Figure It Out! Human Proportions

I don't draw/paint many people. Why is this my number 1? Well, for me it's a desire to know figure drawing. When I was an art student at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico we had to draw every major muscle in the body and then overlay the skin to draw that body part. Whew. I still hear the professor: "The deltoid muscle raises the arm to a horizontal plane."


My book illustrations with Dr. Bertice Berry had two main characters and this book was beneficial in the drawings for this eBook. (At this time, not published).






2. Realistic Drawing Secrets


Carrie and Rick Parks share their expertise in helping artists at all levels with tricks and tools for achieving "life-like" results, whether people, animals, or nature. Available in Kindle or Paperback


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3. Watercolor for the absolute beginner



by Mark Millenbrink. This book provides painting techniques, tips, and tricks that will help you achieve the steps to bring you to success. Yes. I still refer to this book for tips on my own artwork.

From gathering the materials to learning the basics, to practicing techniques, you will find yourself gaining confidence with watercolor. Available in Kindle and Paperback.





4. Watercolor 1 - learn the basics of watercolor painting.



In this book, Caroline Linscott offers the perfect introduction to the exciting world of watercolor! Inside Watercolor 1, you will find an array of beautiful paintings that will inspire you to explore the medium further. Caroline covers a range of popular subjects as she introduces a number of basic art concepts and painting techniques, all clearly explained and illustrated. You will master techniques for adding texture, creating special effects, and using color to convey emotion.




5. The Complete Watercolorist's Essential Notebook.



A book for the intermediate watercolor painter, Gordon MacKenzie gives the reader some concepts to expand your creative process, sharing tips, techniques, ideas, and lessons for bringing about better watercolor paintings.

Hardcover.






6. Creating Textures in Pen & Ink, Watercolor

Right up my alley, I love adding texture to my paintings.

Claudia Nice shows you how to use dots, fine lines, brushstrokes, and a mixture of techniques to suggest glass, brass, driftwood, baskets, and more.

Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback. click image.







The last six books are books about artists who inspire me. Among many: Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keefe, and the unknown women artists.




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