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Old 04-26-2015, 07:55 PM
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Reviews of Art books

Note: Originally this was only about one book but we changed it to include others. Feel free to add to this thread or to start your own with reviews or lessons from art books.

"Learn to paint in Acrylics with: 50 Small Paintings" by Mark Daniel Nelson is such a good book! I'd recommend it for anyone, even if you don't use acrylic or paint small, there's much to be learned from this.

It's very well written. The lessons are all about painting, there's no going off on tangents that don't have to do with art (many authors do go off on tangents or pontificate, I personally find it annoying when they do).

The lessons go from the basics to all sorts of wonderful lessons on shape and forum and brushstrokes, lighting and much more. Even though I've painted for quite a few years, I found this book to be so useful.

I did a few of the lessons. For ease of seeing the paintings clearly, the images will most likely be larger than the actual painting is.

This one is a lightbulb. I reused an old 3x3, so the texture is from the old painting.



This one is a balloon dog, which was fun to do. What a great subject!





This one is a tin and cherry, also on a used canvas. This doesn't look like much close up but from across the room it looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.





And this one is a red mason jar, this was my favorite lesson, I've never been able to paint glass successfully. This lesson was so clear and simple!



Please feel free to add your version of lessons from this book or your review from it.
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Last edited by vmrs : 02-26-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:18 AM
M.L. Schaefer M.L. Schaefer is offline
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

I hope I'm not being out of place, since I don't own the book...but I am impressed by the few lessons you showed, for instance, painting glass, painting shiny surfaces with reflections, etc. ...a lot of knowledge one can apply to one's own painting. And, your paintings are excellent, Virginia!

Margarete
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:27 AM
DawninCal DawninCal is offline
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

It sounds like a great book with a lot of useful information - the lessons look fun too.

I love your balloon dog! He's adorable. Very well done on the glass jar as well!



Dawn
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:24 AM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

wow..these are great...I love the tin and cherry...excellent ! I will have to try and find this book...tyree
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:35 AM
pezk pezk is offline
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

These are really cool. Are they all 3x3?
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:53 AM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

Thanks all. I think a balloon animal would make a great lesson for watercolor as well.

Pat, the balloon dog and jar are 5x7. the rest are 3x3.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:44 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

I'm at the beginning of the book and I have trouble getting even coverage without brush marks. Any suggestions? I haven't done acrylics before.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:03 PM
M.L. Schaefer M.L. Schaefer is offline
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

Add a bit more water? Some people sand their gesso, before painting? (I'm not an acrylic artist, although, I have acrylicd which I don't use yet, have two books..... )

Margarete
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:41 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

It might be that your paint is too dry. I keep a spray bottle of water to keep it moist. Or it could be too thick, some of the student grade paints are actually better to use as they have more binder and are easier to spread.
Personally I don't worry about seeing the brush strokes. I think in most cases they work well in acrylic paintings (and oils) and you want to actually see them. If you want you could try and use the strokes instead of eliminating them and you might like it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:02 PM
pezk pezk is offline
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

Thx for the suggestions. Maybe too little water I'm using.
I love other people's brushstrokes. Just can't seem to like mine.
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:16 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

You have done well with these Virginia .Yes I like the balloon dog as well. You have made good use of the book .
Jim
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Old 05-02-2015, 10:30 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

Thanks Jim! I'm still working on it, It really inspired me again.

Pat, I think your work is always so well done, your'e too hard on yourself!
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:58 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

Those are lovely! You inspired me to buy the book. It arrived yesterday and I did the first two lessons. I plan on doing one per day until I'm finished.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:28 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

That's great! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:25 PM
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Re: Book Review ~ "50 Small Paintings"

I really like the demos that you did...
I might have to break down and get this book... Looks like its right up my alley since I'm pretty much a self taught artist...

Thanks for the recommendation..

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