I am the first to admit when I have a problem – and I have one. I am ADDICTED to buying books about painting and art! However, I have found that I if I share what I learn about these books with you, then it makes me feel a little better about my purchases. So, I am starting a new type of blog post today, art book reviews!
I am guessing you are wondering what makes me an “expert” in art books? The truth is, nothing. I just like them and as with all reviews, the things I talk about will just be my opinion. You may feel differently but I want to just let you know that on the front end.
Now, on to the first review! I absolutely LOVE this book. If I could write a book on how to do landscape paintings, this would be it! It is well written, well organized, and full of great information. Next to John Carlson’s classic book, this is probably the best book written out there today on this subject. Mitchell is a teacher of landscape and plein air landscape painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. And he is also an awesome guy. I have corresponded with him about his book and his work and like many artists out there, he is very giving and personable.
Any of you that paint know the difficulties of painting landscapes. There are many different techniques and processes out there, but Mitchell breaks them down into three main areas, and discusses these areas in detail, providing examples both in his illustrations and with paintings from other painters out there whose work I love (Kathleen Dunphy and Tim Horn, just to name a couple). Some of the chapter titles are: Value Relationships, Simplification and Massing, Site Selection, Light and Color, and Abstracting Nature, among others. There are twelve chapters and 192 pages of wonderful information in this book. Some of it I had heard before, in one way or another, but to have it all together like this in a well organized book is invaluable to me as a painter. I don’t know about you, but I often need reminding of some of these things! I also learned some things that I had not heard before in all of my workshops and reading, which also surprised me. He has a way of explaining things that just “hits the nail on the head.” You can see more about Mitchell and this book at Mitchell’s website.
So, if you are in the market for a new art book (and who isnt???), then go now and get this one. You won’t be sorry if you are at all interested in painting our beautiful landscapes!