Recently I've been getting asked what my favorite art books are. Anyone else loves books and always searching Amazon for their next buy?! (Hopefully, it's not just me!) Let's get into my favorite books for painting, drawing, and understanding the landscape.
Here are my top 5 Books for the Landscape
1.) Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice by Mitchell Albala
If I were to only buy one book on painting the landscape, this one would be it! Although the author uses oils (I use acrylics), the fundamentals of how to paint a landscape stay the same across all mediums. One of my favorite quotes from the author is "any good landscape painting I've ever done was also simple."
My favorite section of this book is early on when Macpherson is talking about shape relationships and lines. "The contour of the shape is what communicates the qualities of an object - not how the shape is filled in." This was EXTREMELY eye-opening to understand.
By far, one of the most classic books for understanding the landscape is Edgar Payne's Composition of the Outdoor Painting. If you aren't familiar with Payne's Steelyard, O, and S compositions, I highly recommend getting this book. A good painting relies heavily on the composition; even if your values are correct, your artwork will be incomplete.
This book goes through all different mediums with the landscape, instead of just painting. I loved the color mixing section, specifically how to lighten a color (by not using white!).
I love having a book filled with hundreds of pages of inspiration from fellow landscape artists. This book does not disappoint with the amount of beautiful artwork and insights into some of Canada's most beloved landscape artists.
Books are such an essential part of progressing as an artist and learning from other professionals. I can't recommend enough filling your shelves with books on how to paint the landscape! I also go through the 6 different types of art books you should have in your library in this video.
Let me know in the comments what art books fill your shelves so I can add them to mine!