Nov 29, 2010

Book Nook



Book Review

Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting

You will learn to paint trees only by understanding them, their growth, their nature, their movement – and realizing that they are conscious living things. A tree seldom if ever encroaches upon the liberty of another tree. It never wastes its growth in unnecessary twistings. Clouds are fascinating to paint because they are the only element in a landscape that possesses free movement. (John F. Carlson)




I have used this book since I started painting, my father who was an artist in the 1940’s also followed this man’s lessons. This book is timeless. It is the most important and informative book on landscape painting I have ever read and I have read a lot!

It was printed many years ago and all the lustrations are in black and white. The black & white illustrations are actually idyllic, because they get across the information about correct values without the visual confusion of color.

This is not a book of step-by-step lessons, but a book of pure knowledge of how to paint landscapes correctly.

If you want to make your landscapes more believable, this book is a must. Many artists are painting landscapes that look flat and un-real. This book pretty much tells you everything you need to know to paint all aspects of a landscape. Beginners may find it a bit daunting, but don’t let that dissuade you from picking it up and reading it over and over. The more you do the more you will thoroughly understand what Carlson is teaching you.

For many professional artists this is their bible. It is one book you will return to time and again for answers to those questions you have while you are painting.

The section on how light effects the color of the sky and tress is priceless. The way he explains composition of tress and clouds are very helpful, he explains how a tree grows so you actually understand it and can therefore paint one!

He also goes into the basic advise on mediums, basic materials and varnishing are also include.
The book includes about 20 of Mr. Carlson’s work and each are used to teach an exacting point. The language is a bit from the past but the principals he teaches still apply. The book is soft-bound and can be found at bookstores and on Amazon for a great low price.








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