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Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light and Color [Paperback]

Kevin Macpherson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Mar 2001
These pages practically glow with Kevin Macpherson's rich and powerful paintings! He shares his techniques for quickly capturing the mood of a scene in bold, direct brushstrokes, with step-by-step instructions that make it easy--simply a matter of painting the colors you see. Follow his lead and you too, can create landscapes and still lives in a vibrant, impressionistic style.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: F&W; New edition edition (1 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581800533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581800531
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.4 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Over time, I've developed workable painting stations for indoor and outdoor use. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, inspiring, and practical 12 Feb 2002
This is a rarity in the field of 'how-to' art books - and I speak as one who has shelves crammed with them! If you're tired of opening such books and being confronted by the same old colour wheel and rules of composition, treat yourself to a breath of fresh air (literally!) and invest in this. Macpherson is a founder of the American 'school' of plein air painting, and his work has a vivacity which instantly puts the book above the traditional demonstration mode and into a class of its own. I haven't painted for years and have lost a lot of confidence, but by the end of the first few pages I was itching to pick up a brush and have a go.
Text is readable - friendly and supportive, never patronising or bullying. It's full of practical suggestions which can instantly help - e.g. if you use a slide projector, put it out of focus to simplify big shapes and assess composition. Look at your picture in a mirror to get a fresh, unbiased view.
Apart from the obvious expertise and enthusiasm(and this book bursts at the seams with both), the particular strengths are:
*number and quality of stunning illustrations - you can see the brushwork, and the colours sing
*on almost every page there are 'idea boxes' with snippets of advice or exercises to try, which encourage participation!
*demonstrations of paintings built up in the studio after plein air sessions show how Macpherson develops/corrects his work
*it's a book which is equally valuable as bedside reading or propped up next to your easel
* a raw beginner would learn a lot from it; so would a seasoned professional artist (I think!)
Without doubt, this is the one art book I would take to the desert island with me! A close second, if you're interested, would be Steve Allrich's 'Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner'
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational writing. 1 Sep 2009
I haven't finished this book yet, but am very pleased with what I've read and seen so far. I really like Kevin's style of painting, and he is very good at explaining his methods and teaching his approach to the plein air landscape. This book was recommended to me, and I am happy to recommend it to others!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Art Book I Have Ever Read 16 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was hooked by the cover picture. "I wish I had done that", I secretly thought. That first impression was strengthened by flipping through the book and looking at other paintings by the author.

Everyone else seemed to love his paintings, too, so I was very interested in what Kevin Macpherson had to say.

Luckily, Kevin describes a very simple method, very plainly. The method is restated in different ways so that everyone is sure to "click" with one way of explaining it. He gives many illustrated examples of producing a painting, and lots of concrete advice like using a card with a small hole in it to see the colour of something better.

The thrust of the book is simple. Paint the shapes you see, rather than the objects you see, in their real colours. The objects, such as cows or trees, and the feel of the scene, such as dusk or full sunlight or icy water, will automatically emerge from the shapes and colours, without you painting them as such.

Although the book describes painting with oil colours, the guts of it are easily adapted to other paints such as acylics.

Simplicity is the key note everywhere. For instance the author recommends a pallet of no more than five colours, including white. If you think that would give slightly dull colours, just look at his paintings and I am sure you will change your mind.

The one danger of the book is that Kevin's ideas are so powerful, and give such good results, that you have to watch out that they don't overwhelm your own ideas and turn you into a "Kevin Macpherson Copycat". This is not Kevin's aim. Unlike many art books, the tone of the book is that he is showing you *a* way of doing things, not *the only* way. I think he would be delighted if you incorporated his ideas into your own journey rather than viewed them as the journeys end.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book for new to oils folk 10 Mar 2011
By lizt
Wonderful illustrations. My only complaint is that although he gives lots of helpful info on mixing colours he doesn't tell you what colours he uses - admits he just uses whatever is on his palette. Well worth owning though.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear & concise 8 Jan 2012
By And
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book, Kevin explains how to paint relatively simple, but effective impressionistic paintings in a clear step-by-step process. There's a nice balance of tutorials with images of paintings in various stages of completion (so we can see how the technique is applied in real life scenarios). It's surprising how effective his style is, even in the small 6" x 8" 'pochade' paintings. He has a talent for making this style of oil painting look really simple, but whether it's possible to recreate this as an amateur is something else?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for any oil painter to own 25 July 2011
I've had this book for years, and have been interested to see how much Kevin McPherson and his work have influenced American oil painters - GREATLY. His use of colour is bold, although his more recent work is quite different from the paintings in this - now quite old - book. Every serious oil painter should own a copy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great! 11 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ordered this book based on recommendations of other reviewers without having seen it. It's absolutely great! Full of original ideas. None of the usual, generally useless, preamble about materials which is usually coloured by one person's approach to painting and is included as a 'filler' to pad out the book's contents. Very good value for money and I would recommend this to anyone who is at the intermediate stage of painting and is looking to improve their technique and skill.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Like this book very much
Published 1 month ago by yvonne
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Really Feel I Learnt a Lot
The paintings weren't really that inspiring for me, and therefore I lacked motivation to try to emulate any of the effects they were trying to demonstrate. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Patrick
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
After reading the reviews I thought this would be something really special. Felt a bit let down, okay for the basics.
Published 5 months ago by Stephen Law
4.0 out of 5 stars fine book
Good examples and tips.
I would like more about light in the sky and the see.
More abote the differens between the old school and modern way of painting and using light.
Published 8 months ago by yg
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring
very nice paintings and good suggestions. You get inspired to paint after reading the book. Also abstract landscape pictures is shown
Published 17 months ago by Gretch
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book is similar to The Painterly Approach: An Artist's Guide to Seeing, Painting and Expressing which I bought recently froom Amazon and is getting me exited about painting in... Read more
Published 18 months ago by film buff
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy for Oil Painters!
Lovely paintings, giving lots of ideas, especially for both beginners and advanced oil painters, a book that will give lots of pleasure.
Published 19 months ago by Rupert
5.0 out of 5 stars Oil Painting with Light and Colour
Well, where to start: I've painted in oils for more than 20 years and read many "how to" books. Some readers of this review will know and appreciate the likes of Uk painter,... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Bought this for my son's mother-in-law who is an accomplished artist, my first Christmas present to her. Read more
Published on 12 July 2012 by oscar
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