I cannot recommend this book too highly. I've borrowed it from the public library many times and finally bought a copy. It is an unglamorous yet profoundly useful read for anyone interested in producing any kind of artwork (not just painting) based on landscape.
There are no glossy colour pictures. No "short cuts" involving patent brushes only to be bought from the author. No sequences showing, in ten easy steps, how the reader may produce an imperfect copy of a pretty snow scene. Instead, O'Connor assumes his reader is a serious student intent on producing original, hard-hitting work.
On the first page of the introduction, he writes "We shall see that a landscape which at first may appear uninteresting can, by survey and careful probing, prove a rich source of painted material. Conversely, a 'picturesque' landscape, apparently almost a ready-made painting location, can give rise to dull and unpleasing work if it does not strike a personal note in the artist". This gives us a fair idea of what will follow.
Chapters are as follows: 'Various approaches to landscape painting'. 'Materials and equipment; some problems of working out of doors.' 'Working in or out of the studio; notes and references and their uses.' 'Figurative and non-figurative thought in landscape painting.' 'Conscious and accidental use of perspective.' 'Design and landscape.' and 'Seasons and elements; reflection and the theatrical element in landscape painting.'
Every page of every chapter is pure gist; O'Connor gives us the full S.P. in concise, practical language; no waffle, no New Age twaddle, just the sort of thing you'd get at a top art college from a good tutor.Read more ›
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