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Painting Realistic Abstracts Paperback – 18 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press Ltd (18 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844485609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844485604
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 1.2 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

Intended for artists with some familiarity with painting, this title explores the popular approach of loose, impressionistic representations of nature. With vibrant demonstrations and simple instructions, Kees van Aalst shows how to 'transform reality' in this way. He explains that 'a picture is a painting about something, not a picture of something. Therefore you need to interpret your subject, not imitat it.' The book aims to give readers the skills to create fluid, gestural paintings rather than detailed reality and it is one of the few that actually explores this approach thoroughly. Work by other artists is also featured, as is detailed and thorough information, such as advice about colour harmonies and composition. There are plenty of helpful tips about how to produce paintings that are loose and expressive, not quite full-blown abstract art, but abstractions of reality.-The Artist I confess I hadn't heard of this artist/author/teacher before who is from the Netherlands, after reading this book I would love to attend one of his workshops. To me his paintings portray a sincere love of painting, there is a lot of joy and enthusiastic excitement in the brushstrokes and fluidity of the paint that shines through. As the book is aimed at more experienced painters to challenge and stretch their working methods, rather than beginners, there is a very short discussion at the beginning about colours and materials that might be needed and some examples of techniques. It's almost as a reminder rather than one of those long and laborious explanations that take up vast portions of other books, which personally I find frustrating. The book is aimed at those using water based media although in many ways I think it is useful for all mediums. Rather the majority of the book is used to explain the concepts of seven principles, (unity, contrast, dominance, repetition, variety, balance, and harmony) and seven elements, (line, tone, colour, texture, form, proportion and direction). Each is eloquently explained with lots of illustrations. As a list I would say it is a very useful guideline for analysing and improving your work. The onus of the book is to transform, '...reality by means of elimination and simplification' with reference to these elements and principles. You are encouraged to, 'Paint what you feel, not what you see.' which is a far cry from the 'paint what you see not what you think you see' often chanted at art school. It's not a how to paint book as such but more a how to express what you feel, encouraging you to develop you own self expression in a fluid, gestural and impressionistic way. I see this book as an encouraging bridge between the realms of competent amateur and the first steps to becoming an artist.-Seasidestudioblog.blogspot.com What is a realistic abstract? Surely the whole point of abstract art is that it is non-representational and offers an alternative to narrative and figurative painting? There are many books on how to achieve both, but this is a book covering what the writer calls the gray area between the abstract and figurative, and how to paint it. This is all rather fascinating, and I spent some time just looking at the examples. Here are pictures that suggest landscapes, cityscapes, flowers, people and more. The subject of the work is always recognizable - even if barely - but painted in an abstract and loose manner. I was reminded of views seen though a heat haze, a mist or even in the mind's eye and enjoyed the suggestions of what was there rather than a mere photographic representation. This is not a book of staged projects, but one where you get ideas on how to do a certain style of art. As such, it is not one I would recommend for the beginner. Rather, it is aimed at somebody who has tried other styles and is looking for something new and a way into it. In here are recommendations on what brushes an --Myshelf.com

About the Author

Kees van Aalst is a visual artist who lives and works in the Netherlands. He runs workshops and courses, for example in watercolour painting and oriental painting techniques, and is the author of several books. He works to commission, and sells his work to private individuals and organisations all over the world.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S on 17 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i stumbled upon this book by chance - i was not even looking for a book. but when i flicked through the pages tears started rolling down my eyes, in the middle of the art store. in a word, it is sumptuous. the paintings left me feeling weak-kneed and aching to paint like that. every painting is like a song, inspirational and uplifting. all my life ive wanted to paint like that, but couldnt put my finger on it. the paintings are all there in my head, but i was never able to express them onto the paper. i am hoping that time and this book will help me achieve that.

this is probably the only painting book which i have read cover to cover (most books i skim). most abstracts tend to be in oils and acrylics, so it is really refreshing to see so many stunning works of abstract art in watercolour. i know i will be drooling over the pages of this book every day for many many days to come.

this is not an instructional manual, and gives away very little about technique and tips. it fairly assumes that the reader will approach it as a source of inspiration, and is not aimed at a total beginner. while i am not looking for volumes of instruction, a little bit more detail than what has been given (at least for one or two paintings) would've earned this book five stars.

if u r looking for a book that tells u how, dont buy this. if u r looking for a book that shows u what - what is possible if u persevere - dont think twice.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By K. Platt TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is for the advanced watercolour painter who wants to break free of the tidy format of most watercolours and develop a freer style. What it lacks in text (there is very little of it) it makes up for in examples. Abstract paintings rarely have titles, the image is what you see, open to interpretation. Watercolour is a perfect medium for abstraction, let the water and colour flow and see where it goes. This is an interesting book that may lead many artists in a direction they had not thought of previously, or were unable to do. I would have liked a little more instruction. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By kathy on 21 Mar 2011
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I have always painted realistic pictures but when I found this volume it really changed my perspective. The work of several well chosen artists is reviewed and appraised very competently by the author. It is a delight to read and the colourful illustrations chosen are a feast for the eyes. This is a truly inspirational book that will intice an artist away from realism, away from the photo references we cling to and into the world of abstractions, seemlessly, and before you know it, you too could be experimenting with colour and form and your imagination.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. G. Amory on 1 Feb 2013
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There are a range of such books, but I chose this one partly on the strength of a full and positive review, and because when I turned the trial pages, the work of the artist and the colours he chooses are in tune with those that I like. Now I own the book and I confirm his teaching builds on itself, his words are well-chosen as are the range of illustrations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patience on 19 May 2012
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This book was just what I was looking for. I found it inspirational and informative too. The paintings are fresh and original. I think it would be very useful for people with some experience in painting who are interested in developing a more abstract view of the world.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By lynne on 22 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
The painting on the cover of this book is not by the author, but by an artist called Viktoria Prischedko. The author's style of painting is quite different.
If you are interested in composition, then this is a very good book. I have several books on composition so didn't find it helpful.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Red Robie on 12 Nov 2010
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This is a nice little book but it doesn't give you too much information in the text so I doubt that anyone who doesn't have a reasonable background in watercolour painting would get very far with it. Some of the images are quite inspirational however.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By messy gran on 14 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
Not quite what I expected. The pictures are inspiring, but mainly watercolour based which is a medium I dont use.
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