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Portraits from Life in 29 Steps Hardcover – 8 Jul 2000


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (8 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891349022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891349020
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 22.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,708,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Howard Sanden has created more than 500 portraits of leading figures in American public and professional life. He is widely regarded as the foremost teacher of portraiture methods in the world today. In addition to authoring his books and videos, Sanden founded the Portrait Institute of New York and has toured the United States teaching his ideas and techniques. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
The purpose of this book is to present to you a simple but thorough procedure for painting a convincing portrait likeness in a single sitting, using twenty-nine logical steps. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an invaluable book for anyone interested in portrait painting. His methods are relatively simple and straightforward, that is not to say that it is easy as, with most things, it all takes practice but this book certainly starts you on the right steps.
Don't be put off by his description of how your studio should be set up, I'd need to win the lottery for a studio like his and also his list of equipment, particularly the brushes, will probably be outside the budget of most amateurs however his technique is very much achievable with much less equipment than he recommends.
All in all this book should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in painting portraits.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Feb 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Howard Sanden is an excellent artist whose paintings are alive with life and beauty. He is very open and informative teacher who provides the oil portrait painter with wonderful colour recipes for various skin tones. This book says "in 29 steps" but it is definitely not the typical step-by-step painting book, it will help your artistic vision by enabling you to see the things you need to notice to enhance and improve your paintings. I would reccommend it to both beginners and more experienced oil painters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J Ward on 29 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a while now, I have been taking portrait commissions from family and friends. I am not a master painter, but my work is good enough for people to pay me for it!! I have been using oils and acrylics, but wanted to learn how to simplify my painting process as my approach was getting a bit fussy, with some paintings looking just slightly overworked in places.

I am extremely happy that I bought this book. My portfolio of artwork had been rejected for credit to study further, so I was a little down in the dumps and decided I'd teach myself what I wanted to know. I bought a whole bunch of books on painting, and this was one of them. I was already and admirer of Sanden's work, but had no idea how he worked. When I looked through and realised that the process could be broken down into easy-to-follow steps, I couldn't wait to get started.

Instead of taking almost 4 weeks, working a little each night, to complete a portrait, I managed to complete my first using this book in 5 evenings, of around an hour each time. I was astounded at the result, how loose the approach was but how well it portrayed the subject (my toddler daughter, who has striking strawberry blonde hair and green eyes which with this approach absolutely shone from the canvas). If I could add a picture here I would; I looked between this painting and my last, quite fussy one, and immediately decided this was the way I would paint my portraits in future. I learnt to dissect the subject into shapes of tone and colour, and was pleased with the unique result that resembled my daughter so well but at the same time wasn't a straightforward reproduction of the photo.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Artygal! on 8 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a Informative, well laid out book.
The list of products the author lists to buy, can be replaced with the alternatives found in the UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Keegan on 10 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book explaining Sander's approach to portrait painting. Although the book is based on using his own branded oil paints, his teaching is clearly communicated and would be both helpful and insightful to both amateur and professional portrait painters. If you wish to learn and prefect the essential ways of capturing a likeness and character in a portrait, painted from life in oil, in just one sitting - this book will explain all. The book has really taught me a lot about capturing the essence of a person in oil and, despite the references to his own branded oil paints, the effect can be achieved by mixing standard oils. It is rare to find an artist who is so willing to give and explain his method of painting so freely and clearly - a real gem of a book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pablo on 27 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent informative book. The bonus is that it is not just an interesting read, it is a reference manual to brouse at will. Particularly helpful whilst painting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Evans on 18 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The colours used in the printing of the original books were excellent, but the Amazon reprinted edition we received was a very poor colour reproduction (strong reddish tints in most pictures and photographs). Therefore, when you have mixed the colours according to instuctions they don't resemble the colours in the pictures and photographs. A very disappointing reprint and not much use to follow when mixing the colours. We ordered this book to stop us having to borrow the copy in the public library, but now we will go back to borrowing the library copy again. Unfortunately, it was a waste of time getting the book.
This is my first and only complaint concerning Amazon in all my years of using them, to be fair to them.
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