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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harold Speed- An Excellent Teacher for the Serious Student
This book is very useful if you are interested in an academic/classical style of painting and take the precedent set by 17th century masters as your starting point. It is written by a painter,draughtsman and teacher of immense ability who made a living as an artist 100 years ago- The illustrations whilst not vibrant in print quality are very informative. A note of...
Published on 29 Dec 2004 by Ric Bower

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring book.
Im a big fan of Harold Speeds "Practise and science of drawing". But with this book I must admid I was little dissapointed. The information is quite well organized and language is readable. But something is missing. One big minus is the pictures. When you talk many pages of colour and how to construct a painting using colour, how can you do it without color pictures? The...
Published on 21 Oct 2010 by Pauli


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harold Speed- An Excellent Teacher for the Serious Student, 29 Dec 2004
This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
This book is very useful if you are interested in an academic/classical style of painting and take the precedent set by 17th century masters as your starting point. It is written by a painter,draughtsman and teacher of immense ability who made a living as an artist 100 years ago- The illustrations whilst not vibrant in print quality are very informative. A note of caution, It is not a book for amateurs who are not willing to wrestle with the serious issues of painting and the language he uses at times is outdated and therefore hard going. I also highly reccomend his companion book on drawing.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good., 6 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
This book is old fashioned, verbose, sometimes pompous, and filled with only a few plates, many of which are not the best reproductions. It is however, excellent. Like his book on drawing it is not for beginners, and apropos the reviewer below, it is not for the talentless or the dilettante. However, if you are at a level where you are bored by the poor quality of the instruction in most contemporary art books and are interested in traditional techniques, then this book is very useful. As with all books on art instruction, simply reading it and not practicing it will not make you a better painter.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oil Painting Techniques and Materials - Review, 13 Oct 2010
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J. Rice (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
For anyone who has come through the lottery of Art College education over the past few decades this book may answer some important questions about how to actually paint successfully in Oils. Without being pedantic the author shares his considerable experience as a painter, laying out in an ordered fashion methods and stages in development of painting. It is a practical book written for people who would like to be told straightforwardly how various masters have worked, their techniques, colours, methods.

This is the kind of book that speaks confidently and with a certain authority about the craft of painting, mainly prior to impressionism (but not wholly). Some might regard the style as pedantic and moribund. However I think that, for the time, the style of writing is warm and even humorous. You are free to take what you need from this useful volume without needing to feel compelled to agree with every statement Harold Speed makes. Many of his observations on the studio methods of artists such as Rubens, Gainsborough, Turner (and many more) are cogent and enlightening. Particularly useful is his understanding of Transparent and Opaque pigments, Warm and Cool colours and the descriptions of artists' palettes.

I find that I 'dip in' to this book often, sometimes just idly opening it at a random page and reading; and I'm always rewarded. And I often find that I can use some of his painting tips straight away.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars up there with alla prima, 2 May 2010
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Anne Tsang "arty books" (ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
this is one of the best books ive read in a long time. the first section on modern art is long winded and boring, i could not get through it even though i was determined to try. the opinions expressed it this section are common knowledge at this stage the kind of stuff you learn in school art history class. i would recommend starting this book in the second section because thats is where the practical painting instruction starts. speeds procedure for painting in oils is both brilliant and easy to follow, although you still need to be an experienced painter to get anything useful from it. he neglects to explain how to do many of the basic techniques that would stump a beginner, e.g. how to mix paints to arrive at an exact color. like all books on art this is not a "magic bullet" you cant just pick it up and be a great artist, it will take time and effort and by then your copy of this book will be worn and stained from the many times you review its contents.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant., 23 April 2011
This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
There is great information within this book. As ever, fans of Speed's writing will find it educational and inspiring. Well recommended for student's of painting who would learn the craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 12 April 2014
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A bit oldfashioned in the writing style - what else cd be expected from a book written in the 20s - but the analysis and advice rooted in long practice and searching inspection of the masters are unsurpassed at this price. modern art instruction such as it is seems to revolve around not telling you anything you might need to know. along with hebborn this book fills the gap.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPEED IS OF THE ESSENCE, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Ernest Barton (LONDON UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
This book is not a painting manual in any normal sense - in many ways it is a Valediction and a memoir. But if you have got beyond the mechanics of mixing paint and slapping it on it is worth reading. He emphasises the one aspect of oil painting that makes it different to other media - the importance of getting it down in the most economical way. For some of the early exercises he emphasises they should be done with one brush - valuing long familiarity over specific purpose.

This is a man who knew Edward Burn Jones, but in technique he is nearer to John Singer Sargent and similarly influenced by Japanese art and impressionism. He comes across as a thoughtful likeable man and if some of his ideas about old master technique are now evidently erroneous this knowledge has only come about through a revolution in analytical equipment he and his generation knew nothing of.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best read on Oil Painting, I've had, 31 Jan 2006
By 
Mr. B. Gerrard "Brad J" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
I would highly recommend this book to any with some experience with oil painting. It's not a step by step, but more a philosophy and tips on painting. It makes a most interesting read, full of meat, not scanty packed with self evident ideas and with illustrations like some more modern books.
This book but for the cover is in black and white, the few plates of paintings and drawings are all black and white, but I imagine that one can obtain colour pics of each one by other means, if the examples in the book aren't up to the job for you...
This is a book you can read and reread, I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting, 22 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
I had never heard of this artist before I read this book. Why he has not been recognised by the art world during his lifetime is travesty
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory read for painters with already some experience, 13 Mar 2013
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Rossella Spoto "rossella78" (london, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) (Paperback)
I am primarily a self-taught painter and I find this book finally is 'speaking' my thoughts about art. Harold Speed speaks with amazing self-confidence and with the long experience of a very good teacher to students and artists alike. He knows the doubts and concerns and addresses them in a very appropriate manner; sometimes he may seem a bit harsh yet I never find him patronising. I am fulling grasping his points, having found myself several times frustrated in front of my pictorial technical mistakes, at the same time I am delighted when I can appreciate the good 'bits' of my paintings which I was unaware of before.... The book also offers a very inspiring critique of several master paintings, and very interesting tips and exercises. TRY NOT TO BE PUT OFF BY THE STYLE OF THE BOOK AND AMOUNT OF WORDING VS. LACK OF IMAGES, just read it next to a browser to fully grasp his points...I was amazed when I realised the book was first published in the 20', being such an actual read (almost throughout)...
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Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction)
Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (Dover Art Instruction) by Harold Speed (Paperback - 1 Dec 1987)
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