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on 21 October 2010
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 drawing book had samekind of concept, but with pencil drawing you can get the idea much better with black & white images. I can get the masterpieces pictures everywhere but ie. with the portrait painting tutorial it's inpossible to get any idea of the colour, it's very annoying. ALso I think when he talks about modern painting, the information is somewhat outdated, unless you are interrested of the history.
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on 12 February 2015
I have actually learn quite some good things from this book and found it very useful and a better artist for it. Although it tends to be a bit old fashioned in writing style but apart from that the content is good.
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on 22 June 2013
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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on 9 July 1998
This book you shall refer to over and over again learning newer and newer concepts and ideals you would have thought you had already learned. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR THE SERIOUS AND TRUE STUDENT OF PAINTING.
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on 6 May 2015
Lovely book. Written some 90 years ago but nicely written and still very useful.
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on 3 June 2015
Great service. And the book is a wonderful read on art.
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on 13 March 2013
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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on 1 December 2015
Excellent
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on 19 February 2004
This antediluvian volume should be avoided by painters both new and experienced. The text is mind-numbingly dry, in places aloof and contains yawning gaps in terms of key techniques.
Better yet, the 'examples' of paintings included (all 69 of them) are printed in very crude black and white which show nothing of the texture, shading, luminosity or colour of the original works.
An almost fantastically awful book.
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on 2 September 2012
I'm not an artist, nor educated as such. I am merely seeking to learn painting for pleasure.
This book is not really helpful in that quest.

I was thrown off by such phrases as in the "Note on Taste" section: "What is merely a habit
of mind is apt to be mistaken for taste in these democratic times, when the opinion of the
average person is so much exalted."
Maybe so, but the text is full of the author's opinions, put forth as facts, to the effect that
there is an elite who knows "art" much better than the mythical "average person". I find
this condescension off-putting and leaves me wanting to throw the book in the fire and not
persevere and find the good bits in between.

Fine, if this were located in an introduction, or separated from the rest of the text, but the
bulk of the book is so composed. This presentation style was maybe acceptable in the early
1900s, but not today.

The discussion of the painter's materials and their use is jumbled in the back, not a lot of it.
Much of it is of little use to me, as I am not about to go grind my own colours with the various
oils, but I still find that interesting to know about.

And the finer points of discussing the colour balances, etc., in the various paintings the
author uses as examples, is rendered nearly useless, as the badly reproduced photos are
all in black and white (or shades of gray).

The author has good points on composition of pictures, but I lost interest in digging
through the text to find them. There are much better books available, where facts are
presented as facts, opinions as such, and photos are in glorious colour.
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