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4.4 out of 5 stars35
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 October 2012
I am a practising portrait artist and, after devouring this book from beginning to end, I find my technique has improved and softened and changed beyond measure. Anthony Connolly writes superbly. He's neither over simplistic nor patronising nor overly lofty. He writes like a great art teacher sharing his own techniques with a knowledgeable pupil. This book would be a wonderful guide for the novice or the consummate artist alike. The guidance is extremely well explained and I particularly loved the step by step pictures showing his paintings slowly emerging from the canvas and his humble approach to difficulties and setbacks. Wonderful information about glazing techniques. Absolutely lovely, and very incisive, glimpse into his personal exploration of some contemporary portrait artists.

No one can write a comprehensive guide to portraiture, but this is as close as you can get. A delightful and technique-changing book.
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I was impressed with this book, although I think that the self portrait is by far the best painting in it, rather than the one featured on the cover. Portrait painting is really not easy, so a book like this can be a real help especially in showing you how to apply glazes and work up the image until a likeness emerges close to the end of the process. This can take a long time: nevertheless, the way to set about it is half the battle and this book shows you this rather well. You might criticise the pictures displayed or compare the likeness of the paintings to the sitter and find fault, but the art of portraiture is to bring expression and life to the subject in paint; again, this book shows how to do this enough to make you feel more confident about trying it yourself and for that it is worth 5 stars.
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on 11 August 2013
The illustrations are very good for showing how the author goes about painting his portraits. He breaks the process down into stages so you can see how a portrait is built up. However he has a particular style which uses a limited palette, so if you would like your portraits to look like his, then follow these guidelines. He also shows examples of other artists' portraits in various styles, some of which are wonderful, but no detail on how they achieve their effects. However I do feel inspired to give his method a go!
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on 9 January 2012
If you want to learn how to paint portraits in oil colour then this is the best book to buy!

Simple step by step examples of several portraits show exactly how this artist achieves his prestigious portraits.

His description of how he paints is the best you'll find in book form.

My only regret is that he hasn't covered any other subject matter (at least that I am aware if).

Highly recommended.
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on 26 August 2013
Clear explanation and the photographs are useful for an understanding of the issues.I like it and recomended for beginner Students and also progressive
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on 14 December 2014
The pictures are hauntingly beautiful and the book is a very helpful source or learning and both the amateur and the established portrait painter. I was very glad to have bought this and found it instructive and inspiring.
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on 15 April 2013
clear text,excellent, appropriate and plentiful illustrations which help to demystify the art of portrait painting and stimulate and encourage a novice.
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on 13 December 2013
This book takes the artist through some of the basics of drawing a likeness and into the area of expressing their character in the final painting. Sadly, the printing is so poor that it looks as if it has been over washed with mid brown making all the photographs dull and lifeless,
Nice book badly printed - Shame
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on 11 June 2014
This book gives a good step by step guide to painting a portrait and is especially informative to any one just starting to paint.
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on 21 August 2015
More interesting than helpful although this is a difficult enough subject to convey real information. I now know how Anthony Connolly paints portraits but I don't really think it has advanced my ability at all, perhaps nothing in a book can. Onward and upward.
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