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Recommended Acrylic Painting Books

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Acrylic painting is a versatile art medium, and there are many techniques you can learn and adapt to your own artistic inclinations.

Once you master the basics of painting with acrylics, you should expose yourself to more advanced techniques that will take you to your artistic next level.

This is a list of recommended reading to enhance your knowledge of acrylic painting. If you're just starting, you may not need to buy any of these books as yet.

You may even go to your local library and borrow whatever they have available.

But as you advance in your skills, you will want to explore new techniques, and these books give you new ideas on how to work with acrylics.

For your convenience, I have included links to bookshops located in North America (including Mexico, USA and Canada), and Australiasia (including the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, and Asia). I will be including links for Europe as soon as I can.

Of course, sometimes a book may only be available in one particular geographical area, in which case you will have no other alternative but to pay the extra postage from one side of the planet to the other. I do that very often, as I am in Australia, and often order books from America and the UK.

How to paint landscapes in acrylic How to Paint Expressive Landscapes in Acrylic

This is a very nice book that allows beginners to take their acrylic painting skills to the next level in an easy to follow system.

How to Paint Expressive Landscapes in Acrylic is part of a series of books for people studying how to paint.

I recommend this series because of the easy way they teach you how to paint.

This book, like the rest in the series, comes with 15 step-by step projects that you can complete at your own pace.

Each project exposes you to a new skill or acrylic painting technique with the assistance of:

  • Art maps with numbered and referenced grids that you can use to scale onto paper to transfer a drawing. I like this because it takes the guesswork from the word "Go";
  • Progressive and manageable classic art techniques lessons, which help you further your skills and grow confident as you go;
  • A wide range of topics, illustrated and complemented with pullouts, hints, and a palette of color and supplies.
Click here to find this book in Australasia.(a new window will open).
Clickhere to find this book in North America (a new window will open).

The New Acrylics BookThe New Acrylics

This book gives you a complete technical understanding of acrylic paints.

About half of the book tells you interesting stuff about the chemical composition of acrylics, how they are made, and how they are graded in terms of quality and characteristics.

Of course, you do not need to know all the technical stuff when you're just starting, but as you advance in interest and skill, you may want to know this information to suit it to your own artistic designs.

Then the author gradually introduces you to the most basic things such as listing materials and equipment, and moves on to techniques and skills such as glazing, underpainting and staining.

The book also discusses alternative ways of using acrylics, including stained glass, acrylic transfer and soft sculpture with demonstrations that you can easily follow.

But perhaps the most valuable part of the book is that it exposes you to the newest developments in acrylic painting, including new colors, textures and techniques that you can implement once you're confident.

Click here to find this book in Australasia. (a new window will open).
Clickhere to find this book in North America (a new window will open).

Mixing Colors in Acrylic Mix Your Own Acrylics

This is a complete guide on how to mix colors in acrylic. This is an important skill to learn, as your scope of colors available to you will expand exponentially after you learn how to do it.

I really liked this book, as it takes away the guessing work (that painful "trial and error" process we go through in our search for "the perfect hue"!).

After a brief introduction to color theory,you'll be gently and easily introduced to exciting methods to create your own array of intense and subtle colors.

Mix Your Own Acrylics teaches you :

  • The basics of color theory, including hue, value, and saturation;
  • The exact ratios for mixing a wide range of blues, greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and purples;
  • Tricks of paring color complements;
  • The importance of neutralcolors;
  • How to mixa variety of browns and grays; and
  • Painting demonstrations and still life arrangements, with color call-outs and mixing ratios.
Clickhere to find this book in North America (a new window will open).
Click here to find this book in Australasia.

60 Minutes to Better Painting: Sharpen Your Skills in Oil and Acrylic60 Minutes To Better Painting: Sharpen Your Skills In Oil And Acrylic

This book is very helpful in that it shows students how to use "quick studies" to improve on your style and editing, and conquer the fear of failure when you begin apainting.

The author shows you how and why the "quick studies" approach works, and shares with you 9 areas where this method will improve yourpainting, including:

  • Editing and Brush Confidence
  • Color and CompositionExploration
  • Lighting effects
  • Capturing new subjects, and
  • Basic practice and recreation
Can you improve your acrylic painting skills in 60 minutes? Well, if you're an average reader, you can learn the theory, but as you may realize it, it will take you a little bit of time and practice to get the theory right.

Clickhere to find this book in Australasia.
Clickhere to find this book in North America (a new window will open).

Acrylic Related Links:

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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