Links

A page of links to websites and other resources that I find useful.


I'm not a collector of art books and have never bought an art magazine. When I started out, I did buy a few books and worked through them quite thoroughly, but they're probably a bit outdated today. The problem I find with many books is that they try to appeal to artists at all levels; the result being that the beginner can feel overwhelmed and discouraged and the more experienced artist finds they cover much of the same old ground. Or the exercises are uninspiring, or the instruction is lacking. This is why I now prefer websites and YouTube (my recommended book below is an exception).

Classes work well for some people. I've attended a couple that were fine, but it isn't something that works well for me and I think they can get some people stuck (I've seen examples of people that went to the best art colleges and the end result is not always better than the self-taught. Then again, I'm realising more and more that good technique - though very helpful - isn't always a guarantee of engagement). Best to try a few and see if it helps and if you get on with the teacher. There are some very good ones and Will Kemp (link below) has superb online art courses. I cannot recommend him highly enough. I found his site a couple of months ago and I'm really sorry I didn't come across him earlier. If I'd found him earlier on I am sure my progress would have been much faster.

There is one very good book though, that gave me the best grounding of any, and to which I still dip into now and again. Most have been superseded by websites, which vary widely, but there are 4 sites that I think are particularly good and don't just create pretty "poster art."

Websites and video links

  • Will Kemp art is the best site I've come across yet for the beginner and for the more experienced painter. Classically trained and more experience than one so young ought to have really, and it shows. A master of colour mixing and a very good teacher who inspires and guides very well.
  • In complete contrast is Liam Rainsford. He is a self taught and a very experienced painter of mainly landscapes in oil with compelling videos. He is clearly a very competent draughtsman with natural compositional sense. He uses a limited palette and is slightly unconventional, but it works. He's very generous with his comments and encouragement and is willing to share tricks and tips to success. Don't be deceived by the way he makes it look so easy; it takes many years to be able to paint like him. 
  • Jane Gillheaney Barry is an artist with a hugely successful and inspiring blog. She writes, and paints and makes and grows plants and children. Very grounded, very real and full of life and the seasons. Her artistic journey and motivations resonate with me and clearly with hundreds of others. There's also a connection there to the wonderful Liam Rainsford above which was how I stumbled across her blog via. some strange internet route!
  • Kevin Whitelock produces lovely watercolours of the Eastern seaboard in America. This is his YouTube channel and although he hasn't uploaded lots of paintings they are very good lessons. He doesn't do gimmicks or become repetitive and he isn't a "poster art" man (mentioning no names). Again, very different and a good teacher who breaks a few rules, but in a way that really helps.

Books

  • My favourite book is How to Draw and Paint what you see. It's an old book and there may be better instruction books today (I'm no expert on good art books), but despite a few exercises that may not be your thing this book provides an excellent grounding. I still refer to it to help me with some technical issues.

Aspiring to

  • Peter Collyer produced an excellent book about the Shipping Forecast. He works small and honestly without noticeable brush strokes. They are brilliant and are more than they first appear; repeated viewing is more rewarding.
  • I would love to be able to paint in this style with such freedom and confidence with colour. He doesn't seem to have his own website, but this link gives some idea. Peter Fudge commands high prices and rightly so.
  • Rembrandt - well why not!

3 comments:

  1. Omg! What a lovely surprise! Thank you for the mention, and kind words. How funny you found me through Liam Rainsford. His daughter is a blogger and friend of mine. Small world :)

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    1. Degrees of separation? I think Liam has a link to your blog, which may be how I originally found yours.

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  2. Social media is the best thing ever :)

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