It’s not often I want to recommend a book before I’ve finished reading it. But here I am doing just that. It is more than a ‘how to’ book; it is a guidance tool for development aimed at those who are just starting out as artists as well as an invaluable resource tool for the more experienced. It is written in simple language with a depth of explanation that is often lacking in more modern books. There are few photographs, all in black and white, but this does not diminish the value of the teaching within it. Black and white helps when first learning about tonal value therefore colour only becomes important when colour mixing or colourist techniques need to be explored. I’d go as far to say that more pictures and less words would deprive the reader of an interactive experience with the author, albeit he died in 1945.
The language used is quite dated, and biased somewhat towards male learning, but it still holds a great deal of value and relevance for today. The first two chapters cover how to approach painting and the mechanics of painting in a very easy to understand way, giving encouragement to experiment with techniques. This, I believe, is the only book artist Carlson has written and perhaps the book that aspiring artists should read first before diving eagerly into the many other ‘how to’ books .
I bought this book from Amazon, digital format, for £6.45. I can’t always take hard copy books away with me but I often have my tablet. Hard copies can be bought for a couple of pounds extra.