Art books that I like

Along my journey of painting and drawing, I’ve found several books that I truly like. In the beginning I would love all kinds of art books in bookstore. I would spend hours in Barn’s Noble to look through each book in art corner. After sometime I start to select the one I need. For example, clearly to me now that I don’t need Manga book. XD Therefore I sold some of my art books to used bookstore. For those I keep, I love to read them again and again.

  1. Animal Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form

Since I paint a lot wildlife/animals, I do need this book on hand. Although I am not able to read all the anatomy terms, I can see the difference in forms and shapes. I especially like that it compares species in shadow profile. And I don’t have to guess which vein on horse face is visible any more. Very helpful~

2. Light for Visual Artists: Understanding & Using Light in Art & Design

This book is good for all artists who love light in their work. In my early days I always confused by the idea of 2D design and 3D effect. I love the 3D form built by light and shadow but I always took the 2D design as reference. Since I discover that, I know how to pick my reference now.

3. Fantasy Art Drawing Skills: All the Art Techniques, Demonstrations, and Short Cuts You Need to Master Fantasy Art

I got this one from a used bookstore in Portland, OR. I love how simple and straightforward it is. It shows you how to build a fantasy creature or scene from common daily life stuff. Full of inspiration. Although it only focuses on black and white drawing, it is great for fantasy sketch practice.

4. Figure Drawing Studio: Drawing and Painting the Nude Figure from Pose Photos

To be honest, the reason why I purchased this book is that I want all those figure photos in the CD. Look at the lower right corner, it says 1536 photos. Yes, that’s the reason. XD. There are a lot examples in the book, teach you how to observe figure under different lighting conditions.

5. Anatomy Essentials Magazine #6 2019, Pose & Draw Flawless Figures

This book is similar as #3 and #5 above but full in color. I just like how colorful it is. All illustration in it looks like hand writing from someone’s journal.

6. Intuitive Light: “An Emotional Approach to Capturing the Illusion of Value, Form, Color, and Space”

I love this book very much, especially how he “smears” the paint yet gives a stunning result. I try to “smear” paint too but find myself sitting there with a liner brush for details. This is a technique I want to master.

7. How to Paint Fast, Loose and Bold: Simple Techniques for Expressive Painting

Similar as above, this book talks more about how to achieve loose painting style. I like her tips and examples, easy to understand and follow. I especially like she said that “your style will come to you, you just have to paint more.”

8. Dracopedia The Bestiary: An Artist’s Guide to Creating Mythical Creatures

My goal is to paint fantasy/mystic creatures. I bought this one as a reference. I’m not a fan of his style but I like his working process and concept of those fantasy creatures. One day I hope to bring those creatures on canvas like a “wildlife art”.

9. 1,500 Color Mixing Recipes for Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor: Achieve precise color when painting landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and more

This is more like a tool book. I only check with it when I’m not sure how to get a certain color. Easy to use.

All books list above are purchased by myself. These are the books that I will keep. Also, there is one magazine that I like the most–>

Antiques & Fine art

I subscribe this one via Magazines website. After trying several other art magazines, I like this one most. I guess I just like the old master style. O(∩_∩)O

I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful~

Thank you.

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.

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