Being a self-taught artist, I have relied entirely on the study of other artists’ body of work and life story. This has been accomplished through books about the artists and museum visits where I can actually see the techniques and strokes the artist used. On a few occasions I’ve purchased a video for specific, hard to find information about an artist or art movement.
I’m not a huge fan of videos but these are of high quality and provide a true learning experience of great value for the money.
An excellent example of videos for learning and reference would be the two videos by Eric Koeppel on the techniques of the Hudson River School Masters. Well worth the money and very thorough in their presentation.
Another well done video would be Sargent, Techniques of a Master by Thomas Jefferson Kitts. This looks into how John Singer Sargent painted. Difficult information to find in the world of video. He also has a video of Sorolla which is excellent.
Books and Articles
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to find some out of print books with great information for studying important artists and their techniques. You can still find them thanks to the Internet. Use your favorite search engine to find purchase sources for these. Amazon is always a good bet as are online used book sellers.
- Awash in Color: A wonderful reference book on many watercolor artists, their works and life.
- Watercolors by Winslow Homer, the Color of Light: All about the wonderful watercolor artist/illustrator Winslow Homer, his career, techniques and paintings.
- John Singer Sargent, Portraits in Charcoal: A great compendium of charcoal portraits you can study to learn techniques for charcoal portraits and apply them to landscape drawing, still life’s, etc.
- The Official Biography of John Singer Sargent: A great resource on Sargent’s life and work. Includes reproductions of some of his paintings and drawings.