I just got a new rare book that I'm very happy to add to my library. This is a 1934 1st edition of Painting A Portrait by Philip de László (1869 - 1937). It's part of a series of books called "How to Do It", which included 6 books in total in various media, such as watercolor, etching, sculpture, etc. For anyone who doesn't know, de László was a brilliant portrait painter who took over a lot of commissions once Sargent announced "No more paughtraits" in 1907.
I first read this as a PDF file that was generously sent to me by Mr. Juan Jr. Ramirez. That PDF was different from this edition and had some different photos and information. The photos in this book are nicely pasted in and almost have an old, glossy photographic finish to them. It's really a beautiful book. As a painter, art historian and collector of rare books, I'm proud to add this to my collection.
Book Reviews: Everett Raymond Kinstler's, "Painting Portraits" + "Painting Faces, Figures and Landscapes"
I'm very happy to share a review of these two books by Everett Raymond Kinstler. Although I never got to meet Mr. Kinstler in person, I had the privilege of sharing email correspondences with him over the course of a few years. His emails were always filled with encouragement and thoughtful critiques of my work.
For Christmas this year, I received both of these books as presents. I'll start by discussing Painting Portraits, published by Watson-Guptill in 1987. The book is 144 pages and has high quality illustrations of Mr. Kinstler's work. I was very excited to read this book and it did not disappoint. For anyone who's interested in portraiture, I now consider this book a must-read. What I like about it is that it has really practical information as well as information about mindsets and philosophies of making art. There's also information about Mr. Kinstler's history and the way he started doing portraits, which was fascinating.
Mr. Kinstler's process and materials are also covered, which prompted me to add and remove a few colors from my own palette.
It doesn't feel like reading a typical art instruction book because it has a nice narrative flow to it. I really can't find any faults with this book and will enjoy re-reading it at other points in my life.
Painting Faces, Figures and Landscapes, was also published by Watson-Guptill, but in 1981. It's 143 pages and also has faithful illustrations. I would recommend this book for anyone who is more of a fan of Mr. Kinstler's work and more interested in his personal history. Painting Faces, Figures and Landscapes includes technical information, including demonstrations and his materials list, but Painting Portraits has more information about the practical nuts and bolts of painting.
Since I'm also a watercolor painter myself, I enjoyed Painting Faces, Figures and Landscapes because it shows Mr. Kinstler's watercolor and drawing methods, which are not included in Painting Portraits. If you're interested in watercolor and drawing materials and techniques then keep this in mind.
Mr. Kinstler is a wonderful writer and his sense of humor gives these books a light-hearted feeling which I thoroughly enjoyed. Like many great art instruction books, this book will satisfy you if you're a beginner or advanced. Both of these books are very reasonably priced and I guarantee that you'll find them very useful, inspirational and worth reading.
I'm closing the year with an oil sketch of the actor Patrick Stewart that I painted from a photo reference. I am adding this to a portfolio of portraits that I'm submitting to a portrait representative company. This painting was a lot of fun to paint and I'm learning to paint in my own style more and more lately.
This year was very trying for everyone and I'm glad that it's coming to an end. I think this will be a year that will go down in the history books and future generations will be asking: "What was it like to live through 2020?". I'm very thankful that my family and friends are healthy and I hope everyone out there has a healthy and happy end to 2020. I'm looking forward to what 2021 brings!
Merry Christmas to everyone, hope everyone is having a good one and got some cool gifts.
I got some amazing books that I started working my way through. The first book that I'm reading is one I've been waiting to read for a while: Painting Portraits by Everett Raymond Kinstler. I'm not finished reading it yet, but I've already learned a tremendous amount. It has a lot of technical information, which makes it fascinating to read. The copy I got had a special addition of a drawing and inscription by Mr. Kinstler himself.
I sadly never got to meet Mr. Kinstler in person, but I did exchange emails with him; he always took time to thoughtfully respond and give me advice for my work.