The 11 Best Oil Painting Books

6 min read

Oil painting is a timeless art form that has been used to capture beautiful scenes and express emotion for centuries. For those looking to take their oil painting skills to the next level, reading up on technique can be invaluable. This article reviews some of the best books available today which offer comprehensive advice on creating stunning works of art in oils. From beginner guides through to more advanced topics such as glazing and layers, these top picks will have you mastering your craft in no time!

  1. Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass: Layers, Blending & Glazing

    Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass: Layers, Blending & Glazing
    Patrick J. Jones, Jeff Miracola
    Published in 2021

    Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass: Layers, Blending & Glazing is an exceptional workbook from renowned artist Patrick Jones. Aimed at all levels of artists and art lovers, this detailed guide provides step by step instructions on how to produce various textures with oils without the use of solvents. It also features several unpublished works created by the author himself; offering readers an insight into his ever evolving techniques for painting fur, flesh and fabric as well as gold and jewels. An invaluable asset in any library or collection of books about oil painting – Sci-fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Masterclass is a must read!

  2. The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted

    The Oil Painting Course You've Always Wanted
    Kathleen Lochen Staiger
    Published in 2006

    The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted, written by Kathleen Staiger, is an excellent guide for anyone looking to start oil painting. This book provides readers with crystal clear step-by-step lessons and detailed instructions on topics such as brush control, color mixing and still life painting. With over thirty five years of experience teaching art classes, Staiger offers her expertise through easy to understand text accompanied by helpful diagrams, illustrations and exercises. Whether a beginner or experienced painter this book will answer all your questions! Highly recommended for hobby painters seeking advice from an expert in the field – The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted is sure to help you create beautiful works of art.

  3. The Beginner’s Guide to Oil Painting

    The Beginner’s Guide to Oil Painting
    Craig Stephens
    Published in 2022

    The Beginner’s Guide to Oil Painting is a fantastic resource for those looking to get into the timeless art form of oil painting. Craig Stephens, an experienced teacher who has been teaching high school students how to paint for over two decades, provides simple yet effective lessons that are easy to understand and will help anyone with limited experience create beautiful artwork they can be proud of. This complete guide contains 22 projects specifically designed to highlight essential elements when using oils and allows readers practice new skills while getting comfortable with the medium. Thanks to detailed step-by-step instructions that include pictures paired with each stroke, users can easily follow along as they hone their color mixing eye, work on unique textures such as craters or glossy skin and learn about capturing natural light in glass objects or reflections on shiny surfaces. Whether you’re just starting out or brushing up your Alla Prima painting skills, this book is sure to provide exactly what you need!

  4. The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting

    The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting
    Suzanne Brooker
    Published in 2015

    The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting, written by artist and instructor Suzanne Brooker is an essential guide for any oil painter looking to break into landscape painting or enhance their work. It provides a step-by-step breakdown on how to paint landscapes in oils, from the fundamentals such as tools, techniques, observation and color mixing – all supported with demonstration paintings and samples from renowned artists. Pairing this book alongside Mitchell Albala’s similarly detailed text will equip readers with everything they need to know about creating breathtaking works of art depicting nature’s scenes. This book boasts a wide selection of beautiful illustrations that are sure to inspire painters at every level – novice through advanced – while also providing real practical tips which can be immediately applied when putting brushstroke onto canvas. The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting comes highly recommended!

  5. Encyclopedia of Oil Painting Techniques, The

    Encyclopedia of Oil Painting Techniques, The
    Jeremy Galton
    Published in 2018

    Encyclopedia of Oil Painting Techniques, The by Jeremy Galton is an excellent guide for both amateur and seasoned painters. It provides a wealth of stimulating ideas such as combining oil paints with other media, mixing paint with sand and sawdust, applying it with knives, rags or the fingers plus step-by-step demonstrations to illustrate how different techniques can be applied to various subjects like landscapes, portraits and still lifes. With over 20 years experience in painting using gouache acrylics and oils this book has something for everyone from beginners looking to learn the basics through advanced students looking to deepen their understanding. It also includes paintings from well known artists along side practical advice on rectifying mistakes ensuring that any budding artist will have all the information they need at their fingertips!

  6. Realistic Oil Painting

    Realistic Oil Painting
    Jan Matěják
    Published in 2020

    Realistic Oil Painting is a comprehensive guide to painting realistically with oils, written by Jan Matejak. This book provides readers with the basics for creating any subject of their choice in an artistic way. It includes detailed explanations on how light and shadow affect color; what type of underpaintings are suitable; and practical examples using various techniques. The author’s traditional layered process is discussed in depth, offering helpful advice and useful tips throughout each step. Additionally, this work contains plentiful photo references that will benefit both novice painters as well as experienced ones. Realistic Oil Painting offers clear instructions for achieving beautiful results through classical oil painting methods – making it an ideal resource for learning new skills or refining existing ones!

  7. The New Oil Painting

    The New Oil Painting
    Kimberly Brooks
    Published in 2021

    The New Oil Painting by Kimberly Brooks is an accessible and comprehensive guide to oil painting, suited for beginners as well as experienced painters. This book offers a unique approach that eliminates solvents and other toxic substances from the art medium while also being more environmentally friendly. It helps aspiring artists build their repertoire of skills in terms of materials, mixing paint and setting up a studio space but can also be used for reference or re-reading when needed. The author has impressive credentials with experience exhibiting her work at many locations across the US plus leading workshops on oil painting. Readers will find this handbook provides everything required to build a safe, solvent-free practice which encourages creativity without sacrificing health or safety standards.

  8. Painting with Bob Ross

    Painting with Bob Ross
    Bob Ross Inc
    Published in 2018

    Painting with Bob Ross is an exceptional book, created by the iconic artist himself. It offers readers detailed supplies lists and step-by-step instructions for creating beautiful landscapes in oil paint – perfect for any skill level! With 403 episodes after his on-air debut, it’s no surprise that Bob Ross still has enormous global popularity as a beloved painter. This guide includes 16 painting projects and all color images allowing you to learn how to paint a happy tree in seconds just like him! Throughout this book are encouraging quotes from Ross such as “Talent is nothing more than pursued interest” inspiring painters of every kind to keep going until they have reached their finished masterpiece. Painting with Bob Ross provides artists and fans alike a much needed escape via its calming nature; grab your copy today and let yourself be taken away into serene landscape creation!

  9. Oil Painting Every Day

    Oil Painting Every Day
    Robin Sealark
    Published in 2022

    Oil Painting Every Day is an informative and enjoyable guide to oil painting, written by artist Robin Sealark. It takes a down-to-earth approach that makes the traditionally daunting task of learning how to paint with oils much more accessible and exciting. The book covers everything from basic supplies needed and techniques for sketching, underpainting, landscape work, still life pieces, portraitures and more. Readers will gain insight into managing tools correctly as well as tips on building compositions that tell stories in order to create captivating artworks. With step-by-step instructions including exercises designed specifically to train one’s eye towards seeing like an artist, this book provides all the guidance necessary for readers of any skill level looking to dip their toes into the world of oil painting.

  10. Composition Notebook Vintage Flowers 04

    Composition Notebook Vintage Flowers 04
    Whimsical Press
    Published in 2019

    This Composition Notebook Vintage Flowers 04 is a must-have for any stationery enthusiast. With its soft professional matte cover featuring a beautiful vintage flower arrangement painting, this notebook exudes sophistication and class. The 55# paper inside measures 7.44 x 9.69 inches with 200 pages of college ruled paper, perfect for taking notes or jotting down poetry and lyrics in ink, gel pens or pencils. For under $10 dollars, it’s an excellent gift as well! As if that wasn’t enough – the subtle crackled texture on the cover gives it an elegant touch while still remaining simple yet stunning; one can hardly resist using this notebook instead of simply admiring from afar!

  11. Oil Painting Essentials

    Oil Painting Essentials
    Gregg Kreutz
    Published in 2016

    Oil Painting Essentials by Gregg Kreutz is an essential guide for artists. It provides step-by-step lessons, examples of his own oil paintings and encourages a multi-genre approach to painting that can strengthen skillset in one genre through painting another. This comprehensive exploration contains all the tools and support needed to take on any type of oil painting. With clear writing, precise instructions and lots of humor, this book covers topics such as figures, portraits, still life’s landscapes and interiors with lots of tips from years of experience making it ideal for those seeking guidance in their art journey. An excellent choice for both experienced painters looking to refine their techniques or novices wanting expert advice from a master painter!

Additional resources

If you are looking for more information about oil painting, here are some helpful resources:

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7 Replies to “The 11 Best Oil Painting Books”

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