The 14 Best Still Life Painting Books

7 min read

Still life painting is an important and captivating genre of art. It has long been used to capture the beauty, detail and subtlety of everyday objects in a way that no other medium can. These books provide readers with comprehensive insights into still life painting techniques, from beginner-friendly tutorials to advanced explorations of the possibilities of this artistic form. With these volumes as your guide, you will be able to explore how light interacts with surfaces, understand composition like never before, and create masterpieces all on your own!

  1. Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting

    Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting
    Norman Bryson
    Published in 2017

    Norman Bryson’s Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting is an up-to-date, comprehensive exploration of one of Western painting’s most persistent genres. The work delves into still life’s origins and history, analyzing its evolution from Roman wall paintings to Cubism in a series of four insightful essays. In this intellectually stimulating book, Bryson sheds light upon the long overlooked genre by challenging our perception with critical eyes; encouraging us to look beyond what may appear as ordinary subject matter. This highly engaging text also looks at how gender roles have affected the traditional underrating of still life throughout history. An absolute must for anyone interested in art criticism or studying still life painting, Norman Bryson eloquently presents his arguments with clarity in these thoughtfully crafted essays that will leave readers inspired and enlightened.

  2. 30 Ways to Master Still Life Painting

    30 Ways to Master Still Life Painting
    Kelli Folsom
    Published in 2021

    Kelli Folsom’s 30 Ways to Master Still Life Painting is a comprehensive guide for still life painters of all levels. This 171 page book offers detailed instructions on setting up, composition, brushstrokes, value and color mixing, light and atmosphere as well as form and tactile quality in painting. Packed with demonstrations from the artist/author herself along with bonus tips and material lists it allows readers to gain an understanding into how she works her magic through oil paints. Anyone looking for guidance will find this book incredibly useful thanks to its clear visual direction full of beautiful colour examples that are easy to follow making it ideal reading both newcomers wanting to get started or experienced professionals who wish to further their skillset.

  3. Dynamic Still Life for Artists

    Dynamic Still Life for Artists
    Sarah Sedwick
    Published in 2022

    Dynamic Still Life for Artists by Sarah Sedwick is an in-depth guide to painting still life masterpieces. This book covers everything from setting up arrangements and assessing abstract shapes, all the way through to color mixing and applying color effectively. It includes a wealth of inspiring examples from other esteemed artists who have their own unique styles working with various mediums. Every artist at any ability level will find something valuable within these pages – from those just starting out to seasoned professionals looking for new techniques or inspiration. The author’s teaching style is clear yet encouraging, providing detailed step-by-step instruction which demystifies oil painting while also offering insight into her own creative process as well as that of others. Dynamic Still Life For Artists is sure to empower readers on their journey towards realistic artmaking.

  4. Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

    Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier
    Juliette Aristides
    Published in 2016

    Juliette Aristides’s Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier is an invaluable guide for any aspiring artist. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to master painting in the atelier style, with more than 25 years of experience and her insights paired with theoretical information, assignments and demonstrations. This book covers a range of topics such as grisaille, temperature and color – all presented in an accessible format that makes it easily understandable by readers. With its well balanced instructions combined with examples that are easy to remember this book will provide you with the tools needed to create artworks like a true professional! Highly recommended for anyone interested in improving their artistic skillset!

  5. How to Paint

    How to Paint
    Angela Gair, Ian Sidaway
    Published in 2019

    This book is an ideal starting point for aspiring artists, with step-by-step projects which provide instruction on a range of painting techniques including backruns and blending. It offers practical advice on the best materials to use, as well as inspirational galleries that can help develop artistic skills. With over 350 photos in full colour throughout its 352 pages, it is easy to understand the fundamentals of watercolours, acrylics and oils. Each section has information tailored specifically to each type of paint while introducing 38 exciting projects. The approach taken within this comprehensive guide is suitable even for complete novices who want immediate results without needing experience or skill beforehand. How To Paint provides viewers with professional works from various artists to inspire their own creativity and helps them discover how simple it really is – anyone can learn!

  6. The Joy of Acrylic Painting: Expressive Painting Techniques for Beginners

    The Joy of Acrylic Painting: Expressive Painting Techniques for Beginners
    Annie Gonzales
    Published in 2017

    The Joy of Acrylic Painting: Expressive Painting Techniques for Beginners by Annie O’Brien Gonzales is an ideal book to start your artistic journey. It provides a streamlined approach and emphasizes the elements of color, pattern and texture in painting with acrylics. With advice about supplies, techniques from Expressionist masters and 8 full-length projects included, this guide will help any beginner explore their creative potential. The fun style makes it instantly gratifying for readers as they learn how to paint with feeling. There are plenty of inspirational ideas within these pages that can be used to make original works of art both satisfyingly simple or complexly layered. For those who have had life detours or lack time but want to pursue fulfillment through creativity, this book is certainly worth checking out!

  7. 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!

  8. Painting with Watercolor

    Painting with Watercolor
    Shirish Deshpande
    Published in 2020

    Painting with Watercolor by [author] is a great book for anyone wanting to learn more about watercolor painting. It starts off teaching readers the basics of working with both transparent and opaque forms, as well as understanding shapes and values in painting. This text then introduces complementary colors, unity, contrast, balance and repetition – all necessary elements to create interesting compositions. With step-by-step exercises throughout the book covering various topics such as still life paintings, waterfront houses and autumn trees near lakes; this title provides detailed instructions on how to apply washes and layering techniques while also offering helpful tips on perspective drawing methods. Additionally, links are provided at the end directing users towards video demonstrations which will further enhance their learning experience. A must have for any budding artist looking to develop their skills!

  9. 1,500 Color Mixing Recipes for Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor

    1,500 Color Mixing Recipes for Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor
    William F. Powell
    Published in 2012

    This comprehensive book is a must-have for oil, acrylic and watercolour artists. It features over 1,500 recipes to mix colours with 4 easy steps – look up the subject in the Color Guidance Index; find its recipe number and photo of paint mixture; use Colour Mixing Grid to measure each colour; then mix it. This spiral-bound guide also provides instruction on theory of colour mixing, value blending, natural graying process as well as portrait painting techniques such as rendering skies or clouds. There are two removable grids included – one for oils/acrylics and another specifically designed for watercolours – making accurate measurements easier than ever before! With this definitive resource at hand, artists can create stunning artworks effortlessly.

  10. Still Life Painting Atelier: An Introduction to Oil Painting

    Still Life Painting Atelier: An Introduction to Oil Painting
    Michael Friel
    Published in 2010

    This book, Still Life Painting Atelier: An Introduction to Oil Painting by Michael Friel, is a comprehensive tutorial for those wanting to learn traditional oil painting. It begins with essential information on studio setup and materials before proceeding through a logical series of lessons in composition, light and shade, color theory and mixing, brush techniques for sharp or soft edges and more. The still life genre provides an ideal way to practice these skills as it does not require perfection in likeness or proportion like portraiture nor does it change due to weather conditions like the landscape can. This book goes beyond simply demonstrating step-by-step instructions; it educates the reader about why each technique works so they may develop their own understanding of art principles while creating beautiful artwork that expresses emotion. As such this guide is invaluable both for beginners looking to get started as well as intermediate level artists refining their craft.

  11. Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings

    Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings
    Will Freeborn
    Published in 2017

    In Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings, renowned artist Wil Freeborn provides a comprehensive guide to the medium of watercolors. This detailed how-to book offers fifty progressively more challenging projects for novice and intermediate painters alike. It features an extensive list of supplies and techniques needed for each painting project – from color washes, ink techniques, expressive strokes and light manipulation – as well as advice on sketching objects personal to you, environments, stories and figures. The wide breadth of tutorials makes this book suitable for any budding artist looking to build their portfolio or simply improve their skillset; it is truly a patient instructor in your pocket!

  12. Brilliant Inks

    Brilliant Inks
    Anna Sokolova
    Published in 2022

    Anna Sokolova’s new book, Brilliant Inks, is a must-have for all ink enthusiasts. Featuring her own unique methods and techniques, it shows readers how to get the most out of this versatile medium. Step-by-step instructions guide users through beginner friendly florals and foliage animals still lifes figures portraits hand lettering color mixing, visual texture negative painting splattering with various brushes pens droppers and more! It also features creative projects such as jewelry paper art dolls decorated books and other crafts that help improve skills while inspiring confidence in one’s abilities. Perfect for all skill levels, this publication from the Art For Modern Makers series takes an educational yet engaging approach when exploring paints other art mediums and DIY projects.

  13. The Art of Painting Flowers in Oil & Acrylic

    The Art of Painting Flowers in Oil & Acrylic
    David Lloyd Glover, Varvara Harmon, James Sulkowski, Judy Leila Schafers
    Published in 2015

    This comprehensive book, The Art of Painting Flowers in Oil & Acrylic, provides an insightful guide to creating beautiful works of art with oils and acrylics. Written by some experienced artists, the reader is taken through easy-to-follow lessons focusing on a variety of floral subjects. Readers will learn about essential tools and materials needed for sketching or painting, basic techniques such as color theory and composition skills, how to achieve depth when rendering flowers realistically using different mediums – all accompanied by helpful tips from professionals along the way. This great resource stands out due to its detailed instruction which includes working from photographs outdoors and mixing vibrant colors that enable aspiring artists to increase their talents in oil and acrylic painting.

  14. Bold Expressive Painting

    Bold Expressive Painting
    Annie O’Brien Gonzales
    Published in 2016

    Annie O’Brien Gonzales has penned a truly wonderful book on painting that is ideal for both experienced and novice artists. Bold Expressive Painting offers advice, inspiring projects and step-by-step instructions to help readers loosen up their style and create work that reflects their own emotions. It covers everything from vibrant color handling, composition development, collage making techniques and more – all with beautiful illustrations throughout. Whether you’re new to painting or just looking for some extra inspiration, this is the perfect guidebook! With an emphasis on creativity over realism, it’s sure to invigorate your artistic spirit.

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4 Replies to “The 14 Best Still Life Painting Books”

  1. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

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