Six Acrylics and MIxed Media How-To inspiration books to discover

This week, instead of one of my current mentorship program students coming here to my studio, I went to his studio to change things up a bit for our session today. We had such a great time and both agreed it was great to mix things up by changing our location and usual routing that I thought I would share our afternoon with you…

We looked at an old series of work he'd done in '99 - some energetic gestural sketches inspired by Picasso in charcoal on paper and discussed turning these into a small show.

We looked at the newest additions to his recent work - amazing to see the link between all the 9 x12" pieces as the series grows and he continues to evolve and explore in textures and mediums.

Then with cups of tea we plunked down on the living room floor and looked at the extensive collection of art books on drawing, painting, acrylics, mixed media, collage and creating textures in Tim's collection…what fun! Here are my favorites from his dozens of books we looked through:

The Surface Treatment Workshop: Explore 45 Mixed-Media Techniques by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson.

And here is a peak of my favorite page inside the book:

I found this book overwhelming because there were so many projects and directions you could go with creating unique textural surfaces. It's the kind of book I would keep as a reference resource if I wanted to understand how to create a certain effect. But I wouldn't read through it all page by page because it's just too much information!

NEW ACRYLICS Essential Sourcebook: Materials, Techniques and contemporary Application for Today's Artist, by Rheni Tauchid. link to amazon information.

And here is a peak of my favorite page inside the book:

Pretty basic book from my standpoint but if you were looking for a getting started in acrylics book I would rather recommend Patti Brady's book over this one by a long shot. It didn't really pull me in.

The Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed Media Artists: Experimental Techniques for Composition, Layering, Texture, Imagery and Encaustic, by Ann Baldwin.

Link to amazon information.

And here is a peak of my favorite page inside the book:

(artwork by Ann Baldwin)

I love this book, especially because Ann goes the extra mile to show us how she creates the depth and layering in her painting by showing pictures of paintings in process. Most of the other books just show completed art or pieces of a project to outline a specific technique whereas in this book you get to see the entire painting evolve.

Abstracts: 50 Inspiration Projects, by Rolina Van Vliet.

And here is a peak of my favorite page inside the book:

(the base of this art piece is made with aluminum foil)

This would be fantastic book if you like structure and want a way to practice making abstract art with a lot of guidance for each project in terms of laying out the colour palette, composition and building on those fundamentals. I wouldn't buy this book personally and I found many of the paintings in the book to be very similar which was a bit boring - just my opinion.

A practical Guide to freeing the artist within: Expressive Drawing, by Steven Aimone.

And here is a peak of my favorite page inside the book:

This is by far one of the best books of the lot with amazing photographs, instructions, easy to follow, and totally inspirational. I absolutely want to play around with the exercise shown in the above page whereby you draw something for a set amount of time and then paint over it and then go back to drawing --- way cool! Apparently, this guy - Steve Aimone -- does workshops and now I'm curious to learn more about him and his extraordinary sounding workshops… :)

Art from Intuition: overcoming your fears and obstacle to making art, by Dean Nimmer.

And here is a peak of my favorite page inside the book:

Fantastic book - very inspirational with great to-do ideas. Love how the author put together all their small pieces into this installation (photo above) it totally reminds me of the small gems paintings we make in our energizing and experimental workshop and the potential these little gems have.

Love the top 10 list of obstacles to making art. Really enjoyed browsing this book. I would buy this book.