Acrylic Painting Techniques

By | 15 August 10

Quiller - Acrylic Painting TechniquesAcrylic Painting Techniques: How to Master the Medium of Our Age, by Stephen Quiller, is a juicy and inspiring book for acrylic painting enthusiasts.

Many people know Stephen Quiller for his color wheel and color theory.  (If you don’t, this book may be an especially happy discovery.)

In this book, Mr. Quiller applies his brilliant use of color and contrast to acrylic painting.  It’s a much-needed addition to any acrylic painter’s library.

The illustrations alone are worth the cover price.  Quiller really gets color.

Many artists have difficulty working with acrylic paints because the colors can be so vivid.  Toning them down so they look like oil paints… well, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

A better approach is to make use of those unique, acrylic colors and turn them into the asset that they can be.

In Chapter 1, Mr. Quiller talks about acrylic painting supplies.  This isn’t the same old list of supplies; he takes you into the realms of supplies and features you may not have known existed.

Then, he turns the usual book design on its side and answers the most popular questions in a Q&A format.

With that out of the way, the author summarizes his color wheel and the best color combinations — using a limited palette — to achieve various effect.

After that, he talks about creating textures with acrylics.  That’s another area in which acrylic paints excel, and oil paints have no chance of competing.

In other words, this book isn’t about making your acrylic paintings look like they might be oil paintings — though you could use Quiller’s approach towards that goal — it’s about making the most of acrylic paints’ unique benefits.

Though I generally paint with oils, I keep this book for the color ideas.  Since the book focuses heavily on the “show, don’t tell” approach, I can just flip through the pages and find answers and inspiration… regardless of my painting media.

And, when I do take out my acrylic paints — usually for mixed media work but sometimes for plein air paintings as I travel — this book is invaluable.

In my opinion, this book belongs in the basic library of any serious acrylic landscape painter.

art books review rating - 4 stars

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