Wow, December already and I’ve been so busy I haven’t had much time for blogging about art. With Christmas approaching I thought it would be nice to list my favourite art-related books for anyone who may be searching for gift ideas for their artist friends. I’m mainly an oil painter so there is a bias towards painting but hopefully this list is useful to all:

Haiku Japanese Art and Poetry

A lovely hardback book full of 18th, 19th and 20th century Japanese paintings, prints and woodcuts to illustrate the poetry.

Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures

Two Massive books full of great advice on drawing for animation that can also really improve any form of art, especially drawing or panting the figure and animals. Also just a really interesting read.

Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to Be Understood

I’m fairly late reading Grayson Perrys’ book about contemporary art, but I’m glad I finally have.

Fishing for elephants: Insights and exercises to inspire authentic creativity

My favourite title for developing creativity and coming up with ideas for your artistic endevours.

Russian Painting: 1800-1945 (Art Periods & Movements)

Lots of amazing pictures covering lots of art styles from realism to modernism but not much text to read. A great introduction to some Russian Art Masters.

Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier

A great book with lessons by Juliette Aristides that I discovered when I first began painting again. Aimed at representational, classical painting but helpful to painters of all styles and skill levels.

The New Oil Painting: Your Essential Guide to Materials and Safe Practices

Some great advice on best practices when using oil paints in a small, useful book. This changed the way I clean and store brushes.

How to Be an Artist by Jerry Saltz

A fun, small book with advice for artists at all stages of their career about creativity and confidence in your art.

What They Didn't Teach You in Art School: What you need to know to survive as an artist

A useful book for starting out as an Artist, covering working with Galleries, Artists statements and Biographies and lots more.

A Sketchbook

OK this may be cheating a bit but this is probably the most important book for an artist to have at all times. Lots of blank pages to fill in with your own amazing ideas and drawings!

Just so you know, I don't get any money from any of the links above. 🙂 Find our more about my work on my art portfolio page

Have a great Festive Season, stay safe and fingers crossed for an end to this pandemic next year!