Library Favorites

This page ahs a list of books I have found useful over the years. A brief description follows some of the titles and authors.


Basic Subject Title and Author Description
Philosophy of Art
Artist To Artist by Clint Brown Excellent book of quotes from artists about art
Artists On Art by Goldwater and Treves Writings by and about artists from the early Renaissance to the first part of the 20th century
The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe Excellent critique of the modern art world
Culture Gulch by John Canaday Brief but poignant criticisms of the world of art in the 20th century
Theories of Modern Art by H. B. Chipp Unparalleled collection of writings from artists and critics ranging from the mid 19th century through the mid 20th century
Dear Theo edited by Irving Stone A collection of Vincent Van Gogh's letters to his brother, this the closest one can come to getting into the mind of an artist.
Anatomy And Drawing The Human Figure by John Vanderpoel Excellent reference from one of the leading authorities and teachers of human anatomy. This book deals mostly with surface anatomy. It is punctuated with exquisite drawings by Vanderpoel.
The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed Very lucid instruction on linear and tonal approaches. This book is also punctuated with beautiful drawings by Harold Speed.
Artistic Anatomy by Richer and Hale Written and illustrated by the foremost 19th century artistic anatomist then translated by America's foremost 20th century teacher on artistic anatomy - Robert Beverly Hale. I had the privilege of attending his lectures when I was younger. Hale is legendary.
Drawing Lessons From The Great Masters by Robert Beverly Hale Hale takes the reader on a tour of great drawings from the Early Renaissance through the 19th century. Each drawing is analyzed and explained in utmost precision and detail. This is probably the one book that influenced my drawing approach the most.
Classical Drawing Atelier by Juliette Aristides Great instruction and philosophy carrying on the traditions of Atelier training as they pertain to drawing
A Drawing Manual by Thomas Eakins Newly published after collecting dust as a manuscript for nearly a century, this book is highly technical but well worth reading.
Art History John Sargent by Evan Charteris Thorough account by a great biographer and friend of the great artist 
Strapless by Deborah Davis Detailed account of the relationship between Sargent, his sitters and the famous Madame X. A well researched account of Madame X and her life fills in the many mysteries surrounding the famed painting.
Sistine Secrets by Breck and Dolliner A great read. Very detailed and well researched information on Michelangelo's obscure messages in his ceiling and his involvement in Kabala and Judaism. I was skeptical at first but very convinced as I read on.
Lives of The Artists by Giorgio Vasari A classic that cover many great artist throughout the Renaissance. Some of it is hyperbole but the discerning reader will draw a great deal of inspiration from this piece.
The Nude by Kenneth Clark Thorough appraisal of the influences of the nude in art from its earliest beginnings
Civilisation by Kenneth Clark Relates the history and critique of western civilization in the typical eloquence of Sir Kenneth Clark
From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun This book treats the 500 hundred years of western culture from the Renaissance to the present in such an methodical, detailed and eye opening manner, that it's hard to believe one man can be so knowledgeable. It may surprise you to read his comments on Leonardo.
Recollections of  a Picture Dealer by Amboise Vollard Vollard relates numerous anecdotes from the lives of the artists he represented and championed, including Cezanne and Picasso.
Rembrandt's Eyes by Simon Schama The most complete and detailed account of Rembrandt in existence. The research is impeccable.
An Artist And The Pope by Curtis Pepper Recollections of the Relationship between 20th century artist Giacomo Manzu and a Pope's commissions for the Vatican
Reference The Oxford Dictionary of Art by Chilvers, Osbourne & Farr Indispensible resource for all artists.
Practical Instruction Classical Painting Atelier by Juliette Aristides Great instruction and philosophy carrying on the traditions of Atelier training as they pertain to painting
The Art Spirit by Robert Henry Great collection of teachings and suggestions by an artist was also undoubtedly one of the finest teachers of the 20th century
The Art of Etching by Lumsden Great treatise on the practice and technique of etching. Even though it is a bit dated, it is a great resource for anyone interested in the discipline of etching.
Capturing The Moment In Oils by David Curtis In a way similar to Burton Silverman's books but the subjects of his paintings differ quite a bit from Silverman's
Painting Techniques of The Great Masters by Hereward Lester Cooke In a way similar to Hale's Drawing Lessons, Cooke examines seminal paintings and points out the virtues of composition, color, line etc. in each.
The Mastery of Oil Painting by Frederick Taubes A must read for any artist who wants to understand the properties of oil paint, color, and technique
Painting People by Burton Silverman Written by one of the best painter/illustrators of today. Very clear writing on the development process of his own oil paintings. The book is accompanied by photos of his works in progress. I found this book to be extremely helpful and influential in my early days as a painter.
Breaking The Rules of Watercolor by Burton Silverman Similar to the above, just a different medium. Makes a great argument for using any means necessary for completing a successful watercolor. While not directly mentioned, this book does much to combat the modern fallacies of organizations like the American Watercolor Society.
Alla Prima: Everything I know About Painting by Richard Schmid A must read for all painters who want to increase their skill in brushwork and on blocking in and really seeing their subject. Key ideas on "value" and "edge" are clearly explained.
Oil Painting Techniques and Principles by Harold Speed Great guide for the serious artist who wants to develop sound methods in oils. This book approaches techniques and principles from a tonal standpoint.