Painting by Design

Charles-Reid-Painting-By-Design.jpg
Charles-Reid-Painting-By-Design.jpg

Painting by Design

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Getting to the Essence of Good Picture Making

By Charles Reid

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Charles Reid is beloved as a teacher for his ability to guide students beyond the superficial and straight into the heart of what makes good painting good. In Painting by Design he explains how seeing your painting subjects in terms of light, shadow, shape, value, and color, will help you create striking works that embody effective design while capturing the intangible essence of the subject.

A firm believer in drawing as an ideal tool for understanding a subject as an abstract form, Reid opens this book with lessons in contour and rhythm drawing, providing photographs for you to work from. Next comes a chapter on effective and reliable ways to treat color and value in your work. With clear and easy-to-follow pointers on working with oils and watercolors, Painting by Design explains how color functions as an important design element.

Reid goes on to cover figure painting and the difficult art of rendering faces with realistic detail and expression, neatly demonstrating how the techniques and strategies learned in earlier chapters can be used to create specific effects. Finally, Reid shares his method of properly balancing a painting. Explaining how to combine what he refers to as “the effect” (sharp-focus, high-contrast compositional elements) with “the big blur” (softer edges, lighter values) to create interesting and dynamic artwork.

Packed with assignments, detailed demonstrations, and illuminating examples, Painting by Design provides big-picture strategies and techniques alongside tips for identifying and addressing specific compositional problems. Ideal for any artist who wants to hone their skills and develop their sense of composition, Painting by Design stands out among Reid’s impressive catalog of painting books.

Charles Reid has long been considered a master of the medium of watercolor. His paintings are fresh and spontaneous, displaying his profound understanding of light and color and expert drawing ability. Reid was born in Cambridge, New York, and studied art at the University of Vermont and the Art Students League of New York. He has won numerous awards, including the Childe Hassam Purchase Prize at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design and the American Watercolor Society. In 1980 he was elected to the National Academy of Design. Public collections of his work include Smith College, Yellowstone Art Center, Brigham Young College, Roche Corporation, and the National Academy of Design. In addition to painting, Reid teaches workshops around the world. He has written eleven books on painting in watercolor and oil.