Marylin Scott is a professional artist who works across a wide range of media. She studied painting at the Guildford School of Art and the Royal Academy of Painting in London. She is a respected practical art author.
I am an amateur painter and had recently taken up oil paints. I was struggling a bit so switched back to acrylics. This book has made me look at returning to oils as there are many tips, examples and lessons that I have not seen elsewhere. For example I was surprised to see finger painting as I have never encountered this before in any books. The book is well laid out and the content is clear; set out in four comprehensive sections. I particularly like the colour chapter on "Mixing and Using Colours" as I struggle with colours and looking at this I am sure it will be a great help. There is a page on Useful Extra Colours that I found very interesting but feel it could have been expanded on as it was very brief. I was given this book by Search Press Art to provide a review of the book within one week of receipt so I have not been able to use the book on a practical level but am looking forward now to returning to oil painting and using it as it is loaded with useful, interesting information. All in all a nice little bible. * Grace McCarron * A great guide for the beginner in oils I received this book from Search Press in return for an unbiased and honest review. I am a long-term painter in oils, so I was very interested in seeing how this book came across. Subtitled "An essential reference for the practising artist", this book is aimed primarily at those new to oil painting, although the more experienced will also find parts of the book useful. This is a 2016 reprint of the original 2005 edition. I'm not sure whether there have been any updates to the original but the book does not feel out of date in any way. The book is about A5 in size and printed on high quality paper with easy to read text. A two-page introduction gives a well presented precis of the contents and how they are organised. There are four main section to the book: Materials, Colour, Techniques and Subjects. I shall deal with each in turn. Many of the subjects include an analysis and tips for the artist. Materials Straight away, the author highlights the difference between artist and student quality paint and the benefits of buying only the tubes you need, rather than a boxed set. The different types of brush shape and composition are well covered, with illustrations to back-up the text. There are sections on painting knives, surfaces, painting mediums and surface preparation. Each is well presented in just a couple of pages with good quality supporting illustrations. This section will be of great use to the beginner, with the occasional snippet for the more experienced. Colour Making sense of the multitude of colours available can be a daunting task for all of us. However, the author, Marylin Scott, presents the various aspects of the colour wheel and the differing characteristics of the various colours in a clear and methodical way. Once again, the accompanying illustrations are of a high quality and support the text extremely well. Advice is given on choosing an initial palette, with examples of the mixes that could be achieved from the selection. The author goes on to cover the mixing of greens, browns etc, with pictorial examples of how one might use the mixes. Techniques One term often bandied around is "Fat over Lean". Marlin gets straight to the point and illustrates how the technique is used, why it is used and the results. An excellent description in my view and one that could be of use to many painters. The section continues with basic and advanced subjects. Basic techniques cover painting Alla Prima (and what that means), blending, building up, underdrawing, brushwork, dry brush, hard and soft edges, coloured grounds (including what we men by a `ground'), we-in-wet, wet-on-dry, and corrections. Advanced techniques cover glazing, impasto, knife painting, finger painting, sponge painting, scumbling, tonking, scraping back, sgraffito, texturing, underpainting, imprinting, masking, mono printing, and mixed media. Useful hints and tips The author discusses the various materials used to create a painting, how to create darks and adjust perceived colours, preparing a surface, and painting on location. Subjects In this section, Marylin considers a variety of subjects: landscape, still life, buildings etc., with supporting tutorials to follow. Each item has well presented examples of the subject being discussed, helping the reader understand the reasoning behind the text. Conclusion I found this book easy to read and quite interesting. I certainly found snippets that I will refer to and use in my own work. A member of my art group has just started to use oils and I can see that this book would be an extremely useful resource for her. Find a place for this book on your shelves; it will repay your investment. * David Raison * I received this book from Search Press in return for an unbiased and honest review. It's been a long time since I dabbled in Oils so this book was a nice refresher for the returning amaturer oil painter. The book is aimed primarily at those who are new to oil painting and Amateurs' rather than the professional Oil painter. I found it well laid out and easy to understand. It talks about the paints themselves and how amatur and professional paints are different in shade and amount of pigment they contain. It covers tools required and how to use them and also how the paint itself can look different depending on the painting surface. I was impressed with how well it covers mixing colours for skin tone, sunsets, water and skies to name but a few. It is certainly a book that is well worth purchasing for anyone wishing to start or improve their skills with oil paints, Art students who need a backup or just those wishing to learn more techniques than the mere basics. * Laura Mackenzie-Hawkins *