If you've ever wanted to control your art so that you can paint anything—and paint it well—this is the book for you!
The mediums are oil, watercolor, and contour drawing but this is a book about making good paintings, not learning a particular medium. The subject matter is broad, ranging from still lifes to figures and portraits, to landscapes. Again, the point is that if you can paint, you can paint anything! But you must never feel compelled to paint what is before you. You must feel free to paint not what you see, but what you want to see—the way you want it to look—and this book shows you how.
Paint What You Want to See is a complete course in painting and "seeing." It even includes critiques of student work and problem paintings—you learn where the paintings went wrong and how they can be improved. There are also numerous assignments to practice at home, with examples of how to do them, and valuable lessons on the essentials of values, color, and composition. You will learn how to make a contour drawing, how to layer your washes until you get the right value, and how to use "local value" and color-values to make strong statements.
You will also learn how to mix subtle colors such as greens, grays, flesh-tones, and darks; paint with analogous and complementary colors; paint light, shadows, and negative shapes; and see tubed paint in terms of value. Lessons on composition include directing the eye with edges; vignetting; placing darks and other colors; advice on handling patterns; integrating subject and background; subduing or emphasizing contours; and hints on loosening up your painting style. The book concludes with a review of famous artists' painting, with suggestions on applying their "lessons" to your own work.
Painting What You Want to See is for artists of all levels of ability, particularly for intermediate and advanced students who already know how to paint and want to make better, more expressive paintings. The instructions are clear and simple, with numerous examples, excellent illustrations, informative captions, and many useful assignments to help you develop your own style. Except for sections on drawing and values, the entire book is in color. All in all, a most extraordinary book!