When learning to paint, it is best to keep it simple:  follow the advice of acknowledged masters.    Below are three books by 19th Century teachers and two by contemporary teachers.  We believe they are among the best available.   Study them carefully.

Recommended Figure and Portrait Painting Books

  • Harold Speed. Oil Painting Techniques and Materials. New York: Dover, 1987.
  • Solomon R. Solomon. The Practice of Oil Painting.  London:  Seeley, 1911.
  • John Collier.  A Manual of Oil Painting. Lulu.com, 2006
  • Nicholas Beer. Sight-size Portraiture. Crowood Press 2010
  • Schmid, Richard. Alla Prima.  South Burlington, VT: Stove Praire Press, 1998 .