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Painting Architecture


(Patricia J. Powers) #1

I can’t find this topic at my library. Any book titles or authors on this subject (oil painting) would be most appreciated! Thank you.


(David J. Teter) #2

Jeez! I did a quick search and found (almost) nothing. Nothing specific to painting ARCHITECTURE other than watercolor or sketching, like urban sketchers, perspective books and one or two which did not look very good. I am surprised!
Uh, art publishers? Get on it. It’s an untapped market!


(Patricia J. Powers) #3

David, Thanks for taking your time on this. Glad it’s not just my library. I did return to my “Go To” book, ‘Brushwork for the Oil Painter’, by Emile Gruppe and edited by Charles Movalli. There is one chapter on ‘Buildings’ that runs for about eleven pages and is quite helpful. Still, I would have thought there would be more on this subject at a library.


(Nan Johnson) #4

Pat, what specifically are you looking to explore? Perspective drawing perhaps, you could research on that, which I often do. I am a Home Portrait painter and do numerous buildings, both the neighborhood homes as well as historic. Perspective is one of the most valuable (and often difficult) things to handle. My father taught me about perspective & lineage at a very early age - his teaching is with me to this day! If you are more interested in art history, that is an entirely different search. I’m fortunate that my library (which is small) is in a larger group of libraries in my county, and I can visit any one of them. I often find more options in some the larger ones.


(Patricia J. Powers) #5

It’s too early for me to be specific. I need to try painting a few buildings to see where I’m going with this, if at all. Thanks for writing.


(Jacqueline Davis) #6

Without specifics, it’s hard to know what you’re after.

The thing I find most difficult about painting architecture is the straight lines as architecture more often than not requires. There are all sort of techniques for this: using a mahl stick or some sort of straight edge as a guide. For small lines you can improvise by dipping the edge of a palette knife or even a credit card in the paint. As with anything it is a matter of practice.


(Nan Johnson) #7

Are you in the US? You might want to head to a Barnes & Noble and check on the books there. I often see students studying from books while sitting on the floor. I think that store has become a form of library!


(Christine Derrick) #8

I guess you’re in America so may not have access to this one, but there is a book by the UK artist Michael B. Edwards called “Painting Towns and Cities” in watercolour and other media; circa 1992, printed by David and Charles. Not specifically oil, unfortunately,; I have another one called “Houses and Buildings” by Hazel Harrison, circa 1991; publishers Quarto Publishing/Studio Vista. Both are of course rather old but there may be second-hand copies around. Again, not specifically oils.


(Nan Johnson) #9

I found both books available through Amazon


(Patricia J. Powers) #10

Thank you for writing. I have ordered Painting Towns and Cities through my local library and it should be available next week for pick up.


(Patricia J. Powers) #11

Great suggestions, and yes, it is indeed a matter of practice. Thanks for writing.


(Patricia J. Powers) #12

Hi Nan, thanks for your comments. I’ve been digging around online some more through my local library. Lots and lots out there for watercolorists. I took out a book and 90% is geared towards watercolor, but it has been helpful and mentioned a book on perspective. You were lucky to learn that at a young age!


(Jacqueline Davis) #13

Our Barnes and Noble too Nancy!