Books

Books &Magazines that Feature Paintings by Chris Breier 

 

Splash 18: Value - Celebrating Light and Dark
Editor: Rachel Rubin Wolf
Published by North Light Books
July 21, 2017
144 pages

Splash 18 includes 130 watercolor paintings in a variety of styles and subjects. My painting "Buffalo Savings Bank" can be found on page 87. It's painted in a loose watercolor style that takes advantage of the spontaneous effects that can be achieved with the medium. There are many other watercolor paintings included in the book that contain an incredible amount of detail and control. Whichever style you prefer you'll find something that you'll like. The paintings are divided into seven categories: People on the Move, Outdoor Vistas, Objects That Catch Our Eye, Pets and Friends, Scintillating Cities, Fabulous Faces, Still Life And Flowers.

The theme of Splash 18 is "value" which refers to the use of lights and darks in a painting. Many artists claim that value is more important than color because it's what creates the the image. For example, shadows are often used to describe the shape of an object, and it's the highlights and shadows that creates the illusion of depth in a landscape painting. In the caption for my painting I discuss how I used the shadows to create an interesting composition.
  
Acrylic Works 4  
Editor: Jamie Markle
Publisher: North Light Books
May 25, 2017
144 pages

The theme of Acrylic Works 4 is “color” and this book contains many fine examples of a variety of approaches to using color in an acrylic painting. I was thrilled to see my painting reproduced in multiple locations throughout the book, including on the back cover–It's an honor to have my painting highlighted in such prominent locations. There are 127 paintings in this book which are grouped into five categories: Landscapes and Scenes, Portraits and People, Still Lifes and More, Abstractions, Animals.

In the caption for "Early Spring" I discuss how I use acrylics in a transparent manner similar to watercolor and how I also take advantage of the thicker more opaque properties of acrylics. When acrylic paint is used transparently it takes on more saturated and brilliant appearance that's similar to watercolor. When used in an opaque and thick manner, it can be used to cover over previous brushstrokes or to fix mistakes. 

Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects

Editor: Rachel Rubin Wolf
Publisher: North Light Books
August 3, 2016
144 pages

Splash 17 features 135 paintings by 129 artists which are grouped into the following categories: Fruits & Flowers, Portraits, City Scenes, Animals, Still Lifes, People, and Landscapes. The theme is "Inspiring Subjects" which is open-ended and allows for a variety of styles and subject matter.

My painting, "Boat Harbor at Dusk", can be found on page 133 and it's of the Buffalo waterfront. I used pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor. In the caption that accompanies the painting, I discuss that I often use pen and ink with watercolor because it's efficient–I can capture the details with the pen and the watercolor is a quick way to add color. Hot-pressed watercolor paper is the most appropriate surface for this method. For this painting I used Fabriano Artistico although any professional grade hot pressed paper would suffice.

Strokes Of Genius 8: Expressive Texture
Editor: Rachel Rubin Wolf
Publisher: North Light Books
November 10, 2016
144 pages

Strokes Of Genius 8 contains 139 drawings and the theme for this years book is "Expressive Textures."  There are a variety of subjects that are divided into the following categories: Fabulous Faces, Scenes from Town & Country, Animals: Home, Farm & Wild, The Still Life, and The Human Spirit.

My drawings "South Grand Island Bridge" and "Basilica" are part of the "Scenes from Town & Country" section. I enjoyed working on both of these drawing because I took an unusual approach to creating the rough line work that is featured in both of the drawings–I used a wood stick dipped in ink. I also worked on rough watercolor paper so that it would enhance the textures of the line work and brushstrokes. The book is available in hardcover and the kindle format.

Strokes of genius 7

Editor: Rachel Rubin Wolf
Publisher: North Light Books
November 12, 2015
144 pages

The theme of Strokes of Genius 7 is "Depth, Dimension and Space." It includes drawings from 120 artists in a variety of styles. The subjects are grouped into the following genres: Portrait gallery, Landscapes & scenes, Animal Kingdom, Still life subjects, the figure in studio & street.

Two of my drawings were included in this book, one is of the clutter on my kitchen table–"Fruit and Mail." The other is a drawing of a neighborhood on Seneca Street in Buffalo NY. In the captions I briefly discuss some of the techniques I used in these drawings to create the illusion of depth and space.

The Artist’s Magazine Annual Competition 
Honorable Mention
December 2015

My painting "The Library" is in the December 2015 issue of the Artist's Magazine. I received an honorable mention in the Still Life / Interior category which was judged by Sherrie McGraw. Read an in-depth post about  "The Library".

 

The Artist’s Magazine: Artist of the Month
November 2013
Page 16

My abstract painting “One Eighty” was featured on page 16 of the November, 2013 issue of The Artist's Magazine. It also included a quote “There’s a fine line between a finished painting and an overworked one” which is something that holds true with both representational and abstract work.

 

 

Recommended Art Technique Books

I have read many books over the year about painting and drawing techniques and here are some of my favorites. 

The Simple Secret to Better Painting: How to Immediately Improve Your Work with the One Rule of Composition Greg Albert (Author).
The secret is to never make two intervals the same. Don't underestimate the importance of this principle, it can be applied to almost every aspect of painting.  The many applications of this rule are demonstrated by thumbnail sketches and finished paintings by various artists. While the intended audience is painters, it would be beneficial for anyone who is involved in the visual arts; photographers, graphic designers, film makers and illustrators.

Keys To Drawing, Burt Dodson.
The drawing book that I recommend the most. The 55 keys in this book are explained and demonstrated by examples drawn by the author and his students. Each key has at least one drawing exercise that is designed to help you to master it. This is the best way to learn how to draw- learn a concept and then immediately practice it. Dodson also walks you through self critiques that will help you to find the areas where you need to improve.

The Acrylic Painter's Book of Styles and Techniques, Rachel Rubin Wolf (editor).
Acrylics can be used to simulate the look of watercolor, oils and gouache. Seven artists give start to finish demos of their painting techinques. The genres include something for everyone–landscapes, cityscapes, florals, still life, and abstraction. The artists included in this book are; Joseph Orr, Mary Sweet, Barbara Buer, William Hook, Lisa Buck-Goldstein, Michael Nevin, and Louise Cadillac.

Landscape Painting Inside And Out, Kevin Machpherson.
Kevin Machpherson gives away his strategies that he uses to create his landscape paintings. This includes how to break subject matter down into blocks of colors, suggested color palettes, recommended equipment, and marketing your artwork. Oil painting is the medium used in this book but many of the concepts about how to approach a painting can be adapted to other mediums.

Art Documentaries


Gerhard Richter Painting
This documentary includes extensive footage of Richter working in the studio, in his abstract style. It's interesting to see the one of the worlds most successful painters having doubts about his own work and showing dissatisfaction about a painting in progress. We also get an insiders view into his tools and techniques, including to be what looks like a custom made squeegee that he uses to spread the paint onto the canvas. Footage from the 60's and interviews with his assistants are also included.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts
This is a personal look into the life of the composer Philip Glass. It was filmed over a two year period and it reveals a lot about his personal life. I enjoyed hearing stories about his early work from the other famous artists who knew him at the time. I was shocked to find out that he worked as a plumber and taxi driver into his early forties. Also, there are a lot "everyday moments" such as when he cooks a pizza at his cottage in Canada, discussing his creative process while he's frying onions and making sauce.

Misc. Books


Little Bets, Peter Sims.
The little bets approach to creativity is a spontaneous, right brained process that is fast, cheap and iterative. Rather than starting with a heroic business plan, start from where you're at. Use what's available at the moment, and fail quickly and repeatedly. Learn a little with each step until the idea progresses from "suck to non-suck". Getting feedback throughout every stage of the process is an important part of this approach. These strategies will be familiar to many artists and creative types.

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy.
Success doesn't come from short term efforts but from consistent little steps that are done consistently everyday over a long period of time. In the beginning, nothing seems to change but over months and years, circumstances can change dramatically. This is similar to how money can compound over time. Our daily habits can create an upward spiral or a downward spiral.

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