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Top 5 Books to Improve Your Landscape Painting in 2023

Getting better as an artist requires learning from others. It can drastically speed up your learning curve. Otherwise you'll be stuck at cave drawing level longer than you want to be.

Here are five great book recommendations to help improve your craft in 2023:

#5 Artist's Painting Techniques

Number 5 is a good all-around technique book for oils, watercolor and acrylics. It has some incredible basic techniques and enough exercises in here to keep you busy learning for a long time. Just apply these techniques to other subjects you are painting.

I use this as a reference in many of my workshops. It's a good one and your paintings will improve immediately.

#4 Limited Palette/Unlimited Color

Color mixing is essential for harmonious, beautiful colors, and John Pototschnik teaches you how to mix any color you need out of just three colors. Even if you love your tubes of color like I do, you can up your color mixing game by digging hard into this book and accompanying video.

The very first painting I painted using a limited palette sold almost immediately. What you learn in this book really works!

#3 Landscapes in Oil

This book is heavy technical, but so well written that the beginner can understand and apply much of this book immediately. Where our number one book leaves off, Ken Salaz picks up and runs.

There are incredible explanations of composition templates, value and color temperature change guidance and a few challenging exercises to make your paintings more vibrant.

#2 Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light and Color

Kevin Macpherson, one of the most respected plein air painters in the world today, explains some of the most effective ways to paint your landscapes from start to finish en plein air or in the studio.

I continually reference this book every time I paint something new and challenging. His guidance is so effective that I keep coming back to this one.

#1 Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting

If you purchase only one landscape painting book ever in your life then let it be this one, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting.

This book, originally published in 1929, is still regarded by landscape artists as THE definitive guide to painting landscapes.

It is often required reading in order to attend many landscape artists workshops around the world. The guidance is so solid and sound that instructors want their students to read it to set a baseline on which to build during the workshops. That's how I discovered it.

So start with this one.

I hope these recommendations are helpful to you in your painting journey, be sure to like the video above on our Youtube channel and subscribe to get more helpful content.

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Now get to reading!

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