I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Terry Harrison is not the greatest painter in the world. What he is, however, is an excellent and generous teacher who has a great gift for explaining what he does in terms that the aspiring painter can understand and learn from. He is also amazingly versatile and there a few subjects that he doesn’t turn his hand to with pretty much complete success.
Buildings are a popular subject, partly because they appear in almost every landscape, but also because of their huge variety and the opportunities they present for colour and texture. A well executed building can make a painting. There’s a nice pace to this book, with detailed step-by-step demonstrations interspersed with complete paintings that are there to emphasise the point being made in that particular context. There are also buildings of every type and a lot of information on how to capture brick, stone and woodwork as well as the many texture these throw up. From what sounds like quite a limited subject, Terry has conjured up one of his best and most varied books. Maybe that’s what he is: a magician and he paints pictures that, in truth, just make you feel good about the world.
There’s one more thing. Tucked away on pages 90 and 91 is a gem so valuable it’s worth the price of the book on its own. It’s called Adding Life and it’s two pages of animals and people that will show you better than anything else I’ve seen how to populate your paintings. It’s brilliant in its simplicity.