While the watercolour style of acrylics has been widely covered, the oils approach, and impasto in particular has been largely ignored. However, this has been remedied here quite spectacularly, for Hashim Akib paints in a very heavy impasto style as well as making full use of the brighter colours that generally feature in the acrylic palette. “Vibrant”, a word often bandied about in book titles, is certainly valid here.
I’ve said elsewhere that this isn’t so much about the mechanics of painting as the art and philosophy of it, and it’s worth repeating the book’s opening sentence, “The best tool for learning how to paint is to paint” because it sums up the attitude and feel that’s here.
Hashim Akib’s method is worth summing up, too. He starts almost every painting with a complementary coloured ground (done with a preparatory coat rather than a commercially prepared support) and then builds the body of the work on top of that. The result allows him also to use colours to define form as well as add depth and movement to subjects ranging from street scenes to portraits, landscapes and flowers.
Hashim’s style is very much his own and this isn’t a book you’ll probably want to follow through in detail, although there are plenty of demonstrations you can try. However, if you like the impasto style and want to have a go, there’s plenty to get you started. If you already paint in this way, then you’re certainly going to admire the book and want to own it for its own sake.