I don’t normally review reissues, but Search Press have been making such a good job of them lately that these two are definitely worth a mention. Although they’re 10 years old (gold star for mentioning the original publication date on the title page), they’ve been completely re-edited and re-originated so that they have all the feel and quality of new books. Printing technology advances so quickly that what was cutting edge last week can look tired and a bit unsharp now. As regards design, it’s hard to put a finger on what’s different in modern terms, or even why it looks so much better, but these have a sparkle and vitality to them that belies their albeit modest age. Given how hard it is to unpick something that was perfectly good in the first place, this is an amazing job.
The approach is the same in both books: an introduction with an overview of the subject in hand, materials, equipment and basic techniques, leading on to a series of demonstrations that illustrate a variety of landscape subjects. As primers for those new to both the medium and to painting itself, the work is first class and definitely worth keeping in print. The fact that a book is older doesn’t mean it can’t have appeal to a whole new audience. I’d say, though, that even if you have the originals, these new versions are well worth a look.
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