“A Foundational Guide to Creating Better Oil Paintings” By me, Joshua Been
It covers every foundational topic including materials necessary to get started both in the studio and for painting on location. It has a very detailed breakdown of my four pronged method of teaching the Language of Painting; Shape, Value, Edges, and Texture. I talk at length about your “vision” or poetic interpretation, elements of good composition, design principles, loosening up, limited palettes, presentation, pricing your work and even stretching your own canvas. If you are thinking about learning to paint for a living or just a pleasant pastime, this is the book for you.
For more information click HERE.


“Creative Illustration” By Andrew Loomis
This is my highest recommended book. Despite the title, Loomis discusses at great length, picture making and particularly oil painting, in a general but broad sense from the “form principal” standpoint- so planes of form, lighting, structure and how that is translated to the picture plane in a handsome, thought out way. No leaf is left unturned from design and composition to various appoaches, and every single thing in between! Just reprinted in paperback too!


“Alla Prima; Everything I Know About Painting” Richard Schmid
This book has got it all. Written by living master Richard Schmid, he beautifully illustrates concepts and various approaches to the painting process. He writes at length about the importance of Shapes, Value, Color, and Edges.

artspirit“The Art Spirit” Robert Henri
This book contains countless invaluable thoughts and notes that Henri’s students took during his lessons.
compositionofoutdoor“Composition of Outdoor Painting” Edgar Payne
This book is packed with great information about what I have come to think of as the most difficult aspect of painting, composition. Payne writes in a style that is a bit dated, but beautifully structured prose on every aspect of designing shapes within the picture plane.
km21“Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light and Color” Kevin McPherson
This is a book that I recommend because of the keen sense that Macpherson has of lighting and pulling of light effects naturally and effectively. We are all painters of light, so this book goes in to great depth on the subject.
km1“Landscape Painting Inside and Out” Kevin McPherson
Macpherson is an accomplished painter mostly known for his landscapes and his “limited pallet” of colors. The book is a wealth of information on everything from “Value Relationships” to right practice in terms of quickly becoming a better artist. He’s also written a lot about setting up a studio space and the ins and outs of working in a creative place.
carlsons“Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting” John F Carlson
Carlson has truly written a gem of a book here. It’s unfortunate that, it being an older book, the illustrations are all in black and white, because the paintings are so “put together.” He writes a great deal on the subject of composition, color, masses, line, value, and form. The book empowers the artist to see in their own unique way, the beauty of their immediate surroundings. He also writes a bit about setting up a studio space and names and defines a lot of the oil painter’s paraphernalia..