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The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst
 

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

The classic work on oil painting - 1898

 

Gustav's Library Vintage Reprint

What has been described as the most sought after book on oil painting in the style of the old masters, The Painter In Oil by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst, is now available in a Gustav's Library reprint. We were very fortunate to obtain a rare first edition of this classic work in excellent condition and reproduced it in a soft cover format.

If you have been looking for an original you already know that they are difficult to find and cost upwards of $450.00 and unbound photocopies have been known to sell for $60.00 - $80.00.

This book is quite famous for its instructions on oil painting in the style of the old masters.

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst, soft cover,  405 pages, 66 black and white illustrations and photographs, approximately 5-1/4" x 7-3/4".   $24.95

   

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

 


CONTENTS

PART I.—MATERIALS
Observations
Canvases and Panels
Easels
Brushes
Paints
Vehicles and Varnishes
Palettes
Other Tools
Studios

PART II. —GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Mental Attitude
Tradition and Individuality
Originality
The Artist and the Student
How to Study

PART III. —TECHNICAL PRINCIPLES
Technical Preliminaries
Drawing
Values
Perspective
Light and Shade
Composition
Color

PART IV.—PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Representation
Manipulation
Copying
Kinds of Painting
The Sketch
The Study
Still Life
Flowers
Portraits
Landscape
Marines
Figures
Procedure in a Picture
Difficulties of Beginners


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

(numerous oil painting illustrations)

NOVEMBER BEECHWOOD - Parkhurst DESCENT FROM THE CROSS
STRETCHERS THE GOLDEN STAIRS
CANVAS PLIERS THE SOWER - Millet
DOUBLE-POINTED TACK RETURN TO THE FARM - Millet
EASEL THE FISHER BOY - Franz Hah
EASEL BOAR-HUNT- Snyders
SKETCHING EASEL GOOD BOCK - Manet
SKETCHING EASEL SKETCH OF A HILLSIDE
BRUSHES - Red Sable THE RIVER BANK - Parkhurst
        Red Sable, Round STUDY OF A BLOOMING-MILL - Parkhurst
        Red Sable, Flat STILL LIFE, No. 1
        Round Bristle STILL LIFE, No. 2
        Flat Bristle STILL LIFE, No. 3
        Flat pointed STILL LIFE, No. 4
         Fan STILL LIFE, No. 5
BRUSH CLEANER STILL LIFE, No. 6 
OIL COLORS SWEET PEAS - Parkhurst
OVAL PALETTE DÜRER - by Himself 
ARM PALETTE PORTRAIT OF HIS MOTHER -Whistler
THE COLOR Box PORTRAIT OF HIMSELF - Valasquez
PALETTE KNIFE PORTRAIT - Parkhurst
THE SCRAPER HAYSTACKS IN SUNSHINE  - Monet
THE OIL-CUP ON THE RACE TRACK - Degas
MAHL-STICKS WILLOW ROAD - Parkhurst
THREE-LEGGED STOOL ENTRANCE TO ZUYDER ZEE - Clarkson Stanfield
SKETCHING CHAIR GIRL SPINNING - Millet
SKETCHING UMBRELLA SKETCH OF A FLUTE PLAYER - Parkhurst
DRAWING OF HANDS - Dürer MILTON  DICTATING "PARADISE LOST" - Muncascy
EGGS. WHITE AGAINST WHITE BUCKWHEAT HARVEST - Millet
THE CANAL - Parkhurst STUDY OF FORTUNE - Angleo
BOHEMIAN WOMAN - Franz Hals ÉBOUCH OF PORTRAIT - Th. Robinson
SEWING BY LAMPLIGHT - Millet LANDSCAPE PHOTO. No. 1
  LANDSCAPE PHOTO. No. 2

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

From THE PREFACE

BOOKS of instruction in the practice of painting have rarely been successful. Chiefly because they have been too narrow in their point of view, and have dealt more with recipes than with principles. It is not possible to give any one manner of painting that shall be right for all men and all subjects. To say "do thus and so" will not teach any one to paint. But there are certain principles which underlie all painting, and all schools of painting ; and to state clearly the most important of these will surely be helpful, and may accomplish something. It is the purpose of this book to deal practically with the problems which are the study of the painter, and to make clear, as far as may be, the principles which are involved in them. I believe that this is the only way in which written instruction on painting can be of any use. It is impossible to understand principles without some statement of theory; and a book in order to be practical must therefore be to some extent theoretical. I have been as concise and brief in the theoretical parts as clearness would permit of, and I trust they are not out of proportion to the practical parts. Either to paint well, or to judge well of a painting, requires an understanding of the same things : namely, the theoretical standpoint of the painter; the technical problems of color, composition, etc. ; and the practical means, processes, and materials through which and with which these are worked out. It is obvious that one cannot become a good painter without the ability to know what is good painting, and to prefer it to bad painting. Therefore, I have taken space to cover, in some sort, the whole ground, as the best way to help the student towards becoming a good painter. If, also, the student of pictures should find in this book what will help him to appreciate more truly and more critically, I shall be gratified.                                                                                                                     D. B. P

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

CHAPTER I
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
 

THERE is a false implication in the saying that "a poor workman blames his tools." It is not true that a good workman can do good work with bad tools. On the contrary, the good workman sees to it that he has good tools, and makes it a part of his good workmanship that they are in good condition.
In painting there is nothing that will cause you more trouble than bad materials. You can get along with few materials, but you cannot get along with bad ones. That is not the place to economize. To do good work is difficult at best. Economize where it will not be a hindrance to you. Your tools can make your work harder or easier according to your selection of them. The relative cost of good and bad materials is of slight importance compared with the relative effect on your work.  The way to economize is not to get anything which you do not need. Save on the non-essentials, and get as good a quality as you can of the essentials.
Save on the number of things you get, not on the quantity you use. You must feel free in your use of material. There is nothing which hampers you more than parsimony in the use of things needful to your painting. If it is worth your while to paint at all, it is worth your while to be generous enough with yourself to insure ordinary freedom of use of material.
The essentials of painting are few, but these cannot be dispensed with. Put it out of your mind that any one of these five things can be got along without: —
You must have something to paint on, canvas or panel. Have plenty of these.
You must have something to set this canvas on — something to hold it up and in position. Your knees won't do, and you can't hold it in one hand. The lack of a practical easel will cost you far more in trouble and discouragement than the saving will make up for.
You must have something to paint with. The brushes are most important; in kind, variety, and number. You cannot economize safely here.
You must have paints. And you must have good ones. The best are none too good. Get the best. Pay a good price for them, use them freely, but don't waste them.
And you must have something to hold them, and to mix them on ; but here the quality and kind has less effect on your work than any other of your tools. But as the cost of the best of palettes is slight, you may as well get a good one.
Now, if you will be economical, the way to do it is to take proper care of your tools after you have got them. Form the habit of using good tools as they should be used, and that will save you a great deal of money.

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst

CHAPTER XXXV
DIFFICULTIES OF BEGINNERS


ALL painters have difficulty with their pictures, but the trouble with the beginner is that he has not experience enough to know how to meet it. The solving of all difficulties is a matter of application of fundamental principles to them; but it is necessary to know these principles, and to have applied them to simple problems, before one can know how to apply them to less simple ones.
I have tried to deal fully with these principles rather than to tell how to do any one thing, and to point out the application whenever it could be done.
There are, however, some things that almost always bother, the beginner, and it may be helpful to speak of them particularly.
Selection of Subject. — One of the chief objections to copying as a method of beginning study is that while it teaches a good deal about surface-work, it gives no practical training just when it is most needed. The student who has only copied has no idea how to look for a composition, how to place it on his canvas, or how to translate into line and color the actual forms which he sees in nature. These things are all done for him in the picture he is copying, yet these are the very first things he should have practised in. The making of a picture begins before the drawing and painting begins. You see something out-doors, or you see a group of people or a single person in an interesting position. It is one thing to see it; how are you practically to grasp it so as to get it on canvas ? That is quite a different thing. How much shall you take in ? How much leave out ? What proportion of the canvas shall the main object or figure take up? All these are questions which need some experience to answer.
In dealing with figures experience comes somewhat naturally, because you will of course not undertake more than a head and shoulders, with a plain background, for your first work. The selecting of subject in this is chiefly the choice of lighting and position of head, which have been spoken of elsewhere; and the placing of them on the canvas should be reduced to the making of the head as large as it will come conveniently. The old rule was that the point of the nose should be about the middle of the canvas, and in most cases on the ordinary canvas this brings the head in the right place. As you paint more you will put in more and more of the figure, and so progress comes very naturally.
But in landscape you are more than likely to be almost helpless at first. There is so much all around you, and so little saliency, that it is hard to say where to begin and where to leave off. Practice in still life will help you somewhat, but still things in nature are seldom arranged with that centralization which makes a subject easy to see. Even the simplicity which is sometimes obvious is, when you come to paint it, only the more difficult to handle because of its simplicity. The simplicity which you should look for to make your selection of a subject easy is not the lack of something to draw, but the definiteness of some marked object or effect. What is good as a "view" is apt to be the reverse of suitable for a picture. You want something tangible, and you do not want too much or too little of it. A long line, of hill with a broad field beneath it, for instance, is simple enough, but what is there for you to take hold of ? In an ordinary light it is only a few broad planes of value and color without an accent object to emphasize or centre on. It can be painted, of course, and can be made a beautiful picture, but it is a subject for a master, not for a student. But suppose there were a tree or a group of trees in the field ; suppose a mass of cloud obscured the sky, and a ray of sunlight fell on and around the tree through a rift in the clouds. Or suppose the opposite of this. Suppose all was in broad light, and the tree was strongly lighted on one side, on the other shadowed, and that it threw a mass of shadow below and to one side of it. Immediately there is something which you can take hold of and make your picture around. The field and hill alone will make a study of distance and middle distance and foreground, but it would not make an effective sketch. The two effects I have supposed give the possibility for a sketch at once, and what suggests a sketch suggests a picture.
This central object or effect which I have supposed also clears up the matter of the placing of your subject on the canvas. With merely the hill and plain you might cut it off anywhere, a mile or two one side or the other would make little or no difference to your picture. But the tree and the effect of light decide the thing for you. The tree and the lighting are the central idea of the picture. Very well, then, make them large enough on your canvas to be of that importance. Then what is around them is only so much more as the canvas will hold, and you will place the tree where, having the proper proportionate size, it will also "compose well" and make the canvas balance, being neither in the middle exactly nor too much to one side.

The Painter in Oil, by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst