20+ Painting Books for Free! [PDF]

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With the idea of continue giving you the opportunity to acquire knowledge and information of your interest, we have made a list of free books about Painting.

All the chosen texts are in PDF format, so you can download and handle them more easily.

What we know as Painting consists of an artistic manifestation of a visual character, which uses a conglomerate of materials and techniques to represent on a given surface, a graphic composition according to certain aesthetic values.

Painting combines elements such as colors, shapes, textures, balance, harmony, light, perspective and movement. With this combination it seeks to transmit to the public, a beautiful experience.

A large section of the history of painting in both the East and the West is dominated by religious art. Some examples of this kind of painting range from artworks depicting mythological figures, to biblical scenes such as those covering the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and scenes from the life of Buddha, among many other images of religious character.

The information concerning the theme of painting is vast, and to help you enjoy the most relevant we have created this list of publications. Our select list is made up of more than 30 books on Painting in PDF format, where you can consult all the information you require, from the beginning of this artistic representation.

We also include books in Spanish and Portuguese, in case you prefer to read about the subject in one of these languages.

All the books are in the public domain, or were given for free distribution.

Basic Painting Books

Learn and Master Painting

Gayle Levée

Eye Of The Painter

Andrew Loomis

A Text-book of the History of Painting

John C. Van Dyke

Historical Painting Techniques

The Getty Conservation Institute

Painting in the Dutch Golden Age

National Gallery of Art Washington

The Elements of Color

Johannes Itten

Step by Step a Pastel Portrait

Emma Ralph

Glossary of Art Terms

Cleveland Institute of Art College of Art

Glossary of Art terms & Definitions

Babel Linguistics

Painting with Texture

Lincoln Ritter

Important Art Movements To Remember

Institute of Creative Sciences

Oil Painting Books

Oil painting is a favorite of many painters, as it provides a very smooth finish compared to other types of paint. Its characteristic is that it is usually thick, providing also a better performance of it.

The binder in this case is oil-based, which is mixed with the powdered pigments to provide the aforementioned thick result. If you are a painter, or you are starting in this technique, the oil painting books will be very useful for you, as they contain very good information about it.

It is a technique that was widely used in the Middle Ages, however, it was the painter Jan Van Eyck in the 1400s one of its greatest disseminators. One of the most famous paintings of this type is the “Arnolfini Portrait”, well known today. 

Painting A Face in Oils


How to paint with oil

Ghislain Bonneau

Watercolour Books

Watercolor is a pictorial technique that is done on paper and uses colors that are dissolved in water. Its paint is obtained by agglutination of dry pigments mixed with gum arabic.

The support used to paint with watercolor is the special paper for watercolor (pressed paper), more absorbent than conventional paper, since painting with water produces waves in normal papers.

Watercolor is based on the “washes” that the artist applies. With a cloth, a sponge or a brush, water can be added or removed, achieving greater or lesser transparency. Sometimes, a great transparency of the paint is sought so that the paper provides luminosity.

Secret Brush Skills for Watercolor Painters

Saint Joseph High School

Acrylic Painting Books

Acrylic paint is a quick-drying paint in which the pigmentation base is formed by an acrylic polymer emulsion. This component is a latex derivative, responsible for providing hardness and resistance to the paint once dry.

It was at the beginning of the 20th century when acrylic began to be used in painting. Although it was developed in parallel in Germany and the United States, in the latter country it was used to paint automobiles and buildings.

The diversity of acrylic paint gives us the possibility to choose from a wide variety of supports on which to paint. These include paper, canvas, walls, wood and leather. However, it does not adhere to a surface that is oiled or waxed.

Acrylic Painting


Acrylic Painting Technique


Encaustic Painting Books

Encaustic is a very ancient technique, records date back to the first century B.C., and it was used by the Romans of the time to capture their ideologies and works on ivory and wood. Now, what does this technique consist of?

Encaustic is a type of painting that is done with heat, wax is used as a binder, so the mixture is very thick and dense, which generates a very different effect in the result, in addition, the same wax is used for protection at the final moment, where with a dry linen the work is polished with wax.

A simple example is the Encausto da Solunto, which you can see in the regional museum of Palermo (Italy). Another important source where you can learn about this technique, are the books and materials about encaustic painting that we have at your disposal.

Basic Encaustic Manual


Enkaustic painting with hot wax


Exploring Encaustics and Encaustics Arts

Stitching and Beyond

Tempera Painting Books

Tempera is one of the primary elements used for painting. Many of us, when we were children and studying, were taught to color with tempera, for that moment maybe it was just a fun, but really tempera is an interesting element in paintings.

Tempera painting is a painting technique in which water plays an important role, it becomes the solvent of the pigment, which allows the paint to have a different finish than other materials, such as encaustic for example.

Among the painting techniques, tempera painting is one of the most common, used by most beginners around the world. If you want to learn more about this technique, check out the tempera painting books we have selected for you.

Tempera Painting and Its Varieties

Universidad de Murcia Facultad de Bellas Artes

Canvas Painting Books

Canvas is a pictorial support that has been used for more than half a millennium. There are historical records of paintings on canvas dating back to the early 15th century, although its popularity spread from the Renaissance onwards.

This material has certain advantages, as it is more resistant to the cold and humidity of winter, but above all it is much lighter, allowing for much larger formats.

The raw canvases are stretched on stretcher bars and then the printing surface. To do this, a white acrylic paint (known as primer) is mixed with water and painted onto the canvases. Different types of paint can be applied to the canvases, depending on your tastes and preferences: Oil, Acrylic, Tempera.

Canvas Painting

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

Here ends our selection of free Painting books in PDF format. We hope you liked it and already have your next book!

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