Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting” as Want to Read:
Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting

4.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  190 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Written by a famous American painter and teacher, whose landscapes are found in many of the world's most noted museums, this book is known as one of the art students' most helpful guides. It provides a wealth of advice on the choice of subject; it tells what to look for and aim for, and explains the mysteries of color, atmospheric conditions, and other phenomena to be foun ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 1st 1973 by Dover Publications
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 326)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 16, 2009 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Regardless of whether or not you are painting landscapes , this is a good read for artistic advice and direction. His philosophy is that you can't teach "art", but that you can teach the technical skills intrinsic to all good art. "In painting we are apt to be very forgiving of poor technical performance" he says, "In good art, the results do not have to be 'explained.'" The fundamentals he proceeds to teach throughout the book are but the means to "the beauty that they are eventually to support ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Ljubica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-technique
Carlson just says it like it is. This is what art practice is all about; no happy mistakes; no fluffy remarks... just solid truths, knowledge and practice. A must for every artist's reference library.
Dec 27, 2007 Utahpainter added it
Recommends it for: realist painters
Easy how to book covers the basics of landscape painting.
Michael A.
Apr 08, 2012 Michael A. rated it really liked it
"It requires grit to be a spontaneous finisher," so writes Carlson in chapter twelve, The Main Line and Theme, of his short book on landscape painting. Anyone who has dealt with the finishing of a picture would certainly concur on this point. Carlson's is a no-nonsense guide to painting that has much useful material. True, he disdains much of what has marked the twentieth century in its artistic endeavors, but this is a book that should be read not only for its practical advice, but as a histori ...more
Chris Griffith
Apr 09, 2014 Chris Griffith rated it liked it
The most technical book I've read yet on landscape paintings. Would have been a real treasure if pictures would have been in color. I suspect I'll revisit this book again soon. Lots of good info.
Vishal B
Oct 22, 2014 Vishal B rated it really liked it
A must read for all the artists. While reading I could sense the wisdom of the author flowing to me with the words he spoke. Each and every chapter is incorporated with lots and lots of detailed observational points and how one may choose to steer ahead in making a painting. Not an easy read toughIf required read twice, thrice or 'n' number of times until the statement is clear. I will recommend this book highly for first time artists who want to gain an understanding of the fine art process.
Jan 25, 2009 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-books-read
Pretty decent landscape book.-technical but sticks to the big issues.
Although it does start to get a little high minded where he is repeating base principals over and over again in different ways...weird.
He does have an interesting chapter on painting trees and clouds. This in itself is probably worth the price of the book.-these two chapters are a little...high art. but written well and the principals they express are good things to remember when painting these types of forms.
Overall, a good bo
Marco Bucci
Feb 15, 2014 Marco Bucci rated it it was amazing
Ah, the five value planes. Thanks, John Carlson.
Karen Winters
Sep 23, 2012 Karen Winters rated it it was amazing
I try to re read this book at least once a year, and discover something new in it every time. Perhaps that's a memory issue, but more likely it's that my understanding of painting is changing and hearing something a second time makes more sense than the first time.

It's a thorough explanation of the principles of landscape painting, including understanding the structure of trees, aerial perspective, composition, color and value and much more. It's a must have in every plein air painter's library.
Sherry (sethurner)
Oct 29, 2008 Sherry (sethurner) rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, nonfiction
There is so much information here, so much useful advice, that after I read and took notes I bought the book. First copyrighted in 1929, there is nothing flashy in this book, just chapter after chapter about the nuts and bolts of painting: using values, dealing with aerial and linear perspective, color, clouds and trees, and composition.
May 08, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
A classic on the topic. If you aspire to landscape painting at all, you would certainly benefit from this short, meaty book.
Gina Lento
Jan 24, 2013 Gina Lento rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of the best books on landscape painting out there! They should make this mandatory reading in art schools.
Aug 13, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, reference
Everyone who is anyone recommended this here goes. Bought a hard copy for my reference library.
Catherine Beringer
Mar 09, 2013 Catherine Beringer rated it it was amazing
So much useful information. I refer to it again and again.
Paula Ann Ford
Aug 11, 2012 Paula Ann Ford rated it it was amazing
Anyone who paints landscapes needs to read and reread this book!!
Aug 04, 2009 Carolyn is currently reading it
Phenomenal book on the basics of painting a landscape
Ruthanne rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2016
Daniela marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Alun Ap
Alun Ap marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Wendy Manning
Wendy Manning rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2016
Dina rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2016
Susan Hagner
Susan Hagner is currently reading it
Jan 31, 2016
Kathryn Smith
Kathryn Smith rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2016
Dianna marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Louise Muelhaupt
Louise Muelhaupt marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Sandra rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2016
Temka Oyun
Temka Oyun rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2016
LiZi Bruklinsk
LiZi Bruklinsk marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2016
Marc rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hawthorne on Painting
  • Oil Painting Techniques and Materials
  • Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory
  • Alla Prima: Everything I Know about Painting
  • Mastering Composition: Techniques and Principles to Dramatically Improve Your Painting (Mastering (North Light Books))
  • Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice
  • Charles Bargue and Jean-Leon Gerome: Drawing Course
  • Inside the Painter's Studio
  • Botanical Illustration Course: With the Eden Project
  • Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist
  • Creative Illustration
  • Picture This: How Pictures Work
  • The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World
  • Anatomy Lessons From the Great Masters
  • Secrets to Drawing Realistic Faces
  • Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society
  • Rendering in Pen and Ink: The Classic Book On Pen and Ink Techniques for Artists, Illustrators, Architects, and Designers
  • Just Draw It!: The Dynamic Drawing Course for Anyone with a Pencil & Paper

Share This Book