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The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques
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The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,714 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Since 1940, when it was originally published, The Artist's Handbook has been indispensable for thousands of practicing artists and art students. The book has remained continuously in print through many editions and has some more than a quarter of a million copies. It is, as American Artist Magazine calls it, the "artist's bible," an invaluable reference for the painter, sc ...more
Hardcover, Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated, 784 pages
Published May 31st 1991 by Viking (first published 1940)
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Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: artists, art students, art majors
This book is great for anyone with technical questions about art supplies, especially art students with shitty teachers.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: artists
Ralph Mayer's Handbook is an excellent resource for practicing studio artists. I've referred to it many times over the years and would recommend to artists who want to expand their overall knowledge of art materials and their practical use.
Oct 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, reference
This is primarily a reference guide for art materials. Useful info on brush types, how different paint colors are made, why use quality art materials. In depth information in areas I had no interest (like mixing your own paints using pigments). No info on art supplies like fiber paste or molding paste. It is very thorough but potentially out of date. I wound up donating this to the local library.
James Eckman
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: art, non-fiction, diy, skimmed
Made obsolete by the internet, before that I found it very useful. Mine was the 1970 edition which is missing most of the really new art materials. Latest edition may still be OK if you are a Luddite without net access.

(And how would they access this review?)
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Serious artists working in paint
Shelves: reference-books
As near a "complete reference book" can be. This is a technical reference book not a "how to guide", but covers innumerable artistic disciplines, the bulk taken up by: Oil Painting, Pigments, Solvents and Gums, Basic Chemistry, Artwork Conservation Issues, Studio devices and tools for the painter.

Its left wanting in a few major area - principally of sculpting and Installation art. Which is obviously a subject so vast and varied as to require volumed editions unto itself: Drafting and engineering
Diane Stevenett
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This resource book is a MUST in every artists comes in handy! More than you could imagine!!
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Monica
Recommended to Zoe by: Claudia Hollander and Dave Nechak
Shelves: own-it
A must have.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Amyelyse by: thebooklist for an oil painting class
Text book from a college course that I added to my collection rather than seling back, it's okay, but not as good as my other one
katiev Veeninga
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
the only book you need to learn everything you need to know to make art. well, the technical stuff anyway. art & fear for the rest of it.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it liked it
A venerable workhorse, but important parts of this book are seriously out-of-date.

This book is long overdue for thorough revisions.
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