THE OIL PAINTING BOOK
by Wendon Blake, Paintings by George Cherepov
After recently seeing the movie, LOCAL COLOR, in which I was intrigued by the paintings glimpsed throughout the movie, I searched out a couple of books by Cherepov, who was supposedly the basis for the curmudgeonly old artist, and this was one of them. Turns out, I read this book years ago, when I was just learning to oil paint. At that time, I learned two things from it: that paintings are built in layers, and how to paint vibrant skies. Interestingly enough, if this book has more to teach me now, I wasn’t able to see it. The approach is step-by-step, with prescriptions for what colors to use, which I have never found a very useful approach to learning painting. And because it is a relatively old book, there are few color illustrations, with age-dulled inks, making it hard to see the artist’s use of color. Most disappointingly, I didn’t get to see the vibrant, energetic paintings I glimpsed around corners in the movie. The search goes on.