Gill Barron is a lifelong professional painter whose virtuoso handling of acrylics has brought her many public and private commissions as a muralist, portrait-painter, and poster designer. Having explored the vast possibilities of this versatile medium by trial and error over the past 40 years, she is well placed to pass on the secrets of successful painting, as practiced by great painters down the ages.
September 2014 Readers will probably not need to be told that the word 'palette' can refer to both a set of colours and the things they are laid out on. This compendious guide is about more than triviality, however. It goes from the basic, such as the difference between transparent and opaque colours, to the less obvious idea of converting an urban landscape into a 'found still life'. I'm not convinced by that one, either, but the fact that it made me think counts in the book's favour. With 300 ideas condensed into short paragraphs and arranged broadly into materials, subjects and techniques, this is an all-embracing book. Not everything is for everyone, but few will find nothing at all to inspire or divert them. * Artist, The * July 14 The subtitle promises 300 tips, techniques and trade secrets . If I was being pedantic, I'd take issue with that last bit - are there really any trade secrets left to acrylic painting? I know, a list of three things looks better and the alliteration is irresistible. And anyway, you do get 300 very good ideas, some of which you'll know, many of which may be new. This is one of those portmanteau books that throws a lot of stuff into an overnight bag and heads for a thoroughly good weekend away. It packs for all weathers and occasions and is as happy tramping the hills in a rainstorm as it is rocking it up in a ballgown at a five star hotel in the evening. It might even shove in a little je ne sais quoi in case it gets lucky. Some of the ideas are simple: Make a mahl-stick; some more adventurous: Using tone in context - for instance (I've given up on the travel metaphor now, let's not milk it). It's one of those books to have on the shelf and pull down when you just want something not too demanding to browse. Maybe you don't want to make a mahl-stick, maybe you've got glazing off to a T, but there's loads to ingest and enjoy, nothing's too long (some tips come four to a page) and there are bags of illustrations. You might find something new, you might get some ideas or you might simply find your creative juices refreshed. I can guarantee you won't be bored or disappointed, though. * Artbookreview.net * Feb 14 Gill Barron tells you all you need to know about the medium, from choosing and mixing colours to making your own equipment and setting up a studio space. Suitable for both beginners and more experienced painters, there's something here for everyone. Beginners can follow step-by-step exercises, while the more experienced can dip in and out of sections to solve specific problems. There are lots of professional secrets revealed and the Try It and Fix It panels throughout the book give useful advice and help for avoiding problems on the way. * Leisure Painter, The * Jan 14 This is a fine compendium for all those who want to explore acrylic painting techniques. With over 300 tips, techniques and secrets, you should find everything you are looking for in this book. The beginner will find it very useful, but even the seasoned user of acrylics, might find this book handy. Acrylic is a versatile medium and Gill explores it fully. Contents include Setting Up; Designing the Painting and Techniques but the chapter titles do not convey the wealth of material inside this book. This book is packed with information and filled with excellent photographs of works. There are step by step demonstrations too. An excellent buy. * Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts * Jan 14 Acrylics combine the versatility of oils with the translucence of watercolors as well as being their own unique medium. If you want to paint with them here is a guide on most aspects of acrylics. Divided into three sections Setting Up, Designing The Painting and Techniques this book is certainly a good guide to the subject for the beginner onwards. After a useful page on how to get the most out of the book you can discover why painting with acrylics is a good idea. I like the parts about economizing (quite a few of these), which include making your own things such as a stay wet palette and painting supports. There are lots of handy bite-sized bits of information on the pages which make learning easy and fast, plus the author has a good grasp of what beginners in a medium really want to know. This is not a book on how to draw or paint for the total beginner in case you are wondering, but a book on how to begin with acrylics. Expect plenty about what colors to buy, brushes to choose, what to paint on, what mediums do etc as well as advice about where to work and choosing a studio which can be a shed. Tables in the corner of a room don't appear to figure, so this is truly a book for the dedicated amateur/would-be professional. There are also sections on the inevitable composition, what to paint, various techniques to try etc including framing. There are no step-by-step projects to work through, this is for those beyond all that. If this is you, then expect a good basic grounding in the subject. * Myshelf.com *