I checked out Carol Marine’s book Daily Painting from the library (go libraries!) two months ago. I read it, enjoyed it, but since social distancing has become a thing recently, I haven’t had an opportunity to return it. So I thought, what better thing than to write a review of it, while it’s still sitting in my room? The paintings in this post are all by the book’s author, and you can find almost all of them in the book.
My first impression of this book was pretty great. It’s well bound, and the cover is gorgeous. The page design is excellent, and the features on different artists are well-formatted.
The writing style is informal and reassuring- accurate to the book’s subtitle: “Paint small and often to become a more creative, productive, and successful artist”. Through this book, Carol tells of the lessons she learned in building a new painting habit, and how it changed her life. The book aims to encourage artists who feel stuck, and it does very well at that.
For advice on becoming unstuck as a painter, the chapter on art block is really useful. Almost 30 pages of different artists writing about how they approach art block, and overcoming it. Noticing art block before it sets in is crucial, and it helped me to see how they handled it.
Along with her own personal story, there’s chapters on improving your skills. Although the primary medium she focuses on is oils, it’s easy to apply to other kinds of paint. There’s chapters on composition and subject matter, color mixing, values, and even more. There isn’t anything cliché, or not worth looking at here. I wish it was even longer so I could soak up more knowledge.
I’ve picked up a lot of book knowledge from different sources, and I was glad to learn a lot from this. I realized I was making one of the mistakes she used to, of using a very bright light source on my painting. Doing that leads me to mix darker colors than I want, as my mixed colors look different under an ultra-bright page. I’ve tried moving my clamp light a little away from my painting, and it’s worked so far. There’s exercises mentioned on some pages which I want to try out.
I do wish the book wasn’t as focused on still-lifes, but that’s a pretty small issue. Painting things from imagination is a tough subject, and not the author’s focus, in the book or her art style. I recommend checking this one out, once libraries, or Amazon, open up again!