Alla Prima: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Direct Painting Hardcover – Jan 6 2009
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I am fortunate to currently be a student of Mr. Gury's and have waited for the end of the academic semester to free my review of his book from any worries of favoritism by either of us. I am too serious a student and Mr. Gury too secure in his profession for any thing I say here, positive or negative to have the least consequence in our academic relationship. That observation alone is probably a better review of his worthy book than anything I have written above for you have the man, and his teaching, very much alive in this solidly useful book.
Al Gury's approach to teaching is easy to understand and apply to one's own work, and most importantly, the information is coming directly from the source. Al Gury is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Painting Department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as an instructor at the Fleisher Art Memorial and the University of the Arts, all in Philadelphia.
I relied on all the good reviews here and bought this book and feel really misled and ripped off.
The information in the book is useless as it is so so basic. The book is suitable for absolute beginners only, in my opinion.
For those who want to see a truly amazing and inspiring and breathtaking and immensely useful book on alla prima painting see instead 'Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting' by Richard Schmid. It is more than twice the price, but wow, it's more than 20 times as good too. Now THAT is a 5 star book! This book just doesn't even begin to compare.
For general painting books that are also excellent, see: Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice by Juliette Aristides, and Oil Painting Secrets from a Master: 25th Anniversary Edition by Linda Cateura.
I bought it as some reviews mentioned it's very good for beginners..... I am a beginner and this book has not helped me at all. Very,very basic information that can be found elsewhere. There are much better books out there. Some that I have liked for painting Alla Prima are
"All books by Emile Gruppe" - Out of print and sometimes expensive,be patient and you might get them at a good price
"Alla Prima by Richard Schmid"- more advanced ,cheaper to buy from his web site
"Timeless techniques for Better Oil Painting by Tom Browning"- Excellent book for Beginners and Advanced levels, in league with Richard Schmid's book