Landscape Painting in Oil Colour

This is an instructional painting book called Landscape Painting in Oil Colour by Alfred East. It was published in 1907 by Cassell and Company, London, Paris, New York and Melbourne. The book is public domain.

Landscape Painting In Oil Colour by Alfred East A.R.A.
Landscape Painting by Alfred East

This is a charming book on how to paint with oils in nature. It has both color and black and white illustrations. The language is colorful. Keep in mind, that if you are slanted more toward the feminist movement, this book might offend you, as it is written towards the male student. If you can get past that, you might learn something new to you.

The contents includes the following:

  1. Attitude Towards Nature
  2. Equipment
  3. Sketching from Nature
  4. Pencil Drawing from Nature
  5. Composition
  6. Colour
  7. Trees
  8. Skies
  9. Grass
  10. Reflections
  11. Selection and Treatment of a Subject
  12. Painting from Nature

The paint colors he suggests are the following:

  1. Flake White
  2. Yellow Ochre
  3. Pale Cadmium
  4. Middle Cadmium
  5. Deep Cadmium
  6. Rose Madder or Vermillion
  7. Burnt Sienna
  8. Venetian Red
  9. Raw Umber
  10. Cobalt
  11. French Blue
  12. Veridian (sic)
  13. Ivory Black

You can only assume that the Cadmiums Pale, Middle and Deep pertain to yellows, but he did not give specifics. Furthermore, many of those colors are redundant. Instead, I would suggest the following colors:

  1. Titanium-Zinc White
  2. Yellow Ochre
  3. Cadmium Yellow Light
  4. Cadmium Red Light
  5. Burnt Sienna
  6. Raw Umber
  7. French Ultramarine Blue
  8. Viridian

You can mix variations of red, browns, blacks and oranges just fine with the smaller palette. If you are in a tropical area, or generally sunny area, I would add Phthalocyanine Blue and forgo the Viridian as Phthalo blue and Ultramarine blue with Cadmium Yellow Light can produce a wide variety of greens. For a non-toxic palette, you can replace Raw Umber, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Yellow with Hansa Yellow Medium, Pyrrole Red Light and Burnt Umber.

Now with the color issue out of the way, the rest of the book contains all of the elements that ought to be in a painting book. It teaches you how to use a sketchbook to think out composition and design, and why you should or should not add everything you see.

You see, painting is a difficult endeavor, but at the same time, the principles are ages old and can be taught to anyone who is willing to learn. It is like teaching how to read and write in English. Anyone can learn if they are willing, but not everyone is willing to become a poet or an author with those skills.