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 The Big Book of Decorative Painting: How to Paint If You Don't Know How-And How to Improve If You Do
Decorative painting - the ornamentation of wood, tin, glass, paper, and other surfaces with painted designs - requires no previous artistic training or drawing skill. The Big Book of Decorative Painting contains invaluable information on this delightful and imaginative craft for artists and crafters at every level of experience: hesitant beginners looking for a thorough and reassuring step-by-step guide; "Sunday painters" who want to perfect their color mixing and brush control techniques; intermediate painters and accomplished fine artists who want to take their art in a new direction; teachers seeking a thoughtful manual, complete with a progressive curriculum and lessons for a range of skill levels. Using exercises to develop the skills necessary for working on and successfully completing projects, chapters on color mixing, brush control and loading, basic brushstrokes, paint application and blending, and surface preparation provide a strong foundation for the beginner and an excellent review for the experienced painter. Each motif in the four design categories - brushstrokes, fruits, vegetables, and florals - is covered in three skill levels: Quick and Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced. Every lesson includes: a list itemizing the required materials and skills; step-by-step instructions for the specific project's surface preparation, decorative painting, and finishing; a worksheet that provides a detailed breakdown of how to paint the major elements of the design; and a photograph of the completed project. Regardless of their ability, readers can get the most out of the book by mixing the patterns and lessons; for example, a beginner can use Quick and Easy techniques on Advanced-level patterns and projects. Information on lettering, special effects such as faux finishes, trompe l'oeil, and gold leaf, and finishing techniques is expanded in separate in-depth chapters. The concluding chapter on how to work with patterns includes the patterns for all the project
  Date Published 5/1/1994

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Rated By: A reader
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Comments: a must
I can,t wait to start on a new project from this book. I found in it a bit of everything, it is a lot easier to use this book than to try to find the right magazines. They are so many magazines I could not decide which ones were the right ones to buy. This book shows how to do a project and how to improve on the same subject. Great.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: For the decorative painter this book is a MUST!
The Big Book is one of the few in the market place that "grows" with the painter as he/she develops more skill and ability. If you had no access to a teacher, you could develop into a competent tole and decorative painter thanks to Shaw's clear cut how to's. She takes you from prepping a piece of wood to selecting brushes, learning basics of strokework, on up to the achievent of complex designs. If you buy no other book on the subject of decorative art - buy this one.
Rated By: A reader
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Comments: An excellent learning tool
This book allows the user to progress at his or her own pace. Explanations are clear and thorough, progressing from novice through to expert. Those impatient to jump ahead may do so but can easily refer back to intermediate steps involved if they get into difficulty. It is my one and only Decorative Painting book!
Rated By: Nicola Ferguson
From: North Vancouver, Canada
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Comments: Fantastic book
I have been painting and teaching art for many years and consider myself to be a competant artist. This book is a fantastic resource for new and exprienced painters alike. It shows a variety of techniques which range from easy to difficult and stylised to realistic. The user can choose a technique which suits his or her level of expertise. It is a wonderful book and Ms Shaw is a inspired artist. I thank her for sharing her beautiful work with us.
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From: Ankara, Turkey
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Comments: Ready to learn? This book is ready to teach
You can learn about all basic subjects from paints and brushes, to color choice and surface preparation. This books teaches all fruit, vegetable and floral designs with leaves and ribbons with shades and highlights,etc. There are a lot of projects with each you can start.Each project is handled in three ways, such as "quick and easy apples", "intermediate apples", "advanced apples" as if you are taking courses. The most importrant I think are the pages including the palette so that you know which colors you would have and the step-by-step instructions with excellent photos. Besides you will be able to learn a lot of faux finishing tecniques.What else?
Rated By: Julia S Forbes
From: Boston, MA
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We used this book as a course guide in an Adult Ed painting class--it is very well done, easy to understand and contains many wonderful projects to copy or adapt to your own taste. By using a piece of acetate over the "stroke" photographs, or preferably using a xerox copy of the stroke pages (so you don't ruin your book), you can easily perfect a stroke or "teach yourself" with this book. I have several other books in my decorative painting library, but this is the one I refer to the most often. I recommend it highly.

Rated By: "rigi"
From: Switzerland
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Comments: Comprehensive - something for all levels
I have ordered several decorative painting books and this is by far the best. It builds the skills and confidence of a beginner with attractive projects and still challenges an advanced painter. Step by step instructions are given for each new skill with great pictures. It is comprehensive, well written and Jackie's personality and love for painting comes through on every page. Well worth every penny.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Simply the best....
I am just beginning to venture into decorative painting. This wonderful book answers every question I had. It is beautifully illustrated and covers every aspect of this subject in a manner easily understandable to painters new to this craft. One doesn't need to spend money on many different books, each only covering a few aspects of this topic. This book has it all, as far as I'm concerned. What a treat!!!
Rated By: Angel Lee
From: Cleveland, OH
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Comments: One of the best books on decorative painting, great for beg
This is one of the best books I have seen on how to paint for the inexperienced but eager artist. It features an endless variety of terrific projects to suit anyone's taste. The wonderfully explicit, easy to follow and well illustrated directions make creating the projects a breeze with designs for all levels.

The book starts with a list of both basic and "wish list" supplies. It then helps you choose the right brushes and gives some great tips on caring for them. Then there is advice on choosing paint, keeping it fresh and how to tell when it is dry. There is a large section on mixing color and color schemes as well.

The essentials of brush loading, basic brushstrokes and blending are next. The author guides you through each step with detailed illustrations including the best section on creating basic brushstrokes I have ever seen. I found the learning from your mistakes section invaluable in helping me refine my technique. Practical advice and great tips here abound here. Surface preparation is also discussed here giving details on preparing wood, tinware, paper and glass.

A wide variety of projects follow including brushstroke designs, leaves, ribbons, water drops, fruit, vegetables, flowers, lettering, faux finishes and Trompe l'oeil. There are even techniques for working with patterns and information on giving your projects great finishing touches. The instructions are excellent; they are both written and illustrated step-by-step. There is also a large full-color picture of each finished project. In many cases there are also several versions of a project, such as beginner, intermediate and advanced versions of making an apple. I also love that the projects show swatches of each color used and that brand names are not listed for the colors. This makes choosing matching color easier and it saves money because you don't have to buy a certain brand of paint to do the project. Some of my favorite projects include a daisy tray, forget-me-not candle holder, pear saltbox and mushroom sign.

There are helpful template patterns for all the projects as well as a list of suppliers. Whether you're starting out or have experience with decorative painting this is the book for you.

Rated By: "cablecarlover"
From: Sausalito, CA
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Comments: The Best!
This book has it all -- clear introductory information (materials, workspace, etc.), wonderful stroke instructions, projects, patterns, finishes, and much more. Another nice thing is that the projects are "rated" as quick and easy (beginner) to intermediate to advanced for each technique.

There are lots of color illustrations accompanied by clear, well-written text. The author is very encouraging and upbeat in her writing. This book is such an asset that I am ordering a copy to donate to our local library. It's definitely a must-have!

Rated By: Christi Williams
From: Los Angeles
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Comments: I've seen plenty and this is the best
Jackie Shaw does an excellent job of showcasing all that is possible in decorative painting. Her examples of stroke work apply across the board for any kind of painting. But, what makes this book work is the way she breaks down each stroke into its individual parts to show how to form them properly. Along the way she imparts words of encouragment and motivation to get you going!

She also gives excellent lessons to practice by and keep you stimulated. It is part of the book's progressive learning curve so that as you advance with one part, there is more to learn in the next section as you move from beginner, to intermediate, to advanced.

I rarely write review of books, but as I pulled out this book once again today to reference, I felt compelled to give Ms. Shaw her props! Thanks Jackie!

Rated By: Paula Lang
From: LaMoure, North Dakota
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Comments: A Must Have for any Painter or Wannabe Painter!
I have a ceramics business and got tired of plain ol painting and wanted to expand when I found this book. It has taught me so much and my sales are way up! The techniques are explained in precise detail and are easy to follow. It even has practice strokes which I found to be very helpful. There is not a more informative book about painting out there from taking care of your brushes to a beautiful array of advanced technique. This is just a plain wonderful book and I could not say enough good about it!
Rated By: G. Keniston "artmind"
From: Unavailable
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Comments: All Levels
As an artist learning something new I was looking for a basic book explaining all terms and projects showing the author to be truly talented. This is all you need for a complete first course.
There is some disagreement among the various author/artists about the term " float". Other than that they all seem to agree about basic techniques. Beautiful demos and photos.
Greatest thing: The author takes you through several projects which you can do on any paper or wood for practice, and then divides these into three levels so that you can achieve the degree of finesse you desire. So practical! Take it from there!