Looking for books about craft and making art? Browse through our expert recommendations to find the best books on applied arts, architecture, design, illustration, and photography to give as a gift to an art lover—or for your own library.
Five Books is a comprehensive library of knowledge, curating book recommendations on any topic you might want to read about. Craft books interviews explore the passions of makers. Our interviews range from engaging introductions to specialist subjects—such as the Dutch Masters, the Art Market, Leonardo, the Renaissance, Typeface, Interior Design—to in-depth explorations of more personal themes and inspirations.
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Geniuses may only be born once a century or so, but great art gets made all the time. Some of it follows atelier methods inspired by an apprenticeship model that has been handed down through the centuries. Juliette Aristides, an artist at the forefront of the atelier revival movement, discusses five books that are ‘core curriculum’ for anyone who wants to learn how to paint and draw, and thereby explore the virtues of sustained attention and close observation that come with making representational art.
Painting is not what it used to be. With materials and photography close to hand, it’s easy to forget the sheer labour involved in producing an Old Master canvas. What does studio method – the making of masterpieces – tell us about artistic genius, then and now? Painter Jane Jelley considers the question using Johannes Vermeer as her starting point.