Alla Prima II Everything I Know about Painting–And More by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland (2013) Paperback by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland: Review

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Are you an aspiring artist who wants to take your skills to the next level? Or a seasoned painter looking for new techniques and inspiration? Look no further than “Alla Prima II Everything I Know about Painting–And More”by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland. This 2013 paperback is a comprehensive guide to painting, covering everything from the basics to advanced techniques.

Schmid, a renowned artist with over 60 years of experience, shares his wealth of knowledge in this book. His writing style is clear and concise, making it easy for readers of all skill levels to understand. Whether you’re just starting out or have been painting for years, you’ll find valuable insights in this guide. So why wait? Dive into “Alla Prima II”and unlock your full potential as an artist today!

Overview of the Book Content

So, you’re ready to dive into the wonderful world of painting, and let me tell you, ‘Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting–And More’ by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland (2013) is the perfect starting point for your journey. The book is structured in a very organized manner, with each chapter building upon the previous one. The content analysis of the book is top-notch and covers everything that a beginner would need to know about painting.

The first part of the book deals with color theory and application, while the second part delves into more advanced topics like composition and design. In addition to this, there are several chapters dedicated to specific genres like portraits, landscapes and still life paintings. Each chapter contains detailed explanations along with step-by-step demonstrations that make it easy for beginners to follow.

Schmid’s writing style is simple yet engaging. He explains complex concepts in an easy-to-understand language without dumbing them down too much. His passion for art shines through his writing which makes it all the more interesting to read. With each page turn, you’ll find yourself getting more and more immersed in the world of painting.

In conclusion, ‘Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting–And More’ by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland (2013) is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to paint. The book structure and content analysis are excellent, making it easy for beginners to grasp even complex concepts. Schmid’s writing style makes it an engaging read from start to finish. Now that we’ve covered what you can expect from the book in terms of structure and content analysis let’s move on to Schmid’s writing style itself!

Schmid’s Writing Style

As you dive into the pages of Richard Schmid’s “Alla Prima II,”his writing style will immediately capture your attention. Engaging and easy to understand, Schmid’s voice carries a sense of authority that makes you want to keep reading. Along with practical tips and advice, his writing provides a wealth of knowledge for aspiring painters who are eager to learn from one of the best in the field.

Engaging and Easy to Understand

Who would have thought that a book about painting could be both engaging and easy to understand? Richard Schmid’s ‘Alla Prima II’ defies expectations, delivering an entertaining and approachable guide to the art of painting. Schmid’s writing style is clear, concise, and free from unnecessary jargon or technical terms. He communicates practical techniques in a language that anyone can understand without sacrificing depth or complexity.

Schmid’s ability to engage readers goes beyond his approachable language. His anecdotes are witty and insightful, adding levity to what might otherwise be a dry topic. While he covers the technical aspects of painting thoroughly, he also provides personal stories and observations that make for enjoyable reading. The result is a book that not only teaches you how to paint but also entertains you along the way. With such an engaging introduction, it’s no wonder readers are eager for practical tips and advice on improving their own work.

Practical Tips and Advice

Get ready to level up your painting skills with practical tips and advice that will inspire you to create your best work yet. In “Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting–And More,”Richard Schmid and Katie Swatland provide readers with an abundance of knowledge on brush techniques and color mixing tips. These insights have been gained through Schmid’s vast experience in the art world, having painted for over sixty years.

Schmid’s brush stroke techniques are especially noteworthy. He emphasizes the importance of using a variety of strokes to add texture and depth to paintings, including dry-brush, scumbling, and glazing. Additionally, he stresses the significance of understanding how colors interact with one another when mixed together. His color mixing tips include suggestions such as starting with a limited palette and experimenting with different combinations until finding what works best for each individual artist. With such valuable information provided in this guidebook, any aspiring painter can find ways to enhance their craft and produce stunning results.

Moving onto the subsequent section about ‘basics of painting’, it is important to note that there are many fundamental aspects involved in creating a successful piece of artwork beyond just brush techniques and color mixing.

Basics of Painting

When it comes to painting, there are a few key points you should keep in mind. First and foremost is color theory, which encompasses concepts like hue, saturation, and value. Additionally, composition plays a crucial role in creating a successful painting by defining the placement of elements within the piece. Finally, understanding the materials and tools at your disposal is essential for achieving your desired effects on canvas. By mastering these basics of painting, you’ll be well on your way to creating works that are both visually stunning and technically sound.

Color Theory

Although color theory may seem like a simple concept, Schmid’s book proves that there is much more to it than meets the eye. In his book, Schmid emphasizes the importance of understanding color mixing and how different hues can work together or against each other in creating a painting. He explains that mastering color harmony involves not only knowing which colors complement each other but also being able to create an emotional response through the use of color.

Schmid’s approach to teaching color theory is analytical and objective, providing readers with clear explanations of concepts such as hue, value, and saturation. His attention to detail allows for a deeper understanding of how to create specific colors by mixing primary pigments. By incorporating these techniques into your own paintings, you can achieve greater depth and vibrancy in your work. As you move onto learning about composition in the subsequent section, keep in mind how your knowledge of color will play a crucial role in creating dynamic visual interest within your artwork.


You’ll be able to create more dynamic and visually interesting artwork by understanding and implementing the principles of composition. It’s not enough to simply have a good idea or a beautiful subject matter, if it’s poorly composed, your work will lack impact. Understanding balance is key in creating compelling compositions. You need to consider how elements are arranged in relation to each other and how they interact within the picture plane. Balance can be achieved through symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements; it’s up to you as an artist to decide which approach best suits your work.

Creating depth is another important aspect of composition that can add visual interest and intrigue to your paintings. It involves using techniques such as overlapping shapes, atmospheric perspective, and size variation to suggest space and distance within the image. This creates a sense of depth that draws viewers into the painting and makes them feel like they’re part of the scene. By paying attention to both balance and depth, you’ll be able to create artworks that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also captivating.

Speaking about materials and tools, now that you have gained some insight into composition principles, let’s take a look at what Schmid suggests for artists when it comes time for them to choose their materials.

Materials and Tools

Choosing the right materials and tools is essential for artists to achieve their desired results. When it comes to brushes and palettes, Richard Schmid emphasizes the importance of investing in quality equipment. He suggests using natural hair brushes that can hold a lot of pigment and offer better control than synthetic ones. As for palettes, he recommends using a large glass palette that can be cleaned easily and allows for color mixing without interference from other colors.

When it comes to canvas and paint brands, Schmid believes that personal preference plays a big role in selecting these materials. However, he does recommend trying out different brands and types of canvas to find one that works best for your style of painting. In terms of paint brands, he suggests avoiding student-grade paints as they tend to have less pigment and can result in muddy colors. Instead, he advises investing in professional-grade paints from reputable brands.

As you move on to learning advanced techniques, keep in mind that mastering the basics first is crucial before experimenting with new methods or styles.

Advanced Techniques

To really take your painting skills to the next level, it’s crucial to master advanced techniques such as color harmony and composition. Layering techniques are essential in creating depth and texture in your paintings. Richard Schmid suggests that you start with an underpainting, where you lay down a thin layer of paint on the canvas before adding subsequent layers. This allows for more control over the values and tones of your painting.

Color mixing secrets are also important in achieving a harmonious color palette in your work. Schmid recommends using a limited palette of colors, and experimenting with different combinations to create unique hues. It’s also important to consider the temperature and intensity of each color, as well as how they interact with each other when mixed on the canvas.

By mastering these advanced techniques, aspiring and seasoned artists alike can elevate their paintings to new heights. Not only will your technical skills improve, but you’ll also be able to express yourself more fully through your art. As Schmid says, “Painting is not just about copying reality; it’s about interpreting it.”So take these lessons from Alla Prima II and let them inspire you on your artistic journey.

Benefits for Aspiring and Seasoned Artists

As artists, we can all benefit from mastering advanced techniques like color harmony and composition. These skills enable us to interpret reality in our own unique way and create paintings that are truly original. Richard Schmid’s book ‘Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting–And More’ is an excellent resource for both aspiring and seasoned artists who want to take their work to the next level.

One of the benefits of mastering advanced techniques is inspiration. When you have a solid foundation in color theory and composition, you’ll be able to push beyond what you know and explore new ideas. You’ll have the confidence to experiment with different colors, shapes, and textures, knowing that you have a strong understanding of how they work together. This newfound inspiration will motivate you to create more art and continue pushing yourself further.

For seasoned artists, the benefits of mastering advanced techniques are twofold. First, it allows them to elevate their work to new heights. By incorporating these techniques into their painting practice, they can create pieces that are more complex and nuanced than ever before. Second, it keeps them engaged with their craft over the long term. As we age, it’s easy to fall into creative ruts or lose interest in our hobbies altogether. But by constantly challenging ourselves with new ideas and techniques, we can stay motivated and inspired for years to come.


Overall, “Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting–And More”by Richard Schmid with Katie Swatland is an informative and comprehensive guide for aspiring and seasoned artists alike. The book covers a wide range of topics from the basics of painting to advanced techniques such as color theory and composition. Schmid’s writing style is clear and concise, making it easy to understand even complex concepts.

As you read through the book, you’ll be introduced to a wealth of knowledge that will help you take your art to the next level. Whether you’re looking to improve your skills in portrait painting or landscape painting, “Alla Prima II”has something for everyone. With each chapter building upon the previous one, there’s a sense of suspense as you eagerly anticipate what new insight will be revealed next.

In short, if you’re serious about improving your painting skills or simply want to learn more about the craft, “Alla Prima II”is definitely worth checking out. From beginner tips to expert advice, this book has it all. So why wait? Pick up a copy today and start exploring the wonderful world of painting!

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