Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Repeatedly, the book cited by professional artists online as the best “go to” book about how to paint landscapes is “Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting,” by John F. Carlson. Landscape painting today is most often referred to as Plein Air painting…a French term for "in the open air" that refers to the act of painting outdoors. Carlson is a famous teacher, author, and artist. Although the book’s cover is the only color image, its many sample paintings are rich in value…which is a major goal in painting anything.

The book is full of technical information but written simply. Carlson’s main concept is how an artist should think and see. Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting was first written in 1929, revised and reprinted in 1958, then reprinted again in 1973. It is available still in hardback and paperback editions.

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