ALLA PRIMA II - Expanded Edition
Everything I Know About Painting — and More
By Richard Schmid
For fifteen years, the original edition of ALLA PRIMA has been considered one of the most comprehensive art instruction books on the market and the standard in classical art education both in the United States and abroad. Whether you're the owner of an original ALLA PRIMA or a first-time reader, you'll love the new ALLA PRIMA II. Richard Schmid spent two years updating the original edition giving him the opportunity to fine-tune and greatly expand what is generally regarded as the art world's foremost book for painters seeking serious instruction in representational painting.
While all of the information in the original edition has been retained, Richard Schmid revised it for greater clarity, adding abundantly to the text in response to the thousands of artists who contacted him over the years with questions and suggestions. The chapter on color, for example, which was 48 pages is now 75 pages long.
ALLA PRIMA II is over a third larger overall, with 328 pages, and 262 images of paintings, photos, step-by-step sequences, diagrams, and bibliography. Plus, ALLA PRIMA II includes a comprehensive index for convenience organized by both subject and painting title. Alla Prima II also includes an extensive recommended reading list.
PREFACE TO THIS EDITION
I am most sincerely indebted to all of you who have taken time to write me over the years and comment on my first edition of Alla Prima. Your response has been gratifying beyond my expectations. With your many letters and excellent questions, you have expressed to me your appetite for knowledge and learning, not only about painting itself, but also about the deeply beautiful philosophical ideas I believe should underlie all of the arts. Much of what has been added to this new edition is the direct result of your thoughtful observations and suggestions.
Alla Prima was first published in 1998 when printing was still a film-to-press process. The book was well received and went into thirteen printings. However, in the years since 1998, the technology of printing has changed dramatically, and today as in many other fields, it’s all about computers. Therefore, to continue publication of Alla Prima, I have converted my book into a digital format to meet current industry methods.
While this transformation was a sizable effort over several years, it has turned out to be a great opportunity to fine tune and greatly expand what was already a good thing. With the invaluable assistance of Katie Swatland, it was possible to not only make the digital conversion, but to add considerably to the quantity and quality of the pictures and text. With this new edition, now called Alla Prima II, we were able to restore and enhance all images to a state of being a near perfect match of my paintings. All that is lacking here now is the sweet aroma of my oil paints.
Since this book is an updated and greatly extended version of the original Alla Prima, I have retained the look and general format of the earlier printings. However, I have added abundantly to the text of each original chapter and created new sections within chapters. Included as well are many helpful new images and step-by-step painting sequences. I’ve also provided a list of my favorite art books, and comprehensive indexes for convenience.
Again, I thank all who have thoughtfully expressed themselves to me over the years, especially those who have incorporated into their own art some of the sound principles I offered in Alla Prima. Please bear in mind that my motive in sharing these data is not to convert anyone to a particular way or school of painting, particularly mine. After all, I have always stubbornly resisted all who tried to steer me onto what they thought was a proper path. Whatever way you choose, I hope it is one of excellence and fidelity to what you want. My books are mainly about ideas that may help. I hope they may inspire as well.
What I present here is the technical knowledge, experience, and wisdom of countless artists and craftspersons—women and men who over many centuries exactingly garnered and fashioned this information into virtuoso painting—one of the most beautiful and powerful mediums of creative expression ever conceived and brought to life.
As always, I wish you all possible joy and fulfillment in your art.
New Hampshire 2013