Recommended Books

The ever changing photography industry offers an abundance of educational sources on photography and retouching, yet there are a few books that every 2-D artist must read in order to establish the fundamental knowledge base.

Color, light and shadow rendering, biology of seeing, human anatomy – these are the main areas every retoucher must be educated in before diving into actual retouching tools and techniques.

Start here and success will follow.

Color and Light

A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney

RA_COLOR_AND_LIGHT_by_James_GurneyFrom New York Times best-selling author, brilliant painter James Gurney, comes a carefully crafted and researched study on two of art’s most fundamental themes, Color and Light. This book bridges the gap between abstract theory and practical knowledge and examines how light reveals form and the properties of color. Gurney cuts though the confusing and contradictory dogma about color, testing it in the light of science and observation.


Drawing the Head and Hands

by Andrew Loomis


RA_books_Drawing_the_Head_And_Hands_by_Andrew_LoomisThe illustrator Andrew Loomis (1892-1959) is revered amongst artists – including the great American painter Norman Rockwell – for his mastery of figure drawing and clean, realist style. His hugely influential series of art instruction books have never been bettered. Drawing the Head and Hands is the second in Titan’s programme of facsimile editions, returning these classic titles to print for the first time in decades.


Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth

by Andrew Loomis

RA_books_Figure_Drawing_by_Andrew_LoomisMost practical books on art concentrate on one aspect of the problem, while the student needs instruction that coordinates all the basic facts. In this book the fundamentals, esthetic as well as practical, of commercial work have been gathered into one book.

Learn to see and apply human anatomy basics in your retouching work, especially when working with Global D&B and liquifying.


Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

by Stephen Rogers Peck

RA_books_Atlas_of_Human_Anatomy_for_the_Artist_by_Stephen_Rogers_PeckPeck’s Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist remains unsurpassed as a manual for students. It includes sections on bones, muscles, surface anatomy, proportion, equilibrium, and locomotion; the types of human physique, anatomy from birth to old age, an orientation on racial anatomy, plus an analysis of facial expressions. This wealth of information ensures its place as a classic for the study of the human form.


Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing

by Margaret S. Livingstone (Author), David Hubel (Foreword)

RA_books_Vision and ArtIn this must-read book for any visual artist, Harvard professor Margaret Livingstone successfully bridged the gap between science and art, exploring how great painters fool the brain. In this expanded edition, Livingstone updates the original book with new insights gleaned from her ongoing research, bringing the book to the cutting edge in the field of neuroscience.


The Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture

by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut

RA_books_the_Secret_language_of_ColorOrganized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, this book teaches us about how and why we see color, and how our language influences the colors we see. Every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us.


The fundamentals of light and shadow

by Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling

RA_books_Light_and_ShadowThis book is about the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity; the focus is firmly on helping to improve visual understanding of the world around and on techniques for representing that world. It is divided into two major sections: the first explains the physics of light and shadow. One will learn how to construct proper shadows in perspective and how to apply the correct values to those surfaces. The second section focuses on the physics of reflectivity and how to render a wide range of materials utilizing this knowledge.

This book is especially important for the retouchers who wish to master the Dodge & Burn technique, as well as being able to re-shape forms using colors and values.


Makeup Is Art

by Academy of Freelance Makeup

RA_books_Makeup_is_ArtTop makeup professionals, many from London’s famed Academy of Freelance Makeup, give us a glimpse into their glamorous world. These experts offer imaginative ideas, inside knowledge, and a wealth of advice for aspiring artists, along with instructions for a range of inventive looks using specialist techniques – from ultraviolet makeup to ingenious SFX looks designed for film and video.

RA_books_Makeup_is_Art_ORIGINALThe original book cover looked like this. Be sure to read the description of the book on Amazon.

While both are the same book, the newer edition has 32 extra pages.


Best Business Practices for Photographers

by John Harrington (Second Edition)

RA_books_best_Practices_for_photographersThis is probably one of the best business books ever written for photographers. This updated and expanded edition serves as an even more comprehensive guide to achieving financial success and personal satisfaction in your business as a photographer. Included in this new edition are sections on licensing your work, interacting with clients, negotiating contracts and licenses, and business operations.


The Pocket Legal Companion to Copyright

by Lee Wilson (kindle edition)

RA_books_copyrightThis clearly written and objective book will reward readers with a more concrete understanding of the copyright law. Intellectual property lawyer Lee Wilson, author of six books on intellectual property law, explains how creators can preserve their copyrights, how users of copyrights can do what they want without obstructing the law, and how both can profit from copyrights overall.



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