My very first art book that I bought was Kelly Rae Roberts' Taking Flight. This is an amazing book that not only teaches you different techniques but leads you on a journey of self discovery. It talks about dreams, fears and embracing the journey. It's very Kelly Rae and it features some other artists as well. There are step by step instructions on completing several paintings (7 I think) using different techniques and each step is photographed as well. I made several projects following these instructions and you can find them HERE.
P.S. I recently have taken her e-course Flying Lessons and it was amazing. We talked about building a business on line and selling our art. Amazing tips and tricks! Kelly Rae is now offering an e-book of the e-course and I would highly recommend it. Just click on the button above to take you to her site.
My second book was Alisa Burke's Canvas Remix. This is totally different style from Kelly Rae. You can get the feel of it on Alisa Burke's blog. The book is colorful and very graffiti art like. Instructions are great and followed by a photo. You can not only find different techniques for backgrounds but Alisa shows you what to do with that canvas too. Ideas to make all sorts of projects. Of course I made some as well. Find them HERE.
My latest purchase is Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab. I was first afraid that this book will be too similar to others. Lets face it. How many mixed media techniques are there, right?! Well, I was wrong. I LOVE this book. It's so Carla Sonheim. It's playful and weird. :) In a good way. It touches on some traditional drawing techniques but mostly it's about loosening up. Don't get it if you want to learn to draw a traditional portrait because you'll be disappointed. This is a book that makes you want to be silly. :)
I bought Dawn DeVries Sokol's 1000 Artist Journal Pages because some bloggers were very impressed with it. This is not an instructional book. It's a book full of journal pages from different artists. I think of it more as an inspirational book. If you're a beginner or you're stuck, you can browse through these pages and get some ideas. You can see on THIS post how I struggled with a page and then found inspiration in this book.