A collection of quotes and notes on Richard Schmid's Alla Prima II.


Lots of great quotes in this book.

If you wish to make certain your painting will succeed, a minimum of three things must come from you - and only you. The first thing is knowing why you want to paint your subject, the second is an analytical grasp of what you see, and the third is the skill to control the process of painting.


Alla Prima or Au Premier Coup means painting directly from life, usually in one session.

Talent is merry one of those convenient worlds (like gifted or endowed) that we use after someone has become accomplished [..] The exceptional skill we label as talent is not a single capability. It is a complex mixture of motive, curiosity, receptivity, intelligence, perception, sensitivity, expert teaching, perseverance, problem solving skills, timing, sheer luck, and countless other things.

Richard Schmid - Alla Prima (9)

The emphasis made me chuckle on this one:

I already know that there are only TWO possible errors in working from life. (Remember that-- ONLY TWO!) To put it neatly they are:

  1. Painting something that is not there in a subject (without a good reason).

  2. Not painting something that is there in the subject, but is essential for credibility or clarity.

    I also know that those two errors can only occur within one or more of the four visible elements: With my COLORS, VALUES, DRAWINGS, EDGES, or SOME COMBINATION OF ALL OR SOME OF THEM. AND NOWHERE ELSE

Richard Schmid - Alla Prima (25)