John Sloan

John Sloan on Drawing and Painting

John Sloan on Drawing

By John Sloan

Publisher: Dover Publications, April 18, 2000

Paperback: 272 pages

A highly regarded member of the Ashcan School of American painting, John Sloan (1871–1951) was also an influential teacher at New York’s Art Students League. His dual experience as a realist painter and a graphics illustrator helped equip Sloan with the uncommon capacity to instruct students in both representational and abstract art. Now, with this illustrated, practical record of his teachings, readers can benefit from the depth and variety of Sloan’s talks on art theory and practice.
Transcribed and edited by Helen Farr, a student whom Sloan later married, the discussions begin with observations on drawing as the basis of visual art, including considerations of line, tone, texture, light and shade, composition, design, space, perspective, and related issues. Later chapters deal with figure drawing, painting, landscape and mural painting, painting technique (gesso grounds, tempera, and glazing), etching, and other media (aquatint, lithography, and watercolor). Sloan’s discussion of color in the chapter on oil painting is especially detailed, with notes on harmony, use of set palettes, underpainting and glazing, line work, and much more.
Each chapter features a wealth of helpful suggestions and recommended exercise, along with Sloan’s personal opinions of Dürer, Rubens, El Greco, and other masters, and his insights into their work: “Go to the masters to learn how to draw and paint. Study them, particularly the work you don’t like. That is the road to advancement, that is the way to learn. But get your impulse to work from life.”
This invaluable summary of art theory and practice—by one of the great artists and teachers of the twentieth century—is enhanced with 46 illustrations, including 23 of Sloan’s paintings.

Price - $8.95

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John Sloan’s New York

John Sloans New York

Published by The Delaware Museum of Art, November 29, 2007

Paperback: 208 pages

John Sloan (1871–1951) began his career as a commercial newspaper artist in Philadelphia where he studied with Robert Henri. Following Henri to New York, Sloan joined a small circle of eight talented artists whose dissatisfaction with the dominating National Academy led to a protest exhibit in 1908, the emergence of a powerful movement for change in American art, and ultimately to the famous Armory Show of 1913. It was in part Sloan’s dark palette and views of city streets and working-class life that gave rise to the epithet now used to describe the works of the “Ashcan School.”


Sloan’s compelling images of New York City are the subject of this generously illustrated book. His paintings, drawings, and prints clearly reflect his own experience of the city as he walked its neighborhoods and observed human dramas played out in streets and apartments. The contributors to the volume investigate a variety of topics, including Sloan’s understanding of the urban experience in America, his interest in social reform, his fascination with moving pictures and cinema aesthetics, and his relationship with Henri. The authors also situate Sloan’s paintings within the geography and social fabric of New York.


John Sloan’s New York presents a unique perspective on New York and its people and also on the artist himself, who was captivated by the soul of the city.

Price - $40.00

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Painters of the Ashcan School: The Immortal Eight


By Bennard B. Perlman

Published by Dover Publications, 1988
Paperback, 224 pages

The group called the “Ashcan School” were given this name due to the members’ realistic depictions of life in New York City. Among The Eight were John Sloan, Robert Henri, William J. Glackens, and Maurice Prendergast. This edition features black and white illustrations and includes an introduction by Sloan’s second wife and devoted widow, Helen Farr Sloan.

Price - $17.95

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