At MAKO we strongly believe that the more educated a consumer can be, the better.  This page will be updated from time to time with recommended reading, information and products from like-minded companies.  

For starters, below is a recommended bibliography - click any cover through to its Amazon link:


Books on Art Materials and Process:


The book that started it all: Cennino Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte is the seminal text on materials from the renaissance.  This 15th century document contains the original recipe for gesso that we still use a version of today at MAKO. 


Max Doerner's The Materials of the Artist: another important book on materials for artists.  Though many of his statements on techniques of the old masters' techniques have been debunked over the years, this remains overall one of the most romantic and fun reads on art materials today, giving much insight into the thinking of painters of the past.  


Ralph Mayer's The Artist Handbook.  The most influential book on art materials of the 20th century, though many of the techniques, like Doerner above, have been debunked or refuted (most notably the ubiquitous V.T.O. or 'Mayer Medium', a mixture of Dammar Varnish, Stand Oil and Turpentine which restorers have now cautioned against for a couple of decades).  Still, this remains an important volume.  


Mark David Gottsegen's The Painter's Handbook was a huge contribution to the field.  Written by the head of the ASTM committee on art materials, it was first published in 1993 and updated at the beginning of the century. This represents the most complete and comprehensive volume in materials, safety and recipes.  A must have - though not the most romantic read here.  Unlike the earlier texts, this is a more academic read.