Category Archives: Art Tips

Oil Painting Demo | Texas Landscape

In my previous post you learned about my large 48×72 commission painting that is to go into a Military hospital at Ford Hood. Being based in Texas the requested commission was to be a Texas landscape with bluebonnets. In the next several posts I will be sharing the progression of this project as an Oil Painting Demo a Texas landscape.

The first step: ( remember to click on the image for an enlargement)

oil painting demo Texas landscape step one

To begin I started with the large Oak tree. Working with a large flat bristle brush I blocked in the light and shadowed areas of the tree foliage to establish the tree’s form. I then added some limb structure.  You may wish to look at this post on How to Paint a Tree which is a very basic approach. Now that I have a basis to compare and judge other color and values I move on to the section behind the large tree. I also established some of the rock outcropping underneath and in front of the tree.

After this painting session I moved to the next adjacent area of importance. The distant hills.

oil painting demo a Texas landscapae with bluebonnets step two

I started with the distant hill with white, ultramarine blue and a speck of cadmium orange to gray it. As the next hill progressed forward I darkened the blue mix with more ultramarine blue. It also made it more intense and less blue gray.  The next layer of hills start showing some structure of trees. It’s a simple area of light and dark, with the values relatively close in range. Shadows are kept in the blue range with the addition of a little violet. The light areas are variations of warm colored grays, however they are cooler in temperature than the colors closer to us.  One of the grays was made by adding cadmium orange to ultramarine blue and then white. This value represented the light on the trees. Some areas had a spec of green added to the mix, but you have to keep away from any strong yellows or you’ll destroy the atmospheric perspective. Ask yourself, why do blue hills made of green trees look blue? The yellow element is missing.

I’ll continue to refine this area and when complete I’ll be sure to include a close up.


Landscape Oil Painting Commission

Recently I was contacted by Distinctive Art Source which is one of only two premiere healthcare art consultancies working exclusively in healthcare in the United States requesting a bluebonnet landscape oil painting commission for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Fort Hood. The painting is to be displayed in the reception area. When I asked about the size it was to be a 48″x72″ painting and will be under my Byron signature. This allowed me to keep the price within budget.

Aside from working on a couple of murals in the past, this will be my largest studio painting ever! I’m really looking forward to working on this painting.

My first challenge was the canvas itself. The finished work will be shipped rolled. Thus I would need to stretch the canvas in order to paint it, then undo it in order to ship it. Sounded like a lot of extra work. Could it be made simpler? YES!

I found a great product called Genie Canvas. It’s a collapsible canvas. It all comes in a sturdy tube which is reusable and is a rather unique system. No special tools were required to assemble the canvas. Including the time to open the package, laying out the canvas and assembling it took me about 10 minutes.

Here’s a video showing how the canvas is put together.

And here’s my canvas on the easel. You can see part of my sketch on the canvas. It was done so with cobalt blue thinned with Turpenoid (odorless thinner) and a brush. You can click the image for a larger view.

48x72 commissioned oil painting by Byron copyright 2015

48×72 commissioned oil painting by Byron copyright 2015

The painting you partially see leaning on the bottom edge of the canvas is my latest commission for Sherwood Galllery in Houston, TX. Here it is below.





bluebonnet landscape oil painting by William Hagerman

Spring Unfolding 18×24 oil by William Hagerman copyright 2015

I hope you’ll follow along in the next few weeks as I complete this large commissioned painting detailing it’s development.

Finding Artistic Inspiration

Whether one is an artist or not, sometimes we just feel uninspired and our creative side feels drained. There’s an abundance of ideas out there in combating this issue of finding artistic inspiration, but lacking any specific health issue’s that may contribute I wanted to focus on one solution to get your creative energy flowing again. What is that?


In today’s world people are plugged in to their electronic media at work and leisure time and elsewhere and sometimes dangerously so. Although electronics like being plugged in, because they draw power which they need, humans don’t recharge that way. For the creative side it drains us of our creative energy. In my artist’s statement I have said when we experience the outdoors, we feel drawn to it, nurtured by it. Being outdoors to enjoy the beauty of nature does have a recharging effect. Studies are showing that disconnecting from our devices and getting outside in nature have shown improvements in creative tasks as opposed to those who were not.

There is so much intricate design in nature that it can’t help but stir creativity when you slow down enough to take a little of it in.

Recently we have been doing some yard work. Even in this confined area of a backyard I started to notice the possibility for a couple of small paintings. A subject that I had not really considered and that of painting flowers in an almost still life setting.  Here below are two small paintings showing how just being outside in my own backyard inspired these two paintings. Not that our backyard looks like this, but what flowers we did have was enough to inspire a little creativity and a departure from my regular subject matter.

Corner Garden

Corner Garden 6×6 oil painting by Byron copyright 2015

The Back Gate

The Back Gate 6×6 oil painting by Byron copyright 2015

So the next time you feel a little run down, try unplugging and get outdoors and start feeling the creative energy returning. Even if it’s in your own backyard! If you don’t have a backyard, try a local park. Look at the trees, the sky, flowers, whatever and let it rejuvenate you.

These two “backyard” nature inspired paintings were recently sold on my eBay auctions as were the nature inspired ones below!

Barn and Hay Bales

Barn and Hay Bales 6×6 oil by Byron copyright 2015

I enjoyed painting this little scene of a little barn with a row of honeysuckle growing in front and some round hay bales. Not sure what the name of the purple flowers were.


Dos Yucca 6×6 oil by Byron copyright 2015

I liked the contrast of the yucca up against the dark of the tree behind them.

River Elegance Plein Air

Guadalupe River (River Elegance) plein air 8×10 acrylic and oil painting by William Hagerman revised copyright 2015

This was painted directly from life on location in the Texas Hill Country near Boerne, TX along the Guadalupe River. It had remained in my collection for some time, but is now in its new home.

You can access the auctions from my profile page. Any offerings will be displayed here.

Remember, bidding starts at a penny! Have a great day.


How to Package an Oil Painting


If you sell your painting to an out-of-state buyer, chances are you’ll need to send the artwork by courier. Of course, this raises practical concerns. What is the best way to package an oil painting? Oil paintings are more susceptible to damage, especially if there are thick areas of the canvas covered with multiple layers of paint.

For this reason, we do not recommend rolling up your oil painting to send in a tube. This is OK for a poster or photographic print but taking an oil painting off its stretcher and rolling it increases the risk of damage. Oil paintings take a long time to dry and are more susceptible to damage from light, heat, humidity, dust and dirt. It’s just not worth risking damage to shave shipping costs, it’s a false economy. If you are on a budget it is best to send the item Economy or use a competitively priced courier service. Choose a professional courier, checking feedback scores and customer reviews as well as prices.

Points to Consider
Will you be sending a framed or unframed canvas? Finding the right balance can be tricky. You want to protect your painting without bulking up its weight.

As an oil painter, your top goal is to ensure your canvas does not get punctured. If your painting is worth a lot, you might want to take the work to a specialist packaging company that custom makes and builds crates for high-value artwork.


For the purpose of this post, here is a handy and quick guide on how to package an oil painting for shipping. Keep in mind this is a general, illustrative guide to packaging. The advice can be used for larger works scaling up to accommodate large oil paintings.

Materials Required:

  • Scissors or Stanley Knife( utility knife)
  • Packaging Tape
  • Heavy Duty Black Refuse/Garbage Bags
  • Foam Board
  • Foam sheet
  • Triple-ply cardboard


Wrap the Canvas in a Light Layer of Foam
Wrapping your canvas in a light layer of foam, will protect the painting from getting scratched or nicked during transit. Do not use too much foam as the corner protectors will not sit nicely on the edge of the frame. Tape the frame neatly in place as if you were wrapping a delicate gift.


Protect the Corners
Extra protection is always a good idea. Most packaging companies offer a range of corner protectors in plastic, foam or cardboard. With unframed oil canvases, it is best if you invest in foam edge and corner protectors. The foam protectors should fit snugly, but not too tightly. If your work is framed, you can use plastic or cardboard protectors. However, these will need to be placed on the frame first before wrapping it in a light layer of foam.


Seal from Moisture & Dust
Now that you’ve carefully wrapped your canvas in a light layer of foam and used the corner protectors, it’s time to seal the artwork from moisture and dust with plastic or a heavy duty black refuse/garbage bag. If the bag is significantly bigger than the frame, use a pair of scissors to trim the excess material.


Insulate the Canvas
To insulate the canvas you will need insulating foam. It may be difficult to locate insulating foam large enough to accommodate the size of your artwork. If so you may need to use multiple boards, carefully tapping them together to form a sandwich. If your artwork is on the smaller side, you will need to cut out two slabs of insulating foam. Trace the form of the artwork with your Stanley knife to cut out two artwork sized slabs of foam. Use each slab to sandwich the frame.


Now, tape the slabs in place as show in the photo. If you cannot access foam slabs, two to three layers of bubble wrap will be a sufficient replacement.


Customs Documents & Shipping Labels
When booking your courier service, most companies provide customs and shipping labels at time of booking. Of course, customs documents will not be necessary if you are sending from one US state to another state. However, if you are shipping abroad, you will need to double check any shipping restrictions for the recipient country. Most companies will auto generate custom forms and labels at time of booking. All you need to do is print these documents out and attach them to your package. It’s recommended if you are shipping abroad to include a duplicate copy inside the box.


Box the Artwork
Most packaging companies will wrap artwork with triple-ply cardboard for a custom fit. This also saves using parcel chips and bulking up the package. It’s fairly obvious the bulkier a package is the more you will have to pay to send it. You can achieve a custom fit with cardboard from a flattened box or a purchased sheet of cardboard.


Wrapping the artwork is similar to wrapping a boxed gift, just with thicker materials. Score each side of the package, cutting in the corners, so the flaps can be gently folded and taped into place. Fold the flaps around the frame, and tape to secure.


Seal the Artwork
Now, that you’ve wrapped the artwork and taped the cardboard in place; it’s time to seal it. Don’t worry if your package isn’t picture perfect. This isn’t an aesthetic exercise. It’s just needs to be secure, so you’ll need to seal the edges at least twice all the way round as show in the photo above.

Attach Labels and Documents
If there is any wording or bar-codes on the box, these will need to be removed, concealed or blacked out with a marker. This will avoid delays when the courier comes to collect. Attach all labels and custom documents carefully to the parcel.

While you may be tempted to roll your painting to save money, it’s not the best way to send oil paintings. You’ve spent hours perfecting your canvas, so why not use the very best packaging materials to safeguard your masterpiece? Your clients will thank you in the end.

This article was written by guest writer Heshaam Hague with Fastlane International, a comprehensive parcel delivery service company that specializes in sending small, large or heavy parcels by economy or express delivery to and from any country in the world.



It doesn’t happen very often but sometimes a painting gets laid off… because it isn’t working.

This painting was fired because it wasn't working!

This painting was fired because it wasn’t working!

When that happens an artist has to decide whether to destroy it, donate it, or salvage it in which case you have to figure out when a painting doesn’t work.

Such was the case with a painting that I completed in 2012. It was shown in a couple of different galleries and it just languished on the wall without selling. It did receive some compliments regarding the colors in it, but still there it was on the wall. It wasn’t what I would call a bad painting, but something was certainly lacking.

So, I took it home and decided to give it a good look over after having been away from it. My response after seeing it with a fresh eye was Yuk! No wonder it hasn’t sold. The painting was…well…YAWN, boring!

When I painted it I was using a different studio, and despite being a nice set up it was prone to having distractions. I never felt at home in that surrounding and wasn’t very happy. So maybe my mood was influencing me. Now in my comfort zone and regular studio space I realized that my painting never achieved what the original scene upon which it was based offered.

I realized I needed more contrast, punch up some of the color intensity, redesigning some sections and even eliminating some distracting areas that didn’t support the composition. So I removed the varnish on the painting, and reworked it. Now the painting is back to work in that it captures the mood I experienced when I happened upon this scene. Now, I don’t yawn when I look at the painting.

So what do you think about the changes? Click on the images for a larger view.

Cypress Colors Original

Cypress Colors Original

Cypress Colors Revised

Cypress Colors Revised

As an update to this post, I placed the above painting in one of my eBay auctions with a Buy it Now option. It immediately sold through that option at my asking price. So, rescuing the painting and making some adjustments gave it new life and a new home. If you’re an artist perhaps try such a approach with your own paintings that have been “fired.”

Making a Custom Illusion Frame

Part Two:

Continuing with the making of my custom illusion frame, I next painted a fleur di lis design in the four corners using a stencil. I used a lighter gold paint as well as a thin darker outline around the design for a little more contrast. If you missed part one you can read it here.

Custom Illusion frame step 6

Custom Illusion frame step 6

After the fleur di lis design was dry I covered this inner panel area with Folk Art brand acrylic antiquing medium by Plaid Enterprises using a soft cloth to give it a soft aged look. Once dry I masked off another one half inch space from the edge.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 7

Custom Illusion Frame Step 7

I apply acrylic gesso to the masked off section. Once dry I give it a light sanding, and followed with painting it solid black.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 8

Custom Illusion Frame Step 8

After taking off the masking I see that there has been a slight run of the acrylic paint. No problem, I just use some gesso and a small brush to clean up the edges in a few spots.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9

Next you can see the results of my efforts so far with my custom illusion frame. Remember to click on the photo for a larger view. The larger view for the photo below will show the frame with a side view.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9 detail

Custom Illusion Frame Step 9

After this I mask off an additional one fourth of an inch extending from the black border which will give a white border around the finished painting. I also masked off the entire frame to protect it while I paint the landscape I have planed for it. I know it doesn’t look too pretty, but it works.

Custom Illusion Frame Step 10

Custom Illusion Frame Step 10

And finally here is the completed result with my impressionist “Byron” painting. So the frame and painting are all part of the art work. In part three of my next post I will share several photos of the painting as I worked on it.

Bluebonnet oil painting by Byron with a custom illusion frame

Completed Custom Illusion Frame with original painting by Byron



How to Improve your Oil Painting by Creating a Story

Another title for this post could be When the Subject isn’t the Subject in a Painting. What do I mean?

The best way to answer that is with an example. Years ago I saw a painting that is an excellent example of what I’m talking about by artist Oleg Stavrowsky titled: Something’s Funny as seen here.

An example of good story telling by artist Oleg Stavrowsky

When you look at it, your eye will travel to the cowboy on the far left, holding his cowboy hat with his extended arm.  From a compositional point of view, he’s the main subject of the painting. Or is he?

The real subject of the painting is not what’s in the painting, but what is going on outside our view that is making these cowboys laugh and take notice. We become engaged as well, wondering what it is that’s making them laugh. It’s a story line that we can take part in. Not that every painting has to tell a story, but it should not be overlooked how an implied story can emotionally engage your viewer. So don’t underestimate the value of how to improve your oil painting by creating a story in your own art work as well as improving the marketability of it.

Negative Shape Painting

Often when you think of something being negative, it’s not a good thing. However, in painting it is when it refers to negative shape painting. This was the subject of an art demo that I did for the Palette Club in Midland, TX.

Exactly what is a negative shape or space? It’s the space between and around a subject and not the subject itself. In simplistic terms it’s the silhouette of an object.

To illustrate the concept I used a black gessoed canvas and sculpted out the silhouette of a tree by painting the inner and outer unoccupied spaces. I did not paint tree limbs, but gave the impression of limbs by painting the spaces in and around them as the following photos illustrate. Thank you to G. Hutson for taking the photographs at the demo.

I started by painting the outer spaces leaving what appears to be a solid black silhouette of a tree.

William Hagerman negative shape painting demo

Next I move into the interior negative shapes.

William Hagerman negative shape painting demo

I continue with the interior and exterior negative shape painting, chiseling out and refining the shapes until I’m satisfied with the result.

William Hagerman negative shape painting demo

I employ this technique of negative shape painting quite often, especially with trees.
Below is a detail section from my painting titled: “An Open Door.” All the “sky holes” within the tree were painted using this method of negative shape painting.The pluses of this technique is that it strengthens your visual perceptions and enhances your painting for if the negative shapes are interesting, likely your subject will also be just as interesting. Practice this in your own painting and see how much your work will improve! To see the full image of “An Open Door”, check out the following post.

Detail section of an oil painting by William Hagerman copyright 2013

How to Paint a Tree

I received a very nice email from a gentleman who was soon to be retiring from a 35 year career as a teacher of horticulture, who wrote:  I have long admired trees, shrubs and the out of doors, thus my love for painting.  However I have never been able to illustrate them correctly on the canvas. When I saw your work I realized that I had found an artist that understood tree morphology and got it correct. Additionally he said regarding my painting of trees: “Yours are far superior to any I have seen. Museum quality! The masters would be proud.”

Whether or not the masters would be, I appreciated the comment, but he’s not alone in his struggle with how to paint a tree. Those new to painting often start by painting in a tree trunk, limbs, branches and then on top of that place little green dobs of paint to represent leaves. Invariably the outcome is less than what they hoped for. So how do you go about painting a tree? What I shared with this individual and now with you, and using as simple of an illustration as I can will perhaps help you with your own painting of trees.


A key to effectively painting any tree regardless of the type is getting the appropriate values put in the right place on the underlying geometric form. For example a fir tree is essentially a cone shape. If you can paint a cone with a single source of light and get the light, middle, and dark values in the right place, then you’ve achieved the greatest hurdle. Other trees have an underlying large spherical shape, broken up into smaller spherical or round shapes each having a light, middle and dark value.
Perhaps the following illustration will help. Click on the image for a larger view.

tree illustration by William Hagerman copyright 2013

Here is a basic shape for an oak tree. Do you see the 3 larger value areas of light, middle and dark on each form that makes up the tree? Notice I have not added any detail. The values are laid in as a large mass. Not individual little “leaf” strokes.
Below is the same tree with added “leaf” strokes and some negative shape painting for sky holes and a few drawn limbs, but notice that the underlying value (light/dark) structure is still there. A problem that can destroy the look of your trees is if you put light values or colors that are in the sunlit areas in the sections that are to remain in shadow. Shadow areas can also receive light, only not direct light, but reflected light. This reflected light ( coming from the sky ) is not going to be as light as the sunlit areas so obviously they will be darker in value as well as being cooler in color.

how to paint a tree illustration 2 by William Hagerman copyright 2013

As an exercise, try painting the first illustration making sure you have definite light, middle and dark values and not just color changes. Because if you only have a color change, and not a value change as well, this will result in a flat looking tree with no depth to it. Once painted let it dry.
Then try adding the details as in the second illustration with smaller little strokes on top, making sure you don’t loose the value structure. Don’t put those sunlight colors over in your shadow and vice-versa and be careful not to paint out the middle values as well.
Problems in painting trees is often a problem of incorrect value placement. Be mindful of this as you paint, and it should help you achieve a more satisfactory and pleasing result.

After sharing this, our gentleman horticulturist said: “I realized that I have been going about painting trees the wrong way.”

Perhaps this short and simplified overview of how to paint a tree will allow you to improve your own painting of trees by identifying the underlying structure and the light and dark patterns that fall upon it’s shape.


Some Do Not Do’s When Selling Art

Another title for this post could be “Prairie Dogs Can’t Sell Art.” Please read on.

My wife and I attended Septemberfest in Midland, Texas, which is an annual outdoor art festival on the grounds of the Museum of the Southwest to enjoy an afternoon of art and music. We also enjoyed watching a young child of about 6 dancing his little heart out in front of the stage. He wasn’t a scheduled performer, but he still took a bow and received clapping from the audience. That held our smile longer than anything that day.

As we made our way through the booth exhibits I couldn’t help but think about some of the Do Not Do’s when it comes to selling art that I learned from two marketing books written by Jack White, titled: “The Mystery of Making It” and “The Magic of Selling Art.” Before I elaborate on these books let me first tell you about what we experienced at the art festival.

One of the first booths that we went to was by an artist working in graphite pencil with western subject matter. We said hello to the artist first. My wife asked if she was the artist. I asked where she was from. The conversation was one sided. I took a liking to one of the small works of a well drawn horse head located at the bottom edge of her exhibit. I said out loud how I liked it. My wife also mentioned out loud which work she liked. I continued to look at the other artist’s work and then went back to the horse head drawing and said to my wife again out loud and pointing with my arm extended and finger pointing “I like that one!” The artist never got off her perch she was sitting on, nor offered to pick the work up so I could see it better, nor told me anything else that would tell me about the work, or why it was created or if it had any special meaning. NOTHING!! Helloooo, anybody home?? I can just imagine the artist saying in her mind “Oh I hope he buys it.” My wife did buy a set of $5 note cards from her to send to her brother. Actually she didn’t buy it from her, she just selected something off the card display rack and handed it to her to purchase it.

Another exhibitor was talking on her cell phone. She momentarily stopped to make some mention about her jewelry work and that it was done in sterling silver (I think) at which point she went back to her conversation on the phone.  OK. Bye, Bye.

Then we came upon an exhibitor with handcrafted wood boxes with different inlays of wood. We like boxes. Boxes with lids and drawers oh my! You can’t help but lift one to see what’s inside. The artist was sitting back in his booth. Never said a greeting, hello, welcome, thanks for stopping by, get out of my booth, drop dead. NOTHING!! However, I did learn he wasn’t mute because before we left his booth I did over hear him say to another artist, “Well, it looks like things are slowing down.” Good grief Charlie Brown.

Another exhibitor exuberantly popped forward and said “If there’s anything I can help you with, let me know,” and then quickly retreated into the recesses of their exhibit booth. Kind of reminded me of a Prairie Dog, who popped his little head out of his hole in the ground, sensed danger and retreated. Prairie Dogs can’t sell art either.

The above examples are of what NOT to do if you want to sell your work. My wife bought the note cards and I also bought a necklace for my wife at the festival, but that’s because she already has a good eye for jewelry, when it’s well made, at a good price and even better when it’s at a bargain price. I like that. But, the sell didn’t happen because of any special assistance on the part of the artisan.

I wonder how many of the above artists belly ached over how awful sales were and that they’d probably never be back to this festival because of people who have no appreciation for art. Where’s the appreciation of those who paid their fee to attend the festival, have to park a considerable distance and then walk some more through the maze of tents on a hot afternoon and then when we do come to a particular booth, we’re ignored? I know it costs artists to go and do these kind of shows, and it’s a lot of work to set up, but they decided to be there, so drop the attitude that those who attend should all bow and hail booth number 10 in the southwest corner. (Don’t know if there was such a booth, but sometimes you get that feeling of attitude floating around in the air although you do get some pleasant breezes by artisans who at least try.)

Perhaps this comes from artists who are gifted at their craft, but terribly lacking in knowing how to sell or jump-start a conversation. We’re not talking high pressure used car salesman tactics. No one likes to be sold. No one says, I’m going to go and be sold a car. Or I’m going to go and be sold a painting. No, they say I’m going to go and “Buy” a painting or I’m going to go and “Buy” a car. Effective selling is helping a person to buy what they want and be happy about doing so while giving them reassurance that they’ve made a good decision and that the art is going to enrich their life.

That’s where the above mentioned books were eye opening and instructive. The author, Jack White is a professional artist and was selected as State Artist of Texas in the 1970’s. He’s also husband to artist Mikki Senkarik. The first book I read was the Mystery of Making It. The heart of the book is the story of how with his guidance he catapulted the sales of his wife’s paintings starting in 1990 and went past three million in retail sales for her before the year 2000.
I also learned something about how much work to show at a time that actually helped to increase sales and what number of works caused sales to drop.
Then I read his Magic of Selling Art.  This is where he teaches you how to ‘soft sell’ and do so without ever resorting to lying to your customers. Basically it’s how to engage visitors to your exhibits or shows by asking them questions that can’t be answered with yes or no. Too many artists and even gallery personnel will greet a customer with “Is there anything I can help you with?” The general reply is “no we’re just looking.” They cut you off so as not to be sold. But if you ask them a question such as “Where are you folks from or with so many attending the festival where did you find a place to park? That’s a lovely necklace or handsome watch, where did you get it? Essentially people like to talk about themselves when someone else genuinely wants to know. A dialogue is started and in the process you may get to know their likes. They see you smile at them. They start to like you. Ask another question. What kind of art do you collect? If they linger looking at a piece ask: What do you like about that piece or where are you thinking of hanging this little gem? Essentially you’re working them towards closing a sale without their being “sold.”

I liken the advice from Jack’s books, not to that of a bald headed man trying to sell amazing hair growth tonic, but to someone with true to life examples in the art of selling. His and his wife’s experiences and what worked for them, written by an artist for artists. By the way, Jack also has a full set of hair.

Here’s the link to review his series of books on his wife’s website that if you’re an artist or in any field in which you have to sell something, you’ll benefit from reading.

In an upcoming post I will write about his book “The Mystique of Marketing Art on eBay” and my own recent experiences following the advice I learned in this book.