If you want to paint like the old masters, you'd better be willing to work like the old masters. This is a book on painting for any skill level, but mostly for those who are serious about their oil painting. If Lessons in Classical Painting can possibly be summed up in one sentence, I would say, turn to page 188. There you will find "The best way to understand an artist's palette is through hands-on practice with it. Be bold in your experiments."
The book is sturdy and intended to be used in a studio. The hardcover can take the abuse of a studio and I think that was the intention. The pages are heavy and full of rich reproductions which held up to my beatings, the smudges, and the cats "helping" along the way.
The step-by-step examples are excellent and Juliette Aristides uses them to illustrate key points to understanding value, shapes, and figures. This book intimidated me in some places, it challenged me in others, and most of all, made me a better artist. It might do the same for you. I strongly suggest it, when you're ready for the artistic challenge.