pastels aren't paint, and need to be used in a different way.
Many people think that they are messy and difficult to work
with, but in the right hands they can look most impressive.
To make your hands the right ones you need a good book; and
this is it.
I am one of the people who get in a mess when using pastels
and have seen many other books on the subject but this is
the best one to date. It has some of the most foolproof staged
instructions for five stunning landscapes (plus many other
shorter exercises) which are achievable even for a beginner.
As with all art books it goes briefly over what you need to
buy (not a huge amount) and then gets down to what you need
to know. There is a good section on "mark making",
meaning how to use the pastel including blending colors, using
a shaper and how to make various types of mark using different
parts of the pastel. Discover how to underpaint with alcohol,
tone down very bright shades and use colors to their best
advantage. Most of the lessons are learned by doing, and each
of the five main projects focuses on a particular skill or
skills. Learn successful blending, get the most out of all
the colors in your box, create light effects and depict skies,
trees, water and work from photographs. Pictures include a
summer meadow, snowy lane, sky lit up with the Northern Lights,
moor after a storm and reflections on a lake in autumn. If
you work through all the projects you will have learned a
lot about landscape work using pastels and have some pictures
to be proud of. An excellent user-friendly book.
If you cannot find a good range of pastels and associated
materials locally try www.searchpress.com
for a list of suppliers.