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Beginner’s Guide to Painting with Oil Pastels
Projects, techniques and inspiration to get you started
BY Tim Fisher

Search Press
6 November 2018/ ISBN 9781782215509
How-To Books / Art

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


If you think that oil pastels are just a pricier version of the wax crayon, this book will show you how they have really come of age. From their invention in the early 20th century to the acid-free and non-yellowing type we use today, they are surprisingly versatile and mix well with other art media.

I confess to having no idea of their origins, so found the short history very interesting. This book will particularly appeal to anybody who possesses existing art skills (and materials) but wants to discover how to incorporate oil pastels in their work. It is a beginner’s guide to this and not a primer on how to draw and paint. Discover what brand the author buys and what else he suggests you can use. A surprising array of different materials and tools come into play, from a hairdryer to a scalpel, acrylic and watercolor paints, and inks, encaustic iron, hot glue gun and many more.

Prepare a variety of surfaces and work through several exercises on mark making, graffito, stenciling, masking, using solvents, working with other types of paint and more. Each exercise will produce a painting, the best way of learning any art technique. After the basics there are several projects, which show in classic Search Press style (i.e., many captioned photographs for a foolproof learning experience) what to do. Paint flowers, a street scene in Venice, trees, a harbour, a dog and a country cottage. Learn, too, how to frame your work and look after it. It shows how art doesn’t have to be about just one medium, but mixing it up a bit can produce some excellent results, and also how versatile modern materials can be.

If you cannot find a good range of oil pastel painting materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019