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Start to Paint with Pastels
The Techniques You Need to Create Beautiful Paintings
BY Jenny Keal

Search Press
6 November 2018/ ISBN 9781782216216
How-To Books / Art

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Learn how to use soft pastels (and pastel pencils) in this useful primer. Hard ones get a brief mention and oil pastels are omitted but there are other books on these media. From tips on buying to working through the projects this is an essential guide for anybody who is keen to work with pastels but is not sure where to start. Find out what you need, learn the basics of how to use it and then have a go at some paintings.

The subjects tackled are landscapes, seascapes and flowers, but even if these are not your areas of interest there are still many useful lessons to be learned. Each of the five projects focuses on a particular area; for example the coastal scene is all about creating atmosphere, while the farm study looks at aerial perspective. Other subjects include an iris, harbour scene and rural view of mountains with old barns. The projects contain many detailed steps for a foolproof result, and it is easy to see what is being added in each one and why. There are other paintings by the author with explanations on their working, plus various useful preliminary sketches and photographs showing how you can progress from a photograph to a finished work. Find out how to organize your working area, learn how to cut down on dust and store your work without it getting smudged. Even a total beginner can get a lot out of this book, but I think the person who would get the most out of it is somebody who is already adept at art in other media and wants to try pastels.

The only thing I would change with this excellent book is the title, as it truly is a book about using soft pastels rather than other types. If you think this book looks familiar it is because this is a revised edition of the 2011 book Pastel Tips and Techniques: Painting With Pastels.

If you cannot find a good range of 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