Painting Sunlight & Shadow with Pastels || Maggie Price

There I was, saying pastel books are a bit thin on the ground and here’s another one! And one that goes deeper than the usual general technical manual as well.

That this is an American publication is only apparent in some of the faces and maybe some of the colour choices – continental light is brighter than the more muted colours we’re used to in Britain. However, the principles are sound and the author has a lot to say which she communicates well. The step-by-step demonstrations are relatively short, but are balanced by good accompanying text and nice large illustrations that allow you to see what’s really going on. There’s a good range of subjects which are mostly landscapes but also include figures, water and boats. Each section is devoted to a particular way of handling light – painting reflected light, making the shadow your subject – so that there’s never any doubt about what you’re doing. The final chapter, The End is Only the Beginning, includes work by several other artists, serving to increase the scope and authority of the book as a whole.

As an instruction manual, this can’t be faulted and, as an extension of the literature on pastel painting, it’s invaluable.

Buy it on Amazon

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