Oil pastels have a hard time of it in the art world. Often regarded as mere child’s toys, they were invented in Japan some 100 years ago (Tim includes a fascinating history) as a means of combining wax crayons with the better quality pigments demanded by the serious artist.
As a medium, they have much to recommend them, being easy to carry and requiring little in the way of ancillary equipment. They don’t drop colour, have no drying time and the images they create are thoroughly robust. If nothing else, therefore, they’re worthy of consideration as a lightweight sketching medium. However, as Tim amply and ably demonstrates here, they’re capable of considerable subtlety and the results he produces could easily be taken for soft pastel or even watercolour.
This is, as the title suggests, aimed at the beginner and includes a very straightforward introduction and a series of detailed demonstrations that make the medium’s capabilities clear. For the more experienced artist, this might be a little more than is required, but it may still prove helpful if you are trying something that is unfamiliar.
If I were to tell you that this is easily the best book on oil pastels I’ve seen, you’d rightly point out that it’s probably the only one. This isn’t quite true – I’m pretty sure I remember another – but Tim hasn’t taken the easy route and has put a lot of trouble into producing a book it will be hard to better.
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