Category Archives: Book Reviews

Pastel School, A Practical Guide to Painting and Drawing with Pastels – a book review


This book, written by Hazel Harrison, is about painting with soft pastels but many of the concepts can be applied to oil pastels and other mediums because its main theme is painting concepts and techniques in general. A couple of … Continue reading

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Oil Pastel – Materials and Techniques for Today’s Artist, by Kenneth Leslie – book review


There are hundreds, probably thousands, of books on art instruction – not a lack of resources that’s for sure.  For oil pastels there are four books that I know of – one I’ve reviewed written by John Elliot, two I wouldn’t recommend, and … Continue reading

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Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing, by Margaret Livingstone – a book review


I didn’t know what I was getting myself in for when I decided to read this book, it was one tough read – felt like I was trying to sprint through mud.  Don’t get me wrong – it was a good read, packed with relevant … Continue reading

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Colored Pencil Painting Bible, by Alyona Nickelsen – a book review


Alyona Nickelsen is one awesome artist, her talents bedazzled me when I first saw her work.  She is best known for her realist colored pencil drawings that take on the look of paintings.  When I started drawing 2 1/2 years ago I didn’t … Continue reading

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The Simple Secret to Better Painting, by Greg Albert – a book review


This is an awesome book that changed the way I view each of my oil pastels before, during and after painting them.  There are many good books in the market today on composition, so I’m not disparaging any of them in the least.  I … Continue reading

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Color and Light, A Guide for the Realist Painter – a book review


James Gurney the author, is also an accomplished artist, teacher and creator of “Dinotopia.”  This book is one of my all time favorites!  I have several good books that concentrate on color, all are second to the quality and comprehensive … Continue reading

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Pastel Pointers by Richard McKinley, a book review


Artist Richard McKinley is a fabulous (soft-dust pastel artist.  When I came across a book he had written I knew it would be a source that had to be checked out.  What intrigued me was a note on the outside … Continue reading

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Landscape Painting, by Mitchell Albala – book review


Full title of book:  Landscape Painting, Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice, by Mitchell Albala. If you’re in the need for instructions on how to paint landscapes then this book may be for you.  Why I … Continue reading

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Painting Sunlight & Shadow with Pastels, a book review


For a long time I struggled with creating believable shadows and light using oil pastels (OPs), few credible resources exist for Op artists.  I wanted a source  with easy to understand explanations and demonstrations for painting sunlight and shadows.  I … Continue reading

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Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, a book review


The last 40+ years of Claude Monet’s life were mostly spent at his property in Giverny, France.  It was during this time that Monet cultivated his most significant work, the property gardens which became the inspiration for many of his … Continue reading

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