Painting Sunlight & Shadow with Pastels, a book review

It is with great sadness to write that Maggie Price, one of the most talented soft pastel artists around passed away over the weekend. Maggie was greatly admired by many artists around the world, giving back in numerous ways to the art community. She won countless awards, was the founder for the Pastel Art Journal, was President of an International Artist Association, was a teacher of soft pastels, produced teaching videos on soft pastel techniques, and authored several books – one of which I wrote a review, Painting Sunlight & Shadow with Pastels.
My work has been influenced by Maggie, I learned a lot about painting from her instructions with pastels (even though my medium is oil pastels) and in general how to illustrate sunlight and shadows.
You can see Maggie’s work at

Oil Pastels by Mary

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 saw a lot of books written on the topic, with good intention, but none caught my attention as immediate as this book.  It’s author, Maggie Price, is a soft pastel artist known for her illustrious landscapes.

Outside of a meaty introduction to soft pastels, Maggie limited the book to only four chapters:  The basic principles of light and color; observing the color of light; creating realistic shadows; and painting lifelike reflections. Not only did she use her own paintings as the basis of explanation in the book, but Maggie introduced five successful soft pastel artists who brought their own techniques to achieve the effects of sunlight and shadow within in…

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About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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