Do we need another book on pastel painting? You tell me!
I think there are not that many books on pastel painting out there and many are pretty old. As I have been building my online course on pastel painting recently, it made me gather and focus all the material, knowledge, and experience (bad and good) I have. It is great to be able to share this with my students and help them along on their own creative journey. In our private community we can be open and honest and make some real progress.
But not everyone will want to join an in-depth course and some might just be after a useful reference book. A book that provides all the basic information you need to know if you want to get started with soft pastel. A book that gets you set up in the right way, so you can go off and explore your creative visions in your own way.
So I want to write a book on pastel painting. And I could do with your help!
What is the book about?
I want to get people clued up on pastel painting fundamentals. So when you finish the book, you know what to do: you know your materials, you know how to get started, you just need to start practicing.
The Book Outline
I have started to set up the outline of my new book. But I would love to hear from you! What do you want to find inside a book on pastel painting? What, from this list, would you not be interested in?
Not sure to include or not?
I don't want this book to be about me or my art, so it will not be illustrated with just my own paintings. Because I don't want it to be all about me, I am not sure I should add painting demonstrations in the book.
I am also not sure whether fundamental painting principles such as composition, values, colour belong in this book. These principles are not specific to pastel or related to pastel. Do they deserve a book of their own? Or shall I include it?
Before I start writing, I'd love your thoughts!
This is what I have so far:
- What is Pastel: how is it made and what is it made of.
- Studio Set up: easels, toxicity, organising, storage, framing
- Materials: types, brands, papers, tools
- Techniques: Fine detail, colour mixing, layering, mixed media, under-paintings
- Painting Demonstrations (?): work in progress images of a portrait or still life.
- Painting Concepts (?): edges, values, colour, composition.
- History of Pastel: A short history of pastel and its greatest heroes.
- Inspiration: Some inspirational images from contemporary artists (if I can find some that are willing to lend me their images for the book)
Who am I?
If you are visiting this blog for the first time, you might wonder why you should be interested in my book about pastel painting in the first place. Who am I to write about pastel? So let me introduce myself a little (feel free to browse the rest of this website as well, including the 'About' page). I have been working with pastel since I was a teenager and my grandmother left me an old cigar box of Rembrandt pastels. I have been hooked on pastel ever since! Although I have not always been a full time artist, I have spend the past 30 years painting and studying art. In the last 15 years or so I have focussed more and more on painting in pastel and oils. My pastel work has been featured in The Pastel Journal and has been exhibited at the annual exhibitions of the Pastel Society. I have widely exhibited my art within the UK and the US (Royal Society of Portrait Painters, BP Portrait Award etc) and written articles on painting for A&I Magazine. I have taught painting workshops from my studio in the past few years and am now moving to online tuition. Recently I created The Pastel Place, an online course for people who want to learn everything about pastel painting and I am now diving into a book on pastel painting.
If you want to learn more about soft pastel, what would you like to find inside this book?