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Beginner's Guide to Painting with Oil Pastels


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents


The history of oil pastels

Materials and tools

oil pastels

Additional materials and tools


Surface preparation

Getting started

Painting a red pepper



Special effects

Using solvents

Using oil pastels with other media


Flowers: Poppy Field

Trees and foliage: Norfolk Lane

Street scenes: Venice

Buildings: Staithes Cottages

harbour scene: 'Le Fantasque'

Animal portraits: Freyja

Care and framing of your artwork


About the Author

Tim Fisher was born in Leicestershire, UK, and has had a lifelong interest in art. He is well known for his love of colour and experimentation and works in a wide range of mediums. Many of his paintings have been produced as fine art prints and cards. Tim is a regular contributor to the Leisure Painter magazine in the UK. He also runs workshops and painting holidays as well as demonstrating to art groups across the country.


If you thought oil pastels were just something for your children, think again. As Tim makes clear in his introduction, they were invented 100 years ago as a means of combining the convenience of wax crayons with the quality of pigments suited to more serious art. They have, however struggled to escape the schoolroom connection and have been too frequently overlooked. This book is aimed at the beginner, so you'll need to balance this approach and detailed step-by-step demonstrations against the quality of work that Tim produces and adapt the way you use this, one of the very few books on this subject. Persistence will be rewarded and, with a minimal amount of equipment, you can discover a medium that, while perfect for outdoor sketching, is capable of the subtle effects more often associated with chalk pastels or even watercolour.

* The Artist, February 2019 *

If you think that oil pastels are just a pricier version of the wax crayon this book will show you how they have really come of age. From their invention in the early 20th century to the acid-free and non-yellowing type we use today they are surprisingly versatile, and mix well with other art media.

I confess to having no idea of their origins so found the short history very interesting. This book will particularly appeal to anybody who possesses existing art skills (and materials) but wants to discover how to incorporate oil pastels in their work. It is a beginner's guide to this and not a primer on how to draw and paint. Discover what brand the author buys and what else he suggests you can use. A surprising array of different materials and tools come into play, from a hairdryer to a scalpel, acrylic and watercolour paints, and inks, encaustic iron, hot glue gun and many more. Prepare a variety of surfaces and work through several exercises on mark making, sgraffito, stencilling, masking, using solvents, working with other types of paint and more. Each exercise will produce a painting, the best way of learning any art technique. After the basics there are several projects, which show in classic Search Press style (ie many captioned photographs for a foolproof learning experience) what to do. Paint flowers, a street scene in Venice, trees, a harbour, a dog and a country cottage. Learn too how to frame your work and look after it. It shows how art doesn't have to be about just one medium, but mixing it up a bit can produce some excellent results and also how versatile modern materials can be.

-- Rachel Hyde * myshelf.com *

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.

-- artbookreview.net * Henry Malt *

Well-known to Leisure Painter readers, Tim Fisher demonstrates how to use oil pastels in this Beginner's Guide to Painting with Oil Pastels. The book includes history of oil pastels as well as the materials and tools you will need. Six full step-by-step projects, covering a variety of subjects show readers how to create vibrant oil pastel paintings, and demonstrate how they can be used in conjunction with acrylic inks and paints, as well as watercolours.

* Leisure Painter, January 2019 *

Tim's use of line, colour and economy of shape, make it one of the best books on painting, period.

* Paint magazine (November 2018) *

In a series of full-colour demonstrations, Tim shows you how to work with subjects as diverse as landscapes, buildings, boats, dogs, trees and flowers.

He will also show you how to achieve subtle effects with your oil pastels by using blenders and by combining them with other media such as acrylics and inks.

-- The SAA * The SAA Catalogue 19/20 *

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