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Oil Pastel for the Serious Beginner: Basic Lessons in Becoming a Good Painter Paperback – October 1, 2002


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Paperback, October 1, 2002
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Product Details

  • Series: Serious beginner
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823033112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823033119
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Elliot wrote the first-ever article on how to use oil pastels for American Artist magazine in 1983. He has work in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian/ National Collection of Fine Arts. His commissions include works for Ronald Reagan and Katharine Hepburn. He lives in Upper Nyack, New York.

More About the Author

John Elliot was born into a family of Scottish statesman that enthusiastically supported the arts. During his formative years, Elliot traveled extensively throughout Europe and found that a box of oil pastels and a few sheets of paper were the most practical tools for an artist on the move. After settling in the United States, Elliot expanded his talents and versatility to several areas of the arts and launched an award-winning career in film production and design. By the 1980s, however, his focus became principally oil pastel. Today, he continues to paint every day and enjoys that his book, co-created with his wife Sheila, shares his passion with a wider audience than ever.

Customer Reviews

The book contains good information on oil pastels.
llr
A great book and one that the oil pastel painter will refer to often.
Michael J. Giddens
This book is perhaps the 'Bible' of the oil pastel.
Thomas D. Lynas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Gary Oblock on January 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a figurative sculptor I know how to draw and I have been perusing various art books looking for an interesting new medium in which to draw. This book managed to convince me that oil pastels are just the thing.
John Elliot has included sufficient information in this book to allow an artist to work in this medium. This book contains a lot of practical advice on materials and oil pastel techniques. To integrate this information it contains six illustrated demonstrations that walk though a drawing from its beginning to its completion. In addition the book is well laid out and contains extremely numerous photographic illustrations.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Srinivasan Nenmeli Krishna on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is a pioneer and talented artist in oil pastel.He gives very valuable info about this medium--a long forgotten and underrated, even though promoted by Pablo Picasso...The book ,however, is 'sketchy' in details and techniques.The illustrations and art work are excellent, but somewhat repetitive...A good introductory book for enthusiasts of oil pastels and beginners, till a better book is written by someone else---after this medium becomes better used and established in the fine art world.Soft pastels have been with us for many decades, thanks to Degas and Mary Cassatt...Oil pastels are still to be pushed by great masters....Fortunately oil pastels are available at various price ranges for students and professionals...One learns more by trying different brands rather that sticking to just a few brands---Holbein or Sennelier...

With increasing concern for toxic dust particles from Soft pastels, oil pastels would be more widely used and this book would serve the newcomers well.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By M. Frendel on May 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a very good book expressly devoted to oil pastels-but that said, in comparison with the only other book on the subject that I know of, it is a distant second. (There are a couple other obscure ones which I haven't seen) My favorite is "Oil Pastel: Materials & Techniques For Today's Artist", by Kenneth Leslie, 1990, Watson-Guptill Pub. Because it is out of print & only available second hand at inflated prices, unless Amazon can bring it back in print, or you are prepared to pay inflated prices (for something you cannot see & evaluate for yourself in advance), we are left with the book by Elliot.

Elliot covers a moderate (compared with Leslie!) amount of basic info & gives you a look at the oil pastel works of other artists as well--something I consider very important, especially if the author's work doesn't grab you, & also because you get to see how other sensibilities handle the medium. And he gives a taste of the history of oil pastels; he talks about various papers, etc; he mentions only two brands: Sennelier & Holbein (both premier brands) but there are others he does not mention which are evaluated in Kenneth Leslie's book. Leslie gives you a ton of facts & ideas: shows you how to make your own oil pastels if you desire, & how to prepare paper, etc., for receiving oil pastels (whose oil content can deteriorate paper) & lots of other info very useful for anyone wishing to know technical stuff about the medium.

Elliot's book is a good companion to the one by Kenneth Leslie, & I consider myself fortunate to have both. But if you could only choose one, & it were available, I would choose Kenneth Leslie's book!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "wombat_man" on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Oil pastel is a very difficult medium to master and I bought this book looking for some kind of enlightenment that would help me become accomplished in the medium. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was rather disappointed.
The book provides a wealth of examples of work of the artist intermingled with oil-pastel-evangelist preaching and information on techniques used. However even the step-by-steps didn't really help me to get from one step to the next and I was left kind of bewildered where I started.
This is the only book on the market that deals exclusively with oil pastels. This is the reason I bought it and as such, it is probably worth buying. However don't expect enlightenment.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stony on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a painter or illustrator who is looking to move from another medium into oil pastels, then this is the book for you. Mr. Elliot is a really talented artist and knows his subject. You will gain a lot from this book.

However, if you have little-to-no drawing/painting experience or you are an absolute beginner (like me), you will find yourself very, very frustrated by this book. I have found a few helpful things here, but overall, I think that I would need a year's study *before* I could effectively utilize Mr. Elliot's book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Lynas on October 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a dream come true for the lovers of the long under-rated medium of oil pastel. Despite the fact that this worthy artists medium was first commissioned by none less than Pablo Picasso, it has remained at most despised by 'serious' artists, as a tool for students or the kindergarten or regarded as a means for sketching or preliminary working of ideas.

John Elliot demonstrates with unbridled enthusiasm that oil pastel is not only an exciting form of expression but perhaps the medium of the future standing along-side oil, soft pastel and the usurper, acrylic as a real option for artistic expression.

The book is a joy to own and J. Elliot leaves no doubt as to the power and flexibility of this medium.

Everything is covered clearly and the illustrations again demonstrate the full versitality of oil pastel, both wax and the new water-soluble media. Instructions are clear and concise drawing from years of experience.

This book is perhaps the 'Bible' of the oil pastel.

At last oil pastel gets the recognition it desesrves.
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