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on February 13, 2010
Most of the pastel books I've read (and I've read quite a few) tend to be skimpy when it comes to technique. Essentially, you're shown one way of using the material, and that's about all. "Pastels for Dummies" takes the reader through a variety of applications, including the use of water with pastel, various blending techniques, layering methods, and so forth. In addition, it covers important information about an effective studio setup when using the material - a subject which is poorly broached in many other texts.

The explanations in this book are clear, concise, fun, and easy to follow. The "fun" part is important...if you actually want to enjoy yourself while you're learning. However useful they may be, the majority of art-instruction texts I've read are written like product manuals. You get useful instructions, but you need coffee to stay awake while you're reading them. This book was refreshingly enjoyable and easy-going.

If you're looking to learn about this wonderful medium, or want to add to the knowledge you already possess, this book is sure to please.
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on July 2, 2010
Oh boy! Finally a comprehensive manual on pastel drawing. Not only is this book easy to read, but it's practically delicious. The images are luscious with color and marks that are easily read.

Novices, if you want to be inspired and learn about art/drawing/color, check this little yellow book out. Adept artists, if you wonder what a "Dummies" book could have for you, prepare to be delighted.

After years of appreciating and producing art, I found myself chuckling at the writing style and being amazed how it fits so well into creating a real page turner. Prepare to hit the nearest art supply store if you start reading this book!
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on September 29, 2010
I found this book to be an overabundant resource for, not only Pastels, but also for insights to apply to drawing with any medium. I very much appreciated links to websites, history of materials. Sharing knowledge such as resources for materials is like gold for artists. I appreciate the approach of simplicity, preparedness and then action. Even for myself, having much experience in drawing with pastels, the suggested assignments were extra thoughtful. The assignments cover all the basic elements of design, experimentation with the medium, as well as subtle actions that will have you looking at everything as either something you want to visually represent or use as source material for the next art work.

All in all, I feel deftly informed and no longer a DUMMIES®
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on July 21, 2013
Perhaps, it is one the "most" complete book for pastel techniques. When you have to realize that for only 20 dollars, a teacher will not disclose all the trick of the trade. Once you realize that truth then this book serves the purpose. The dummies series books cover decently the essentials of the topic discussed and this book is no exception.
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on April 28, 2013
As one only recently introduced to the art of pastel painting I need all the help I can get, and this book provides it! Written in easy to understand language, it covers all aspects and is arranged so that the beginner can access advice quickly and easily besides covering more advanced techniques and hints for those with more skills.
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on February 22, 2011
A wonderful guide to using pastels. I've not used them before and this book certainly helped get me started. Thank you...
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on May 19, 2015
I love pastels but have struggled with how to make use of the medium. While my desire is for the richness of Mary Cassatt, my efforts tend to look like a preschooler with sidewalk chalk. This book breaks down pastels so that I can see what it takes to create the art I dream about. I am only partway through the book but already I have learned so much about how to use them. I have never really gotten into the "For Dummies" series until I read through a sample and realized that for the first time, pastels made sense to me. Although I'm no master, I have more confidence and feel like I have a better idea of how to proceed.
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on August 21, 2015
The Kindle version of Pastels for Dummies is technically informative for beginners, but is far too wordy. Most images are too small even when double tapped, and many more examples of work in progress at different stages are needed. The examples of pastel art in the book are amateurish and the book does not show what is possible by including inspirational examples of completed works by the masters of this media.
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on May 11, 2010
I had previewed this using Kindle and then purchased the full version as print based on that preview. The book does have some interesting tips for beginners and deals in some aspects of basic drawing as well as use of pastels, but I found the small page and half section on Oil Pastels to be quite poor in my opinion (puts them down and discourages use). . . I happen to love oil pastels and know some outstanding professional oil pastel artists. So be aware that it mainly only deals with chalk pastels.
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on December 22, 2013
It was ok. I wish it had covered the topic of framing pastels in more depth. Pastels have to be framed a little different than other mediums of art and the book didn't say much about it. It also didn't go into any depth about the different papers and what color of paper to use for different subjects.
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